It’s hard to believe another summer has gone by and fall is already here — the leaves are changing, the humidity is dropping, and with it, a new host of restaurants are about to open in Philadelphia. While Philly’s restaurant scene always seems to be expanding (you can check our heatmap here for the latest spots to open), these handful of upcoming restaurants and cafes are worth watching, for the excellent food, trendy interiors, great drinks, and more.
1232 North Front Street, Fishtown
All eyes are on Matt Cahn and his world-famous sandwiches for this 100-seat Fishtown expansion of the Washington Square West luncheonette. Cahn promises a full dinner menu, great drinks, and a very fun vibe — exactly what you’d expect from Middle Child’s first sibling.
1901 S 9th Street, South Philly
Emily Riddell’s pastries are the stuff of legend: flaky, delicate, delicious, and beautiful to boot. While the French-style patisserie isn’t leaving the Bok Building, Machine Shop will open a full retail shop and cafe this fall, so you won’t have to try to catch Riddell on limited weekend mornings anymore. The new shop will be open five days a week with all the kouign-amman, fruit tarts, and baguettes your heart desires.
2009-2011 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse
On Sansom Street, a few doors down from excellent record store Long in the Tooth, chef Brett Naylor and his wife-partner Nicole Barrick will open Wilder in the space that formerly housed the Philadelphia Academy of Social Dance. Baylor is the former executive chef at Oyster House, and for Wilder, he’s enlisted friend Bob Truitt as executive chef, who will be creating a menu of wood-fired pizzas, crudo, oysters, and seasonal vegetable dishes. Best of all: Expect a gorgeous space, with murals painted by Barrick herself.
1941 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk
Jennifer Zavala’s birria tacos took Philly by storm over the past few years, and getting to try her signature ramen or vegan birria from the pop-ups she hosted around the city was a badge of honor. Now, the local legend is opening her first location in East Passyunk, where she’ll be bringing tortas, tamales, and — of course — birria to South Philly a few days a week.
104 South 21st Street, Rittenhouse
Ruth Nakaar made fast casual West African cuisine a thing in Philly this year, cooking jollof rice and curried goat bowls inspired by her Ghanian roots, and while Nakaar halted her weekly offerings in August, it’s to our advantage, as she gears up for the fall opening of her brick-and-mortar in Center City. The menu will feature similar staples from Nakaar’s pop-ups, with dine-in, delivery, and takeout options.
3400 J Street G1, Harrowgate
Thu Pham has been roasting Vietnamese coffee at Càphê Roasters in Kensington since 2018 — she was the first Vietnamese coffee roaster in the city. If you aren’t the brew-at-home kind, though, you’ll be in luck this October, as Pham is set to open her beautiful cafe with specialty drinks and coffee, and Jacob Trinh of Trinh Eats will bring his beloved Vietnamese cooking to the spot as the cafe chef.
1361 N 2nd Street, Fishtown
The latest restaurant from chef Jose Garces is for the truly devoted pizza lover. Along with pizza chef Steven Seibel, Garces will open Hook & Master, a Chicago pizza place with tavern-style and deep dish pizza, plus Brooklyn-style pizzas for those who can’t imagine eating anything but East Coast pizza. It’s also nautical-themed, so tiki drinks and an expansive outdoor “octopus’s garden” are good options for post-pizza imbibing.
611 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd
Earlier this year, Nick Elmi and Fia Berisha opened The Landing Kitchen at the Ironworks in Bala Cynwyd and have had a steady stream of visitors to the waterfront all-day cafe ever since. This fall, the Landing Kitchen’s companion restaurant, Lark, will open right next door at the Ironworks, serving coastal and seasonal Mediterranean fare in a swank rooftop setting.
1009 Canal Street, Fishtown
With the recent return of live music to Philly, every show seems to sell out within hours. So it’s relieving to know that we have a new venue to add to the list — this time for those who like music and bowling. Brooklyn Bowl will have Southern-style ribs and fried chicken, with some vegetarian options, and you know, drinks, live music, and bowling. The first weekend its open, Brooklyn Bowl will feature hometown favorite Questlove and his signature Bowl Train party.