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30 Awesome Places to Eat inPhiladelphia’s Gayborhood

Great spots to grab a bite to eat

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Tucked inside the larger Midtown Village neighborhood, the Gayborhood has always been known as an enclave for lively nightspots and excellent restaurants.

Running from Pine to Chestnut streets and 11th to Broad streets, the area offers a variety of cuisines, price points and unique atmospheric settings from which to choose.

Find a handful of diverse restaurants in the area from powerhouse business partners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, like Bud and Marilyn’s and the Spanish-inspired Jamonera.

An array of other hotspots line the lively 13th Street corridor, including Double Knot (serving up modern Japanese food and top-notch coffee) and Tredici Enoteca (where you can find a wide selection of wines and small plates).

Read on for our roundup of great spots to dine in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood.

01

Vedge

Upscale, award-winning vegan fare

— N. Santos for Visit Philadelphia

While Vedge caters to the non-carnivorous, even the most meat-driven diners are bound to find something to love at this nationally renowned vegan restaurant. From meatless “charcuterie” to hot veg-centric dishes, Vedge knows how to turn veggies into creative and memorable magic, paired alongside a crafted menu of beer, wine and amazing specialty cocktails.

Where: 1221 Locust Street

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02

Bud and Marilyn's

American comfort food from a famous female couple

— M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Bud and Marilyn’s, a retro-inspired restaurant-bar, is a hotspot from business and life partners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. Inspired by Turney’s restaurateur grandparents, the restaurant serves new takes on American classics like meatloaf, wedge salad and chop suey, paired with cocktails like the Blinker, a whiskey sour made with rye and Marilyn’s O-F, a brandy old-fashioned.

Where: 1234 Locust Street

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03

Tredici Enoteca

Small plates paired with diverse wines

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Some 20 diverse wines by the glass, a raw bar and a selection of small plates such as fried goat cheese and bacon-wrapped dates are among the signature elements of Tredici Enoteca, which sits along the bustling 13th Street corridor across from its sibling pizzeria Zavino.

Where: 114 S. 13th Street

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04

Barbuzzo

— N. Santos for Visit Philadelphia

Barbuzzo is best known for its budino, a heavenly pudding cup of salted caramel and chocolate perfection. Before you have dessert, though, a menu of charcuterie, colorful vegetables, wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas and gorgeous plates of wood-fired seafood dishes are sure to get your tastebuds talking. The space is small but if you can snag a seat, the tight quarters are worth it.

Where: 110 S. 13th Street

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05

El Vez

Magnificent margaritas and trendy Mexican food to match

— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Table-side guacamole, a huge margarita menu and delicious rare tuna tostadas draw a diverse see-and-be-seen crowd to this lively spot. For added fun, check out the photo booth in the back.

Where: 121 S. 13th Street

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06

Double Knot

Sleek cafe upstairs, high-end Japanese fare downstairs

— M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Upstairs, Double Knot stands as a casual yet sleek lunch, happy hour and coffee spot, offering items like banh mi, rice bowls and a few house-made baked goods to pair alongside pour-overs from Elixr beans. Descend down to the basement and you’ll find an entirely different scene where Chef Kevin Yanaga whips up a huge array of robatayaki (grilled) dishes, sushi and a full menu of pan-Asian flavors in an almost speakeasy-like setting.

Where: 120 S. 13th Street

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07

Charlie was a sinner.

Top-notch cocktails and small vegan plates

— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Hip, candlelit and craft-cocktail-laden are all attributes that can be used to describe this vegan restaurant in the heart of the Gayborhood. The small plates that line the menu feel indulgent without requiring a single animal ingredient and the ambitious cocktail menu is impressive enough that even committed carnivores are likely to stay content.

Where: 131 S. 13th Street

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08

Big Gay Ice Cream

Colorful ice cream concoctions and atmosphere

Big Gay Ice Cream, which started as a food truck in New York City, has quickly become a Philly favorite via inventive concoctions like the Bea Arthur, composed of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and crushed Nilla Wafers and the Mermaid, featuring key lime pie curd and graham-cracker crumbs layered with ice cream and whipped cream.

Where: 521 S. Broad Street

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09

Lolita

Contemporary Mexican from one of Philly's most renowned female couples

— G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Open since 2004, the Mexican menu at Lolita started things off for couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. The menu consists of tacos, toastadas and vibrant, colorful vegetable dishes. Catch late night happy hour Mondays through Thursdays where you can score awesome drink and snack specials.

Where: 106 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia

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10

Amis

Roman trattoria with rustic small-plates

— Photo courtesy of Amis

Italian maestro Marc Vetri of Vetri and Osteria has gone back to his Washington Square roots with Amis, an authentic Roman trattoria specializing in rustic small-plates like lamb sausage and fried artichokes, a small but focused wine list and a rock ’n’ roll soundtrack.

Where: 412 S. 13th Street

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11

Green Eggs Cafe

Breakfast, lunch and brunch

Specializing in breakfast, lunch and brunch, Green Eggs Cafe opened its third location in 2012. It quickly became a favorite of the neighbors who no longer have to trek to South Philly or Northern Liberties to enjoy the chicken and waffles Benedict or the red velvet pancakes.

Where: 212 S. 13th Street

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12

Mercato

Classic Italian loaded with local ingredients

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Chef R. Evan Turney creates a market-themed contemporary Italian menu at this cheery BYOB hotspot, with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. Don’t miss the antipasti loaded with Italian meats and cheeses and grilled, marinated veggies.

Where: 1216 Spruce Street

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13

More Than Just Ice Cream

Old-fashioned ice cream parlor with more than just dessert

Beyond the mammoth treats available at this old-fashioned ice cream parlor, there’s a menu of homemade soups, entrée salads, tasty appetizers and dinner specials.

Where: 1119 Locust Street

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14

Vetri

A worthwhile splurge

As one of the nation’s most acclaimed Italian restaurants, Vetri serves up some to-die-for fresh pasta and a wine list that reaches from a cellar housing more than 5,000 bottles. The Vetri tasting menu is the sole dining offering and reservations to experience it are strongly recommended.

Where: 1312 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

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15

1225Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge

Sleek sushi spot

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Suede couches, Japanese lamps, hardwood floors and a glass bar set the scene at this sleek Japanese hotspot. In addition to an extensive sake menu, Raw offers a full sushi bar, along with other Asian dishes served with modern American twists.

Where: 1225 Sansom Street

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16

Sampan

Asian cuisine via small plates

— E. Mencher for Visit Philadelphia

Sampan brings small-plate Asian cuisine to the Gayborhood. The sleek open kitchen dishes up satays, noodle dishes, dumplings and sushi, spanning the Pacific Rim and beyond.

Where: 124 S. 13th Street

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17

Pennsylvania 6

Extensive raw bar and fresh seafood-filled menu

Whether seeking lobster, oysters, shrimp or top neck clams, Pennsylvania 6 offers a well-stocked raw bar, along with an array of hot seafood, steak and lamb chop options. Pair it with a well-crafted cocktail from the lengthy libations list while relaxing in one of the bright red booths that line the restaurant.

Where: 114 S. 12th Street

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18

Zavino

Fancy pizza paired with affordable wine

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The wines are low-priced at Zavino’s marble-topped bar and the eats cooked up by chef-partner Steve Gonzalez — pizza with toppings like béchamel, local mozzarella, Kennett Square mushrooms and an array of antipasti — are sophisticated yet similarly affordable.

Where: 112 S. 13th Street

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19

Opa

A taste of the Mediterranean

Opa’s modern Greek food brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Sansom Street. Create your own meal of Mezedes — small plates — that includes options like grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and walnuts, zucchini fritters with feta and shrimp and spreads like fava bean hummus and skordalia. Fire-kissed entrees including grilled lamb, whole fish and bright vegetable sides allow the experience to feel rich without being too heavy.

Where: 1311 Sansom Street

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20

IndeBlue

Delicious Indian food that goes beyond takeout

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Most of Philly’s Indian restaurants tread a well-worn path of take-out standards, but IndeBlue is upping the game with Indian-inspired dishes like the samosa chaat with tamarind-date chutney, crispy cauliflower, a variety of kebabs and a selection of vegetarian and meaty entrees. Dine on Tuesday evening or at Sunday brunch and your meal will be accompanied by live sitar and tabla music.

Where: 205 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia

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21

Valanni

Hip lounge with innovative tapas

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This hip lounge attracts a well chiseled crowd for top-notch cocktails and innovative Mediterranean Latin cuisine. The popular tapas sampler includes an oversized tasting of hummus, spicy empanadas, kabobs and more. The lively bar scene can be enjoyed well into the wee hours of the night.

Where: 1229 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

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22

Tria Cafe Wash West

Cheese, craft beer, a well-curated wine list and more

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Tria is dedicated to the fermentation trio – wine, cheese and beer – and like its other three locations, you’ll find plenty of well-thought-out options among those categories to pick from. If you’re not sure what to choose, the well-trained staff will be happy to guide you in a menu tour, often delivering insight into the origin behind each item.

Where: 1137 Spruce Street

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23

Jamonera

If you can’t go to Spain, go to Jamonera

— J. Varney for Visit Philadelphia

Go big with an order of seafood-studded paella or go tapas-style with little bites of the umami-bomb Jamon Iberico de Bellota, ablondigas, charred shishito peppers and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with valedon cheese at Jamonera, another praised restaurant from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. Save room for a selection of sherry at the end of your meal.

Where: 105 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia

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24

Nomad Roman

Fantastic wood-fired pizza

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The delicate, crispy crust and seasonal toppings at this wood-fired pizzeria make for some memorable pies. Don’t miss the spicy soppressata, which comes topped with a brilliant combination of sweet and savory ingredients, including garlic, red pepper flakes, organic parmesan, honey and of course thinly sliced soppressata salami.

Where: 1305 Locust Street

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25

Strangelove's

Hearty and innovative gastropub eats

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From savory bar snacks to “use both hands” sandwich options to hearty entrees, Strangelove’s offers a menu full of innovative gastropub fare alongside a solid list of craft beer. There are always a few comfort food offerings to excite both the meat-lover and the vegetarian, like a smoked tempeh muffuletta and a fried chicken sandwich with horseradish mayo.

Where: 216 S. 11th Street

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26

The Tavern

Casual and cozy setting serving modern American fare

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Modern American fare finds a home at The Tavern, serving tuna tartare burgers with capers and white anchovies, kale chips with parmesan aioli and shaved fennel salad, along with classic cocktails, local beers, wines by the glass and boozy popsicles.

Where: 243 S. Camac Street

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27

Mixto

Pan-Latin cuisine and an awesome happy hour

— D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

Fusing Caribbean, Cuban and Latin American cuisine, find empanadas, paella, ceviche and more on the menu of this Washington Square West spot. Known for awesome happy hour deals, come during the week for $5 bites and festive cocktails.

Where: 1141 Pine Street

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Vedge
Bud and Marilyn's
Tredici Enoteca
Barbuzzo
El Vez
Double Knot
Charlie was a sinner.
Big Gay Ice Cream
Lolita
Amis
Green Eggs Cafe
Mercato
More Than Just Ice Cream
Vetri
1225Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge
Sampan
Pennsylvania 6
Zavino
Opa
IndeBlue
Valanni
Tria Cafe Wash West
Jamonera
Nomad Roman
Strangelove's
The Tavern
Mixto
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