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La Viola

Map & Directions
(96 Reviews)

252 S 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

(215) 735-8630

Today: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tomorrow: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Primary Phone: (215) 735-8631

Phone: (215) 735-8631

Payment method
Price Range
Center City, Rittenhouse Square

La Viola West

La Viola-East

La Viola Ovest

Bistro La Viola

Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Banquet Halls & Reception Facilities, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Yes, No

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Pretty good

Not bad. Maybe a bit over-hyped, but good nonetheless.



Biggest waste of time!!

My party of four had a reservation for 8pm. We showed up at 7:55 and were told "it would be a few minutes" by the hostess. We were not seated until 9:12. That was bc we contacted the manager and he got a table cleared. The hostess then gave us attitude about seating us bc her manager yelled at her for overbooking. The food was ok. It was "Italian food" in tiny portions. It was not worth the wait. Thumbs down.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Nothing great about it.

I use to say, I LOVE ITALIAN FOOD! but after today's luncheon, it makes me change my quote to "" I LOVE REAL ITALIAN FOOD!"". This place is nothing close to being a restaurant besides the table cloth and table set up for customers. Let's start off with customer service. We were seated yet the rest of our party was still looking for parking spots. So we looked over the menu and wanted to know the menu special. The waiter did not want to tell us the info, instead said he will wait til everyone arrives and then he will say it then, In the meantime, we just sat there wondering about the menu. Who does not? Ok, we asked what's the drink menu like. instead of telling us, he said smartly"" BYOB"". WTF? ok, we just asked what's on the drink list just in case they have a separate list for drinks. The place did not smell nothing like you would think if you walk in a TRUE Italian home (cooking). NOthing! It's over price also for the portion given. I ordered a the seafood linguine, came out plain looking. No real smell, seafood was dried. Pasta was salty. Would not recommend to anyone!

Lil kells


Provided by Citysearch - 
I love this place!

I really enjoy La Viola. This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. If you are looking for a great traditional Italian restaurant, La Viola will not disappoint.

Their staff is great. It seems like they have the system of each person doing one job (one person brings the bread, one person tells the specials, etc.)

I have never been disappointed with anything I've ordered here.



Provided by Citysearch - 
absolutly Fabulous

I absolutely love this little secret the food is amazing!!!! and soooo reasonable.. I cant wait to go back me and my girlfriends always go with a few bottles of wine and have an amazing experience!!!!!! love this place and the staff and owners are FAB!!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
What's the hype???

La Viola should definitely not be rated 5 stars. I believe that the staff working there are actually unfriendly dead people; no personality, energy, enthusiasm, charisma, and definitely DID NOT encompass good customer service skills. Immediately after spending $75 a person, my party and I were asked to leave the restaurant because the establishment needed to sit a party of 14...such an insult.

The food wasn’t even anything worth mentioning. The “homemade” buffalo mozzarella, was defiantly not homemade. It was grayish in color and did not speak anything homemade. The antipasto salad was cooked prosciutto, Genoa Salami, and a few roasted peppers…seemed more ""American"" to me than Italian. The bread was sliced and then toasted...who does that??? The entrée special(s) were forgettable; swordfish and veal shank.

I really don’t understand what the excitement is about La Viola. I would NEVER patron them again. Being from Calabria Provincia di Cosenza, Italy, there is nothing Italian about La Viola…I’m purely disgusted and insulted!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Wonderful Experience

We were greeted by friendly staff members and immediately escorted to our table. Our food was expertly prepared and presented and the wait staff was attentive and responsive. We would totally recommend this restaurant and hope to return again whenever we visit Philadelphia.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great food AND Service!!!

I have been there several times, whether it has been as a date with my bf or just with a group of friends. The food has been consistently amazing, the service quick and very attentive, and guests clearly pleased leaving the place. If you hate small places that can get packed then this isn't for you. But if you care more about being treated well by a caring and attentive staff that cares about your experience, and experiencing great Italian food, then this place is for you!



Provided by Citysearch - 
delicious food and great service

Every meal i've had has been spectacular. I would recommend the seafood risotto. The service is impeccable and the price is unbelievable for the amount and taste level of the food. Great little nook in the heart of center city. Decor and ambiance is not modern but don't let that deter you from going!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Awesome food and atmosphere!!

