The 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

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The 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

Our annual list of the most intriguing, clever, unconventional — and, dare we say, groundbreaking — experiences taking Philly’s nationally celebrated dining scene to ever greater heights

The quest for “the best” restaurants is never-ending. But what’s most exciting about the search is that everyone’s formula is different.

For some people, the best restaurant is the white-linen fine-dining establishment where Ossetra caviar finds its way atop nearly every dish. For others, it’s the sushi spot where they had their first date or the corner restaurant that perfectly captures their culture’s cuisine despite being thousands of miles from home. All definitions are valid. And over the years, as I’ve collected stories of what “the best” means to people, I’ve expanded my own ideas of what it could mean.

Restaurants create their own versions of “best” by demonstrating a command of their cuisines, experimenting with their craft, and developing menus that push the boundaries of what we’d expect. But beyond the food, the roles these restaurants play in our lives — what they mean to us as individuals and as a community — are among the most important factors.

Over the past few years, restaurants had to adapt to unprecedented circumstances. We saw a rise of pop-ups, collaborations, chef-driven markets, takeout offerings and more. And our 50 Best Restaurants list adapted, too, highlighting these outstanding initiatives. This year, to capture how much our dining scene has expanded beyond just restaurants, we’ve decided to expand our list as well. In addition to the 50 Best Restaurants, you’ll find 25 more dining experiences — best markets, promising pop-ups, neighborhood classics, and casual bites — that we needed to recognize for their unique contributions to our community. There are many ways to be the best, and all the places listed here prove it in their own amazing ways. — Kae Lani Palmisano

See the list at a glance here!

50 best restaurants philadelphia Friday Saturday Sunday

From left: A specialty cocktail; jerk-spiced quail with curried liver pâté from Friday­ Saturday Sunday.­

There are two ways to do Friday Saturday Sunday. There’s downstairs at the bar, where you can kick back a few briny oysters and an Orange Catholic cocktail in the company of regulars and destination diners — folks who have traveled just to get a taste of what constitutes an Outstanding Restaurant by James Beard’s standards. And then there’s upstairs, where the eight-course menu is a cohesive narrative of what American fine dining can be — a blend of cultural influences seamlessly presented in a paced procession of ambitious dishes that demonstrate Chad Williams’s culinary fluency. From the crudo to the sweetbreads and jerk-spiced quail with curried liver pâté all the way to the New York strip with braised oxtail, Williams takes adventurous risks that really pay off. It’s proof that fine dining can be approachable, inviting, fun and even relaxing.

Rittenhouse | New American
261 South 21st Street
WebsiteMore about Friday Saturday Sunday

The transition between the original­ Kalaya and Kalaya 2.0 couldn’t have been more flawless. From day one, you’d think this old warehouse on Palmer Street was always the sleek, sexy and James Beard Award-winning­ (yes, another one; Philadelphia is just that good) Thai restaurant where the tom yum and shaw muang flower dumpling are works of art. Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon’s mission has always been to be true to herself and her culture, and because of that unabashed authenticity, Philly is blessed with dishes that are difficult to find outside of Thailand.

Variety is the spice of life at Kalaya. Build heat with the nua pad prik noom (stir-fried peppercorn beef), balance it out with gai yaang naa por (charcoal-grilled chicken),­ and throw in a curry for good measure. Whatever you do, don’t settle into a routine with this menu. Suntaranon is constantly bringing new and exciting options to the table, so come with an open mind and an empty stomach.

Fishtown | Thai
4 West Palmer Street
WebsiteReview

50 best restaurants philadelphia

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: Tom yum from Kalaya

Royal Izakaya is the culmination of a lifetime dedicated to the art of sushi. Jesse Ito, the chef behind the hard-to-reserve omakase, has been honing his craft since he was 14, working alongside his father, Masaharu Ito, at Fuji in Haddonfield. The front room is where you go to hang out with friends over cocktails, chashu buns and fried karaage wings. The back room, however, is where Ito takes the stage with a 17-piece tasting menu that showcases dry-aged Spanish bluefin tuna, New Zealand salmon belly, Kumamoto oysters, and more.

