PhilaFoodie asked his readers which Philadelphia restaurant he should review next and the resounding answer was Northern Liberties’ hot tapas spot, Bar Ferdinand. And although he doesn’t want to compare Bar Ferdinand to Old City’s high end tapas restaurant, Amada, he finds it impossible not to.
Despite all of the similarities between them, Bar Ferdinand and Amada are really two different scenes. Amada, with its sleek décor and high-profile Old City zip code, used the humble Spanish tradition of tapas to create a chic, upscale destination spot. Bar Ferdinand, a womb-like space situated in grittier Northern Liberties, delivers its unpretentious tapas with the same vibrant, frontier energy that drives the up-and-coming neighborhood in which it sits. It is possible to appreciate both restaurants for different reasons. But the more I visit Bar Ferdinand, the more drawn I am to its scene, its energy and its food. It is becoming my Spanish tapas bar of choice.