Notable new restaurants open all the time in Philadelphia — and while the city continues to fight the pandemic (though masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required to eat indoors, as of late April) there are plenty of places to try that offer great options for outdoor dining, takeout, delivery, and indoor dining. Wearing a mask and getting vaccinated protects both you and the restaurant staff serving you, so be patient as changing times and over two years of ups and downs have been tough on restaurants and their staff. Don’t forget to tip well and bring your mask and vaxx card, anyway — some restaurants are requiring them regardless of the city mandate.Read More
The Hottest New Restaurants in Philly, May 2022
Where to get bagel sandwiches, maduros and cucumber salads, mission-driven soul food, and carnitas tacos
1. Cantina la Martina
Former El Rey chef Dionicio Jimenez opened his own restaurant in Kensington in February, cooking dishes that pay tribute to his 30-year career in kitchens from Mexico to Philly. At Cantina La Martina, Mexican cuisine inspired by Jimenez’s ten-year run at El Rey, and his youth in Puebla, Mexico, are all on offer: from tacos to tortas enchiladas to “los machetes,” or extra-large shareable quesadillas.
2. La Chingonita
La Chingonita — the beloved roving Mexican food truck run by chefs Rebecca Baez and Omar Martinez — has found a permanent home on Girard Avenue where, if you catch them during the daytime lunch hours, Baez and Martinez will serve you carnitas tacos, tortas, and conchas that will change your life. Keep a lookout on social media — the menu changes often.
3. Kismet Bagels
Philly is a bagel town — we’re blessed to have some excellent bagel-makers in practically every neighborhood around the city (looking at you, Korshak). Fishtown is lucky this April, as husband-and-wife team Alexandra and Jacob Cohen open their first Kismet Bagels brick-and-mortar on E. Girard. There you’ll find some of the same exciting bagel flavors that Kismet became known for over the pandemic — this time, with the option to turn them into sandwiches.
4. SUYA SUYA West African Grill
For flavors found in Nigerian cuisine, Suya Suya West African Grill can’t be missed. Brought to you by restaurateur Dera Nd-Ezuma, Suya Suya’s mix-and-match bowls can be paired with jollof rice and sides of plantains, and all the grilled meats are done in a perfectly piquant peanut spice. Even better: you can select your heat level if you want to go even spicier.
There are more than a few things to get excited about at Wilder on Sansom Street, starting with the lively leopard-print decor and electric blue booths. The menu is a nice mix of sea, land, pasta, and pizza, with fresh crudos and a nice raw bar, pesto pizza and lamb ragu casarecce, and a cocktail list that’s just a lot of fun.
6. Golden Dragon Takeout
Opened by three friends in West Philly, Golden Dragon Takeout is not just a restaurant where you can pick up to-go containers of delicious General Tso’s tofu or maduros and tod mun fish cakes. It’s also a restaurant that is dedicated to being a mission-driven community hub in the neighborhood: Local organizations collaborate with Golden Dragon regularly to make the restaurant a space where other small businesses can thrive and the community’s needs are served, too. The restaurant is takeout only.
7. Sooo Delicious Soul Food Cafe
Migrating from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar is a common practice for Philly restaurants, which means everyone who checks Instagram regularly to find out where the truck might be next can finally relax. The Sooo Delicious soul food truck is now one of Philly’s best restaurants with a permanent home — crab cakes, fried chicken wings, candied yams, mac and cheese, collard greens are now accessible on Locust Street every day, save for Monday and Tuesday.
8. Mish Mish
For most of his career, Alex Tewfik was privy to the ups and downs of the restaurant industry. As the food editor at Philly Mag, he wrote about the challenges restaurant owners faced in great detail. But Tewfik never stopped thinking about his younger years as a server in restaurants, so when he lost his love for journalism, he decided to open one of his own. Mish Mish is that restaurant on Tasker Street, and it’s a simple spot with dishes inspired by Tewfik’s favorite ingredients — like pomegranates, octopus, and fennel — with an intersection at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors.
9. Ocho Rios Parrilla
East Passyunk Avenue is home to some of Philly’s best restaurants and we’re lucky to have another one in the mix. Ochos Rio Parrilla is serving up Jamaican food and cocktails, like beef patties, jerk chicken, oxtail stew, and triple rum punch. Platters are large and the space is cozy — another East Passyunk gem-to-be.
10. Burgertime NJ
Chef Dane DeMarco’s new burger restaurant, Burgertime, may be in New Jersey but who doesn’t love a road trip? A quick drive over the bridge is worth it for Burgertime and DeMarco’s menu of Tater Tots, burgers, hot dogs, and sides. Miss Philly? DeMarco’s pork roll cheesesteak burger with cherry pepper relish will remind you of home. Bonus: Almost everything on the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan.
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From the chefs behind Everybody Eats — a BIPOC-led organization working to mitigate food insecurity in Philly and beyond — comes Vittles, Delco’s first food hall. Soul food, Mexican street food, gourmet burgers, salads, and seafood are all available in the 12,000-square-foot space, and with chefs like Aziza Young, Kurt Evans, Gregory Headen, Malik Ali, and Stephanie Willis at the helm, you know that anything you try will be good. Eating at the Vittles food hall helps support the Everybody Eats mission, too: the org performs youth mentorship, creates jobs, and does career path training.