Queen Village | Japanese
780 South 2nd Street
WebsiteMore about Royal Izakaya

After all the attention, press, and rightfully earned national fawning over Amanda Shulman’s supper-club-style restaurant, you might start to feel like Her Place isn’t really Philly’s anymore. But when Shulman and her team turn down the music to introduce the night’s dinner, when they circulate through the dining room shaving truffles over the crispy-skinned chicken and present you with a crab salad under a mountain of caviar, you’ll be reminded that Philly’s sense of casual hospitality is inextricably linked to the magic of this restaurant.

Rittenhouse | New American
1740 Sansom Street
Website

50 best restaurants philadelphia

From left: A variety of tacos and chef Dionicio Jimenez at his barbacoa pit at Cantina La Martina

Somewhere between the spicy heat of the pozole verde and the earthy huitlacoche trufa ravioli, you’ll find expressions of chef Dionicio Jiminez’s personal life story, from his Pueblo roots to his roughly two decades cooking through Philly kitchens (including Vetri). Though you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, we implore you to stop by on weekends for the tangy barbacoa roasted in pits that Jiminez dug in the restaurant’s garden.

Kensington | Mexican
2800 D Street
Website

In many ways, 2023 was a banner year for Philadelphia. The Eagles won the NFC championship; both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé graced us with life-changing concerts; and Zahav — almost 16 years in and still one of the city’s toughest reservations to score — opened 56 additional seats (walk-in only, and with an à la carte menu) on a glorious new outdoor patio. That means 56 more chances each night to tuck into tangy twice-cooked eggplant, irresistibly fluffy pita, and Turkish hummus (served hot, only in the cooler months). And one more reason this is still an all-time-favorite place to eat dinner.

Society Hill | Israeli
237 St. James Place
Website

50 best restaurants philadelphia

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: A spread at Zahav

Some restaurants grow into greatness. Some are just born that way. Ground Provisions, the newest operation from Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge, is the second kind. It’s a retreat of sorts, tucked away in the old Inn Keeper’s Kitchen — a combination cafe/gourmet country store/vegan restaurant with a prix-fixe menu featuring some of the most remarkable things ever done to vegetables. There are callbacks to Vedge and V Street, but most of what’s being done here is brand-new, visionary, and, like summer’s roasted peach gazpacho or an early-autumn polenta cornbread with caponata and pumpkin shoots, absolutely delicious.

West Chester | Vegan/New American
1388 Old Wilmington Pike
WebsiteReview

Chef Chance Anies serving diners at Tabachoy

Everything about Tabachoy is endearing, from its food-cart-to-brick-and-mortar origin story to the menu of comforting Filipino dishes that embody the loving nickname “Tabachoy,” Tagalog for “chubby.” It’s an intimate space, and chef-owner Chance Anies makes the meal even more personable by serving up stories with satisfyingly salty, savory, vinegar-forward delights — crispy pork belly sisig, pancit palabok with a shrimp and pork ragu, and succulent pork adobo, a recipe he got from his father. Go for date night, casual friend hangouts, birthdays, or anytime you need a treat-yourself dinner.

Bella Vista | Filipino
932 South 10th Street
WebsiteReview

There are open-concept restaurants where you can see the kitchen from your table, but when was the last time you ate inside a working kitchen? Chris D’Ambro and Marina de Oliveira’s Ambra is less a restaurant and more an immersive dinner-and-a-show event. From a little counter, you can watch D’Ambro and his team bring dishes like wild venison chop and braciole with matsutake mushroom and house-made tortellini to life, surrounded by vases of fresh-cut flowers arranged by de Oliveira. It’s an uncommonly intimate meal, and thanks to a constantly changing menu, every show is one-night-only.

Queen Village | Italian
705 South 4th Street
Website

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: The counter in Ambra’s kitchen

There’s a temptation with a restaurant like this to identify a single signifying dish — something that encapsulates the vibe and intent of the place in one neat package. So, is it the unpretentious yet luxurious pickled shrimp served with a fan of saltines? Or maybe the bone marrow and boquerones? The slabs of foie and thin-sliced beef tongue? Honestly, there isn’t just one, because it takes all of what’s on the menu today and all of what’s been on the menu before to explain what head chef Alex Kemp and co-owner Amanda Shulman are creating. It’s simultaneously modern and classic, French and Italian but with a hot spike of Philly-ness, goofy-cool and studiously unserious. Most of all, it’s just really, really good.

