Everywhere You Need to Eat in Philly Right Now

Soul food spots, fine dining restaurants, and laid-back pizza joints you absolutely must try.

Laser Wolf
Laser Wolf | Photo by Michael Persico
Laser Wolf | Photo by Michael Persico

The Philly dining scene has been through some hurdles the last couple years, but locals know underdogs always end up on top. Even in the face of closures and restrictions, the city is enjoying an ongoing growth spurt of new restaurants that make us excited to re-discover the city.

From long-awaited openings in transformed historic spaces to welcoming tables that make you feel right at home, these restaurants prove the industry is ever-evolving and flourishing. There is never a shortage of dining spots to discover, so take a look at all the best restaurants in Philadelphia where you should be eating right now.

Wilder

Rittenhouse
$$$$

The gist: Renovated three-story former dance school featuring open pizza kitchen and raw bar.
The food: After a few Covid-era delays, Wilder has finally joined the Rittenhouse dining scene with a spectacular space that shows off gorgeous design as a backdrop for a fun, approachable menu of elevated favorites. In addition to Neapolitan pizza and fresh crudo taking center stage, Wilder dishes out handmade pasta, stunning raw bar platters, and some on-point mains like the dry-aged strip steak with parm potatoes or Spanish octopus finished with charred eggplant puree and pesto. At the bar you’ll find curated drafts and cans, smart cocktails, and bubbly.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Amina

Old City
$$$$

The gist: Southern fare meets Nigerian influence in a space inspired by the restaurant’s African warrior namesake.
The food: Chef Daryl Harmond, in partnership with owner Felicia Wilson, incorporates his own personal spice blends to create a menu rich in flavor and big on incorporating ingredients of African cuisine. The menu runs the gamut from casual snacks to elevated entrees, including peri peri wings, NOLA-style gumbo, catfish hush puppies, grilled lamb T-bone steak tower, and hot fried cauliflower. There are even a few items with a local Philly bent, including the cheesesteak beignets and soft-pretzel dusted fish n’ chips. Keep an eye out as the new spot starts to incorporate brunch and lunch to its offerings.

Available for Reservations

Sooo Delicious Soul Food

Midtown Village
$$$$

The gist: One of Philly’s most coveted food trucks finds a permanent home for soul food favorites.
The food: Owners Aminah McDaniel and Angel King earned Sooo Delicious quite a following when first opening their food truck, just before the pandemic hit in 2020. Despite the topsy-turvy industry over the last couple of years, Sooo Delicious has never lost its momentum, now set up in its Locust Street cafe where you can order the goods daily. Must-try dishes include fried whiting, jerk wings, fried jumbo shrimp, crab cakes, and fried fish with a side of baked mac n’ cheese and honey butter cornbread.

Mish Mish

East Passyunk
$$$$

The gist: Middle Eastern meets Mediterranean from a former Philly food journalist.
The food: Owner Alex Tewfik, longtime food editor at Philadelphia Magazine, switched gears last year when he decided to open a restaurant of his own. Mish Mish (which is Arabic for “apricot”) offers a refreshing menu of dishes like fried Armenian string cheese, maitake mushrooms with crushed fava beans and stracchino cheese, and marinated mussels served with lobster-buttered bread. At the bar is a carefully selected list of Mediterranean wines.

Available for Reservations

Volvér

Avenue of the Arts
$$$$

The gist: The grand return of Jose Garces’ finest dining restaurant at the Kimmel Center.
The food: After a long pandemic shutdown, Volvér is welcoming diners back with the same high-brow ambiance fitting for a pre-show meal. With the restaurant’s return also comes its new chef in residency initiative that puts a spotlight on rising chefs, particularly those who have been impacted by the pandemic, for six-week residencies. The current chef on the docket is Jezabel Careaga, whose menu includes empanadas, tamales, dulce de leche, and much more, but expect exciting new dishes from talented chefs as the program continues.

