Philly Eats: FAIRMOUNT

Posted on: January 6, 2014

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.

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!

ETHNIC:

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.

GASTROPUBS:

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.

MISCELLANEOUS:

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.

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!