Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar
Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar

Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.zentocontemporary.com/2013
  • Phone: 2159259998x
  • Hours of Operation:
    LUNCH

    Monday to Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm

    Saturday: 11:30am - 5pm (Dinner menu is served)



    DINNER

    Sunday to Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am

    Parties Larger than 8, Please Call in to Reserve Your Table
    $45 credit card minimum please
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Sam Ho
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wine
  • Catering: Years of experience with local establishments and organizations to provide on-site and off-site sushi catering service for special events. Sushi Party trays are also available upon request.
  • Special Events: The 2nd floor dining room can occupy 30 - 40 people with a full liquor and premium sake bar, overlooking the dining room on the first floor through the glass windows. This stylish room can be used for large private parties or special events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Free Validated Parking Thursday-Saturday 5:00-Close
  • Public Transit: Market-Frankford Line- 2nd Street Station
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: In the event that street parking is not available, Zento Offers FREE Validated (Indoor) parking at Sky Park located at 37 S 2nd St on the North East Corner of 2nd and Chestnut St.
A word from Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar
*Free Validated parking located at Sky Park (Indoor Garage) 37 S 2nd St on the NE corner of 2nd and Chestnut St Thursday-Saturday 5:00-Close

Sexy and trendy two-story spacious establishment with a full liquor and premium sake bar. The main dining room welcomes you with a 10 ft long sushi bar, attended by our talented and skilled chefs. Then few steps away is the full liquor bar fills with good selections of top shelf liquors and premium sakes for all preferences. The warm table setting welcomes our guests to enjoy a fine meal. The 2nd floor dining room is also occupied by a full liquor and premium sake bar, overlooking the dining room on the first floor. This stylish room can be used for large private parties or special events.



