A hard-to-get reservation is prized among serious restaurant-goers, but a table limited to members only seems to be the Philadelphia diner’s Holy Grail. Palizzi Social Club is 100 years old this year in South Philly, but it was after chef Joey Baldino took over from his late uncle Ernie that business really started to boom.
Palizzi has mastered the balance of old-school Italian kitsch and super-high-quality food and cocktails. Once a gathering place for the Abruzzi-American community, Palizzi Social Club is a current hot spot: members can take up to three guests, and if the light is on outside, they’re open. In 2017, Palizzi was named Bon Appetit’s #4 Best New Restaurant, Esquire’s honorable mention best new restaurant, and Eater Philly’s #1 restaurant of the year. Chef Joey’s menu at Palizzi has a broad Southern Italian scope.