After a relatively quiet winter, with only a few moves and a handful of exciting openings in the Philly restaurant industry — what’s up Mish Mish, Machine Shop, and these great new spots — spring is almost here and with the change in seasons comes an ever-growing number of restaurants opening around the city. If you love dining out, you’re about to have a busy March, April, and May: There are almost too many upcoming openings for one person to try. Here are some of the highlights among the dozens of new places coming to Philly this spring.
1112 Locust Street, Washington Square West
Officially open as of Friday, March 11, popular soul food truck Sooo Trucking Delicious takes its famous saucy wings and fried shrimp to a formal brick-and-mortar in Washington Square West. Chefs Aminah McDaniel and Angel King dropped the “trucking” from the name, since it’s, you know, no longer a truck, but the menu of mac and cheese, fried fish sandwiches, and seafood salad will remain.
113 E. Girard Avenue, Fishtown
First week in April
Everyone knows that Philly is a bagel town (whether a certain city to the north of us wants to acknowledge that), and we’re lucky to have some truly legendary bagel-makers in practically every neighborhood around town. This April, Fishtown will add another great to the area, with the first brick-and-mortar bagel shop from Kismet Bagels’ Alexandra and Jacob Cohen, the founders of one of the pandemic’s most popular pop-ups. Expect the same bagel varieties and schmears, as well as bagel sandwiches, coffee, and a few other surprises.
2009-11 Sansom Street, Rittenhouse
All the typical challenges facd by new restaurants hit Wilder, the Sansom Street wood-fired pizza, crudo, oysters, and seasonal vegetable spot. It was supposed to open in the fall, but pandemic delays pushed the opening back. Now, the restaurant run by chef Brett Naylor, chef Bob Truitt, and his partner Nicole Barrick will open the third week in March. Expect fresh seasonal ingredients, a well-curated cocktail menu, and a beautifully designed space.
146 N. Bread Street, Old City
Likely the end of March, but Vincent Finazzo wants to keep you guessing
Not quite a restaurant but certainly a celebrated staple of the food industry in Philly, Vincent Finazzo will open the second location of his popular grocer store Riverwards Produce in a new warehouse in Old City. It’s nearly twice as big as the Fishtown location and it’s more than just a stunning space to behold. Riverwards 2.0 will feature all of the diverse and interesting produce and locally-made products that you know from the first grocery store, but with the addition of a juice bar, 100 bulk bins, and a tower of flower bouquets to spruce up your home. Funnily enough, there used to be a pool in the basement that Finazzo has since covered over — just another small detail that makes this highly awaited spot brim with personality.
104 Chestnut Street, Old City
Have there ever been more appetizing words than “fried catfish hush puppies”? At Amina in Old City influences from Southern and African cuisine inspire dishes like peri peri wings, braised oxtails, and Nola-style gumbo, as well as fun cocktails that will delight any diner. The restaurant is a collaboration between Felicia Wilson and chef Darryl Harmon, who worked in New York City for many years and as the executive chef at the Water Works in Philly. Expect an opening announcement very soon.
1514 S. Eighth St, South Philly
Sometime this spring
The Termini name is certainly familiar to Philadelphians — we’ve been enjoying Italian pastries from the Sicilian family since the 1920s. Over the years, the Termini Bros Bakery business has grown to five locations, with the flagship store still in its home from 1938. In tribute to the Termini bakery’s patriarch and matriarch — who came one generation after Giuseppe and Gaetano, the founders of the family business — the current youngsters in the family will open Nonna & Pop’s, dedicated to their grandparents, Vincent and Barbara Termini. There will be ice cream and pastries, as well as Sicilian home cooking, like gnocchi and roast pork sandwiches, and seating for the full cafe experience.
413 E. Girard Avenue, Fishtown
The beloved roving Mexican food truck run by chefs Rebecca Baez and Omar Martinez announced last fall that they’d be shifting their food truck operation into a permanent space in Fishtown. And while Baez and Martinez haven’t shared their official opening date, eager Chingonita devotees sense it could come any time now — in an Instagram story, the truck owners told taco fans that they were only hosting a private party recently, and that their doors weren’t quite open to guests yet. Keep an eye on social media for opening day — the al pastor tacos are worth the wait.
112 S. 13th Street, Center City
Though there’s been no high-profile announcement of the split between Jeff Michaud and Michael Schulson — a representative for Schulson said they’re just “moving forward” — Prunella is the first solo outing for Schulson since the pair went their separate ways. The restaurant occupies the former Zavino space on S. 13th Street, and the dishes on offer are light and pleasant to match the airy space. Wood-fired pizzas, crudo, pastas, and a special dish of burrata, radicchio jam, and sesame pizza fritta is bound to become a go-to appetizer.
1300 Federal Street, East Passyunk
Later this spring or summer
A year before the pandemic began, chef Chance Anies began cooking Filipino staples like chicken adobo and vegan ginataan, as well as a Filipino play on a Philly cheesesteak in a food truck that popped up all over town. Within two years, Anies’s self-described “light hearted, heavy bellied” cuisine began to grow out of the truck and into a storefront in East Passyunk, with 25 seats and a BYOB option. The spot is still in progress, but you can catch the Tabachoy cart around town until Anies is ready to open some time this spring or summer. Follow along on social media for updates.