About Cucina Forte

Welcome to Cucina Forte Italian Restaurant. I invite you to dine with us and experience an authentic Italian cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. I create every dish with love. The same tradition my mother started at our family restaurant in the Abbruzzi Region of Italy in 1965!

-Maria Forte

768 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm

Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Catherine Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(215) 238-0778

Website:
http://www.cucinaforte.com/

Parking Details:
Valet service on the weekends

Executive Chef:
Maria Forte

Additional:
Banquet, BYO Liquor, BYO Wine, Gluten-free Menu, Private Room, Takeout

Cucina Forte Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.1

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (20)
Authentic (17)
Good for a Date (12)
See All
Romantic (12)
Casual (10)
Special Occasion (10)
Good for Anniversaries (9)
Cozy (9)
Creative Cuisine (8)
Fit for Foodies (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Business Meals (2)
Fun (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Seasonal (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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233 reviews
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·Dined on December 8, 2017

Best Gnocchi in Philly! And it's a BYOB, friendly staff.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Enjoyed dinner with friends before Andrea Bocelli concert. Italian with some twists. Crab stuffed portebello mushroom appetizer is not to missed. Vitello el Limone and Involtini Di Vitello were very nice veal selections. The Pollo Alla Forte and the cheese purses (a special) were very good. Service was great as the wait staff worked as a team and not assigned to individual tables. We were an early reservation so noise level and service may change later in the evening. Only drawback to being a small neighborhood restaurant, street parking is hard to find, plan accordingly.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Special Occasion, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 8, 2017

It has been one of my favorite places to eat, but something has definitely changed! Service was great and our waiter Gregory was amazing. The gnocchi however were not up to par!!!

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 2, 2017

First time there. We have friends who recommended it. Food was wonderful. Atmosphere perfect. Looking forward to a return visit.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

Great south Philly BYO Italian restaurant. The service was lovely and the owner came out to talk to us which was very personal. The pasta was extremely fresh and a great portion size. I would go back in a heartbeat!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Very nice Italian restaurant in Buena Vista. While the dining room is unpretentious, the table cloths and the flower arrangements make a good impression. The food is nicely prepared, and the menu is small but inclusive. A good choice.

Tags: Romantic, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We have been to Cucina Forte many times. "Mama" - Mrs. Forte - is an amazing chef. She is up there in years and it was the first time she wasn't there. She has trained another woman. It was definitely not the same. Some of the items were good. But the basic marinara sauce was much saltier than usual. And the choice of vegys available was ridiculously limited. To not be able to get escarole or broccoli at an Italian restaurant? And I was presented with mushy vegys, which should've been grilled w the smaller than normal piece of grilled salmon, that is usually served with a huge plate of assorted grilled greens, potatoes, etc. It was very disappointing.
I hope that this is not a preview of what will happen when Mama retires. This restaurant was one of the best we've ever been to in Philly.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Let me start by stating that this was not my first trip to Cucina Forte (CF). Although we enjoy many of Philly's neighborhood BYOB's, CF is one of our favorites.
Each time my wife & I visit, we know exactly what we're in store for.....A great meal, with better than average service, from an attentive staff. The nature of the restaurant (store front mid block in the city) has limitations for sure, but the entire wait staff always treats you like you are family. The food is always expertly prepared, from the apps, to salads to entrees, each dish is delicious and straight from the kitchen. Last, but certainly not least... The Gnocchi are the best I've ever had. Try 'em, you won't be disappointed.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Authentic
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food4
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 18, 2017

desparately need cloth on ceilings. VERY LOUD, but very good food.

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Outstanding experience food and service just exceptional for this price point. Service very attentive, daily specials on a Friday night were interesting and not too pricey. This is a good place for dinner.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 7, 2017

We always feel like family here, and the food is delicious. Thanks for helping us celebrate a Milestone birthday!!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great food and service, only thing is the owner usually comes out to each table to ask how was the food, and i noticed to she came to every table but mine. She looked, did a half wave but did not give the same attention as the other guests

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The food was great, but the restaurant was so loud it was hard to enjoy it. I am not someone who is sensitive to noise and we practically had to shout to have a conversation.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 2, 2017

The food was fabulous. Service was OK. Odd questions eg do you want appetizers before the entrees? Salad before entree?
Overall a great experience.

