Philadelphia, PA - On top of spaghetti, covered with cheese, tucked into a roll, grilled on a skewer—meatballs in all forms abound in Philadelphia, and not just in South Philly, the city’s largely Italian enclave.
Best Meatballs in Philadelphia
There are traditional Italian versions with gravy (Talluto's, for starters), Vietnamese pork balls in noodle soup (Vietnam), vegan bar Charlie was a sinner. Contains no animal byproduct. Here’s a look at some of the most famous meatballs in the region:
- The gigantic home-style orbs at Talluto’s are available to-go at all of the Italian specialty store’s locations, alongside pasta of every variety. 944 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-4967; 530 Foundry Road, Norristown, (610) 630-6788; 20 E. Sellers Avenue, Ridley Park, (610) 534-0669, tallutos.com
- Hand-rolled ground beef and a special blend of seasonings distinguish the two-inch meatballs at Carlino’s Market. Customers can purchase them by the quart in marinara sauce or with several different pasta plates. 2616 E. County Line Road, Ardmore, (610) 649-4046; 128 West Chester Road, West Chester, (610) 696-3788, carlinosmarket.com
- The contemporary cuisine at the upscale pizza parlor In Riva goes homestyle when it comes to meatballs. Chef Arthur Cavaliere’s richly flavored recipe inspires nostalgia even in customers without an Italian mother. 4116 Ridge Avenue, (215) 438-4848, in-riva.com
- Count on Chef Eli Kulp to put his stamp on the mighty meatball. At High Street on Market, he dresses up duck meatballs with spicy marinara sauce, liver and onions, young Swiss cheese, and charred and pickled long hot peppers. 308 Market Street, (215) 625-0988, highstreetonmarket.com
- Pub & Kitchen’s rendition befits the gastropub’s chic take on English cuisine. Rustic and hearty rabbit meatballs adorn a bed of polenta with green olives and pine nuts. 1946 Lombard Street, (215) 545-0350, thepubandkitchen.com
- The little albondigas or lamb meatballs at Jose Garces’ Spanish eatery Amada are served with shaved manchego cheese and an essential part of the order at this tapas hotspot. 217-219 Chestnut Street, (215) 625-2450, amadarestaurant.com
Meatballs Beyond Beef:
- Built on a firmly Italian foundation, LA Nona trades in traditional sauces and pasta to accompany the main event: meatballs made from spicy pork, lamb, chicken, and vegetables. Specials, meanwhile, travel into cross-cultural territory like Hong Kong and Buffalo, New York. 214 South Street, (267) 928-3262, https://www.ristorantelanonna.com/
- The bucatini and “meatballs” at Midtown Village vegan bar Charlie was a sinner. Contain no animal byproducts. Dressed in spicy fra Diavolo sauce, they’re just as delicious as the traditional kind. 131 S. 13th Street, (267) 758-5372, charliewasasinner.com
- You can embellish the luscious brick hearth pies at Sovana Bistro with Fran’s Meatballs, a tender beef-pork-veal combo, then draped with Italian hots and shaved pecorino. 696 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, (610) 444-5600, sovanabistro.com
- Ricotta-stuffed meatballs mingle happily with Claudio’s mozzarella on the Polpettino pizza at wine bar Zavino, making it one of the most popular diners' choices. 112 S. 13th Street, (215) 732-2400; 3200 Chestnut Street, (215) 823-6897, zavino.com
- It’s ideal to be near Christopher’s in Wayne when a meatball craving hits: The pizza here gets dressed up with spicy broccoli rabe, herbed ricotta, sharp provolone, and red sauce. 108 N. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, (610) 687-6558, christophersaneighborhoodplace.com
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