Getting Zahav reservations in Philadelphia aren’t as easy to come by as one would think. In fact, when I was planning my visit to the city, I tried to get a reservation the week of and they were fully booked. I was put on a wait list and crossed my fingers. As the days got closer, I still did not have a Zahav reservation to dine and my hopes were fading.
Why are Zahav reservations not readily available? I think we all know when a restaurant is booked, the chef is spectacular, right? We don’t book tables months in advance for mediocre food. What Mike Solomonov has built at Zahav is this sensational restaurant on the cusp of a Michelin Star (should they show up in Philly).
So I will admit, I went to directly to the owner and explained that I was coming to town and hoped that the size of my account would get me in (I know this is shameless). It worked. I was able to get a coveted Zahav reservation by reaching out. I will say, this is not how you get a table. I knew I would be sharing my experience to my audience and hoped that would be enough to sway him into finding me a table.
Normally this is not how I run business. I find out in advance what the situation is for getting reservations and plan accordingly. So now I am going to share with you how to get a Zahav reservation so that you, too, can dine at one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants!
Zahav Reservations: Do I Actually Need One?
Short answer, no. Now you are probably thinking, “why am I reading this article?” Well, there is a caveat. With a Zahav reservation, you get a guaranteed table. Without a reservation, you can show up around 430pm and wait outside in line and get a seat at the bar as they become available. The bar has limited seating and there is no telling how long the wait is. But if this is your only choice, I HIGHLY recommend it.
One simply doesn’t visit Philadelphia and not eat at Zahav. You would be doing yourself a disservice.
That being said, you are free to dine at the bar (depending on seating availability) and I am sure it is just as great as dining at a table. What I will tell you though, is that when I dined at Zahav, we were there for nearly two hours because that is how long it took to get all the courses we ordered and eat them. So if you have time, plan ahead and get a table.
How Do I Get Zahav Reservations And What Is The Waiting Time?
I’ll make this easy. I went straight to Mike Solomonov and asked what the wait time is for Zahav reservations and he told me that it is usually about two months, but that you could always call in and check. I would imagine the wait is now longer since the James Beard Foundation awarded them “Best Restaurant in America” for 2019, right? Wrong! The wait time is still in fact, 60 days because each new day, 60 days out, a full day is available for reservations. Zahav only books 60 days out at a time, so at a minimum, if you do not want to wait and sit at the bar and there is nothing else available, you can get a reservation 60 days out each day.
I Got Zahav Reservations, Now what?
This is the best part! Now you get to try all the incredible food Solomonov has created for the restaurant. This James Beard Award winning chef is going to blow your mind with every new dish that comes to your table. The simple act of experimenting with flavors and foods is what needs to happen to create something extraordinary. And by some stroke of luck, Solomonov does this continuously over the entire course of the meal.
I can’t tell you what my favorite dish was because every single dish that came to the table was perfection. It was carefully crafted and flavored in ways that will blow your taste buds open.
I would highly recommend ordering the “Taste of Zahav.” This allows you to taste a variety of things and in retrospect, I would not have done anything different.
Treat your dining experience like your last meal on death row. Order ALL the food and enjoy it, because you are going to be hard pressed to find a dining experience like this again. Solomonov is putting Israeli food on the map and this is not a fad, this is the real deal and here to stay.
- Address: 237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Phone: (215) 625-8800
- Hours: Dinner SUN-THUR 5-10, FRI & SAT 5-11
- Happy Hour: MON-FRI 5-6 only at the bar
- Parking: Limited street availability. Public parking between Walnut and Chestnut on 2nd.
- You can get discounted valet from Sheraton Society Hill
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