Available for Reservations

Golden Dragon

Cobbs Creek
$$$$

The gist: A Black- and Asian-operated takeout concept focused on family recipes.
The food: You can expect affordable meals that always hit the spot at Golden Dragon, whether you’re after fried egg over rice or a kimchi breakfast sandwich for breakfast, or your dinner cravings have you wanting handmade dumplings and sweet-and-sour chicken wings. No matter what you decide on, every meal is made with the mission to uplift local businesses and preserve the family recipes of the Golden Dragon team.
How to order: Call 215-921-4305. Cash only.

Juana Tamale

East Passyunk
$$$$

The gist: Too-good birria tacos have finally found a permanent home.
The food: After getting us hooked with pop-ups over the years, chef and owner Jennifer Zavala has finally blessed us with a brick-and-mortar location in South Philly. Juana Tamale offers birria tacos, tamales, ramen, and even vegan wings as menu mainstays, but always keep your eyes peeled for specials you’d never expect.

Figo

Northern Liberties
$$$$

The gist: An Italian eatery that’s expansive in space and offerings.
The food: Figo serves up a little bit of everything you crave when it comes to Italian food, whether you’re dining in the large indoor and outdoor space or getting takeout. For now, pizza, pasta, hoagies, lots of wine, and even Italian soda are all in the mix, plus Figo is in the process of rolling out happy hour, late night, and brunch menus to boot—so it’s a go-to any time of the day.

Available for Reservations

Ocho Rios Parrilla

East Passyunk
$$$$

The gist: Friendly neighborhood spot for Caribbean recipes and cocktails.
The food: Expect all the best flavors from across the Caribbean islands at Ocho Rios Parrilla, which is named after the northern coast of Jamaica. Menu highlights include traditional oxtail stew in rich brown gravy, grilled salmon in Barbados BBQ or Jamaican jerk sauce, and curry shrimp sauteed with tri-color peppers in a coconut curry sauce. It’s even better with specialty house cocktails, from traditional Cuban mojitos to hibiscus tea margaritas.
How to book: Walk in

Tambayan

Reading Terminal Market
$$$$

The gist: All-day Filipino restaurant that’s bringing new life to Reading Terminal from Kathy Mirano.
The food: If a trip to Reading Terminal is long overdue, make it your mission to visit the latest addition, Tambayan. The restaurant from market mainstay Kathy Mirano specializes in Filipino dishes like pancit stir fry, fried lumpia, and deep-fried purple sweet potato ube fries. For dessert, stock up on macarons (12 for $20) so you can try every flavor, including ube, mango, matcha, pineapple, and more.
How to book: Walk in

Salem Cafe

Germantown
$$$$

The gist: A menu that mingles Ethiopian and Middle Eastern fare with a market and cafe.
The food: You’ll always find something new to try at Salam Cafe, with a menu that features baba ghanoush, spicy beef stew with injera, hummus, falafel, and weekend veggie firfir. If you can’t decide which way to go, stop by for the Ethiopian and Mediterranean fusion special, which gets you three courses for $20. Even better, you can always swing by the other side of the restaurant and pick up some essentials from the market to take home.
How to book: Walk in

Middle Child Clubhouse
Photo by Ian Shiver, courtesy of Middle Child Clubhouse

The gist:The grown-up version of Philly’s lunchtime favorite, now with a full dinner menu and bar.
The food:Middle Child is a luncheonette no more. The second location of Philly’s favorite sandwich shop has upped the offerings with breakfast, lunch, and dinner available at a 40-seat bar or 60-seat dining room. The menu ventures beyond the sandwich—though those are obviously still there—to include an eclectic mix of laidback plates, everything from veggie burgers to fried seafood. At the bar expect more irreverent charm, this time in the form of frozen negronis and chai tea Old Fashioneds.

Available for Reservations
LMNO
Photo by Jason Varney

Lmno

Fishtown
$$$$

The gist: A hybrid multi-purpose venue and restaurant serving fire-grilled Mexican fare from Stephen Starr.
The food: Stephen Starr’s latest Philly restaurant is finally open in Fishtown after an intended April 2020 opening was postponed, for obvious reasons. The space is a bookstore, music venue, and art gallery, but all of that takes a backseat to the killer food and drink options. A live-fire grill is the focal point of the Mexican-focused menu, serving up meat, seafood, and veggie tacos, along with some smaller plates like guacamole and ceviche. If you want to get fancy, for-the-table house specials include lobster puerto nuevo, adobo lamb shank, and more.

Available for Reservations

Rex At The Royal

Graduate Hospital
$$$$

The gist: This newly reopened Southern cuisine favorite gets a space upgrade and raw bar.
The food: Rex at the Royal is the amped-up return of Rex 1516, which was known for laidback-yet-luxurious Southern-inspired fare, amazing wings, and a killer burger. The new Rex at the Royal—which takes up the ground floor of the newly renovated Royal Theater Apartments—transforms Rex into a cavernous space featuring a bottle shop, a stage for live music, and a much larger bar and dining room. With the new space comes a new menu, keeping a few of the old favorites (you can still get that killer burger, but the wings, unfortunately, are gone for now) while adding a raw bar and more elevated mains to the mix.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Caphe Roasters

Kensington
$$$$

The gist: Your new go-to for Vietnamese coffee and a chill cafe space.
The food: Càphê Roasters specializes in premium Vietnamese coffee roasting, sourcing largely from Vietnam as well as other Southeast and East Asian regions. To go with your coffee, the spot offers a cafe menu of banh mi sandwiches, including some with housemade Vietnamese sausage, as well as other bites like eight-spice wings, three-hour confit chicken, and fried mochi that the cafe has dubbed, Pillow Jawns.

Lark

Bala Cynwyd
$$$$

The gist: Coastal Mediterranean fare with a view from Nicholas Elmi and Fia Berisha.
The food: Perched at the top of Ironworks at Pencoyd Landing high above its sister restaurant The Landing, Lark offers soaring views of the Schuylkill River and Manayunk. The restaurant is the high-end, dinnertime answer The Landing’s all-day cafe, offering a coastal Mediterranean menu of items like squid ink pasta with lobster, glazed duck breast, and butter roasted scallops. Expect a playful bar program of house cocktails and a curated wine list, plus zero-proof options.

Available for Reservations

Izakaya By Yanaga

Fishtown
$$$$

The gist: Eclectic Japanese menu with unique sake and cocktail list.
The food: Sushi, ramen, gyoza, and other dishes all come together at one of the latest Fishtown concepts. The restaurant offers maki rolls, sashimi, and a menu of chirashi sushi that consists of fish over seasoned sushi rice with a variety of toppings, alongside starters, ramen, and a skewers menu with wagyu beef, octopus, and salmon. Down the line, you can expect the spot to open a 12-seat omakase offering for a more immersive option, but for now, ramen with pork belly can more than do the trick.

Available for Reservations

Hook & Master

Olde Kensington
$$$$

The gist: Chicago-style pizza, plus thin-crust and Brooklyn-style options.
The food: Remember way back when the old Garces Trading Company restaurant on Locust Street (RIP) was one of the only places to get Chicago-style pizza in Philly? Well, Garces is back to his windy city roots with Hook & Master, a new pizza shop offering Chicago pan, thin-crust, and Brooklyn-style pizza. Try a little bit of everything but definitely don’t skip the 12-inch Chicago complete with thick mozzarella and a crust filled to the brim with your toppings.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Eeva

Kensington
$$$$

The gist: A bakery, bottle shop, and pizzeria focused on naturally fermented bread.
The food: Think ultra-fresh pizzas that keep it simple and stunning, whether you’re going for a classic margherita or the crispy kale pie drizzled in chili oil. Complete your meal with small plates like fresh ricotta or marinated olives, or simply walk out with a country loaf and bottle of wine to your name.

Available for Reservations

Gabriella’s Vietnam

East Passyunk
$$$$

The gist: Vietnamese fare with an emphasis on seafood and lesser-known street food dishes.
The food: Fish platters, king crab fried rice, and charbroiled seafood are all mouthwatering fixtures at Gabriella’s, which takes inspiration from Vietnamese street fare with the singular goal of feeling and tasting authentic. Chef Thanh Nguyen’s slate of tasty seafood dishes doesn’t stop there—don’t miss the whole branzino grilled in banana leaves, the wok-fried red snapper, or the crispy soft shell crab when you visit this BYOB for family-style dinner servings or Sunday brunch.

Available for Reservations

La Chinesca

Spring Arts
$$$$

The gist: A Mexicali dining experience right next door to Union Transfer from the team behind Philly classics Kensington Quarters and Prohibition Taproom.
The food: The menu at La Chinesca takes inspo from Northern Mexico’s Baja region, featuring delectables including shrimp tostadas, fried peppers, and birria tacos alongside Chinese-American bites like egg rolls and fried wonton. Expect a seasonally changing menu served with craft cocktails and local brews.

Available for Reservations

La Llorona Cantina

West Passyunk
$$$$

The gist: A colorful cantina for laid-back Mexican fare.
The food: Snacks, tacos, and mezcal—La Llorona keeps its menu unfussy and to the point, which is why people love it so much. Whether you’re after braised beef tacos, a round of queso and warm tortillas, or a full-on carne asada, La Llorona does it in a way that feels fun and instantly relaxed. In addition to dinner, you can enjoy sampling agave nectars at the bar or visiting for weekend brunch.

Available for Reservations

White Yak

Roxborough
$$$$

The gist: Tibetan dishes offered in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
The food: White Yak is one of few destinations for Tibetan food in Philadelphia, but here you can find a blend of warm momos served with beef broth and house spicy sauce, including chicken, vegetarian, fried dumpling, and other varieties. You might also be allured by classic Tibetan soups like Thenthuk, featuring hand-pulled noodles and fresh veggies.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Down North Pizza

Strawberry Mansion
$$$$

The gist: Saucy square slices and comfort food come served with a community-driven mission.
The food: Down North Pizza offers up Detroit-style square pies alongside mango habanero wings, spicy crab fries, apple pie milkshakes, and more. Even better, Down North is on a mission to reduce recidivism rates by offering culinary career options for the formerly incarcerated.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Fiorella

Bella Vista
$$$$

The gist: An Italian eatery that’s expansive in space and offerings.
The food: Figo serves up a little bit of everything you crave when it comes to Italian food, whether you’re dining in the large indoor and outdoor space or getting takeout. For now, pizza, pasta, hoagies, lots of wine, and even Italian soda are all in the mix, plus Figo is in the process of rolling out happy hour, late night, and brunch menus to boot—so it’s a go-to any time of the day.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Laser Wolf
Laser Wolf | Photo by Michael Persico

Laser Wolf

Fishtown
$$$$

The gist: A relaxed Israeli grill from the team behind Zahav.
The food: It’s all about skewers and other grill-worthy foods at Laser Wolf, which is modeled after a traditional Israeli skewer house. First, order a variety of chicken, eggplant, tuna, and Bulgarian beef kabobs or large dishes like branzino and ribs for the table. Then, sit back as the table is outfitted with a plethora of salatim (or salads and spreads) like hummus, Babaganoush, and cucumber and green tomato salad with harissa to share.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Kalaya Thai Kitchen

Bella Vista
$$$$

The gist: Southern Thai fare in the heart of South Philly.
The food: James-Beard-nominated Kalaya has become a must-visit destination in Philly since opening in 2019. The menu features stir-fry-centric entrees, like the Kang Pu Bai Cha Plu, with crabmeat curry, wild betel leaves, rice vermicelli, cucumber, cabbage, long beans, and jasmine rice, and smaller delectable apps like the gorgeous Shaw Muang, purple flower-shaped chicken dumplings.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram.