The Absolute Best Italian Food In The U.S.

Chef and restaurant owner Marc Vetri has made a name for himself beyond his hometown of Philadelphia. One of the first ways he did that was with Vetri, or Vetri Cucina, as the Italian restaurant is sometimes called. Just one year after this first business opening in 1998, chef Vetri was named one of the “Ten Best New Chefs” by Food & Wine Magazine (via Vetri Cucina).

The restaurant went on to win “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” in the 2005 James Beard Awards. It was later nominated for several other awards and became a semifinalist for even more. Vetri Cucina’s Yelp page is full of five-star reviews, glowing ones that go on for several paragraphs praising the business. More than one person says it’s the “best meal of their lives.” Need we say more?

Bon Appétit described Vetri as a groundbreaking restaurant and said that many other Italian-American restaurants taking on the handmade pasta craft today are simply doing so because of Vetri Cucina.

If you go, expect to spend a lot. The current prix fixe menu is $150 for “antipasti, pasta, secondi, and dessert.” According to a 2022 menu, this meal could include classic Italian ingredients like prosciutto di parma or fried polenta dressed up as part of a series of extravagant, experimental dishes. Vetri Cucina is disguised as a traditional Philly-style rowhouse, meaning this restaurant might blend right into the street at first glance, but its unassuming exterior hides deliciousness within.

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