Philadelphia’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants

By Danya Henninger | September 16, 2013 By Danya Henninger  |  September 16, 2013
Photo by: Danya Henninger

Fall is prime time for restaurant launches, and we’ve seen a healthy crop of hot spots throw open their doors recently, several within the past few weeks. Check out the 10 hottest newcomers in Philly right now, and stay hungry - more are on the way.

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Little Nonna’s

    Marcie Turney never imagined herself surrounded by dainty, flower-edged plates and lace doilies, but the “grandma’s living room” decor is one of the most awesome aspects of her new restaurant with partner Valerie Safran (it’s the couple’s fourth in Midtown Village). The other great part about the red-sauce Italian, of course, is the chef’s food, which is as well-executed as ever.

    1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2100

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Pizzeria Vetri

    Marc Vetri’s Callowhill Avenue pizzeria has proved so popular in its first few weeks that it has repeatedly run out of dough before closing time, despite replenishing supply to the fullest amount each morning. The Neapolitan pies that emerge both crisp and chewy from the huge, custom-built Renato oven are guaranteed crowd-pleasers.

    1939 Callowhill St.; 215-600-2629

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    The sister cocktail bar to AKA's is at the same time more sophisticated and more fun than it’s Euro-bistro sibling. With a focus on cocktails, light wines, small plates and a raw bar, this midnight blue and pewter room is a much better use of 18th and Walnut than a humdrum beauty goods store.

    135 S. 18th St.

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    Talula’s Daily

    Aimee Olexy had trouble convincing partner Stephen Starr that a combination market-cafe was the best use for the large space adjacent to Talula’s Garden, but she’s been proven right. Customers flock to the Washington Square store for grab-and-go treats from breakfast through early evening, and the sit-down supper club at 7 PM each night is also popular.

    208 W. Washington Sq.; 215-592-6555

  • Jerry’s Bar

    Now that the critics have given their blessing to this Northern Liberties newcomer, it’s less likely to be our favorite “secret-bar” recommendation. However, the combination of a non-pretentious atmosphere, gorgeous-but-relaxed decor, fantastic drinks, great prices and delicious food (from chef Marshall Green) deserve the “the more the merrier” attitude.

    129 W. Laurel St.; 267-273-1632

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    Joncarl Lachman’s welcoming, teddy bearlike personality is already such an innate part of the East Passyunk restaurant scene, it’s tough to remember the doors at his BYO opened just four months ago. As the air cools, his hearty, thoughtful Dutch-Nordic cuisine will beckon even more enticingly.

    1046 Tasker St.; 267-909-9704

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Kermit’s Bake Shoppe

    The pizzeria and bakery from Adam Ritter of Kraftwork and Sidecar is humming merrily along in its warehouselike storefront on the west edge of Washington Avenue. Pastry chef Chad Durkin keeps the sweets case full of innumerable treats - including croissants and bagels on weekends - and savory chef Brian Lofink has fun with creative toppings for the crispy thin-crust pizzas.

    2204 Washington Ave.; 267-639-4267

  • The Pass

    Former Lacroix chef Matthew Ridgeway spent several years perfecting his charcuterie and even launched a cured-meats brand - PorcSalt - but now he’s back behind the line at this BYO in Rosemont, NJ. Critics and guests alike have been impressed with his rustic French fare, served in a changing three-course prix fixe menu that runs less than $40 per person.

    88 Kingwood Stockton Rd., Rosemont, NJ; 609-961-1887

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    Behind sleek yet unassuming gray brick facade hides the most upscale restaurant South Street has seen in years. Guests are flocking to this new destination from Momofuku alum Peter Serpico and Stephen Starr, where the “contemporary American” cuisine coming from the gleaming open kitchen comes in a variety of forms, all of them innovative.

    604 South St.; 215-925-3001

  • Ocean Prime

    The new outpost from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants may not be a Philadelphia original, but it is a welcome addition to Center City, where the historical building taking up most of the block at 15th and Sansom had sat empty since Roy’s shut down years ago. A grand, bi-level dining room and large bar offer both seafood and steaks to the city’s business crowd.

    124 S. 15th St.; 215-563-0163

Places Mentioned

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Pizzeria Vetri Fairmount

Pizza Logan Square
Food25 Decor18 Service23 Cost$24
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Scandinavian East Passyunk Crossing
Food27 Decor21 Service24 Cost$47
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American Bella Vista
Food26 Decor25 Service24 Cost$74
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Jerry's Bar

Northern Liberties
Food23 Decor22 Service22 Cost$44
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the PASS

French Rosemont
Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$51
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American Rittenhouse Square
Food22 Decor22 Service22 Cost$45
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Talula's Daily

Cafe Washington Square West
Food23 Decor20 Service20 Cost$35

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