Rittenhouse | Modern French
2005 Walnut Street
WebsiteReview

As a veteran baker, Juan Carlos Aparicio takes his cemitas seriously. The chef and owner of El Chingon uses two kinds of flour to make each soft, crispy-shelled roll the perfect vehicle for fillings like punchy al pastor pork or herby mushrooms. But beyond the stellar Pueblan sandwiches, the rest of the menu — vegan aguachile and tropical, mango-laced salmon ceviche, heaping plates of fries gooey with cheese and guac, and the tacos, with house-made pork chorizo and sourdough flour tortillas — deserves your attention. Bring friends; order liberally.

East Passyunk | Mexican
1524 South 10th Street
WebsiteReview

Despite its location inside the Comcast Center, Vernick Fish is one of the city’s best seafood destinations — a restaurant worth going out of your way to luxuriate in. The food plays on nostalgia, broiling oysters with salami and provolone for oysters Philadelphia or topping scallops with rich brown butter sauce that you’ll want to swipe up with a finger. At the recently added lunch service, go for spicy-crunchy tuna tartare in lettuce cups and a guajillo chili-roasted branzino that’s worth playing hooky from your workday to enjoy.

Logan Circle | American/Seafood
1 North 19th Street
Website

To understand Mawn, you need to know that chef-owner Phila Lorn was born in Philadelphia to Cambodian parents, who named him in tribute to their adoptive city. This captures the essence of the food at Mawn, a Cambodian-leaning restaurant that still captures Philly’s freewheeling spirit — where Thai crab fried rice comes packed with crabmeat and crowned with a whole fried softie, and the Mawn noodle soup is rich with schmaltz and silky poached chicken. It’s a restaurant that feels like it could only exist here, and that’s its magic.

Bella Vista | Cambodian
764 South 9th Street
WebsiteReview

You can get a taste of Marc Vetri’s legendary pasta at Fiorella, the more laid-back Vetri Cucina cousin. But don’t think because you’ve eaten a few bowls of rigatoni with house-made sausage ragu and some impossibly fluffy ricotta gnocchi — heavenly as they are — that you’ve had the Full Vetri Experience. For that, you need to be sitting in this elegant townhouse, surrounded by a team of highly adept servers who shepherd you, unhurried, through the meal. It must start with an amuse-bouche, like a teeny cacio e pepe suppli, and end with a plate of petits fours thoughtfully executed by pastry chef Michal Shelkowitz. And yes, of course it needs to include the pasta.

Midtown Village | Italian
1312 Spruce Street
WebsiteMore about Vetri

It’s always hard to sell people on crossing the bridge to eat at Zeppoli. But once you’re ensconced in the small, dark dining room and eating family-style portions of fennel salad, Sicilian-style fusilli slicked with pesto Trapanese, and rabbit stewed in tomatoes and fresh oregano over tender roasted potatoes, all trepidation is gone. By the time you’re headed back over the bridge, you’ll be planning your next visit.

Collingswood | Italian
618 West Collings Avenue
Website

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: Chef Thanh Nguyen at Gabriella’s Vietnam

All those who go to Gabriella’s feel like they’re being let in on a secret. It’s a neighborhood spot where you can somehow always get a table — one where servers recognize regulars and freely offer tips about how best to wrap your banh xeo mien trung in perfect­ bites of lettuce and herbs. But it’s also a destination-worthy restaurant that impresses everyone, from your suburban extended family to your food-obsessed friends who are visiting from Brooklyn.

East Passyunk | Vietnamese
1837 East Passyunk Avenue
Website

When Nicholas Elmi and Fia Berisha opened Lark in the ’burbs, city-dwelling Elmi enthusiasts were a little envious. Of course, Laurel was always an exquisite culinary escapade, but you couldn’t just come on a (ahem) lark. That changed last spring, when Laurel shed its multi-course tasting menu for a more freewheeling à la carte menu. It’s a place where you can have a romantic meal, gather with friends for a Friday dinner, or sit at the bar for plates of oysters and Parisian gnocchi paired with a glass of Galen Glen grüner.

