December 11, 2017

Fuel Up This Winter With Philly's New Restaurants

New Openings Include French Bakeries, Neighborhood Bistros, Greek Fast Food & More

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Founding Farmers is the first Pennsylvania location of a sustainably-focused chain features a something-for-everyone menu. Photo courtesy Founding Fathers
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The Yards Brewery production facility in Spring Garden also features a full dining experience. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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There’s no hibernating this winter—not when Philadelphia’s restaurant scene offers so many fresh ways to stay warm and energized. Among the worth-bundling-up-for culinary newcomers: a second location for a beloved Korean fried chicken spot (Andy’s Chicken), a destination-worthy American-style brasserie for Old City from Laurel’s Nick Elmi (Royal Boucherie) and a pair of new gyro kitchens (Moustaki and Yeeroh). The following are just some of the latest reasons to bundle up, with more on the way in the New Year:

Center City:

  • Alice – The folks behind Rittenhouse coffee shop Gran Caffe L’Aquila bring the neighborhood another Roman pizza shop, where al taglio (rectangular, square slice) pizza is sold by weight, and sit-down dinners pull from an expanded menu, starting at 3 p.m. Also for sale: Italian wine, beer and cocktails. 236 S. 15th Street, (215) 545-2020, @alicepizzaphiladelphia
  • Andy’s Chicken – The Fishtown phenom expands to a second location in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, this time with seating. Fans will note that the menu of Korean fried chicken, rice and noodle dishes, remains unchanged. 2108 South Street, (215) 515-3553,
  • J’aime – A French bakery fills the demand for note-perfect éclairs, brioche and crepes in Midtown Village. The sunny white space features a marble countertop and booth seating and opens to sidewalk tables in milder weather. 212 S. 12th Street, (267) 928-3172,
  • Keen Philly – First-time restaurateurs Caitlin and Chris Rorer claim this modern pub and its menu of hearty hand pies, burgers (including veggie), pig candy, noodles and just-as-hearty cocktails, beers and wines. 1708 Lombard Street, (215) 515-5336,
  • The Love – Restaurateurs Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Garden team up for a third venture, this time for homey American fare in Rittenhouse Square. Exposed brick, comfy banquettes and plank floors set a welcoming stage for ricotta-stuffed pierogi, smoked whole trout with maple farro and spicy pecans and a thoughtful wine list. 130 S. 18th Street, (215) 433-1555,
  • Middle Child – Providing a friendly daytime respite in busy Center City, this newfangled diner serves breakfast, sandwiches, salads and Elixr coffee. The tailored menu features creations like blintz toast with blueberry masala jam and the “phoagie” (with hoisin eggplant, frizzled onion and sambal paste). 248 S. 11th Street, (267) 930-8344,
  • Moustaki – The storefront gyro gets a sleek update with this casual Greek restaurant in Center City West. On the menu are authentic mezedes, gyro and souvlaki sandwiches and feta-topped pizza. 161 N. 21st Street, (215) 964-9151,
  • N2 Sweet Café – Now’s the time to try liquid nitrogen ice cream. The Chinatown parlor scoops up signature flavors such as “the camper” (with toasted marshmallow and graham crackers and topped with Hershey’s chocolate) as well as design-your-own creations. 125 N. 11th Street, (215) 925-3200,
  • Oloroso – Chef Townsend Wentz of Townsend and A Mano turns his attention to authentic Spanish tapas: boquerones, roasted bone marrow, paella Valenciana, a roasted half pig’s head to go with a full bar, heavy on the sherry and vermouth lists. The setting: banquettes upholstered in Persian rugs and a mural depicting the conquest of Majorca. 1121 Walnut Street, (267) 324-3014,
  • Royal Boucherie – Having built a small empire of Royal restaurants, Stephen Simons and David Frank teamed up with celebrated chef Nick Elmi (Laurel) for an American brasserie in Old City. The bi-level space opens into a bar and tufted green banquette seating where guests can enjoy raw seafood, natural wine and bistro eats like steak au poivre. 52 S. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6313,
  • Trattoria Carina – Swiftly and quietly replacing the well-loved Fitler Dining Room, this new, no-reservations Italian eatery from the same ownership aims to feed neighbors with approachable eats and a curated drink list. The corner boîte specializes in platters of bucatini cacio e pepe, chicken Milanese and zuppa di pesce. 2201 Spruce Street, (215) 732-5818
  • Tuna Bar – Chef Kenneth Sze brings Old City’s new Bridge Building a polished Japanese raw bar. On the menu: Sze’s grandmother’s recipe for wonton soup, classic sashimi and homemade dumplings. 205 Race Street, (215) 238-8862,
  • Yeeroh – South Street West’s newest fast casual spot is a great place to score a gyro fix. Hefty portions of feta fries and pork souvlaki can be ordered for takeout or enjoyed at one of the modern-rustic wood tables. 1412 South Street, (215) 545-8000,

North of Center City:

  • Gin & Pop – Francisville residents no longer have to travel to sate a craving for tuna crudo or short rib poutine. This high-end bar serves both, along with burgers, craft beer, wine and cocktails like the Rye and Gosling (rye, Gosling’s, amaro, ginger and orange). 1839 Poplar Street, (267) 687-1009,
  • The Kettle Black – The loaf’s the thing at this slate-toned boulangerie overlooking 2nd Street. Charcoal bread, croissants and bagels and sandwiches therein can be ordered with Peddler coffee drinks. 631 N. 2nd Street,
  • Mad Rex – Fishtown’s expansive restaurant and bar with a post-apocalyptic theme allows “survivors” to feast on cook-your-own meats on hot lava slabs or enjoy the certainty of burgers, steaks and bananas Foster. 1000 Frankford Avenue, Suite 1, (267) 773-7566,
  • Suraya – This expansive Middle Eastern-accented cafe, market, restaurant and outdoor garden promises to serve many purposes—and patrons in Fishtown. Market is open now; restaurant to follow in early 2018. 1528 Frankford Avenue, (215) 302-1900,
  • Yards Brewery and Taproom – The relocated Yards Brewery production facility in Spring Garden features a full dining experience. The menu, courtesy of chef Jim Burke, beckons with beer-friendly eats like pork belly kebabs, patty melts and venison chili with maple cornbread. 500 Spring Garden Street, (215) 634-2600,

South Philadelphia:

  • Philly Tacos – The master behind the original Los Taquitos de Puebla brings his al pastor magic to a new venture, a Point Breeze taqueria with a casual storefront atmosphere. Guests can choose from a list of dozens of taco fillings, or try the alambres and quesadillas. 2011 Reed Street, (215) 334-1200,
  • Pistola’s Del Sur – The third Pistola’s restaurant completes the trifecta with a Passyunk address and daily lunch and dinner service (the kitchen is open until 1 a.m.), with brunch on the weekends. The casual beer-centric menu keeps the focus on nachos, queso fundido and tacos. 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 519-2329,
  • Rival Bros. – The Philly roasters take on a third coffee bar location, this time in South Philly. The stylishly airy space features mod lighting, hardwood floors and the usual caffeinated suspects, plus pastries from Machine Shop Boulangerie, bread from High Street on Market and pies from Stargazy. 1100 Tasker Street,

West Philadelphia:

  • Hatch & Coop – University City’s former Jake’s Sandwich Board is now this fried chicken eat-in or take-outery, featuring fried chicken, roasted thigh, fried cauliflower—and made-to-order ice cream—sandwiches, along with a single salad and fries. 125 S. 40th Street, (215) 921-9580,


  • Louie’s Little Hut – Chestnut Hill meets surf shop meets sandwich shop is open all day for breakfast and lunch. Menu highlights include waffle sandwiches and a cream-cheese-topped variation on the cheesesteak. 8419 Germantown Avenue, (267) 766-5044,

Suburban Openings:

  • Bam Bam Kitchen – Downtown Ardmore now has its first Korean restaurant. Colorful lights and a glittery tiled wall shine on authentic dishes such as japchae, pajeon and bulgogi. 31 E. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, (484) 844-7827,
  • Buena Onda – Jose Garces makes the newly hot King of Prussia Mall an even more desirable dining destination with the second location of his Baja-style taqueria. Classic and seafood tacos, quesadillas and kid-friendly portions—served on Frisbees—at the Savor Food Court. 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia,
  • Founding Farmers – The hospitality group operated by the North Dakota Farmers Union went big with an epic 14,000 square foot restaurant in King of Prussia. The first Pennsylvania location of a sustainably-focused chain features a something-for-everyone menu with seven-cheese macaroni, vegan grain bowls and salads and sandwiches in between. 255 Main Street Suite 180, King of Prussia, (484) 808-4008,

Coming Soon:

  • Bernie’s – Both West Philly and Manayunk anticipate the newest branches of a restaubar with roots in Glenside and Hatboro.
  • Bourse Food Hall – A world-class and globetrotting marketplace will open at the Bourse in summer 2018, featuring Chaat & Chai (Indian street food), Vera Pasta, Mighty Melt (grilled cheese), Ka’Moon (halal Egyptian fare), and much more.
  • Chalaco’s Ceviche and Pisco Bar – A dedicated Peruvian restaurant arrives on Liberties Walk in early 2018 in the space Chubby Cattle – A Las Vegas Chinese hot pot restaurant brings its broth to Chinatown.
  • Craft Hall – Next year will see the opening of Avram Hornik’s beer, bread and barbecue eatery in the former Yards Brewing Co. space.
  • Fitler Club – Touted as an “urban country club,” this Center City concept will combine fitness, wellness and business spaces, along with a restaurant courtesy of notables Kevin Sbraga and Jeff Benjamin.
  • Flow State – Philly’s next gelato destination also specializes in coffee, pastries, skeeball and beer in Kensington.
  • Franklin Ice Cream Bar – Having already conquered the turn-of-the-century soda fountain and candy businesses, brothers Eric and Ryan Berley will open an Art Deco ice cream shop in Old City.
  • Junior’s Beef & Pork – Wildwood’s roast pork emporium will sling meaty sandwiches on East Passyunk Avenue.
  • L’Anima – The owners of Melograno and Fraschetta go for a third with their Italian BYOB in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.
  • Loco Lucho – A Puerto Rican catering company will become Reading Terminal’s newest lunch purveyor, offering island-inspired street food.
  • Louie-Louie – European eats with outdoor seating will replace the Inn at Penn’s Penne, courtesy of Marty and Sydney Grims of White Dog Café fame.
  • Main & Vine – Villanova’s newest is a wine bar and Northern California-style eatery on the way.
  • Mike’s BBQ – A mobile smoked-meat enterprise will go bricks and mortar in South Philly this winter.
  • Penn Food Hall – Early in 2018, the University of Pennsylvania campus revamps a food court with excellent purveyors such as Goldie, Kensington Quarters, Little Baby’s Ice Cream and more.
  • P.J. Whelihan’s – The booming local chain of family-friendly sports bar, emphasis on the wings, branches out to Newtown Square in time for the New Year.
  • Porta/Brickwall Tavern – An Asbury Park, NJ-based hospitality group delivers two concepts to Midtown Village in spring 2018: Neapolitan pizzeria Porta for early 2018 followed by gastropub Brickwall Tavern.
  • Redcrest Fried Chicken – A Brooklyn chef plans to helm South Philly’s upcoming fried chicken restaurant.
  • Talk – The Marigold Kitchen team’s eagerly anticipated American bar and restaurant will liven up the west side of Walnut Street.
  • Tatel – Backed by Spanish celebrities Rafael Nadal, Enrique Iglesias and others, a Madrid favorite will open in the former Boyd Theater.
  • The Tipsy Bistro – An all-day sports bar with global influences gives University City another laid-back dining option.
  • Workhorse Brewing – Rounding out the King of Prussia dining renaissance, this new brewpub will feature a tasting room and event space.

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