Buddakan - Philadelphia

4.7
8669 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Asian
Stephen Starr’s Buddakan is a spectacular restaurant featuring exotic flavors of modern Asian cuisine with creativity and drama. Bon Appetit notes, "The mostly white space is striking, with a lit-from-within communal table in the middle of the room, a waterfall & a ten-foot, candle-bedecked Buddha. The religious icon watches over hip customers indulging in pan-Asian cuisine that far surpasses the fare usually found at hot spots like this." Newsweek reports, "Design also serves as a signifier for cuisine. You walk into Buddakan, one of the hottest new restaurants in Philadelphia, past a shimmering waterfall & Japanese river stones & you say to yourself, 'ginger-miso everything' even before you see the magnificent 10-foot Buddha dominating the dining room." Named one of “America's Top 50 Restaurants" by Travel & Leisure and 'Top Restaurant for Fun' by Gourmet, Buddakan has become one of the country's most talked about restaurants.
What 8669 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The entrees were great. The desserts were even better

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DR
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner! Staff was attentive and helpful. Food was delicious and better than expected. I highly recommend the edamame dumplings and general tso soup dumplings. Dessert was a great finish to an excellent meal. Drinks were just right. Ambiance was nice as soon as you walk in. Very nice dining experience.

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JS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I ordered the Crab Rice and Lamb Chops. The sauce on the lamb chops was a lil salty and the rice was dry. Nothing a lil sauce couldn’t fix! The service and environment was impressive! I love the Buddha that sits in the middle of the restaurant. Overall I would definitely recommend and go back again!

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GA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

Was greeted like they didn't care I was there. The place was half empty and seated me by the kitchen that shouldn't even be in the restaurant. When I asked to be seated elsewhere the hostess rudely said go back to the hostess station. We were a couple in our sixties. Worked and ran restaurants for 50 years. I know the business. We were spending money yet the server attention was focused on two ther parties. I know her thinking was taking care of where her money would come from. Sad to be ignored and watch her just go by our table without looking to tend to her other parties.
On another note the restaurant looks and feels tired. Could really use some help there.
The manager addressed our concerns when we left. He was nice and doing his job. He tried to make amends. I told him with so many other restaurants why would I come back here r visit another Starr venture.

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M
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We sat on the upper floor and had a great view of the open space! The service was awesome! Our waiter was friendly, attentive, and helpful! The food was also delicious!
The only downside was that it was a little loud which made it difficult at times to carry a conversation.

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OT
Newcastle
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They had a fire and had to shut the restaurant. I didn’t get a call before I left to tell me, clearly neither was anytime else as there were a lot of people waiting outside to a hand written sign on the door, at least one member of staff put us in a different restaurant but it was nowhere the quality or even the same food type as Buddakan. Putting a huge downer on my Girlfriends’ birthday.

Not impressed at all.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Booked a Birthday Rez for a party of 8 over a week in advance. Received a call 30 minutes before rez advising that due to a power outage cannot accommodate my party. Advised to be assisted with a rez to a similar restaurant in the area. Accident happen, power outages happen, but surely a courtesy call could have been given with a little more time to spare before the actual reservation time. I love Budda and have dined at all the locations but was super disappointed as this was a birthday and put a damper on the whole night. For reference drive in from NYC for this reservation so was super disappointed.

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R
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They didn't have power the night before and failed to let us know our reservation was cancelled until ten minutes before we arrived. Still haven't heard from them to apologize or offer any special coupons or accommodations to return. They attempted to reserve us a table at a different restaurant but who has a table available the night of a Saturday? It was my birthday and it was my wife's birthday the next day. Overall really unhappy with Steven Star and its lack of respect or mind for their customers. I did not feel appreciated or valued one bit. You are a number at this restaurant chain. The management reflects it.

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SH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Our reservation was for 6:15 on Saturday. We drove over an hour to get there and looked for parking for 15 minutes. As soon as we walked up to the door a little after 6:00, there was a representative stating they were without power since the night before and anticipated it being back on in half an hour which led to another half an hour...... They were hoping to find a generator is what we were told.
I asked why they didn't call to inform us. The rep said they did. I verified our number with them and showed her my phone.; no phone call. This situation was very irresponsibly addressed. They should have called everyone and let the customers make a determination of whether they wanted to travel and take the chance of Buddakan reopening. We understand that things happened and would have appreciated so much for the heads up. We wasted 2 1/2 hours and had no desire to go anywhere else to eat.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Due to a power outage, our reservation was canceled. We were not notified in advance.

