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Philadelphia Food Pros Name Their Single Best Meals From 2018

A look back at the year’s finest dining

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Suraya, one of the choices for the best meal of 2018

As per tradition, Eater asked a group of restaurant journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Today: the very best of the best.

The question: What was your best restaurant meal of 2018?

Regan Stephens, Philadelphia magazine managing editor and Food & Wine contributor: Friday Saturday Sunday is just the best. We went with friends earlier this year for the first time, and just — every bite was unexpected and amazing. Each time a dish arrived we would all stop talking and eat in blissful silence. The whole vibe there, too, is warm and fun and perfect. Also, shout-out to Palizzi, where the simple breaded chicken cutlet brought me straight back to my Non’s house for Sunday night dinner. That restaurant is really special.

Adam Erace, freelance writer and co-author of the upcoming Laurel cookbook: I went to Suraya for dinner shortly after they started dinner service. My expectations were really high. I was already enamored of the breakfast and lunch and the space — and Greg Root is just the nicest fucking guy — so I was worried that love affair was all going to come crashing down. (It’s worth noting, Nick Kennedy has never cooked this food professionally.) And the meal was just 360-degrees wonderful. The poussin. The fried kibbe. The desserts, spun together with berries and kataifi and mastic and ashta. Can’t wait to go back,

Alex Tewfik, food editor at Philadelphia magazine: Dinner at Suraya. Period.

Joy Manning, editor of Edible Philly: I am calling this a tie: The first time I ate at Spice Finch was totally spectacular. I think I ate 80 percent of the menu and I went back again less than a week later to finish the job. But I also had dinner at Zahav for the first time in a couple years and…they’ve still got it. That team made a salad out of rutabaga that was so absurdly delicious, I am still thinking about it a month later.

Kae Lani Kennedy, food and travel editor for USA Today 10Best: Every sandwich I’ve eaten at Middle Child. I haven’t tried breakfast there yet because their sandwiches are a deli’s playground.

Drew Lazor, Philadelphia-based freelance writer and author of Session Cocktails (Ten Speed Press, May 2018): Clavel and La Cuchara in Baltimore; Frenchie in London; Shuko in New York; V Street in Philadelphia.

Sarah Maiellano, food and travel freelance writer for local and national outlets, including Eater: Carpaccio, crudo, medium rare steak, and a bottle of red wine at Barclay Prime felt really good after nine months of cautious pregnancy eating.

Royal Sushi, Townsend, Oloroso, Fork, Zeppoli, and Hungry Pigeon were really special meals.

Hungry Pigeon

743 South 4th Street, , PA 19147 (215) 278-2736 Visit Website

V Street

124-126 South 19th Street, , PA 19103 (215) 278-7943 Visit Website


77-82 Whitechapel High Street, , England E1 7QX 020 7522 7896 Visit Website

Palizzi Social Club

1408 South 12th Street, , PA 19147 Visit Website


38 MacDougal Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (212) 475-7500 Visit Website

Barclay Prime

237 South 18th Street, , PA 19103 (215) 732-7560 Visit Website


306 Market Street, , PA 19106 (215) 625-9425 Visit Website


237 Saint James Place, , PA 19106 (215) 625-8800 Visit Website


1121 Walnut Street, , PA 19107 (267) 324-3014 Visit Website

Middle Child

248 South 11th Street, , PA 19107 (267) 930-8344 Visit Website

Friday Saturday Sunday

261 South 21st Street, , PA 19103 (215) 546-4232 Visit Website


618 Collings Avenue, , NJ 08107 (856) 854-2670 Visit Website


5 Rue du Nil, , IDF 75002 01 40 39 96 19 Visit Website


1528 Frankford Avenue, , PA 19125 (215) 302-1900 Visit Website

Spice Finch

220 South 17th Street, , PA 19103 (215) 309-2238 Visit Website

Royal Sushi & Izakaya

780 South 2nd Street, , PA 19147 (267) 909-9002 Visit Website