For our end-of-year tradition, Eater Philly asked a group of food writers to weigh in on the local restaurant scene over the last year. They looked back on their favorite new restaurants, the tried-and-true standbys they returned to again and again, the best dining neighborhoods, the biggest complaints, and more.
Here we ask: What was the best dining neighborhood of 2019?
Kae Lani Palmisano, Host of WHYY-TV’s Check, Please! Philly (airs January 9) and contributing food & travel editor for USA Today 10Best: There’s an exciting food scene percolating around Broad and Fairmount that’s worth mentioning. Osteria and South have already been drawing crowds. The arrival of Cicala at the Divine Lorraine and Gabi continues to add exciting energy to the neighborhood’s dining scene.
Allison Steele, reporter and former food writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer: Fishtown. I’ve lived here for almost 12 years so this is a totally unbiased answer.
Regan Stephens, food and travel writer for Food & Wine, Fortune, and Lonely Planet: I think Rittenhouse is interesting again? New in the last few months are K’Far and the Pod hotel, where the lobby’s got a fun, communal, Ace Hotel vibe with Condesa, Philly’s finest breakfast tacos at El Cafe, and margaritas and a retractable roof at El Techo. There’s Mission Taqueria’s taco labs, Giuseppe & Sons’ happy hours, plus Friday Saturday Sunday, Res Ipsa...the list goes on.
Alex Tewfik, food editor at Philadelphia magazine: I’m hanging out in Bella Vista a lot lately. Quetzally, Le Caveau, Blue Corn, Kalaya, Angelo’s, Serpico, the list goes on...
Sarah Maiellano, food and travel writer for Eater, the Philadelphia Inquirer, James Beard Foundation, Edible Philly, and USA Today: Queen Village (all the reasons why here) and the Italian Market with Angelo’s, Kalaya, South Philly Barbacoa, and, coming soon, Vetri’s new pasta bar at Fiorella’s. Though I’m pretty worried that the low-key neighborhood (where I take my kiddo to music class every week, shout out to Mister John!) is going to get too popular with all the recent media attention...I guess I’m complicit in that.