Wrestling Updates : 

Where to Eat

This section shows places to eat in the WrestleMania location

wdt_ID Restaurant Name Cuisine Type Address / Location Website Info
44 A.Kitchen + Bar New American 135 South 18th Street http://www.akitchenandbar.com/ A.Kitchen is an oasis, smack in the middle of the city, where you can pop in any time of day or night for a top-notch dining experience. Try the cornmeal pancakes with house-made lemon curd for breakfast. At lunchtime, there’s red curry chicken liver toast and French omelets with local Jimmy Nardello peppers. For dinner, in the dimly lit dining room, order up comforting roasted chicken or chef Eli Collins’s legendary burger. And sure, any of it can be paired with a baller bottle of wine.
47 Alpen Rose Steak 116 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 https://www.alpenrosephl.com/ The ultimate date/engagement/anniversary steakhouse in the city continues to impress diners from across the region with their intimate dishes. Romantic-comfort cuisine — such as their lobster linguine, ⁠brick pressed chicken, and their impeccable dry-aged ribeye steak — are memorable entrees.
48 Ambra Italian, Tasting Menu 705 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia; https://www.ambraphilly.com/ Well before the dessert course, when you’re scooping pumpkin tiramisù from the depths of a hollowed-out gourd, you’ll get the feeling that Ambra isn’t a typical fine-dining experience. Despite all the hallmarks of a lofty occasion meal — the seven-course menu, the $300 price tag (which includes a wine or alcohol-free drink pairing, tax and tip) — the Modern Italian boîte run by the chef Chris D’Ambro and his wife, Marina de Oliveira, lacks all stuffiness. From one of just 14 seats — four of which are in the working kitchen — guests are treated to a parade of bites that might include cacio e pepe gougère, and a mosaic of cured fluke with osetra caviar and tart beet granita, served alongside carta di musica — Sardinian crackers, paper-thin and pressed with herbs. REGAN STEPHENS
49 Andiario New American 106 West Gay Street https://andiario.com/ Andiario operates the way a serious rock star might after moving back to his hometown and starting his own garage band. There’s incredible talent here, and an absolute passion for seasonal ingredients showcased in prix-fixe menus that change weekly, sometimes daily. Anthony Andiario approaches this business with an artist’s eye and an academic’s heart. And it’s not only about cooking dinner, but about using food to work out the complicated ideas of what being a cook, a chef or an owner even means right now.
50 Angelo’s Pizzeria Pizza 736 South Ninth Street; https://www.angelospizzeriasouthphiladelphia.com/ Philadelphians are spoiled for choices when it comes to cheesesteaks and pizza, making it all the more remarkable that so many choose to jump through hoops to get their hands on those at Angelo’s. (Epic lines, cash only and no seating. When they’re especially busy, they just stop answering the phone.) Order the heavy-as-a-brick upside-down pie. Get an array of cheesesteaks and hoagies, all built on rolls that the owner Danny DiGiampietro bakes from scratch, stuffed with a gooey meld of frizzled beef, Cooper Sharp cheese and long hot peppers, or layers of juicy chicken cutlets with fresh mozzarella (available only on Thursdays). Join the crowds eating on the surrounding stoops and sidewalks. REGAN STEPHENS
51 Autana Venezuelan 4 Station Road https://www.autanapa.com/ Autana has evolved considerably over the years, growing from a pandemic pop-up to a full-fledged restaurant. Every arepa and pernil sandwich is beautifully executed and presented yet still has a comforting energy to it, like you’re eating a home-cooked meal prepared lovingly just for you. It makes sense considering that all along, Autana has been a family affair where a father and daughter share their Venezuelan cuisine with diners one tequeño at a time.
52 Bardea Steak Steak 608 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801 https://www.bardeasteak.com/ Acclaimed Chef Antimo Dimeo shines in this lively steakhouse in Wilmington. At Bardea Steak, they’re not just about serving large cuts of sizzling beef — but hosting an incomparable experience. Their 9-course chef’s tasting menu that includes steak, seafood, pork, and poultry (for $150 per person) is a regional masterclass on how to dine well and effortlessly.
53 Cantina La Martina Mexican 2800 D Street https://www.cantinalamartinapa.com/ Somewhere between the spicy heat of the pozole verde and the earthy huitlacoche trufa ravioli, you’ll find expressions of chef Dionicio Jiminez’s personal life story, from his Pueblo roots to his roughly two decades cooking through Philly kitchens (including Vetri). Though you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, we implore you to stop by on weekends for the tangy barbacoa roasted in pits that Jiminez dug in the restaurant’s garden.
54 Càphê Roasters Vietnamese 3400 J Street G1, Philadelphia; https://www.capheroasters.com/ Càphê Roasters has all the usual trappings of a third-wave coffee shop: a sunlit space with potted plants, tables covered with laptops and lattes, branded merch. But the owner, Thu Pham, has also made the city’s first Vietnamese specialty coffee roaster into an exciting dining destination. Dishes from the chef Jacob Trinh are both comforting and exhilarating: a banh mi with gochu-glazed fried chicken, a disk of crispy rice stacked with pulled chicken and five-spice salsa roja, a plated adaptation of the sweet and tart chicken and fermented bean curd hot pot his mom used to make. The drink menu, too, stretches far past the typical lineup, with pandan and ginger matcha fizz, and affogatos with Vietnamese espresso poured over condensed-milk soft serve. REGAN STEPHENS
55 Casa Mexico Mexican 1134 South 9th Street https://casamexicophl.com/ Steps away from South Philly Barbacoa,­ chef Cristina Martinez’s iconic corner taqueria, her Casa Mexico offers up an expanded menu of traditional Mexican dishes. The larger space lets you linger longer, whether it be with friends over margaritas or over a plate of enmoladas chicken — earthy corn tortillas stuffed with an amalgamation of chicken and cheese and drenched in a rich, slightly spiced mole sauce that has a hint of chocolate.
