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An overhead photo of four hoagies, two turkey and two prosciutto in long seeded rolls. Liberty Kitchen/Facebook

Where to Eat in Fishtown

16 essential bars, cafes, and restaurants in one of Philly’s most talked-about neighborhoods

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By now everyone has heard the story: back in 2013, two industry veterans turned Johnny Brenda’s, beer-and-a-shot joint on Girard Avenue into a lauded gastropub and indie venue. Other businesses followed them into Fishtown — the neighborhood north of the city that sits along the Delaware River — and these days it’s possible to get everything from authentic Filipino food to classic Pennsylvanian fare on the same strip. It’s a bit absurd to call the neighborhood up-and-coming at this point — anyone who takes a stroll down Frankford Avenue can see for themselves that it’s long since arrived.

In fact, the punks who first moved into the area when the rents were cheap are now grown enough that they want to eat nice things. So while the place still retains its working-class charm in the form of its dive bars and delis, Center City’s cooler cousin to the north has become firmly established as a culinary destination all its own.

Looking for neighborhood advice from the locals that live there? Check out Eater Philly’s Ask A Local series.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dan's Fresh Meats

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2000 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 423-2813

Follow the old-school swing-sign outside of Dan’s into greatness. Owner Daniel Tocci Jr., has been building hoagies in this Frankford Avenue corner store since 1949 and has made sure that his two employees know what they’re doing, too. No matter what you order, the woman putting it together will call you “hon,” but those in the know go straight for the Italian with everything on it. Don’t just take our word that it’ll change your life — a quick Yelp perusal will show that plenty of other people have had quasi-religious experiences with that sandwich, too.

2. Loco Pez

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2401 E Norris St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 886-8061
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The Mexican menu at this temple of tacos and tequilas leans more SoCal than south of the border with hefty burritos, generously topped nachos, and beef birria tacos as a reliable special. The kitchen keeps the things fresh with specials starring seasonal produce, like vegan zucchini tacos.

3. The International Bar

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1624 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 792-6461
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International Bar is owned by the same folks behind local favorite, Johnny Brenda’s, so it makes sense that the vibes are so nice. The music inside at the bar is usually excellent, the drink prices are reasonable, and the food hits the spot when you’re looking for something filling to complement your cocktail. The expansive outdoor area is a great place to bring a group during the warmer months. There are also frequently DJs and events, so check social media before you go.

4. Suraya

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1528 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 302-1900
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This ambitious market, cafe, bar, and restaurant all rolled into one serves a Lebanese menu of man’oushe and rose pistachio pastries in the morning and lamb kebabs and whole fish with arak cocktails at night. Opt for a seat at Suraya’s long bar, at a table in the dining room, or on the spacious back patio — just make sure to book ahead.

Heidi’s Bridge

5. Cheu Fishtown/Nunu

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1416 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 758-2269
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Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar and Bing Bing Dim Sum brought their Asian-with-a-Jewish-twist cuisine to Frankford Avenue with Cheu Fishtown. The popular spot for ramen, rice bowls, and dumplings is set in a former horse stable, with a bright red bar and eye-catching decor. And because it’s possible to also order from the sushi spot next door, Nunu, this is a great place to go for an indecisive group.

Cheu Fishtown [official]

6. Pizzeria Beddia

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1313 N Lee St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 928-2256
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At the end of 2019, owner Joe Beddia opened up a full-service version of his cult-favorite takeout shop serving his signature pies alongside skin-contact wines, delicious small plates, and soft serve ice cream. Though the hype has died down a bit since Bon Appetit first called his crispy creation the “best pizza in America,” reservations are still recommended if you want to snag a prime dining time. The outdoor patio is warm and lovely, with convivial vibes and kind waitstaff.

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You say to-may-to, I say tomato pie #pizzeriabeddia

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7. La Chingonita

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413 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

The roving Mexican food truck, La Chingonita, is finally getting a well-deserved home at 413 E. Girard Avenue, where the famous tacos, quesadillas, and burritos will be available in a permanent setting. For now, though, catch the food truck around Fishtown (and popping up in other locations throughout the city) by checking in with La Chingonita’s Instagram.