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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
88 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (45)romantic (36)neighborhood gem (31)special occasion (30)good for groups (13)great for lunch (11)hot spot (10)late-night find (9)notable wine list (7)vibrant bar scene (6)great for outdoor dining (5)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Very good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I had made reservations at a different sushi restaurant, but changed to Zento because of the location. We arrived about ten minutes late which was no problem. We were seated immediately at a nice little table. The place was smaller than I had expected, but great ambiance none the less. Service was very slow to begin with. It took a while to get our first order of drinks. After the initial Delgado, everything went smoothly. Service moving forward was prompt and attentive. Food was very good. The only disappointment was dessert. We ordered green tea tempura ice cream and got some kind of fried cheesecake batter with literally a spoonful of green tea ice cream.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid sushi
    GregfromMedia
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This was our third time here and we weren't disappointed. The sushi is always good and the hot food looked great though we stuck to sushi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eh
    f1038
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We went early afternoon Saturday and were the only table in the place. Even though the place was empty we still waited at the door for five minutes before we were sat. It was very small but the decor was unique. Unfortunately, being the only table in there did not mean the service was great either, they took our order wrong and weren't attentive to drink refills. The sushi was just okay and 2/3 of us didn't feel right after our meal. Take-out from here isn't too bad though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent Food, Romatic Setting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Girlfriend and I went for amazing restaurant week deals. Left with one of the best dining experiences we ever had. The food was superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    WesTD
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Amazing food and really superior service! Is a little noisy with hard walls, ceiling, floors etc. Other than that a really great place!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ok, not great!
    PMinPhilly
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    It has a nice and interesting interior but very loud. The sushi was average, not the best I've had. Honestly, expected much better for the price. Not sure I would want to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delectable Japanese
    Karyn66
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We tried w a groupon- and have since returned!! Though not inexpensive, this menu offers varied tastes-and options- fish is fresh- creative menu- and wonderful ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real gem
    London6djVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    One of those restaurants where you can't go wrong. From beginning to end the service and food were impeccable. Very friendly staff, lovely bar with a very confident bartender. Will always recommend Zento
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Intimate and Stylish
    Leti
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The food was delicious; the service was attentive; the decor was unique. As a b.y.o. it offers the best of both worlds. Note, there's a $10 corkage fee on the weekends. The seared tuna salad is superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High Quality Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Went for a late meal around 9:45 on a Sunday, right before closing, but found the service still relaxed and the food to be fresh and of excellent quality. The restaurant was a small, charming space and was quiet at the time of our visit. Even despite being a Sunday night, the sushi was fresh and paired with high-quality rice, and the other food was equally delicious. The prices were moderate and completely fair for what you're getting.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday Dinner
    phillyfoodVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I wanted to find a restaurant to have my birthday dinner with a small group (4) of friends, with good ambience, not too crowded/deserted, good food and drinks. This is a great place to do that on any night!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Top sushi spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I adore Zento. I've been going for years and the waitstaff never changes. It proves it's a good place to work AND great for repeat customers. Their white peach cosmo is worth every penny.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner and Drinks
    ac439
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The food was delicious and it came out at the perfect pace. Ordered a bottle of wine and for the price we got more than we expected. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • SO OVER PRICED!!!
    rosepetalgurlVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I would not go there, nor recommend people to go there, for the price you are paying, food was ok, but not worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Great sushi and wonderful service. The place is super busy on the weekends so make a reservation!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Zento
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Freshest sushi around! Would eat there 5 times a week! cocktails are amazing too!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic!
    RickVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Love the sushi! It was all VERY good. The decor is very nice and we all had a great time. I would go again anytime. This is one of my new favorite restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food poor service high cost
    LynnVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We had a party of 5. Were sat upstairs- would have preferred downstairs near the action with a res. The food was amazing. Some of the best sushi in town but it was coupled with some of the poorest service I have had in a long time. Our server took about 30 minutes to get us a drink and then Tried to put our order into a tablet but it wasn't working,well- not sure if that caused the hold up- but appetizers all came like 20 minutes apart- and then our main dishes were all screwed up we go double of things we didn't order and missing others- after being there for over 2 hours we just ate what came- which was delicious. Plus our bill was over $300. Which for 6 rolls, some sashimi, and some appetizers and drinks - seemed quite excessive!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner for an anniversary
    ColgateToPhilly
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    I made a reservation the same day for a second anniversary. Due to an understandably slow Monday and heavy rain, the restaurant was very quiet. Nonetheless, our server was prompt, the food came out quickly--and tasted great, as usual. The dessert came with a candle, per communication between host and server regarding our anniversary note.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud and Just OK
    Diddo84
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We went on a really busy Friday night. I had made reservations for two, and was disappointed to be seated in a cramped space right near the door. There was no ambience and a lot of traffic. The waitress and hostess were not particularly nice, but again it was very very busy. We ordered sushi and appetizers. The food was very good, but definitely a tad overpriced for the portion size. One plus is that this place has a full bar and is also a BYOB. I did not know that going in so did not bring wine, but others had bottles. There is a $10 corking fee (per bottle I believe) on Thursdays-Saturdays.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Sushi
