Marabella Meatball Co.
1211 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
While Marabella Meatball Co. is only two years old, the Marabella family has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years. As the name suggests, this location celebrates the Italian food staple — the meatball — in an innovative way. Here, meatballs don’t stop with just the standard beef or beef, pork and veal combo. You can also try veggie and chicken for something lighter. Go for the standard pasta dinner and pick your pasta, sauce and two meatballs along with crostini and locatelli cheese for $8.95. To get some greens in there, order the meatball Caesar salad, also for $8.95. And then there’s the ever-popular meatball sandwich available on a long roll (traditional) starting at $8.75 or round roll (Nonni) starting at $6.50. With toppings like olive tapenade, aged provolone, mushroom sauce and broccoli rabe, the possibilities are endless.
2301 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
The laid-back atmosphere and bold menu of this Fairmount restaurant have earned London Grill the title of “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” in Philadelphia Magazine. Keeping with the friendly feel, Chef Michael McNally is offering a little something to make the start to your workweek a little better, Meatball Mondays. For just $6, guests can sample three meatballs from a rotating list of unique varieties. With choices like chicken and prosciutto with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella, tuna with Moroccan tomato sauce, pork with sage brown butter sauce, veggies balls and many more, there’s a meatball for everyone. If you’re visiting on a different weekday, try the mini meatballs during happy hour for just $3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
757 S. Front St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
www.thevillagebelle.comLouis and Joey Campanaro have been making meatballs since their grandmother taught them her special recipe as children. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America and working in some of the top kitchens in the country, the brothers finally brought their family’s famous meatballs back to Philadelphia. In 2010, they opened Village Belle in Queen Village, just a few blocks from where they grew up. The gravy meatball sliders quickly became one of the most popular dishes on the menu of this Northern Mediterranean-inspired bar and restaurant. The beef, veal and pork balls are fried before being cooked in a bright tomato sauce. They’re then served with shaved pecorino on fresh garlic buns. Three of these sliders are offered for $9, making for a substantial appetizer to share…though you might be tempted to just order them for your own meal!
217-219 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.amadarestaurant.comAs one of the many popular restaurants in Philadelphia from Chef Jose Garces, it’s no surprise that Amada demonstrates the quality and atmosphere that patrons have come to expect from an Iron Chef. Located in Old City, Amada offers authentic Andalusian tapas with a modern flair. For something different from the traditional meat and red sauce meatball, try the albondigas. These lamb meatballs with shaved manchego cheese are available for $12. To get the most from your experience, go with a group and order plenty of different dishes to taste and a pitcher of Amada’s spicy red wine sangria for $32.
Related: Top Tapas In Philadelphia
760 S. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
www.ralphsrestaurant.comYou can’t talk Philadelphia meatballs without mentioning the famous 9th St. Italian Market, and at the heart of the Italian Market is Ralph’s Italian Restaurant. In business for over 100 years, Ralph’s is billed as America’s oldest Italian restaurant. With that title comes the type of old-school charm that you’d expect and the sort of no-fuss food you can imagine your grandparents ordering decades ago…but it’s just as good today! While the menu is rather large, the meatballs are considered a must. To get them tender on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside, these are baked before being cooked in red sauce (or “gravy” as it’s called at Ralph’s). Lots of caramelized garlic in the tomato sauce gives them the flavor that’s made them famous. Order these meatballs as a side, or go for the traditional spaghetti and meatballs dinner for $13.
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Michelle Hein is a copy 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 boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.