AMADA — Spanish. A sophisticated restaurant with a mile-long list of exquisite Spanish tapas to tantalize the palate. Iron Chef Jose Garces’ first Philadelphia restaurant. Stellar sangria, inventive Andalusian dishes, including Paella and flatbreads, and a cheerful ambiance transport diners to Spain at any time of day. L (M-F), D (daily), Br (Sa-Su). 217 Chestnut St., 215.625.2450.
BUDDAKAN — Pan-Asian. This enduringly popular hotspot features contemporary Asian creations in a theatrical atmosphere, including a 10-foot golden Buddha. L (M-F), D (daily). 325 Chestnut St., 215.574.9440.
CITY TAVERN — American. At this reconstructed tavern used by delegates to the First and Second Continental Congresses, enjoy a Colonial-style meal by acclaimed chef Walter Staib. Visitors are welcome to walk through. L, D (Daily). 138 S. Second St. at Walnut, 215.413.1443.
DINARDO’S FAMOUS SEAFOOD — Seafood. This family-owned seafood house is an Old City institution, serving up outstanding steamed hard-shell crabs and sautéed garlic crabs since 1976. Grilled steaks, chicken and fresh pasta are also featured. L (M-Sa), D (daily). 312 Race St., 215.925.5115.
HIGH STREET ON MARKET — American. The menu here changes spontaneously to showcase everything from difficult-to-find foraged ingredients to artful Old World preservation techniques. Stop in for some of the freshest, most ingeniously crafted food in Philly. B, L (daily), D ( Tu-Su). 308 Market St., 215.625.0988.
THE LITTLE LION American. Paying homage to one of the country’s founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, The Little Lion (Hamilton’s nickname) has opened with a flourish in the heart of Old City. The historic building which houses this upscale casual eatery dates to 1847. On the men, find Southern-influenced comfort food, a raw bar and an impressive list of beers and cocktails. Great kid’s menu, perfect for traveling families. L and D (daily), brunch (Sa-Su). 241 Chestnut St., 215.792.4110.
THE OLDE BAR Seafood. Chef Jose Garces opened The Olde Bar in the historic district with a menu that pays homage to tradition featuring fresh seafood, a brunch on Saturday and Sunday and standout items like crab cake benedit and Olde Bar fries with crab, lobster butter and oyster stout-cheddar fondue. D (Daily), Brunch (Sa-Su). 125 Walnut St., 215.253.3777.
RED OWL TAVERN American. Everything from pickling vegetables to smoking meats happens in-house at Red Owl, and diners reap the benefits in dishes like pickled deviled eggs, bouillabaisse, short-ribs, and coconut-curry mussels. The bar program is top shelf, featuring classic cocktails and American wines. B, L (M-F), D (daily), Br (SaSu). 433 Chestnut St., 215.923.2267.
WEDGE + FIG American. Artisanal cheeses, crostini, paninis and salads make up the menu at this charming BYOB spot for light, tasty fare. Duck into the baker’s alley for access to the tree-shaded patio in the back of the cafe. L ( Tu-Su), D ( Tu-Sa). 160 N. Third St., 267.603.3090.
XOCHITL Mexican. This Headhouse Square staple— whose name means ‘flower’ in the Aztec language, Nahuatl— offers Mexican fare like custom-order guacamole and ceviche, and ambitious dishes like the deconstructed tamale. Flickering candles, Mexican tiles, carved woodwork and brightly painted walls will transport you to Mexico. D (daily), Br (Su). 408 S. 2nd St., 215.238.7280.
ZAHAV Middle Eastern. James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov carefully prepares creative, contemporary Israeli cuisine. Take a seat in the airy dining room to nosh on mezze plates like hummus or coal-fired kebabs and sip cold Lemonnana. The small plates menu encourages patrons to sample the many cultural influences on Israeli cuisine. D (daily). 237 Saint James Place, 215.625.8800.