Mercato

4.5
1019 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

Mercato BYOB is a festive and modern Italian eatery that lets you bring your own drinks. A simple and to the point menu focuses on quality over quantity and features items like ricotta raviolo and a spicy crab bucatini with squid ink pasta.



The artisan cheeses and house-cured meats at Mercato BYOB are perfect for sharing and are paired with sauces and condiments like agrodolce and pickled white grapes. A whole grilled artichoke appetizer will undoubtedly turn you into the vegetable's biggest fan. Heavier dishes, like the Grilled Hanger Steak with yukon gold potato wedge, are equally impressive. Mercato BYOB opens at 5 p.m. The restaurant has a four course tasting menu that is ideal for groups.


CASH ONLY
What 1019 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PV
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

Great environment. But the food was aweful, not worth it

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The service was great. The food was underwhelming and the space was very cramped and loud, which is not uncommon for small Italian BYOs but Mercato lacked the charm that makes those tiny BYOs special.

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MB
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food & waitstaff service were excellent. Noise level was high, but no different than most restaurants. However, seating is so compacted that it was easier to hear the next table's conversation than conversation with my guest! Nevertheless, definitely a worthwhile dining experience.

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B
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent meal, superb mussels in a garlic white wine soup. Wonderful pastas with veal cheek, spicy crab and carbonara (not all in the same dish). Most important for us, our arrival was delayed and they held the table (with our notice) and kept the meal moving to accomodate our theatre times following.

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M
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, as always and the wait staff was knowledgeable and friendly.

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JF
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

Overcrowded, loud and the food was tasteless. The server was nice enough to comp our coffee and dessert which was appreciated, but the food lacked any flavor whatsoever.

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JS
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Place was packed which lead to our group being seated 20 minutes past our reservation. No biggie as the aroma that filled the air whetted our appetite. Food was great; servers attentive; will do it again.

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MS
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Haven’t had a date night in quite a while, so my wife and I(who is 6 1/2 months pregnant) decided to try Mercato(saw it on local news). Reservation was easy, service was good, but the food was outstanding!!! Appetizers was perfect size and tasted great! My entree was perfect size, pasta cooked to perfection and same for my wife’s meal as well!! Would highly recommend to friends, families, and co-works since many live in center city.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Tables a little close, but food

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DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Very disappointing. The food was horrible. Roasted artichoke tasted like leather, cacio e Pepe was actually just a bad Alfredo sauce. Bolognese tasted like a bad pizza in pasta form. Horrible!

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DD
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Came for Philly Restaurant Week - food was quite good, tiramisu was exceptional. Tables are packed very close together, you are elbow-to-elbow with the table next to you. Not the best place to go for a quiet, romantic dinner, but a good date night spot for a good BYOB Italian meal.

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O
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Nothing special about food. Good portion s they need to take a couple of table s out very cramped

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SM
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My friend and I came here for Center City Philadelphia restaurant week. WOW! What an amazing little neighborhood BYO. The food was absolutely amazing. It was such rich delicious Italian full of flavor. We started with fontina stuffed meatballs and the whole grilled artichoke. Our main courses were the short rib ragu and the market fish. The fish was on a bed of Israeli couscous risotto that was devine. The short rib was so tender and came with gnocchi with fresh ricotta. I can't say enough about the food! My only negative thing about the restaurant was that it was very small with tight space between tables, so be prepared to overhear your neighbors' conversations. Since it's so cozy, it did get quite loud. Overall, I am adding it to my favorites list. Don't forget to bring your bottle of wine!

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D
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Went to Mercato for restaurant week, and as others have stated, it was packed. The food was decent but would like to come back again to test out other offerings on the standard menu. Would recommend the PEI Mussels + fontina stuffed meatballs.

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JL
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff is as welcoming as the decor is cozy. It’s easy to have a relaxing meal and chat with your date under the perfect lighting and quick, courteous, service. They added value to our experience.

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p
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very quick service even though it was busy. Great food and a BYO.

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PM
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was fantastic! It is a BYOB, which is great!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was good but limited menu and a little noisy

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d
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Lively and intimate byo . Place is tiny so be prepared to be close to your neighbor . But it is charming . Restaurant is worth trying .

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful experience during restaurant week. I cannot wait to go outside of Philadelphia Restaurant Week and have the full experience.

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NS
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The tables were way too close to one another. We were in between two tables and felt like we were eating with them! Could hear their entire conversation. Meatballs were great, sorbet was great, but the bucatini with clams was eh. They obviously used canned clams along with real clams but chopped clams always makes me think of a cheap seafood dinner!

