Philadelphia is known for its diverse food scene, offering a wide range of cuisines and dishes for foodies to indulge in.
One of the most popular appetizers in the city is fried calamari, a crispy and flavorful dish that has become a staple in many restaurants.
Whether you prefer it with a classic marinara sauce or a spicy aioli, there are plenty of places in Philadelphia to satisfy your craving for fried calamari.
From upscale seafood restaurants to cozy gastropubs, the city has no shortage of options for this delicious dish.
But with so many choices, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've put together a list of the best places for fried calamari in Philadelphia, highlighting some of the top spots for this beloved appetizer.
So if you're a fan of crispy calamari rings or want to try this dish for the first time, keep reading to discover the best places to get your fix in Philly.
1. The Victor Cafe
The Victor Cafe is a classic Italian restaurant with a unique twist. The waitstaff are all professionally-trained opera singers who perform every 20 minutes.
While the singing is a great addition to the atmosphere, the real star of the show is the food. The calamari is a must-try dish, perfectly fried and served with a delicious dipping sauce.
The rest of the menu is also exceptional, with authentic Italian dishes and a great wine selection.
The cozy bistro-style atmosphere and friendly service make for a memorable dining experience. If you're looking for great food and entertainment, The Victor Cafe is definitely worth a visit.
2. Ristorante Pesto
Ristorante Pesto is a cozy Italian restaurant that serves up some of the best fried calamari in town.
The calamari is fresh and perfectly coated, making for a delicious appetizer.
The homemade pasta is also a standout, and the attentive service makes for a pleasant dining experience.
The atmosphere is welcoming and perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Do not miss out on this spot for some fantastic Italian cuisine.
3. Oyster House
If you're in the mood for some fried calamari, Oyster House is a must-visit spot.
This seafood restaurant and oyster bar has been around since 1976 and offers a stylish ambiance.
The calamari is crispy and flavorful, and pairs perfectly with their delicious cocktails.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience. Don't miss out on the other East Coast-style seafood options while you're there.
4. The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille is a top-notch restaurant that serves excellent fried calamari. The dish is made with cherry peppers and is highly recommended by many customers.
The restaurant has a great atmosphere and the staff is courteous and professional.
The menu has a variety of options to choose from, including steaks and seafood. The prices are a bit high, but the quality of the food and service is worth it.
If you're looking for a fine dining experience with delicious fried calamari, The Capital Grille is the place to be.
5. Bistro Romano
Bistro Romano is a charming Italian restaurant that serves up some of the best fried calamari in town. The calamari is lightly fried and seasoned to perfection, making it a must-try dish.
The aioli that comes with the marinara sauce is a delightful addition that elevates the dish even further.
The atmosphere is romantic and intimate, making it a great spot for a date night. The service is top-notch, and the wine list is extensive.
Bistro Romano is definitely worth a visit if you're in the mood for some delicious Italian cuisine.
Amada is an upmarket Spanish restaurant and tapas bar that serves delectable fried calamari. The dish is crispy, perfectly cooked, and served with a tangy aioli sauce.
The restaurant has a cozy ambiance and is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
The service is excellent, and the staff is knowledgeable about the menu.
Apart from the fried calamari, Amada also offers a variety of other tapas dishes that are worth trying.
7. Ocean Prime
Ocean Prime offers a sophisticated dining experience with a classic steak and seafood menu.
The fried calamari is a standout dish, perfectly cooked and seasoned with just the right amount of crunch.
The upscale decor and attentive service create a welcoming atmosphere for a special night out.
Don't miss the opportunity to try this delicious dish at Ocean Prime.
8. Aroma on 3rd
Aroma on 3rd is a white tablecloth BYO restaurant that serves regional Italian cuisine.
Their menu features both Northern and Southern Italian specialties, including a delicious fried calamari appetizer. The calamari is perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
It is served with a zesty marinara sauce that complements the dish well.
The restaurant has a cozy and intimate atmosphere, and the service is exceptional. Aroma on 3rd is a great spot for a date night or a special occasion.
9. La Nonna
La Nonna is a charming family-owned Italian restaurant that serves up some of the best fried calamari in town.
