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Permanently Closed - Serafina - Philadelphia

3.9
427 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Serafina serves Northern Italian cooking using family recipes handed down through the generations and adapted by head chef Vittorio Assaf and his team of chefs. This restaurant offers casual, elegant dining and uses the freshest ingredients, sourced locally and sustainably. Serafina is known for its thin-crust pizzas, which are made with Italian flour, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt from Sicily.

Try the marinara, Margherita, Napoletana or the VIP Margherita. End your meal with a dessert like a homemade gelato, tiramisu, panna cotta or the mixed berry tart. There is an extensive drink menu available with classic and signature cocktails. Sip on the passion fruit mojito, jalapeno margarita or the strawberry basil martini. Serafina is good for families, small and large groups and other special occasions. Gift cards available. All major credit cards are accepted.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Lunch and Dinner: Daily: 11:30am - 12:00am; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Sansom Street
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 427 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.7
service
3.7
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on September 17, 2016

I read a lot of bad reviews and so I was skeptical about going -- in fact, I almost cancelled my reservation, but I'm glad I didn't. The food was excellent! Service was slow, but polite. I would definitely go again next time I'm in town.

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3.0Dined on September 10, 2016

This place was decorated nicely. Quiet atmosphere. My pasta was overcooked. Nice menu selection. server seemed uncomfortable waiting on us. Will try brunch next time.

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4.0Dined on September 9, 2016

We were in town and it happened to be my birthday and it was within 1 block walking distance so we thought we would try something new! The food really was tasty and I would go there again for the food. However, the service was incredibly slow. It was worse when two huge parties came in. The only one that actually smiled and showed any personality was the server at the end, we had three different people help us and only the last one actually paid attention and help close our bill out.

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5.0Dined on August 24, 2016

The food was amazing! The atmosphere was beautiful and peaceful, and the staff was wonderful. My friends and I each enjoyed our meal so much, and we're very pleased with the staff and how quickly they served us. Overall great experience!

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1.0Dined on August 20, 2016

The restaurant is ridiculoulsy overpriced and the servie was horrific. We were there at 5pm and weren't served dinner until 6. I am sorry we went.

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2.0Dined on August 12, 2016

Very slow service; apparently understaffed on a Friday.

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4.0Dined on August 10, 2016

A great restaurant in a great location. I started with the Chopra Salad. While I completely finished it, I found it to be a little heavy on the lemon dressing and a little light on the pears, which I think could have cut the tartness of the dressing more. The bread was warm and the oil, balsamic and cheese combo to use as a dip was spot on. My entree was the tagliolini al salmone and it was excellent. Not too fishy despite enough pieces of salmon, and not too heavy despite the creamy, sauce. The service was fantastic, never letting my water cup empty. And, the price was about right for a restaurant in this outstanding central location. In fact, I will absolutely be visiting again while here.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2016

The goddess drink was perfect. We got four different pasta dishes. The rigatoni was dry and the lobster ravioli was not heart shaped like the menu said, but still delicious.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2016

Had a great prefix lunch menu and were accommodating of the late arrival of a colleague.

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3.0Dined on August 1, 2016

The restaurant was not busy at all. Food took way too long that the server brought out bruschetta to fill in the time.

My porcini mushroom entrée was not fully cooked.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

Love the food and the service!

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3.0Dined on July 23, 2016

Food was good but skip the $7 bread basket, complete joke.

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2016

Service was great and food was very tasty !

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4.0Dined on July 15, 2016

Drinks are very well done, as are the pizzas and the other food items we ordered. Our server Nick was outstanding. My friend almost ordered one of the daily specials, either chicken or veal parmigiana. I don't remember the cost of the dish, but what changed his mind was the fact that if you wanted a side of pasta to go with the parm, it was $6 additional. What? I've never been to an Italian restaurant in America where veal parm isn't served with a side of pasta. Weird.

