Now that the second-snowiest Winter in Philadelphia history is technically over, it's time to A) stop using that pea coat to hide the Winter weight you added, or B) put on even more weight at all of the sweet restaurants and bars that opened while you were stuck in the house/busy shopping for a slightly bigger jacket. To help you with the latter, here's our list of eight new, local spots you need to try right now...
Federal Donuts West
After crushing it in South Philly and City Center, the crew behind this famed fried chicken and donut shop decided to follow Horace Greeley's advice to "go West, young man, go West and feed people brand-new flavors of chicken, like Buffalo ranch or Pad Thai, that aren't available at your other stores." And so they opened a third location that also slings new donuts like Marshmallow Marshmallow and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.
Bourbon & Branch
What was once called Liberties Restaurant gets a makeover, and a new chef/owner (from Lola’s in New Hope), who's serving up humorously out-there pub fare like the seitan cheesesteak for $10.66(6); build-your-own grilled cheeses; and fried chicken with bacon-and-beer mac and cheese.
Petruce et al
Center City Midtown
The long-awaited, family-run wood-fired grill-ery is finally open to the public, and now serving a small-but-pretty-awesome a la carte selection of things like chicken with charred cabbage, grits & egg yolk sauce; pork that comes w/ clams & okra; and small plates of chicken liver that is presumably just offal.
The gang behind Jose Pistola's in Center City has kept some of the mainstay Mexstaurant's old favorites (spicy tuna guac!) but added a shton of sweet, new stuff including a raw bar packed with prime bi-valves, and taco options like the NY strip/ roasted poblano/ avocado espuma/ cilantro Cecina.
The Strip Joint
Southwest Center City
Opened in the former SoWe, this “value driven steakhouse” is slinging the second-best thing you can get at a strip joint for $20: a 10oz New York Strip, a 6oz filet, etc. Plus, they've got a meat-tastic brunch menu (steak & eggs for $14!), and a playful selection of spirits like the Sweet Tease made with Jim Beam Maple, OJ & candied bacon.
Not content getting kicked off Top Chef in the second week, the dude behind this gastropub in the old PBR spot is serving a creative array of eats that includes more dips than a Tupperware party (queso, hummus, Spice Baked Pumpkin, etc.); mains like buttermilk-fried chicken; and drinks ranging from the Tito’s Handmade Vodka- & ginger beer-based Usual Suspects, to the bellini-ish Pirate Hooker.
In addition to Parisian staples like escargot, crepes, and short rib beef bourguignon, this old-school Frenchtaurant boasts a sweet outdoor dining area, speakeasy-ish jazz cafe downstairs, and a badass brunch menu that includes crab cake benedict, and brioche french toast.
Already Midtown Village’s go-to 'za spot, this boot-foodery's opened a second, much larger space that's allowed 'em to serve a wider range of pastas (tonarelli with pecorino tartufo, pesto cavatelli, etc.) and hand-tossed pies covered in toppings that're either locally sourced or specially imported, just like the watch you bought on South Street wasn't. Sorry, dude.
1. Bourbon & Branch705 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
2. Zavino3200 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
3. Federal Donuts West3428 Sansom Street, Philadelphia
4. The Gaslight120 Market St, Philadelphia
5. Petruce Et Al1121 Walnut St, Philadelphia
6. Sancho Pistola's19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia
7. The Strip Joint918 S 22nd St, Philadelphia
8. Paris Bistro8229 Germantown Ave Ste A, Philadelphia
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.
For an upscale pizza experience, Zavino is a great option. It's got a killer wine selection, are dark and intimate, and of course, serve really good pizza. Zavino’s wood burning ovens reach a peak temperature of 900 degrees, helping to perfectly char the crust while eliminating the soggy middles that can often accompany wood-fired pizza. It’s a little pricey, but you're paying for quality.
FedNuts has crept over to West Philly, bringing you (and the Fresh Prince, presumably) all the same crazy creations and fried chicken as the original.
Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski brings this American eatery with a specialty in burgers and innovative cocktails to Old City. Start with the charred eggplant salsa, wander on over to the GSLT Burger with aged cheddar and house-smoked pickles, and wash it down with the Sex Panther: a granny smith apple & cranberry-infused Cosmopolitan, which we hear is quite pungent.
Brothers Jonathan and Justin Petruce serve up Argentinian-inspired new American fare like roasted-on-the-bone Skate plated with potato dumplings, fennel, and lemon-chicken jus.
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.
This “value driven steakhouse” serves up all of the classic cuts of meat (steak tartare, NY strip, filet mignon, etc) at wallet-friendly prices. They pride themselves on a flawless execution of a simple menu, which also includes traditional sides like garlic bread, Brussels sprouts, and more.
This classic French bistro features live Jazz music and a speakeasy-style vibe downstairs. Parisian staples like escargot, crepes, and decadent desserts teleport your taste buds to Europe: outdoor dining, and lively atmosphere with a solid drink list make this a no-brainer, n'est-ce pas?