56 China Gourmet Chinese 2842 St. Vincent Street https://phillychinagourmet.com/ If you ever need a place where you and 300 of your closest friends can all eat dim sum together on a Tuesday afternoon, China Gourmet is there for you. Crispy shrimp balls, shu mai, pork buns the size of baseballs, gorgeous egg tarts and a universe of dumplings — the carts working the floor have all of that and more. And while dim sum time (daily, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is where China Gourmet truly shines, the kitchen also bangs out excellent Cantonese food all day long. Have a party here, have your wedding here — invite everyone you’ve ever known or might know. There’ll still be space. And plenty of shu mai for everyone.
57 Corinne’s Place Soul Food 1254 Haddon Avenue https://www.corinnesplace.com/ The crispy fried chicken, Cajun turkey wings, and BBQ pork ribs dripping in sauce at Corinne’s Place got the attention of the James Beard Foundation, which deemed this an American Classic in 2022. But Camden locals have known this soul-food spot as a community staple since it opened in 1989. The only way you can go wrong here is if you skimp on the sides, so fix your plate with mac-and-cheese, cornbread and collard greens.
58 Dankbaar Dutch 1911 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148 https://www.dankbaarphl.com/ Chef Joncarl Lachman and his husband-partner Bob Moysan have created a little magic at Dankbaar, their intimate new Dutch BYO that gives us many of the flavors we so desperately miss from their bygone South Philly spot Noord, but somehow with even more charm. The low-lit dining room is decked out with white tablecloth-draped tables and artwork by Moysan, a photographer and mixed-media artist when he’s not managing dining rooms. Baskets of hearty housemade bread with divine garlic butter, juicy whole fish and steaming rabbit stews arrive at the table in colorful, mismatched dishware—sometimes in the hands of Lachman himself, when he can get a break from the kitchen. Be sure to bring your favorite beverage. This place is BYO. And for more Lachman-Moysan magic but in the light of day, visit their brunch hotspot Winkel in the Gayborhood.
59 Doro Bet Ethiopian 4533 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia; https://www.alifamilyrestaurants.com/doro-bet A handwritten sign on the front door of Doro Bet in West Philadelphia asks patrons to be patient: Chickens are fried to order and will take at least 15 minutes. They’re dredged in a buttermilk batter made with teff flour, imparting a crackly crunch, and either fiery berbere (a family recipe that includes black cardamom, cumin and sun-dried chiles) or a mild version coated in tart lemon and turmeric — dreamed up by the co-owner, Mebruka Kane, to appeal to her kids’ tastes during the pandemic while incorporating spices from her own childhood in Addis Ababa. The shop also serves traditional Ethiopian recipes like spicy doro wot and cardamom-scented tibs with injera, but the fried chicken will indeed come out last. And it’s thoroughly worth the wait. REGAN STEPHENS
60 Down North Pizza 2804 W Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132 https://www.downnorthpizza.com/ Philadelphia meets Motor City at this popular North Philly pizza joint serving square Detroit-style pies with crust so airy and cheese sauce so oozy and perfectly spiced that you’ll fall in love with pizza all over again. The mission behind the place may be even better. Owner and Executive Chef Michael Carter has made it a mission to employ formerly incarcerated individuals, providing them the fair pay and training they need to get back on their feet again. Fancy, artisan pies at sit-down spots like Pizzeria Stella and Pizzeria Vetri are great. Still, you can’t do any better in Philadelphia than Down North when it comes to takeout pizza.
61 El Chingon Mexican 1524 South 10th Street, Philadelphia; https://elchingonphilly.com When South Philly Barbacoa (see below) opened nearly a decade ago, it was clear that the city’s Mexican immigrants had a rich culinary story to tell. El Chingon, just a 10-minute walk away, feels like another chapter in that story. After decades working at upscale French and Italian restaurants, Juan Carlos Aparicio takes us home to the Pueblan kitchen where his mother taught him to cook. She inspired dishes like cemitas made with springy bread (Mr. Aparicio’s specialty), tart aguachile with slivers of scallops in a bath of leche de tigre, and tacos that are traditional (al pastor, pescado) and not so traditional (vegan tacos arabes made with mushrooms) on housemade sourdough tortillas. El Chingon doesn’t clamor for attention; it’s simply a neighborhood restaurant, of the highest order. NIKITA RICHARDSON
62 EMei Sichuan 915 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 https://www.emeiphilly.com/ EMei is there for you on rainy nights when nothing but salty, spicy mapo tofu will do. It’s there for you when you gather a group for a late-night spread of inside-out sea bass in sticky sauce, crispy-fried Chongqing chicken, and bowls of cold sesame noodles. It’s even there for you as you’re tipping the last of your leftovers into your mouth, still cold from the fridge, and considering another visit, just to re-up on tea-smoked duck and Sichuan lamb chops. Like a trusty friend, once EMei enters your life, it’s there to stay.
