The time has come for yet another Philly restaurant round-up. This semester, we experienced an array of cuisines not only including the better represented Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and New American cuisines but also more unfamiliar ones, such as French Lebanese, Cypriot, Israeli, and that of the Jewish Diaspora. The more we explore Philly’s food scene, the more we realize how inexhaustible it is. Although new restaurants are constantly popping up, there are always plenty of old ones still left to be discovered. Despite having been to a huge list of Philly eateries, we’ve just managed the tip of the iceberg!
Little Nona’s (Italian)
1234 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Highlights: Pan seared potato gnocchi (wild & cultivated mushrooms, arugula, tarragon, leeks, baby tomatoes)/ Rosemary fries
Cafe La Maude (French Lebanese)
816 North 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Highlights: Extensive menu and colorful, beautifully presented dishes. I personally ordered and really enjoyed the Parisian Zá (Open-faced croissant layered with French ham, warm goat cheese, avocado, caramelized onions & jalapeños, drizzled with truffle oil; served with (2) eggs any style, potato croquette + petite salad).
Nom Nom Ramen (Japanese)
3401 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (multiple locations)
Highlight: Satisfying ramen right on campus
City Tap House (New American)
3925 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Highlight: Outdoor terrace seating with stone fire pits. Unfortunately, the pizza was too salty and not otherwise noteworthy.
White Dog Cafe (New American)
3420 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (multiple locations)
Highlight: Quirky decor, locally sourced, and good for an on-campus brunch
Lolita (Modern Mexican)
106 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Highlight: Bold, fresh flavors with street food flair. The watermelon beet salad (center) and grilled chicken (top left) from their restaurant week lunch menu were especially delicious.
Dim Sum Garden (Chinese)
1020 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (multiple locations)
Highlight: Soup dumplings. (Although I miss the cart-style service offered by Ocean Harbor and Joy Tsin Lau, two other dimsum places (that don’t have soup dumplings) extremely close by)
Hai Street Kitchen & Co. (Japanese)
32 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (multiple locations)
Spencer ETA Burger (American)
227 North 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Highlight: We went when they were running a free milkshake promo.
1221 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Highlights: Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, and it just happens to be vegan. They seriously know how to transform veggies! My favorite was the Smoked Carrots (kimchee “reuben”, white bean puree, pumpernickel; top center) while Crystal’s was the Salt Roasted Gold Beets (avocado, smoked tofu, rye, capers, creamy cucumber; top right). The fig cheesecake (right center) was likewise magical.
Mom Mom’s Polish Food Cart (Polish)
Seasonally available at Clark Park (mobile)
Highlight: Made-to-order, hot, crispy, homemade pierogies. Now one of my favorite food carts.
Abe Fisher (Jewish Diaspora)
1623 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Highlight: Savory rugelach amuse-bouche
Makiman Sushi (Japanese)
1326 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA 19107 (multiple locations)
3608 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Highlights: On-campus hand drawn noodles and bubble tea
Cuba Libre (Cuban)
10 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Highlights: Inviting, tropical decor and tapas-style brunch
4034 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Highlight: Hipster on-campus location with craft fried chicken and hand pies
Simply Shabu (Chinese)
1023 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Highlight: Personal hotpot!
1625 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Highlights: Hip, casual atmosphere and AMAZING hummus and pita. It’s what they specialize in, and they’re REALLY good at it.
Supper (New American)
926 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Highlight: Thick, indulgent red velvet waffles with sweet cream cheese mousse, toasted pecans, and molasses bourbon cherries
V Street (Vegan)
126 South 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Highlight: More casual version of Vedge with a global street food-inspired menu
1001 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Highlights: Features a unique cuisine and is great for brunch. I ordered the Malohwa (pan fried savory puff pastry from yemen served with a boiled egg, spicy tomato salad, and greek yogurt) and savored every morsel.
Global Crepes and Local Shakes (Eclectic)
1309 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Highlights: Cozy neighborhood creperie with an extremely friendly owner and extensive (non-alcoholic) drink menu
Ela (New American)
627 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Highlights: One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. The food is crazy innovative and flawlessly executed and presented. I will definitely be back again for their $30 prix fixe dinner on Mondays!
Favorites Ela Dizengoff Mom Mom's Polish Food Cart Vedge