Desite being extremely small, this is one of the best BYOB's in Philly. The food was amazing and SO reasonable! All of the wait staff was super nice and always willing to help, except for the hostess who looked like she hated her job. I will definately be going back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Never Will Go Back

Staff was rude and I will never go back!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Wonderful Pleasant Little Place

We had a reservation for 10 at 7pm on a Friday night. I changed that to 8 people the on Thursday. The person on the phone was very pleasant (not always the case in Philly) Our table was ready when 3 of us arrived at 7. The rest didn't show up for 10 minutes. The staff remained pleasant throughout the evening. Wonderful waiters and good food. I will definitely go back!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Staple Italian BYO in Philly

La Viola has been my favorite BYO for years. The food is consistently outstanding and is a great value for the price. The fetuccine al salmone and the daily special soups and salads are always outstanding. For someone who truly values a restaurant for authenticity and quality of the food, you will not be disappointed. That being said, some of my friends dislike it because the restaurant is so small and therefore limited in seating. It is true that sometimes you may have to wait even if you have a reservation, but that's a consequence of going to a restaurant with so few seats (you can also try La Viola West across the street-- the menu is slightly varied but there is much more seating). The table service is excellent, and the fact that you may have to wait to be seated isnt the fault of the staff-- they can't control how long their guests stay. Anyway, I'm always willing to wait for the overall great food and dining experience at La Viola!



Provided by Citysearch - 
La Viola was terrible!!!

The service at La Viola was absolutely terrible! We showed up at 8:15 for 8:30 reservations and by 9:30 we were told it would be another 45 minutes until we would be sat. They were very rude and made no effort to move along people who had been sitting at tables for over 2 hours sipping their WINE that they BROUGHT! (this place is BYOB) So we left and found another restaurant I really don't care how good their food might have been I would never go back. By the way I hear the food is just average anyway.



Provided by Citysearch - 
A great surprise

When I read the reviews I was concerned . However, those concerns were unwarranted in that our party of eight all gave La Viola an outstanding rating. From the moment our lovely hostess greeted us and showed us to our table to the time we were met by our waiter to say good bye, we had a most enjoyable evening. Our waiter, Dominic, was friendly and helped uswith the menu. Our wine was opened immediately and we were not rushed to order, in that all of our party wasn't there yet.
All of us raved about the food and the prices are very reasonable.

Yes, it is a bit crowded and noisy but it was lots of fun and just what we wanted...not to stiff and stuffy. WE all had a wonderful time and will return.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Crappy Food, Don't Honor Reservations, Rude Owner/Hostess -- Don't Waste Your Money Or Time!!!!!!

There are many other budget-friendly restaurants (Italian included) which will serve you a delicious meal, treat you as a guest and honor your reservation. Others I know, have had an equally disappointing dinner/experience at La Viola. This Philadelphia ""institution"" has gotten to big for its britches.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Not Worth The Wait

Despite having an 8:30 reservation, we were seated 45 minutes late. No apologies from the staff. In fact, owner snapped at us when we asked for an appetizer on the house. While we waited, no one asked to open our wine and bring us glasses to help make the time go by. Finally got seated right near the door with others crowding us as they waited. Meanwhile, the food was average. Pasta was overcooked and sauce was so-so. We will never go back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Amazing food, great little BYOB.

My boyfriend and I came to La Viola in August for his birthday. I made reservations in advance, and when we got there we were seated outside, promptly. The waiter opened our bottle of wine and the night was off to a great start. I ordered a pasta dish with vodka sauce and pancetta. My boyfriend ordered a steak, and both of our meals were absolutely delicious! The seating was a little close, so there is little privacy...but it adds to the charm. Didn't have any issues with the waiters or waitresses as other people have mentioned. You have to realize that it is a small restaurant and it can be VERY busy. If you feel rushed or even a bit neglected, don't take it personally. In a small restaurant that seats THAT MANY people, you have to expect it.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best of Luck to You!

The food at La Viola could be perfect but I never got a chance to try it -- the management and hostesses at La Viola seem confused by the concept of a reservation causing our party to go elsewhere. I was with a large party for a special occasion. Reservations were confirmed, reconfirmed, and then confirmed again. Our party, understanding the concept of a reservation, was prompt and entirely present for our 8:15 reservation. In fact, most of us were 15 minutes early. La Viola apparently takes reservations for every party that wants one without considering the limitations of time and space. We observed multiple parties leaving after experiencing a similar wait. After multiple discussions with the manager and hostess and after multiple assurances that our table was almost ready, we left at 9:15 and headed to a BYO that treated us promptly and respectfully. There are enough solid BYOs with good service in the area that I know I won't be giving La Viola another chance.

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