Papal Food and Drink Specials to Get You Started


It’s beginning to look a lot like Pope-a-palooza.

The fencing off of Center City has begun. Port-a-potties line the streets. We may not know exactly what to expect when Pope Francis comes to town, but it is clear that we will not go hungry or thirsty. The city has co-opted our #OpenInPHL hashtag and made it an official part of figuring out what is open for business in Philadelphia during the Papal visit. The hashtag will be the dynamic way of finding out what is indeed open for business during the Pope’s visit.

But here are some of the best Papal related food and drink offerings happenings that we’ve spotted in and around Center City Philadelphia.

Sidecar Bar has invited Scott Schroeder of American Sardine Bar and South Philly Taproom as well as the upcoming Hungry Pigeon for the bar’s monthly wing special. Schroeder is creating “Angel Wings” ‘in honor of the Pope and inspired by Los Angeles street food. The wings are brined in a citrus-garlic sauce, doused in flour and deep-fried. They are then tossed in an avocado salsa verde, toasted sesame togarashi and topped with pickled radish and queso fresco.

The wings go on sale Tuesday, September 22nd and will be available through the Pope’s visit. Schroeder will be at Sidecar on Tuesday night for kissing babies, giving out high-fives and maybe even some drinking.

Safely outside the Pope Zone, East Passyunk’s Brigantessa is offering specials at the bar all week and weekend long. Starting today, Tuesday, September 22nd, the restaurant is offering $2 off all by-the-glass wines, artisanal draft beers and cocktails. They’ll also be offering 10% off all bottled wines through Sunday. And on Friday, look for their Pope Hat Pasta, stuffed with beet and sheep’s milk ricotta and tossed with butter and poppy seeds.

Peter McAndrews’ Modo Mio is just off of the Girard Avenue stop of the Market Frankford Line, one of the few stops open during the Papal visit. And though they’re not sure exactly what to expect, they have decided to open for lunch for the first time in their eight-year history. The Italian restaurant will offer lunch Friday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. And it is their their Sugo menu, which is typically only offered on Sundays. If you haven’t had the Sugo experience, understand it is a family-style menu where the staff just keeps bringing you food. The Sugo meal is $37 per person and complimentary wine will be offered. It’s a perfect way to fill up before walking to the Parkway.

If that’s too much, Paesano’s is offering a special Popolino sandwich. It’s a crispy pork belly sandwich with sriracha aioli, roasted tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, arugula and of course, a fried egg on top.

Petruce et al normally uses its wood-fired oven for things other than pizza. But once upon a time, chef/owner Jonathan Petruce was looking to a Neapolitan pizzeria in town and travelled to Naples, Italy, to work at L’Arte della Pizza and devour as many of the best pies as he could. So for those staying in town, Petruce is extending its hours and offering Neapolitan pizzas. The Walnut Street restaurant will be open Friday and Saturday from 11:30am-11pm and Sunday from 11:30am-10pm. Tim Kweeder has also stocked up on Lambrusco, the ideal beverage to pair with the pies.

Russet is also going casual for the papal visit. Chef Andrew Wood is selling porchetta sandwiches to-go or eat-in starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 26th. The sandwiches, which are served with Roman potato salad, braised greens and pickled hot peppers are $15 per person.

Morgan’s Pier is safely outside the Pope Box on the Delaware River and will be celebrating the Pope Francis’ arrival with specials including Pope beers from Cape May Brewing, Philadelphia Brewing and others. And for everyone who attend over the weekend, Morgan’s Pier will donate a dollar to one of three nonprofits that represent causes important to the Pope – attendee’s choice. Pick from:

  • The Francis Fund – a special fund in honor of Pope Francis’ visit, used to meet concrete needs of people in the region who are struggling with hunger, homelessness, and poverty
  • Mil Mujeres – an organization that provides direct legal services in the area of immigration law to low-income survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
  • PennEnvironment – a nonprofit that works preserve Philadelphia area parks, clean up air pollution and protect the Wissahickon and all of our waterways

Garces Group restaurants are offering a 10% discount off food bills at Amada, Tinto, Olde Bar, Distrito, Village Whiskey and Garces Trading Company to Philadelphia residents who show a government issued ID at the time of service. The resident discount will be offered from Friday September 25 at Lunch through lunch on Monday September 28th.

Jonathan Adams of Rival Bros. Coffee is collaborating with Argentine chef Jezabel Careaga of Gavin’s Cafe. They will be selling Choripán, a South American street sandwich of grilled chorizo sausage with chimichurri sauce served on a toasted baguette. The sandwich is $5 and will be available at Rival Bros. on Saturday, September 26th, starting at 3 p.m.

Monk’s Cafe is offering a tap selection that ranges from the sacred to the profane. There will be 24 religiously inspired beers on draft on Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th. Expect everything from Avery Mephistopheles Stout (2007) to Russian River Redemption.