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4.0Dined on July 12, 2016

Located at 130 South 18th Street, just off Rittenhouse Square, Serafina is convenient to reach and very attractive and inviting to anyone walking by. Our party of 5 was seated at a table near the rear of the restaurant, in an alcove corner by a door. The windows which comprised one side of our environment offered a great view of the outside scene. The selection of wines available by the glass was rather limited. There was a good variety if purchased by the bottle, but when everyone at the table is drinking something different, that was not practical. The wines chosen, however, were of good quality and fair price. The Italian bread brought to the table with seasoned olive oil was irresistible. We started with an appetizer of “Bufaline Con Pomodori” (imported Italian buffalo mozzarella w/ sliced tomatoes). Delicious! Our waitress, Kaila, was friendly, perky, and most accommodating in describing the specials, our options, and making sure we had everything we could think of, and a few items we didn’t think of. She was attentive without being intrusive and her personality added to our experience. I had the Mista Verde salad of seasonal greens. For entrees, two of our party ordered Branzino Al Forno (branzino baked w/ lemon and rosemary, served w/ potatoes and broccoli). The others enjoyed the Farfalle Al Limoncello (baby shrimps, lemon zest, lemon juice and a touch of cream), Avocado & Baby Shrimps "San Pietro," (avocado, shrimps, served with arugula, grape tomatoes, cannellini beans in a Champagne mustard sauce) and the Linguini with Clams in white sauce, with whole wheat linguini. The food was cooked to perfection and the presentations were very appealing. The portions are generous and the ladies did not finish their entrees. We topped off our evening with a round of Limoncellos and Port. The staff did not press us to clear the table nor indicate in any way that they were eager for us to leave. It was a most enjoyable dining experience. We will all return.

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2016

I love this place! It was great!

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2016

Great dinner and wonderful service. The staff was accommodating to my 7 year old nephew and my family had a wonderful experience because of that :) I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Philly.

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5.0Dined on July 4, 2016

One of my Philly favorites. Italian twist on everything whether breakfast or dinner. It's always terrific.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2016

Great outdoor seating in the summer. Great ambience and cute cute decor!! The spaghetti squash was incredible! Just go.

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5.0Dined on June 27, 2016

All Positives for this restaurant!

Great Food, Service, and Environment to Dine in! We were having great discussions and the noise level was at a great level to accommodate our interactions without feeling overwhelmed by other's at the restaurant. Just the right amount of attention to provide service at the top of my restaurant experiences and I travel every week for business!

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3.0Dined on June 15, 2016

My first time there. Been living in the city for 20 years now and have come to expect great food. The food was chain restaurant quality. The dessert not even chain restaurant quality. The service was good. The ambiance was pleasant. I expected better from a Rittenhouse establishment.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2016

Perfect in every way, service, taste, and price

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4.0Dined on June 11, 2016

It was wonderful all around!

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1.0Dined on May 30, 2016

I have given great reviews before for this restaurant. Last time we had a wonderful server. This visit was Memorial day so maybe the regular staff was not working. Our dinners were not good and I ordered something I ordered before. We told them it was my daughters birthday. They never mentioned it. The bread was like the kind out of a plastic bag. I said I wanted wine with dinner and then I had to go get my server after my dinner arrived to order. It was very strange service, not good food and very expensive.

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2.0Dined on May 22, 2016

Food is way overpriced for what is essentially a chain restaurant. The waitress was constantly trying to upsell us too. Almost everything we ordered we were told was "small" and it was recommended we ordered more. A $14 salad with NO meat should not be small...
I would never go back here, Philly has great Italian food for a fraction of a price. This place is clearly just a tourist trap.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2016

The service was fantastic. We had a group of 10 and everyone was taken care of. The food was delicious! I personally recommend the truffle pizza and gnocchi. Highly recommend Serafina.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

We enjoyed our dinner at Serafina. The food was delicious and service was excellent.

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3.0Dined on May 16, 2016

The worst service in the city, it is a fancy olive garden

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3.0Dined on May 7, 2016

Food/service was fine, but nothing special. They also marked my group of 10 as a no show even though we were one of the only groups in the restaurant.

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5.0Dined on April 20, 2016

I went to lunch here with my mom on a beautiful spring day. This place is perfect for dining alfresco in lovely Rittenhouse. The food was better than I expected. I just got a simple arugula salad with tomatoes and parmesan and my mom got a delicious salad with chicken, and we got a marinara pizza with mozzarella. It was pretty affordable and I was expecting the service to be a little snobby, but the waiter was really nice. I'd definitely go back for lunch and sit outside on a nice day.

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2016

I enjoyed a delicious dinner with my 11 year old daughter. She had a simple pasta dish, which she enjoyed. I had a grilled chicken dinner with arugula, which was very good and surprisingly filling. Our server was very nice.

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4.0Dined on April 16, 2016

I was entertaining out of town guests on a Saturday night. They were staying at Rittenhouse Square. They wanted Italian food? Where to go? We chose Serafina. There is definitely something for everyone on this menu - poultry, seafood, and of course, pasta. The pasta is the specialty of the restaurant. One of my friends loves pesto sauce. There was the perfect pasta dish for her. My other friend loves seafood. Our knowledgeable server suggested the pasta, seafood, and the type of sauce (shrimp and tomato sauce). I was uncertain as to what to order. Yes, I wanted pasta, the pasta in salmon looked tempting, however, did I really want the cream sauce. Again, our amazing server to the rescue. She described the sauce as creamy, yet not the rich cheesy-creamy sauce that is served in a lot of restaurants. She was right - the noodles were light and fluffy, similar to fettuccine noodles. My dinner was perfect, filling, yet not overwhelming. All three of us have low resistance to bread. The bread at Serafina was excellent - fresh and outstanding with the pesto, cheese, and olive oil dipping sauce. My friends were impressed with the restaurant and will definitely stop in again when they are in town.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2016

It was a great night!! I love the farfalle limencello pasta!

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3.0Dined on March 25, 2016

Not the first time that I experienced bad service: rudness, delays, forgetfulness, and just overall stress and mayhem. The food is ok, but not good enough to have to deal with that.

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2.0Dined on March 16, 2016

Decided to give Serafina another try after a year hiatus. Starting with the host who seated us...the restaurant was no more than 1/3 full at 8pm on a wed night. We had to squeeze by other tables to be seated in a cluster of occupied tables that were literally 2 ft apart at most. Could not move nor could you hear. Our server mumbled the specials and after repeating them, again mumbling, we gave up on understanding him. The server also had to squeeze by other tables to get to us so we did not see much of him at all. Salad was ok food was just average -much better Italian food and much better service is prevalent in Philly. Fettuccine was well cooked but my friend's dish was soggy pasta swimming in sauce. Hiatus will now be permanent!

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3.0Dined on March 12, 2016

When we arrived there were several empty tables on the 18th Street side of the restaurant. However, we got crammed in on the Sansom Street side where the servers could barely get through and people's chairs kept bumping each other. We never got water. The appetizers were amazing, but the pasta dishes were mediocre and overpriced. There were people at the bar watching basketball and screaming loudly. I don't think I will return.

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2.0Dined on March 4, 2016

We were very disappointed with our first (and last) time at Serafina.
For starters, our waiter was rude. When my girlfriend asked him to repeat the special because she could not hear him (seating is very close to other guests), instead of bending a bit to repeat the special, he opted to roll his eyes and then "yell" the special.
I tried to ask him a questions about a dish, but he quickly walked away.
The house Chianti was flat. It tasted as if the bottle was uncorked earlier in the day or even the night before and left uncorked. When we told the Mgr. (because he asked), the response was "sorry".
Portions are very small and very pricey. We left the restuarant hungry.
The one positive I can give this "Italian" restaurant is the pizza. It was different and very tasty.
If you are looking for a traditional Italian meal and a nice house Chianti with dinner, this is not the place.

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2.0Dined on March 3, 2016

If you like to be rushed, this is the place for you! We weren't even done with our meals and/or drinks and the busboy was reaching to take our plates! We literally were chewing and he's standing over us waiting for us to finish chewing! Our drinks were 3/4 finished and the waitress came over and started to take them away. Really? And, before you think that the restaurant was full, it wasn't! It was 12:30 on Saturday, March 12 and about 1/2 of the tables were empty. Go someplace else for a peace full meal and dining experience.

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2016

Have been to Serafina four times now and always enjoy the experience. One down side is a bit cramped at times, especially if sitting at one of the tables next to the bar, and can get quite noisy during peek periods. Try to ask for a table near the windows if making a reservation. Noise level varies as shifts of diners come and go. Not a deal breaker, but should be aware. Not a place for small children during peek dinner periods.

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3.0Dined on February 20, 2016

Small portions, good food.

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