63 Fiorella Italian 817 Christian Street, Philadelphia; https://fiorellaphilly.com Twenty five years ago, Marc Vetri introduced a city already well-versed in Italian cuisine to the pleasures of handmade pasta in a fine-dining setting. Early in 2020, the chef made the same pasta more accessible when he opened this snug restaurant in a former sausage shop in the Italian Market neighborhood. He kept its name, and uses the family’s fennel sausage recipe for his ragù. While Fiorella may lack the special-occasion luster of Vetri Cucina, plates of that ragù poured over chewy curves of rigatoni, or clouds of ricotta gnocchi in a pool of brown butter paired with glasses of Lambrusco at the cozy pasta bar make for an equally memorable night out. REGAN STEPHENS
64 Forsythia French 233 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19105 https://www.forsythiaphilly.com/ French cuisine is both traditional and experimental at Chef-Proprietor Christopher Kearse’s cozy restaurant in Old City. Succulent duck, bountiful escargot, and the city’s most scrumptious crepes can be found on their self-proclaimed “French AF” menu.
65 Friday Saturday Sunday Modern American 261 South 21st Street, Philadelphia; https://fridaysaturdaysunday.com When Chad and Hanna Williams purchased Friday Saturday Sunday in 2015, the well-worn mainstay had been chugging along for more than 40 years. The couple has managed a feat that few others have: maintaining a beloved neighborhood haunt while finding national renown. In the second-floor dining room, Mr. Williams, the chef, showcases his singular perspective in dishes like coco bread, the Jamaican staple, exalted with jerk-seasoned quail and a swipe of curried pâté. In the stylish and scene-y downstairs barroom, you can order sweetbread katsu sandwiches and tendrils of octopus in cumin-spiked brothy beans from the more casual menu or just pop in for one of the city’s most sublime cocktails. REGAN STEPHENS
66 Gabriella’s Vietnam Vietnamese 1837 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148 https://gabriellasvietnam.com The presentation of the food here is as thrilling as the flavors, and a meal can quickly turn into a party. Bánh bèo chén, or water fern dumplings, arrive open face and in individual bowls topped with crackled pork and shrimp, with nước mắm on the side. Bánh bột lọc comes in the form of chewy tapioca sheathed in banana leaves that you unwrap like a gift. A catfish hot pot is housed in a tureen with tomatoes and okra bobbing at the surface of the tangy, sweet broth. The restaurant is minimally decorated — perhaps because the food does all the talking. PRIYA KRISHNA
67 Gass and Main 7 Kings Ct, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 https://gassandmain.com/ This New American BYOB by Chef Dane DeMarco is a gorgeous marriage between rustic cooking and fine dining. Tomato brodo mussels, orange pomegranate shrimp, smothered pork ribeye, and wild boar meatloaf embodies how this restaurant masters both the cuisine from the land and sea remarkably.
68 Georgian Bread Georgian 10865 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19116 https://georgianbread.us/ Everyone will tell you to go to this combination bakery/restaurant for the khachapuri, and they’re not wrong. It’s very good khachapuri. Those who know will say that you have to try the khinkali dumplings, and that’s fine advice, too. But anyone who really knows Georgian Bread will tell you that the regular menu, with its cold chicken in walnut sauce, pork shashlik, fried potatoes and kebabs, is where the real winners are to be found. We’re here to tell you that all three are right. And that the bread is some of the best in the city, too.
69 Grandma’s Philly Thai 1304 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 http://www.grandmasphilly.com/ Grandma’s was a great restaurant when it was this little upstart BYOB on Walnut Street, serving tom kha, papaya salad and chicken satay and trying to make “Thai Tapas” a thing. It was casual, fun, and so full of love that you could feel it like a beating heart. Now, with a year of service behind it (and a brand-new liquor license), Grandma’s is a better, more confident restaurant. And while age and practice may have smoothed some of the rough spots that made the place so endearing, it still serves amazing curry puffs and the best meatballs in a city built on meatballs.
70 Ground Provisions Vegan/New American 1388 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382 http://www.groundprovisionspa.com/ Some restaurants grow into greatness. Some are just born that way. Ground Provisions, the newest operation from Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge, is the second kind. It’s a retreat of sorts, tucked away in the old Inn Keeper’s Kitchen — a combination cafe/gourmet country store/vegan restaurant with a prix-fixe menu featuring some of the most remarkable things ever done to vegetables. There are callbacks to Vedge and V Street, but most of what’s being done here is brand-new, visionary, and, like summer’s roasted peach gazpacho or an early-autumn polenta cornbread with caponata and pumpkin shoots, absolutely delicious.
71 Hardena Indonesian 1754 S Hicks St #2217, Philadelphia, PA 19145 http://www.hardenaphilly.com/ A steam table filled to the brim with rendang and gudeg (jackfruit stew) is the heart of this warm Indonesian spot, where the scent of coconut and turmeric and the family photos taped to the walls give the feeling that you’ve been invited into someone’s home. Ena Widjojo got her professional start cooking at the Indonesian consulate in New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2000 to open Hardena. Nowadays, her daughter Maylia is the one behind the counter, adding a few crispy-edged vegetable fritters to heaping platters of curries over rice. The first scoop of sambal comes with your order, but any extras are 50 cents apiece, a small price to pay for a chile sauce that boosts everything it touches. REGAN STEPHENS
72 Hearthside 801 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108 https://www.hearthsidebyob.com/ This popular BYOB in Collingswood has won the hearts of many residents in the neighborhood and throughout the region for their refreshing take on contemporary American cuisine. Chef Dominic Piperno’s wood-fired cooking technique is incomparable on various dishes (such as his Berkshire pork loin, coffee rubbed lamb chops, and astonishing 35 day dry-aged, 28 oz bone-in, prime New York strip).
