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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, tinker with 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 Openings guide.
Got a tip about a new spot? Did you have a dining experience you desperately want us to know about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings Around Philadelphia
Mawn, Bella Vista
Married couple Phila and Rachel Lorn have been kicking around the Philly restaurant scene for years. But Mawn is the first restaurant that is theirs alone — a Philly-Cambodian biographical mash-up housed in the 9th Street space where Kalaya began. We’re talking papaya salad, head-on soft shell shrimp with fish-sauce caramel, num pang made on Sarcone’s rolls, Cambodian-style chicken noodle soup and fried half-chickens. At this new BYOB, Southeast Asian dishes take center stage. But, according to the team, “Mawn is a noodle house with no rules.” I can’t wait to check it out.
Forin Cafe, Kensington
Cafe and bar
The second location of Forin’s cafe/restaurant/“lifestyle hub” is now open at 2525 Frankford Avenue in Kensington, offering a scaled-up version of the original spot’s retail collaboration, coffee, breakfast sandwiches and share plates. The biggest change at this new location? There’s a bar featuring wine from Forin’s own winery and cocktails (and late-night espresso).
Husband-and-wife team Chloe Grigri (of The Good King Tavern and Le Caveau) and Vincent Stipo (who helped open Vernick and works in commercial real estate and hospitality consulting) opened a neighborhood wine bar at the ideal moment — just in time for spring in Rittenhouse. They’ve got 30 seats, a zinc bar, a 72-label cellar full of small producers and chef Michael Valent from Good King to oversee the menu of small plates. More details here.
Kiko’s Peruvian Kitchen, Collingswood
Here’s to more Peruvian restaurants opening in Philly. Collingswood has a new place serving papa la huancaina, lomo saltado, and ceviche — all of which looks great. Kiko’s is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. If yuca fries, Peruvian shrimp fried rice and aji de gallina aren’t reason enough to cross the bridge now and then, I don’t know what is.
Who isn’t going to be excited by a Portuguese cafe serving pastéis de nata, chorizo breakfast sandwiches, salt cod fritters and peri peri chicken? Well, that’s exactly what Brian Mattera and Brian Oliveira are doing at Gilda, open now in the former Girard Bruncherie space at 300 East Girard Avenue. They’re open for breakfast and lunch every day but Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show up early: They’ve been selling out of treats before 10 a.m.
Dankbaar, East Passyunk
Noord’s Joncarl Lachman is back, this time with an intimate BYOB focusing on the cuisines of Northern Europe. Escargot, rabbit rilette, cider-braised pork and housemade breads fill the menu, along with smoked fish, gravlax and mushroom-walnut pate. It’s nice to see Lachman back in the game after a couple years away, and with Dankbaar, it looks like he’s definitely playing to his strengths in the neighborhood.
Kook Burger & Bar, Center City
A burger operation from Brigantine set up shop in the middle of Center City, selling smash burgers and over-the-top milkshakes to the swells. They’re also offering breakfast for those of us who don’t like starting the day before the sun is well on its way towards high noon. Kook Burger did well at the Shore, so here’s hoping they can bring that same brand of casual Shore excess and bright summer joy to the heart of Philly.
Simmer Down, Wilmington
Should you find yourself in Wilmington and in need of a cocktail, the new bar at the Quoin Hotel is now open and ready for you. Simmer Down is serving Sazeracs and martinis downstairs from the main restaurant in a 53-seat space once used for the storage of gold bars and fur coats (known as “The Money Room.”) They’ve been playing up the speakeasy element since the soft open a few weeks back, but just head downstairs and look for the door or ask at the host’s stand and you can check out the place (and its giant, two-wall mural) for yourself.
Bankroll, Center City
Because if there’s one thing this town was missing, it was a sports bar. No, seriously. That was the argument behind opening this $25 million cathedral to televised sporting events in the former Boyd Theater on Chestnut Street. Paul Martino, the venture capitalist behind the project, wanted Philly to have a showpiece venue where you could get together with 300-plus like-minded fans and … watch TV. Sports, certainly. But also other things. Like a presidential debate. The Masked Singer finale, perhaps. Whatever big thing is happening that night. But Martino, who was an early investor in FanDuel, and Bankroll are primarily focused on sports, with private rooms and an in-house app offering community message boards and prediction-based games (no betting, though). Starr was involved in this project early on as a partner, but has since backed away. One of his former chefs — Scott Swiderski, ex of Buddakan — is overseeing the kitchen, and a menu that is part fine dining (wagyu steaks, seafood towers) and part game-day food (burgers, onion rings), all meant to be eaten while staring at one of the 60-ish giant TVs on the floor.
Pho Today, South Philly
This casual Vietnamese spot (with another location in New Jersey) just opened in the plaza at 11th and Washington, offering several different varieties of phở, plus bún bò huế, rice and vermicelli platters and bánh mì for the neighborhood. There are plenty of places to sit in here, as well as a menu section dedicated to smoothies in case you need to charge up your battery before or after running errands on a Sunday.
Crown Tavern, Glen Mills
A new place to eat comforting English pub food in the ‘burbs. Expect fish and chips, beer cheese fondue, roast beef with horseradish, deviled eggs topped with blue crab, and a couple pints of lager to wash it all down. Add in the taxidermied animals, weird dog paintings and a good gin and tonic, and I’m all in.
The Hayes, Midtown Village
Townsend Wentz has picked up the space next to his Spanish spot, Oloroso, on Walnut Street and turned it into an American tavern called the Hayes. After some time spent in soft-open mode and operating quietly with burgers, fried oysters, winter soups, and cocktails from the big, antique bar, Wentz and company are now running lunch and dinner services seven days a week. Expect dishes like chicken wings, roasted pork belly with chickpeas and kale, steak frites, bowls of mussels, beet salads and an eponymous burger with Cooper sharp and spicy mayo. Basically, a little bit of everything. The bar is open ‘til midnight every night, and the kitchen shuts down at 10:30 p.m.
Korea Taqueria, Grays Ferry
Tacos & Sandwiches
Bulgogi cheesesteaks. Gochujang fried chicken sandwiches. Birria. Korean chicken wings. Kimchi nachos. What’s not to love? This business just went from beloved food truck to brick-and-mortar. So take a look at the menu, and go show ‘em some love. Korea Taqueria is open for takeout and delivery from Tuesday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Gass & Main, Haddonfield
Chef Dane DeMarco made a splash in Jersey with Burgertime NJ, a casual joint dedicated to the greater glory of tater tots and messy burgers. Well, now they’re up and running Gass & Main, a somewhat more restrained and formal American BYO that still manages to sneak in some wild notions like a dirty-martini cheeseball, fancy ants on a log (with chicken liver mousse and brandied cherries) and Nashville hot ‘shrooms. G&M is doing brunch, lunch and dinner services. This is definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re in South Jersey.
Curiosity Donuts, Doylestown
Aki and Alex from Ideas In Food have been evolving their doughnut game for a long time, winning awards (including being named semifinalist for the James Beard Awards) and gathering devotees along the way. And, on February 9th, they’ll have a brand-new brick-and-mortar location on Edison-Furlong Road in Doylestown, slinging yeasted doughnuts with flavors like Earl Grey lychee, Fruity Pebbles Crunch and cherry-glazed. These are some of the best and wildest donuts you can eat in the region. I’m psyched for this one. You should be, too.
Palenque, Italian Market
Taqueria la Veracruzana is now Palenque, a Mexican restaurant with a long list of tacos, burritos, tortas and some impressive-looking house specials like alambre and pechuga Azteca. Palenque is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week.
De La Terre, Downingtown
A 40-seat, neighborhood French BYO offering oysters, kombu-poached shrimp, escargot spiked with Fresno chiles, venison with chanterelles and duck breast in a huckleberry and beetroot gastrique. If that sounds like your kind of Friday night, then you’ll be happy to know that De La Terre is open now on West Lancaster Avenue.
Delco Steaks, University City
There is, of course, room for reasonable debate about who sells the best cheesesteak in this city. But any list of those top producers must include Delco Steaks — seeded rolls and all. The good news? If you’ve never ventured out to either their Broomall or Ridley locations, there’s now one open at Penn’s Franklin’s Table Food Hall in University City.
Kismet Bialys, Reading Terminal Market
The Kismet crew has been on a tear lately. This newest location — a stall in aisle B of Reading Terminal Market — serves traditional and novel takes on the bialy. The most recent special offered was called the ‘Strami: pastrami, melted swiss, Fishtown pickles, mustard and a potato-chip crust. There are sweet options available, too. Plus a version with bacon, egg, and cheese.
Garces Trading Company, Center City
Cafe & Market
The Garces Trading Co. brand has seen ups and downs over the years, expanding and contracting, closing, then operating as a ghost kitchen and a training space. But recently, the project has come back onto the scene as a kind of market and cafe. Think of this like an ad hoc food hall: part coffee shop, part bakery, part restaurant, part market … and with its own catering operation to boot. The newest location is currently up and running on the first floor of the Kimmel Center (where Garces already has Volvér). Garces Trading Company is open during the day for cafe hours and for late-night hours on performance nights.
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, Cherry Hill, NJ
One of Queens’s famous soup dumpling spots opened a location in South Jersey. Yes, there’ll be a wide variety of dim sum and noodles on the menu, but what really matters here are the xiao long bao — specifically the crab-and-pork soup dumplings that made the place famous (and beloved) when it first opened in New York. Come hungry. Be prepared to wait. And don’t forget to try a side of the scallion pancakes.
Farina Di Vita, Queen Village
Jason Okdeh and Brandyn Luis Ortiz just opened their own boutique Italian deli and pasta shop at 3rd and Catherine. Right now, it appears they’re operating primarily as a takeout deli (with hoagies, Italian meats, etc.), but they’re looking at expanding into offering a full-on market experience. They’re rolling things out slow, so go easy, but after having a look at their sandwich menu, I’m hoping they’re able to continue expanding in the future. Farina Di Vita opens at 11 a.m. every day but Monday.
Sunpress, Audubon, NJ
Nachos, tacos, Key lime pie and Cuban sandwiches all in the same place? Sign me up. Also, they’ve got a burrito made with hot Cheetos, if you’re into that kind of thing.