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Bookbinders Old Original Inc **CLOSED** - 21 Reviews - 125 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA - Special Occasion Dining Reviews - Phone (215) 925-7027

Bookbinders Old Original Inc **CLOSED**

125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-7027
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


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I went to Bookbinders recently and had a great time. I was early, so I waited at the bar for my friend to arrive. I chatted with the bartender, Jim who recommended the Spiced Pear...


I've read the reviews, and they're basically right, but it helps to understand the context. I just went to Bookbinder's for the first time and found it to be a nice room aesthetic...

What's going on??? 9/17/2009

I was given a gift certificate for this restaurant and now I find them out of business. How can I get the money back for the gift givers?? more

Great Experience 12/10/2008

I went to Bookbinders recently and had a great time. I was early, so I waited at the bar for my friend to arrive. I chatted with the bartender, Jim who recommended the Spiced Pear Cosmo, it was delicious! I asked him about the history of the restaurant and he had unlimited knowledge! My friend arrived and we were seated. We were greeted by our server right away. She gave us a rundown of the menu and specials and was both professional and personal giving some great recommendations. I started with the new england clam chowder, my friend tried their snapping turtle soup, both were delicious. For my entree I had a Lobster cooked half and half as my server recommended. I never heard of it being prepared this way, it's steamed and broiled with butter and paprika and was great. They serve it cut in half so it was easy to eat. My friend had the scallops which she also loved. The entrees don't come with side dishes, but we ordered a side of broccoli which fed both of us. We were very well taken care of, drinks filled as soon as they were empty,and checked back to see how everything was. We shared a strawberry shortcake which was huge! Overall, great food and service. A bit pricey, but worth it. Pros: service, nice atmosphere, knowledgable staff Cons: parking, a little pricey more

Great food 7/23/2008

I was really impressed with the food quality here. I heard it was one of the staples in Philly. It is a bit pricy but I think it is worth the cost. The service was great too. Pros: food Cons: parking in the area more

Not very good food. 7/10/2008

The food was nothing special at all. The crab cakes were not fresh. I would not recommend dining here. The server was also lackluster and didn't have a very good knowledge of the menu; could even answer questions about spices in entrees. Cons: Food more


We were very disappointed with the food and service. I had the Seafood Combination and the Flouder and Scallops had no taste and crabcakes were full of filler not crabmeat. We were told by the waiter that they do not use filler, not true. We ordered wine, the waiter never asked us if we wanted any refills. My fiance order Mahi Mahi and was not pleased.. Bookbinders used to be a great restaurant years ago now we would rather eat at the BoneFish Grill, cheaper and better quality of fish. We will never go back to Bookbinders. Pros: waiters were dressed professional Cons: Crabcakes full of filler and the fish is poor quality!!! more

best clam chowder anytime 3/13/2008

Best new england clam chowder in the city. I am so hooked on it. I stop in to have a cup of it on my way home from work. I usually sit at the bar where the service is great. they are very knowledgable and nice. I've also had grilled mahimahi which to me is out of this world. Tonight there was a special and I had it with sushi rice and sauted spinach. yum it was so delicious!!! I also love the strawberry shortcake. Sometimes you just want something simple and good that you can just dig into and not feel bad about breaking something fancy apart. I highly recommend this resaurant to locals and visitors. You can't go wrong. As for the prices, there like any other nice restaurant in phili. more

EXCELLENT! 1/16/2008

All of my experiences at Bookbinders have been nothing short of wonderful. Whether I went for an intimate dinner, attended a party or hosted a work function, the service, food and spirits were top notch! The seafood is absolutely the best. I highly recommend the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer, you won't believe the size of the shrimp! On my last visit, I had the sword fish which was perfectly prepared. I recommend that you save room for dessert! The wait staff is friendly and attentive. I look forward to my next visit! more

Classically Hip! & Famous for a Reason. 1/12/2008

Bookbinders IS Philadelphia. Famous for a reason. FRESH seafood, sumptuous surroundings and service. Ask for the ""wedge"" salad--it's not on the menu but if you're lucky the chef'll fix it for you. Dark mahogany bar perfect for assignations . Don't stare at the professional athletes. For special occasions or when you just want to be treated special. Best bet: tiered appretizer tray. Pros: Atmosphere! Seafood! more

Really Really Nice Private Party 1/7/2008

I wanted to share my positive experience with Bookbinder's- my fiance and I just had our rehearsal dinner there in a private room and it was fantastic. The event planner absolutely worked with us on our budget and made sure we had everything we needed. We had great servers who really took the time to make the evening special. Also, the older folks were quite happy with such a 'classy' choice of location. Pros: great private space, really nice event planner Cons: dessert was so so more

Old-school, very expensive 12/22/2007

I've read the reviews, and they're basically right, but it helps to understand the context. I just went to Bookbinder's for the first time and found it to be a nice room aesthetically, but sort of an anachronism. The place is more about a kind of cheesy glamour than food. Pros: Nice room. Big (pricey) wine list. Good location. Cons: Overrich food. Extremely expensive. Outdated feel. Few wines by the glass. more

One of Philly's classiest restaurants 8/21/2007

My experience relates to the 'President's Room'... Combine the classiest bar in the city with a menu packed with fresh seafood at reasonable prices and you've got a winning combination. While it seems every restaurant from here to Nova Scotia tries to emulate the cool vibes of a trendy lounge, Bookbinders exudes a refreshing old-school hipness and style effortlessly. I showed up early for a business dinner and was pleasantly surprised to learn that happy hour serves up jumbo blue point oysters for a dollar each and offers $2 drafts everday. I was so impressed I went back a week later, had a good burger for just ten bucks and knocked back a few while watching the Phils on a nice big LCD (the other one is being repaired??). Go in on the right night and you'll find the most attractive pair of female bartenders Philly has to offer. A glass of wine might run a few extra dollars here, but the unforced ambience and excellent food more than make up for it. Pros: Happy hour, bar staff, delicious food, nice portions Cons: poor selection of overpriced wines by the glass more

Reputation clearly isn't everything 7/2/2007

I decided to try the famed Bookbinder's when my parents and sister visited for my mother and sister's shared birthday. I've never had a worse restaurant experience. Pros: Valet parking Cons: Terrible food, insanely overpriced, waiters that change accents halfway through the meal more

Not the Bookbinder's I know 6/28/2007

I finally was fortunate enough to get a night out with my wife and we were very excited to go to the restaurant we had spent many of great nights. Unfortunately, we didn't expect it to be exactly the same but we were very unhappy with the whole experience. We did not mind the long wait which is usual but the meal, and everything that goes along with it was average at best. This is BookBinder's!! A Philadelphia landmark. A place people heard of in other cities and a place I was always proud of. But I can not say that is the case anymore. It is just another restaurant in a city that has too much competition and too many other really fantastic places. I am disappointed I had to write this but I guess I am going to have to move on and start trying all of these other places that keep opening everywhere. more

Bait & switch 5/16/2007

My family had dinner at Old Original Bookbinder?s on Mother's Day evening. Unfortunately, it was not the wonderful dining experience we had been looking forward to and had expected from the reviews we had read. more

Great Lobster & Good Service 4/21/2007

I really enjoyed the 3lb lobster, it was fabulous. Our server was very attentive and the place is beautiful. I would recommned it without hesitation. It's not cheap but it is good. Pros: Lobster, Ambiance more

worst food we've had in philly 4/14/2007

my mother gave my boyfriend and i a gift certificate here for our birthdays, so we went -- only glad it was free... Pros: attentive service (maybe too attentive) Cons: everything else more

dollar oysters 2/15/2007

I went to Bookbinder's happy hour on Tuesday and I was pleasently suprised. Once seated at the bar I was greeted by a very friendly bartender. I immediately felt comfortable as I waited for my friends. I was also glad that I was not out of place in my jeans. My friends and I ordered drinks and ate the doller oysters. They were delicious and quite filling. We decided to order more even though we didn't have to. A great time was had by all!! I will definately be back!! Pros: warm bar feeling. Friendly good service more


I stopped into this old philly favorite just before a movie and discovered a WONDERFUL bar menu. It gave small samples of their YUMMY appetizers and even offered burgers and fries. There is no dress code and the bartender gave great service. It was not overpriced at all despite the reputation and really was a perfect snack before a movie. Pros: bar menu Cons: can be tough to get a reservation more


WOW, I have never been to such a poor excuse of an overpriced ""eatery"" (It doesn't deserve to be called a restaurant). A few friends and I decided to go because we missed it during Restaurant Week. In essence, we missed the chance to pay $30 a head for **terrible** food, and instead paid $75 a head for--oh, wait, the same **terrible** food. more

Better than its press 9/18/2006

Don't let yourself be concerned with negative reviews spawned from feuds between the owner and Philly's food critics. The food here is on par with most of Philly's finer dining establishments. While the lobster, wine and other cocktails are overpriced, the unique seafood fare is reasonably priced, extremely fresh and always enjoyable. Pros: ambience, food Cons: overpriced lobster and drinks more
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Menu for Bookbinders Old Original Inc **CLOSED**

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  • The Scene
    Since 1865, Old Original Bookbinders, with its massive, nautical-theme interior (deep wooden walls, faux porthole windows) reeled in diners for pricey seafood dinners. Photos...

  • 11/29/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

  • Payments:

    American Express, Discover, Visa, Master Card, Cash
  • Neighborhoods:

    Center City, Center City East