2014 has been a big year for Philly restaurants, so it makes sense to take a break from eating (and even more eating...) to reflect on the past year. But don't take to long 'cause if you haven't already, you still need to check out Philadelphia's 11 best new restaurants of the year...
Jose Garces’ latest gives you the chance to try internationally-inspired tasting menus in six-course or 12-course installments. Locally sourced and seasonally changing menus (made by Garces himself) are the true highlight of the restaurant, but if you can't score a ticket -- yes a ticket! -- to dinner in the back, the bar out front is down to feed you a selection of the aforementioned prix fixe items à la carte-style.
You can opt for the $30 bountiful prix fixe brunch menu, which includes an entree, appetizer, side, and bottomless margaritas or mimosas, or order off the awesome raw bar and taco menus and you won't be disappointed. But let's be honest, in this town, the fact the kitchen is open until 2am alone makes it one of the biggest openings of the year.
The Corner got a nice NOLA-flavored makeover from Louisiana chef Paul Martin, who’s offering Cajun favorites like as crawfish fritters, confit rabbit nuggets, and skillet-roasted fish.
There’s plenty to do and to try at this new North 2nd St spot, whether you opt for biscuits and gravy at lunch or the Bang Bang Chicken pizza, when you’re done eating sip on the Dead Black Sage cocktail and enjoy the live music, burlesque, or whatever other event is being held that night.
Ten years in, Lolita needed a makeover, and it certainly got one. Now the spot’s equipped with a full liquor license (cucumber-jalapeño margaritas!) and Mexican eats, including mango guacamole and a whole lot of tacos, plus late-night food specials throughout the week.
Think of it as a marginally lower calorie, but much better, version of Chipotle. Design all the fixings for your sushi of choice and get it wrapped up in a nice sushiritto, for when you need your raw fish on the go, which we all do.
This may seem like the perfect place to fuel up for a night of bar hopping, but after you stuff yourself on their burger with a mac & cheese filled BUN -- 1,783 calories for $12.50 -- you'll probably have to settle for hitting the bar and nightclub inside this one-stop eating and drinking spot instead.
Cafe Ynez serves three meals a day, which means nachos in the morning, nachos in the evening, and nachos at suppertime... though it you have too, you can also score Mexican coffee, a taco platter, or some South-of-the-border-style seafood, too.
This cozy, sun-soaked spot gives a nod to local heritage via antique furniture/fittings, old-school wainscoting, vintage wood, etc., plus it offers a mix of your favorite comfort foods like Chef Yun Fuentes’ $8 hamburger, or more eclectic dishes like cider turnips and scallops with grits.
The rustic bi-level restaurant offers dry-aged Berkshire pork chops, chickpea fritters, deviled eggs with duck confit, and happy hour six days a week. You can also try the Escargots à la Georges Perrier, in case you’ve been missing Le Bec Fin.
High Street on Market has gained quite a following in its short existence, and it’s no wonder why: fresh shareable bites, such as Sunflower Seed Risotto, populate the starters, and creative pastas and other dishes make the entrees hard to choose between. Luckily, there’s a solution for that: sample eight dishes selected by the kitchen staff for $50.
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1. Volvér300 S Broad St, Philadelphia
2. Sancho Pistola's19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia
3. Mamou102 S 13th St, Philadelphia
4. Bourbon & Branch705 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
5. Lolita106 S 13th St, Philadelphia
6. Hai Street Kitchen & Co.32 S 18th St, Philadelphia
7. Flat Iron26 East Oregon Ave, Philadelphia
8. Cafe Ynez2025 Washington Ave, Philadelphia
9. Society Hill Society400 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
10. The Treemont231 South 15th Street, Philadelphia
11. High Street on Market308 Market St, Philadelphia
Located in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Volvér provides a certain culinary artistry of its own. Its cocktails are inarguably imaginative, making use of everything from pink peppercorn and beet sugar to basil and nectarine shrubs. The drink menu has separate sections for seasonal cocktails, and for the variety of house-crafted and classic drinks served at the wide, circular bar year round. The seating beyond the bar itself is dark and plush, organized around small round tables, while expansive murals cover most of the available wall space. The chefs prepare a number of small plates and upscale snacks -- American caviar, foie gras and eclectic charcuterie -- as quick, light fare for theatre-goers en route to their chosen performances.
Firing up tacos like spicy tuna with guac and red onions, plus mains like Red Tail Bass with tempura-battered pickled red cabbage, chipotle aioli & cilantro, this Mexican eatery won't let you go thirsty, with 10 beers on tap and a whole mess of tequilas and mescals.
Mamou brings rustic Louisiana country to Philly through Executive Chef Paul Martin's Cajun menu. It's got everything from oyster shots to Mama Kat't gumbo to Confit rabbit nuggets.
B&B features beer and pub fare with a fancy twist: think banh mi sliders, tikka masala mussels, etc, plus classics like fried pickles and mac-n-cheese.
Lolita is back with authentic tasting Mexican corn, habanero margaritas, the best guac in the city. They've also got pretty much every taco you can imagine -- from shrimp to fish to pulled pork to fried chicken.
If you've never been to a Japanese burrito bar, then get ready for a Subway-style build your own sandwich concept -- but with sushi. Try the fresh Slammin Salmon, shrimp tempura roll with pickled mango, cabbage, pepper teriyaki.
Flat Iron has many faces -- it's a dance party and music venue at night, a sports bar during games, and a place to bring your friends to eat during the day. It's got a great menu that includes gluten-free options too.
Cafe Ynez is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mexican joint in Point Breeze that is BYOB. We are huge fans of their diverse brunch menu and authentic Mexican dinner entrees, and locals love their fun and festive atmosphere. Cafe Ynez frequently tops our must-eat in Philly lists, and you will know why as soon as you take your first bite.
Reed Barrow’s SHS is all Americana, with a mean hamburger and a killer apple-braised pork belly with ham consommé. Bypass the cocktail list and tell the bartenders what flavor you're in the mood for and they'll whip up something just for you.
Chip Roman brings dry-aged Berkshire pork chops, chickpea fritters, deviled eggs with duck confit to Center City. Plus, there's happy hour every day (except Saturday) from 5-7pm.
You’ve never had bread quite like the ancient grains, roasted potato, or anadama on grill at High Street on Market. The New American haunt in Old City centers its menu on local grains, which High Street refines and finesses at the crack of dawn each day into the stuff of sandwiches, pastries, and pastas that bedeck the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. For lunch, it is sinful to miss out on the smoky and briny pastrami on rye, dressed with cabbage slaw, Russian dressing, and Gulden’s mustard. Opt for the pastas at dinner; they’re decidedly un-Italian and, therefore, entirely unforgettable.