73 Heavy Metal Sausage Co. Italian 1527 W Porter St, Philadelphia, PA 19145 http://www.heavymetalsausage.com/ From the outside, Heavy Metal Sausage looks like your neighborhood butchery. But through the doors, you’ll find a culinary playground where Patrick Alfiero, a maestro of meats, crafts some of the finest pâtés, sausages and other deli goods found in Philadelphia, all made from ingredients sourced from local producers. Alfiero’s talents are on full display during the intimate trattoria dinners on Thursday and Friday nights. The handwritten menu is a regularly changing playlist of Italian-inspired dishes, featuring pastas made from flour milled in-house, cured meats and butchered specialties.
74 Her Place Supper Club New American 1740 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 http://www.herplacephilly.com/ After all the attention, press, and rightfully earned national fawning over Amanda Shulman’s supper-club-style restaurant, you might start to feel like Her Place isn’t really Philly’s anymore. But when Shulman and her team turn down the music to introduce the night’s dinner, when they circulate through the dining room shaving truffles over the crispy-skinned chicken and present you with a crab salad under a mountain of caviar, you’ll be reminded that Philly’s sense of casual hospitality is inextricably linked to the magic of this restaurant.
75 High Street 101 S 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19107 https://highstreetonmarket.com/ The versatile High Street in Center City serves some of the city’s best small plates, pizzas, and pastas that represents the epitome of seasonal New American cuisine (that also explains why everyone started paying attention to Philadelphia’s restaurant scene to begin with).
76 Honeysuckle Provisions African Diaspora 310 S 48th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143 http://www.honeysuckleprovisions.com/ Chefs Omar Tate and Cybille St. Aude-Tate have already created an indispensable neighborhood café and grocery. Along with knocking out delicious breakfast sandwiches, homemade mini Pop Tarts, spicy West Indian beef patties, and hoagies stuffed with almost as much memory as meat and veggies, Honeysuckle Provisions serves as a repository where Black cultural ancestry and foodways are preserved. They’ve got Black farmer CSA boxes and wild collaboration sandwiches, and they do game-day pre-orders whenever the Birds are playing. But as much as we love Honeysuckle for what it is, we’re even more excited for what it can be as the Tates move forward with various plans to expand their offerings.
77 Illata Modern American 2241 Grays Ferry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146 http://www.illataphl.com/ Sometimes simple is best. Or perhaps it’s just the illusion of simplicity that gives this tiny restaurant in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of South Philly its winning formula. Whatever the case, Illata is hosting a dinner party five nights a week. And like any good guest, you’ll want to bring your own wine. A fizzy white will pair beautifully with slivers of mussels marinated in miso and chile oil, as well as with the chicory salad, though you’ll want a red for the New York strip. And order plenty of bread; this is the type of place where every plate is aswim in a sauce or reduction you’ll want to swipe the tangy sourdough through. NIKITA RICHARDSON
78 Irwin’s Italian 800 Mifflin St, Philadelphia, PA 19148 https://www.irwinsupstairs.com/ At Irwin’s, on the top floor of the Bok Building, it’s not just the soulful Sicilian dishes, like pistachio-studded swordfish or the caponata — smoky and a little sweet, chef Michael Vincent Ferreri’s great-grandmother’s recipe — or the warm service. It’s all that coupled with the dramatic views from the top of the Bok. On a warm night, with the lofty breeze and twinkling fairy lights and South Philly sprawling out before you, there’s nowhere else like it in the city.
79 Jezabel’s 206-208 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 https://www.jezabelsphl.com/ Jezabel Careaga’s Argentinian medialunas, alfajores, empanadas, and other treats are like a song you can’t get out of one’s head: Once tried, prepare to definitely be back for more. Alfresco seats are well suited for a quiet West Philly lunch or breakfast with a cup of tea, or go the takeout or delivery route.
80 Jim’s West 431 N 62nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19151 https://www.instagram.com/jimswestphilly/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA%3D%3D When cheesesteaks were served at Jim’s Steaks, they were fairly decent for decades, Now under the new Black ownership of Cortez Johnson and his uncle, a cheesesteak at the renamed Jim’s West is an upgrade beyond measure. Located in the heart of West Philly, these well-portioned cheesesteaks are made with the juiciest chopped ribeye and seasoning that’s memorable. Beyond the previous controversy surrounding its revival, Jim’s West is a spot that both locals and tourists should revisit immediately.
81 Juana Tamale Mexican 1941 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148 http://juana-tamale.square.site/ Over the past year, Jen Zavala has expanded the offerings at her East Passyunk neon fever dream of a restaurant, adding a $6 chili-topped burger to the menu along with nachos that are some of the best in the city and lime-infused tres leches cake. The core offerings — drippy beef birria tacos served with cups of meaty ramen, vegan birria tacos, Cali burritos stuffed with fries, and Mexican pizzas that rival the fast-food original — remain for all your Juana Tamale cravings.
82 June BYOB French 690 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108 https://junebyob.com/ An evening at June BYOB is filled with little moments of whimsy that you’ll catch between bites of escargot and impeccably seared Basque scallops. The canard à la presse voyage is the pinnacle of the menu: They carve a duck tableside and crush its bones in an antique duck press to extract extra juices that are then added to a flambéed sauce. It’s a delectable spectacle. You know that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion? This is where you bring it.
83 Kalaya Thai 4 W Palmer St, Philadelphia, PA 19125 https://kalayaphilly.com/ Chutatip Suntaranon left her flight-attendant career and found the national culinary stage in 2019, when she started serving head-turning southern Thai food at a 39-seat B.Y.O. restaurant. As of last year, that Kalaya is no more, but the new version is as dazzling as the original was modest. Palm trees tower over 140 seats inside the new location, which opened last November in the Fishtown neighborhood. Ms. Suntaranon’s business partnership with Defined Hospitality, a local restaurant company, hasn’t muted her forcefully spiced, luminous cooking. Be sure to order the flower-shaped shaw muang, the fiery venison curry and the goong phao, with its grilled freshwater prawns — and while you eat, marvel at the realization that this preternaturally gifted chef and owner didn’t open her first place until age 50. BRETT ANDERSON
84 Kim’s BBQ Korean 5955 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19120 http://kimsbbqrestaurant.com/ This longtime anchor of Olney’s Korean food scene serves some of the best Korean barbecue in the tri-state area. The key is the live coals, which get delivered to each table by servers wearing heat-proof gloves. They let the heat from those coals kiss each hunk of galbi or pork belly before nudging it into your bowl and encouraging you to eat. Go with a group, and order the special combo for the table; it includes endless banchan, rice and lettuce for building crisp, meaty bites.
85 Kim's Restaurant 5955 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19120 http://kimsbbqrestaurant.com/ In Olney, the unassuming Kim’s Restaurant provides an exceptional Korean barbecue experience. Part of the magic lies in the restaurant’s use of charcoal for the in-table grill, a rarity now that many Korean barbecue spots have switched to gas burners. The allure of meat prepared over a live fire is undeniable, and the service staff makes sure every piece of lamb chop and kalbi beef is perfectly cooked. Bountiful servings of fresh banchan accompany the meal. Make a reservation for a big group, or walk in with a smaller crowd.
86 Lark New American Ironworks at Pencoyd Landing, 611 Righters Ferry Rd, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 https://www.larkpa.com/ At Lark, the menus are so comforting that they might as well be written on pillows. Marinated olives and focaccia. Escargots in vichyssoise butter with potato confit. Pastas with corn, blue crab or thyme honey. Grilled fish with raisins. Under the command of chefs Nicholas Elmi and Michael Millon, this kitchen offers a kind of recognizable international cuisine that’s like New American with a half-dozen stamps on its passport, cooked with precision and competence that are becoming more and more rare in the industry.
87 Laser Wolf Israeli 1301 North Howard Street, Philadelphia; http://laserwolfphilly.com/ Any restaurateur of a certain pedigree will say that the longer you’re in the business, the harder it is to keep up with the tastes of the public. Laser Wolf is a rare exception. Philadelphians of all ages are obsessed with this restaurant from Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook (one of their 24 projects together) and its fantastic array of mezze-like salatim (schug with sweet pineapple and bitter celery, creamy kale baba ghanouj) and hearty grilled skewers. For something more substantial, the whole branzino with tomato and ginger for two should fit the bill — and feeds at least four. Few restaurants give as much flavorful bang for the buck. NIKITA RICHARDSON
88 Laurel French 1617 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia; https://www.restaurantlaurel.com/ Right before winning “Top Chef” in 2014, Nicholas Elmi opened Laurel on a then-sleepy stretch of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia. Nearly a decade later, the restaurant that helped transform the neighborhood is getting a second act — out is the restrained six-course tasting, replaced with a choose-your-own-adventure menu that changes seasonally, or when his foragers bring in new ingredients (like the pawpaws from a backyard tree that animate a lush cream pie). Meals still showcase Mr. Elmi’s skill and precision, and that of the chef de cuisine, Kevin McWilliams. But halfway through, as you’re using a shiso leaf to grab plump mussels served over paprika aioli, it becomes clear that Laurel is now less of a place reserved only for special occasions. REGAN STEPHENS
89 Le Cavalier 42 W 11th St, Wilmington, DE 19801 https://www.lecavalierde.com/ Chef Tyler Akin brings his passion for European fine dining to Delaware in this French-forward restaurant at the grand Hotel du Pont. With flavorful dishes — such as their duck cassoulet (served with flageolet beans and Toulouse sausage), lamb tagine, and branzino a la bouillabaisse (generously accompanied with shrimp, scallop, crab, and saffron) — it’s definitely worth the trip across the bridge to dine.
90 Little Fish Seafood 746 South 6th Street https://www.littlefishbyob.com/ There was a time not so long ago when Philly felt woefully short on actual seafood restaurants, and Little Fish — with its tiny dining room and handwritten menus — seemed like deliverance from endless red sauce and steakhouses. Now, Philly has lots of seafood restaurants, and this spot still feels like something special, rare and valuable. Dinner here is an intimate and unforgettable experience.
91 Mawn Cambodian 764 South Ninth Street, Philadelphia; https://mawnphilly.com/ Another day, another destination restaurant in South Philly. Tucked in a residential street just a few blocks from the Italian Market, Mawn offers vibrant Southeast Asian cuisine from Phila Lorn, a first-generation Cambodian American chef. You’ll find that it’s not so much an issue of what you should order as what won’t you order. With that in mind, bring a group so you can share the bounty of seafood (clams, soft-shell shrimp, pan-seared whole fish), noodles (the khao soi is a must), and salads (banh chow with chicken and shrimp, anyone?). The portions are more than generous. And in the great Pennsylvania tradition of hard-to-get liquor licenses, Mawn is indeed B.Y.O.B. Bring something effervescent. NIKITA RICHARDSON
92 Middle Child Clubhouse Sandwiches 248 South 11th Street, Philadelphia; https://middlechildphilly.com/ In a sea of corner delis that can assemble a solid Italian hoagie on autopilot, Middle Child builds a sandwich with the precision of a refined French restaurant, but without pretentiousness. Matt Cahn, the owner, taps the skills he developed working at Court Street Grocers and Superiority Burger in New York City for specialties like the So Long Sal, a prosciutto cotto and provolone number layered with peppery artichoke spread and balsamic-mayo-dressed arugula. In tomato season, thick, mayo-drenched BLTs elicit lines around the block. The same sandwiches are also on offer at Middle Child Clubhouse, an all-day version that serves broiled oysters, handmade ricotta agnolotti and bone-in pork chops tinged with sweet chile vinegar — plus a full bar menu. REGAN STEPHENS
93 Mish Mish Mediterranean 1046 Tasker Street, Philadelphia; https://www.mishmishphilly.com/ A glossy, larger-than-life apricot hangs above the entrance to Mish Mish, your first cheeky sign that this place isn’t taking itself too seriously. The owner, Alex Tewfik, is a former food editor. (Full disclosure: We were colleagues at Philadelphia magazine.) He opened the restaurant last winter after years of wishing the city had something like it — a place that felt elegant and thoughtful but breezy and fun. (The name means apricot in Arabic, the language spoken by Mr. Tewfik’s Egyptian father.) An evening in the dimly lit dining room might kick off with fizzy wine in a maraschino-cherry-spiked coupe. Plates of torn-herb salads and tomato-butter-drenched crab toast are spread over white tablecloths, and the effervescent dining room is set to a playlist of Egyptian hip-hop and French crooners. It’s all signaling that it’s not just a nightly service at Mish Mish, but a real soiree. REGAN STEPHENS
94 My Loup French 2005 Walnut Street, Philadelphia; https://www.myloupphl.com/ “Je me souviens” (I remember) is the motto of Quebec, and it’s also a vibe at this newcomer in the City of Brotherly Love, where you might remember things about restaurants that have been missing in recent years — namely fun. The chefs Alex Kemp and Amanda Shulman have created a weeknight spot that feels like a dinner party in the spirit of Montreal’s Joe Beef, where both worked. The easiest way to experience the twists, turns and surprises of their seasonal menu is the “Let us cook for you!” option, which could go from a seafood platter to a hot-cold crab situation (big crab meets Big Mac) to a meaty main, like a pork chop with peaches. Yes, those were Teddy Grahams climbing the swirled soft-serve peak at meal’s end. SARA BONISTEEL
95 Parc French 227 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://parc-restaurant.com/ There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to sitting at Parc, drinking in views of Rittenhouse Square with a glass of champagne in hand. This French-style bistro is an all-day hit, from the smoky bacon and gruyère quiche Lorraine­ at breakfast to the steak frites topped with a slab of maître d’ butter­ for dinner. Parc is so many things to so many people. It’s where you go when you need a Center City restaurant for light bites and drinks with friends, the go-to for a deal-making power lunch, the place for people-watching, and the spot to impress your in-laws at brunch before going to the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market.
96 Pietramala 614 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 https://www.pietramalaphl.com/ One of the most exceptional restaurants in the city is unapologetically vegan. Chef Ian Graye and his culinary team has reimagined what vegetables can and should taste like — whether it’s their comb tooth mushrooms (with sea island red pea tamari and heirloom polenta), blistered carrots, or honeynut squash — this charming BYOB is fine plant dining done right.
97 Pod 3636 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 https://podrestaurant.com/ The return of Pod represents an exemplary culinary comeback in University City. This beloved Stephen Starr mainstay is a classic that must be tried (or revisited) by diners across the region. Whether you go full sushi bar with head chef Kevin Yangaga or try their cool take on other Japanese cuisine (such as their delicious “JFC” aka Japanese Fried Chicken bucket), you’ll discover the reason this hotspot has been impressing Philadelphians for over a decade.
98 Restaurant Aleksandar 126 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://www.restaurantaleksandar.com/ Chefs Montana Houston and J’amir Wimberly-Cole have taken Rittenhouse by storm with their inventive and daring take on European cuisine. There’s nothing dull or predictable on their vibrant tasting menu that features scallop paella, tomato panzanella, and unforgettable lacquered duck breast.
99 Rex at the Royal 1524 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 http://rexphl.com/ South Street hasn’t been the same since this southern/coastal-influenced cuisine hit the block. There’s a lot to appreciate about Rex at the Royal: the New Orleans vibe of the venue, the imaginative cocktails (try the fruity tequila-forward Por Dio), and the exceptional entrees (such as their crab fondue, fried green tomatoes, madeira braised pork shank, and expansive oyster selection) that will make one a fan instantly.
100 River Twice Modern American 1601 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia; https://www.rivertwicerestaurant.com/ To anyone paying attention, small details will tip you off to the kind of meal you’re about to have at River Twice, the modern American restaurant run by the chef Randy Rucker and his wife, Amanda. Linen napkins are hand-sewn by Ms. Rucker and the front of house manager, Marissa Chirico, and the open kitchen at the center of the minimalist space, buzzes with a choreographed precision. The intentionality extends to the whole of Mr. Rucker’s seasonal set menu, from the first dish of the seasonally changing prix fixe, say bluefin tuna under a cloud of Burgundy truffle shavings, to the triumphant final bite. Lest you think the attention to detail makes River Twice stuffy, they’re also serving the Mother Rucker, a messy, two-patty burger on a buttery milk bun that’s among Philly’s best. REGAN STEPHENS
101 Roxanne New American 912 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 https://www.exploretock.com/roxannebyob/ Chef Alexandra Holt makes food personal. She makes food political. She makes food delicious and weird and stunningly beautiful and deliberately blobby. But the most incredible thing about her is that she also makes every single dish at Roxanne herself. Roxanne­ is both a high-wire experiment and a place you go to get your worldview turned upside down by ice-cream cake with caviar, entrées in the shape of brains or bullets, or desserts made from Sungold tomatoes and brown butter.­ It’s one of the most experimental restaurants in the history of Philly dining, so if you’re down, grab whatever reservations you can, because there’s never any guarantee that Roxanne will be here tomorrow.
102 Royal Izakaya Japanese 780 South 2nd Street http://royalsushiandizakaya.com/ Royal Izakaya is the culmination of a lifetime dedicated to the art of sushi. Jesse Ito, the chef behind the hard-to-reserve omakase, has been honing his craft since he was 14, working alongside his father, Masaharu Ito, at Fuji in Haddonfield. The front room is where you go to hang out with friends over cocktails, chashu buns and fried karaage wings. The back room, however, is where Ito takes the stage with a 17-piece tasting menu that showcases dry-aged Spanish bluefin tuna, New Zealand salmon belly, Kumamoto oysters, and more.
103 Sagami Japanese 37 Crescent Blvd, Collingswood, NJ 08108 https://www.sagamirestaurant.com/ In the pantheon of sushi restaurants, chef Shigeru Fukuyoshi is a legend, and the precision of his knifework can be experienced in the impossibly buttery texture of every piece of sashimi and nigiri here. Each bites gives way to the subtle flavors of exquisitely fresh fish. Die-hard sushi lovers need to get the chirashi bowl, a beautiful arrangement of raw fish, tamagoyaki egg omelet, and flying fish roe on a bed of rice.
104 South Philly Barbacoa Mexican 1140 South Ninth Street, Philadelphia; https://www.barbacoaphilly.com/ As early as 5 a.m. on weekends, Cristina Martinez’s bright corner shop is alive. A crowd is gathering, music is blaring and someone is tending the lamb barbacoa, hacking off impossibly tender hunks to add to hot tortillas. Giddy guests are gathered around tables, dipping quesadillas stuffed with housemade Oaxacan cheese into colorful salsas. As much as South Philly Barbacoa has (rightfully) been heaped with praise from all corners of the country, it’s still a place you’ll find the city’s broadest cross section, and still a place that underscores what makes Philly’s food scene special. REGAN STEPHENS
105 South Restaurant & Jazz Club Southern Fare 600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 https://www.southjazzkitchen.com/ The Bynum family have been stewards of jazz in Philadelphia since 1965, when Benjamin Sr. founded the Cadillac Club, hosting acts like B.B. King, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin. Now his sons, Benjamin and Robert Bynum, are carrying on that legacy at South Restaurant & Jazz Club. Hot-honey-drizzled fried chicken, Low Country fried catfish and Gulf shrimp, and the skillet of cornbread are accompanied by soulful performances and unparalleled Southern hospitality.
106 Stina Pizzeria Mediterranean 1705 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145 https://www.stinapizzeria.com/ Bobby Saritsoglou and his wife, Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, pull from culinary influences around the Mediterranean to create appetizing wood-fire-kissed dishes. Yes, there’s pizza with chewy, leopard-spotted crust, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t try the slow-cooked Spanish octopus — a dish Saritsoglou has been perfecting for over 20 years. And if you’re in the mood for something akin to pizza, go for the Turkish merguez pide, a doughy boat-shaped dish filled with melted mozzarella and spiced lamb sausage.
107 Superfolie French 1602 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://www.superfoliephl.com/ It feels uniquely French to make something that’s objectively challenging seem effortless — like, say, riding a bike with an armload of baguettes, or pulling off a red lip. Chloe Grigri did just that at Superfolie when she, with husband Vince Stipo, transformed a largely nondescript bi-level room on Spruce Street into a glittering gem. It’s got natural wine and ice-cold martinis flowing, exquisite offerings like steak tartare with house-made chips and seasonally rotating sourdough tartine, and — the real feat — an utterly magnetic vibe. On Wednesdays, sommelier Kaitlyn Caruke opens a special bottle and sells glasses at cost. C’est magnifique.
108 Suraya Lebanese 1528 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia; https://www.surayaphilly.com Just through the doors of this sprawling Lebanese restaurant, you’ll find a cafe and market peddling turmeric-spiced lattes and specialty olive oil. A little farther in there’s a dining room bedecked with ornate tiles and chandeliers, and in the back, an enchanting garden with a canopy of Persian ironwood trees. Each of the three distinct spaces inside Suraya, named for the grandmother of two of the co-owners Nathalie Richan and Roland Kassis, offers a consistently memorable array of Lebanese delights — delicate rose-scented crullers, fall-apart lamb, fattoush sprinkled with tart sumac, a verrine of lemon verbena ice cream with hunks of pistachio cake — and each feels thoroughly transportive. With a glass of arak in the garden, surrounded by glowing firepits, it’s easy to feel like you’ve left Philadelphia altogether. REGAN STEPHENS
109 Tabachoy Filipino 932 South 10th Street; https://www.tabachoyphilly.com When Chance Anies parlayed his food truck into a brick-and-mortar location last December, the chef decided against a fast-casual approach in favor of a sit-down restaurant — in part, he has said, to showcase his culture’s hospitality alongside the food. The procession of plates at Tabachoy pays homage to his Filipino heritage, with some fun, inspired liberties taken: bowls of adobo and sisig, arroz caldo flecked with delicate bonita flakes that dance from the steam. For the laing, the traditional taro leaves cooked in coconut are replaced by broccoli rabe, a nod to the neighborhood’s robust Italian American population. Linger at the table for dessert, which includes a Basque-style pandan cheesecake, cooked in banana leaves and drenched in coconut caramel. REGAN STEPHENS
110 The Good King Tavern 614 S 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 https://thegoodkingtavern.com/ The Good King Tavern is a gem of a French haunt in charming Bella Vista, a perfect cozy oasis for delicious wines and cocktails, and hearty, rich French fare. Diners could go full-on Euro with the mussels Marseillaise, escargots in herb butter or the duck of the day. But whatever you do, put TGKT on your list of must-try burger joints. The Tavern Burger—two smashed patties, special sauce, raclette cheese and lettuce on the most perfectly toasted bun—with pommes frites and a glass of red wine is #winning at its very finest.
111 The Love. 130 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://theloverestaurant.com Rittenhouse has never been the same since this bubbly restaurant served New American cuisine all week effortlessly. The key to indulging here is not to overthink it — they serve tasty buttermilk fried chicken with collard greens, immaculate braised beef shortrib ragu, and beer batter fried cauliflower. It’s comfort food that’s respected as fine-dining, a delightful experience without all of the fussiness that’s typically associated with Center City restaurants.
112 Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar Italian 2302 East Norris Street https://www.tulippasta.com/ When Tulip opened in the fall of 2022, Philadelphia was seemingly at Italian-restaurant capacity. But one step inside Tulip and you can tell it’s different. You feel it in the dining room, bright and buzzing, and see it on the drink menu, which spotlights local Wayvine wines. Most importantly, you can taste it in dishes like cacio e pepperoncini, made using a mash-up of chili peppers in place of the traditional­ black peppercorn,­ with local flour from chef and owner Alex Beninato’s Philly Milled. Tulip is proof that so long as there’s a fresh perspective, there’s always room for one more.
113 Vedge Vegan 1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 https://www.vedgerestaurant.com/ In a city where cheesesteaks are almost a mascot, Vedge burst onto the fine-dining scene more than a decade ago, bringing a fresh perspective on what vegetable-forward cuisine could be. Transforming rutabaga into an unctuous fondue for dipping soft pretzels and pickled carrots is the kind of magic trick that the chef-owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby perform on a spectrum of plants with the same extraordinary success. This year, the couple opened Ground Provisions in the suburbs, bringing a new bag of tricks — like morphing a basic portobello into a basil-smoked, Bordelaise-coated thrill. REGAN STEPHENS
114 Vernick Fish Seafood 1 N 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://www.vernickfish.com/ With a sweep of the terrazzo floors and orbed light fixtures floating like futuristic buoys, the ground-floor restaurant anchoring the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia has all the trappings of an enclave for expense accounts. The menu showcases skills that the chef Greg Vernick honed over years of working for Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and later at his own Rittenhouse Square restaurant, Vernick Food & Drink. But it also harks back to Mr. Vernick’s teenage summers spent working at the Jersey Shore. After a feast of flavorful ceviche, a deceptively simple toast of sardines on thick sourdough, and branzino roasted with guajillo chiles, the meal ends with a slice of pie from the glossy pastry case that belongs in a Jersey diner, and a fistful of saltwater taffies with the check. REGAN STEPHENS
115 Vernick Food & Drink Spanish 2031 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 https://vernickphilly.com/ One of Philly’s most well-known restaurants, Vernick Food & Drink remains decisively relaxed, and very romantic. Settle down in this cozy, two-level space at warmly lit wooden tables and chairs, and be brought some of the best seafood you might ever try (and some seriously good cocktails). Try out blue crab with lemon aioli on toast, sea urchin with scrambled eggs and grilled black sea bass.
116 Vetri Italian 1312 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 http://www.vetricucina.com/ You can get a taste of Marc Vetri’s legendary pasta at Fiorella, the more laid-back Vetri Cucina cousin. But don’t think because you’ve eaten a few bowls of rigatoni with house-made sausage ragu and some impossibly fluffy ricotta gnocchi — heavenly as they are — that you’ve had the Full Vetri Experience. For that, you need to be sitting in this elegant townhouse, surrounded by a team of highly adept servers who shepherd you, unhurried, through the meal. It must start with an amuse-bouche, like a teeny cacio e pepe suppli, and end with a plate of petits fours thoughtfully executed by pastry chef Michal Shelkowitz. And yes, of course it needs to include the pasta.
117 White Yak Tibetan 6118 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128 https://www.whiteyakrestaurant.com/ Go for momo and banana tempura. Go for steamed buns and rich beef curry. Go for shoko khatsa and momo soup. Just go. This small, always-crowded Tibetan restaurant gets better and better the more often you visit, but everyone has to have a first visit, and if you’ve never been, you should absolutely make that tonight.
118 Zahav Israeli 237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106 https://www.zahavrestaurant.com/ More than 15 years after the chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner Steve Cook opened this modern Israeli restaurant, scoring a reservation is still a uniquely Philadelphian triumph — like finding street parking in South Philly or meeting Gritty. Still, walk-ins can arrive a few minutes before the 5 p.m. opening to try their luck at the chef’s counter, or at a table on the new seasonal backyard patio. There, amid heat lamps and endearingly realistic faux olive trees, you can tear off bits of soft pita to scoop up warm and buttery Turkish hummus, plump hamachi crudo clinging with dill, and wisps of spicy fennel from a constellation of salatim. REGAN STEPHENS
119 Zeppoli Italian 618 Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08107 https://zeppolirestaurant.com/ It’s always hard to sell people on crossing the bridge to eat at Zeppoli. But once you’re ensconced in the small, dark dining room and eating family-style portions of fennel salad, Sicilian-style fusilli slicked with pesto Trapanese, and rabbit stewed in tomatoes and fresh oregano over tender roasted potatoes, all trepidation is gone. By the time you’re headed back over the bridge, you’ll be planning your next visit.