The calamari is lightly breaded and perfectly cooked, making it crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The accompanying sauce is flavorful and complements the dish well.
The restaurant is BYOB, which adds to the cozy and intimate atmosphere. The service is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience overall.
If you're in the mood for some delicious fried calamari, La Nonna is definitely worth a visit.
10. Kensington Quarters
Kensington Quarters is a stylish and modern American restaurant that offers a variety of small plates and entrees.
The fried calamari is a must-try, as it is perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor. The service is attentive and knowledgeable, adding to the overall enjoyable dining experience.
The restaurant's decor is rustic and industrial, adding to the ambiance. Although the prices are on the higher side, the quality of the food and service justifies the cost.
If you're in the mood for delicious fried calamari and a great dining experience, Kensington Quarters is the place to go.
11. Cucina Maria South Philly
Cucina Maria South Philly is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious fried calamari.
The restaurant offers excellent food and great service. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making for a comfortable dining experience.
The calamari is perfectly cooked and served with a delightful dipping sauce. The restaurant also offers other Italian comfort foods such as homemade gnocchi and fresh pasta dishes.
This quaint BYO restaurant is a hidden gem in the heart of South Philly and should not be missed.
12. La Famiglia Ristorante
La Famiglia Ristorante is a must-visit for those who love fried calamari.
Their old-world charm and attentive service create a memorable dining experience.
The gnocchi and veal are also highly recommended. Don't forget to check out their amazing wine cellar.
This restaurant is perfect for a date night or a special occasion.
13. Noir Restaurant & Bar
Noir Restaurant & Bar is a cozy spot with a varied menu of upscale pub fare.
Although the menu is not extensive, they have obviously figured out dishes they make well. The fried calamari is a must-try and is cooked to perfection.
The wait staff is attentive and friendly, making dining here a pleasant experience. The restaurant is also a great spot for a drink with a decent beer selection.
Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a night out, Noir Restaurant & Bar is definitely worth checking out.
14. Amazing Crab House
Amazing Crab House is a seafood and Cajun restaurant that serves delicious fried calamari.
The restaurant has a spacious seating area and follows COVID-19 protocols. The staff is attentive and the food is fresh and well-seasoned.
The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is relaxed. The restaurant also offers a happy hour with discounts on beers.
If you're a seafood lover, Amazing Crab House is definitely worth a visit.
15. Giuseppe & Sons
Giuseppe & Sons is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious fried calamari.
This buzzy Italian joint serves up red-sauce classics, handmade pasta, seafood, and cocktails in a moody, dimly-lit atmosphere.
The staff is attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly, making for a top-notch dining experience.
While there is something for everyone on the menu, the fried calamari steals the show with its crispy exterior and tender, flavorful interior. Don't miss out on trying this dish at Giuseppe & Sons.
16. Buca D'oro Ristorante
Buca D'oro Ristorante is a must-visit Italian restaurant for anyone looking for delicious fried calamari.
The restaurant provides a traditional, seafood-focused menu in an old-world space with murals. The wait staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu.
The fried calamari is tender and tasty, making it a perfect appetizer or main dish. The restaurant is a bit pricy, but the quality of the food is worth it.
The ambiance is perfect for an intimate dining experience or a celebration with friends and family.
17. Pietro's Italian
Pietro's Italian offers some of the best fried calamari in town.
The calamari is crispy, perfectly seasoned, and served with a delicious dipping sauce.
The restaurant has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
Pietro's Italian is a great spot for a casual dinner or a night out with friends. Don't miss out on the chance to try their delicious calamari!
18. Seafood Unlimited
Seafood Unlimited is a seafood restaurant that offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including fried calamari. The restaurant has a small, cozy ambiance with friendly staff.
The food is reasonably priced, and portions are generous. The restaurant is cash-only, so make sure to bring cash.
The menu also offers daily food and drink specials that are worth trying. The fried calamari is crispy and flavorful, and it's a must-try dish for seafood lovers.
The restaurant also offers a daily rotating menu of fresh seafood selections. Seafood Unlimited is an excellent spot for seafood enthusiasts who are looking for a casual and affordable dining experience.