10/11/2012 11:50:00 AM

2013 Philadelphia Restaurant Survey Results Are Live!

Photo by Mark Henninger
The input of 13,179 avid diners has been sifted through, tallied and quoted, and today the results of our 2013 Philadelphia Restaurant Survey are live! This year, more than two and a half times the number of people participated, thanks to the city’s booming food scene, and a total of 1,441 restaurants are included in the guidebook. Philadelphians still dine out at the same frequency - 2.5 times per week - but when we do, we leave a highest-in-the-nation average of 19.6% tips on our checks. What’s keeping us from going out more often? It could be that good ol' Philly attitude - service was cited by 66% of surveyors as the biggest drawback, apparently a bigger issue here than in New York (58%), Los Angeles (61%) or DC (62%).

However, the rising quality and unique culture of Philadelphia dining is clear when you consider an unprecedented four restaurants earned a near-perfect food score of 29, and two of them are BYOs. Diners continue to love the Four Season’s Fountain, which garnered wins for Top Decor and Top Service in addition to Top Food. Even after getting rid of รก la carte dining in favor of tasting menus, Vetri nabs a 29 for Food, as does Pierre Calmels’ Bibou and Chester County’s Birchrunville Store Cafe. The award for Most Popular goes to Stephen Starr’s Buddakan, which knocked Jose Garces’ Amada down to number two. Beer-centric Iron Hill Brewery continues to be a crowd fave, coming in at number three on the Popular list.

Another rarity: our top newcomer this year is a vegan restaurant, Rich Landeau’s Vedge, with a 28 for Food and scores that place it at No. 3 for Decor and No. 5 for Service overall. The meat-free gem is followed on the newcomer list by Jason Cichonski’s modernist Ela (Food 28). The quick-serve darling of the city, Federal Donuts, also places in the top five new arrivals, notching a Food 25 for its combo of twice-fried chicken and fresh, fanciful donuts.

What kinds of food do we love to eat? Italian was the most popular, getting 30% of the vote (Vetri being tops in that category) followed by American at 15% (Sam Jacobson’s Landsdowne BYO Sycamore wins here). We like French, Japanese and Mexican cuisine a lot, too, and Philadelphia in general picks up a 24 for choice/diversity and a 23 for “culinary creativity.”

Want to know more? You can check out all the new ratings and reviews for free across Google Maps, Search, Google+ and mobile, or by picking up a copy of our newly redesigned guidebook. Stay tuned for more results posts on the blog, and be sure let us know what you think in the comments below, or chime in on Twitter and Google+ using the hashtag #ZagatPhilly2013.

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