Mussels are easy to cook and inexpensive, making them a no-brainer for many restaurants. And when they’re fresh and prepared properly, mussels are also a favorite for seafood fans. The classic method of cooking involves steaming the mollusks with onions, white wine and herbs, but many restaurants elaborate on the traditional recipe by adding and substituting ingredients to create different variations of sauces. CBS Philly brought you a list of the top places for mussels in 2013, and here’s your updated list to visit to get your fill of fresh and delicious mussels in Philadelphia.
City Tap House
The Radian Balcony
3925 Walnut St.
Philadephia, PA 19104
With 60 taps, City Tap House features one of the best craft beer lists in Philly. But along with great drinks, you’ll also love the comfortable atmosphere and elevated pub menu. Chef Chad Vetter is best known for his Southern-inspired cuisine, with braised pork belly, creole-style shrimp and grits and po’boys as a few of the favorites. But City Tap House also has some of the best mussels in town. Choose from four styles: Smokehouse (applewood bacon, blue cheese and brawler beer broth); Abigail (roasted garlic butter, leeks and Belgian ale broth); Panang (Thai curry, chiles and coconut broth); and Pancho (spicy chorizo sausage, poblano peppers, tomato, garlic and fresh thyme). All mussels are served with the housemade focaccia and range in price from $12-$13.
120 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
“Top Chef” alum Jason Cichonski is the culinary mastermind behind Old City’s The Gaslight. The laid-back bar and restaurant offers a homey atmosphere with high-quality ingredients and soulful fare. Enjoy a pound of fresh mussels with grilled bread in a homemade bouillabaisse sauce for $13. Or visit during Mussels Mondays and order the signature dish for just $10, including a regional craft draft beer.
1234 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
For the past 10+ years, partners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have revitalized the once desolate Midtown Village. Little Nonna’s joined sister restaurants Open House, Lolita, Verde, Barbuzzo and Jamonera in 2013. The cozy Italian spot seats just 40 people inside with an additional 40 seats outside when the weather allows. At $12, the steamed mussels peperonata are served with white wine, roasted peppers, garlic, basil, roasted long hots and grilled bread. They’re perfect for a cold day.
1311 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The stylish decor and modern Greek tavern menu have made Opa a Midtown Village favorite for over three years now. Here, the $10 mussels are served with white wine, lemon, fennel and grain mustard. The broth is light, yet flavorful, perfect for soaking up with housemade country bread.
1516 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
As the name suggests, Oyster House is known for its fresh oysters but the sauteed mussels are equally as good. The $13 mussels are prepared with white wine, shallots, jalapeno, cilantro and tomatillo salsa. For the full New England-style clam bake experience, go for the “Dump Dinner.” Available for parties of six or more, you’ll feast on steamed mussels and clams, Maine lobster, sausage, potatoes and kale. At $25 per person, this event requires reservations made at least 48 hours in advance.
Pub & Kitchen
1946 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
As an homage to some of Philly’s most famous sandwiches (think cheesesteak and roast pork), Executive Chef Eli Collins enjoys incorporating longboat peppers into many of his dishes. His Cape Cod mussels are no exception. This popular starter is served in a tumeric broth with spaghetti squash, raab greens and long hots.
1516 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
At REX 1516, Chef Justin Swain serves updated Southern-inspired cuisine. On the winter menu, you’ll find the “Bienville Pan Roast” for $18 featuring mussels, littleneck clams and the fish of the day. It’s served in a creamy Bienville sauce with sourdough bread.
Related: Top Happy Hours In Philadelphia
2nd Story Brewing Company
117 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19416
Located in the former Triumph Brewery space, 2nd Story Brewing Company is a new Old City spot that opened in fall of 2014. The heart of the operation is on the second floor, where you can take a look yourself at the craft beer being brewed. But when you have great beer, you need great food. Keeping with the rustic feel of the place, the menu is simple and satisfying. The $10 signature “2nd Story Mussels” are prepared in a spicy tomato broth with caramelized onion and garlic lime aioli and served with grilled bread.
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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