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Radicchio Café

Rocco’s at the Brick

By: Zachary Blumberg

Nestled on Wood Street in Philadelphia, Radicchio Café stands as a beacon of authentic Italian cuisine. This charming eatery is conveniently located near some of the city’s most cherished historical landmarks, including Betsy Ross’ house and the Liberty Bell. The café derives its name from radicchio, a leaf vegetable integral to Italian cooking, renowned for its slightly bitter flavor and vibrant red color.

Radicchio Café was established in 2000 by Luigi Basile, a passionate restaurateur with a deep love for Italian culinary traditions. Basile saw potential in the neighborhood and decided to expand his gastronomic footprint. For over two decades, Basile’s vision and dedication shaped Radicchio Café into a beloved dining destination. Recently, however, the restaurant transitioned to new ownership marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter.

Despite the change in ownership, the essence of Radicchio Café remains untouched. The menu continues to celebrate old-school Italian dishes, prepared with high-quality ingredients and a commitment to homemade excellence. Seafood, a cornerstone of the café’s offerings, is sourced from Samuels, ensuring the freshest catch makes its way to the table. Diners can delight in dishes such as grilled salmon with diced asparagus and tomato, or grilled octopus paired with black olives, capers, and lemon. A standout pasta dish, Farfalle Delizia, features a harmonious blend of shrimp, scallops, sundried tomatoes, and farfalle pasta, all enveloped in a luscious pink sauce. For those who prefer simplicity, whole fish options like branzino and Dover sole are expertly prepared with just olive oil, highlighting the natural flavors of the seafood.

Complementing the culinary offerings, Radicchio Café boasts an impressive selection of wines and cocktails, perfect for enhancing the dining experience. The wine list features both local and international selections, carefully curated to pair perfectly with the menu’s diverse flavors.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Radicchio Café is its ability to retain its unique charm and quality despite the transition in ownership. While some renovations and new additions are on the horizon, the core of what makes Radicchio special remains steadfast. This includes the unwavering commitment to Basile’s philosophy: “Whatever you choose to do, choose to do it well.” This simple yet profound mantra has guided the restaurant for 24 years and continues to inspire its operations today.

Radicchio Café’s enduring success can be attributed to this dedication to excellence. As the café moves forward under new ownership, it remains a beloved institution, promising to uphold the traditions and quality that have made it a staple in the Philadelphia dining scene. With a firm foundation built on passion and quality, Radicchio Café is poised to delight diners for many years to come.

Radacchio Cafe is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and 7 days a week for dinner. For more info, or to book a table, please visit www.radicchiophl.com