    GregfromMedia
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We have been to Zento twice now and are very impressed by the quality of their sushi. Always fresh with some interesting rolls to choose from. Very nice and friendly servers. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fresh and Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Always enjoy the great sushi at Zento. The fish is very fresh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yet another WONDERFUL Experience
    MeetinCJ
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Fantastic Sushi in Olde City. What a great place. Wonderful food and great service. It was a memorable evening. I took friends and they loved it as much as I boasted about from past experiences. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another great experience!
    MeetinCJ
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Service and food were wonderful. It was a great experience for a business lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Great food, quick service, quite restaurant. Everything was great
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent and reasonable!
    TinaVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Consistently great food and good service. Not to mention very reasonably priced. We will continue to come back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Private dining experience
    PatrickVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Arrived at 12:15 for my 12:15 lunch reservation. No one in sight. Waited. Another customer was there to pick up an order and finally called down the steps to the kitchen. Finally I was seated. The nice waiter agreed to make iced tea -- which took a long time, but was nicely brewed. The tuna tartare with potato sticks was wonderful. Had a bowl of ramen with pork and greens. Very nice. Just seemed awkward as I was the ONLY diner in the place the entire time I was there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • localVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    excellent Japanese food but curiously, it is SO EXPENSIVE. Sushi fish portions were very small atop the rice.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nite out with the Girls
    LuvNewSpots
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Had a great time! They service was personable, friendly and warm. They created an atmosphere where my friends and I could laugh, eat and have a good time. The food was good and fresh too! Amazing experience! Thanks Zento...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • carin
    carin
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This is a wonderful sushi restaurant where there is no corkage fee during the week, but it also has a full bar and wonderful saki selection if you like saki. The food is delicious and the staff is wonderful! We found it last minute and LOVED it the first time when we just sat at the bar so we brought a whole group back recently who also enjoyed it as much! Since we were a group of 6 they gace us the upstairs which is a private little area and so great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and sushi/no service
    Janelle212
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    The server did not greet us upon sitting. He was sheepish in asking for our order. Never asked for our drink order. Didn't offer specials or advice. Was awkward.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Truly a gem
    JeffMachVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Too many restaurants have amazing appetizers and somewhat disappointing entrees. We ordered a dozen items, and not a single one was anything less than adventurous, perfectly-prepared, fascinating, and delicious. They actually have a "notable sake list", more than a "notable wine list", but trust me, it IS notable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great ambiance. Fair food & service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    The best thing about Zento was the ambiance. A very cute and cozy restaurant with very comfortable atmosphere. Otherwise, the food and service was mostly average to decent at best. We were warmly greeted and immediately seated. Our server was cordial with a good personality, but was slow and inattentive. Water glasses were not kept filled; we were never checked on to see if everything was okay or if we needed anything. I have had much better sushi in other locations in the area and the sushi here is decent, but not a good value. The chicken teriyaki was a rather poorly prepared version of this common Japanese restaurant entree. If the food and service matched the ambiance then Zento would be a 4 star location.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • PhillyFoodieWB
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Service is a bit slow and portions are pretty small for the price. I got the Giesha Girl (great drink) but it was so tiny and the pan fried dumplings (5 tiny ones, very good btw). I will probably never order a drink again only food. Love the chargebox in the basement and the food still!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Has gone downhill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Hot Food came out either cold or lukewarm, order was mixed up and was charged for food we didn't order. Food and service use to be much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 53 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 206 reviews are from the Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine + Sake Bar reviews archive.
  • Excellent
    PhillyPhotoGuy
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    There is a sushi joint on every corner nowadays, so it is hard to stand out. Zento is a little gem of a place, with maybe a dozen tables and a high ceiling that keeps the noise low. The service is attentive and the food marvelous. We had four rolls and two appetizers. The four rolls were fresh, nicely textured, and seasoned perfectly. The tuna was of highest quality, the shrimp was not overcooked, and the ingredients all harmonized. For appetizers, try the dumplings - melt in your mouth delicious. The only off note in the meal was the crab cake app, which lacked the seasoning and creaminess one expects; indeed, it tasted like cafeteria fish sticks. All in all, 5 out 6 dishes were not just hits, but home runs. I'll come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thank You ZENTO!
    SunshineDaydreams
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We went to Zento for a bachelorette party dinner. It was our first stop of the night and definately was the right choice. Our waiter was superb! He made the bride to be and our whole party feel very special. The food was also amazing. The dinner was topped off with ice cream on the house for the bride to be. It was the perfect first stop to an excellent bachelorette night. Thank you Zento!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    Lucy
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We would probably never have found this place if it weren't for Restaurant.com. We were going to a show at the Prince Theater and decided to give it a try. We checked and found it had wonderful reviews online. The menu was not extensive, but what they did have was excellently prepared. Our server was attentive. The place was a BYOB, which made it extremely affordable. We would definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AnneVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    everything was wonderful, fresh, and the drinks were delish
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great spot!
    mmmgoodeats
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    3 friends and I enjoyed the intimate setting of this place as we wined and dined on some delicious food. The drinks are a little pricey, so we brought our own wine. The uncorking fee was only $5 a bottle and our server only charged us to uncork the first bottle. It is a small place, so I would definitely recommend making reservations in advance as it fills up quickly!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate