Food & Drink

A Grown-Up’s Guide to South Street

Published On 10/26/2015 Published On 10/26/2015

There are more than a few places on South Street where you invariably end up making bad decisions, and, especially if you keep walking east, more than a few people who are in denial about college ending. Of course, that doesn't mean a night out there is invariably a bad idea, at least if you have our guide to South Street spots for people who are willing to acknowledge they're at least over 27. Raise a (sophisticated) glass to these 10 spots that will make you happy to be a grown-up, at least some of the time. 

Honey's Sit N Eat

Honey’s Sit 'N Eat

2101 South St

Honey’s is the kind of go-to spot for a casual brunch, or dinner any day of the week, that won’t end in you taking shots with strangers. Though the brunch scene can be a bit more hectic on weekends, it’s not because you’ll be battling young coeds born in 1994 for bottomless mimosas.

Jet Wine Bar

Jet Wine Bar

1525 South St

Nothing says adulthood like sampling wine and pretending you know what you’re talking about. Even if you’re not a seasoned sommelier, though, the snob-free atmosphere at Jet welcomes you with rotating vinos from around the world, and if that’s not enough they’ve also got ongoing brunch specials.

Danya Henninger

Rex 1516

1516 South St

The same team that brought you Jet Wine Bar also brings you this stellar little cocktail spot mixing grade-A concoctions crafted by thoughtful mixologists with no-nonsense southern comfort food. Look into it.

The Cambridge

The Cambridge

1508 South St

The Cambridge may lure you with its twinkly outdoor patio and cozy, dimly lit indoor space, but will keep you coming back with its extensive beer menu and the tantalizing “up next” tap list you will mistakenly try to order off of before you’re allowed. Consider it a quieter alternative to the boozy noise fest across the street at Bob & Barbara’s.

Flickr/Jennifer Boyer

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

1020 South St
This labyrinthine art space is a gallery and community arts center you can walk through anytime of day, but it’s practically begging you to take that special someone for a romantic twilight stroll.

Serpico Philadelphia

Serpico Philadelphia

604 South St

Peter Serpico and Stephen Starr got together to create this high-end American eatery, where the dinner menu includes plates like seared foie gras and mushroom tartare... so don’t let its proximity to Perfumes of Venus fool you -- this place is for a fancy dinner.

La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria

La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria

636 South St

Obviously we can’t make it through this list without noting yet another amazingly authentic Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, and this time it’s La Fourno. Whether you want to sample the best dishes from different Italian regions, or you’re simply craving some pizza that isn’t served to you for $1 at 3am, La Fourno has your fix.

Bistrot La Minette

Bistrot La Minette

623 South St

Why not put a piece of Paris in the middle of South Street? That’s the idea behind this bistro with chic outdoor seating that will beg of you to smoke a cigarette under a black-and-white Instagram filter, though that wouldn’t be very “adult” of you, so maybe you’re better off feasting on some beef bourguignon and butternut squash soup.

Lovash Indian Restaurant & Bar

Lovash Indian Cuisine & Bar

236 South St

Lovash is the perfect spot to fuel up on Indian cuisine in a cozy, intimate setting, far enough removed from the busiest parts of South Street but not so much that you forget where you are (aka, you can get a tarot reading on the second floor of the building).

Bridget Foy’s

Bridget Foy’s

200 South St

Right on the corner of 2nd & South in the heart of the Headhouse District, Bridget Foy’s offers a great deck for people watching, plus a second level for private parties. The bar is perfect if you’re looking to get your cocktail on after a long day of doing whatever adults do, and the spot also offers all-day menus in addition to brunch and gluten-free specialties.

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Marielle Mondon is a Philly-born freelance writer who knows way too much about the non-grown up goings on of South Street. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram to see for yourself.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Honey’s Sit N' Eat 2101 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Street)

Honey’s Sit N' Eat, a premier breakfast/Southern comfort food spot on Philadelphia's South Street, serves all of your favorite morning specials, and then adds three different kinds of bacon just to make you sweat. Made mostly of locally farmed and fresh ingredients, this eatery encourages sweet, gluttonous indulgence with a conscience. Normally it's one or the other.

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2. Jet Wine Bar 1525 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Street)

This South Street hideaway is famous for its extensive, seasonal wine list that offers bottles from, to name a few, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Chile, Morocco, and Georgia. Additionally, Jet also provides laid-back, informative wine tasting classes and an array of globally-inspired appetizers, such as steak or mushroom montadito, Spanish meatballs, and Merguez skewers.

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3. Rex 1516 1516 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (G Ho)

From the crew behind Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516 is a breezy 35-seater that pairs an interior reminiscent of a derelict mansion (wrought iron chandeliers, antique mirrors, distressed woodwork) with a Mobile-bred, chef-prepped menu that covers all the Deep South culinary bases. With ongoing whiskey specials and a killer burger (and a home run mac n’ cheese), you get both killer food and drink under one roof.

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4. The Cambridge 1508 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Street)

Proving that following a legend won't always end in someone saying "Sorry sir, Meatloaf cleared out the continental breakfast" is Cambridge, which replaces the old grimy music venue Tritone with a new South St gastro from the crew behind Hawthorne's.

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5. Serpico 604 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

This upscale spot with a large, airy open kitchen focuses on New American fare with Asian inspiration. The menu changes frequently and is very ingredient-driven. Cozy booths, counter space and a small bar are all able to accommodate the full menu. Raw fluke, Cope’s corn ravioli, and the matsutake risotto are all examples of standout menu items.

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6. La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria 636 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Street)

This Italian eatery cooks dishes like veal paremsan, bruschetta toast (they have a trio of them and one has strawberries), and calzones. Everything on the menu comes highly recommended. Whatever you eat here will surely please your palate.

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7. Bistrot La Minette 623 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Street)

With an impressive wine selection and a presentation-focused menu, Bistrot La Minette transports you to Paris for a night... without the cost of airfare.

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8. Lovash Indian Restaurant & Bar 236 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Street)

Serving up traditional Indian dishes with a little spice and flare, this restaurant is the hidden gem of South Street. When you try their coconut lamb and of course help yourself to buttery naan.

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9. Bridget Foy's 200 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Society Hillqueen Village)

Whether you opt for the Standard burger or the Head House Market burger with fried egg and swiss, Bridget Foy’s is celebrated for reinventing new ways to present your favorite comfort foods.

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