Where to Eat in Philadelphia Right Now
Despite COVID-19 throwing everyone’s year for a loop, Philadelphia restaurants have continued to churn out stellar food and drink during these difficult times. Even the bravest among them have dared to open a business during this time. To pay homage to the latest and greatest restaurants in Philly, as well as some other musts that have helped shape the foodie climate of the city over the last five years, take a look at our picks for where to eat right now in Philadelphia -- all of which are available for pickup, takeout, or outdoor dining.
Alma De Mar
The gist: The restaurant made famous by the Fab 5 and Queer Eye is finally open from Marcos Tlacopilco
The food: The menu is heavy on American-style brunch and lunch with a hint of Mexican flavors, like the more traditional breakfast plates of French toast and waffles, plus a few signature house items like the tofu a la Mexicana scramble with refried pinto beans, or the mango salad with chunks of crab meat.
The cost: Plates range between $10-13, with smaller prices for soups and some sandwiches.
How to order: Call 215-644-8158 for takeout and outdoor dining reservations.
The Garden At Cherry Street Pier
The gist: The private Fitler Club’s new public outdoor dining space.
The food: Elevated lunch and dinner from executive chef Ryan Bloome and Culinary Advisor Marc Vetri means only the best. Think duck confit, buttermilk fried chicken, and seared tuna, along with smaller bites like potstickers and beef skewers. The common theme across the menu? Things that taste better outdoors.
The cost: Snacks typically hover in the $12 range, with mains ranging from $19-27. Local brews start at $8, wines at $11, and cocktails for $12 (unless you get an $8 boozy popsicle).
How to order: Walk in for first-come, first-serve outdoor dining.
The Lucky Well
The gist: The long-awaited city outpost for Chad Rosenthal’s Memphis-style BBQ.
The food: Though currently operating on a limited menu, you can expect plenty of meat-centric dishes. Try the smoked then grilled wings, brisket sandwiches, and smoked chicken family packs with mac n’ cheese, slaw, and cornbread.
The cost: A half-pound of your choice meat BBQ range from $13 (smoked pork) to $19 (ribs), and a full pound hovers in the $23-$33 range. Sides start at $5.
How to order:Online for order and takeout or Resy for outdoor dining
The gist: Whiskey and Southern fare with a side of jazz.
The food: Anything and everything that makes you feel homey. Think skillet cornbread, mac n’ cheese, juicy fried chicken, and fancy burgers like the wood-grilled lamb with chipotle-cinnamon spice and a side of fingerling potatoes. If you’re getting takeout, you can also try the spot’s craft cocktails, including the summer blackberry sangria or the Bourbon Street punch.
The cost: Cocktails start at $10, specials in the high teens, and starters are usually under $12. Larger plates go for about $18-20, with sides around $5 each and sandwiches $13-16.
How to order: Order takeout through Toast, or use Caviar and DoorDash for delivery.
Juno Mexican Grill
The gist: Casual Mexican-American garden dining with weekend brunch and summery cocktails.
The food: Get a little bit of everything: scallop ceviche, spicy guacamole, quesadilla appetizers, and a nicely balanced taco menu. You can find new brunch specials every weekend, like the chilaquiles with chorizo or carnitas, as well as fresh cocktails like the blood orange negroni, which you can order frozen.
The cost: Most dishes hover around $12 a plate, with appetizers starting at $7.
How to order: Resy for outdoor dining
TBD. The Breakfast Den
The gist: American-Vietnamese breakfast dishes in a cozy corner spot.
The food: The mingling of American and Vietnamese-style breakfast plates and comfort foods means you can find fried egg rice bowls topped with crispy pork belly or panko-crusted chicken, banh mi with fried eggs, bacon, and sausage, and smaller bites like spicy popcorn chicken and egg rolls with chili sauce.
The cost: Sandwiches and breakfast plates range from $9-14, salads start at $9, and small bites go for $7.
How to order: Call 267-758-6008 for takeout and outdoor dining.
The gist: A quick and casual pasta bar with extravagant taste from Marc Vetri.
The food: A cheaper alternative to the Italian destination that shares a name with the chef, Fiorella is Vetri’s pasta-focused casual eatery in the Italian Market, open during the pandemic for monthly antipasti (pork ribs, tuna crudo) and pasta (ricotta gnocchi with figs, goat cheese triangoli) specials and sweet meal-ending gelato.
The cost: Antipasti starts at $12, pasta at $18, and dolci at $5.
How to order: Call 215-305-9222 for pickup, or use Caviar for pickup and delivery. Tables are available for walk-up outdoor dining.
The gist: 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. Outfit a variety of chicken, eggplant, tuna, and Bulgarian beef kabobs with branzino or ribs for the table, or scale back with hummus, fresh pita, grilled veggies, and fries with tahini ketchup.
The cost: Score hummus, salatimi, one grilled item, and dessert for $35 per person. A la carte sides start at $6 and larger sharable entrees will run you from $88-$136.
How to order: Use Resy for outdoor dining or order online for pickup.
The gist: Famous pizza in Philly and beyond from Joe Beddia.
The food: Perfect hand-tossed pizza is the obvious star here, with a small menu of red and white pies (plus a vegan option) that you can personalize with sides of basil, extra olive oil, anchovies, oregano, you name it. This all comes with a carefully curated menu of wines by the bottle and local brews.
The cost: A classic tomato and mozzarella pizza starts at $18, with other options reaching $25. Wines typically hover in the $30-40 range.
How to order: Order delivery or pickup through Toast.
The gist: Casual and upscale Japanese fare from Solomonov Collective.
The food: Robatayaki, sushi, rice bowls, and even morning pastries make Double Knot an all-day dining destination. You can recreate the experience at home with takeout and delivery of daily maki specials, small plates of bao duck buns and seafood dumplings, stir-fry, veggie fried rice, and so much robatayaki for a build-your-own multi-course feast.
The cost: Small plates and sides range from $6-14, larger plates around the $20 mark, robatayaki for about $8-14, and sushi and sashimi starts at $4 but gets into high double digits depending on the intricacy and extravagance of the roll.
How to order: Order online for pickup, Caviar for delivery, and Resy for outdoor dining.
The gist: Central American street food inspires an eclectic menu.
The food: Churros are the big spectacle of El Merkury, which come warm over vanilla soft serve, but there’s so much more to try before dessert. The Chicharron pork pupusas are a must, as well as the savory taquitos and flash-fried tostadas weighed down with guacamole, salsa, and refried beans.
The cost: Most things on the menu range from $7-10, with sides and desserts in the $5-8 range.
How to order: Order online for pickup and delivery
The gist: All-day Lebanese fare made for sampling and sharing.
The food: Get a taste of the busy all-day cafe, market, and restaurant with new takeout, delivery, and garden dining options. Suraya became a quick local favorite thanks to modern-day approach to family Lebanese recipes, serving tasting menus that sample a bit of everything: pita, baba ganoush, fried kibbeh, roasted lamb, grilled branzino, and dessert options that come with home cooking instructions.
The cost: Tasting menus feeding two run for $65, or $130 to feed four. Kebabs and entrees run in the low twenties range, while desserts go for $5-15.
How to order: Order pickup and delivery through Toast, Resy for outdoor dining reservations.
South Philly Barbacoa
The gist: Slow-cooked tacos from Cristina Martinez, best ordered by weight.
The food: Tacos are the name of the game here, always complete with a heaping of toppings: salsa, nopales, and flavored stock. The titular slow-cooked lamb is the star, but you won’t want to skip the house tortas either.
The cost: A typical taco meal with consummé runs for $12.
How to order: Check Instagram for updates and call 215-694-3797 for takeout.
Kalaya Thai Kitchen
The gist: Southern Thai fare in the heart of South Philly.
The food: With a James Beard nomination already under its belt, Kalaya has become a new you-have-to-try-it destination 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 ultra-pretty Shaw Muang, or purple flower-shaped chicken dumplings.
The cost: You can get a restaurant sampler for about $60, or go a la carte for salads and entrees in the $25+ range. Appetizers usually go for around $14-18.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery through Toast.
The gist: All the French flair (and taste) without the astronomical price tag.
The food: Pretend you’re legally allowed to travel to Europe right now and have a classic French feast of steak frites, escargot, mussels, ratatouille, and -- since you’re on vacation after all -- a cucumber basil gimlet or two. The menu is an unfussy approach to the most quintessential French cuisine.
The cost: All entrees fall below the $30 mark, with most in the low/mid-20s. Sides go for $7 and appetizers and salads range from $9-16.
How to order: Takeout and delivery on Caviar.