Fiorella Philly: Pasta Perfection in South Philly

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Fiorella Philly is located near the Italian Market and serves fresh pasta that will have you thinking you’re in Italy.

Overview

Bowl of rigatoni pasta, plus side of focaccia bread
The signature dish: rigatoni with Fiorella sausage, plus house-made focaccia

Steps from the famous 9th Street Italian Market, Fiorella delivers pasta perfection. Located in a former butcher’s shop, the century-old sausage recipe takes center stage in the restaurant’s signature dish. Serving a handful of Italian dishes in an unpretentious atmosphere, this spot navigates the fine line between being both a destination restaurant and a neighborhood favorite. It’s exactly the kind of restaurant you want to come back to…over and over again.

The Menu

Dish of poached lobster and corn with cream sauce
The seasonal antipasti: poached lobster with corn and mozzarella

The menu at Fiorella’s changes frequently. As in, the menu can change a couple of times a week. And some menu items may not be available due to consumer demand and ingredient availability. All of that is to say – the menu is fresh, seasonal, and exactly what you’re looking for in an Italian restaurant.

The Fiorella menu is small but notable – just a handful of antipasti and pasta dishes. But each is carefully prepared and delivered by the chef. As we were dining, we were reminded of the word “craft.” Everything is craft these days: from beer and spirits to desserts. But the Fiorella chefs are masters of the craft and deliver a truly remarkable product.

Pasta on plate
The cacio e pepe is sublime

Italian restaurants in America tend to be “Italian-inspired” vs real Italian. However, having traveled around Italy a number of times, we were impressed that many of the dishes are deeply authentic. These aren’t American interpretations on Italian pasta…they are Italian pasta.

The tonnarelli cacio e pepe and the linguine all’Amatriciana are both as Roman as you can get. The rigatoni with Fiorella sausage ragu tastes like it does in Emilia-Romagna. And the gnocchi is as smooth and buttery as it is in Northern Italy.

The Vibe

The Fiorella restaurant has a long and storied history. In 1892, this humble spot was a meat market run by Luigi Fiorella. Luigi specialized in sausage and was considered to have the best Italian sausage in the city.

Times change, but the humble little store on Christian Street stuck it out for over 100 years. After closing, Marc Vetri stepped in and acquired the building…and the recipe for that amazing Fiorella’s sausage.

And while the city is different than when Luigi opened his little shop, Vetri has tried to keep much of the building the same. The scales along the back wall still read Fiorella Sausage.  The 200+ pound brass cash register with the nameplate “Luigi Fiorella” still sits on the counter. Giant rolls of butcher paper still hang from the walls. The wood, the tile and most of the restaurant looks much as it did in Luigi’s day.

People eating inside Fiorella Restaurant
The pasta bar chef’s table with a front row view of the action

And yet, time marches on. The meat counter is gone. In its place there is now a pasta bar where patrons look on at the action in the kitchen. A dozen front row seats to the action where chefs whip up fresh, homemade pastas and sauces while serving them on mismatched china.

Whether you score a coveted spot at the chef’s table inside, or snag a seat at one of the outdoor patio tables, you’re getting the same amazing food with over 100 years of Italian market inspiration. It’s enough to make old Luigi proud.

Price Range

Expect to spend around $80-100 per person at the Fiorella pasta bar, which includes the meal and a drink. The antipasti are $12-18 each and the signature pasta dishes are $18-20 each. Save room for the delicious desserts.

Reservations

Gnocchi on plate
Ricotta gnocchi

Reservations are strongly encouraged. While they do accept walk-in customers, you’re likely to be turned away on most evenings. The restaurant is small and cozy, so plan ahead.

Location

Fiorella is located at 817 Christian Street in the Bella Vista section of South Philly. Parking can be a bit difficult to come by, but try the community lot at 723 Christian Street. Visit the Fiorella website for more information.

Bowls of gelato
The final word: the gelato speaks for itself

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