Just about everyone likes to occasionally go out to eat with their family or friends. But one thing that can feel like it’s missing at a restaurant is that warm, community feeling that you get at home from passing dishes and sharing the experience of eating the same foods together. The restaurants listed below embrace the family-style way of serving where dishes are offered in portions for the entire table and guests take what they like for their own plate. This casual way of dining can be a more social way of eating, like you’re enjoying a meal at home, but without the cooking or cleanup.

Bistrot La Minette
623 S. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-8000

Peter Woolsey opened his Queen Village French bistro in 2008 to share his family’s love of classic French favorites with Philadelphians. With help from his wife and father, Peter designed the restaurant to have the casual feel of the countryside where his wife is originally from. While you’re welcome to order off the a la carte menu, the “French Family Dinner” is a fun way for groups to experience the restaurant. The multi-course meal features recipes from Peter’s in-laws and is served family style. Dinners start at $45 per person and include apertif, first course (you pick three), main course, starch, vegetable and dessert. Options like soup, cheese plates and extra main courses are available at an additional cost. The French Family Dinner is available for groups ranging from four to 20 people, and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

The Fat Ham
3131 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 735-1914

The second of Chef Kevin Sbraga’s three restaurants, The Fat Ham opened in late 2013. This past fall, the University City spot started offering Sunday Suppers, a multi-course meal in the Southern tradition of large family dinners with dishes that are meant to be passed and shared. The menu changes seasonally but a few highlights include the signature hot chicken (worth a visit on its own), shrimp and grits, roasted beets and mustard greens. Mismatched dishes and seating, rustic wooden furniture and warm, friendly service complete the homey countryside feel. The one thing you won’t share here is your drink; you’ll want to go for one of the Southern classics like a Charleston or Memphis Mule. Sunday Supper is served between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. at $30 per person.

Fette Sau Philadelphia
1208 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 391-4888

After the success of his Brooklyn barbecue joint, Chef Joe Carrol partnered with Stephen Starr to open a spot in Fishtown with the same name and feel. Fette Sau (it means “fat pig,” which sounds nicer in German) serves smoked beef brisket, pork, ribs and chicken. All of the meats are from local farms and are hormone, steroid and antibiotic-free. Meats are sold by the pound, making it a great way to pick your favorites and share with a group. Sides are available in two sizes for sharing, with favorites including the burnt end baked beans, German potato salad and sweet potato mash. Orders are given cafeteria style, and you then take your food to booths or long picnic tables. The relaxed atmosphere sets the scene for casual picnic-style meals with friends or family.

Related: Top Restaurants With Communal Seating In Philadelphia

Marrakesh Restaurant
517 S. Leithgow St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-5929

Hidden in an alley parallel to South Street, Marrakesh can be a bit tricky to find. But when you do, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered a secret door off of the streets of Philadelphia and into a Moroccan home. With cushions for seats, low tables, dim lighting, incense and colorful tapestries, the ambience is welcoming and intimate. And the authentic menu and serving style makes it an experience unlike anything else you’ve had in the city. The meal starts with washing your hands in aromatic waters and placing towels on your lap. This will soon make sense because you’ll be eating your five-course meal (plus dessert) with your hands. Each course is served family style, with everyone simply digging in to feast on options such as lamb with chickpeas and onions, layered powdered sugar chicken pie and beef shish kebab. On select nights, you can also enjoy belly dancers during dinner. Please note that Marrakesh is a cash-only restaurant.

Related: Top Comfort Food In Philadelphia

Percy Street Barbecue
900 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-8510

This casual, Texas-style barbecue spot is great for the whole family or any large group of friends. While many of the dishes are easily shared, there are two main options for family-style dining. At $19.50 per person, “The Lockhart” is a real feast including smoked brisket, pulled pork, barbecue chicken, collard greens, pinto beans, coleslaw and German potato salad. No reservations are required, and it’s available for groups of any size. Custom party menus are also available if you’d like to make a reservation. This option is ideal for those who like to have a variety of food. If you know your group loves brisket, you’ll want to go for the “Whole Brisket Dinner.” A complete meal, this $250 (plus tax and gratuity) option includes dinner for six to eight people, plus an entire cake for dessert. The highlight of the meal is a whole smoked tender Creekstone Farms beef brisket. The other dishes are off-menu specials created by Chef Erin O’Shea. Brisket dinners require reservations made 48 hours in advance.

Pietro’s Coal Oven Pizzeria
1717 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 735-8090

121-123 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 733-0675

236 N. Radnor-Chestnut Road
Radnor, PA 19087
(484) 367-7072

Family owned and operated, Pietro’s is serving up hearty Italian-style favorites at two Philadelphia locations and a recently opened Radnor location. While it might be hard to pass up ordering one of the coal oven pizzas, there are also plenty of other family-friendly dishes to choose from. Just about everything on the menu is available in small or large sizes, with the large size feeding approximately three to four people. Salads, pasta like vodka rigatoni or fettuccine Carbonara, and classics such as chicken parmesan can all be ordered to pass and share around your table. 

Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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