Poke — the healthy-leaning Hawaiian raw fish bowl — was pinned as the big food trend for 2016. And while Philadelphia wasn’t spared from the marinated ahi tuna craze, by late summer the city only had two stores with a primary focus on the fish dish. Two years later, Philly has enough poke to feed everyone in Center City, with more options on the way: Abunai Poke is opening in the upcoming Bourse Marketplace and a multitude of Pokeworks are also setting up shop. For now, here’s where to pick up poke (say it: poh-kay) in Philly.Read More
Where to Eat Poke in Philly
It’s easy to find versions of the Hawaiian dish in Philadelphia
This Main Line poke slinger was started by a longtime surfer who wanted to bring the dish over from Hawaii. It doesn’t go as wild with the toppings, but there are a few interesting kicks available, from wasabi peas to citrus ponzu dressing.
Engimono Poke & Deli
As the name suggests, Engimono Poke & Deli near the Art Museum sells an odd mix of Hawaiian fish bowls and deli sandwiches. But don’t be deterred: Owner Albert Zheng has a solid sushi background.
Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca turned their Hawaiian food truck into a fast-casual Hawaiian restaurant, keeping the truck favorites and adding a handful of other options. For vegans, there’s a poke bowl with small-batch tofu, alaea salt, Hawaiian ogo, sesame, and green onion.
Pokespot opened its first location outside of New York here in Philly, with all of the usual options plus something a little different. The shop’s avocado boat is half an avocado turned into an edible poke bowl, with the fish and toppings tucked right inside.
Hai Street Kitchen (multiple locations)
From two Center City locations and one in the King of Prussia mall, Hai Street offers poke in bowls, salads, and burritos. Along with the traditional fish, chicken and crab are options.
This new addition to the poke scene serves the Rittenhouse crowd from a small shop on 17th Street. The menu here ranges from traditional options to a nacho bowl with ahi tuna, onion, cucumber, avocado, mango, cabbage, and masago on a bed of tortilla chips.
Inside the Chinatown Square food hall, Philly Poke serves its namesake dish along with sushi and Hawaiian specialties like Spam musubi.
With a beefed-up (although not entirely Hawaiian) selection of what most poke stores label “proteins” (i.e. meat and meat substitutes), Oishii’s options include eel, chicken, crab, and boiled shrimp, beyond the classic ahi tuna. They also do “poke burritos,” although they’re closer in form to a very large sushi roll.
Red Poke Express
While most poke places on this list embrace the build-your-own structure, Red Poke Express offers that as an option but also has 11 set bowls, like the Fire with salmon, shrimp, mango, kani salad, tempura crisps, and spicy mayo. Tofu and vegetable bowls are available too, along with burritos with sushi-style fillings.
While poke is far from the focus here, this Fishtown hotspot does keep a seasonal poke bowl on the menu, currently with salmon, peaches, cucumber, and avocado.