Philadelphia’s food scene is a global confluence of different flavors and ingredients that continue to flourish with new dining options added on a regular basis. Chefs and restaurants reinvent themselves bringing a delectable spread to the table, that makes the city stand out as a food capital of the USA. From award-winning restaurants to small joints, the extensive food scene in Philadelphia is a collective of culinary innovation, old-school recipes, and diverse flavors. With the easing of restrictions in effect to the pandemic, the city’s food scene is expanding yet again with new restaurants and culinary ideas.
Head to the Old City for a creative American Southern menu from Felicia Wilson and Chef Darryl Harmon, formerly of Water Works Restaurant and The Lure Group in New York City. Some of the best options on the menu are fried catfish hush puppies and cheesesteak beignets.
Cantina la Martina
The first independent venture from Chef Dionicio Jimenez showcases Mexican cuisine that he perfected over many decades, working at different restaurants. Jimenez began as a restaurant dishwasher in his native Mexico and thus preserves a touch of sentimental value to the restaurant’s theme and service, which is a culmination of his long years of work and innovation.
From dinner to late-night bites, this nightlife newcomer features global fare in a loungey atmosphere. Chef Brianna Wellmon, a native Philadelphian, also offers a fun “way back menu” with re-imagined childhood favorites.
Good Luck Pizza Co.
Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s newest addition to 13th Street, specializes in thick-crust pies with high hydration and a long fermentation process. It’s already gotten a special shoutout for its excellent gluten-free dough, developed by chef George Sabatino.
KPOD celebrates the cultural and culinary essence of South Korea. New additions include a raw bar, a new design replacing the sushi conveyor belt, and lots of Korean staples like Bibimbap.
French-inspired Southern comfort food is on the menu at this Washington Square West BYOB from chef Ayad Sinawi. Look out for the scrumptious dinner and weekend brunch spreads.
Food writer Alex Tewfik took over the former Noord space to open this Mediterranean restaurant with 32 seats and a bar. Chef Kyle McCormick’s menu features dishes like fried Armenian string cheese, and pomegranate-lacquered grilled chicken.
Ocho Rios Parrilla
This lively new South Philly spot offers the best Caribbean standards like jerk chicken or oxtail stew. Vegetarians have options too like vegetarian fritters and Jamaican tofu curry among other things.
This menu at this seafood-focused Mediterranean in Old City features several types of pastas, plus large plates like braised rabbit and branzino. It’s conveniently located in the former Chloe space across from the Betsy Ross House.
Wood-fired pizza and pasta in an upscale setting are the latest from restaurateur Michael Schulson. The pizzeria features a marble bar and crisp American-style pies.
REX at the Royal
Traditional Lowcountry Southeast Atlantic cuisine is now being served inside the historic Royal Theater along South Street, once a central component of Black culture in Philadelphia in the early 20th century. Signature dishes include shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, and barbequed beef and beans, alongside an expansive raw bar and favorites from the menu of the original REX 1516 concept. The rejuvenated interior features an expansive dining room, a large turquoise bar, and an upper mezzanine, as well as a café, bottle shop, and a raised stage that will host live music acts preserving the building’s rich history.
Sooo Delicious Soul Food Café
A popular food truck has a new permanent home in Washington Square West. Aminah McDaniel and Angel King turn out soul food favorites like mac and cheese, greens, and wings.
Steak 48 is a swanky, spacious new steakhouse on Broad Street, across from the Kimmel Center. A dress code and an entry charge make the joint the ultimate culinary splurge.
Victory Taproom Philadelphia
Downingtown-based Victory Brewing Company’s new, 14,000 square-foot taproom along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway features two indoor bars, an outdoor bar, street-level outdoor seating, and a rooftop patio that presents gorgeous views of the Museum Mile. The Philadelphia taproom also features a full scratch kitchen serving beer-inspired takes on classic pub fare and Philadelphia favorites, as well as an on-site brewing system that produces limited edition, site-specific brews.
This ambitious new three-level spot from chef-restaurateur Brett Naylor and his wife Nicole Barrick has two bars, an open pizza kitchen, a crudo and raw bar, and a private dining room. Posh design accents in the former ballroom include chandeliers and leopard-print bar stools.
Chefs Jonathan Raffa and Mike Gingras met while working at the former Will BYOB a few years back. Now they’re whipping up comfort food with a side of hospitality from the same South Philly kitchen.