Sampan - Philadelphia

4.7
3273 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Asian
Sampan, an intimate new restaurant located in Center City, Philadelphia, serves a fun menu of modern Asian small plates, ideal for mixing, matching and sharing. The comfortable, inviting setting offers guests an intimate, up-close-and-personal experience with Chef Michael Schulson and the acclaimed cuisine that has made him one of the country’s most sought-after chefs. Designed by Philadelphia’s Sparks Design and Urban Space Development, Sampan offers seating for up to 120 guests in a warm, comfortable setting. The restaurant features reclaimed timber, distressed metals and a rustic, natural aesthetic anchored by a custom-crafted, color washed painting that illuminates the room and lends a soft, glowing ambiance to the cozy space.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Asian, Pan-Asian, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Everyday Happy Hour: Everyday
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Phone number
(215) 732-3501
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michael Schulson
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Private party facilities
Sampan was designed with entertaining in mind. Two identical dining rooms flank a central bar to allow for a total of 120 guests to occupy both dining rooms or a cocktail reception in excess of 150. The outdoor Graffiti Bar can host up to 75 additional guests with the same menus offered.
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Private party contact
Bridget Baran: (888) 858-6536
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Catering
Hors d' oeuvres packages start at $15 per person per hour and dinner packages start at $40 per person. Open bar packages start at $25 per person for the first two hours and $7 for each additional hour should you be looking to entertain. Bar packages must be combined with either an hors d' oeuvres package or a dinner package and are not offered on their own.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Walnut
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Parking details
Limited street parking is available, in addition to public parking lots on Sansom Street in between 12th & 13th Streets and 13th & Broad Streets. There is also a parking garage on the corner of 13th Street, in between Chestnut Street & Market Street.
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Special events & promotions
Sampan is the perfect location for entertaining. Two identical dining rooms flank a central bar for a welcoming feeling with great energy. The restaurant can seat up to 120 for a sit down dinner or in excess of 150 for a social gathering. The outdoor Graffiti Bar can host an additional 75 and is fully heated and open 10 months out of the year. Our event coordinator will work with you personally and all menus are fully customizable.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 3273 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun environment, great food

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

1. They messed up our reservation. We were late for our 8:30 reservation and I called them on our way around 8;50. They told me they would put us on a new reservation, 9:30pm. When we got there, they told me there is a counter seating available right away but otherwise 15min waiting. I told her it was birthday dinner, so we would wait 15min for the table. But after waiting for a while, I asked how long we need to wait, they told me 1hour from that point!!! At that time it was already 9:30pm, which was our new reservation time. But they kept saying because we missed 8:30 reservation, we need to wait 1 hr for a table, which will be seated nearly 10:30! I was sure they messed up my reservation but no apologies. At the end we just took the counter seats that was already available since we got there. Ruined the birthday dinner experience.

2. Horrible server
Our server brought 3 wrong dishes out of 6 dishes we ordered. Oh, that doesn’t count another wrong order for my wine! And later we ordered another round of wines, and she came back 5 min later, asking what the order was..... !
Ordered dessert cake, she didn’t give us spoons ...... she didn’t come over our place for a while, we had to look and find her to get our spoons... this server was just wrong. I don’t understand how she works as a waitress.

3. Food
Food was salty and strong. We didn’t finish most of foods.
The general atmosphere was great though. But recommend the double knot next door....

Not going back to Sampan

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HH
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 2ambience 5

The food here is always exceptional. I would recommend coming during off peak hours for the best experience. Lunch/happy hours or weeknights.

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T
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Food was very disappointing. Very very disappointing... would not go back and won’t recommend.

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BS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Way over priced for amount of food you get. We got the $45 sampler and the portions were extremely small even for a "sampler"

Our server was very knowledgeable and great energy. Service was great. Food wasn't.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fan of Sampan! Since moving to Philly 3 years ago, I have been looking for the best food at an affordable price. While Sampan I’m on the pricier side, the value and experience is unparalleled. Brought some friends for a Birthday Dinner and the only thing I wish were different were the noise level. If you go with a part greater than 4-5, it’s really difficult to hear people on the other end of the table. In fact, I went to their sister restaurant Double Knot the day after I went to Sampan — great experience and would definitely recommend for a special occasion.

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Sampan’s was highly recommended and did not disappoint. The food was delicious. Can’t wait to go again!

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JJ
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was great! Super crowded for a Monday night. Definitely get a reservation. Disappointing that HH specials are only available at the bar!

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O
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 2

The food was very good but the whole dinner was to stressfull. We booked a table for 6 Person in advance, however we had all the feeling, that we have to rush! Which wasn't enjoyable at all, too bad for the good food.

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VN
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A group of 7 of us went for my friends bachelorette party and had an amazing time. I definitely recommend going before 7 pm to take advantage of their daily happy hour. For me, the highlights were the beef satay, brussel sprouts, and chocolate peanut butter dessert, but everything we ate was delicious! It does get pricey after happy hour ends, but it is worth it! One of the best meals I've had in a while!

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KM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Third time eating at Sampan, and as always a very enjoyable meal - traffic problems caused us to miss our 6:00 reservation, but the staff was accommodating, and managed to get us seated within 10 minutes of our delayed arrival. Food as always was exceptional - and working on a timetable due to orchestra tickets, we enjoyed our full meal with enough time to get to the Kimmel.

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OT
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Service was very good, but the food was not. Not quite sure what the hype is or the raving reviews. Basic food, some dishes were flavorless and others were equivalent to what you’d experience at a chain restaurant, drenched in sauce. Overall, subpar and disappointing.

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PP
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hands down the best happy hour in the city- such a great deal for food and drinks, and goes till 7pm! Great energy and vibe- can get a little loud so not great for quiet conversations if you are looking for that kind of atmosphere.

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m
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pat is awesome 👏🏼 Food always amazing

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RR
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistent delicious food & great happy hour specials

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food! Service was expeditious and there was no wait for our food which is always our preference!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Too loud! But yummy

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SL
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a must if you are in Philadelphia. The food was exceptional!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Too noisy, and a bit cramped, otherwise excellent

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n
Philadelphia
62 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first to Sampan, therefore we were not guite sure what to expect. We were warmly received and seated. Our server ask if we had been in before. When said "No" she promptly went on to explain the structure of the menu.
Water was offered and followed by cocktail suggestions. By now we felt we were in for a pleasant dining experience.
And we were.
We ordered several tapas dishes namely Pork Bao Bun, Seafood Har, Korean BBQ Beef followed by Pekin Duck. All of which were quite delicious and skillfully prepared.
Our server was great also. Very attentive without being intrusive.
Front of the house manager checked with us also.

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SB
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is by far our favorite restaurant! Amazing food and totally worth the drive to get there! Always great service but the food is amazing!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great experience

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P
Baltimore
14 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a 9:15 reservation and took about 30 minutes to be seated. Aside of that no complaints. Every one in our party of 5 enjoyed their food. Everything was hot out of the kitchen and delicious. I can't wait to come back with my fiance for date night.

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PM
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went there for my daughters birthday. Food was great, service was great. A bit loud but it was a Saturday night. Would definitely go again

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JS
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

If you have a reservation make sure you show up within 15 minutes of your reservation. We showed up 17 minutes past our reservation time and they gave our table away. They were able to find a table for us but told us we had to eat within one hour. The food was great probably one of the best meals I’ve had out in a very long time

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S
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not only was the food delicious, but we were a group of 6, and they did an awesome job portioning the food for the group so that everyone could try everything!

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c
Seattle
24 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I have been here twice- both times wonderful. Plenty of great small plates- loved the fish, the crab won ton, didn't like the edaname pasta- but other tables seemed to. Loved the little ice cream cones at the end- just right! Friendly and fast service- a bit noisy for my taste- but ultimate gives an energetic feel to this very popular place. Fun décor as well.

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P
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service, as always. Thank you for making my dad's birthday extra special.

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MF
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I take several business trips to Philly each year and I always make it a point to reserve one night for Sampan. All of my co-workers agree that this is some of the best food ever. The wagyu beef and the brussels sprouts are always big hits. I've never had a bad dish at Sampan.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Took forever even with my reservation. We were seated 45mins after our time. Overall, very busy but great food

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RC
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

For the price, I expected all dishes to be excellent and unique. The rock shrimp tasted like small shrimp tempura and the peking duck was the same as it is in local places. The fish dishes and sauces were outstanding but meat dishes were ordinary.

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CC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I've been to samoan before and they never disappoint. Staff is excellent and timely, great atmosphere, and great food. You can even eat outside at the graffiti bar which is connected all year round because of high power heat lamps!

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s
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were so well taken care of by the entire staff, and our food, as always, was divine. We made sure to bring some out of town guests here for a great dining experience, and we’ll definitely be back!

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GG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Disappointed with this visit to Sampan. Server announced numerous items not available from menu before we even looked at menus. Wine chosen was also unavailable and she brought a substitute, hoping I would like it. Food was average at best, bland and unremarkable. Service was decent. Bao buns are still good. Previous visits to Sampan were always outstanding; great food. Not sure what has happened since then but I won’t go back soon.

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W
Oklahoma City
12 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered the tasting menu for $45 per person. Everything was delicious. Server was knowledgeable and very attentive.

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LM
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was unique and delicious and they had great vegetarian options. Service was excellent.

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KN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is fresh and perfectly prepared. The service was awesome! This is definitely one of my new favorite Restaurant’s in Philadelphia.

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a
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tremendous food and outstanding service. The General Tso's soup dumplings were excellent and unique. Also recommend the Korrean BBQ satay, Crispy Shrimp and Filet Mignon. Had a really great experience. Would definitely go back.

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DB
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It never disappoints with regard to the service & food! It’s pricey, so be prepared to pay. HOWEVER, it’s simply phenomenal. I MISS THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN! Please make that a regular menu item just like the edamame dumplings! My hubby and I drove down from Upstate NY—I had a birthday invite and we also wanted to celebrate our anniversary. He’s never been to Sampan, so I was excited to share my discovery with him. It was a little too dark to share foodie pics, so my friends missed out on the share, but OH BOY, delish!
Signed, a Philly native daughter.

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s
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Food was really good. Felt a bit rushed as food came out all at once and wasn't real hot. Check came before we were fished for the night!

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