Casta Diva
Casta Diva

Casta Diva

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.castadivabyob.com/
  • Phone: 2154969677
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: Cash Only
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Stephen Vassalluzzo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact the restaurant directly to discuss and schedule.
  • Private Party Contact: Stephen Vassalluzzo 2154969677

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Locust
  • Public Transit: Bus 17 stops at 20th & Locust.
    Buses 9, 12, 21, 42 stop at 20th & Walnut.
  • Parking: No
A word from Casta Diva
Located just steps away from the Rittenhouse Square Park, Caffe Casta Diva brings to the table simple yet perfectly executed authentic Italian dishes, always using the finest locally and seasonally available ingredients. Bring your favorite bottle of wine to this elegant and sophisticated tratoria and enjoy beautifully prepared seafood and meat dishes, as well as pasta, desserts and bread made in the house. One of the "best kept secrets in Philadelphia" according to the Zagat review.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Casta Diva reviews from OpenTable diners
69 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (42)fit for foodies (38)romantic (25)special occasion (20)good for groups (5)great for outdoor dining (5)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Really excellent food!
    Hello123
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Started with an olive & ricotta plate and a special artichoke puree soup. Both were awesome. The olives had some lemon and orange zest which went really well together; the ricotta was freshly made and had a great texture; the artichoke puree soup was really good, loved the grilled artichoke garnish. We had the veal bolognese and the wild boar mushroom pappardelle. The veal bolognese was good and very meaty; the wild boar mushroom pappardelle was super delicious! It also had cipollini onions and a very strong truffle scent and taste. Waitress and server were very attentive; we were not rushed or neglected. There were so many other things I wanted to try, like the branzino, the salman, the peking duck, and the steak.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Italian Gem and a BYOB
    VickyVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    We definitely go back! Loved everything. The beer salad and crispy salmon were perfectly done. Try the home made gelato.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Meal
    VegetarianVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    On a recent trip to Casta Diva, we were surprised to see that they were anticipating one or more large groups and had rearranged part of the restaurant to accommodate their arrival. I wondered if that would negatively effect our experience. I am pleased to note that it did not. Our service was very good and the food was fabulous. Casta Diva does not always have scallops on the menu but, when they do, they could always go for the "best in the city" award. On our recent visit, they served seared scallops and shiitake on a bed of parsnip puree with a pine-nut gremolata. It was fabulous. I had asked for a quiet table and they were able to accommodate this request even amidst their planning for large groups. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good BYOB but waiter not
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Good food. Reasonable to high prices. Waiter was very inattentive. Would try again to see whether we were just unlucky this time.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our fave spot
    Wineanddiners
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Casta diva is consistently excellent. The menu and specials change just enough that we don't tire of the fare. Service and attentive chef Steven make the experience pleasant and relaxing. I hope it stays just as it is for a long time
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Extraordinary
    ChubbyBubbyVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Steve, you are the BEST. Every dish is presented artistically and every bite is heavenly. Bravo once again!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RyanAggerVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Perfect for a date night, very intimate setting with great personal service, quiet location, great food, BYOB.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We have been to this restaurant
    GoodEater
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We have been to this restaurant many times and have never been disappointed. Food is beautifully prepared, especially lived the Branzino. Last time we had 5 guests, all ordered different entrees and everyone raved about it. Only drawback is Cash Inly, a bit inconvenient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, but used to be great
    PhillyFoodie
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    I have been to Cafe Casta Diva many times and my husband and I have enjoyed taking our family there when they visit. Their food has always been so well prepared and delicious (i.e. think about it a week later kind of good)! Sadly, this time, I was less impressed. The steak we ordered was medium-rare and came out beyond well done. The veggies were poorly prepared and not very exciting. The Risotto gnocchi was pretty phenomenal though, light little puffs of deliciousness! When a friend told us that he was less than impressed with our recommendation for Cafe Casta Diva a couple months ago we thought he was crazy, but I'm starting to wonder if they are slacking a little and not taking the care the used to in preparing meals.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Among best in Center City
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Wonderful - as always. We've eaten at Casta Diva many times (usually for special occasions). Everything is perfect - from the bread to the desserts. The space is beautifully designed. My only concern is that it iwill become too popular for me to continue to get a reservation when I most want to go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top Choice for "Out of Town" Guest
    VegetarianVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    We like Casta Diva and, on this visit, met a friend who was in the city on business. The meal was a hit. The last time the 3 of us had been together was in northern Italy in the "slow food" region, so the comparison could have been tricky. We had 3 different entrees and shared 2 appetizers and 2 desserts. Casta Diva has a small menu that is supplemented with nightly specials. It is one of the few restaurants that doesn't over charge for specials. That is one example of how they respect their guests. I've read recent complaints about service. Ours is always fine. This is not a "hi, my name is Jennifer" type of place. We find the service to be quiet, professional and pleasant without any unnecessary intrusions or false familiarity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food at this small gem
    BabsVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    The food at this small gem of a BYOB was outstanding and I look forward to returning again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Every morsel was delicious! We hadn't dined here in quite awhile, but will be back soon! Wonderful food, great service and a lively atmosphere! The presentations were excellent and the portions very ample! Casta diva is a gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Food, Lousy Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Truly delicious food. Waiter rude to the point of absurdity. Small space that was full of people so it was quite warm and when we asked if the heat could be turned down the waiter refused. As we were about to order, my husband leaned over to ask me a question and the waiter literally said "I will come back" as a chastisement.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surely a neighborhood gem
    FranVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    This is one of my favorite BYOBs in the city. We shared a dinner, having eaten a lunch too late. We started with their cheese plate, a real value for the price. The selection was perfect and the portions generous. We had the shaved roasted artichoke salad which was very different, very refreshing. Then moved on to the roast duckling. It was nicely paired with sweet potato gnocchi and other little goodies, and the portion was fine for sharing. Fig gelato was yummy. The only negatives were that the ginger gelato was a bit bland. And the room was a bit too loud. Other than that, the ambiance was very attractive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was amazing!
