Article

20 Great Restaurants in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Neighborhood

Savory Belgian eats, authentic banh mi, killer fish tacos, handmade pasta and more

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Pizzeria Vetri Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia
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Just steps from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s wealth of museums, the charming neighborhood of Fairmount is home to a roster of top-notch restaurants.

Here, the cuisine runs the gamut, ranging from Greek food served up from a three-generation line of family chefs (Zorba’s) to tacos served out of a low-key, Baja-style shop (Buena Onda) to Belgian frites, mussels and other perfect pairings for a sudsy Dubbel or a Tripel brew (Belgian Cafe).

Other neighborhood highlights include A Mano’s handmade pasta, Umai Umai’s incredibly fresh sushi and the recently opened, 62,000-square-foot Whole Foods, home to four different bars and four eateries driven by notable Philly chefs.

Read on to learn more about all of our top restaurant picks in Fairmount, and consider getting to work now on making room for Sabrina’s famous (and huge) stuffed challah French toast!

Note: The list below is NOT in a ranked order.

01

A Mano

Plate of food at A Mano Plate of food at A Mano
— Photo by E. Teel for Visit Philadelphia

Chef Michael Millon serves seasonal, handcrafted (a mano means “by hand”) Italian dishes at this charming bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot. Best part? A Mano now takes reservations. Cash only.

Where: A Mano, 2244 Fairmount Avenue

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02

Buena Onda

A member of chef Jose Garces’ family of restaurants, this Baja Peninsula-inspired, do-good eatery is known for mahi mahi tacos and tofu chorizo quesadillas — served on house-made tortillas. Pair your delicious eats with a K38 beer, made just for Buena Onda by Yards Brewing Company.

Where: Buena Onda, 1901 Callowhill Street

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03

Pizzeria Vetri

Exterior of Pizzeria Vetri Exterior of Pizzeria Vetri
— Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Award-winning chef Marc Vetri’s pizzeria serves traditional, Neapolitan-style pizzas with just the right amount of char and an array of premium toppings. Save room for dessert, as soft-serve ice cream — or, if you dare, Nutella pizza — awaits. Patrons can also choose from a variety of beverages on tap, including four rotating beers and red and white wine.

Where: Pizzeria Vetri, 1939 Callowhill Street

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04

Sabrina's Cafe

Patrons line up out the door for Sabrina’s famous stuffed challah French toast and other mega-portioned brunch-time eats. Sabrina’s Fairmount location is one of its few locations that also serves dinner, including diner-style eats like homemade meatloaf and roasted chicken with buttermilk biscuits.

Where: Sabrina's Cafe, 1804 Callowhill Street

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05

Hickory Lane

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Cozy atmosphere makes this quaint bistro, located across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary, a neighborhood favorite. Look out on the historic behemoth while sipping a mimosa over strawberry mascarpone topped red velvet pancakes or pork belly Benedict. And don’t miss Hickory Lane’s signature burger, smoky gouda mac and cheese and other American comfort dishes designed to please.

Where: Hickory Lane, 2025 Fairmount Avenue

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06

Umai Umai

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This Japanese BYOB serves some unusual combinations (shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, honey, macadamia bits and strawberry is one) in their specialty rolls — just one of the reasons neighbors can’t get enough of the small sushi spot. Diners rave about the Godzilla (shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, strawberry, honey and roasted macadamias) and Spartan (miso-marinated beef tenderloin, cucumber, mozzarella cheese, shrimp tempura and paprika aioli) rolls.

Where: Umai Umai, 533 N. 22nd Street

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07

The Belgian Cafe

From the same people responsible for lauded beer bar Monk’s Cafe, this spot maintains a selection of more than 100 cool and interesting beers on tap and in bottles, as well as an extensive knowledge of mussels. During the warmer months, outdoor seating makes a prime people-watching spot.

Where: The Belgian Cafe, 601 N. 21st Street

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08

Zorba’s

Great Greek from three generations

Exterior of Zorba's Tavern Exterior of Zorba's Tavern
— Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC

Loved for its authentic Greek food and atmosphere (maybe it’s the three generations of Greek owners speaking in their native tongue), this spot is one of the neighborhood’s well-kept secrets. Zorba’s keeps its menus classic and reasonably priced.

Where: Zorba’s, 2230 Fairmount Avenue

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09

London Grill

A mainstay destination for local brews, burgers and finer dining

Dishes of food at London Grill Dishes of food at London Grill
— Photo courtesy of London Grill

A neighborhood staple since 1991, London Grill is one part upscale pub with local microbrews on tap and a classic cocktail menu and one part white tablecloth restaurant. Next door sits Paris Wine Bar, focusing on local and sustainable wines.

Where: London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Avenue

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10

Jack’s Firehouse

Get fired up for solid American fare and an impressive whiskey list

Exterior of Jack's Firehouse Exterior of Jack's Firehouse
— Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Set in a 19th-century firehouse — the fireman’s pole is still standing — Jack’s has been serving innovative American cuisine, along with impressive whiskey and scotch selections for more than 25 years. The restaurant boasts a prime view of the imposing Eastern State Penitentiary across the street.

Where: Jack’s Firehouse, 2130 Fairmount Avenue

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11

La Calaca Feliz

Elevated, crowd-pleasing Mexican fare

Tacos at La Calaca Feliz Tacos at La Calaca Feliz
— Photo courtesy La Calaca Feliz

This highly praised and brightly colored neighborhood spot dishes out modern Mexican cuisine and pours a few dozen tequilas in a colorful dining room. The carnitas tacos are a must-taste.

Where: La Calaca Feliz, 2321 Fairmount Avenue

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12

Whole Foods

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Fairmount’s Whole Foods isn’t your typical supermarket. The 62,000-square-foot flagship store houses four different bars (two for alcohol, one for coffee and one for juice), four eateries from notable Philly chefs and an extensive selection of hot and cold prepared foods. The in-store pub features 16 local beers on tap, wine by the glass and variety of specialty cocktails.

Where: Whole Foods, 2101 Pennsylvania Avenue

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13

Tela’s Market & Kitchen

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Tela’s Market & Kitchen is the corner store that dreams are made of. This sunny shop stocks specialty grocery items including elegant cheeses, pantry staples, produce and prepared foods, including lots of locally made goodies. Even better? The cafe menu brings breakfast and lunch dishes that strike a balance between rich and healthy.

Where: Tela’s Market & Kitchen, 1833 Fairmount Avenue

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14

Trio

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Opened by three friends, Trio is a BYOB Thai-inspired, Pan-Asian paradise. Diners in this converted row home indulge in the popular drunken noodles, much-beloved lemongrass meatballs and more.

Where: Trio, 2601 Pennsylvania Avenue

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15

Angelino's Restaurant & Pizzeria

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Seekers of pasta with homemade sauce, sandwiches, pizzas with hand-stretched crust and neighborhood atmosphere head to this casual red-sauce Italian BYOB.

Where: Angelino's Restaurant and Pizzeria, 849 N. 25th Street

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16

Kite & Key

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Named for Ben Franklin’s famous experiment with electricity, the Kite & Key offers a wide variety of craft and imported beers from around the world. The pub fare rivals the beer selection. Highlights include mussels and a veggie burger, which can be enjoyed in the beer garden.

Where: Kite & Key, 1836 Callowhill Street

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17

Bar Hygge

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To score a house-made, hyper-local brew, look no further than Bar Hygge. The brewpub offers a selection of nine different drafts along with shareable boards of veggies, cheese and meat and bar-food classics like a hearty grass-fed beef burger with beer-braised onions.

Where: Bar Hygge, 1720 Fairmount Avenue

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18

Brown Street Coffee & Bánhery

While the go-to area in Philly for Banh Mi is South Philly, Fairmount holds a hidden gem for scoring an authentic and delicious take on the Vietnamese sandwich. Choose a base of grilled pork, Korean BBQ or crispy tofu to top the sandwich’s staple ingredients (pickled carrots, daikon radish and fresh cilantro), and then consider pairing your loaded baguette with a Vietnamese coffee for a real treat.

Where: Brown Street Coffee & Bánhery, 2545 Brown Street

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19

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

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Go hands-on at Gyu-Kaku, which invites you to flame-grill your own meats over a charcoal stovetop situated right at your table. Helpful staff guide patrons through a la carte orders, which include vegetarian and vegan options (that can be paired with plenty of sake and shōchū). Regulars know to order Lady M’s Green Tea Mille Crepe for dessert.

Where: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, 1901 Callowhill Street

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20

Doma

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This 35-seat Japanese BYOB with Korean influences serves lunch and dinner to in-the-know neighbors. Regulars swear the hot-stone bibimbap rivals anything found in Chinatown.

Where: Doma, 1822 Callowhill Street

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A Mano
Buena Onda
Pizzeria Vetri
Sabrina's Cafe
Hickory Lane
Umai Umai
The Belgian Cafe
Zorba’s
London Grill
Jack’s Firehouse
La Calaca Feliz
Whole Foods
Tela’s Market & Kitchen
Trio
Angelino's Restaurant & Pizzeria
Kite & Key
Bar Hygge
Brown Street Coffee & Bánhery
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Doma
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