10 Philly Restaurants That Should Be Getting More Love

Korean pub grub, all-day oysters and more gems to revisit
March 21, 2016
by Caroline Russock

Restaurants openings are happening in Philly faster and more furiously than ever before. It's great for volume and variety, but at this pace even the most delicate dumplings, carefully curated wine lists and venerable Vietnamese spots have a tendency to fall by the wayside. Here’s a look at 10 newcomers worth a revisit.  

Chef Joncarl Lachman’s French–North African bistro (pictured below) in the Italian Market is warm and welcoming due in equal parts to the chef’s magnetic personality and the kitchen’s use of sunny spicing. Plates like sharable tagines and bottles of warm-weather varietals like a Moroccan Syrah make for magical evenings.

943 S. Ninth St.; 215-309-5847

Nom Wah
Brunch lines at the city’s Benedict palaces might wrap around the block on weekends, but at the Philly outpost of New York’s oldest dim sum parlor grabbing a primetime table for morning dumplings is a breeze. Pick up a mini-golf-size pencil and check off boxes of steamed and fried fare (pictured at top) on the menu and simply sit back and wait for the steamer baskets to start hitting the table.

218 N. 13th St.; 267-519-2889

Same Same
Philly might not be lacking in Vietnamese, but this NoLibs storefront's chef, Chad Kubanoff, and his crew are doing things differently. Classics like banh mi and pho are on the menu, but go with the $10 lunch of beautiful lemongrass chicken broken rice plate complete with turmeric pickles, fresh cucumber slices and a bowl of sippable broth.

614 N. Second St.; 215-625-4575

Kanella South
There was no doubting chef Konstantinos Pitsillides' Cypriot flavors when cooking at a corner BYO in Midtown Village. Now with a full bar, sleek and spacious dining room (pictured below) and wood-fired grill, this Mediterranean destination has transformed into one of the most fascinating restaurants in the city.  

757 S. Front St.; 215-644-8949

Thinking and drinking go hand in hand at this Kensington bar (pictured below) with a penchant for all things fermented. With natural wines on tap, beers selected by those in the know and draft cocktails that are a little too easy to drink, this is the new kind of hangout we’d like to see popping up in every hood in Philly.

2113 E. York St.; 215-867-8881

A glass of wine and a dozen oysters hit the spot anytime of day, but finding this dreamy combo during off-hours is a bit of a challenge in Philly. The folks at this Bella Vista bar and restaurant, however, welcome off-hours diners with sharable charcuterie plates, glasses of draft wine and welcoming vibes from 11:30 AM until close.

824 S. Eighth St.; 215-922-6387

This Point Breeze corner (pictured above) might not have the burgers and wings Philly folks have come to know, but it has forward-thinking fare like crispy chicken with fried onion, buttermilk and watercress. And with a selection of stellar Sunday curries, who needs blah bar staples?

1200 S. 21st St.; 267-928-3440

Whetstone Tavern
The team behind South Street bier hall Brauhaus Schmitz know a thing or two about keeping Philadelphians happy. Their latest endeavor, an America-accented tavern (pictured above) just off of South Street, is a high-low mix of cocktails, craft beers, burgers and refined comfort food that covers all of the bases.

700 S. Fifth St.; 267-239-0906

Craftsman Row Saloon
Taking over a neighborhood institution is tricky business, but Opa owners George and Vasiliki Tsiouris handled their revamp of Coco’s with a gentle touch. Drink prices remain neighborhood friendly while the kitchen puts out familiar, but improved, takes on bar classics like French dips and chicken croquettes.

112 S. Eighth St.; 215-923-0123

This Korean gastropub (pictured above) opened their doors with an accessible menu of KFC, bulgogi burgers and barbecue tacos. Now, with the help of Vernick vet Dave Feola, the menu is getting a makeover. Think specials like springy kimchi-spiced green beans and chicken liver mandoo.

1801 Lombard St.; 215-560-8443

italian market
bella vista
graduate hospital