Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.09mi
  3. Distance: 0.14mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.09mi
  3. Distance: 0.14mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi
  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.09mi
  3. Distance: 0.14mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

About 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. Please note Casta Diva is a cash only business.

227 S. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Farm-to-table, Organic

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm

Cross Street:
Locust

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
Cash Only

Phone Number:
(215) 496-9677

Website:
http://www.castadivabyob.com/

Public Transit:
Bus 17 stops at 20th & Locust.
Buses 9, 12, 21, 42 stop at 20th & Walnut.

Executive Chef:
Stephen Vassalluzzo

Private Party Facilities:
Please contact the restaurant directly to discuss and schedule.

Private Party Contact:
Stephen Vassalluzzo: (215) 496-9677

Additional:
BYO Liquor, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout

Casta Diva Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.1

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (25)
Good for a Date (16)
Fit for Foodies (15)
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Creative Cuisine (12)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Cozy (10)
Authentic (9)
Special Occasion (9)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Casual (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Romantic (6)
Local Ingredients (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Hot Spot (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Business Meals (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Fun (2)
Seasonal (2)
Healthy (1)
People Watching (1)
Quick Bite (1)
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577 reviews
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 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 24, 2014

Made a reservation a few hours ahead based on reviews posted on Open Table. This was one of the best dining experiences I have had in Philly. The portion sizes are perfect. The Ceasar salad dressing was perfect. My son ordered the crispy salmon and it was among the 10 best salmon dishes I have ever tasted. Not a dud among the entrees. The torte is a must order for dessert. We will definitely go back again and I will be recommending Casta Diva to all my friends.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 23, 2014

Some of the best Italian food we ever had, and the service was very professional.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 22, 2014

Went with a mommy friend for a relaxing night out and we both loved the ambiance and were impressed with the food. Nothing disappointed. Had the artichoke appetizer along with the olives and ricotta crostini appetizer, both amazing. And the ricotta gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce was my second favorite ever! Had the chocolate torte for dessert and didn't want it to end. To top it off this is a byob. Btw, cash only, which I didn't know. Can't wait to go back and take my husband!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 15, 2014

This is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. The food is always superbly prepared and presented. We came with out of town guests and they were equally impressed. Casta Diva is BYOB, which we prefer but you need to know that they do not accept credit cards, only cash and checks. For those caught unaware, there is an ATM across the street. Our only criticism is the noise level which is better than it was, but still could be dampened a bit

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on May 10, 2014

A BYOB RESTAURANT WITH AN IMAGINATIVE MENU ,GREAT SERVICE ,GREAT VALUE . EACH COURSE WAS OUTSTANDING AND A WONDERFUL PACE TO THE MEAL . REMEMBER TO BRING WINE NOT YOUR EVERYDAY ITALIAN FARE

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 3, 2014

The quality of the food was excellent. Portions were modest. Service top notch with cozy ambience. Cash only.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 2, 2014

Casta Diva was recommendation from a native of Philadelphia. The special Fire Roasted Artichoke Soup with Shrimp was amazing. The two pasta dishes we ordered we just as great. I had the wild boar pappardelle and my girl friend had the veal Bolognese. The bolognese was presented beautifully. The prices were impressive. 3 Apps and 2 mains and 2 espressos came out to under $100. It's BYOB and only takes CASH.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 1, 2014

Always enjoy my dining here. Menu is a very reasonable length and a few specials. Fish is cooked perfectly. The staff has always been very pleasant and attentive.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on April 24, 2014

Wee really enjoyed this evening, byo and good service always help :-)
We ordered the calamari and cheese paste for appetizers, they were pretty good, but nothing special.. For we ordered the special -scallops (very tasty but very small) and the pasta with porchini, which was standard, and also very small.
Deserts were too sweet and all of them had a strong coffee flavor (that neither of us liked).
In summary, maybe we took the wrong food but with what we tried, it seemed like an average tough very pricy meal.
there are many other good Italian places with better good at the same price (and no cash is required)

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience3
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 23, 2014

We definitely go back!
Loved everything.
The beer salad and crispy salmon were perfectly done.
Try the home made gelato.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 19, 2014

Good food. Reasonable to high prices. Waiter was very inattentive. Would try again to see whether we were just unlucky this time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 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

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 17, 2014

Steve, you are the BEST.
Every dish is presented artistically and every bite is heavenly.
Bravo once again!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 15, 2014

Perfect for a date night, very intimate setting with great personal service, quiet location, great food, BYOB.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience3
service4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 29, 2014

The food at this small gem of a BYOB was outstanding and I look forward to returning again and again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service1

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

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food3
ambience2
service2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 8, 2014

Cash only....: needs more communication

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food3
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service2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 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.

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food2
ambience4
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience3
service2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service3

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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).

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food3
ambience2
service1

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 21, 2014

We have never been disappointed in the food or service. Have taken friends and they also came back

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 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?

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food2
ambience4
service4

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