A few weeks ago, I was in Philadelphia for a fun weekend getaway. I figured--as I do with most trips--that I should scope out delicious restaurants for you. Let’s be honest, Philadelphia is a huge city, so there’s absolutely no way I could share ALL of the best restaurants in one blog post—there are way too many restaurants to choose from (plus, I was only there for a weekend). But, this is a pretty concise list of a variety of different restaurants. Consider this Philadelphia food guide some of my favorite restaurants in the city.
The Hungry Pigeon - Queen Village
This was my favorite brunch spot of the trip. The menu is small but mighty, and the servers were super friendly. The place is filled with bright light and a lot of plants, which is an aesthetic I can get behind.
Recommendations: the frittata with garlic aioli with a side of hash browns
La Colombe Coffee - everywhere
No matter where you are in the city, you need to try La Colombe Coffee. There are multiple locations, and the two we want to were both HUGE, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a table. They have an oat milk latte on draft (!!!) and it’s to die for.
Recommendations: oat milk draft latte
W.M. Mulherin’s Sons - Fishtown
We went here for brunch the one morning because I saw photos on Instagram and decided I needed to check it out for myself. It’s in Fishtown, which is a really cool place to walk around, but I didn’t love the brunch as much as I wanted to. If I could do it again, I’d come here for drinks because the bar is very, very cool. Note: the brunch was still good, it just wasn’t omg-this-is-insane good, ya know?
Recommendations: come here with a group of people and order 2-3 pizzas. That’s what our sever recommended but since we were there at 10:30 am, neither Miguel or myself was in the mood for pizza. I think if we would’ve come a little later, like noon/1 pm, we would’ve gone the pizza route and been delighted.
Zahav - Old City
Zahav was voted best restaurant in the country, so of course I had to visit it myself. I can say with confidence that it 100% lives up to the hype. I recommend doing the tasting menu so you can try all that they have to offer. The tasting menu includes hummus, 4 small plates and 2 large plates, so it's honestly a pretty good deal, and the food is INCREDIBLE. Just go--you won't regret it.
HipCityVeg - Spruce Hill, Rittenhouse Square, Ardmore
This place blew me away! The entire restaurant is vegan and everything was SO good. It’s more of a fast food restaurant, so we went here for lunch and it was perfect. They have plenty of meat substitutions (think: Beyond Meat burger, tempeh burger, etc.) and veggie-only dishes and the sweet potato fries are a must-get.
Recommendations: The Smokehouse Burger with a side of sweet potato fries and a green smoothie
Rosy’s Taco Bar - Rittenhouse Square
You know I had to include a taco place, right? Tacos are my favorite food, and Rosy’s did not disappoint. We got the “tres salsas” as an appetizer and they were all delicious, and the shrimp tacos were super flavorful.
Recommendations: go for happy hour! They have $4 draft beers and $6 margaritas, which you really can’t beat.
Tuna Bar - Old City
This Japanese raw bar was right around the corner from our hotel, and the sushi was phenomenal. We were able to get a seat (at the bar) without reservations, which always makes me like a place just a little bit more
Recommendations: the shrimp dumplings with two (or three) of the shrimp tempura rolls
Amada - Old City
Amanda is a Spanish tapas restaurant, and everything was really tasty. With that said, I wouldn’t call it a cheap restaurant. In general, tapas tend to be on the pricer side, but if you’re going with a group of people this would be a good option because then everyone can share stuff.
Recommendations: pan con tomate and huevos rotos
Cheu Noodle Bar - Old City, Fishtown
If you like ramen, go here! I’m all about a vibe, and this place is super cozy and funky and just plain GOOD. We went to the Fishtown location and were able to snag a table outside, which made it even better.
Recommendations: get the miso ramen and thank me later. It’s huge bowl too, so you might just have leftovers.
Harp and Crown - Rittenhouse Square
Besides the Hungry Pigeon, I think this was my other favorite place we went. If you’ve read through this guide, you know I like COZY places, and this is the coziest of them all. Miguel and I kept commenting how perfect it’d be in the wintertime. With that said, you do need a reservation. We didn’t have one, so they sat us downstairs (still a very cool spot), but they don’t serve the full menu downstairs, only their happy hour menu (again, not problem as we really just came here for a drink/light snack anyway). Oh, and did I mention there’a bowling alley downstairs? YUP. Besides dinner, I think it could easily be included under the “drinks” section of this guide.
Recommendations: we were only able to order off the happy hour menu, but we split the the chicken sandwich and lamb meatballs and both were delicious
Bok Bar - South Philly
Although this place was a little out of the way (one of the only places we had to Uber to vs. walking), it was WELL worth it. It’s an old elementary school that’s now turned into a rooftop bar, and the view is incredible. Seriously, you can see the entire city, and I felt extra fortunate that the weather happened to be so nice the day we went.
Recommendations: I’m fairly certain they only serve beer+wine (along with a small food menu), so grab your favorite drink and take in the city views
Friday, Saturday, Sunday - Rittenhouse Square
A two floor restaurant — restaurant upstairs, bar downstairs — with a delicious menu and creative cocktails. We came here in the afternoon and the light was streaming in through the windows and it was really beautiful. Plus, the bartender was super friendly, which always makes me like a place that much more.
Recommendations: again, we just went here for drinks, but I can 100% recommend the Made You Look cocktail
WHERE WE STAYED
We ended up staying at Lokal Hotel, which I couldn't recommend more. The owner was super helpful and friendly, and the room was gorgeous--complete with a full living room and kitchen. Oh, and it's in a wonderful location too, which I didn't even realized when I booked it.
If you live in Philly and want to add to this list, simply leave a comment! I'd love to hear your suggestions for the next time we go. Oh, and if you happen to be in or around Pittsburgh, be sure to check out my Pittsburgh food guide.