The Feel-Good Philly Restaurant Stories We Need Right Now

Because there are still some good things happening in the Philly food world.

Photo courtesy of Middle Child

The reason we love the restaurant industry is that so many of the people who make it amazing are also just … good people. We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for some small wins, and we found them. Here are five stories that are making us feel hopeful right now. If you’ve got any others, please feel free to pass them along to

Kalaya Feeds the Industry

It’s no secret that we love Kalaya and its owner, Nok (aka Chutatip Suntaranon), but we love her even more now that she has quickly and cheerfully turned her restaurant into the most delicious soup kitchen ever, serving “Phamily” meal to unemployed restaurant workers and anyone else in need. Lots of restaurants donated produce and other ingredients as they shut down last week, and Nok has been posting lots of pictures of everything they’re whipping up, as well as plenty of photos of her dog, Tong.


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Middle Child Raises $15,000 for Hospital Workers

You’ve probably seen the pictures on the internet that are circulating, saying that the best thing we can do for healthcare workers at this time is stay home. Thanks to Middle Child, the new best think you can do is stay home and buy them lunch. As of this writing, the hippest, most sarcastic sandwich shop on the Internet has raised over $15,000 in donations which will allow the restaurant to continue paying their staff (for at least the next three weeks) while providing free lunches for thirty different departments at hospitals across the city.


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Dig Launches Dig Feeds

One more reason why Dig is our current favorite fast-casual salad chain: They’ve launched Dig Feeds, an off-shoot of the chain dedicated to bringing food to those in need during this crisis — for every bowl sold online, they’ll donate one to someone in need. In Philadelphia, they’re currently benefiting Broad Street Ministries but are looking for other organizations and essential workers to support. Anyone in need or wanting to recommend a group to receive food should email, or text “dig feeds” to 80519. 


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Restaurant Relief All in One Place

It’s been overwhelming to try and sort through all the relief funds that Philly’s restaurants have launched in the last few weeks. That is, until Bondfire Media co-founder Marie DiFeliciantonio launched a website dedicated to aggregating all the GoFundMe fundraisers, Venmo accounts, gift card drives and other efforts in place to take care of industry folks during this period. When you’re feeling desperate, click over there instead of to Twitter.

The Joy Box

A collaboration between Lil’ Pop ShopCàphê Roasters, Triple Bottom Brewing, Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Third Wheel Cheese Co.and Mycopolitan Mushroom Company, the Joy Box is what they’re calling the “essential non-essential box for trying times.” It’s customizable (because joy is not a one-size-fits-all situation, obviously), so you can get any combination of beer, coffee, ice cream, cheese and mushrooms that you need. Check this link for next week’s delivery info.


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Vanilya Makes Cookies for Hospital Staff

Everyone needs a cookie these days, but especially hospital staff who are on the front lines of this crisis. For each $2.50 donated, Best of Philly winner Vanilya Bakery will donate two cookies to hospital teams as part of their #teamcookie drive.


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