3200 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104Neighborhood:
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.cozaraphilly.com/
- Phone: 267-233-7488x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday Through Friday 11:30-4pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm - 8:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Sushi, Yakitori, Japanese
- Executive Chef: Zama Tanaka
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from coZara
coZara is a true Japanese Izakaya, Japanese word for Gastro pub , small plates tapas style restaurant located in University City.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
coZara reviews from OpenTable diners
48 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance3.7Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (27)good for groups (22)neighborhood gem (12)great for lunch (11)great for outdoor dining (9)late-night find (6)scenic view (5)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (3)special occasion (2)romantic (2)notable wine list (1)Show More
- yumOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/19/2014we stayed a little late but the service and food was not affected.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding food and serviceSabres70Dined on 10/2/2014Arrived at 9:30 on a Thursday night for dinner, but unlike many other restaurants, never felt rushed during our meal. The gentlemen taking care of us was professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The highlight of the night however was the amazing food. We tried a number of the skewers and each was better than the one before but all were excellent. Each time, the chef came out and presented the dish with a quick explanation. We have been to Zama a number of times and always left satisfied so we wanted to try CoZara. Truly could not have been happier we did.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WhoeverDined on 9/27/2014The food was excellent. The service was very slow despite the fact that there were few people in the restaurant. I might give it another try to see if service improves because of the quality of the food.Special Features:
- Enjoyable evening mealCarlVIPDined on 9/19/2014The visit to coZara was very satisfying. The service was excellent and the small plates were perfect for us senior citizens. We enjoyed the varied menu and the beautiful dining area. The Japanese food was what we really enjoyed and we were amazed by the various serving utensils (plates and bowls). We will return again soon.Special Features:
- Not consistentMochiDined on 9/18/2014We enjoyed the food a lot the first time we tried it, but ordering some of the same dishes, we were disappointed to find them not as good. But overall, we found some good things, and the happy hour is super. I think we'd go back.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious Japanese small platesgoodmetabolismDined on 9/6/2014Reminds me of izakaya places in the East Village in NY. Delicious! Had the grilled whole squid, salmon, soft shell shrimp,pork gyoza, mushroom mazemen, strip steak yakitori. Highlights were the seafood and the mazemen.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great additionrpf27VIPDined on 8/28/2014CoZara is a great addition to the U-City neighborhood. In my opinion, this is one of the best lunch deals around.Special Features:
- Wonderfulnadiam4Dined on 8/23/2014Different and 100percent delicious! Small plates perfectly prepared making not only for a wonderful meal but also affordable. Hope they become succesful and this will be my Must go to when in Philly.Special Features:
- PaigeVIPDined on 8/15/2014This meal was for a special occasion and the server Isaac made us feel so welcome. There was an incredible amount of variety in terms flavors and dishes offered which I loved!! Definitely recommend this place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unusual, but not a good wayOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 8/15/2014The menu here doesn't do it any favors. With a lot of non-japanese ingredients (chimichurri, parmesan, lots of bacon), we were expecting much more Japanese fusion in style as well as in flavor. The reality was classic Japanese style with some unusual ingredients. Unfortunately with that style your execution has to be perfect, and it wasn't. The takowasa (a challenging dish for Americans in the best of preparations) had the unpleasant sliminess of improperly prepared octopus. The Chicken Kara-age was flavorful but lacked the crispiness I would have like. And the Gyoza somehow managed to lack any pork flavor. The soba sesame salad was quite tasty. I thought this restaurant had a lot of promise, but it disappointed in execution.
