Philly’s Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings
Everything you need to know about what’s new and what’s next in Philadelphia's dining and drinking scene, all in one place.
Philly’s dining scene never sits still. Restaurants and bars open, close, move, shift concepts, reinvent themselves and the way the game is played. If you have a day job that keeps you preoccupied or maybe even a demanding Rottweiler or a couple of kids who are consistently barking your name, it might be hard to wrap your head around it all. Lose focus for a minute, and the whole scene can shift without you noticing.
To help you keep up with your city, we’ve got this list: a big, ever-evolving tally of the newest and most notable restaurant openings in the region. Think of this guide like a monthly checklist of all the new stuff happening in Philly — a to-do list for the truly dedicated diner. As new restaurants, bars, or cafes set up shop, we’ll add them to the scroll. Then we’ll go check ’em out. (Be warned: just because a spot makes its way onto this list, doesn’t mean we’ve been and necessarily condone a visit there.) If the restaurant is great, they might make their way onto the Philly 15. If they’re city-defining, they might end up on the 50 Best Restaurants list. But it all starts on this here Openings guide.
Got a tip about a new spot? Had a great or terrible experience you desperately want us to know about? Email the Foobooz crew with the goods: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings Around Philadelphia
Restaurant Aleksandar, Rittenhouse
The former V Street space got a makeover and re-opened this month as Restaurant Aleksandar — a “downscale fine dining” restaurant from German-born owner Aleksandar Stojnic, Polish property developer Marek Maj (who is also Stojnic’s father-in-law), and chef Montana Houston (ex of Braddock’s Tavern in Medford, but also Zahav). They’ve got 100 seats, a full bar and a menu that combines American classics (burgers, steaks, etc.) with Eastern European favorites spiked with touches like jasmine rice and tamari in the cabbage rolls and pumpernickel soil as a bed for the kitchen’s gnocchi. It’s a big swing, for sure, but sometimes a big payoff comes from a place that’s willing to take some chances. Stay tuned for brunch, which is supposed to launch soon.
Coyōtl Kitchen and Grill, Warrington
It’s always comforting to have a couple dependable spots in your back pocket should you find yourself on the road to Doylestown, New Hope or points north and suddenly craving tacos. Coyōtl is a new one to add to that list — a bright and cheery place with plenty of room inside and a big patio for sunny days. The menu is simple but hits the high points: street-style tacos, chips and salsa, burritos, flautas and tostadas. Plus there are empanadas to eat on the go, postres if you’re after something sweet, and a great-looking shrimp cocktail to round everything out.
Artisan blooming onions on the appetizer menu. Cocktails made with Honey Nut Cheerio foam and pink-salted-caramel ice cream. Lobster rolls, fancy deviled eggs and hot honey fried chicken for dinner. With Blondie, Manayunk notches yet another opening for their scene and brings to the floor a beautiful space with an everything-all-at-once kind of energy that feels like it walks right on that line between parody and excess. I don’t know exactly what they’re going for yet at Blondie, but I’m excited to find out.
Istanbul Café, Old City
Proper Turkish coffee, wickedly strong and beautifully presented — that’s the name of the game at this new coffee spot on Market Street. Well, that and tea, espresso, lattes and a selection of Turkish baked goods from the bakery case.
Milk Jawn, East Passyunk
Milk Jawn was born during the pandemic as a hybrid pop-up/delivery ice cream company that turned out some killer small-batch flavors. Their Earl Grey with honeycomb won them awards, and no one’s gonna turn up their nose at a bowl of lemon curd and blueberry-basil swirl when the temperature starts to climb. But now, with a brick-and-mortar shop at East Passyunk Avenue and Dickinson Street, and a big new production space just down the street, Milk Jawn is looking at making an even bigger name for themselves this summer with new flavors, the same commitment to local producers, and several new vegan and dairy-free options for those who were feeling left out of the ice cream party.
Chef Brad Daniels takes a step out from underneath the wing of the Vetri family of restaurants with his first solo effort — a vision of Italian cuisine that combines the comforts of familiar dishes with some unexpected flavors. The inaugural menu is full of interesting twists — beef tartare with white truffle and fresh horseradish, pork sausage with long-hot relish and rigatoni dusted with fennel pollen — balanced by the simple dishes like greens and beans and ravioli with brown butter and sage. It reads like the inspired work of a chef finally free to do his own thing in a room all his own.
Philly Cheese School, Bella Vista
Okay, not technically a restaurant, but there was precisely zero chance that I wasn’t going to give space to a brick-and-mortar cheese school with pink neon and cow-print rugs. Julia Birnbaum (ex of Murray’s Cheese in NYC and Di Bruno Bros. here in Philly) has been offering her Philly Cheese School classes in a variety of formats since the pandemic. She’s done them over Zoom, as corporate events, outdoors in the park. But now, she has her very own permanent location at 701 South 9th Street, with a mission to demystify and a calendar full of scheduled classes on tasting, pairing and just enjoying the hell out of cheese — a noble cause indeed.
Brewerytown Bakery, Brewerytown
Whatever it is you need to get you through the day, Brewerytown Bakery has got you covered. Bagels from Kismet, bread from Ursa Bakery, homemade lox sandwiches, avocado toast with cherry tomatoes and feta, red velvet cupcakes, iced coffee all day long. This place is partnering with some of the best local producers and offering everything you need, all in one place. Oh, and the best thing? They’re open late Wednesday through Friday for those of us who just can’t take crowds in the morning and would prefer to swing by after work.
Frankford Tiki Bar, Fishtown
Pay attention because this one comes with a timer. You know that empty lot next to Heffe Tacos? Yeah, well even though summer is halfway done, a crew (namely Timmo Russ, who used to work in restaurants before turning to music, and Michael Daddario of Liberty Bar and Voltage Lounge) has taken it over and turned it into a semi-permanent island-themed bar right there on Frankford Avenue. They’ve got DJs spinning, blenders blending, tacos from Heffe and cocktails waiting for you from now until October. Hours, menus and drink lists look like they’re varying pretty wildly at the moment, but keep up with them on Instagram for updates.
Twenty-One Pips, Ardmore
Bar Food & Board Games
This new concept on Cricket Avenue in Ardmore has a full bar, two skee-ball lanes, a library of 500 board games for you to play with your friends and a menu that includes everything from meat and cheese boards to burgers to bowls of mussels with leek velouté and patatas bravas. Depending on what kind of person you are, that’s either going to sound like the greatest restaurant concept on earth or an absolute nightmare of limp cards dripping mussel broth and game pieces that all smell like ham. I leave it to you to decide for yourself which reality you want to believe in.
Grandma’s Philly, Midtown Village
Grandma’s is a Thai spot in Midtown Village serving a menu based around dishes cooked by owner Donrutai “Locket” Jainon’s grandmother. Chef Locket also runs the Laotian and Thai spot Ratchada on 11th Street. At Grandma’s she’ll be serving comfort food like tom kha and curry puffs, sriracha wings and satay, crab rice and penang curry to share. The menu looks excellent, dotted here and there with Northern Thai specialties as well as Chiang Mai-style street food and homages to the grandma who inspired the place (like a grilled beef dish with spicy tamarind sauce called “Crying Grandma”). I’ve now seen two different pictures of dumplings sculpted to look like nesting swans which, on top of all of the aforementioned reasons, is more than enough to inspire a visit for me personally.
Autana was a marvel when it operated as a ghost kitchen out of the Ardmore Station Cafe, serving grilled arepas, mandocas twisted and topped with cheese, and bonkers-good patacones that will ruin your shirt with pulled-pork drippings if you try to pick one up (and you won’t care). But now the Hernandez family has packed up and moved — if only slightly. They’re still operating out of the same building at 4 Station Road, but they took over the small space vacated by The Coffee Bar and now have a restaurant that’s entirely their own. It’s small, sure, but they’re making good use of it: running morning coffee and breakfast service, a full lunch and dinner menu Thursday through Sunday. The kicker? There’s a $55 Venezuelan prix-fixe menu available. If you’re coming for dinner, you’re gonna have to make reservations. The new dining room can only hold a few tables for dine-in.
Nonna & Pop’s, South Philly
The Termini family has been a part of Philly’s food scene for more than a century. And right now — 101 years since the opening of the original Termini Brothers Bakery (and in the same location at 1514 South 8th Street, which most recently housed Mr. Joe’s cafe) — the family is opening its newest restaurant, Nonna & Pop’s. Named by the grandkids in honor of their grandparents, Barbara and Vince Termini, this will be a neighborhood cafe serving La Colombe coffee, Bassetts ice cream and, of course, Termini Brothers pastries from noon to 7 p.m., every day but Monday.
Paulie Gee’s Soul City Slice Shop, Washington Square West
Slices of pizza on orange cafeteria trays. The O’Jays on vinyl. Pool tables, craft beer and Pac-Man on the TV. Paulie Gee’s is a very specific kind of hang, built for crowds already tipsy on nostalgia and looking to spend time in a carefully crafted simulacrum of the street-corner slice shops they grew up with. This Brooklyn-based pizza place moved into the old Amis Trattoria space early in June and has immediately started banging out classic NY- and Sicilian-style pies that go from admirably simple (cheese and sauce, nothing more) to artfully nouveau (the Hellboy red-top with its lace of Mike’s Hot Honey and sesame-seed bottom). The pizzas are solid, the vibe is your cool uncle’s basement in 1982, and the dining room stays open ‘til 2 a.m. on the weekends, which is nice for the night-owls who’ve lately been losing spots to hang faster than they’ve been gaining them.
Yakitori + Bar, Manayunk
Main Street Manayunk became a little bit cooler last month with the opening of the bluntly named Yakitori + Bar. Shockingly, this restaurant serves yakitori and, yes, there’s a bar. But you can also expect seven different kinds of ramen (from miso to hakata to tantan), plus pork buns, gyoza, karaoke, and a space full of polished wood and a big front window that opens right onto Main Street. There hasn’t been a lot of buzz yet, but it looks worth checking out before the rest of the neighborhood realizes it’s open and turns it into another White Yak, which is to say a very busy place.
Fitz on 4th, Queen Village
Fitz & Starts, Pat O’Malley’s place that took over where Hungry Pigeon left off, closed back in March of this year. But the space at 4th and Fitzwater didn’t stay dark long. Alison Fitzpatrick and Alex Soto have taken over the address and, in June, opened a plant-based vegan tapas restaurant and cocktail bar. The menu leans heavily in the direction of vegan versions of omnivore foods (crab cakes, mac-and-cheese, nachos, meatballs, etc.), as well as some nice-looking fried avocados, local mushroom cavatappi, fingerling fries with house-made ketchup and, of course, a stocked bar to round things out. The new Fitz is open for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays, and on Sunday for brunch.
Fiore Rosso, Bryn Mawr
People have been waiting a loooong time for Vetri’s Main Line steakhouse to open. Partially because Marc Vetri knows how to cook, he surrounds himself with people who know how to cook, and, when he puts out a plate, you can taste how all of that knowledge and all of that experience has been focused onto refining this one dish into the best version of itself it can possibly be. This new steakhouse on Lancaster Avenue might be the perfect spot for that kind of concentration and lack of flourish: thick steaks, well-aged and carefully tended, braced by a handful of pastas, fried potatoes with rosemary and parmesan, a whole grilled fish with tomato, caper and olive, or a few simple cicchetti, and that’s that. For this new project, Vetri has ex-Osteria chef de cuisine (and Vernick veteran) Jesse Grossman leading the kitchen as Fiore Rosso’s chef de cuisine. The menu is an ode to abundance and simplicity — an ideal expression of Vetri’s culinary mindset over the past few years.