Novita Bistro BYOB
Novita Bistro BYOB
Reviews Coming Soon

Novita Bistro BYOB

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.novitabistro.com/
  • Phone: 2155454665
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: tuesday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: Cash Only
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Hassan Zanzoul
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Private Room, Wheelchair Access
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact us for additional information.
  • Private Party Contact: Hassan Zanzoul 7324855436

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between 16th & 17th
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Novita Bistro BYOB
Novita Bistro is a casual, BYOB with Mediterranean influenced dishes located at 1608 South Street in the Graduate Hospital section of Center City Philadelphia.

Novita was established in 2008 by Moroccan born Hassan Zanzoul This space was recently transformed into a quaint BYOB seating up to 40 guests & featuring an open kitchen.

Chef Hassan Zanzoul developed a love of Mediterranean food while he worked as a chef in Taormina, Italy from 1987 until 1996. Upon his return, Hassan received formal training in Italian & French cuisine from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. While working toward his certification, he was selected to go to Paris to complete an internship. Before moving to Philadelphia, Hassan worked as Executive Chef at Silver Spoon Cafe in Branchburg, New Jersey.
Novita’s menu includes simple, traditional dishes combining fresh ingredients from local vendors with rich herbs & spices.

We hope to see you soon!
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Novita Bistro BYOB reviews from OpenTable diners
  • I love this place .. food
    taffytudor
    Dined on 7/7/2013
    I love this place .. food was very very good. that red sauce if excellent! and love that it is a BYOB.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 4th visit. Always good. Staff
    SohoVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    4th visit. Always good. Staff friendly. Great atmisphere
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great byob!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    Great food and place. Seating is slightly crunched in this small byob, but our group of six had a wonderful experience. The food was very unique and delicious . I would highly recommend trying this place out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My dining companion and I
    merbearVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    My dining companion and I were the only two patrons in the restaurant until after we finished eating. We couldnt understand why until two huge groups of people came in as we finished our wine. The food was awesome.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was bland, nothing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/20/2013
    The food was bland, nothing special. The appetizers were perhaps frozen beforehand (shrimp)? The Short Ribs were way to salty. We didn't finish our meal. There was nobody in the restaurant. We tried to engage the staff to give our feedback but they didn't seem interested. This is a good candidate for the Restaurant IMPOSSIBLE show. With all of the new and high quality restaurants you have to stay ahead of the curve or you'll be left behind. We wouldn't go back given the choices we have and especially right in the neighborhood.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a great meal and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    We had a great meal and service was very good We all loved the food Our only complaint was they did not take credit cards and we did not know this so we had to scrample for cash
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good
    SnowVIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    It was good. The good was good. It wasn't "excellent", it was just good. The quality of the food was superb. But the flavor was just a tad off. For example, the lamb shank was fall off the bone tender, but the flavor was just a bit bland and the Cous Cous was very dry. I would try it again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was fine but a bit lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    Food was fine but a bit lacking in interesting tastes: chicken tagine was good comfort food but couldn't taste the advertised preserved lemon, shrimp pilpil similarly just small shrimp in tomatoey sauce whose flavor wasn't shown off by the small amount that would coat the shrimp (much better when bread dipped in it, though...). On the other hand, salad w/ fig dressing was terrific. Service a bit below the expected level for a nice BYO: one server for a few too many tables, we weren't offered a special that most other tables before and after us were, water was slow to appear (not just at our table), couldn't get our check despite looming symphony start.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, nice vibe, friendly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/23/2013
    Great food, nice vibe, friendly funny and good service. I highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was great - traditional
    SatisfiedDinerVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    The food was great - traditional Italian and nice serve servings at reasonable prices. A large party arrived early and the waiter asked us to finish up and leave so they could have our table - thought this was really poor service and definitely changed the experience for us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Moroccoan dishes were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    The Moroccoan dishes were especially good. They have great options for anyone willing to try something new and for foodies.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • we were not very impressed
    live2enjoyVIP
    Dined on 1/26/2013
    we were not very impressed with quality and price-too expensive for what it was. will not go back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but not worth the trouble
    beantownmom
    Dined on 1/19/2013
    We had an 8pm reservation for 4(which I confirmed BY PHONE at 5pm,) arrived and were told they were "running behind"(the place is tiny) and it would be about 30 minutes. No place to stand inside, we waited outside in the cold and were finally seated at 9pm(not worth walking to other places around on a Saturday night, that's why I had a reservation!) This was NOT GOOD. Next, when we were seated, there is only 1 waiter/owner for 10 tables so it was 10 minutes before we got glasses for water or wine(it's BYOB) and then another 10 before he could open the bottle. Strike 3a was dry bread(day-old?)followed by the announcement that they were out of 4 things on the menu(there are only 10 items - starters/entree's in all.)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expected so much more!
