The Philly Restaurant Tote Bags We Love to Love

The cult of the cotton tote is real — and you can snag these It bags for less than 30 bucks.

restaurant tote bag

An iconic Philadelphia restaurant tote bag from Neighborhood Ramen. | Photo by Ian Shiver

The cotton tote, patron saint of schlepping, has undergone a recent apotheosis, with businesses calling on creatives to design bags that both boost brand identity and make customers feel like they’re in the crew. It’s a fun part of food culture that’s made for social media — we’ll fess up to tagging @sally_philadelphia with a tote full of natty wine — and it’s practical too, especially since Philadelphia implemented the plastic bag ban. We tracked down a few of the most iconic carryalls in Philly to grow your collection. 

Neighborhood Ramen

“Tote bags are a great conversation starter,” co-owner Lindsey Steigerwald says, and their wild “Slurp it up, Noodle Dude!” design from Kelly Egan definitely got us talking. Their totes are generously sized, which Lindsey can vouch for: “It’s my go-to for the grocery store.” Buy one for $16 online or in store for pickup


Owner Roxxanne Delle Site-Jeronimo says, “When we created our logo, we wanted it to represent the reason why we started — our son, Santiago.” His line-drawn portrait is a sweet nod to the restaurant’s family-run roots.

restaurant tote bag

Photo by Matt Scottoline

ReAnimator Coffee Roasters

Recently redesigned by Cat Park with a more impressionist take on the original “punk” logo, ReAnimator’s newest tote is bold, roomy, and the bag of choice for director of coffee and marketing, Matt Scottoline. “I know it’s kind of nerdy, but I like how it looks.” Same. Buy one for $18 online or in store for pickup

restaurant tote bag

Photo by Evan Clancy

Fountain Porter

“I had the idea of supernatural beverages, and an alien hand swirling wine alongside the funky type felt right,” barback and cook Seth Rodgers says of his design. “[My tote] functions like the back seat of a car when I’m running errands on foot,” which is the most brilliant tote take we’ve heard. Buy one for $20 with in-store pickup.

restaurant tote bag

Photo by Ryan Ellis

Tinys Bottle Shop

They’re playful and candy colored — and for Tinys, that means the tote bags and the wine inside. “Our business partner Mike Parsell came up with the design. He’s an intuitive artist and his design reflects the scrappy, unpretentious nature of Tinys,” co-owner Emily Kovach says. Buy one for $10 with in-store pickup.

Photo by Adjua Fisher

REAP Mini Mart

“It makes me super proud that people want to rep REAP,” co-owner Adjua Fisher says. The “little health food store” hosts a slick selection of buzzy pantry essentials, which is reflected in their cheerful tote, designed by Sara Spicer at Gather Creative. “We wanted something playful and colorful, like our food tends to be.” Buy one for $25 in store for pickup

restaurant tote

Photo by Mat Falco

Herman’s Coffee

Now that Herman’s serves as a coffee shop and artisan pantry market, you need a tote to get your Herman’s haul home. The iconic lawn chair was owner Mat Falco’s idea. It was designed by his cousin Mike, which makes sense, since the shop is named after their grandfather. “He was a big fan of sitting in the garage with the door open,” says Falco.

Friday Saturday Sunday

There’s something drop-dead cool about a special occasion restaurant that drops be-reapered merch. Proprietor Hanna Williams’ “love of all things spooky” served as inspiration for the Merlin Mannelly design. “We serve a refined tasting menu,” she says, “but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.” We’d kill to get our hands on one. Buy one for $23 online