Sunday Night Is the Best Night to Dine Out in Philly

The mid-winter shoulder season blues are upon us, but Philly chefs are curing us with their special Sunday night dinners.

Little Fish / Photo by Ted Nghiem

Late winter is a weird time for restaurant dining. The crush of the holidays is long-gone, and people are mostly done with New Years’ resolutions. Cabin fever is setting in, but what’s the right outlet for all the pent up energy? Hanging in the sun all afternoon in beer garden is not yet an option, but you need something to shake up the routine.

Enter: Philly’s Sunday dinner specials, meant to tempt diners out on Sunday nights and turn what is often a pretty lackluster evening into something worth looking forward to all week. Chefs and restaurant across the city offer these specials to bring people out on a traditionally slow night, and they’ve got the right idea. Why give up that final weekday evening to chores and dreading the upcoming week when there are so many excellent meals to be had? That’s right, even on Sunday. Maybe even especially on Sunday, which might just be the best night of the week to dine out. Here are seven reasons why.

Liberty Kitchen, Fishtown
Some Sundays at Liberty Kitchen, the team does a ‘pop-down’ in the small dining room in the basement of the store, serving “Sundee gravy” that classic meat sauce with pasta. Look out for announcements on their Instagram page and reserve quickly – there are only 18 seats available each time.

OllyQueen Village
Here’s what you do: Text those friends you’ve been meaning to catch up with, the ones you actually want to talk to, and tell them you’re going out on Sunday night. Go early, so you don’t feel rushed to get home and get to bed. Now, take them to Olly and order a couple of salads and the special Sunday fish and chips, family-style for the table. Family-style dining is the exact vibe you’re looking for on a Sunday night. It’s the comfort and ease of cooking in your own home without having to actually, you know, cook in your own home.

Little FishQueen Village
Every other night, Little Fish is an a la carte BYO with a very small menu focused on seafood. On Sundays, they offer two seatings for a tasting menu-only experiences – make a reservation at either 5:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. for a perfect end-of-weekend date night.

June BYOB, East Passyunk
You can opt for the tasting menu any night at June, but on Sunday’s it’s all they offer. For $50, you get four courses of well-executed French food, which is arguably the cuisine most suited to the chilly, grey days we’re trying to survive. Since June is BYO, it’s a good time to break out a nice bottle of red and toast to your upcoming week.

Pumpkin, South Street
Pumpkin’s tasting menu is typically $65 for four courses, but on Sunday they run a special five course, $50 special, with menu items changing each week. It’s a great way to try out a new spot if you’ve never been, and there’s something very comforting about not having to make any choices on a Sunday night.

Two FishHaddonfield
Mike Stollenwerk, who made his name as the chef at Little Fish, now runs the kitchen at Two Fish, where he offers a five-course prixe-fix Sunday dinner for only $36. The restaurant only seats 30, so the vibe skews more date-night than friends night out.

Fiore Fine Foods, Queen Village
Every Sunday night, the team at Fiore goes deep into a different region of Italy, cooking up esoteric pasta dishes like culurgiones, a stuffed pasta typical of Sardinia, or maltagliati, a rolled-out noodle found in the region of Marche. Each week’s region is posted on Fiore’s event page, where you can also see the types of pasta they’ll be making.