8. Kensington Quarters

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1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 314-5086
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This sleek and elegant eatery pivoted from a meat-centric menu to a seafood-focused one upon reopening in late 2020. Almost anyone will be impressed by the local, sustainable fish on the dinner menu — not to mention the spacious back patio that’s perfect for summertime.

9. Cake Life Bake Shop

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1306 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 268-7343
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For sweet tooth-having Philadelphians, you can’t go wrong with any dessert of any kind from Cake Life Bake Shop, a proudly queer-owned bakery on Frankford Avenue. Cookies, cakes, bars, and more line the counter at the shop, and preorder desserts for seasonal holidays are always festive and special.

10. Liberty Kitchen PHL

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1244 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 309-2241
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Every neighborhood in Philly has about a thousand places where you can get a hoagie, some much better than others. Fishtown’s Liberty Kitchen is truly a standout, not only for its Della Casa hoagie with gabagool, fresh mozzarella, and arugula, but the vegetarian version, too, made with roasted eggplant. Don’t sleep on the tomato pie and gussied-up Tandy Cakes, a play on one of Philly’s favorite packaged desserts.

11. Middle Child Clubhouse

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1232 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(267) 858-4325
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By now you’ve either heard of or been to Middle Child Clubhouse, the second, much larger iteration of sandwich genius Matt Cahn’s Washington Square West luncheonette. The menu is much expanded from the smaller sandwich shop, to all of our good fortune: Burgers, shrimp baskets, and a rotating list of small plates keep the dining experience fun and interesting. The cocktails, beer, and wine list are especially solid highlights.

A yucca vegan patty melt burger on rye stacked high and dripping with Thousand Island dressing on a green and white tiled background. Michael Persico

12. Primary Plant Based

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161 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 360-2305
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Joining in the recent wave of restaurants nationwide that offer a fully vegetarian or vegan menu (Philly, in particular, has a wonderful vegetarian restaurant scene), chef Mark McKinney’s Primary Plant Based is a standout choice for more herbivore-inclined diners. Everything from black bean udon noodles to the infamous mushroom and eggplant umami burger will satisfy cravings for something less meat-heavy.

13. Streetside

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165 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 737-9165
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Is a Philly neighborhood truly complete without a stalwart pho joint? Streetside on Girard is the go-to for all things pho, banh mi, vermicelli, and dumplings, all of which are peppered with fresh herbs and excellent flavors. It’s an easy takeout option for a weeknight — or really, any time at all.

14. Murph's Bar

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202 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-1847

One of Fishtown’s best-kept secrets is a stand-up Italian restaurant curiously situated in the back of an Irish pub. Here a chef straight from Puglia cooks up a nightly menu of pastas like strozzapreti with cherry tomatoes and burrata and tagliatelle bolognese. The only catch is that since the chef rents kitchen space from the bar, food and drinks are paid for separately.

15. Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop

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1 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 423-5637
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A good rule of thumb for a cheesesteak place is that it’s probably delicious if it’s just some dude’s name. And while some will argue that a restaurant’s second outpost is never as good as the original iteration, this version of Joe’s is inarguably pretty solid. The speciality shakes and the Old Bay fries never fail to satisfy, either.

16. Elwood

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1007 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 279-7427
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Get dinner with a side of local history at Adam Diltz’s BYOB, which aims to illustrate that Philly is much more than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. The chef draws inspiration from the region’s past to recreate and update dishes like snapper soup, ham pot pie (the Pennsylvania Dutch staple also known as bott boi), and locally sourced pork and rabbit served family-style. For dessert, don’t miss out on the funnel cake, and on the weekends, check out the tea service that includes specialty snacks like scrapple and snickerdoodles.

1. Dan's Fresh Meats

2000 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Follow the old-school swing-sign outside of Dan’s into greatness. Owner Daniel Tocci Jr., has been building hoagies in this Frankford Avenue corner store since 1949 and has made sure that his two employees know what they’re doing, too. No matter what you order, the woman putting it together will call you “hon,” but those in the know go straight for the Italian with everything on it. Don’t just take our word that it’ll change your life — a quick Yelp perusal will show that plenty of other people have had quasi-religious experiences with that sandwich, too.