    mrstuom
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Well liked and well attended local spot. We could only get reservations for 5 o'clock, so know that you need to reserve far in advance. Ricotta Gnocci and Crespelle was DIVINE! The Calamari presentation was different and delightful. BYOB made the experience very affordable especially when you bring the best wines (Thank you for the recommendation from Circa Wines)! Everyone at the table raved about the meal. Compliments to the chef! We did accidentally break a glass and we were not offered another, or replacement of the dessert that had broken glass in it. That was the only negative. But I realize that they needed to move us out for the next reservation, but that was a little rude.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect dinner
    albqueen
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    One of the places that I should have had dinner before but never had the chance to go. Every single meal was delicious and it is byob, so it is more to my advantage. Give it a try and you won't get disappointed.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great BYO
    PhillyGal
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We nabbed a reservation to Casta Diva just a few hours in advance so we weren't expecting anything too spectacular. When we arrived our table was waiting for us in a cute nook in the back. Our waiter was not the most friendly and warm person I've ever met, but he did his job so it was fine. Our food, on the other hand, was amazing. The wild boar papadelle was to die for and I would go back just for that dish. The price was right on for a great Italian meal in Center City and because it was a BYOB it ended up being a very cost effective dinner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We have been dining at Casta
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    We have been dining at Casta Diva since moving to Philadelphia 5 years ago. The food is consistently excellent and the service impeccable. On this occasion, one member of our party arrived close to an 1 1/2 hours late and the staff was extremely accommodating and understanding. The menu offers a variety of choices that should please most diners from vegetarians to pescatarians to carnivores. There is both consistency as well as change allowing for the fact that some diners like to count on eating the same food and others prefer to try out new dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Steve is a great Chef. Everything is prepared fresh and seasoned delicious! Ella is the front of the house. She is friendly and helpful. This is a small very civilized restaurant. Elegant without being stuffy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never again on a Saturdat night
    FancyVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    I have dined here a few times over the years. This recent visit was a disappointment. It was way too crowded and loud to the point where it was close to impossible to enjoy the food. The servers had too many tables. It took a long time to get menus and give our order. I will not return on a Sat night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    PBVPMVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Heard many good reviews of this restaurant, so I was looking forward to dining there. What a disappointment! Although the special eggplant appetizer and crème brulee dessert were very very good they did not overcome the blandness of the Caesar salad and the veal chop and duck entrees.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food ranks #1 for me and I
    DBTG
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Food ranks #1 for me and I was very happy with the creativity, quality and presentation. Service was excellent. Being a BYOB restaurant was no problem because we picked our wine ahead of time after reading the menu online. Cash only was also not a problem because the prices were very reasonable considering the quality.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great BYOB...but rude hostess
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We had an 8:30 reservation and arrived on time. We had a large party so it was understandable our table was not ready at 8:30. We were rudely asked by the woman who was acting as the hostess to wait in the hallway of the building since we were in her way. We watched about 3 separate parties and arrive and be seated immediately. Finally our table appeared to be ready about 20 minutes after our arrival and the hostess proceeded to seat a party of 5 before us even though our table was ready first. When I told her this was very offensive as we had been waiting in the hallway for 20 minutes she was extremely rude and said that it made more sense to get this party seated first. Our food and service outside the hostess was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This was my first meal at
    foodiedudieVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    This was my first meal at Casta Diva and I would go back. Simple, but well executed Italian food in small environs which could use a little adornment on their walls. As we were finishing, several groups were waiting for their tables standing just outside door. No place to wait on a cold night, which is typical problem for byob's. Portions are substantial.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ugh.
