Where to Eat on Washington Avenue

With its pho halls and street foods, Washington Avenue is one of the most diverse — and delicious — culinary destinations in Philadelphia.

Dock Street Brewery South | Facebook

While Washington Avenue isn’t a neighborhood, it is a demarcation point in the city. Head north and you’ll hit Center City, with all it’s tall buildings, office workers, and elegance. Go south, and you’re headed into Point Breeze, Passyunk, and Pennsport — South Philadelphia neighborhoods with all that infamous Philly grit and personality. Along Washington Avenue, though, you’ll find a swath of restaurants, food trucks, pho halls and more — all of them interesting, all of them worthy of a special trip all their own. Here are the places you should plan around.

Porcos Porchetteria/Small Oven Pastry Shop
What can we say about Porcos that we haven’t already said? Their sandwiches, which come piled with juicy porchetta and crunchy skin, are among the best in the city, and they also sell cakes by the quarter, which is the absolutely correct way to sell cake.

 

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Dock Street Brewery South
This industrial stretch of Washington Avenue is a surprising location for a brewery and pizza spot, but there’s really nowhere in Philly where great beer and great pizza (and in the mornings, great coffee) aren’t appreciated. It’s an airy, spacious spot, great for group hangs and events.

Cafe Ynez
Cafe Ynez has a menu that includes all the necessities of a neighborhood Mexican spot: tacos, burritos, quesadillas. But we’re particular fans of the half roasted chicken, which comes with two sides and easily feeds two people for $15. Follow it up with a beer at Dock Street for a casual, affordable date night.

Chick’s
Chick’s is the neighborhood bar of Washington Avenue — ideal for watching the game, eating a burger, and maybe sharing a couple of their 12-inch pizzas.

 

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Martabak Ok
Martabak OK is a testament to the breadth of Philly’s food scene — not only do we have great Indonesian food, but we have a whole cafe dedicated to martabak, an Indonesian street food that is something like a stuffed pancake. Newbies will be pleased to know that they offer samples readily.

Pho 75
Pho 75 is probably the most popular pho spot in the city. It’s exactly what we need it to be and nothing more: fast service for delicious pho, plenty of tables, cash only. It hits the spot, every single time.

Sky Cafe
Sky Cafe’s menu is huge, but the good news is there’s basically no wrong way to approach it. But if you’re a first-timer, know that the staff is always happy to help, and that the nasi lemak ayam goreng (fried chicken with coconut rice, pickles, spicy egg, and anchovies) is a favorite among regulars.

 

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Nam Phuong
If you’re looking for Vietnamese food beyond pho on Washington Ave, head past Pho 75 to Nam Phuong, whose extensive menu includes harder-to-find dishes like bún riêu, a minced pork and crab meat soup, and banh cuon, steamed rice rolls filled with pork.

Wokano
South Philadelphians don’t have to go all the way to Chinatown for dim sum. Instead, make a beeline for Wokano’s expansive dining room, where they can get cart service every day at lunchtime.

Anastasi Seafood
Anastasi is the place for casual plates of oysters and clams, a nice shrimp cocktail, and a cut of fresh fish to cook for dinner the next day.

 

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El Rodeo Taco Truck
Keep an eye out for the mural-painted truck parked daily on the corner of Washington and 10th. We’re particularly fond of the al pastor, which they carve off the trompo and sear to crisp-edged perfection.

Plaza Garibaldi
If you require drinks with your Mexican food, Plaza Garibaldi has them, alongside a long and varied menu with everything from nachos and burritos to huaraches and a small menu of mariscos.

Taqueria La Veracruzana
For a sit-down Mexican spot, go to Taqueria La Veracruzana for some of the best carnitas in the city. Get them on chilaquiles in the morning, in a burrito for lunch, and on tacos for dinner.

 

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Ba Le Bakery
A Philadelphia staple for all kinds of banh mi, plus iced coffee, desserts, and all kinds of pre-made Vietnamese specialties.

Sophie’s Kitchen
Lemongrass grilled beef skewers, prahok kteah (a ground pork dip served with raw vegetables for scooping), and comforting beef stews are on the menu at Sophie’s Kitchen, a cozy dining room that serves all manner of Cambodian dishes.