    knowitall
    Dined on 1/19/2013
    I chose this restaurant based on all of the positive reviews it received. I would have given it more praise if it hadn't been for several key issues. First, the restaurant has a very limited, small menu. Two Key items were unavailable and our server admitted that they had sold out the previous night and whomever shopped didn't get enough. Come on, really? Second, there was only one waiter for the entire restaurant and though it is a small space, they would have benefited with an additional server. 2 out of the four entrees happend to be excellent. I just feel in order for a restaurant to receive a high rating, both the service and the food needs to be on point. With better attention to detail, this place could be a gem.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • NB doesn't look like much
    Alfafan
    Dined on 12/29/2012
    NB doesn't look like much from the outside, but with an exposed rustic brick wall the open-kitchen interior was warm and inviting. I made a reservation for a Saturday evening at 8:00. When we arrived there was a single couple dining. As we left 2 hours later another couple arrived. That was it! I'd imagine if all tables were filled the narrow dining room could get quite boisterous. Our server was attentive and friendly, dignified and respectful. My party of 4 enjoyed their food. Calamari and octopus were tender and presented in an unusual way. Salads were attractive and ample. Salmon was great, mushroom ravioli rich and delicious, short rib entree tender and flavorful (but where was the mushroom ragout?). Nice little neighborhood spot :)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Terrific restaurant
    profaw
    Dined on 12/16/2012
    Very fresh, very tasty, very Moroccan food - several tajine options. Best baklava I have ever tasted too :) Try it, you won't be disappointed. Note however, they don't take credit cards.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved the open kitchen. Food
    WillbillVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2012
    Loved the open kitchen. Food was good-first course outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Only1 other party when we
    BobSVIP
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    Only1 other party when we were there @ 8 on. Friday. Too bad! Good food, great lamb dishes. Give it a try.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was good—nothing to complain
    xyz1
    Dined on 11/22/2012
    It was good—nothing to complain about. Expected more from a chef with his experience and training.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a romantic place! We
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/11/2012
    What a romantic place! We had a lovely dinner at Novita, the food and service were exceptional and though we were the last table in the restaurant we never felt rushed.We will be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was great and service
    ProfDinerVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2012
    Food was great and service was even better. Novita Bisto is one of our standard go-to places.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious! Would definitely go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    It was great! Had never heard of Novita, but all the reviews seemed positive. The food was delicious. I ordered octopus for starters and the lamb tagine for my entree. I would definitely go back. And the price! We order 2 starters, 2 entrees, and 1 desert - the entire bill came to less than $70!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A haven from chaos!
    ProfDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2012
    This was a surprisingly good dinner. Not surprising because it was Novita Bistro (I've been before, and always enjoyed it), but surprising because we didn't know we'd be walking through Oktoberfest on South Street to get there. As the numbers of beer-sotted streetgoers escalated, and we approached what could only be called a corner mosh pit replete with massive speakers, our hearts sank. But once inside the restaurant the chaos was almost entirely muted. The service was, as always, excellent and attentive and the food delicious. We were glad we braved the crowds!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • On a warm night the a.c. should
    Philly4FoodVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2012
    On a warm night the a.c. should have been on instead of the door open so that the fumes and street noise could have stayed outside. Restaurant was empty, but the noise we heard came from the street with lots of scooters and motorcycles zooming by. Very limited menu that had changed from what was on the web so that it was difficult to select choices. Only three dessert choices, none of which was appealing. Service was fine. Will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I hosted a birthday party
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/14/2012
    I hosted a birthday party here with 10 people, the staff at Novita were more than accomodating to us and made the evening completely enjoyable! They even played the birthday song and put on disco lights when we sang happy birthday (no other patrons were there at the time to bother). I would definitely go back again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food and service wonderful,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 7/1/2012
    Food and service wonderful, negative is Cash Only. It's not a cheap or take out place, at least $30pp so surprise to see they don't take credit card?
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food and service here
    KermitsmomVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2012
    The food and service here were great! We were informed that the menu had recently changed, although since this was our first time at the restaurant, we had nothing to compare it to. But the dishes were creative and tasty and nicely presented. We had the tagines, which were perfectly seasoned and just delicious. The appetizers were scrumptious as well. The prices were extremely reasonable, making this restaurant an excellent value. The service was unusually attentive without being pushy and very welcoming. We'll definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We've now been a good handful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 5/30/2012