- Great New RestaurantGreatVIPDined on 8/13/2014Loved it. This place specializes in Japanese small plates. Between two of us we tried about 8 different dishes. Everything came out hot and delicious. Even the edimame, which is usually not noteworthy at most places was hot, extra salty and cooked perfectly. The panco scallop was awesome and the ribs were incredibly tender and tasty. The wine list was reasonably priced. After all that food and a bottle of wine, the check was still only barely over $100, which is quite reasonable in my opinion. Worth a try.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful!AKAJANDined on 8/3/2014Fantastic food, amazing variety, artful presentation, great service, friendly staff.Special Features:
- once onlyModerateFoodieDined on 7/31/2014Went with a few friends and ordered as many different things as possible. Do not come here if you are looking for traditional japanese. Prices are high (sap that college crowd) and plates a japanese inspired. Service was nice, but not engaging. Come here for a taste experience with your friends- but eat something first.Special Features:
- Great Food and InexpensiveMarcADined on 7/27/2014I tried coZara since the menu seemed interesting and I'd never heard of Japanese tapas before. Not only did it meet my (admittedly modest) expectations, but it far exceeded them. All of the 11 different dishes we tried were good to excellent. particularly the various fish items. The service was attentive and friendly, the advice to get the full prie fixe dinner excellent. For three of us, the food bill was under $75, and we left food over as we were all full. I would especially recommend the Albacore Poke, Soba Noodles and Edamame. Only step outside the Japan theme are the house special drinks, which use shucho, a Korean drink, as their base, both ladies at the table loved them.Special Features:
- Excellent food2sonDined on 7/26/2014The mushroom filled won-ton in truffle-scented gravy were the most tasty things I've eaten in a long time. Next visit I'm only ordering them (x2, maybe) and beer. Some excellent selections on draft including a "rotating craft."Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Small Plates at Drexel CampusMicKEVIPDined on 7/22/2014Went there for Univ City Dinning Days. Very generous and delicious selections. Service very friendly and helpful (Natalie). We enjoyed this so much we returned the next day with my parents for their $2.00 drinks and snacks happy hour menu. Another great new addition in the Phantastic Philly Dinning Scene.Special Features:
- Great spot for a small groupEPMPDined on 7/22/2014We went for University Dining Days. Great value with 4 small dishes and dessert for 25 dollars. Competent, efficient servers but: we were there for 45 minutes before a single dish had arrived. And, it was very warm upstairs (we were seated indoors) Loved the Tuna Poke, mushroom wantons, scallops, salad. Our brussel sprouts never arrived but I couldn't finish my dinner anyway so I guess that didn't matter. We felt very welcome and will likely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic Japanese foodMonamiDined on 7/19/2014Enjoyed the authentic Ezakaya food (pub food). So glad we can have tasty and reasonably priced authentic Japanese food in the Philadelphia area.Special Features:
- Great new spot from ZamaPTPeteVIPDined on 7/14/2014Great Japanese inspired tapas menu! Every dish we had i would order again. Octopus 2 ways, shrimp with heads on, and a truffle crema noodle dish!Special Features:
- Nice additionMB3121Dined on 7/3/2014CoZara is a nice new addition to the Philly Restaurant scene. So many interesting plates to try.Special Features:
- I hope they make itStephenVIPDined on 6/28/2014The food was quite unusual. None of it was bad, it was just difficult to call it, "good". I'm a big fan of Japanese food, but this was very different. The seaweed salad was quite tasty in a very "fishy" sort of way. There was a chicken roll that was also good. The place was nearly empty, primarily due to their location on the border of the Penn/Drexel campuses and the fact that both schools are on summer break. I think with some adjustments in the menu that this could be a truly great find! The staff was WONDERFUL, knowledgeable, efficient and friendly. I'll try them again.I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 13 reviews are from the coZara reviews archive.
