Everywhere You Need to Eat in Philadelphia Right Now
A fast-casual West African spot, laid-back Mexican fare, and a dope bottle shop that doubles as a pizzeria.
After more than a year of the restaurant industry finding new ways to survive and thrive, it feels like Philly is getting a boom of new restaurants unlike anything before. From fresh pizzas and natural wines to niche cuisines making their mark in the city, today’s Philly newcomers are a perfect fit alongside more tried-and-true favorites, from highly seasonal menus to buzzy brunch havens. Check out our picks for where to eat in Philly right now, whether you’re after takeout, delivery, or dining out.
The gist: A bakery, bottle shop, and pizzeria focused on naturally fermented breads.
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.
The cost: Pizzas $13-19; small plates $5-14; wine by the glass starts at $11
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.
The cost: Shareables start around $12; entrees hover in the $25 range
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.
The cost: Food ranges from $6-17
La Llorona Cantina
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.
The cost: Botanas $6-12; tacos $10-14; entrees $14-25
The gist: A modern American BYOB that’s big on sustainability and local ingredients.
The food: River Twice is known for its James-Beard-nominated chef Randy Rucker and it’s oft-shifting menu, designed to reflect the Mid-Atlantic region’s local ingredients and changing seasons. Go for the tasting menu ($85 per person) to sample a little bit of everything inspiring the kitchen at that particular moment.
The cost: Dishes range from $10-$18, with larger entrees starting at $26
Suya Suya West African Grill
The gist: Grilled West African dishes marinated in Nigerian yaji peanut spice in a fast casual setting.
The food: Named for the West African spice blend used on countless grilled meats, SUYA SUYA features flavorful dishes you can order by the bowl or in taco form, with your choice of plantains or cornbread to complete the meal. Choose between grilled chicken or steak, both options marinated with peanut spice, before trying to decide whether you want your base to be jollof rice or jollof pasta.
The cost: Tacos go for $10.99; bowls for $12.99
How to order: Walk-up; online via Toasttab
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.
The cost: Noodles and momo start at $12.95
Down North Pizza
The gist: Saucy square slices and comfort food come served with a community-driven mission.
The food: Down North Pizza is the project of childhood friends Muhammed Abdul-Hadi and chef Kurt Evans, offering 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.
The cost: Pizza starts at $18, wings $12, sides start at $4.50
How to order: Walk-in only
The gist: Hearty pasta and cheesesteaks you’d never guess are vegan.
The food: Proof that you can go vegan and still indulge in foodie pleasures, Monster Vegan offers plant-based dishes that could fool even the most devout carnivore, from sandwiches like cheesesteaks and banh mis to mac n’ cheese bites and vegan bolognese pasta.
The cost: Sides range $3-11, salads start at $7, sandwiches and pasta $13-17
The gist: Fried chicken and champagne dreams.
The food: It’s a pretty simple concept that feels completely unexpected. Bar Poulet calls itself the world’s fanciest fried chicken joint, featuring a menu of fried chicken, sauces, sides, and an exclusively French wine list with lots of bubbles. You can also get draft cocktails and other pours, and starter dishes like the cheese plate of Pennsylvania and French fromage selections. It’s comfort meets bubbly.
The cost: Starters $5-20, half or whole chicken $18-32, wines start at $10 a glass
The gist: Natural wines and wood-fired sourdough pizza.
The food: Taking the space of the former Mama Palma’s (and later, Palma Cucina), Sally uses the same brick oven to serve 12-inch sourdough pies that range from the mushroom and egg to the pizzazz (which comes topped with house-made American cheese, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, pickled banana peppers, black pepper, and oregano). The menu is also knee-deep with natural wines, cider, and beer.
The cost: Pizzas go for $15-18, with wines starting around $30.
The gist: The Schulsons’ buzzy Rittenhouse destination for pasta and caviar.
The food: Via Locusta gives you the buzz and view of dining on Rittenhouse Square Park without being on its most hectic thoroughfare. If a brunch menu featuring pasta and caviar isn’t enough to tip you off, a lunch and dinner menu featuring focaccia-focused starters and pretty cocktails sets the tone for a touch-of-glam dining experience.
The cost: Small plates are $10-16, entrees start at $24, cocktails $13-15
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 food at TBD 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/small bites $7-9.
How to order: Walk-in
The gist: A quick and casual pasta bar with extravagant taste from Marc Vetri.
The food: A cheaper alternative to the chef’s eponymous Italian destination, Fiorella is Vetri’s pasta-focused casual eatery in the Italian Market. The menu features rotating monthly antipasti like pork ribs and tuna crudo, as well as pasta specials like ricotta gnocchi with figs and goat cheese triangoli and sweet gelato to top off your meal.
The cost: Antipasti starts at $12, pasta at $18, and dolci at $5.
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. 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.
The gist: A famous pizzeria 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.
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: Pickup/takeout available via Toasttab
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 that recently rolled out new takeout, delivery, and garden dining options. Suraya became a quick local favorite thanks to its 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.
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.
South Philly Barbacoa
The gist: Famously delicious slow-cooked tacos from chef Cristina Martinez.
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: Walk in
Kalaya Thai Kitchen
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.
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: Reservations via Tock