Where to Eat and Drink in Fairmount

One of Philly’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods also boasts a sleeper-hit dining scene.

Braised Pork Shank at A Mano / Photograph by KC Tinari

Location, location, location! You couldn’t ask for more in Fairmount. It’s got access to world-class museums, the city’s best dog-friendly parks, and acres of green space. It’s why young families flock here. But if you walk along this neighborhood’s tree-lined streets (and work up an appetite), you’ll quickly learn that it’s the local restaurants that really give Fairmount its flavor. Small community enclaves, neighborhood staples, and no-frills joints on the western borders rub against more refined restaurants along North Broad. With so many exceptional places to eat, Fairmount may not remain an overlooked culinary destination for much longer. Here’s a look at the places that are defining this neighborhood’s food scene.

Fairmount’s boundaries run from Fairmount Avenue up to Girard, and from Broad Street over to Pennsylvania Avenue, encompassing the Eastern State Penitentiary and bumping up against the Art Museum and Kelly Drive.

A Mano
Former Fairmount resident, Townsend Wentz, opened his Italian BYOB almost a decade ago to highlight classic comforts like ricotta cavatelli with broccoli rabe and lemon, rigatoni bolognese, and braised pork shank. It’s a great deal for family-style dinners full of handmade pasta and seafood-centric dishes where everyone can select their own dish per course. (Three courses run $48 per person and four-course options are $68 per person required for parties of five or more.) In other words, bring your parents and in-laws here. They’ll love it. 2244 Fairmount Avenue

Bad Brother
Bad Brother is a unicorn in this neighborhood. Die-hard regulars and tourists often talk at the bar over chorizo-stuffed sausage rolls, Korean-style gochujang wings, and their house cheeseburger specials. The ambitious kitchen pushes out seriously good specials almost nightly including weekly specials like grilled octopus with sauce gribiche, confit cast iron chicken with veggies, and wagyu tartare with pickled long hots, crispy shallots and provolone foam. Their beverage list is impressive and varied with cider, beer, mead, wine and cocktails — including non-alcoholic and canned varieties. Be on the lookout for more pop-ups and collaborations, too. 726 North 24th Street

At this decades-old Greek restaurant, there are white tablecloths and stemmed water glasses. But you’ll be just as happy eating a gyro and hummus platter with your friends in the middle of the day as you will sharing a rack of lamb and bottle of red wine with a date at sunset. Go often — this is one of those neighborhood gems any other area of the city would be lucky to have. 2230 Fairmount Avenue

Krupa’s Tavern
In 2021, this legendary dive bar celebrated 100 years of operation, which may or may not be accurate, but the spirit rings true. Krupa’s has all the makings of an excellent dive bar, complete with four taps, TVs playing Phillies games in the corner, and a scene of regulars who will chat with you until you realize it’s 1:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and you really only meant to stay for an hour or two. It’s cash only, and there’s no food. 2701 Brown Street

No Philadelphia neighborhood would be complete without a shop that takes the art of the sandwich to a whole new level — and Rybread is Fairmount’s. Owner Ryan Pollock does his own spin on classics like an Italian: His is called “the Philadelphia” and comes on a baguette. They also have pressed paninis and a variety of salads, which makes Rybread a good destination for lunch meetings, solo snacking, and casual daytime dates. 1711 Fairmount Avenue

Hand-pinched Caramelle filled with honey nut squash, parmigiano fonduta and aged balsamic at Osteria / Photograph by Gab Bonghi

Seasonal northern Italian food shines here as chef/owner Jeff Michaud brings back new inspiration from his annual visits to Italy. Guests come for family-style and wood-fired cooking, rotating gelati flavors, regional staples, and a wine cellar featuring 300 bottles of Italian wines. They’re open seven days a week, with happy hour every day at the bar, which means you can enjoy their classic chicken liver rigatoni with a $7 glass of wine. Chef Michaud also regularly hosts pasta and pizza classes in their Kitchen Table space, a perfect special occasion activity. 640 North Broad Street

Jack’s Firehouse
Jack’s Firehouse has regularly served lunch, brunch, and dinner seven days a week for over 35 years. Former owner Jack McDavid (also of the iconic Down Home Diner in Reading Terminal Market) has long championed farm-to-table cooking so everything from sauces and dressings that accompany steak and fish to the crabcakes, spicy shrimp bisque, and St. Louis cut ribs are made from scratch daily. Their open-air bar is also one of the nicer spots to chat and grab a drink. 2130 Fairmount Avenue

The Bishop’s Collar
A neighborhood watering hole for over 25 years, everyone comes here for trivia nights, draft beers, and bar favorites: buffalo chicken spring rolls, nachos (staff love turkey chili on top), roast pork with hot peppers, and steak-tips sandwiches with cheddar,  bacon and mushrooms. Also, there are vegan options here. There’s probably no better spot for a late afternoon beer while watching the game or to fill up after a long day at the museums. 2349 Fairmount Avenue

South Jazz Kitchen
At South Jazz Kitchen, you can eat well-made Southern staples and drink a Sazerac in front of a jazz trio or maybe just a saxophonist who makes delightful faces while he plays. Check South’s event schedule for the next show — you’ll need to buy tickets ahead of time to ensure a spot. 600 North Broad Street

Tela’s Market & Kitchen
Everyone knows and loves Tela’s for its brunch — and now you can get pancakes, breakfast tacos, and egg sandwiches every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The all-day cafe and market is great for co-working through lunch, lingering around for happy hour (Wednesday through Saturday 4 to 7 p.m.), or meeting up with friends for dinner. Expect an elevated quick-serve menu with salads, sandwiches, handmade pastas, pizzas, and larger entrees like the roasted branzino. Grab a drink at the bar (including zero-proof options) or grab your favorite bottle from their wine and beer bottle shop. 1833 Fairmount Avenue

The combination platter at Era | Photograph by Hannah Albertine

If you like the idea of posting up at a dive bar and inviting a bunch of friends to drop by as they see fit, then you’ll probably also like the idea of choosing a dive bar where you can order platters of remarkable Ethiopian doro wot or collards simmered for so long they barely require any teeth to eat. At Era, the beer is cheap, there’s ample space in the back, and a Benjamin Franklin portrait hangs in the center of the room for no reason clearer than “It’s Philadelphia, duh.” 2743 Poplar Street

Zuzu’s Kitchen
Zuzu’s advertises itself as a pizza place, but you should really be ordering their vegan Ethiopian food. Go for the $16 combo platter, which gets you a little of each of their six stews. A bonus surprise: They also serve fries. You can and should be dipping those fries in your stewed collards and creamy shiro wot. 1500 Ridge Avenue

Bar Hygge
Meet Fairmount’s beloved neighborhood bar. This place is named for the Danish concept that embodies “coziness,” which, in this case, simply translates to a place you’ll want to make your de facto living room. Come for house-brewed beer or wines by the glass in the $12 to $14 range. Bar Hygge’s food menu includes plenty of bar classics, but their specialty build-your-own snacking boards are what you’ll see on everyone’s tables. 1720 Fairmount Avenue

The Black Taxi
A neighborhood pub with good beer, whiskey, cheesy crab fries, sausage rolls, bangers and mash, and full Irish breakfasts till 4 p.m. 745-747 North 25th Street

Cantina Feliz
Fairmount may not be able to flaunt the range of Mexican food you’ll find in other parts of the city, but the neighborhood does have Cantina Feliz: a bright spot with a menu full of fish tacos, tortilla soup, and an extensive tequila selection. 2321 Fairmount Avenue

Libertee Ground’s new expansion adds more holes to their indoor mini-golf course, including one that’s modeled after FDR Skatepark. | Photograph by Will Lee

Libertee Grounds
Where else can you find excellent food, a solid beer list, and play indoor mini-golf? Libertee Grounds has a mini-golf course that spans two floors, 30+ taps of local beers, an outdoor beer garden where kids and dogs are welcome, craft cocktails, and pan-Asian-influenced dishes that are affordable and fun to eat. They’ve also recently expanded their space, adding more holes to the mini-golf course with themes like Girard Station and FDR Skatepark. There’s even a hole where an animatronic Eagles fan will climb up a greased pole when you get a hole-in-one! Try their Masala Nachos topped with garlic sour cream, pico, and Love City Brewing Libertee Lager beer cheese, tikka Buffalo wings, and Chai Latte French Toast. Bring the whole family for $1 dumplings and quizzo every Tuesday. 1600 West Girard Avenue

Figs is popular in Fairmount for its Mediterranean-leaning menu with distinct Moroccan influences. While the braised lamb shank tagine served with couscous is a classic at dinner, long-time Fairmount residents will insist you try brunch, where platters of Moroccan eggs with spicy tomato sauce and ground beef and buttermilk pancakes are the stars. Note that Figs is cash-only and BYOB. 2501 Meredith Street

Little Pete’s
Diners are increasingly rare in Philly, but even rarer is a diner with a plant-filled outdoor space where you can enjoy a stacked tuna sandwich, a platter of chicken parm, or breakfast served all day, every day. Little Pete’s has all of these things. 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue

Thirsty Dice
Is anyone surprised that there’s a bar specializing in games in this neighborhood full of families? Of course not. Five bucks gets you access to Thirsty Dice’s library of 800-plus games. When you get hungry, there’s a menu of loaded french fries, pizza, and boozy milkshakes for the adults. 1642 Fairmount Avenue