East Passyunk | Modern French
1617 East Passyunk Avenue
Website

If Zahav is where you go for an anniversary or date night, Laser Wolf is where you go for your birthday bash. Even if the novelty of the set menu has worn off a bit since this place opened in February 2020, the magic of plowing through an endless platter of seasonal salatim, then diving into whole grilled fish, an herb-topped cauliflower head, and an epic steak has certainly not dimmed. And no matter how full we find ourselves after all of that, we always make room for a few bites of soft-serve in the glow of Laser Wolf’s friendly, attentive hospitality.

Kensington | Israeli
1301 North Howard Street
Website

Chef Alexandra Holt makes food personal. She makes food political. She makes food delicious and weird and stunningly beautiful and deliberately blobby. But the most incredible thing about her is that she also makes every single dish at Roxanne herself. Roxanne­ is both a high-wire experiment and a place you go to get your worldview turned upside down by ice-cream cake with caviar, entrées in the shape of brains or bullets, or desserts made from Sungold tomatoes and brown butter.­ It’s one of the most experimental restaurants in the history of Philly dining, so if you’re down, grab whatever reservations you can, because there’s never any guarantee that Roxanne will be here tomorrow.

Bella Vista | New American
912 Christian Street
WebsiteMore about Roxanne

Andiario operates the way a serious rock star might after moving back to his hometown and starting his own garage band. There’s incredible talent here, and an absolute passion for seasonal ingredients showcased in prix-fixe menus that change weekly, sometimes daily. Anthony Andiario approaches this business with an artist’s eye and an academic’s heart. And it’s not only about cooking dinner, but about using food to work out the complicated ideas of what being a cook, a chef or an owner even means right now.

West Chester | New American
106 West Gay Street
WebsiteMore about Andiaro

Since Hardena opened in 2001, it’s walked the line between neighborhood staple that locals feel lucky to frequent­ and the kind of spot that’s worth coming­ to from anywhere in the city. The Widjojo family cooks Indonesian classics­ like beef rendang,­ coconut collards­ and corn fritters, piling generous portions of rice with sweet and savory eggplant in red pepper sauce, goat curry, or fish in turmeric­ coconut curry, along with an ever-changing selection of specials for guests who eagerly return time and again.

Point Breeze | Indonesian
1754 South Hicks Street
Website

50 best restaurants philadelphia

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: Sicilian-style braised beef with onion glaze and roasted root vegetables from Heavy Metal Sausage Co.

From the outside, Heavy Metal Sausage looks like your neighborhood butchery. But through the doors, you’ll find a culinary playground where Patrick Alfiero, a maestro of meats, crafts some of the finest pâtés, sausages and other deli goods found in Philadelphia, all made from ingredients sourced from local producers. Alfiero’s talents are on full display during the intimate trattoria dinners on Thursday and Friday nights. The handwritten menu is a regularly changing playlist of Italian-inspired dishes, featuring pastas made from flour milled in-house, cured meats and butchered specialties.

South Philly | Italian
1527 West Porter Street
Website

An evening at June BYOB is filled with little moments of whimsy that you’ll catch between bites of escargot and impeccably seared Basque scallops. The canard à la presse voyage is the pinnacle of the menu: They carve a duck tableside and crush its bones in an antique duck press to extract extra juices that are then added to a flambéed sauce. It’s a delectable spectacle. You know that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion? This is where you bring it.

Collingswood | French
690 Haddon Avenue
Website

Canard à la presse voyage at June BYOB

Autana has evolved considerably over the years, growing from a pandemic pop-up to a full-fledged restaurant. Every arepa and pernil sandwich is beautifully executed and presented yet still has a comforting energy to it, like you’re eating a home-cooked meal prepared lovingly just for you. It makes sense considering that all along, Autana has been a family affair where a father and daughter share their Venezuelan cuisine with diners one tequeño at a time.

Ardmore | Venezuelan
4 Station Road
WebsiteReview

After several format tweaks over the past few years, the menu at Amanda and chef Randy Rucker’s refined East Passyunk restaurant feels exactly right. Nothing is extraneous; each bite from the pared-down four-course tasting — like the rice porridge flecked with hunks of blue crab — shines. It’s also fleeting, changing each season. Of course, we can’t talk about River Twice without mentioning the Mother Rucker­ burger. It graces the menu from time to time, and when it does, get it.

East Passyunk | New American
1601 East Passyunk Avenue
Website

The Bynum family have been stewards of jazz in Philadelphia since 1965, when Benjamin Sr. founded the Cadillac Club, hosting acts like B.B. King, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin. Now his sons, Benjamin and Robert Bynum, are carrying on that legacy at South Restaurant & Jazz Club. Hot-honey-drizzled fried chicken, Low Country fried catfish and Gulf shrimp, and the skillet of cornbread are accompanied by soulful performances and unparalleled Southern hospitality.

Spring Garden | Southern Fare
600 North Broad Street
Website

50 best restaurants philadelphia

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: Cornbread, Low Country catfish and Gulf shrimp, and butter­milk fried chicken, all from South

Under the direction of Edwin De La Rosa during the day and Sam Henzy at night, Middle Child Clubhouse has blossomed into a spot that’s ready to serve joyfully adapted versions of classic American food of all kinds: a giant pancake and a duck-fat-braised Cubano during the day, crabby gravy and a perfect cheeseburger at night. Just don’t skip the drinks, which are thoughtfully developed using small-batch liquor and far more consideration than you might realize as you down them faster than you meant to.

Fishtown | New American
1232 North Front Street
WebsiteReview

At Irwin’s, on the top floor of the Bok Building, it’s not just the soulful Sicilian dishes, like pistachio-studded swordfish or the caponata — smoky and a little sweet, chef Michael Vincent Ferreri’s great-grandmother’s recipe — or the warm service. It’s all that coupled with the dramatic views from the top of the Bok. On a warm night, with the lofty breeze and twinkling fairy lights and South Philly sprawling out before you, there’s nowhere else like it in the city.

East Passyunk | Italian
800 Mifflin Street
Website

Even if it’s your first time, the moment you settle at a table in Mish Mish’s low-lit dining room, you’ll get the warm, heady feeling that you’re a longtime regular. It comes from the observant staff, who are far from pushy but also genuinely want you to have a memorable night. It also comes from the perfect little menu filled with Portuguese wine, cherry spritzes, and food that’s a pleasure to eat. Chef Kyle McCormick dreams up bites like cold melon hunks in a salad of torn herbs and olives, and thinly sliced pork loin with paper-thin shavings of horseradish scattered on top. It adds up to a place that makes you want to stay all night — and come back often.

East Passyunk | Mediterranean
1046 Tasker Street
WebsiteReview

If you ever need a place where you and 300 of your closest friends can all eat dim sum together on a Tuesday afternoon, China Gourmet is there for you. Crispy shrimp balls, shu mai, pork buns the size of baseballs, gorgeous egg tarts and a universe of dumplings — the carts working the floor have all of that and more. And while dim sum time (daily, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is where China Gourmet truly shines, the kitchen also bangs out excellent Cantonese food all day long. Have a party here, have your wedding here — invite everyone you’ve ever known or might know. There’ll still be space. And plenty of shu mai for everyone.

Northeast Philly | Chinese
2842 St. Vincent Street
WebsiteMore about China Gourmet

50 best restaurants philadelphia

Chicken feet, shu mai, and an assortment of buns at China Gourmet

When Tulip opened in the fall of 2022, Philadelphia was seemingly at Italian-restaurant capacity. But one step inside Tulip and you can tell it’s different. You feel it in the dining room, bright and buzzing, and see it on the drink menu, which spotlights local Wayvine wines. Most importantly, you can taste it in dishes like cacio e pepperoncini, made using a mash-up of chili peppers in place of the traditional­ black peppercorn,­ with local flour from chef and owner Alex Beninato’s Philly Milled. Tulip is proof that so long as there’s a fresh perspective, there’s always room for one more.

Fishtown | Italian
2302 East Norris Street
Website

Chefs Omar Tate and Cybille St. Aude-Tate have already created an indispensable neighborhood café and grocery. Along with knocking out delicious breakfast sandwiches, homemade mini Pop Tarts, spicy West Indian beef patties, and hoagies stuffed with almost as much memory as meat and veggies, Honeysuckle Provisions serves as a repository where Black cultural ancestry and foodways are preserved. They’ve got Black farmer CSA boxes and wild collaboration sandwiches, and they do game-day pre-orders whenever the Birds are playing. But as much as we love Honeysuckle for what it is, we’re even more excited for what it can be as the Tates move forward with various plans to expand their offerings.

University City | African Diaspora
310 South 48th Street
WebsiteReview

It feels uniquely French to make something that’s objectively challenging seem effortless — like, say, riding a bike with an armload of baguettes, or pulling off a red lip. Chloe Grigri did just that at Superfolie when she, with husband Vince Stipo, transformed a largely nondescript bi-level room on Spruce Street into a glittering gem. It’s got natural wine and ice-cold martinis flowing, exquisite offerings like steak tartare with house-made chips and seasonally rotating sourdough tartine, and — the real feat — an utterly magnetic vibe. On Wednesdays, sommelier Kaitlyn Caruke opens a special bottle and sells glasses at cost. C’est magnifique.

Rittenhouse | French
1602 Spruce Street
Website

Grandma’s was a great restaurant when it was this little upstart BYOB on Walnut Street, serving tom kha, papaya salad and chicken satay and trying to make “Thai Tapas” a thing. It was casual, fun, and so full of love that you could feel it like a beating heart. Now, with a year of service behind it (and a brand-new liquor license), Grandma’s is a better, more confident restaurant. And while age and practice may have smoothed some of the rough spots that made the place so endearing, it still serves amazing curry puffs and the best meatballs in a city built on meatballs.

Midtown Village | Thai
1304 Walnut Street
WebsiteReview

Steps away from South Philly Barbacoa,­ chef Cristina Martinez’s iconic corner taqueria, her Casa Mexico offers up an expanded menu of traditional Mexican dishes. The larger space lets you linger longer, whether it be with friends over margaritas or over a plate of enmoladas chicken — earthy corn tortillas stuffed with an amalgamation of chicken and cheese and drenched in a rich, slightly spiced mole sauce that has a hint of chocolate.

East Passyunk | Mexican
1134 South 9th Street
Website

At Lark, the menus are so comforting that they might as well be written on pillows. Marinated olives and focaccia. Escargots in vichyssoise butter with potato confit. Pastas with corn, blue crab or thyme honey. Grilled fish with raisins. Under the command of chefs Nicholas Elmi and Michael Millon, this kitchen offers a kind of recognizable international cuisine that’s like New American with a half-dozen stamps on its passport, cooked with precision and competence that are becoming more and more rare in the industry.

Bala Cynwyd | New American
611 Righters Ferry Road
WebsiteReview

There was a time not so long ago when Philly felt woefully short on actual seafood restaurants, and Little Fish — with its tiny dining room and handwritten menus — seemed like deliverance from endless red sauce and steakhouses. Now, Philly has lots of seafood restaurants, and this spot still feels like something special, rare and valuable. Dinner here is an intimate and unforgettable experience.

Queen Village | Seafood
746 South 6th Street
Website

50 best restaurants philadelphia

From left: Merguez pide, and chef Bobby Saitsoglou, at Stina.

Bobby Saritsoglou and his wife, Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, pull from culinary influences around the Mediterranean to create appetizing wood-fire-kissed dishes. Yes, there’s pizza with chewy, leopard-spotted crust, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t try the slow-cooked Spanish octopus — a dish Saritsoglou has been perfecting for over 20 years. And if you’re in the mood for something akin to pizza, go for the Turkish merguez pide, a doughy boat-shaped dish filled with melted mozzarella and spiced lamb sausage.

West Passyunk | Mediterranean
1705 Snyder Avenue
WebsiteReview

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to sitting at Parc, drinking in views of Rittenhouse Square with a glass of champagne in hand. This French-style bistro is an all-day hit, from the smoky bacon and gruyère quiche Lorraine­ at breakfast to the steak frites topped with a slab of maître d’ butter­ for dinner. Parc is so many things to so many people. It’s where you go when you need a Center City restaurant for light bites and drinks with friends, the go-to for a deal-making power lunch, the place for people-watching, and the spot to impress your in-laws at brunch before going to the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market.

Rittenhouse | French
227 South 18th Street
Website

A.Kitchen is an oasis, smack in the middle of the city, where you can pop in any time of day or night for a top-notch dining experience. Try the cornmeal pancakes with house-made lemon curd for breakfast. At lunchtime, there’s red curry chicken liver toast and French omelets with local Jimmy Nardello peppers. For dinner, in the dimly lit dining room, order up comforting roasted chicken or chef Eli Collins’s legendary burger. And sure, any of it can be paired with a baller bottle of wine.

Rittenhouse | New American
135 South 18th Street
Website

Ambitious BYOBs have seemed to dwindle in recent years, thanks in part to notoriously slim profit margins and a global pandemic. But chef Aaron Randi revived the scene in May when he opened Illata, where, in the pocket-size dining room, a happy crowd hums over bowls of silky pasta alla vongole and fried oysters still crisp under translucent slices of vinegar-punched tomatoes. A table of four can easily order the whole menu, which includes thick-crusted sourdough boules baked daily by the GM, Sophie Wieber.

Grad Hospital | New American
2241 Grays Ferry Avenue
Website

The crispy fried chicken, Cajun turkey wings, and BBQ pork ribs dripping in sauce at Corinne’s Place got the attention of the James Beard Foundation, which deemed this an American Classic in 2022. But Camden locals have known this soul-food spot as a community staple since it opened in 1989. The only way you can go wrong here is if you skimp on the sides, so fix your plate with mac-and-cheese, cornbread and collard greens.

Camden | Soul Food
1254 Haddon Avenue
Website

Over the past year, Jen Zavala has expanded the offerings at her East Passyunk neon fever dream of a restaurant, adding a $6 chili-topped burger to the menu along with nachos that are some of the best in the city and lime-infused tres leches cake. The core offerings — drippy beef birria tacos served with cups of meaty ramen, vegan birria tacos, Cali burritos stuffed with fries, and Mexican pizzas that rival the fast-food original — remain for all your Juana Tamale cravings.

East Passyunk | Mexican
1941 East Passyunk Avenue
WebsiteReview

Go for momo and banana tempura. Go for steamed buns and rich beef curry. And go for shoko khatsa and momo soup. Just go. This small, always-crowded Tibetan restaurant gets better and better the more often you visit, but everyone has to have a first visit, and if you’ve never been, you should absolutely make that tonight.

Roxborough | Tibetan
6118 Ridge Avenue
WebsiteReview

where to find the best fried chicken in town. Now, we don’t have to do that anymore, because it’s at Doro Bet. This Ethiopian-inspired, long-marinated,­ teff-flour-battered fried chicken is as good as it gets — and, remarkably, even better with the addition of any of the house-made sauces.

University | Ethiopian
4533 Baltimore Avenue
WebsiteReview

EMei is there for you on rainy nights when nothing but salty, spicy mapo tofu will do. It’s there for you when you gather a group for a late-night spread of inside-out sea bass in sticky sauce, crispy-fried Chongqing chicken, and bowls of cold sesame noodles. It’s even there for you as you’re tipping the last of your leftovers into your mouth, still cold from the fridge, and considering another visit, just to re-up on tea-smoked duck and Sichuan lamb chops. Like a trusty friend, once EMei enters your life, it’s there to stay.

Chinatown | Sichuan
915 Arch Street
Website

Suraya is a stylish Lebanese enclave where the anise notes of arak and the nuttiness of tahini will make you forget you’re dining on Frankford Avenue. A Taste of Suraya is the best way to enjoy the gamut of flavors indicative of Middle Eastern cuisine, but you must indulge in the earthy sweetness of the djej meshwi, which remains one of the greatest marinated and roasted chickens in the city.

Fishtown | Lebanese
1528 Frankford Avenue
WebsiteReview

In the pantheon of sushi restaurants, chef Shigeru Fukuyoshi is a legend, and the precision of his knifework can be experienced in the impossibly buttery texture of every piece of sashimi and nigiri here. Each bites gives way to the subtle flavors of exquisitely fresh fish. Die-hard sushi lovers need to get the chirashi bowl, a beautiful arrangement of raw fish, tamagoyaki egg omelet, and flying fish roe on a bed of rice.

Collingswood | Japanese
37 Crescent Boulevard
Website

This longtime anchor of Olney’s Korean food scene serves some of the best Korean barbecue in the tri-state area. The key is the live coals, which get delivered to each table by servers wearing heat-proof gloves. They let the heat from those coals kiss each hunk of galbi or pork belly before nudging it into your bowl and encouraging you to eat. Go with a group, and order the special combo for the table; it includes endless banchan, rice and lettuce for building crisp, meaty bites.

North Philly | Korean
5955 North 5th Street

Everyone will tell you to go to this combination bakery/restaurant for the khachapuri, and they’re not wrong. It’s very good khachapuri. Those who know will say that you have to try the khinkali dumplings, and that’s fine advice, too. But anyone who really knows Georgian Bread will tell you that the regular menu, with its cold chicken in walnut sauce, pork shashlik, fried potatoes and kebabs, is where the real winners are to be found. We’re here to tell you that all three are right. And that the bread is some of the best in the city, too.

Northeast Philly | Georgian
10865 Bustleton Avenue
WebsiteReview

 

50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia at a Glance

  1. Friday Saturday Sunday
    Rittenhouse | New American
  2. Kalaya
    Fishtown | Thai
  3. Royal Izakaya
    Queen Village | Japanese
  4. Her Place Supper Club
    Rittenhouse | New American
  5. Cantina La Martina
    Kensington | Mexican
  6. Zahav
    Society Hill | Israeli
  7. Ground Provisions
    West Chester | Vegan/New American
  8. Tabachoy
    Bella Vista | Filipino
  9. Ambra
    Queen Village | Italian
  10. My Loup
    Rittenhouse | Modern French
  11. El Chingon
    East Passyunk | Mexican
  12. Vernick Fish
    Logan Circle | American/Seafood
  13. Mawn
    Bella Vista | Cambodian
  14. Vetri
    Midtown Village | Italian
  15. Zeppoli
    Collingswood | Italian
  16. Gabriella’s Vietnam
    East Passyunk | Vietnamese
  17. Laurel
    East Passyunk | Modern French
  18. Laser Wolf
    Kensington | Israeli
  19. Roxanne
    Bella Vista | New American
  20. Andiario
    West Chester | New American
  21. Hardena
    Point Breeze | Indonesian
  22. Heavy Metal Sausage Co.
    South Philly | Italian
  23. June BYOB
    Collingswood | French
  24. Autana
    Ardmore | Venezuelan
  25. River Twice
    East Passyunk | New American
  1. South Restaurant & Jazz Club
    Spring Garden | Southern Fare
  2. Middle Child Clubhouse
    Fishtown | New American
  3. Irwin’s
    East Passyunk | Italian
  4. Mish Mish
    East Passyunk | Mediterranean
  5. China Gourmet
    Northeast Philly | Chinese
  6. Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar
    Fishtown | Italian
  7. Honeysuckle Provisions
    University City | African Diaspora
  8. Superfolie
    Rittenhouse | French
  9. Grandma’s Philly
    Midtown Village | Thai
  10. Casa Mexico
    East Passyunk | Mexican
  11. Lark
    Bala Cynwyd | New American
  12. Little Fish
    Queen Village | Seafood
  13. Stina Pizzeria
    West Passyunk | Mediterranean
  14. Parc
    Rittenhouse | French
  15. A.Kitchen + Bar
    Rittenhouse | New American
  16. Illata
    Grad Hospital | New American
  17. Corinne’s Place
    Camden | Soul Food
  18. Juana Tamale
    East Passyunk | Mexican
  19. White Yak
    Roxborough | Tibetan
  20. Doro Bet
    University City | Ethiopian
  21. EMei
    Chinatown | Sichuan
  22. Suraya
    Fishtown | Lebanese
  23. Sagami
    Collingswood | Japanese
  24. Kim’s BBQ
    North Philly | Korean
  25. Georgian Bread
    Northeast Philly | Georgian

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