From ambitious fine dining in Mount Airy to fulfilling fast-casual concepts popping up all over the city, this summer has welcomed plenty of new options into our already vibrant dining scene. Whether you're in the market for a new happy-hour hang, an addition to your weekend brunching repertoire, or a buzzy new spot from one of Philly's most well-loved chefs, here's a look at the hottest tables in town.
Must-order: It took a while for poke to touch down in Philadelphia, but this NoLibs fast-causal has been buzzing since day one. You can’t go wrong with any of the choose-your-own-adventure combos here.
Insider tip: Don’t live in the hood? Don’t worry, Poke Bowl has plans to branch into other Philly neighborhoods in the near future.
Must-order: Landing in unlikely university cafeteria digs, chef Jose Andres’ fast-casual concept takes healthy lunching to the next level. The namesake burger is best enjoyed during the height of tomato season.
Insider tip: On the menu salads and bowls are great, but don’t sleep on additions like standout chicken sausage or a gently poached egg.
Must-order: Tapping into Philadelphia’s deep love for all things brunch related, this Pennsport newcomer is winning a legion of fast fans. A savory scallion waffle heaped with creamed chipped beef is winning accolades all over town.
Insider tip: Breakfast is big here, but come lunchtime, a cool trio of tuna, chicken and potato salads is what it’s all about.
Must-order: Anyone who has tried Nick Elmi’s cooking knows that there are no misses on the menu. At his new wine and cocktail bar, plates like housemade basket cheese with cherry miso and clams with locally cured guanciale are designed with menu exploration in mind.
Insider tip: Wine director Heather Sharp has assembled a gorgeous list of international wines with a heavy focus on elegant, Austrian beauties.
Must-order: Across the board Asian influences make for fun, tiki-friendly snacks. Squishy bao buns filled with pork belly and pickled mustard greens and sharable sate skewers are perfect for pairing with tropical drinks.
Insider tip: The tiny grill station here is located behind the far end of the bar. Grab a seat and check out what’s coming out of the kitchen before placing your order.
Must-order: With years of experience heading up the kitchen at the dearly departed Four Seasons, chef David Jansen’s passion for worldly, French-inspired fare is alive and well. Fusion-y plates like Chinoiserie halibut and lump crab cakes with sauce Americaine are standouts.
Insider tip: With offerings like cream cheese and butter rum glazed cinnamon buns and hazelnut strawberry shortcake on the menu, it’s a wise move to save a little bit of room for dessert.
Must-order: Designed to complement the wine list, this menu is full of fun takes on Spanish and Italian fare. Think cauliflower-caper zeppoli and lemon-aleppo dressed seafood a la plancha.
Insider tip: Ask for the private stash for a reserve list of Root’s best wine from the cellar.
Must-order: Sates are the way to go here. And with such a well-priced menu, ordering them all allows you to explore all of Southeast Asia in Philly.
Insider tip: With coconuts cracking behind the bar, you might want to BYO rum to this Passyunk newcomer.
Must-order: Nothing from the wood-fired oven will disappoint, but a favorite starter here is the veal tartare toast – it manages to capture all of the flavors of a Caesar salad in a single bite.
Insider tip: Head in early for a drink at the bar. The cocktail program is churning out some truly creative concepts with unusual ingredients.
Must-order: Reasonably priced at $55, the chef’s tasting menu rolls out a staggering 10 plates per person (plus dessert). Given the expansive offerings, it’s the ideal way for Double Knot novices to get schooled.
Insider tip: Sushi might be getting all of the attention, but the AM coffee and pastry program is a standout with pour-overs and housemade Pop Tarts.