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OT
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food and decent wine list. Service was overall solid plus but could’ve been a hair more attentive. Ambiance was enjoyable; happening vibe but quiet enough. Both cocktails were not great which was disappointing. Overall a very nice experience nonetheless and recommendable. Will return when back in Philly

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Our favorite Philadelphia restaurant has gotten worse and worse over the years. Disappointed.

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CF
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

The portion size was small. The price was too expensive for the portion. Quality was very good.

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DD
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing. Tuna pizza tuna spring rolls Ed edamame wonton beef chow fun loved loved this place

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RA
Philadelphia
29 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Quiet Monday eve early dinner for four with out-of-town friends. We were especially welcomed by the waiter who did a great job with timely service and special orders. The food as usual was well prepared, tasty and served at the right temperature. We had dessert that they served with sparklers for our respective anniversaries, Always a treat at Buddakan.

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m
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific dinner to celebrate a birthday! Beautiful restaurant (love the waterfall wall and the big Buddha statue), delicious and creative food, attentive service. Only negative was it was too noisy so it was hard to hear people talk around our round booth table. Would definitely go again, especially for a special night out.

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OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered dim sup platter which was very good. And duck was excellent with lots of wrapper to enjoy with other guests. The desserts were very creative. Overall very good food and excellent staff and servers.

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K
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Daughter birthday

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G
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated a graduation and Gabriel our server was such a GEM helping us navigate the menu. Thank you for a wonderful lunch celebration!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, drinks and service. Try the calamari salad!

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ES
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent lunch on Friday. The bento box was a perfect size and good price. The pork bun, Thai chicken salad and cashew chicken were all great. Service was perfect - attentive without interrupting or being annoying.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Foot was little salty, I told about the same to our waitress she conveyed our message to the chef. But chef said that salt level is normal. Rest of the experience was good!

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KR
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and service!
Atmosphere great!
Had 2nd tasting menu for 5; food was great but very expensive.
Really too much food even for two teenage boys!
Special occasions!

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable overall

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WP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great! Service was outstanding! Ambiance is everything! I will definitely be going back

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AC
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited twice in one week. The food, the service and the staff are all outstanding. This is one place not to miss...we will be back for 100% sure.

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CL
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

39th wedding anniversary

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We come here a few times a month because it is our favorite place to eat in philly! The staff is always very friendly and attentive to us. Our favorite thing to do is come with a few friends so we can order a ridiculous amount of food and share :)

Some must try’s are: sashimi, tuna tartare spring rolls, rock shrimp bao buns, general tso dumplings, edamame dumplings, whole Peking duck, and the wasabi crusted filet.

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R
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We brought family from Milwaukee and they LOVED it! Everything was picture perfect! Thank you!

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SC
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Always great food here. No need to be adventurous. Plenty of pedestrian choices that are special and well executed.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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D
Philadelphia
28 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

A little disappointed this time. The tea spareribs were not as good as before as they were too fatty. The miso cod needed lemon.

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RM
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

While the food was delicious, the service was perfunctory. As a vegan, I often call ahead before dining with a group at any given restaurant. When I called ahead and asked about options for vegans, I was told no problem, we can accommodate you. However, when I mentioned to our server that I was a vegan, she stated in a scripted manner, “There are only two things you can eat, the mushroom dumplings and a salad.” Although this was an underwhelming response, I accepted it.

When the other diners at my table we’re ordering all sorts of items, they felt bad that all I could have was one appetizer and a salad. They encouraged me to ask our server again if an entree could be made for me. I asked very nicely and got the same perfunctory response...”You can only have two dishes- the rest wont work for you.”

At this point, there was a secondary discussion going on at the table that for a restaurant of this caliber, it was disappointing that I could not have an entree. I had recalled years earlier that I had a vegan fried rice dish and ask about whether that may still be possible. This was my third attempt. Only then with other concerned voices at the table did the server say she would ask the chef but couldn’t promise anything. Really? Is is the level of service you aspire to?

Needless to say, it was only after three gracious attempts that our waitress was even willing to check with the chef. She then came back and said the chef would make a vegan fried rice dish for me. I should not have had to work that hard and the server clearly would benefit from some customer service training.

Consider having the staff read any one of Danny Myer’s books!
It is unlikely I’ll come back not will I recommend Buddakan for larger parties.

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T
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed the Dim Sum sampler, the Crisp Jumbo Shrimp and Lobster Fried Rice. We had very good water service and the ambiance was great. We had not been to this location in at least 10 years and were celebrating a birthday. They changed some of the booth seating from one side to another and a few other decor changes but the giant buddha was still in place. Although the food was very tasty for the price I think the portions of fried rice and the shrimp dish could have be a bit larger. I don't see how some diners were taking bags to go with leftovers. The rice was a bit too dry and use less curry or turmeric. There could also be better vegetable options on the menu that would have went well with what we ordered. It's nice to go to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or new job but even then I would look for a better restaurant with a bit more options, less expensive or better portions for the money spent, especially when we were told that they were sharing size by our server. 1 cocktail, 1 guava peach lemonade, 1 dim sum sampler + 4 extra dumplings so we each could sample all flavors, 1 order of Crispy Jumbo Shrimp, 1 order Lobster Fried Rice $111.36 + 20% tip party of three just to give you an idea of a less than average cost experience. This is just an fyi review/diner beware before you go. It would be nice to dine here a bit more frequent but need more for the hard earned money. 😉

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OT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Had a 10:15 reservation for 4, arrived a few minutes early and was warmly greeted and seated promptly. This was quickly followed by our server who brought water and took out beverage order. The wine was chilled to an ice temperature. We ordered appetizers and our entrees. The food was completely underwhelming. I’m not sure if it was because it was later in the night and people wanted to go home or what. I ordered the Cashew Chicken and it had the most unusual chewy texture, it was be compared to eating rubber (not that I’ve eaten rubber). I didn’t even eat my food. My spouse ordered the Pad Thai and he shared it was disappointing. The other two individuals in our group shared similar statements.

Overall the service and ambience were great. I was completely disappointed in the quality of the food, especially for a $200+ dinner for 4, I would expect much better quality, presentation, and taste.

I’m not sure I would be open to trying it again to see if it was a one time experience or consistent.

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SP
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our last dinner in Philly for a while (we are moving) and they made it an excellent experience. Our waiter picked up on the fact that we were moving and bought us a special desert. The manger also stopped over and thanked us. We will be back whenever we’re in Center City.

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SC
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING!!! Absolutely incredible. I advise everyone to go here without question! My partner and I have been visiting a number of high end restaurants lately and this was our favourite! We even called over the manager to compliment her on the restaurant food and service.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 3ambience 1

We were seated right next to the bathroom and really made for an u pleasant evening . Also when the waitress went to fill our water glasses there was a walnut in the water pitcher that went into my husbands glass when they were filing it. . We did not order dessert because if it !

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JT
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

We haven't been to Buddakan in years. Decided to celebrate the end of a school year and go into the city. I have always loved Buddakan. This time, it was different though. Service was good, the food was good, but everything seemed fast...not rushed, just fast. When I go into the city, I am looking at sitting down for at least an hour and a half for a meal, relaxing, and talking. Our appetizers came out quickly and we ordered our dinner entree's after we finished our apps, and even they came out quickly. Both were very good, just basically we were in and out of the restaurant in about 45 minutes to an hour. I don't ever remember it being like that before. However, again, the food was good, so we will definitely be going back, just may do lunch instead.

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F
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I’ve been multiple times but was not impressed with food or the ambiance this time. We arrived for an early dinner and the room was freezing cold. The service was initially great and all the food came out quickly however it went to the wrong table!! I watched our food come out and then go back to the kitchen. By the time it came out a second time, it had cooled off and was lukewarm. The main courses were adequate but truly nothing special. I was disappointed because Buddakan used to be a special place for us to go but now is no better than any other mass produced Chinese food except the cost is higher. Honestly, with all the choices available in the city, I’m not sure we will be going back anytime soon.

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