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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
1. Honey’s Sit N' Eat2101 South St, Philadelphia
2. Jet Wine Bar1525 South St, Philadelphia
3. Rex 15161516 South St, Philadelphia
4. The Cambridge1508 South St, Philadelphia
5. Serpico604 South St, Philadelphia
6. La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria636 South St, Philadelphia
7. Bistrot La Minette623 S 6th St, Philadelphia
8. Lovash Indian Restaurant & Bar236 South Street, Philadelphia
9. Bridget Foy's200 South St, Philadelphia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bistrot La Minette is just about the closest thing to Paris one can find in the heart of Philly. The authentic French bistro is filled with red plush seating, lengthy rows of tables, each just inches from the next, and handsome unobtrusive waiters in button-up vests balancing trays of fois gras and red wine. The menu is built around fresh local ingredients, and traditional French flavors, offering everything from mustard-braised rabbit and white wine-roasted chicken to escargot in herb butter and tarte tatin (ridiculously delicious upside-down caramelized apple cake). The wine, beer, and spirits lists are curated with the same Francophile dedication, because a French meal is never complete without a glass of French wine.
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.
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.