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“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Aya's Cafe

Aya's Cafe
Ranked #520 of 4,342 Restaurants in Philadelphia
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: City Center West
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
95 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2013

This little restaurant is tucked away on Arch street, but it is not to be missed! Everything on the menu is delectable, not a single dish was less than extraordinary. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, truly in the Mediterranean style and far from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. We would definitely eat there again. Some of the best Mediterranean food we've had!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank worldwidewyatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    19
    0
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
South Jersey
Level Contributor
182 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“My Favorite!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

Aya's is by far my all time favorite restaurant. My husband and I go there for lunch about three times a month, and it absolutely never disappoints. The ambiance is warm and comfortable, and the staff is always friendly and efficient. And of course, the food--amazing! It is what I imagine Egyptian home cooking/comfort food to be.

My favorite dish is not on the menu--a chicken kabob on a bed of delicious Egyptian rice. I typically do not like raisins in my food, but the large golden raisins used in this rice are an exception for me. The sandwich version is great when you're in the mood for pita instead of rice.

Second to that, their Egyptian gyro. And please don't confuse that with a Greek gyro. The meat is finely chopped chicken or lamb in a semi-spicy tahina sauce. It's a great combination of flavors that compliment each other.

Aya's falafel are another delicious option, but like the gyro, not typical of what most people are used to having. The falafel are rolled in sesame seeds, and the crunchy on the outside to soft on the inside ratio is absolutely perfect. They are not heavy like most of the falafel that you get here in the city.

I honestly can't say enough good things about this place. Thankfully, it's in a quieter part of the city, so we usually don't have issues with street parking, and there is never a wait to get a table. Aya's NEVER disappoints!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank prgirl73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Ambiance”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

The Atmosphere was nice, and the server was friendly. The food was good. There was no real wow factor among the flavors, but the dishes were cooked to perfection. The turkish coffee was the most delish I have had. If I ever visit Philly again, I would definitely return.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 330SharV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Level Contributor
67 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Hidden Surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2012

My favorite way to find a place to dine in the city is to just go out & walk until it magically appears. Such was the case with Aya's! Visiting the Franklin Institute & not wanting to sample the fare of it's cafeteria option we went walking until we saw an umbrella on the sidewalk on Arch Street. Checked the menu & decided to give it a try. Great decor, a table by the window & soft midde-Eastern music accompanied fast, friendly service & excellent fare! The marinated chicken & vegetables delighted my wife & my re-creation of the kebob & kofta on a Greek salad instead of rice was nicely seasoned & a perfect foil to the creamy tahini sauce. Next time you're in that part of the city take a walk & pay Aya's a visit!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FrequentDinerEHT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Egyptian food was fantastic”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

Four of us stopped by on a Friday evening after seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls at the nearby Franklin Institute. I had not heard of Aya, but saw some reviews that intrigued me. We had a marvelous time, each of us trying something different. My lamb chop with rice and raisins was superb, one of the best meals I can remember. The service was friendly and the bill was low. I have already told several other friends about Aya's. This place is a keeper. It really is a little-known gem.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jim1UD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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