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The Hardest Philadelphia Area Restaurants to Get a Table

Like any major city, Philadelphia has restaurants that, for one reason or another, are nearly impossible to get a table in.

So to accompany that list, we’ll give you some helpful tips that will help you score one of these prime spots, (and impress your dinner companions!)


Opened by Top Chef New Orleans winner Nicholas Elmi, Laurel is a French-American BYO that’s located at 1617 E Passynuk Ave. Every dish that comes out of his kitchen is personally given the attention of Elmi and because of that, the waitlist is three months out.

To get ahead of the list, mark your calendar for the first of each month because that’s when reservations open, for two months ahead. You can also follow both Nicholas and Laurel on twitter (@nicholaselmi @LaurelEPX) for up-to-date cancelations. But be nice to general manager, Alice Tran, she has her own blacklist that you do not want to be on.

Cheu Noodle Bar

Located at 255 S. 10th St, Cheu features only a handful of tables and a row of stools along the counter. Outside of the hours 5-6PM Monday-Thursday, you’re likely to encounter a hefty wait as they do not take reservations.

Tuesday has the shortest wait time of any day during the week according to Shawn Darragh (Co-owner) and lunch can be just as crowded as dinner, hence the 5-6PM peak no-wait time.


A French BYO located at 1009 S. Eighth St already featured a packed house before they closed for renovations. Now, luckily, you can expect a much longer wait. Featuring a tasting-menu only style that Pierre Calmels heads and fewer tables with operating days only between Wednesday-Saturday.

Upon reopening, getting reservations will be difficult but not impossible. Try contacting the restaurant directly via phone of e-mail, also, try @bibouBYOB on twitter for the most up-to-date news on the status of the restaurant.


A Northern European “eetcafe” located at 1046 Tasker St is almost guaranteed to be filled during peak dining hours, thanks to chef-owner Joncarl Lachman and his front of the house husband, Bob Moysan.

According to Lachman, the best way to get a table is to call between noon and 1PM on Saturday, thanks to delayed cancelations when they (the owners) call to confirm. If you happen to call during those hours, you stand a good chance at getting a table that very night.


Opened 7 years ago, this Society Hill gem located at 237 St. James Pl is one of the most sought after restaurants in Philly. With unique Israeli cuisine and a gracious staff, there is no wonder why this is one of the hardest spots to get into. Or is it?

According to communications director Felicia D’Ambrosio, “if you can eat anytime outside of 7 or 7:30PM, you’ll have a much easier time getting a table. Checking online to see the availability is also a huge help and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, call between 3-5PM to see if the person on the other end of the phone can do what your computer can’t.


Over the last 17 years, Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin have refined an already delectable dining experience. Located at 1312 Spruce St, this nine-table locale features a tasting menu that includes house-milled pasta, home-baked bread and house-cured meats.

While the seating is limited, calling with flexible dates and times will almost guarantee you’re a seat at the table of your choosing as Saturday at 7:30 is usually the busiest time of the week. Also, don’t discount the idea of a last-minute call seeing as keeping the restaurant filled is the goal of any restaurateur.

So while we can’t guarantee you a table at the restaurant of your choosing, if you follow these helpful tips, you might get a taste of some of the finest dining that the Philadelphia area has to offer.

Transportation TO Philadelphia Area RESTAURANTS

Whether you live in Philly, or just visiting the Philadelphia area, we can help point out the best dining establishments to visit in this amazing city. If you’re looking forward to celebrating a special occasion with friends & family, or a romantic evening with that special someone, We’ll gladly pick you up and drive you in Philadelphia with our limo service, and carry you in style to all the most highly-recommended dining establishments.

Private, door-to-door service in a limo or sedan is likely more affordable than you realized, and it is certainly the finest, most convenient way to travel. You can get a quick online quote to see just how easy it can be; it’s fast and simple, and there’s no obligation to book transportation now… so what are you waiting for?


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The Hardest Philadelphia Area Restaurants to Get a Table

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