Food & Drink

A List of Possible New Year’s Resolutions for Philly Diners

Doing our part to keep the city's food scene excellent, one delicious meal at a time.


Di Bruno Brothers wine manager Sande Friedman can help you buy a great bottle of Pennsylvania wine. | Photo courtesy of the Di Bruno Bros.

This year was a good one for food in Philly. Our list of the 50 Best Restaurants got 13 new names this month, which should tell you at least a little bit about how many delicious openings we’ve had this year. And then there are the other 37 spots on that list, and many more places worthy of your time and money, where the staff work hard to surprise and delight us. That’s why this year I’m making it my resolution to be a better restaurant guest, eater and drinker across the board. Here are five ways I’m putting that resolution into action — I hope you’ll join me.

Buy local, even wine.

Pennsylvania wine is on the up-and-up. Shops like Bloomsday Cafe, Vernick Wine and the wine shops at Rittenhouse and the Italian Market by the Di Bruno Bros. usually have a selection of Pennsylvania grapes as well as a team of folks who can help you find something you’ll like. For wine by the glass, check out the list at The Love, which has an excellent selection curated by Alexandra Cherniavsky.

Support places that support their employees.

I, too, was very sad when Hungry Pigeon owner Scott Schroeder announced they would no longer be open for breakfast and lunch daily. But when he said it was because he and his staff needed to take a break, get some sleep, and have their own lives, I got on board immediately.  I’m down for more chefs and restaurant owners to do what they can to take care of their staff, and will support those places accordingly.

Be more responsible about ordering delivery.

This weird story about cybersquatting brought to light some of the weirdness and financial burden that restaurants carry when it comes to delivery. Companies like DoorDash and and Seamless take a cut from restaurants in order to place them higher in the list of spots, Grubhub charges restaurants for orders and even calls through their app. All of this cuts into the already thin margins of these places. My move is to find the restaurant’s direct phone number and call to ask them if they offer delivery, and use the app or service they recommend.

Eat at fewer chains.

People are excited about places like Emmy Squared and Dig, but it’s worth considering that their arrival (and the capital behind them) can drive up the real estate prices for smaller, less financially-backed restaurants. In 2020, I’ll think twice before hitting these or other chain spots in favor of a different lunch option. (I will not, however, hesitate to eat at Wawa.)

No more flash photography in restaurants.

Honestly, this is not a resolution for me. I have manners. This is a resolution for all you Instagram-addicts who are out in dimly-lit restaurants ruining the vibe. Stop it!  The pictures don’t look that good anyway. If you’re that invested, just get an iPhone 11.