August 28, 2017

Philly Falls For New Restaurants

Autumn Openings Include Indulgent Vegan, Spanish Spice & French Pastry

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Cheu Fishtown's menu is full of playful takes on pan-Asian dishes, like brisket ramen with matzo balls. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Autumn approaches, and with it, the perfect weather for dining out—not to mention a whole new list of restaurants to try in the Philadelphia region. New openings include Korean food in Chinatown (Dae Bak), the satellite of Washington Square West’s Cheu Noodle Bar (Cheu Fishtown), Indonesian home cooking in South Philly (D’Jakarta Café) and a French bistro in Brewerytown (Chez Novak’s). There’s no shortage of great new flavors in town, and this list is just a starting place:

Center City:

  • Dae Bak – This second-floor eatery in the Chinatown Square food hall serves traditional Korean dishes: seafood pancake, bibimbop and army stew. The spare dining room keeps it simple, and a small drink selection (soju, Korean beer) offsets the chili paste burn. 1016 Race Street, (267) 457-5876
  • Luke’s Lobster – Philly’s second location of the Maine-inspired sandwich shop occupies a new storefront just off Market Street. As with its Rittenhouse predecessor, Luke’s menu focuses on quick seafaring eats—lobster, seafood and crab rolls, chowder and slaw. 17 S. 11th Street, (215) 971-8542,
  • Just Salad – A New York City chain brings its fresh and healthy menu—and reusable takeout bowls—to the Rittenhouse Square area. Rice and grain bowls, salads and wraps come in pre-determined combinations or can be customized. 1729 Chestnut Street,
  • Nico’s – Open morning until late at night, this modern diner and lounge in Washington Square specializes in easygoing fare such as breakfast sandwiches and burgers. Beer, wine and cocktails round out the offerings. 707 Chestnut Street, (267) 455-3030,
  • Nourish’d Truck – On Jefferson University Hospital’s campus, this food truck caters to health-minded clientele. Breakfast and lunch might feature overnight oats, avocado toast or portobello mushroom burgers. 216 S. 10th Street
  • Six Feet Under – The fun is underground at Washington Square’s newest gastropub, decked out with exposed brick, fireplaces, two bars and a dance floor. In addition to live music and DJs, the venue serves a rotating craft beer list, breakfast all day, fish and chips and skillet cookies. 727 Walnut Street, (215) 391-1100,
  • Wiz Kid – Vegan visionaries Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (Vedge, V Street) can do no wrong, and their latest concept makes it easier than ever to eat meatlessly. The Rittenhouse Square storefront focuses on sandwiches (mushroom “cheesesteak,” for one), salads and sides. 124 S. 19th Street,


  • Cheu Fishtown – The much bigger sibling to Center City’s noodle bar keeps the fun-loving vibe of the original with colorful murals and mosaics. The menu, too, is full of similarly playful takes on pan-Asian dishes like brisket ramen with matzo balls, and Eastern-inspired cocktails. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269,
  • Chez Novak’s – Brewerytown’s newest neighbor, this sunny bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves mostly French cuisine with international accents. That might include smoked chicken breast with goat cheese and papaya purée or jerked duck leg confit in mango sauce. 2829 W. Girard Avenue, (201) 844-2211,
  • Fishtown Brewpub – Another win for craft beer lovers—Fishown Brewpub serves its own potable creations in an 80-seat dining area. On the food side, the menu is creative but comforting, with beef cheek pierogi, fish sticks with kimchi ketchup and malted panna cotta on offer. 1101 Frankford Avenue, (215) 990-1396,
  • Roast – John Peralta’s Filipino food truck has perfected Cebu-style lechon—suckling pig roasted over coconut charcoal to turn rich and melty, then served with papaya slaw and sweet breakfast bread pandesal. Fans complete meals with traditional lumpia and colorful, parfait-like halo-halo dessert. Saturdays. Penn Treaty Park, (215) 361-9638, @roastphilly

South Philadelphia:

  • Bar Amis – The Navy Yard’s former Lo Spiedo is now the younger sibling of Amis Trattoria, with a similarly bar-centric tack. Count on shareable Italian “hoagie” toast, bucatini with spicy almond pesto and pork chop parmesan, an extensive beer list, plus wines by the glass. 4503 S. Broad Street, (215) 282-3184,
  • Barcelona – A welcoming tapas restaurant and wine bar arrives in East Passyunk. The expansive restaurant, outfitted in reclaimed wood accents, has an industrial feel, features a patio, offers a regularly changing menu and serves Spanish dishes both traditional (albondigas) and contemporary (red snapper crudo). 1709 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 515-7900,
  • D’Jakarta Café – Sating South Philly’s cravings for Indonesian fare, this BYO accepts cash only. The authentic, homestyle cooking includes beef soup and egg noodle dishes. 1540 W. Ritner Street, (215) 463-8888
  • Humpty’s Dumplings – Anything but typical, the dumplings at this second location of a Glenside quick-service favorite—now open in Queen Village—include fillings such as cheesesteak or shrimp and grits. Diners can also indulge in noodles with irreverent toppings and seasonal salads. 705 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 515-3250,
  • Smoke’s Poutinerie – Canada’s famed chain comes to Philly, serving crispy golden fries and heaps of squeaky cheese curds. Beyond the classic curd and gravy, toppings can include triple pork, veggie deluxe, butter chicken and Korean barbeque, among many others. 411 South Street, (215) 351-0292,

West Philadelphia:

  • Jezabel’s Studio – The owner of Jezabel’s Café branches out with an Argentine tea parlor serving mate, alfajores and empanadas. Also on offer: crafts, cooking demos and special events. 208 S. 45th Street, (215) 985-2725,


  • Pilgrim Roasters – Manayunk’s newest independent coffee bar serves impeccably sourced house-roasted beans in a modern airy setting on Main Street. Pour-overs, espressos and drip coffee accompany Au Fornil pastries and yogurt parfaits. 4120 Main Street,
  • Yiro Yiro – Its name means “round and round,” referring to the rotisserie cuisine of this fast casual Greek eatery in Roxborough. Diners can mix and match meats, sauces, salads and platters and end the meal with a yogurt and baklava crumble. 6024 Ridge Avenue,

Suburban Openings:

  • Delice et Chocolat – A former Le Bec-Fin pastry chef graces Ardmore with a fine French patisserie and cafe. Antoine Amrani serves coffee and confections, quiche, salad and sandwiches, along with chocolate and pastries like raspberry rose petal macarons. 7 Station Road, Ardmore, (610) 649-7001,
  • Enoteca Tredici – The Main Line now hosts an outpost of 13th Street’s Tredici. The kitchen turns out smart Italian Mediterranean dishes (scallops with fennel couscous; squid ink pasta with shishito peppers) in a gorgeously chic setting. 915 W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, (484) 381-0268,
  • Pala’a – Ceviche, fish arepas and chupe dominate the menu at Ardmore’s casual Latin American seafooder. Eaters can also sample fried plantain sandwiches and salmon tartar. 18 W. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, (484) 413-2392
  • Snap Custom Pizza & Salads – The custom pizza chain that started on the Main Line continues to take over the region, now in Conshohocken. Eaters can choose from signature combos or make their own with tempting toppings like balsamic syrup, veal meatballs and gorgonzola. 6 E. 1st Avenue, Conshohocken, (610) 234-6162,
  • True Food Kitchen – A restaurant chain focusing on healthful, seasonal cookery finds an ideal home at the King of Prussia Mall. Hungry shoppers can stay true to their dietary preferences with quinoa bowls, sustainable fish and vegan wraps. 239 Mall Boulevard, King of Prussia, (484) 751-1954,

Coming Soon:

  • Andy’s Chicken – Fishtown’s KFC (Korean fried chicken) specialist will open a sibling spot on South Street this fall.
  • Brickwall Tavern – A Jersey-based pub promises the Gayborhood 20 beers on tap and comfort food, come late fall.
  • Chubby Cattle – A Chinese hot pot restaurant with Las Vegas roots plans to set up shop in Chinatown before the end of 2017.
  • Gin & Pop – Francisville’s soon-to-be open eatery promises trendy eats and drinks with a neighborhood vibe.
  • L’Anima – Graduate Hospital gets an intimate Italian BYOB from the owners of Melograno and Fraschetta.
  • Middle Child – This modern diner concentrates on breakfast and lunch options near Washington Square.
  • Mike’s BBQ – A mobile smoked-meat enterprise gets a bricks and mortar home near East Passyunk this fall.
  • N2 Sweet Café – Liquid nitrogen ice cream arrives any minute in Chinatown.
  • Oloroso – Celebrated chef Townsend Wentz tackles Spanish food at his upcoming restaurant in Center City East.
  • Pistola’s Del Sur – The southernmost edge of the East Passyunk food corridor gets the latest version of this fun, locally based Mexican bar—and Mexican pizza—in September.
  • Porta – The classic Asbury Park pizzeria and pastaria has planned a Midtown Village outpost for late fall.
  • Redcrest Fried Chicken – A Brooklyn restaurateur makes the Philly switch with a kitchen serving fried chicken lunch through late night.
  • Royal Boucherie – Top Chef-winner Nick Elmi strikes again, this time in Old City with a food-driven pub featuring charcuterie and a raw bar.
  • Suraya – A multipurpose eatery with garden, coffee bar, market and dining room emphasizing eastern-Mediterranean flavors will shake up the scene in Fishtown.
  • TALK – October’s the projected date for the Marigold Kitchen team’s new, near-Rittenhouse venture, a bar and restaurant with creative American cooking.
  • Tuna Bar – By late September, Old City will have a new Japanese raw bar and grill from a fourth-generation restaurant owner.
  • Ugly Duckling – The fellas behind the Blue Duck plan to debut yet another project, an American twist to the hipster noodle bar for Washington Square West.

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