- akubaDined on 6/19/2014My favorite dishes were the scallops and the mushroom wontons those were pretty amazing. Chicken yakitori was also extremely flavorful. The dumplings (pan seared) were also quite good, as well as the pork dish I had (Don't remember the name- it was in the bites section). Just was very impressed in general. Just an FYI, everything is really a small bite, despite having titles of starters, small bites, and bites. Got one of each of these categories for each person and were satisfied.Special Features:
- Food great but restaurant too warm!HotAirVIPDined on 6/17/2014We were seated in front of the open kitchen on a 90 dégrée day. We left the restaurant and it felt cooler outside. Our waiter had sweat beads on his face. Perhaps it's cooler upstairs. The salmon and flank steak bento boxes were quite good. I wouldn't return on a warm day.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fast service, tasty foodFoodiegalVIPDined on 6/15/2014Small Japanese tapas dishes that you don't find in every restaurant, therefore it makes it an unique restaurant. Service was friendly and fast. They have also second floor outdoor seating which is nice - even though it only overlooks Chestnut street and most of Drexel campus.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food!!!phillyfoodieDined on 6/14/2014We went there or dinner last night. The restaurant was hauntingly vacant at 9:30 in a Saturday night: it made us a little worried a to what to expect! But good lord, we were in for a surprise,and that so a rather great one! The food was outstanding! Everything- from the octopus, to the duck, to the scallops, to the salmon, to the lamb chops had their own distinct flavor and still were exceptional in there own might! Only minus was the lack of variety in desserts, but when you are in the University City, that is probably the last thing you should worry about! Will revisit soon...Special Features:
- Terrific additionrpf27VIPDined on 6/11/2014CoZara is a simply terrific addition to the neighborhood. I will be coming here often.Special Features:
- CoZara ----open for lunch!beskolnickDined on 6/11/2014Excellent...met all of my expectations having been at the Testing kitchen (Audrey Claire's COOK---Philadelphia's Collaborative Kitchen) Tasting a while back. Will definitely go back for lunch and can not wait to try it out for a dinner in UCity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Positives & NegativesseeljrunVIPDined on 6/1/2014When we arrived at 6:15, we were literally the first people in the place, which did not seem like a great sign. We sat on an upper deck that was outside, which was very nice as it was a beautiful day. Service was prompt and our food was delivered quickly - a positive or a negative depending upon the type of meal you want to have. As for the food, some of the tapas we ordered were very good, comparable to zama quality. Others were just okay. Also, the categories on the menu were misleading: some of the appetizers were bigger than the half-entree portions which we thought was a bit strange. Overall, I would say the meal was good; we would go back, as it is convenient to where we live.
- Great new addition to Univ. cityOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 5/28/2014Go to this restaurant for unique and different Japanese cuisine. Do not go here if you're expecting to eat sushi. Go to zama for that. Excellent food, great service and a wonderful atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good idea that needs seasoningucityfacultymemberVIPDined on 5/22/2014Nice to have a "small plates" style Japanese restaurant in the cheap/fast-food and bar-food oriented U. City area. Good lunch menu with attractive bento boxes at reasonable prices, in a pleasant and airy setting. Staff was friendly and prompt. However, the main ingredient, the food, was oversalted and undercooked -- both chicken and beef dishes we tried. Unless that is addressed, all the ambience won't bring us back soon.
- Something about it..deekayVIPDined on 5/17/2014Something about it coZara doesn't click. The food is good, but nothing was memorable. It's an izakaya themed restaurant, and the menu offers traditional Japanese izakaya dishes, as well as a few dishes with a western twist. At $7-8 a dish, I think it's a bit on the pricier side. The ambiance doesn't feel like an izakaya. It feels cold and without character. Maybe the second floor is different. Overall I give it 3.5 stars. I may try it again. I just wonder if the target demographics will work for coZara. I hope it does. I would love to see a couple of reasonably priced izakayas in Philly.
- Outstanding Japanese Tapas!NelsonDined on 4/30/2014Perfect rasberry, thyme cocktail Mushroom gyozas were great, perfect texture and savory sauce with a generous amount of mushrooms inside, so no flavor was lost. The salad was a very shareable size and the fresh, citrus notes in the dressing, from the yuzu, got better and better. We had 7 or 8 more dishes, and for the sake of readability, I'll limit it to our absolute favorites. The brussel sprouts...szechuan style...so much flavor...some perfect moments were enjoyed with this dish. ZFC...is crazy good...get it. We had one of their pork dishes, they have a few, I'm slightly embarrassed that I cannot remember the name of the dish, but it was as good as any pork dish I have ever had, anywhere. Overall, a great expereince. So, so good!Special Features:
- Mainly IzakayaOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 4/26/2014We first tried this place for its food only. We were definitely not disappointed with the quality, but they came out in such small portions at somewhat high prices. I understand that it's an izakaya, so it's primarily for drinking, but it's still a little pricier than I would have wanted. To be fair, I do want to give it a second chance now that I can get their drinks.Special Features:
- FinallyLucyBDined on 4/26/2014Great Japanese without the stereotypical stuff. Love this placeSpecial Features: