Philadelphia has always been a world class city. For many years it has thrived in the areas of arts and culture, historical significance and architecture. However, until recently, Philly has never been known as a culinary hotbed. Sure, there were a few heavy hitters, but nothing like it’s current offerings. These days, it seems Philadelphia gives cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco a run for their money in edible excitement. We are a city of neighborhoods filled with BYOB’s, Iron Chefs and Ethnic Delicacies.
Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood northwest of downtown Philadelphia. In addition to some of the nicest houses Philadelphia has to offer, Chestnut Hill has many wonderful shops, restaurants and museums flanking it’s tree-lined streets. Below are some of our favorite restaurants!
Cin Cin (Chinese) “Cin Cin, in historic Chestnut Hill, has earned rave reviews for inventive Chinese and pan-Asian recipes with a refined French flair. Best of Philly award winner.”
Hokka Hokka (Japanese) Chestnut Hill’s most extraordinary Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. Here the food is art and the atmosphere is a mesh of elegance and casualness. Hosting an excellent sushi chef who has over 25 years of experience. Thehy prepare the most fresh and finest delicacies. A wide variety of sushi, sashimi and maki (rolls), delicious Japanese cuisine presented in a tasteful French style.
King’s Garden (Chinese) “King’s Garden is a terrific neighborhood restaurant right in the heart of Chestnut Hill serving excellent Chinese food, both eat-in or take-out. The restaurant is charmingly decorated and has a nice little bar which is great if you want a drink, a glass of wine or a cold beer. Prices are reasonable, service is friendly. Reservations welcome but not required. ”
Osaka (Japanese) “Since 2003, Osaka has been a hidden gem located in the heart of Chestnut Hill, satisfying guests with a menu that is both familiar and unique. Its personable and knowledgeable staff functions in a warm and hip atmosphere, providing an intimate and fun dining experience for any occasion. Preparing traditional sushi, as well as elegant, nouveau dishes, Osaka’s innovative chefs integrate orthodox Japanese techniques with international flavors to create stunning, mouth-watering bites for an eclectic crowd. From seasonal, exotic fish, Tuesday night jazz, an excellent, affordable wine list, to reasonably priced lunch boxes, Osaka is a promising destination for all to enjoy and share.”
Stella Sera (Italian) “A delightful Italian restaurant with a warm, intimate decor. Delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts with daily specials that always entice. Friendly, professional service. Stella Sera is a BYOB.”
Thai Kuu (Thai) “A beautiful Thai restaurant located at the top of the hill plaza in Chestnut Hill. Executive Chef Tanawat Nontakarn creates wonderfully delicious meals with a wide variety of dishes from his native Thailand that are sure to please everyone’s palate. The restaurant is BYOB and is conveniently located right next to Chestnut Hill’s Liquor Store.”
Iron Hill Brewery “With nine locations throughout Pennsylvania, the Iron Hill Brewery is a restaurant and bar that serves a selection of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, pizzas and chicken, beef, pork and seafood dishes for lunch and dinner. Menu highlights include petite filet mignons, grilled chicken and penne carbonara, baked crab cakes, turkey burgers, Mediterranean wraps, seafood bisque, apple crisp, crème brulee and chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. A gluten-free menu is available.”
Tavern on The Hill “And its a warm welcome, indeed, that always awaits you at the TAVERN ON THE HILL bar and restaurant, located at the top of Philadelphia’s historic cobblestone Chestnut Hill district. Amidst the lovely shops, boutiques and galleries, here you’ll find the perfectly charming and cozy village pub which offers a great selection of beers, wines and spirits and serves up a superb menu at very reasonable prices, all with exceptional service and gracious hospitality. For a great lunch or dinner, for after work refreshments or a late night bite, at the TAVERN you’ll find the comfortable combination of a warm and friendly tavern ambiance with the best cookin’ anywhere around. Be sure to try the wings…Tavern on the Hill was listed as one of the top picks for awesome wings in Philadelphia by uwishunu.com.”
McNally’s Tavern “Soups, salads, sandwiches and simple platters have been the mainstays now for 86 years. There’s also a Daily Special that includes a cup of soup and a soft beverage; could be a wrap of fresh baked turkey or a meatloaf & mashers plate, maybe even an enchilada. See this month’s Daily Specials just below the tapped keg to your right. Soups are scratch-made and there’s a new choice each day. Expect Prime Rib with mashers every Monday night, tavern-made crab cakes & authentic Snapper soup every Friday and, of course, McNally’s famous Chicken Corn Chowder each and every Saturday. And be sure to save room for Meg’s delicious chocolate cake, carrot cake or coconut cake!”
PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS
Cosimo’s Pizza Cafe “One of the most innovative menus in the area. In the tradition of great Italian cuisine, and inspired by the very old and the very new.”
Baker Street Bread Co. (Bakery) “Baker Street was created to put the flavor-and heart-back into bread. They give their breads all the time they need to develop their full flavors and characters. Sometimes it takes all day and night.”
Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream (Bakery) “Bredenbeck’s Bakery is a Philadelphia tradition. Since 1889, they’ve been welcoming customers to their historic shop in the heart of Chestnut Hill. They keep those customers coming back with their friendly service and exquisite cookies, special occasion cakes, pies, pastries and ice cream. No matter what you’re craving, Bredenbeck’s Bakery can be counted on to deliver a delicious treat and a delicious experience every single time.”
Campbell’s Place (American) “Campbell’s Place is an Old World tavern styled after an English pub. A lively unpretentious atmosphere serving affordable New American fare along with an extensive selection of fine draught beers and wines. Dine in a cozy booth, at the 100 year old bar, or at the V bar and upstairs dining room. A neighborhood gathering spot, Chestnut Hill’s Cheers is located on Germantown Avenue just below Gravers Lane. Campbell’s Place, a Chestnut Hill institution for nearly four decades, changed hands October 2008 as Mary Campbell retired and longtime Chestnut Hill resident Vanessa Noonan Mullen and her husband Rob Mullen assumed control of the business.”
Chestnut Grill and Sidewalk Cafe (American) “American Bistro Cuisine in a casual urban setting, offering Chestnut Hill’s premier outdoor dining. Open every day for lunch, dinner and late night drinks. Also Sunday brunch.”
Chestnut Hill Hotel (American) Beginning with its original destination as “Summer Hausen”, the vacation spot of choice for colonial Philadelphians, Chestnut Hill always had a reputation as a most accommodating place.
Green Soul (Wraps / Sandwiches / Salads) “A healthy lifestyle conscious cafe featuring wraps, smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, sandwiches and salads. Expect your meal to b fresh, fast and flavorful! Kid-friendly meals and a kids’ corner play area make this a great spot for the entire family.”
Heirloom (American / BYOB) Heirloom restaurant is an intimate 50-seat BYOB that features New American Regional Cuisine influenced by the rich flavors of the American South, New England, the Midwest, West and Southwest. Locally sourced produce along with authentic American ingredients have inspired renowned chef Al Paris to craft innovative dishes that pay tribute to the rich and flavorful culinary traditions of our nation.
Market at the Fareway (Farmer’s Market) “The Chestnut Hill Farmers Market, located behind the Chestnut Hill Hotel at 8229 Germantown Avenue, houses a variety of food stands, including fresh produce, prime meats, poultry, seafood, baked goods, coffee/tea, ethnic foods, deli meats and cheeses, flowers, and more.”
Mica Restaurant (American / Electic) “Chef Charles ‘Chip’ Roman of Blackfish Restaurant in Conshohocken brings his award winning cuisine to Chestnut Hill. Recently named by GQ Magazine as one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in America.”
Night Kitchen (Bakery) “Great sandwiches, cakes and cookies!”
Rollers at Flying Fish (American) “30 years crazy delicious! Think neighborhood-comfortable with vibrant scrumptious food. The menu makes bountiful use of fresh, often locally-sourced vegetables and fruits to complement the sparkling seafood and meat dishes…..or simply star on their own. This marriage of the great culinary traditions of Roller’s and Flying Fish restaurants also showcases gorgeous salads, a carefully edited wine and craft beer menu and homemade desserts (don’t miss the pies!). During the summer, outdoor dining, legendary soft-shelled crabs and Tue.-Thurs. nights clambake reign”
Top of The Hill (American) “Top of the Hill Café is committed to freshness. Our soups, salads, sandwiches and hot entrees are prepared daily on the premises. We offer outdoor seating in the warmer months, as well as free delivery to local homes and businesses.”
Valley Green Inn (American / Eclectic) “Whether dining before an open fire on a cold winter evening or enjoying the seasonal beauty of the Wissahickon Valley while dining outdoors on the Inn’s porch, visitors to the Valley Green Inn can always be assured of a delicious meal in a fantastic setting. Dating back to the mid-1800’s, the Inn is one of Chestnut Hill’s most notable landmarks and a favorite destination for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. It’s also a beautiful venue for banquets, weddings and other special occasions.”
The Old City/Society Hill area is one of the most dense, restaurant-wise, in the city of Philadelphia. Being ground zero of the birth of our nation, this area represents colonial charm with quaint cobblestone streets lined with dozens upon dozens of excellent restaurants and bars. Enjoy our summary of the best of the area!
Amada (Spanish) The gorgeous rustic-chic restaurant and bar has embraced the rich traditions of Spanish gastronomy while incorporating avant-garde cooking techniques.
Morimoto (Japanese) The restaurant’s namesake and head chef, Morimoto (of Food Network’s Iron Chef fame), has created a menu offering the very best in contemporary Japanese cusine. While regulars flock here for the exquisitely prepared sushi, Morimoto offers diners a broad spectrum of flavors that delve beyond nigiri and sashimi.
Buddakan (Asian Fusion) The fare is top notch — appetizers include seared kobe beef carpaccio, endamme ravioli, miso tuna tartare and tea smoked spareribs. For the main course, delve into delicious dishes like Japanese black cod, wasabi crusted filet mignon, roasted ponzu chicken and collosal tempura shrimp. For dessert, the chocolate bento box will please just about anyone.
Cuba Libre (Cuban) Dedicated to a continued exploration of Cuban heritage, art, music, flavors and traditions. The open-air setting, tropical ambiance, vintage décor, upbeat Latin music and Concept Chef/Partner, Guillermo Pernot’s delectable menu of ‘Nuevo Cubano’ dishes and traditional favorites, make all of our restaurants a must-see, must-experience dining destination.
Zahav (Middle Eastern) With the opening of Zahav, chef Michael Solomonov realized his dream of bringing the flavors of his native Israel to his. adopted city of Philadelphia.
Eulogy (European) The restaurant features Philadelphia’s largest beer selection with an amazing menu of over 300 international and domestic craft brewed bottled beers and 21 draught beers are served every day. Ranked as the fifth best beer restaurant in the United States by ratebeer.com beer menu highlights include “Eulogy’s Busty Blonde” beer brewed by La Binchoise Brewery in Belgium exclusively for Eulogy Belgian Tavern. The Belgian owned restaurant features a full menu of award winning Belgian and casual dining American foods.
Spasso (Italian) When you’re dining at Spasso, you can expect great food at a reasonable price. Spasso’s open kitchen produces a menu that combines a full array of fresh seafood and meat, an assortment of appetizers, fresh vegetables, and homemade pasta. All the desserts are made on the premises, so be sure to save some room.
Positano Coast (Italian) For an extraordinary dining experience, savor mouthwatering inspired Italian cuisine, such as the Sea Urchin Pasta, Beef Tenderloin, Pan Seared Branzino, Gnocchi Gorgonzola, Grilled Octopus and of course, the must have Crudo. Positano Coast welcomes guests to sample delicious selections from the menu, including the freshest fish and seafood, the Crudo menu (the Italian version of sashimi) and creative variations of classic Italian dishes. With menu options for everyone in your group, including those seeking traditional Italian flavors and certainly for the adventurous palates, Positano Coast offers a dining experience unlike any other in Philadelphia.
Han Dynasty (Chinese) Award winning Sichuan style Chinese restaurant.
Aqua (Thai / Malaysian) With a passion for fine food, a gifted expert chef, and love of hospitality, Aqua Restaurant welcomes you to experience the best in Asian dining right here in Philadelphia. Their distinctive menu features entrées from South East Asia.
Plough and The Stars (Irish) The Plough and The Stars is Philadelphia’s premier Irish Pub.
Zento: (Japanese) Contemporary Japanese Cuisine and Sake bar.
Kabul (Afghan) This understated, long-running BYO sleeper takes you out of loud Old City via delectable Afghan dishes and a quiet setting that charms. There’s nothing more you can ask for besides an excellent value, and a staff that is as attentive as possible.
Ristorante Panorama (Italian) A feast for the senses, Ristorante Panorama offers authentic trattoria-style dining in the heart of Old City. The flavors of the Northern region influence this Philadelphia Italian restaurant, featuring homemade pastas, authentic veal dishes, and fresh seafood specialties.
Kisso (Japanese) Come and enjoy the edible art here at Kisso Sushi Bar in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia. Kisso’s menu reflects the eclectic upbringing and taste of its chef and owner, Alex Park. BYOB.
Karma (Indian) One of Philadelphia’s very best Indian restaurants.
La Famiglia (Italian) An old world inspired menu, an exquisite wine list and flawless service to create the most romantic and memorable dining experience in Philadelphia.
La Locanda Del Ghiottone (Italian) “You can smell the garlic a block away” from this “attitude”-filled Italian BYO in Old City, where “made-to-order” “classics” (mushroom crêpes, mussels) are slung with “panache” by “bossy”, “colorful” waiters who are quick to “dish out food as well as quips”; “you really feel like part of the family here”, so “don’t expect a quick meal” and don’t forget the cash. -Zagat.
European Republic (European) A restaurant serving up fresh and healthy European wraps in the Philadelphia area!
Xochitl (Mexican) While the food has its ambitious moments — like the deconstructed tamale served without its typical corn husk — there’s no pretension, simply a solid, modern play on classic Mexican fare. Both custom-ordered guacamole and ceviche serve as perfect starters, and from there, it can become a Tecate and taco night. Or you can make it a tequila flight, short rib and red snapper affair. Either way, prepare to leave wanting to return to Xochitl.
Pizzicato (Italian) Since 1997, Pizzicato, the Olde City Landmark brings the robust flavors of Italy with hand crafted pastas, pizza, and truly authentic Italian cuisine.
Hibachi (Japanese) Hibachi possesses all the qualities of a perfect dining experience. Enjoy the finest in steak and seafood skillfully prepared and presented with great flair by Master teppan-yaki chefs over an open flame on your table top grill.
Ariana (Afghan) Experience the unique flavors of authentic Afghan cuisine. Traditional specialties, skillfully prepared and attentively served in a cozy environment.
Uzu (Sushi) UZU, meaning “whirlpools” in Japanese, are known to produce some of the most fresh fish in the world. At UZU, they aim to please every customer serving Grade-A sushi and sashimi, as well as some of the most creative rolls in the city.
Pagoda Noodle Cafe (Chinese) A simple, unassuming noodle bar.
Lucha Cartel (Mexican) National Mechanics’ new Philadexican cousin Lucha Cartel is serving a tex-mex mix of apps and entrees at 2nd and Chestnut along with a bevy of beverages like mojitos, margs and a host of specialty cocktails. The decor is your typical rudos y tecnicos battling dia de los muertos monsters in a bloodbath of distressed bar stools, prickly cacti and evocative lighting. Your typical Mexican joint, basically.
El Azteca (Mexican) Amigos abound for these “nothing-fancy” Mexican twins in Mount Laurel and Wash West that are “better than the big chains” with “authentic”, “consistently good” comida, “reasonable prices” and an offer to BYOT (bring your own tequila); the staff is “friendly”, the vibe is “comfortable, not uppity” and the decor? – well, “it’s one of those places you can’t judge by looks.” – Zagat
La Veranda (Italian) Old School Italian Restaurant on the Waterfront.
Rosa Blanca (Spanish) Rosa Blanca features a rotisserie in the kitchen, comfort food on the menu, and a take-out counter with a variety of Cuban coffee and pastries.
Triumph Always 9 or 10 Triumph brews on tap with a solid selection of pub food.
Race Street Cafe Sit inside the low-key café and you’ll feel like you’ve settled into a rustic bistro: heavy wood beams hold up the ceiling, a wood stove warms the room, and a gas street lamp throws dim light on exposed brick. During the warmer months you are likely to find the large barn doors on the front of the building propped wide open looking out onto the sidewalk dining and passers by. Friendly bartenders and a broad selection of 15 beers on tap, with one hand pump, help you wet your whistle. The menu is simple but accomplished with a blackboard list of specials and a focus on seasonality of local products.
Cooperage Whiskey and Wine Bar Gastropub meets southern soul, Cooperage: A Wine & Whiskey Bar combines southern bistro fare with an eclectic list of wine and whiskey.
PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS
LaScala Since 2005, LaScala’s Restaurant and Bar has been serving up quality Italian-American home-style cuisine in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district.
Soho Pizza Offers a wide selection of brick oven pizzas.
Pizzeria Stella Combining Philadelphia’s love of pizza and Stephen Starr restaurants, the restaurateur has opened Pizzeria Stella, a gourmet-minded, neighborhood pizza shop.
Gianfranco Pizza Rustica GianFranco Pizza Rustica has always given the people of Philadelphia quality food, fast delivery, and great customer service… all at a palatable price. Their pizza, pasta, and meats are prepared freshly daily in their kitchens.
Margherita Pizza Pizza with a thin-crispy crust.
Pete’s Pizza Joint Crispy crust and large prices.
Barra Basic pizza place with a nice variety of pies.
Jones (American) Shaggy, stylish décor and unfussy, upscale comfort food are the focus at this moderately priced, 70s-themed restaurant.
Continental (American) The creative cocktails and imaginative décor at this diner-made-martini bar creates an atmosphere all its own, making it one of the hottest night spots in Old City.
Fork (American) Ellen Yin’s elegantly casual New American bistro helped pave the way for Old City’s revival in the mid-1990s. Ever since, Fork’s consistent output of finely crafted and inventive cuisine has made it a neighborhood classic. With Chef Eli Kulp in the kitchen, Fork has continued to reinvent itself time and time again. Fork has a variety of menu options including a fixed price menu that offers diners the opportunity to choose from among Chef Kulp’s wealth of creative dishes and customize their own multi-course supper. Fork’s menu changes frequently throughout the year to showcase the region’s finest produce, seafood and meat.
Farmicia (American) FARMiCiA is the conception of Kevin Klause (formerly of the White Dog Cafe), James Barrett and Wendy Smith Born (owners of Metropolitan Bakery), who share a vision of a restaurant that captures the pleasures of simply crafted food and excellent beverages served in a relaxed yet lively environment. The emphasis is on great tasting food and beverages crafted from local, organic, and artisanal producers.
City Tavern (American) Est. 1773, City Tavern hosted the first July 4th celebration. Paul Revere stopped here on his midnight ride & the unofficial White House. Chef Walter Staib, host of PBS A Taste of History has recreated 18th century cuisine.
Wedge and Fig (Modern American) A cheese-bistro in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia. If you like carefully chosen cheese, hearty soups or salads, and inspired sandwiches, you’ve found the right spot.
National Mechanics (Pub Food) National Mechanics is the most authentic new bar Old City has seen in years. The space is large but feels very neighborhood-like. And with a menu full of delicious bar fare and more than 15 beers on draught, National Mechanics is a place you should add to your to-do list.
Khyber Pass Pub (Creole, Cajun) Khyber Pass Pub is a historic Old City tavern that features a beautiful bar handcrafted in 1876. One of Philadelphia’s oldest bars and a ‘Philadelphia Magazine’ Best of Philly 2011 winner, the menu features an extensive selection of craft beers, authentic New Orleans specialties, hickory-smoked barbecue, and tasty vegan and vegetarian options.
Moshulu (American, Seafood) Docked permanently on the Penn’s Landing waterfront, the Moshulu is a restaurant that deserves a spot on your must-visit list. Featuring an adventuresome contemporary American menu with a South Seas flair, the Moshulu was named one of the top 15 restaurants in Northeast America by noted food critic John Mariani and is the recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award (2005, 2006). Dining on the Moshulu, one of the world’s grandest tall ships, will surely be a most memorable experience. The Moshulu’s private dining rooms and outdoor decks take full advantage of the unparalleled views of the city and waterfront.
Sonny’s Famous Steaks (Steaks and Burgers) Hand sliced ribeye steaks and 100% angus beef burgers.
Sassafras (American) A fixture on Second Street for over 35 years, Sassafras is the Grande Dame of neighborhood bars. Among the bright lights and crowds of Philadelphia’s Old City lies this old-world pub with modern flavor.
Campo’s Deli (Steaks and Burgers) Campo’s Deli is the best place for authentic Philadelphia food. Located conveniently in Old City, Campo’s is only three blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Visitor Center. So after your visit to the historic sites in and around Independence Mall, take the short walk down Market Street to this charming corner deli for a delicious Philadelphia Cheese Steak. Campo’s specializes in two authentic Philadelphia sandwiches — Philly cheesesteaks and Philly hoagies. There are several varieties of each, so take your pick. Both of the classic versions, however, are consistently rated among the best in the city. Campos will even ship a Philly Cheese Steak or hoagie anywhere in the country.
Mac’s Tavern (Pub Food) Mac’s Tavern is a true blend of comfort and quality. Whether you are looking for a fantastic sandwich, a unique beer and a ball game to watch, or just a friendly face… Mac’s is where you want to be. Located in historic Old City, Philadelphia, Mac’s offers a welcoming tavern aesthetic and experience… with a little something extra. Mac’s Tavern was formed by a small to semi-medium group of partners, comprised mainly of old friends. Mixed with a few national, local and (perhaps) cult celebrities – most notably, Rob and Kaitlin McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame – the dynamic is as unique as it gets.
Chloe (American) A solid, unassuming BYOB in the heart of Old City.
Serrano (International) Nestled in the heart of old city, Serrano’s motto is simple…serve great food at neighborhood prices. Executive Chef Gina Rodriguez has recently introduced new menu items such as ‘Serrano’ Pot Stickers, Frito Misto and Pistachio & Coriander Crusted Perch. She’s also given a new twist to classic dishes like the Serrano Meatloaf and Lamb Shank. The craft beer and boutique wine lists have been hand selected.
Revolution House (American) The creative comfort food is the work of Chef Luca Sena Jr. He has created a menu of internationally influenced comfort food and inspired wood fired pizzas made in Revolution House’s custom pizza oven. Some signature items include savory cupcakes (like the mozzarella lasagna topped with a warm ricotta “icing” and fresh marinara sauce), housemade tater tots (the traditional tot with a twist), and fried calamari served with a mustard and pickle infused dipping sauce.
Bistro 7 (American) Bistro 7 is a modern French byob located in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic Old City section. Chef/Owner Michael O’Halloran relies on a network of local, organic farmers for the pristine ingredients that form the basis for his creative dishes, and the ever changing menu reflects the best that the season has to offer. The understated, minimalist décor features white linen tablecloths, filigreed heirloom flatware and graceful stemware, and the open kitchen provides an intimate glimpse of the chefs at work.
Nick’s Roast Beef (Sandwiches) The first “Original” Nick’s Roast Beef opened in 1938 and is still a Philadelphia institution.
Buffalo Billiards (Pub Food) Billiards, beer and pub food. Any questions?
Prime Stache (American) American Comfort food, with a great fusion of spices that will tickle your palate.
DiNardo’s (Seafood) DiNardo’s is the place to have your shell-cracking, claw-sucking, crab-eating feast…A Philly Tradition for 35 years, family-owned DiNardo’s flies fresh Crabs in daily, Served “Hot and Dirty” Baltimore Style or Sauteed Garlic Style, with the DiNardo’s family’s Secret Sauce. Award-winning Seafood Specialties, Grilled Juicy Steaks, Chicken and Pasta Dishes are also featured.
Morgan’s Pier (American) At Morgan’s Pier Head Chef, George Sabatino (Philadelphia Magazine “Best Chef 2012” / Craig LaBan “Best New Chef”) has created a refined foodie picnic menu with fresh seafood snacks, creative bar bites, seasonal and locally-sourced veggie dishes and a variety of sammies.
Rotten Ralph’s (Pub Food) A down to earth Philadelphia bar with pub food and solid beer selection.
Drinkers (American) Bar and pub food. Party central on weekend nights.
Red Owl Tavern (American) Cocktails hand-crafted with fresh squeezed juices, house-cured charcuterie, butcher shop cuts of steak. Red Owl has the roots of a true tavern – so ideas can be exchanged over a great meal and a cold drink. It manages to be old, new and free-thinking. Just like Philly.
Fairmount is a mostly residential neighborhood in North Philadelphia. In addition to historic landmarks like Eastern State Penitentiary and The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount has many great restaurants and bars to choose from. Let’s eat our way through historic Fairmount!
La Calaca Feliz (Mexican) Contemporary Mexian cuisine based on bold, traditional flavors.
Figs (Morrocan) The flavors are Morrocan influenced, the menu is mediterranean mix and the atmosphere is both intimate and energetic.
The Belgian Cafe (Belgian) From the owners of Monk’s Cafe, a craft beer bar and restaurant.
Zorba’s (Greek) Traditional Greek fare on Fairmount Ave.
Umai Umai (Japanese) Adventurous Sushi and Japanese specialties.
Paris Wine Bar (French) Terry Berch McNally and Chef Michael McNally, owners of Philadelphia’s beloved London Grill, recently opened a sister restaurant, Paris Wine Bar, an intimate 50-seat venue serving the finest local, sustainable wines. Berch McNally has long been at the forefront of the city’s craft beer and cocktail movements, and is proud to bring the same vision and focus to Pennsylvania-produced wines in a charming French-inspired setting.
Trio (Thai) Opened in early 2006 by three friends and former servers; Trio offers Pan-Asian cuisine with a heavy Thai influence, along with the warm service and hospitality that you would expect from a cozy neighborhood BYOB.
Blue Cat (Latin American) Part of the Fairmount neighborhood renaissance, this vibrant BYOB restaurant features Latin-inspired cooking for lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends.
Alla Spina (Italian) Inspired by years of visits to Italy and a true love of finely made beer, the Vetri family has brewed up their version of an Italian gastropub with Alla Spina (Italian for “from the tap”). Diners can expect a large selection of both local brews and Italian beers, as well as pub fare including house-made sausages, braised meats and oysters. Staying true to its moniker, Alla Spina is a haven for seasonal craft beers.
Era (African) Traditional Ethiopian Cuisine.
Dasiwa (Japanese) Sushi, Sashimi and traditional Japanese favorites.
Philly Chicken Bowl (Korean) Korean Fried Chicken.
Brigid’s (Italian) A cozy, European-style bar and restaurant featuring a fantastic Italian-inspired menu by Peter McAndrews.
Lemon Hill Offering fine food skillfully prepared by Chef Adam Zensinger to go along with expertly crafted drinks to any and all comers within hiking distance of Fairmount attractions like the Art Museum and the eatery’s own historic namesake, Lemon Hill Mansion.
St. Stephen’s Green Put together tasty food, a drink or two, and a great atmosphere and you have St. Stephen’s Green. James Stephens (also owner of the Black Sheep) and Jeff Keel (who also owns the Bishop’s Collar), come together in order to bring Philadelphia it’s newest and most promising gastro pub. Executive chef David Shuman dishes up his amazing menu while James and Jeff put together their considerable experience and knowledge in the pub business with a beer list better than most wine lists in this city.
PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS
Luigi’s Pizza Fresca A family-friendly, neighborhood, quick-serve restaurant offering delicious Italian specialties and fresh ideas in pizza.
Pete’s Famous Pizza Solid Mom and Pop pizza, sandwiches and more.
Angelino’s Restaurant and Pizza A family owned BYOB, Italian Restaurant with savory, rustic food and a warm atmosphere.
Fairmount Pizza Pizza and grill since 1979.
Fare Restaurant (New American) Organic, local and sustainable cuisine.
Rembrandts (Traditional American) Rembrandt’s Restaurant is a neighborhood gastro-pub located near the Philadelphia Art Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Barnes Foundation and Fairmount Park. They have upscale casual dining in their first floor bar areas and main dining room, outdoor seating in warm weather, and an upstairs venue, including a dining area and a cocktail lounge, for private parties or business meetings with a sensational view of the City skyline.
The Bishop’s Collar (New American) Founded in 1999 in Philadelphia’s picturesque Fairmount neighborhood, The Bishop’s Collar has become one of the city’s favorite casual gathering spots for cocktails, conversation, and delicious pub cuisine. The bar takes its unusual name from an old Celtic expression for a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. Ireland’s most famous export is just one of dozens of great imported beers and domestic microbrews, available on tap and by the bottle.
Jack’s Firehouse (BBQ) Featuring the nationally renown food of Chef Jack McDavid, their commitment to using the finest and freshest homemade and locally grown products provides a true Philadelphia dining experience. Set in a 19th Century Firehouse in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, Jack’s Firehouse offers a unique setting with an elegant old neighborhood feel.
Little Pete’s Restaurant (Diner) A classic, down home diner.
London Grill (New American) A place to kick-back outside of the grind of center city. To guzzle Willie Sutton Ale and sip fine wine. A place to bring your best friend or your mother-in-law, to woo a client or celebrate a boss, to enjoy fine dining, or a simple drink. A place where you naturally become a regular.
Urban Saloon (BBQ) Between the 12-tap system and growing beer and wine lists, and the inventive pub grub, with a burger menu and a selection of burritos you won’t go hungry or thirsty at this watering hole.
Hickory Lane (Modern American) Former Rouge chef Matt Zagorski is manning the kitchen, turning out dishes like: French onion soup, steamed mussels, crispy pork belly and as you might expect from Zagorski, a burger.
Waterworks Restaurant (Seafood) Throughout the landmark’s “Golden Age” the Fairmount Water Works was a point of great pride for Philadelphians. It was said that you hadn’t truly experienced the city until you visited this marvel.
Manayunk and Roxborough, two neighborhoods Northwest of Center City, offer an urban experience with small town charm. These hilly enclaves offer a surprising amount of wonderful food options for such a small amount of geography! The bustling Main Street is the hub of entertainment and nightlife in the region and offers a bounty of edible delicacies. Off to Manayunk and Roxborough!
Hikaru (Japanese) Hikaru is Philadelphia’s first sushi bar and is still widely regarded as having the best and most authentic Japanese cuisine in Philadelphia, since 1983!
Yanako (Japanese) A multi-sensory Japanese restaurant and sushi bar featuring classic dishes, superior-quality ingredients and a soothing, vibrant interior.
Laxmi’s Indian Grill (Indian) The only authentic Indian restaurant in Manayunk! A warm, relaxed atmosphere provides the backdrop to savory dishes that can only be produced with time, expertise and a multitude of spices.
Kildare’s (Irish) Traditional Irish pub with great beer and excellent food.
Zesty’s (Greek) Traditional Greek dishes with a quiet dining experience.
Han Dynasty (Chinese) Han Dynasty offers some of the best Chinese food in the city of Philadelphia.
Chabaa Thai Bistro (Thai) Chabaa Thai is a modern yet authentic BYOB, serving elegant yet authentic Thai cuisine that is equally exciting in taste, presentation and experience.
Cactus Cantina (Mexican) Cactus Cantina is a fun, casual tex-mex bar & grill with good times and good friends. Our specialty is southwestern and Mexican influenced cuisine.
Ali Baba Palace (Persian): A variety of Kabob served over rice.
Tacqueria Feliz (Mexican): Tons of Mexican entrees and a great cocktail menu.
Il Tartufo (Italian) Tuscan specialties and wine list.
Agiato Restaurant (Italian) Great selection of Panini’s and Pasta dishes.
Bella Tratoria (Italian) Besides offering tasty southern Italian cuisine, Bella Trattoria also has an extensive wine menu.
Maria’s Ristorante (Italian) The staff at Maria’s prepare the family recipes as well as specials every night using only the freshest and finest ingredients. Maria herself makes all of the desserts available minus ice cream and sorbets at both locations. In addition to classic homemade Italian dishes Maria’s has a casual all day menu with burgers, wings, and specialty sandwiches. The Roxborough location also boasts a large bar area featuring 10 craft beers on draft and seasonal favorites such as homemade flavored vodkas and limoncello in addition to the beautifully appointed dining rooms.
Pierogie Kitchen (Eastern European) Pierogies, Soups and Kielbasa.
PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS
Tomato Bistro The Tomato Bistro’s menu has award winning pizza, the addition of small plates, a unique beer & wine list, and much more.
D’Alassandro’s Steaks A contender for best cheesesteak in the city of Philadelphia. Try it and compare!
The Couch Tomato Cafe Soups, sandwiches and pizzas.
Chubby’s There will always be a great debate on where to find the best steak sandwich in Philadelphia. Chubby’s of Henry Avenue prepares steak sandwiches, burgers, hoagies, and sandwiches the way you like it. With cheese or without, homemade chili, party platters and more.
Santucci Brothers V Home of the original square pizza.
Jake and Coopers (Wine Bar) Their mission is to provide a level of service that is unmatched by most, a menu quality that does not compromise on any level, and offer a diverse list of wines and beers.
Lucky’s Last Chance (American) Artistic Burgers, Craft Beer and Serious Hot Dogs.
Bourbon Blue (American / Cajun) The charm and beauty of Bourbon Blue’s revamped mill building takes your breath away before you even taste the food, which has a hint and style of New Orleans.
Sapphire (Eclectic and Al Fresco Dining) Saphhire Manayunk offers one of the largest outdoor dining experiences. Enjoy a great meal and a cocktail while people watching out front or enjoy truly private dining on the back deck.
Manayunk Brewing Company (Eclectic American) Manayunk Brewery offers a broad selection of beverages including their own handcrafted beers and ales, as well as a diverse menu with everything from American cuisine to hand-rolled sushi.
Derek’s (American) Derek’s is your anytime, come as you are neighborhood restaurant and bar.
Winnie’s LeBus (Comfort Food) A visit to Winnie’s offers comfort food and great drinks in a welcoming setting.
Ugly Moose (Bar Bites) Appetizers, Sandwiches, Salads and Entrees.
Sole to Soul (Seafood/ Southern) Soul Food, Seafood and Karaoke.
Bob’s Diner (Diner) When arriving at Bob’s Diner, you may think the 1940’s silver dining car is what makes it unique or that for over 70 yrs, it has sat adjacent to a cemetery. However, when you experience the award winning, home cooked food and family friendly atmosphere, you will find what really makes them stand out from the rest.
Tommy Gunns (BBQ) Well regarded BBQ joint. Dine in, take out and catering available.
West of Center City lies University City, the hub of higher learning in our fair city. People from all over the world come to Philadelphia’s prestigious colleges, and with many of them come appetites for more than learning. Thankfully there are a plethora of delicacies available for any taste. From the hip upscale gastropub to the hole in the wall falafel shop, University City has it all! So much, in fact, that there is no way to list every restaurant in the area. So, we’ve centered in on a bunch that will keep you busy for quite some time. Enjoy!
Abyssinia Restaurant and Bar (African) The authentic Ethiopian cuisine served at unbelievably affordable prices (most entrees under $10)!
Pod (Japanese) Philadelphia’s futuristic sushi establishment!
Aksum (Mediterranean) A bright Mediterranean menu that focuses on simple and fresh ingredients, with accents from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Vientiane Cafe (Thai / Lao) A small family run business serving authentic Lao and Thai cuisine and vegetarian friendly menu.
Aloosh Hookah Bar (Middle Eastern) Middle Eastern Cuisine, Hookahs and cocktails.
Korean (Korean) Quick, tasty, and affordable Korean food.
Arabian Breeze BBQ and Grill (Indian) Indian food and Hookah bar near Drexel University.
Kabobeesh (Indian, Middle Eastern) The oldest Pakistani restaurant in Philadelphia. Serving the students, families, and workers of University City for over 10 years.
Beijing Restaurant (Chinese) For over 25 years, Beijing Restaurant has been making every dish from scratch. In additional to the traditional menu, they make Chengdu Sichuan cuisine with authentic imported spices. For health conscious and gluten sensitive customers, they have a Gluten-free menu.
Greek Lady (Greek) Solid Greek cuisine. Serving University City Since 1982.
Pattaya Grill (Thai) Authentic Thai cuisine with a hint of French influence.
Dahlak (African) Renowned Eri- Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar feeding the community by hand for over 25 years.
Cafe Renata (Mediterranean) Cafe, restaurant, BYOB. Gourmet Mediterranean cuisine, fresh squeezed juice, gourmet coffees and teas, homemade baked goods and cheeses.
Lemon Grass Thai (Thai) A wide variety of authentic Thai specialties.
Pho Cafe Saigon (Vietnamese) Vietnamese soup, appetizers and entrees.
Wah- Gi- Wah (Pakistani) Wah-Gi-Wah means ‘spectacular’ and that is the taste experience aimed for. They specialize in bringing authentic Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi Cuisine to West Philadelphia.
Tandoor India (Indian) Traditional Indian, Eat in, take out and buffet.
Han Dynasty (Chinese) One of CNN’s Top Chinese Restaurants in the nation! Come taste what all the buzz is about. Dan Dan Noodles are amazing and spicy, so watch out!
Kami (Korean) No list of University City cuisine would be complete without the mention of at least one food truck. Kami serves up traditional Korean food on Drexel’s campus. Try the Korean Taco.
Gigi and Big R (Caribbean) Caribbean and Soul Food in West Philadelphia. Gets high marks for the Jerk Chicken.
Mad Mex (Mexican) They spin an American food mashup of Mexican, Southeast Asian, and Spanish. Made fresh daily with great drinks.
City Tap House With a focus on Craft Beers in the bar & creative American pub fare in the restaurant, City Tap House is one of the best bars for Craft beer in Philadelphia.
Drinker’s West Pub grub, DJs and beer.
Smokey Joe’s Tavern Smokey Joe’s is “the Pennstitution.” It is the Premier Penn Bar, serving Penn’s residents for more than 60 years.
Allegro Pizza Brick oven pizza. Serving University City since 1982. Claims to have the largest beer selection in University City.
Enjay’s Pizza Lots of specialty pies and sandwiches.
Axis Pizza Pizza and famous for their 80 ingredient salad bar.
California Pizza Pizza, pasta, and meats are prepared fresh daily.
Pizza Rustica Nice selection of pizzas. The margherita is a clear favorite with reviewers.
Hip City Veg (Vegan) Awesome vegan quick serve hot spot!
Abner’s (Cheesesteaks) According to many reviewers, gives the time square of grease (pats and geno’s) a run for their money.
Baby Blues (BBQ) Tons of BBQ, sandwiches, seafood and sides. Combination selections are plentiful.
Distrito (Mexican Upscale) Distrito is a vibrant celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico City, with a menu focused on the diverse street foods served in what is known by locals as the “Distrito Federal (D.F.)”
Green Line Cafe (Cafe’) The first Green Line Cafe opened in 2003 at a the corner of a major intersection in West Philadelphia’s vibrant University City neighborhood. Co-owners and brothers-in-law Daniel Thut and Douglas Witmer transformed a neglected historic storefront property into a bustling community hub. Since then they have transformed two more West Philadelphia storefront properties into neighborhood coffeehouses. In 2011 they opened a coffee kiosk inside the Ryan Veterinary Hospital at The University of Pennsylvania, and in 2012 established a coffeehouse in Center City. As a local, family-owned business they strive to be a positive presence in the community where they live and work. The Green Line name comes from the trolley systems that fan out through the West Philadelphia neighborhood.
Harvest (Organic / Farm to Table) A high quality, farm fresh menu created with the healthiest ingredients local farmers and purveyors have to offer. For discerning families who have become increasingly educated in food and very health conscious. An upscale-casual, welcoming atmosphere to relax with friends and feed the family.
Landmark Americana (American) American finger foods and a late night happy hour.
White Dog Cafe (American Contemporary) Award-winning American contemporary restaurant, specializing in environmental sustainability and community interaction. A legendary University City establishment.
The South Philly enclave known as East Passyunk runs from Snyder Ave. to the south to Tasker Street to the North, The area was classically an old Italian family neighborhood through most of the 20th century, but now those families are joined by young urban professionals, artists, musicians and people from multiple ethnicities who bring along with them a host of exciting new restaurants and nightlife. Below we will highlight some of the great eats the neighborhood has to offer!
Cantina Los Caballitos (Mexican) The kitchen produces a fine repertoire of Mexican fare. Great Cocktail and Beer Selection. Vegetarian and Vegan options are plentiful.
Laurel (French) Nicholas Elmi’s French-inspired BYOB. Chef Elmi, who taps extensive French training to serve up his refined-yet-approachable style of fare, has been the executive chef of such top kitchens as the now-shuttered Le Bec-Fin and the charming Rittenhouse Tavern in Philadelphia. Reality television-loving diners might also recognize Elmi from his appearance as one of 19 “cheftestants” on the 11th season Top Chef, hosted in the great city of New Orleans. Since the show’s September debut, Elmi has more than held his own against his accomplished opponents, all the while staying true to his French-American culinary roots.
Karina’s (Spanish) The cozy Karina’s Ristorante has joined the seemingly exploding ranks of South Philadelphia BYOBs. Chef-owner is Pedro Beltano, a veteran of Il Portico, Portofino, Frederick’s, and, most recently, Bistro La Viola. Beltano, a native of Ecuador, lived with an Italian family when he arrived here, so his menu mixes homey Italian specialties (pastas are homemade) with paella and other Spanish dishes that his ancestors brought with them to South America. (Philly.com)
Chiarella’s (Italian) Most agree Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant Impossible visit “improved things” at this BYO in East Passyunk, though loyalists insist the “well-cooked” Italian grub “was never the problem”; the setting is “family-friendly”, and in nice weather you can “snag an outdoor seat.” (Zagat)
Da Vinci Ristorante (Italian) For an “old-style experience”, aficionados head to this BYO near the Singing Fountain on the East Passyunk strip that’s “as Italian as it gets”, with a staff that seems to be “right off the boat” and “freshly made” piatti that are a “terrific value”; a few find the pictures of Leonardo throughout the dining area “kinda cheesy”, but for others they’re a “nice conversation piece.” (Zagat)
El Zarape (Mexican) Authentic Mexican Fare.
Izumi (Japanese) “Beautiful presentations of mouthwatering sushi” are a “feast for the eyes and palate” at this “edgy” Japanese BYO from the owner of the nearby Paradiso on East Passyunk; adherents also sing the praises of cooked entrees and “comfortable” indoor and outdoor seating, dubbing it a “date-friendly choice.” (Zagat)
Le Virtu (Italian) Every dish they prepare is rooted in or inspired by Abruzzese culinary tradition, ingredients or philosophy. They serve the cuisine of the shepherds, farmers and fishermen of Italy’s wildest and most unspoiled region. It’s bold, honest and unpretentious.
Mamma Maria Ristorante (Italian) “Like Sunday dinner at your Italian grandma’s house”, you’d better “come hungry” to this “legit”, “old-world” Italian on East Passyunk where the $55, seven-course prix fixe will “leave you stuffed” (relax, à la carte is an option); “what more could you ask for – oh, a tray of free drinks at the end? you got it!” (Zagat)
Marra’s (Italian) The Marra family has been in business for over 80 years. It all began when Salvatore and Chiarina Marra came to America from Naples, Italy, in 1920. Salvatore came with nothing in his pocket but a single coin and a dream to provide a better life to his family. Over 3 generations later, that dream is still alive and that small business he had started is now one the oldest and most famous restaurants in the country. Marra’s is still owned and operated by Salvatore’s grandchildren who not only continue to cook up the original family recipes, but personally greet you with a warm welcome as you walk through the door. When you come to Marra’s, you not only eat some of the finest Italian food and award winning Pizza in the city, but you will be part of the Marra’s legacy. Marra’s has been visited by hundreds of celebrities through out the years, including Frank Sinatra, John Travolta, and Conan O’Brien, who come just to eat the food and visit the “Original Brick Oven” that was designed and built by Salvatore himself with bricks from Mt. Vesuvius. That’s a taste people travel miles to experience, and one you will never forget!
Mr. Martino’s (Italian) “Delicious homemade everything” explains the menu at this “old-world” husband-and-wife-run BYO housed in a former South Philly hardware store, where it’s “like going to your Italian neighbor’s for dinner” in the “tin-ceilinged” room brimming with “charm” and “contagious” “good cheer”; if it’s “underappreciated”, that’s probably because it’s open only Fridays–Sundays for dinner, and it’s cash-only. (Zagat)
Noord (Scandinavian) After a decade and two restaurants in Chicago, native Philadelphian Joncarl Lachman makes his homecoming count with an intimate Dutch-influenced bistro off East Passyunk’s Singing Fountain that captures the best of our BYO scene. Lachman’s “eetcafe” eschews trendy “new Nordic” cuisine for a more rustic take on Northern European cooking, from house-baked barley bread to rabbit smothered in zuurkool, and the soulful flavors trump any lack of flash in a simple corner room that exudes clean elegance and personal service.- Craig LaBan
Ristorante Tre Scalini (Italian) This longtime South Philly favorite has moved a few blocks south to a nicer space on reviving East Passyunk, but chef-owner Franca DiRenzo’s deft and unpretentious cooking hasn’t changed a bit. Eating the homespun flavors at this pleasant Italian BYO is about the closest we get to being fed by an authentic nonna Molisana.
Adobe Café (Mexican) The array of homemade Southwestern cuisine incorporates the freshest produce, meats, and seafood and is cooked in soy and olive oils. This coupled with extensive vegetarian / vegan fare makes The Adobe Cafe an ideal dining locale for a wide variety of tastes.
Stateside The menu focuses on locally-sourced products and showcases ingredients and techniques common to the United States. Made up of mostly small plates but with a few large plates for sharing as well as a rotation of dessert offerings. The bar showcase’s a unique mix of strictly domestic craft beers, wines and spirits. With an emphasis on Bourbon and Rye and small-batch American distilleries producing amazing gins, vodkas and rums. 10 craft beer taps and rotating artisanal cans, ranging in styles of strictly American to some domestic takes on classic European styles. Wines are offered both by the glass and bottle, and features regions and varietals from throughout the country, with an emphasis on classic, iconic producers. Cocktails are an emphasis at the bar as well, with several house made specialty cocktails offered and also the old-time classics that Americans have been sipping for years.
Noir Noir Restaurant & Bar, located at 1909 East Passyunk Avenue, is an alluring 50-seat dining destination along Philadelphia’s new restaurant row. Purveying artisan wines, craft-beers, creative cocktails, and extraordinary fresh Montreal influenced Italian cuisine produced by Chef Marco DeCotiis. Noir purveys seasonally inspired appetizers, entrees, and desserts for dinner only Tuesdays through Sundays. Noir’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are intent on making every guest experience both satisfying and delicious.
Devil’s Den Devil’s Den opened April 1st of 2008 focused on bringing the best of Craft and Import Beer and high quality pub fare to their South Philly Neighborhood. With 17 Rotating Drafts, 200 bottles and home made comfort food, they strive every day to be the kind of neighborhood place that everyone can enjoy visiting.
South Philly Bar and Grill Sports bar and grill.
Garage The bar focuses on beer by the can and offers a liberal BYO cheesesteak policy. There is also skeeball, pinball and billiards inside. Coming soon will be a rotating menu provided by food truck operators.
Lucky 13 The staff serves New American cuisine alongside local draught beers at this tiny, punk rock-themed bar, featuring a jam-packed jukebox, a DJ night and weekend brunch. Nachos, stuffed meatloaf, creative sandwiches and even vegan and vegetarian fare pack the menu.
Stogie Joe’s Casual Restaurant and Bar with award winning pizza, stromboli and meatball sandwiches. Stogie’s has draft beer and a big bottle collection of your favorite craft beers.
Watkins Drinkery Watkins Drinkery is a cozy neighborhood bar located at 10th and Watkins Sts. in scenic South Philly. Open from 5pm-2am 7 days a week, they serve a diverse menu at reasonable prices (Kitchen is open till 1am every night) with a beer selection to match. Check out their cask conditioned ales on the beer engine! Upstairs, you will find a game room with pool, darts, and some classic arcade games.
Francoluigi’s South Philly’s Best Pizza and Sandwiches Since 1982.
Birra Birra’s mission is to provide delicious, hand-made cuisine complimented by some of the best craft beers in the world to Philadelphia’s discerning diners.
Fond (Contemporary American) A contemporary American restaurant. Focusing on passionately prepared, refined and flavorful fare with warm and welcoming service.
Will (French Inspired BYOB) Will is a modern French inspired BYOB, located on East Passyunk Avenue in the heart of South Philadelphia. Chef and Owner Christopher Kearse, and his team, prepare a menu focused on its season, respecting French traditions along with classic and modern techniques to build a dining experience that evokes excitement and emotion.
Belle Cakery (Pastries) Specialty and custom cakes, either from their menu or designed specially for you. Everything is made on-site, from raw, natural ingredients, by hand. They understand the importance of quality ingredients and proper technique, and refuse to compromise quality by cutting corners.
No neighborhood in Philadelphia has grown as much in recent years as Northern Liberties. Bordered by Girard Avenue to the north; Callowhill Street to the south; North 6th Street to the west; and the Delaware River to the east, Philadelphia’s first suburb became a thriving manufacturing hub before succumbing to neglect in the second half of the 20th century. In recent years, the neighborhood has experienced an incredible resurgence. Now the neighborhood is a bustling enclave filled with young professionals and students, with tons of great restaurants and bars from which to choose!
Cantina Dos Segundos (Mexican) Excellent mexican cantina with vegetarian and vegan options.
Modo Mio (Italian) Regional Italian cuisine, drawing inspiration from all across Italy, with classic theory.
El Camino Real (Mexican) Mexican Cuisine mixed with BBQ.
Dmitiri’s (Greek) Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine.
Las Cazuelas (Mexican) Authentic Mexican Food.
Il Cantuccio (Italian) Very small family owned, cash only BYOB with traditional Italian fare.
Pura Vida (Guatemalan) Lovely little Guatemalan BYOB, bring your own tequila for the excellent margarita mix. Burritos, tacos and large pasta plates.
Koi (Japanese) Fresh Sushi, Sashimi and Maki rolls.
Hikari (Japanese) Japanese with some Korean options. BYOB.
Circles (Thai) Thai Cuisine with Vegetarian options. BYOB.
Tiffin (Indian) Indian with vegetarian and gluten free options. Eat in or take out.
The Standard Tap When Standard Tap opened its doors in December 1999, their goal was simple: to create a neighborhood tavern that featured great beer and wholesome food. With that in mind, they offer a draft-only beer selection that highlights the vast array of styles crafted by breweries located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The food menu both complements the beer and expands the notion of what pub food can be. They use only the best available produce, poultry, meats and seafood — much of it from area farms and local vendors – to create fresh, seasonal dishes.
The Blind Pig Over 40 canned beers and celebrated poutine.
The Abbaye Belgian style pub with an impressive beer list and excellent food. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
Jerry’s Bar Their approach to food and drink is simple, guided by affection for old world traditions and a commitment to seasonal freshness and house made ingredients.
North 3rd Homey gastropub with lots of craft beers and comfort food.
Gunner’s Run Gunners Run salutes the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that made Philadelphia the economic engine that it was…and still is. Situated prominently on the Piazza in Northern Liberties, the restaurant is owned by regional concert promoter Bryan Dilworth, tattoo artist and Olde City Tattoo owner Jason Goldberg, and music booking agent Tim Borror.
Rustica Unusual pizza and sandwiches. Tip: try the brussel sprout pizza, if you are into that sort of thing!
Del Rossi’s Tasty thin crust pizza and cheesesteaks.
Trios Thin crust square pies to tickle your tastebuds.
Bar Ferdinand (Tapas) Celebrated tapas and wine bar
Silk City (Diner) Diner and 3,000 square foot beer garden.
Honey’s Sit and Eat (Diner) For some of the highest quality home cookin’ you’ll ever taste! They’re committed to using only the finest ingredients. Eggs are hand gathered from free range chickens in Lancaster County. The country bacon is locally sourced, and they use locally grown vegetables whenever possible. Even the mayonnaise is freshly homemade as are the salads dressings, soups and preserves.
PYT (Burgers) Creative burgers and full bar. Features a burger of the week club.
Green Eggs Cafe (Diner) Brunch style restaurant/cafe that takes pride in serving the highest quality fare while maintaining an eco-conscious philosophy.
Yards Brewing Company (Brewery) Excellent Yards beer selection, coupled with a snack menu and bar games.
Ortliebs (Pub Food) What was once a legendary brewery turned jazz institution is now a local music venue and gastropub. Full menu served until midnight.
North Bowl (Pub Food) Vintage style bowling alley with full menu and bar
Boardwalk Bar (Seafood) Raw bar, pizza, sandwiches and desserts.
King’s Oak (Pub Food) American Grill and sports bar.
Queen Village, a neighborhood with boundaries of Lombard Street to Washington Avenue, Front Street to 6th Street, encompasses two principal commercial corridors- South Street and Fabric Row. South Street was the countercultural hub of Philly in the 60s and 70s and is still a lively shopping and nightlife district. Many of the artists that were drawn to South Street in its earlier days still live in Queen Village, along with families and young newcomers. Queen Village has many wonderful restaurants from which to choose!
Dmitri’s (Greek) Fresh seafood and tasty mediterranean fare.
Marrakesh (African) Award willing Moroccan cuisine.
Bistrot La Minette (French) An authentic French Bistrot in Philadelphia.
Las Bugambilias (Mexican) A traditional Mexican restaurant located on South Street in Philadelphia. As chef and owner of this center city Philadelphia restaurant, Carlos Molina offers high quality, freshly prepared, Mexican food from three different regions in Mexico.
Leziz Turkish Cuisine (Turkish) Leziz Turkish Cuisine is a family owned restaurant specializing in authentic Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
South Street Souvlaki (Greek) Traditional Greek food on South St.
Tamarind (Thai) Authentic Thai Food. Fresh herbs and spices like lemon grass, sweet basil, coriander, galangal and kaffer lime help the food give its distinctive Thai flavor.
Creperie Beau Monge (French) Delicious Crepes, cocktails and more!
Mustard Greens (Chinese) A contemporary take on Chinese cuisine.
Alyan’s (Middle Eastern) Middle eastern flavors in a casual setting.
Catahoula (Creole) Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Fez (Moroccan) A traditional Moroccan experience.
Sushi Planet (Japanese) Sushi and sashimi at an affordable price.
Southwark (Italian) Sourced ingredients from local farmers and co-ops in order to sustain and support local farms and economies. Southwark has built up relationships with multiple family farms to ensure that their produce, dairy and meats are at their peak of freshness and flavor when harvested. This results in a truly unique menu that is one of the freshest and most dynamic in the Philadelphia region. They strive to set the standard in the farm to plate slow food movement that is sweeping the region and nation.
Lovash (Indian) Indian cuisine. Eat in, take out or buffet.
New Wave Cafe Chef Evans Herbert has crafted New Wave’s diverse menu to include something for everyone; small plates for light appetites, deli-style sandwiches, fantastic burgers, a myriad of flatbread pizzas, delicious and unique salads, comfort-minded entrees, and indulgent desserts.
Kennett Kennett Cafe originally opened its doors to the Queen Village neighborhood on July 4, 1924, and served the neighborhood until in 1986. Current owners have reopened as Kennett Restaurant, which features wood-fired pizza and sustainably and locally-sourced food for vegetarians and omnivores, sixteen local craft beers on tap, twenty fine wines by the glass, local musicians on the sound system, and living wages for a family-oriented staff. The owners also hope to make Kennett the city’s first bar and restaurant to achieve certification through the Green Restaurant Association.
Twisted Tail The Twisted Tail is a Southern-inspired Bourbon House & Juke Joint, presenting an eclectic mix of American Whiskey and gastronomic offerings from a Charcoal Grill.
Lorenzo and Sons Legendary Philadelphia pizza. Big and floppy!
La Fourno Trattoria La Fourno has the ambience of a neighborhood Trattoria. They serve authentically prepared dishes from Abruzzo, Umbria & Tuscany all made with the freshest ingredients purchased daily from the local Italian market. Their breads, calzones, pannini’s and pizzas are baked in a wood burning brick oven.
Pietro’s Coal Oven Pizzeria A 60 year old recipe. Pizza is made in a coal burning oven.
Olympia Pizza Greek owned Pizza shop on South Street. Grab and go.
Blackbird (Vegan) Blackbird Pizzeria is Philadelphia’s first and only all vegan pizzeria. We serve pizza, sandwiches, salad and dessert.
Bridget Foy’s (American Eclectic) A South Street Tradition since 1978.
South Street Diner (Diner) Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. A classic Philadelphia diner.
Ela (Wine Bar) In November of 2011, chefs Jason Cichonski and Chip Roman partnered to open Ela, an inventive new American bar and restaurant in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. Ela showcases 27-year-old Cichonski, who Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan called “one of our most exciting young chefs,” is combining an approachable menu of innovative dishes with an extensive wine and craft beer program and inspired cocktail list in a rustic-modern setting.
“Creatively, it’s wonderfully freeing to prepare food that doesn’t fit into any one genre or style; this is seasonal food, using exceptional ingredients, prepared perfectly,” says Chef Cichonski. Ela is a serious-yet-comfortable restaurant with a menu that that changes frequently throughout the year, to reflect the latest offerings.
Serpico (Modern American) Serpico is a collaboration between James Beard Award-winning chef Peter Serpico and restaurateur Stephen Starr. Located on South Street, the 60-seater has a true neighborhood feel, with cozy booths, counter seating and a small bar at which the full menu is available. Serving dinner only, the cuisine is ingredient-driven offering a seasonally evolving menu of playful yet familiar takes on global fare.A small hand-picked list of food-friendly wines perfectly complements the menu and a quality cocktail program features boutique spirits.
Jon’s Bar and Grill (Seafood, BBQ) Jon’s Bar is a neighborhood restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating which also happens to be the birthplace of Larry Fine, one of the three stooges.
Essene (Vegetarian, Organic) Philadelphia’s premiere natural foods store since 1969.
Fishtown is a neighborhood with boundaries of Columbus Blvd. to York Street, Frankford Avenue to Aramingo Ave. It encompasses two principal commercial corridors- Girard Avenue and Frankford Avenue. Once a working class enclave filled with families, Fishtown has recently become ground zero for music, nightlife and arts in the city. The neighborhood is filled with music venues and art galleries. It is the most densely populated neighborhood with artists and musicians in the city. In addition to those great bars, there is a wellspring of amazing new restaurants! Welcome to Fishtown!
Ekta (Indian) City Paper 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards Best Indian Restaurant.
Eatalia (Italian) A small, inexpensive BYOB located in Philadelphia specializing in Northern Italian cuisine in a warm romantic atmosphere.
Jovan’s Place (Eastern European) Jovan’s Place is a hidden gem of Fishtown/Nothern Liberties in Philadelphia. Family-run and Eastern-European, the pub dishes up home-cooked meals like schnitzel and stuffed cabbage. The smells wafting from this corner bar are divine.
Loco Pez (Mexican) Loco Pez in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia near Northern Liberties is a dive bar and taqueria serving LA-style street food.
The Pickled Heron (French) The Pickled Heron is a small BYOB in the heart of Fishtown. It is owned and operated by chef partners Todd Braley and Daniela D’Ambrosio. We are passionate about promoting local and seasonal products, staying in touch with the farms and farmers that supply us and producing artisanal breads and charcuterie to enhance the dining experience.
M Room (Greek) This music venue / dive bar has a little known Greek menu. Best place for a quick Gyro, Souvlaki or Spanakopita.
Frankford Hall (German Beergarden) Stephen Starr’s outdoor oasis in Philadelphia’s neighborhood is a deceptively simple concept – take a traditional German “biergarten” and give it a modern edge.
Memphis Tap Room Memphis Taproom has: 10 draft beers, a seriously killer menu, a beer garden hot dog truck, two beer engines, a genuinely friendly staff and one amazing bottle list choc-a-bloc with vintage bottles that will inspire you to skip all the other events on your personal Beer Week agenda.
Johnny Brenda’s This music venue and gastropub is one of the very first in Fishtown, and still one of the finest.
East Girard Gastropub Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Chef Rob Holloway creates seasonal, American cuisine of fresh, local ingredients for a savory, dining experience. The bar features microbrews, hand-picked wine selections, specialty cocktails, cozy hot-toddies, and a variety of stellar wine, beer and drinks.
Kraftwork Food is the common block in community – and Chef Brian Lofink and his team have created an eclectic American menu with choices from small plates and shared boards to delicious entrée salads and sandwiches.
Lloyd Lloyd boasts an extensive list of whiskeys (upwards 0f 70, though always changing), priced to encourage guests to try them all, in an environment free of pretension or stuffiness. Also featured are 8 local drafts and 15 bottled/canned beers, and a drink list featuring original house-crafted cocktails, while all classics are expertly made as well.
Bottle Bar East The Bottle Bar East offers the largest selection of craft beer bottles and cans for take out or imbibing at the bar. We also boast a delicious menu that pairs wonderfully with a brew.Not only a take-out retail shop, BBE is also a place to hang out with other locals and beer fans. With an 8-tap bar, growlers, and a wall of coolers for take-out or drink-in, you can’t go wrong. On the mezzanine you will also find a dart board and foosball table. Bring your friends!
Interstate Draft House Great selection of beers and hearty food menu and daily specials.
Fishtown Tavern Neighborhood dive bar with some surprising (and very tasty) menu items.
Cedar Point Bar and Kitchen Great beer list, southern comfort food with many vegetarian and vegan options!
Fishtown is ground zero these days for new and exciting Pizza shops. Below are some highlights of what is available:
Pizza Brain Pizza Brain is an American pizza culture museum and pizzeria, and home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia and collectibles.
Art of Pizza Stone brick oven pizza and an impressive list of sandwiches.
Franco’s Pizza Old school Fishtown neighborhood pizza shop. Nothing fancy, but a solid slice.
Pizza Hub Boardwalk style thin crust pizza.
Sketch (Burgers) Philly’s award winning burger restaurant, complete with veggie and vegan options.
Fette Sau (BBQ) Stephen Starr’s Philly by way of Williamsburg, Brooklyn BBQ restaurant.
Barcade (Casual Dining) Another Brooklyn staple with a philly satellite. 80’s arcade games, craft beer and a solid menu.
Ida Mae’s Bruncherie (Diner) Funky, old-school Fishtown brunch spot.
Sulimay’s (Diner) A true Fishtown original. Solid diner food and low-key atmosphere.
Mugshots (Diner) Shiny, traditional Diner in the 2424 E. York Street Building.
Coffee House Too (Coffee Shop) Homemade sandwiches, salads and soups.
Whipped Bake Shop (Dessert) Gourmet Cupcakes and Cookies.
Soup Kitchen Cafe (Soup + More) Bagels, Breakfast, Sandwiches and, of course, soup!
Mt. Airy is a lovely and diverse neighborhood northwest of downtown Philadelphia. In addition to some beautiful and large old houses and lush, tree-lined streets, Mt. Airy has some great boutiques, excellent taverns and a wide variety of food options. Below are some you should check out!
Bacio Italian Restaurante (Italian) “For real home made Italian dinners, lots of seafood, steaks and vegan foods. Gluten free per request. My grandmother made food from love, she never left the kitchen; come and see us cook for you in our open kitchen and taste the love.”
Mi Puebla (Mexican) “Authentic Mexican Cuisine in the heart of Mt. Airy.”
Avenida (Latin American) “We invite you to indulge your taste buds in the bold Latin American flavors and tantalizing cocktails that we serve at Philadelphia’s award-winning restaurant, Avenida. Set in a historic Mount Airy home built in the 1700s, patrons will sit by the stone fireplace or on the romantic outdoor porch sipping margaritas and sampling Chef Edgar’s signature guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and salsa. Stop by for dinner tonight to sample the award-winning delicacies that he and wife and partner Chef Kim Katz Alvarez have prepared.
Tiffin (Indian) “Fresh, healthy and nutritious Indian and Asian food delivery to the location of your choice. The service has been modeled after the famous meal delivery service of Mumbai, India. Eat in BYOB as well”
Jyoti Bistro (Indian) “Over thirty years ago, working in her home kitchen, Jyoti and her husband Vijai Gupta, dreamed of bringing the taste of fresh Indian cooking to homes across America. Using all natural ingredients, they soon started Jyoti Natural Foods which quickly became one of the first companies to make Indian cuisine for grocers nationwide and bring their kitchen flavors to your cupboard. Weaver’s Way Co-Op became one of the first grocers in Greater Philadelphia to carry their products. Having developed a robust variety of ready-to-eat for retail sale at stores including Whole Foods, as well as vegetarian entrees for several major airlines, Jyoti was ready to bring her recipes to the restaurant world. Today, that taste comes to Mt. Airy with Jyoti Indian Bistro. Jyoti Indian Bistro offers fresh and healthy Indian foods—with many gluten-free and vegan choices—every day with a rotating set of weekly specials. Eat-in or take-out or take home enough in our 32 oz. containers for a house party!”
PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS
Earth Bread + Brewery (Tavern) “Flatbread pizza baked in a wood burning oven. Four house drafts along with seven ‘guest’ taps. Great selection of wines by the glass, including wine on draft.”
Mt. Airy Deli (Deli / Sandwiches) “Mt. Airy Deli has been a staple in the Mt. Airy community for nearly 15 years. At the early age of 14 the founder Abdul–Raheem Thomas knew that he wanted to create a sandwich that was so good people would say that’s the best sandwich I ever had. Abdul put his dream to the side while working for various other companies in the food service industry. One day Abdul decided to pursue the dream he had 20 years earlier to open a hoagie and steak deli and that’s exactly what he did. With the blessing of his family Abdul took a leap of faith and opened Mt. Airy Deli at 7AM on August 8th, 1995 right in the heart of Mt. Airy (on the corner of 7200 Devon Street). Since that morning Mt. Airy Deli has been making the best hoagies and steaks in Mt. Airy. And if you don’t believe it you should give it a try.”
McMenamin’s Tavern (Tavern) “Ever so “loud” “when the Eagles are on TV”, this old-school Mt. Airy hang is a “true neighborhood pub” that’s flexible enough to work for “getting together with colleagues”, “a date” or “just relaxing in the early afternoon” over a pint and a “casual meal”; it’s “not the place to go to if you’re into decor”, but it is worth patronizing if you appreciate “polite” service and a “friendly” crowd.”- Zagat.
Chef Ken’s Café (Southern / Soul Food) “Fantastic Soul Food.”
Wine Thief (American Eclectic) “Wine Thief’s seasonally inspired menus feature local products from neighboring farms and vendors including grass fed beef and fresh produce from Lancaster county and a selection of local wines and beers from as close to home as Fort Washington. The bar uses fresh juices and produce creating signature as well as classic cocktails that stand apart. We strive to provide an exceptionally comfortable, affordable, and delicious dining experience for all ages and every occasion. Style of service is casual while being professional. ”
Trolley Car Diner (American Eclectic) “Welcome to the Trolley Car Diner. Slip into a booth. Get comfy. Turn around and check out our regulars. Guys by the name of Elvis, Frank and Jackie. And gals like Audrey, Grace & Ella. Yes, it’s always the 1950s in our magical little part of the world. But you don’t have to be an old-timer to enjoy our delicious milkshakes and succulent burgers. Just bring a sense of fun, and some of your favorite people. And leave the rest to us.”
Geechee Girl Rice Café (American Eclectic) “Geechee Girl Rice Café is inspired by traditional southern rice delicacies with world influences. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Valley Green Inn (American Eclectic) “Looking for a brunch or dinner spot to please your relatives from 7 to 70? This is it. The charming historic inn is not only a one-of-a-kind within city limits, but it is also one of Philly’s most painted buildings. The menu focuses on regional and seasonal American, farm-raised and free-range meats and fowl, and locally grown vegetables when possible.”
Umbria (American Eclectic) “New American BYOB with seasonally inspired, local fare.”
Goat Hollow (Tavern) “Mt. Airy has taken kindly to the resurrection of this long-dormant pub, now transformed into a friendly American brasserie. Chef Adam Glickman, previously at Monk’s Cafe, is serving a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, mussels and mains to the Northwest Philly eaters who crowd the cozy dining room.”
Little Jimmie’s Bakery Cafe (Diner / Bakery) “Little Jimmie’s Bakery Café in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia is serving up breakfast, lunch, and southwestern specialties along with all homemade bakery goods.”
High Point Cafe (Diner / Cafe) “High Point Cafés are small neighborhood cafes, serving only the highest quality handmade patries and desserts created daily, along with made-to-order crepes and the best espresso in town.”
There are also dozens of coffee shops, sandwich shops and other food options too numerous to list, and many new restaurants pop up almost daily. Bon Appétit!