Center City Restaurant Week Returns May 17—28 with Dine-In and Takeout Options
Whether you're dining out or in, here are your best bets to enjoy CCDRW with kids!
Center City Restaurant Week is coming up May 17—28, offering diners a three-course dinner for $35, and (at some places) three-course lunch for $20 at dozens of great restaurants around town. Participating restaurants are offering their multi-course prix-fixe menus for dining in (both indoors and outdoors). As debuted last September due to Covid, some restaurants are continuing to offer the option to take advantage of the deals with takeout as well.
While this modification is due to Covid limitations and concerns, it has a secondary effect for parents—the world is our oyster (literally, if we get swanky takeout from The Olde Bar). In normal times, Restaurant Week means either hiring a babysitter (canceling out the discounted menu) or—with our expert help—being strategic and picking kid-friendly menus and places. Which is great, and which we are still going to help you do, because going places is very exciting these days, let’s be honest. Plus, since much dining is outdoors, you might be able to be a little more flexible in where you take the family (though you’ll definitely need a reservation since seating is very limited).
But, additionally, if you can’t grab that reservation—or if you just want to eat some fancy adult food and cocktails at home while you hand your toddler a PB&J —we are including a section on that below too! So, mask up, pack extra hand sanitizer, tip well, and let’s get started!
1930 Chestnut St.
There’s something for everyone on this extensive $35 dinner menu, including of course Dim Sum House’s signature soup dumplings. The menu also has favorites like General Tso Shrimp (or Seitan), Lobster Noodle, and much more. Takeout is also available if you can’t snag an outdoor booth (or your kids can’t agree with your spicy choices).
1234 Locust St.
Participating in dinner and takeout, this retro American comfort food spot has plenty of options for your inner child and your actual child. The cheese curds are a must, and throw in some of their whimsical cocktail pouches for yourself while you’re at it! Since they’re located on the corner, they wrap around with plenty of outdoor dining options, but reservations are still required, so be sure to grab one if you’re not doing takeout.
1716 Chestnut St.
Gran Caffe L’Aquila really gets us, because their $20 lunch and $35 dinner menus have optional wine pairings listed for each item. So in addition to Italian favorites like bruschette, burrata, arancini, and many pastas, you can have an expertly selected wine, whether you choose to dine in or takeout. If you’re dining out with kids, the lunch menu is probably the more accessible, but both have great choices and end with desserts like gelato (if dining in), cannoli (if takeout), and more favorites.
106 S. 13th St.
Here’s a little tip for you all: while Lolita is in fact participating in $35 three-course Restaurant Week dinner (lots of sidewalk seating to those with a reservation) and takeout, they’ve actually been offering a $33 three-course dinner menu since reopening during the pandemic! So, there’s no reason to wait until Restaurant Week to enjoy options like fresh guacamole, nachos, enchiladas, and fish tacos! Put your saved money toward a margarita or sangria pitcher (you can even do to-go cocktails, if you’re doing takeout instead of dining there).
615 Chestnut St.
Offering $35 dinner with indoor and outdoor seating, this place is sure to please kids and adults alike with its wood-fired pizzas and other Italian favorites.
Now it really gets fun, because if the grownups want to indulge in an impromptu at-home date night after bedtime (or just eat more complex foods than the kids will tolerate), you can get takeout just for you!
217-219 Chestnut St.
Where to begin with this treasure trove of tapas? First off, both the $20 lunch menu and the $35 dinner menu are extremely generous with their variety and quantity. I seriously had to double-check that takeout was, in fact, allowed on these deals. The most difficult part of choosing Amada for Restaurant Week is narrowing it down, but you probably already have your favorite dishes. Adding on Sangria to go is never a bad idea.
1713 South St.
Pumpkin’s locally sourced and sustainable three-course dinner for $35 is probably not going to be a favorite of little ones (unless they really love beets and monkfish), but it’s a fabulous deal for a date night at home. You even have to option to add on luxuries like oysters and marinated olives (for an additional cost). If you miss out on Restaurant Week, be sure to check out their daily, ever-changing $45 prix fixe menu (or $30 for a two-course takeout-only option).
125 Walnut St.
Head to the iconic Old Original Bookbinder’s building–and then leave with your upscale $35 dinner. Oysters, lobster roll, even crab fries with actual crab (no judgment, Chickie’s & Pete’s) are on the menu. If your kids want to partake, but aren’t into shellfish, items like fried chicken and burgers are also on the Restaurant Week menu, along with dessert everyone will like. And, again, if you are taking out, The Olde Bar has an entire Cocktails To Go menu. Bonus tip: even when it’s not Restaurant Week, The Olde Bar is also the location of ghost kitchen Garces Trading Company, which has a variety of gourmet takeout packages, experiences, and heat-and-serve meals.
220 S. 17th St.
This Mediterranean favorite has both $20 lunch and $35 dinner for both dine-in and takeout. Dishes like kebabs, shakshuka, and fattoush are just some top choices if you’re going with dinner, but everything is delicious and flavorful. No matter which meal you choose, be sure to end with the Date Truffles!
Lead photograph courtesy of Dim Sum House.