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BB
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Went for restaurant week. We were packed in like sardines! I shared my dessert with my neighbor. The noise level was way too high for my taste. The beet and fennel salad was delicious, as was the market fish, but the cannoli was disappointing.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful as always- the only way we can come
Is if we sit near a wall because it gets so loud, but the food was fantastic and service friendly and engaged. Favorite place!

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OT
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great BYOB near Walnut Street Theatre !! Food is amazing and staff is friendly and helpful .

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P
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Excellent value. Waitress gave great recommendations.

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m
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food with good portions; highly recommend the short rib ragu. I'm generally a clean plate club member, but I actually something home for once!

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AC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Mercato had been a longtime favorite restaurant to attend prior to going to the theatre. It can be a bit tight and somewhat loud at times, but not as tight or loud as some other places we have gone to in Philly. We had stopped going because we felt the cuisine choices were seeming more "heavy". We revisited the restaurant this week and I had a lovely dish- it was the sea bass special. I also ordered the special soup- it was brothy with little meatballs and some kind of green. Sorry, I do not recall more details. Neither dish was heavy and both were delicious. We will surely return. It was also nice that the servers recognized us. :)

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S
Philadelphia
42 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This was our 4th or 5th visit, but first in a few years. Food was good; one of us had the mussels appetizer and a salad the other two had rabbit ragu over bucatini. Pasta dish was ok; could have used more sauce and seasoning. Mussels were excellent. Side of butternut squash and other stuff was a surprise and excellent. Recommend this restaurant.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Server Debbie very attentive! An entree with cheese on it went back to the kitchen without our dairy intolerant son having to ask. PEI mussels cooked perfectly! Corn carbonara flavorful, but could use a little more broth or sauce. Bolognaise has just the right amount of spice and complexity.

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RF
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I attended the theater so we needed an early reservation. We had a great dinner with great service in a friendly atmosphere. We'll be back.

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FP
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Quality cuisine with inventive yet traditional twists. Sicilian style artichoke followed by a Calabrian ‘Nduya pasta sauce. BYOB
is unfortunate,, but a generous Neighbor table shared their
wine with me.

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RA
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We went to Mercato for the New Year's Eve special menu. The menu featured 5 courses and a champagne toast at midnight. The food was good and the service was good. At $85 for 5 courses I think this was a pretty good value. The only thing I would let people know about is that this restaurant is TINY and you will be sitting very close to the people next to You. The tables are basically put together like communal tables. The restaurant was full and people were drinking so the restaurant was a bit loud, but it wasn't bad enough to distract us from the delicious food.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant in the city, did the NYE tasting menu. Unfortunately very underwhelming for Mercato’s standards. Food didn’t have nearly as much flavor as it usually does.

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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was an NYE menu....I guess we should have anticipated it. I wish I had known prior to making my reservations because it was not what we were expecting at all. It doesnt change my opinion of the restaurant and I will continute to dine there for the regular menu.

I went with my girlfriend - during our meal, we felt rushed and the food came way too quickly for us to digest and enjoy our evening and conversation. We barely got to drink our wine before our entrees came. The food was prepared well, especially the gnocchi and branzino, but overall not quite on par with our previous expience - one in which we are hoping for again soon! Desert was lackluster and a unique flavor load of the rainbow cookie cake; the creme brulee was completely liquid.

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AR
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Polite service. Warning, this place is cash only and is expensive so be sure to have alot of money on you when you go. I normally only keep some emergency/tip money on me so that was a bit of a surprise.

Would go again but only for special occasions considering the price but that is to be expected with a restaurant like this.

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OT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to Mercato. We live and mostly dine in the suburbs. But, we know the chef so decided to make the trip into Center City. We were not disappointed. The food was great. Our server was wonderful. We will be going back in the new year.

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GD
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We got there and they sat us right away. It was load but a good crowd. The waitress was attentive and offered good suggestions. We started with the cheese board and mussels. The broth from the mussels was prefect for dipping! The burrata was so fresh and melted in your mouth. My daughter could not get enough of it! Our entrees were very well seasoned and just the right portions! Very great dining experience. Can't wait to come again.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

It was my birthday dinner and Underwhelming based on previous experiences.
Squid ink bucatini I was so excited for... was so spicy that it was inedible. And I like spicy! Regularly order diavalo pastas. We thought portion sizes were way off. My boyfriends short ribs could’ve fed 4. And the bucatini was basically appetizer size.
Would not recommend again or return... sorry.

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K
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Our Christmas Eve menu options were enticing but the quality wasn’t up to their normal standards.

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CP
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Larry was fantastic, as was the food!
Ordered the meatballs
Olives
Squid ink pasta
And pyramid pasta

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