Eating Around Philadelphia
Even during a pandemic we got it going on!
The Philadelphia food scene is very sophisticated, when not in a world pandecmic you need a reservation at just about any place, espically since some restaurants have few tables, like less then 10! There are also tons of BYOB places, meaning they are very food foward and will only serve you flat or sparkling water. Honestly you could live in Philadelphia your whole life and rarely have to repeat a resturant.
I am an extreme foodie, and I will literally eat anything, and I stay away from chain restaurants, which are hard to come by in Philadelphia. I am here to help you decide where to go to next for dinner, or lunch maybe a cold beer. Take out is also always an option, however, resturant dining, in my opinion is always better.
So now, here to the top 10 places to dine in Philadelphia, in my opinion.
1. Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona is a spanish tapas style resturant in South Philadelphia on East Passunk. If you are not into share your food, this is not the place for you. They run on a flowing kitchen and once your food is ready they bring it to your table, place it in the center for everyone to share. The service is great and everyone makes sure you will leave with you tummy happy and full. I highly recommend this place for a girls dinner, or a date night. Although the food and wine may seem very high end, the vibe is relaxing and comforable. My favorite dish here is the bacon wrapped dates and grilled octpus.
2. The Olde Bar
This is one of the many Jose Garces resturants, but this one specilized in old fashioned cocktails and seafood. Located in Old City (2nd and Walnut) During the COVID crisis they turned their sidewalk into a lovely outdoor dining space still serving all the same delious food and drinks. I know some of the staff here from the industry and they always take care of everyone. If you like oysters, this is the place for you with oysters from the west and east coast they are always a delight in the heat of summer.
3. McGillins Olde Ale House
This is the oldest operating pub in the city of Philadelphia, and fun fact, has only ever closed it's doors twice in it's entire operation. The first time was during prohibition and the second the COVID-19 crisis. They specalize in irish cuisine and make a great shepards pie. During every holiday they go above and beyond with their decorations making it invting to all, well until after a certain time when it become 21 and over. I'd recommend checking it out on a Saturday night and go right up to the 2nd floor. But beware, its always crowded! McGillins does not offer reservations, only first come first serve, but if you can wait, it is worth it!
Can yousay asian-fusion? Well that is what Sampan is all about. This is one of Micheal Schulson's many resturants, all having their own specialty. Sampan is great for groups as their chef's tasting menu is only $35 per person! And that is a STEAL and you get almost 7 plates. It is designed to share and a free flowing kitchen. Reservations are highly recommended as they are usually very busy!
5. Front Street Cafe
This is one of my favorite brunch places, located in Fishtown. They have the cutest outdoor dining space and their indoor is somewhat industrial feeling. Their portions are large and made with loce If you are into clean eating or vegan this place is for you as they can make anything vegan and have lots of those options. They are pretty popular so I woud recommend a reservation, but it is not always needed.
This is another great brunch place, while they are open for all meals brunch is bar far the best, and they are always booked so a reservations is a must! I highly recommend the fried chicken, busicuts and gravey with a bloody mary, I promise you will love it. They are also a beer cafe, with the whole back left area of the cafe filled with 100's of beers for you to choose from. Drink it there or bring it home.
Located in Kensington, Cadence is a small, less than 10 tables BYOB restuant. Their menu changes to what ever is in season and is very small, so if you are a picky eater, this may not be a place for you. The tasting menu goes for $60-$70 per person and is great if you want to try different things. Everyone I was with ordered something different and we got to try one of everything on the menu. Make sure you bring plenty of wine, or your beverage of choice.
8. Loco Pez
I LOVE tacos and in my opinion Loco Pez has the best tacos in Philadelphia. There are three locations; Fishtown, South Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. The best part of Loco Pez is $1 taco day. They do not announce it until day of, so watch out for their instagram posts! Across all locations all tacos will be $1 and you will be seated as first come first serve. And do not for get that tasty margartia!
9. Musi BYOB
As said in their name Musi is a BYOB in Pennport, with very few tables a reservation is a must. They are an olive oil foward kitchen and their menu changes on a weekly basis as to what is in season. I'd recommend calling they week of your reservation so you can being a great bottle of wine. They are also only open Thursday-Sunday so plan in advance. Musi has also won many awards and is highly popular in Philadelphia.
This is by far the best Moroccan resturant in Philadelphia, located in Society Hill, it offers authentic food and an experiance to remember. There is a reservation needed, as there are two seatings of which all tables are to be sat at that time and should all finish at the same time. You better like who you are with when you go as you all eat with your hands and pita bread. The food is amazing, but is a set menu so you need to be open to trying new things.
Things may be crazy with life from time to time but we always have to eat. I hope you love food just like me and will try out these places. I promise you they will not disappoint you.