    We've now been a good handful of times, and it's always been a great experience. The food is delicious, the staff are wonderful. Our only complaint from this time was that my after-dinner espresso cost $8! That sort of ended the evening on a slightly sour note, but otherwise it was great as always.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Have been to this restaurant
    Scott
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    Have been to this restaurant twice and plan to return again. Its a great neighborhood byob. Had the lamb and calamari. Both excellent. They alway seem to have a few large groups inside too. This time my wife and i ate at an outside table. Keeper.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • There are better ethnic restaurants
    glojo
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    There are better ethnic restaurants in this neighborhood in Phila. The food was only fair for the price charged. The staff was friendly and attentive. We were the only ones in the restaurant on a Sunday, early diners.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great find!!! Easy parking!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/12/2012
    The food at this great little place was outstanding! My husband got the soft shell crab appetizer and did not find even one piece of shell that he couldn't eat. The braised beef was cooked to perfection and had little fat. The creme brûlée and baklava were both amazing. My only complaint was that there were 2 parties of over 14 people each which made it louder than had all those tables been for smaller parties but we still loved it and can't wait to go back!!!! And I should also mention the Penn garage is half a block away and only $10 for 3 hours.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very nice small place south
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/4/2012
    Very nice small place south of Rittenhouse Sq. Tagine was outstanding! Our server was great--very amiable and very helpful with the menu. Its BYOB. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Neighborhood Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/2/2012
    My wife and I had a most unexpectedly wonderful meal last night at Novita Bistro. It was my first time. It will not be my last. The Owner/Chef allowed me to interrupt him before we left, and I could tell he was loving what he was doing and was quietly proud of his menu. He offered to make anything I might like in the future. Who could ask for anything more? It's worth bringing a good bottle with you.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I had a group of 10 for a
    Sarita2882
    Dined on 4/21/2012
    I had a group of 10 for a special occasion. It was easy to get a reservation for a group that big, which proved to be quite a challenge anywhere else (especially at a BYO). The server offered a great pre-fix menu which gave everyone a sample of appetizers, a salad and you got to pick your entree and dessert. This cost of just $35 for this menu was awesome and it made paying the bill much easier at the end of the night. I was not blown away by the food but it was good and creatively presented (especially the chicken or lamb.) The meat was cooked to perfection; my only complaint would be that I think they could have enhanced the flavor given the Moroccan spices they were working with. All in all, I would give it another chance.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our party of 6 had a terrific
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/14/2012
    Our party of 6 had a terrific dinner on Saturday night. Food was delicious, service was excellent. The restaurant went our of their way to satisfy a special dining need for 1 of our party. We will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding meal!!! We had
    Syldan29
    Dined on 4/13/2012
    Outstanding meal!!! We had calamari as starter ( was absolutely delicious) and spinach and goat cheese salad, the vinaigrette was really tasty. As entrees we had chicken tajine and mushroom raviolis in a creamy sauce. Everything was perfectly cooked and the taste was delicate!!! Overall Iloved this restaurant and I will be back!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I enjoy Moroccan food and
    Esther1958VIP
    Dined on 4/7/2012
    I enjoy Moroccan food and went in order to try the tagine. The chicken tagine was big enough for two people (we had the Moroccan salad for our appetizers). The couscous was flavored with chicken stock and had a sprinkling of vegetables. The chicken was moist and tender, but not really seasoned. I would have liked a more traditional tagine with spices such as ginger, coriander, cumin etc, and the tagine would also have been improved with the addition of more vegetables and e.g. dried apricots. I wished that there were some Moroccan desserts e.g. something with rosewater or with nuts, but the desserts were standard American (creme brulee and apple pie). Overall, I enjoyed the food but wished it had been more authentically Moroccan.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • delicious
    fpk1005
    Dined on 3/31/2012
    Went with husband on a saturday night. There was a large party already eating when we got there. , which made the place a bit noisy. The food was very good. Service great. Cash only. Few specials in addition to menu items. All delicious.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was delicious, but
    RandigVIP
    Dined on 3/24/2012
    The food was delicious, but the waitstaff left something to be desired. We asked if there were specials, and were told no, but the table next to us, was offered a prix fix deal that was not offered to us. We asked to keep the cork for our wine (my husband collects them) and twice it was removed from the table. I did not finish my salad or my entree and asked to have them boxed. They were never returned to me, and I only remembered after we had driven away from the restaurant. They actually had my cell number and could have called me before we left the neighborhood. I was very disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food and service was excellent-
    ProfDinerVIP
    Dined on 3/21/2012
    The food and service was excellent--as was the ambiance, until a group of 15 sat down next to us. Admittedly, it was probably unusual for a group that size to arrive on a Wednesday night, but the restaurant is just too small to comfortably accommodate a contingent that large and anyone else. Luckily, it was just smaller tables until our dessert arrived; the meal itself was lovely.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic