11 Excellent Philly Restaurants That Are Open on Mondays

Long live Monday night dinner.

A spread at Neighborhood Ramen in Queen Village. / Photograph by Ian Shiver

Much like Garfield, you may hate Mondays. That’s a reasonable stance. Mondays are for remembering (and agonizing over) all the tasks you should have completed last week. To make matters worse, many of Philly’s restaurants shut down for the day. But not all of them. When you’re on the hunt for an exceptional place to eat on Monday — whether you have the day off or not — these are the places I’m sending you to first.

Blue Corn, Italian Market
On a Monday that feels like it’s only worsening by the hour, you could ask a loved one for a hug or you could go to Blue Corn and order coctel de camarones and chalupas. Both activities will produce similar chemical results in your brain. The walls of this warm Italian Market dining room are lined with booze, framed photos and soccer paraphernalia. It’s an easy place to sit for a while. When you’re ordering, take a cue from the name and prioritize masa in its near-infinite varieties (slider-sized sopecitos, for example, or thick huaraches smothered in refried beans and grilled cactus). Bonus fun: Walk to 12 Steps Down after dinner where you can play free rounds of pool on Monday nights. 940 South 9th Street.

The dining room at River Twice / Photograph by Ted Nghiem

River Twice, East Passyunk
On Mondays, this inventive fine-dining restaurant departs from their typical seven-course tasting experience and offers an abbreviated four-course menu for $55 per person. Usually the meal starts with something light and seafood-focused (think cured trout or chirashi that shows off Jersey-grown rice and whatever vegetables the team is jazzed about). Then you might move onto a heftier fish dish and a meat course, followed by dessert. You can always throw in an add-on, like the double Mother Rucker burger that’s so perfect it’s almost existentially alarming to eat. The best part of the Monday night series at River Twice? No two meals are the same. 1601 East Passyunk Avenue.

Neighborhood Ramen, Queen Village
You can’t always anticipate an intense ramen craving before it comes on strong. And when the call for fatty pork broth, curly noodles, soy-marinated eggs, and crunchy fermented menma hits you on a Monday night, there’s nowhere better to send yourself than Neighborhood Ramen. This Queen Village BYOB makes their own noodles — a laborious process that requires a fancy-schmancy machine and a whole lot of time. What results are long, thick stands that chew and snap in ways you can’t replicate without fresh product. Show up early or prepare to wait for a seat. The place is tiny — that’s part of what’s so lovable about it. 617 South 3rd Street.

Kilimandjaro, West Philly
Kilimandjaro was one of the first restaurants in Philly to serve Senegalese food to the masses. And, during the pandemic, owner Youma Aisse Ba moved the business from Chestnut Street to Baltimore Avenue (where her other business, Youma, was already located.) Come for dibi lamb chops topped with punchy marinated onions or tomato-heavy thieboudienne and plantains on the side — all in a space with bright yellow walls and comfy chairs. Another upside of Kilimandjaro’s new spot: It’s right next door to a well-stocked African grocer where you can buy spices, huge bags of rice, and dried, smoked fish while two friendly kittens try to distract you from shopping. 4519 Baltimore Avenue.

Café Nhan, South Philly
When you’re elbow-deep in rich, iron-y bún bò huế and chicken wings that are brined in fish sauce before being fried, it’s possible you’ll wonder why you’d want to visit any other restaurant in Philadelphia other than Café Nhan. In other words, it’s easy to get caught up in the simplicity and charm of this casual neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant run by a mother-son duo. Just know that the place closes at 7 p.m., so come for an early dinner or lunch. 1606 West Passyunk Avenue.

The chef’s counter at Suraya / Photograph by Casey Robinson

Suraya, Fishtown
Between its mammoth size and the consistently stellar Levantine dishes, Suraya remains one of the city’s most useful restaurants for an upscale meal with a group. You can usually snag a table on a Monday night without issue, even if you’re bringing a gaggle of relatives or birthday celebrators to split cumin-spiked muhammara and slow-roasted lamb. Prepare to spend at least $50 per person. 1528 Frankford Avenue.

Dubu, Elkins Park
If you want to eat amazing Korean food on a Monday, there are plenty of options near Olney and Elkins Park. Dubu sits high up on that list, especially if you order crispy haemul pajeon, a stone pot of kimchi soondubu, and spicy marinated daeji bulgogi. But it’s also worth mentioning because the location is right next to H Mart in Elkins Park, which means you can have dinner and grocery shop for the week in one fell swoop. Heads up: H Mart closes at 8 p.m. and Dubu closes at 10 p.m. 1333 West Cheltenham Ave, #102.

Mish Mish, East Passyunk
Planning a dinner on a Monday with someone you hope will deem you dateable? This Mediterranean restaurant right off of the Singing Fountain nails the atmosphere of a romantic night out — thanks to big windows, golden-glow lighting, and playlist akin to the sounds of an A24 premiere party — without feeling stuffy or try-hard. The dishes, like grilled shrimp with saffron mayo and a pomegranate-painted chicken that’s roasted and then grilled to order, are consistently light but satisfying. 1046 Tasker Street.

A tasting at Her Place Supper Club / Photograph by Gab Bonghi

Her Place Supper Club, Rittenhouse
For those who are demoralized by the slim prospect of securing a reservation at Her Place Supper Club, try their Monday night walk-in service. If you’re able to show up to Rittenhouse on a Monday afternoon, you’ll have a great shot at a table. (The line starts to form on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant around 4 p.m. and the host will come outside to take names at 5 p.m.) Each meal costs $50 per person and usually spotlights six or seven Italian/French dishes that they’re testing for a future menu. Even though Chef Amanda Shulman doesn’t do her usual stand-in-front-of-the-room spiel between each course, the place feels as memorable as ever, if not more casual and magical. On Mondays, the Her Place team also offer wines by the glass that are usually only available by the bottle. 1740 Sansom Street.

Pera, Northern Liberties
Pera serves thoughtful Turkish food in a brick-walled corner spot on North 2nd Street. All the cold mezze plates here come with fluffy pita slices that steam like angry kettles when you open them up. Start with Pera’s ezme — sweet from pomegranates, garlic-slapped, and smoky from roasted hot peppers. Then get some chicken or lamb kebabs, juicy in the center and charred on the outside, or the doughy manti bathing in chili oil and a cold yogurt sauce. The next time you need a BYOB choice that’s slightly more exciting than your regular old neighborhood spot, try Pera for date night or family dinner. Just know that things can get a little noisy during prime time in the dining room, in case you’re looking for somewhere quiet where you can discuss life’s important quandaries, like who changed the Hulu password and why. 944 North 2nd Street.

Kalaya, Fishtown
Kalaya’s new location could eat four of the old Kalaya’s and still have room for dessert. That’s a quirky way of saying the palm-filled warehouse iteration of this beloved Thai restaurant is giant, and therefore can accommodate you and a bunch of friends on a Monday night. There are approximately 1,000 ways to build a meal here, based largely on your interest in spice. If you like it hot, start with the goong chae nam pla, which is just as sour and vegetal and gorgeous as it is punishing with chilies. There’s also booze available at the new location. 4 West Palmer Street.