Tripadvisor reviewers rated this Pennsylvania restaurant one of "the best of the best" for casual dining

Ellen Eastwood

There may be a lot of Italian restaurants in South Philadelphia, but only one just came in third place on TripAdvisor's ranking of "Everyday Eats" across America.

In fact, with almost 4,000 reviews, this eatery has an average rating of 5 stars in Food, Service, and Value, making it the number 1 restaurant in Pennsylvania and the number 3 restaurant across the country.

As with many of the restaurants rated most highly by travelers and locals, Ristorante Pesto in South Philadelphia is a mom-and-pop shop, owned and run by Giovanni and Concetta Varallo. They opened the establishment 20 years ago in 2003, wanting to bring the flavors of Italy to the locals.

As the name "Everyday Eats" implies, Ristorante Pesto doesn't stand on ceremony. Instead, their focus is on the kind of food native Italians (and locals) would enjoy eating every day. Their description of the food is as follows:

The kitchen produces a large menu of unique veal, pasta and seafood dishes. The homemade gnocchi are made of potatoes with a glazed cream pesto sauce. Plus, a house specialty is the Portabella alla Parmigiana. It’s portabella mushrooms prepared in a rose sauce topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheese along with lump crabmeat.

Tripadvisor reviewers are big fans of both the service level and the food:

They have the best service and incredibly delicious food. It's hard to pick a favorite dish. But I would recommend the cavatelli.
I felt like I was at a family dinner, they made us feel so welcome! We even got a complimentary appetizer that the owner wanted us to try. We came here from New York.
Excellent meal from start to finish with a true South Philly Italian vibe and a great menu making it difficult to narrow down your entrée choices. Even better than the flavorful food was the accommodating family and staff of Pesto.

With reviews like that it's no wonder Tripadvisor has dubbed Ristorante Pesto one of "the best of the best."

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