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    The service here was remarkably bad - the main server was rude and borderline hostile. She did not smile once, was not welcoming, was very perfunctory at best, and seemed annoyed that we were there -- and we were going out of our way to be friendly and nice. It really put a damper on an otherwise okay meal. All of the dishes that we had were decent - not great, not spectacular. It's BYOB, so its not like there are good drinks to blunt the rude service and acceptable food. Given all the really amazing food in proximity, its surprising that the restaurant was so full. Will not being going back. (Cash only, fyi).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always excellent
    ShellyVIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    We have never been disappointed in the food or service. Have taken friends and they also came back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding BYOB
    Rick
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    My wife and I had a previous wonderful dinner at Casta Diva. We returned for a second visit and we each had an outstanding meal.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service!
    Dave
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I took my girlfriend here for valentines day and for the most part everything was great! The only downside was that another couple was seated almost right on top of us. This place would be great for a table of 4 though!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We ate there on Valentines
    Scintilla
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We ate there on Valentines Day. I got the carpaccio which was more like medium rare roast beef than raw filet. The menu did not say that it was going to be cooked. It was promptly taken back and replaced with a pretty good beet salad. For main, I got the duck which was cooked pretty well done, not medium rare as I had ordered, and disappointing. Husband's veal chop was also overcooked, which seems to be a theme. Brother in law's dry aged steak was mediocre. Sister did like her trofie with mushrooms. The ambience is a nice neighborhood BYO; I just wished the food had delivered. Maybe an off night because of Valentines?
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Outstanding
    ChubbyBubbyVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Every dish was exceptional. This is our favorite restaurant and the only place I wanted to be on Valentine's Day. We brought a great Barolo and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We sat next two couples who had never been to Casta Diva and both discovered that it was their new favorite restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Nice
    VegetarianVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Casta Diva is always a good choice, but we usually go on a quiet night. This visit was on Valentine's Day and I was surprised that, in spite of being very busy, the waitstaff managed to create a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Bravo. Casta Diva has a small menu. The consistent addition of a vegetarian special would be very welcome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Dinner
    Miyo
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    My wife and I went there with a family group for a celebration--not typical for the restaurant, which has an intimate atmosphere. My wife and I have been there a number of times, but this time we took our adult children (plus two eleven year olds) because they said they wanted very good food. The food was delicious, imaginative, and beautifully presented. The service was impeccable--responsive, efficient, but also sensitive to the atmosphere we wanted to establish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very enjoyable dinner
    MariaA
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Met and I could say surpassed expectations. Casual but very attractive setting with pleasant and efficient service. Not sure if this is the norm for BYOBs restaurants in Philadelphia but no cooler was provided for my white wine. Food was fantastic, As appetizers we had the calamari and red peppers . For main course we had the crepelle and the veal loin. At $35 I felt the latter was a bit overpriced, but it was very good so I dont regret ordering it. We ended with Creme brulee (it was chocolate which surprised me since it wasn't specified in the menu, but was very good) and chocolate torte topped with ice cream, yummy! Will come back for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous food, have gone often,
    GoodEater
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Fabulous food, have gone often, never disappointed. Go early when noise level is low. Cash only.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pasta pasta
    RonSimon
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    We ordered 4 pasta dishes. 3 were a+, one was b. I have rarely seen any place that good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed the evening, wonderful
    AlwaysReady2dineout
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    Enjoyed the evening, wonderful food, nice atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food; indifferent service
    Kermitsmom
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Food was I fabulous; beautifully presented. Delicious. Exceptional choices and combinations. But the servers either have to cover too many tables or frankly don't care. They were minimally present and largely unavailable except to take orders and deliver the dishes. Nonetheless, the food was so good I'd return again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad Attitude
    JimL
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Disappointed with attitude from server and policies. I made reservation for 4 people. Two of us arrived 15 minutes early and were seated. I tried to order an anti pasta appetizer while we waited for rest to join us. But server was abrupt telling me that I cannot order appetizer until the whole order went in at the same time. This policy prohibited us from appetizer as we were headed for a show. This policy cost the restaurant a sale. Also, this restaurant is CASH only. This was not publicized until we opened the menu. Its an expensive place but luckily we scraped together the money. I will not return. This would have been embarrassing and very inconveniencing if I had to leave to go to an ATM
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice but overpriced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    My parents and I were looking for a good Italian byob, a little less expensive and cute casual ambiance, offset a bit from the most populated areas. The food was very good, but it was overpriced for what you got. Byob is great but for example, we ordered the antipasti salumi appetizer. It came out on a beautiful wooden board and was arranged nicely, but it was 16 pieces of tissue thin salami and 6 little crackers...for 16 dollars. No cheese or olives or roasted red peppers? That's not antipasti. We each got a pasta dish which were all good but we were still hungry after. I don't eat much. When you drop at least an easy $100 at a byob, you should be full when you leave. We had a nice time, but It was too hyped up and I was disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate