Fall means more than beer fests and eating/drinking stuff with pumpkin in it (though Philly has plenty of both). It also means you finally have enough time to go to all the new bars and restaurants that opened in Philadelphia over the summer while you were busy day drinking at the city's best patios. These are the eight places that should top your list of go-to spots this fall, and, since there is Korean fried chicken and bourbon cocktails that can be sipped next to a jazz band, we recommend you kick off your culinary explorations this weekend.
No, it’s not on South St. Head some ways north (?) though, and you can indulge in all the Southern comfort food you want thanks to this spot’s menu full of down-home dishes -- pork confit, fried shrimp, grits -- along with nuanced twists on other classics like fried oysters seasoned with smoked bacon. SOUTH also adds a new music venue to the neighborhood with a jazz stage open six nights a week, which will go great with one of the bar menu’s many bourbon cocktails.
Brought to you by the owners and chefs of Brauhaus Schmitz, Whetstone offers a nod to New England seafood dishes and other American classics but with a Philly edge, like the Passyunk pork dish or the strip loin roast beef sandwich.
A comfort food menu full of fried chicken and grilled lobster buns served in a retro space designed with Mad Men-level nostalgia for times past. Brunch and lunch menus are still in the works, but for now you can (duh!) grab dinner, or stop by for weeknight happy hour at 5pm and a second round of specials at 10pm.
This North African/French bistro adds some new life to 9th St (Neuf, get it?) via shareable plates of spiced meat and veggies stews, couscous, and bouillabaisse. But if you want to be a little more Philly about things and don’t feel like sharing, there are plenty of options, including the braised goat leg soaked in tomato broth or the spicy tuna baguette.
This Center City newcomer serving Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine is already getting warm reviews thanks to its dandan noodles -- quickly becoming some of the city’s best -- and a happy hour kicking off at 4:30 every weekday.
Puerto Rican food gets a vegan twist from Nicole Marquis, who also brought us vegan safe havens HipCityVeg and Charlie Was A Sinner, with plates so deliciously disguised even a meat eater can happily indulge. Sit down for empanadas and enchiladas, or if you’re on the go, stop by the takeout window for the same good food and some coffee.
Save Venue With No Dish
SouthGate brings some much-need Korean food to Center City, including Korean fried chicken served with spicy gochujang and a couple varieties of BBQ tacos. The new spot acts as the perfect primer for newcomers to Korean eats, but with authenticity that will satisfy connoisseurs of the cuisine.
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1. SOUTH600 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia
2. Whetstone Tavern700 S 5th St, Philadelphia
3. Bud & Marilyn’s1234 Locust St, Philadelphia
4. Restaurant Neuf943 S. 9th St., Philadelphia
5. Bar Bombón133 S 18th St, Philadelphia
6. Southgate1801 Lombard St, Philadelphia
7. Coeur824 S 8th St, Philadelphia
Skeptics may be wary of a restaurant specializing in Southern cuisine in the middle of one of Philly’s rising areas, but one visit to SOUTH will convince them otherwise. SOUTH elevates comfort food with dishes like chicken fried oysters, crawfish bisque, Carolina shrimp and grits, and crispy potato dumplings. With a generous outdoor garden and an indoor space complete with skylights and jazz performance areas, the airy, laid-back ambience is a great place to grab the slow-sipper summer berry cobbler cocktail and some hushpuppies.
Queen Village's most delightfully polished brasserie hosts an airy space bedecked in white, pastels, and gold metallic accents, and lends itself to European-inspired dishes with just as much flair in presentation. Seared duck breast, rabbit tetrazzini, and even the house specialty Dad's Burger are just as pleasurable to look at as they are to eat -- but given their unbeatable taste and the the three classically trained chefs who prepare them, you probably won't be looking for too long.
In spite of all of the rising and falling trends in restaurant culture -- pressed juice, fermented veggies, rainbow bagels -- Bud & Marilyn's is a restaurant with a very simple mission: good food and good drinks. Named after owner Marcie Blaine Turney's own grandparents, the Houston locale offers an immediate sense of old school hospitality. The dining room is styled to resemble a classic Midwestern diner, complete with vinyl booth seating, warm lights, and a retro red neon sign hung above the front door, and the menu is filled with simple, well-prepared comfort food to complete the picture. Rather than bone soup or aged beets as appetizers, Bud & Marilyn's serves plates of pork and pickles, stacks of buttermilk pretzel rolls, and plain old cheese and cracker spreads (no need to pronounce charcuterie to the waiter). For main courses, they serve everything from pork belly buns and fried chicken to meatloaf and pierogies, and of course, a variety of marvelously indulgent deserts. There's a time and a place for posh, instragrammable meals, but at Bud & Marilyn's, it's all about great food, served in a place that feels like home.
Restaurant Neuf mixes African cuisine and French cooking for a unique mix of flavors. Come for the Bouillabaisse du jour and try to get a reservation.
Latin American dishes gets a vegan twist at Bar Bombon, which is helmed by the same team behind health food havens HipCityVeg and Charlie Was a Sinner. The plant-based dishes are so deliciously disguised here that even a meat eater can happily indulge. Tacos are filled with seitan or buffalo cauliflower, while empanadas are stuffed with a medley of mushrooms, leeks, currants, and pickled plantains. If you're on the go, stop by the take-out window for the same good food and Stumptown Coffee.
This Korean gastropub serves up classic Korean dishes as well as fusion surprises. The must-try is the Korean fried chicken.