Tucked inside the larger Midtown Village neighborhood, the Gayborhood is an enclave known for lively nightspots and excellent restaurants.
Running from Pine Street to Chestnut Street and 11th Street to Broad Street, the area offers a variety of cuisines, price points and unique settings from which to choose.
Find a handful of diverse restaurants from powerhouse duo Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, like the throwback Bud and Marilyn’s and the Spanish-inspired Jamonera.
An array of other hotspots line the lively 13th Street corridor and its offshoots, including Double Knot, serving up modern Japanese food and top-notch coffee, and Tredici Enoteca, which features a wide selection of wines and small plates.
Read on for our roundup of great spots to dine in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, arranged in alphabetical order.
Barbuzzo is best known for its budino, a heavenly pudding cup of salted caramel and chocolate perfection. Before dessert, a menu of charcuterie, colorful vegetables, wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas and gorgeous plates of seafood are sure to get the tastebuds talking. The space is small, but the tight quarters are well worth the squeeze.
Where: Barbuzzo, 110 S. 13th Street
Bud and Marilyn’s, a retro-inspired restaurant and bar, is a hotspot from 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 fried chicken, paired with cocktails like whiskey sours and the Marilyn’s O-F, a brandy old-fashioned.
Where: Bud & Marilyn's, 1234 Locust Street
Hip, candlelit and craft-cocktail-laden are all perfect ways 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-based ingredient, and the ambitious cocktail menu is impressive enough to keep even committed carnivores content.
Where: Charlie was a sinner., 131 S. 13th Street
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 for an entirely different scene, where the menu includes a huge array of robatayaki (grilled) dishes, sushi and a full menu of pan-Asian flavors in an almost speakeasy-like setting.
Where: Double Knot, 120 S. 13th Street
An array of house-made guacamoles, an inventive margarita menu and modern Mexican specialties draw a diverse see-and-be-seen crowd to this lively spot. For added fun, check out the photo booth in the back.
Where: El Vez, 121 S. 13th Street
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Specializing in breakfast, lunch and brunch, Green Eggs Cafe is known for its over-the-top, full-of-flavor dishes like chicken-and-waffles Benedict and red velvet pancakes. On weekends, the line to get in can be long, but the payoff for waiting it out is oh-so-sweet.
Where: Green Eggs Cafe, 212 S. 13th Street
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Most of Philly’s Indian restaurants tread a well-worn path of take-out standards, but IndeBlue ups the game with Indian-inspired dishes like the samosa chaat with tamarind chutney, crispy cauliflower, vegetarian options and meaty entrees. On select days, diners enjoy their meals alongside live sitar and tabla music.
Where: IndeBlue, 205 S. 13th Street
At this lauded Spanish eatery from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, diners go big with an order of seafood-studded paella or tapas-style with bites of the umami-bomb Jamon Iberico de Bellota, ablondigas, charred shishito peppers and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Valdeon cheese.
Where: Jamonera, 105 S. 13th Street
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Knock has long been a go-to destination for elevated versions of classic dishes like lobster flatbread with asparagus and brie, codfish fritters, duck pot stickers and a slider trio. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. every day, providing a lively spot for late-night cocktails.
Where: Knock Restaurant and Bar, 255 S. 12th Street
13th Street Restaurant Group owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran turn their restaurant magic to a cozy Italian-American concept inspired by nearby South Philly. Little Nonna’s features many of the characteristics of their signature hospitality style — intimate seating (for 40 inside and another 40 outside), a studied but not overly circumscribed approach to cuisine, a fun flair for design and a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Open since 2004, the Mexican outpost Lolita started things off for Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. The menu consists of tacos, toastadas and vibrant authentic dishes. Catch late-night happy hour Monday through Thursday to score awesome drink-and-snack specials.
Where: Lolita, 106 S. 13th Street
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Chef Evan Turney creates a market-themed contemporary Italian menu at this cheery BYOB hotspot that highlights fresh, local ingredients. Don’t miss the cheese board, fontina-stuffed meatballs and short rib ragu.
Where: Mercato, 1216 Spruce Street
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The delicate, crispy crust and seasonal ingredients 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 tomato, red-pepper flakes, organic parmesan, honey and thinly sliced soppressata salami.
Where: Nomad Roman, 1305 Locust Street
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Executive Chef Townsend Wentz serves Spanish dishes like wood-fired tapas, squid ink rice, short rib croquetas, roasted sea scallops and braised lamb shank at Oloroso. An eye-catching, 35-foot, hand-painted wall mural depicts the Conquest of Mallorca, adding to the Spanish feel.
Where: Oloroso, 1121 Walnut Street
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Opa’s modern Greek food brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Sansom Street. Create a meal of Mezedes — small plates — that includes options like grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and walnuts, beef meatballs with crispy shallots and tzatziki, and spreads like fava bean hummus and melitzanosalata. Fire-kissed entrees, including lamb gyros, grilled octopus and bright vegetable sides, allow the experience to feel rich without being too heavy.
Where: Opa, 1311 Sansom Street
Sampan brings small-plate Asian cuisine to the Gayborhood. The open kitchen dishes up beautiful satays, noodle dishes, dumplings and sushi inspired the Pacific Rim and beyond.
Where: Sampan, 124 S. 13th Street
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Modern American fare finds a home at The Tavern, serving dishes like ahi tuna over mixed greens, pecorino-panko-crusted chicken fingers and lamb bolognese, along with classic cocktails, local beers and wines by the glass.
Where: The Tavern, 243 S. Camac Street
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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 the street from its sibling pizzeria Zavino.
Where: Tredici Enoteca, 114 S. 13th Street
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Tria is dedicated to the fermentation trio – wine, cheese and beer – and like its other locations, the Gayborhood outpost offers plenty of well-thought-out options. For diners who have trouble choosing what to order, the well-trained staff happily delivers insight into the origin behind each item.
Where: Tria Cafe Wash West, 1137 Spruce Street
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This hip lounge attracts a well-chiseled crowd for top-notch cocktails and innovative Mediterranean-Latin fusion. The popular mezze board includes an oversized tasting of hummus, lamb steak, sausage and more. The lively bar scene stretches well into the wee hours of the night.
Where: Valanni, 1229 Spruce Street
While Vedge caters to the non-carnivorous, even the most meat-hungry diners find something to love at this nationally renowned vegan restaurant. From portobello carpaccio to leek tarts, Vedge knows how to turn veggies into creative and memorable magic, paired alongside a crafted menu of beer, wine and amazing specialty cocktails.
Where: Vedge, 1221 Locust Street
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As one of the nation’s most acclaimed Italian restaurants, Vetri serves elegant entrees, fresh pasta and a wine list that draws from a cellar housing more than 5,000 bottles. The Vetri tasting menu is the sole dining option, and reservations to experience it are strongly recommended.
Where: Vetri Cucina, 1312 Spruce Street
The wines are low-priced at Zavino’s marble-topped bar, and the eats, like antipasti and pizza with toppings like béchamel, local mozzarella and Kennett Square mushrooms, are sophisticated yet similarly affordable.
Where: Zavino, 112 S. 13th Street
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Some of the Gayborhood’s best after-dark hangouts