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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 2, 2017

We used to be frequent goers of this restaurant but we dont get to center city much anymore. We loved the hostess / manager who ran thus place for many years. Now they had two young people running it. It just didnt have the same feel and warmth. The food was good, but the entire feel and service was different.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

My wife and I came to celebrate a wedding anniversary but will not need a special occasion to come back for the fine food and good service at Cucina Forte. This is the type of Italian restaurant we have been seeking after moving to Philadelphia.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Great food and service. Way too loud in dining room

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience2
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Excellent Food coupled with outstanding service this is one of the BEST Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia. Everyone selected something different for dinner and everyone was very impressed with their choice....Delizioso!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Decided to try Cucina Forte while looking for a local BYO and was not disappointed! I went with a party of three and we decided to indulge a bit with 3 appetizers and we each got a special. I had the lobster ravioli which was the best I have ever had. The pricing was reasonable and the homemade pasta taste was amazing. This will definitely become a neighborhood go-to for us!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 14, 2017

The food was great. The service was great. As the evening went on, the noise became deafening. Despite the noise, we would return because the food is worth it!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Excellent, fresh food. Authentic Italian.
BYOB. Excellent value.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Great food and excellent service. Our waitress went out of her way to help with a birthday celebration.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Nothing negative to say about the restaurant - just nothing outstanding either.

Food was good - service was good - BYOB is nice.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Outstanding food!!!! This is a BYOB restaurant with a cozy and romantic setting. We had the best evening, ever!

Tags: Cozy, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Food was excellent. The bathrooms need a little renovation.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Food was excellent as always! The gnocchi is out of this world with the homemade marinara.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Our table had a variety of selections and everything tasted exceptional on this visit. They seemed to be down one waitstaff, but we had a pleasant evening. If you sit by the counter you will hear the espresso machine from time to time, but the food was so good, that didn't matter. The pasta with mushrooms, the pasta with shrimp, the pasta with clams, the gnocci w/spinach were all very much enjoyed.

Tags: Seasonal, Authentic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Great food and great service in an ideal byob setting. It was a year since we've been there, made a reservation for party of 10 for a birthday. Everything was perfect even though half the party was 30 mins late. Jaime(our server) couldn't have done a better job or been nicer. We will not wait a year to go back again. ! Gnocchi is the best ever..both kinds.. and entrées are outstanding!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 6, 2017

This place is a highlight BYOB of the area and hands done one of my favorites. The chef will cook you anything that you request even if it isn’t on the menu pending the ingredients are available and the request isn’t outrageous, but they try to accommodate everyone. One of my favorites that I enjoy as an app is the gnocchi and you must get one of each flavor and let every have some. It is really out of this world. On several occasions I have eaten here the chef has come out of the kitchen and personally introduced herself. It really added to an at home feel, like you were in your moms kitchen. I can’t say I have ever had a bad dish here and the price is right.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Romantic, Authentic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Consistently a South Philly Italian dining staple for many years. The gnocchi are a must have as they are original and unique pillowy goodness in a dining scene that is flooded with all sorts of gnocchi variations.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 3, 2017

This was a wonderful find in our neighborhood. The gnocchi were one-of-a-kind, I would recommend getting them with half marinara and half gorgonzola sauce (aka mista style). It's a BYOB and our waiter was delightful. Nutella cheesecake was a perfect way to finish.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Great BYOB! We had awesome service and wonderful food!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Authentic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 6, 2017

was not pleased at all. noise level was terrible. could not even hear specials. thought the food was terrible, tasted freezer burned. last but not least my daughter found a hair in her food. prices much to high.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 5, 2017

The service and food here are always wonderful. Catherine waited on us last night and she was fantastic. Really friendly and funny. One of my favorite restaurants!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Best Italian cuisine in Philadelphia! Large portions and everything is delicious!!

Tags: Business Meals, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Romantic, Kid-friendly, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Our group of 4 found the atmosphere to be lovely to celebrate a special graduation and service was very good. We shared appetizers of antipasto and stuffed portabella. Three of us enjoyed various veal dishes and spinach gnocchi. All were well-prepared with quality ingredients. accompanied by seasonal vegetables. The veal was tender and spinach gnocchi was light as a feather. Tiramisu brought a memorable meal to a close. I would suggest allowing additional time to find a parking space or Uber to this location.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 8, 2017

I've been a long time customer here. One of my favorite BYOB!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 7, 2017

Philly's best gnocchi, without a doubt. Large tasty pollinated that melt in your mouth. We shared a salad as well as the lobster special with Diavolo sauce, not too spicy & the spinach gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce. Divine. BYOB, attentive service, a woman chef for a number of years, this place is a GEM.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on June 28, 2017

the three of us were very impressed with the quality of the food and service . It was a very good evening. All though small it is on the return as soon as we can list.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on June 21, 2017

Each month a small group of friends go into the city of Philadelphia and try new BYOB restaurants. Some are very good and some are not. This one was VERY good. We went on a Wednesday and it wasn't very busy so it was quiet enough for conversation though we were told the weekends are much busier therefore noisier I'm sure. The gnocchi for which they are noted were delicious. We tried that as an appetizer. Each of us enjoyed our meal and our server was excellent....friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. A lovely evening!

Tags: Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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