2000 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

2. Loco Pez

2401 E Norris St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

The Mexican menu at this temple of tacos and tequilas leans more SoCal than south of the border with hefty burritos, generously topped nachos, and beef birria tacos as a reliable special. The kitchen keeps the things fresh with specials starring seasonal produce, like vegan zucchini tacos.

2401 E Norris St
Philadelphia, PA 19125

3. The International Bar

1624 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

International Bar is owned by the same folks behind local favorite, Johnny Brenda’s, so it makes sense that the vibes are so nice. The music inside at the bar is usually excellent, the drink prices are reasonable, and the food hits the spot when you’re looking for something filling to complement your cocktail. The expansive outdoor area is a great place to bring a group during the warmer months. There are also frequently DJs and events, so check social media before you go.

1624 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122

4. Suraya

1528 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Heidi’s Bridge

This ambitious market, cafe, bar, and restaurant all rolled into one serves a Lebanese menu of man’oushe and rose pistachio pastries in the morning and lamb kebabs and whole fish with arak cocktails at night. Opt for a seat at Suraya’s long bar, at a table in the dining room, or on the spacious back patio — just make sure to book ahead.

1528 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. Cheu Fishtown/Nunu

1416 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Cheu Fishtown [official]

Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar and Bing Bing Dim Sum brought their Asian-with-a-Jewish-twist cuisine to Frankford Avenue with Cheu Fishtown. The popular spot for ramen, rice bowls, and dumplings is set in a former horse stable, with a bright red bar and eye-catching decor. And because it’s possible to also order from the sushi spot next door, Nunu, this is a great place to go for an indecisive group.

1416 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

6. Pizzeria Beddia

1313 N Lee St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

At the end of 2019, owner Joe Beddia opened up a full-service version of his cult-favorite takeout shop serving his signature pies alongside skin-contact wines, delicious small plates, and soft serve ice cream. Though the hype has died down a bit since Bon Appetit first called his crispy creation the “best pizza in America,” reservations are still recommended if you want to snag a prime dining time. The outdoor patio is warm and lovely, with convivial vibes and kind waitstaff.

1313 N Lee St
Philadelphia, PA 19125

7. La Chingonita

413 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

The roving Mexican food truck, La Chingonita, is finally getting a well-deserved home at 413 E. Girard Avenue, where the famous tacos, quesadillas, and burritos will be available in a permanent setting. For now, though, catch the food truck around Fishtown (and popping up in other locations throughout the city) by checking in with La Chingonita’s Instagram.

413 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

8. Kensington Quarters

1310 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

This sleek and elegant eatery pivoted from a meat-centric menu to a seafood-focused one upon reopening in late 2020. Almost anyone will be impressed by the local, sustainable fish on the dinner menu — not to mention the spacious back patio that’s perfect for summertime.

1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

9. Cake Life Bake Shop

1306 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

For sweet tooth-having Philadelphians, you can’t go wrong with any dessert of any kind from Cake Life Bake Shop, a proudly queer-owned bakery on Frankford Avenue. Cookies, cakes, bars, and more line the counter at the shop, and preorder desserts for seasonal holidays are always festive and special.

1306 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

10. Liberty Kitchen PHL

1244 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Every neighborhood in Philly has about a thousand places where you can get a hoagie, some much better than others. Fishtown’s Liberty Kitchen is truly a standout, not only for its Della Casa hoagie with gabagool, fresh mozzarella, and arugula, but the vegetarian version, too, made with roasted eggplant. Don’t sleep on the tomato pie and gussied-up Tandy Cakes, a play on one of Philly’s favorite packaged desserts.

1244 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122

11. Middle Child Clubhouse

1232 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
A yucca vegan patty melt burger on rye stacked high and dripping with Thousand Island dressing on a green and white tiled background. Michael Persico

By now you’ve either heard of or been to Middle Child Clubhouse, the second, much larger iteration of sandwich genius Matt Cahn’s Washington Square West luncheonette. The menu is much expanded from the smaller sandwich shop, to all of our good fortune: Burgers, shrimp baskets, and a rotating list of small plates keep the dining experience fun and interesting. The cocktails, beer, and wine list are especially solid highlights.

1232 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122

12. Primary Plant Based

161 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Joining in the recent wave of restaurants nationwide that offer a fully vegetarian or vegan menu (Philly, in particular, has a wonderful vegetarian restaurant scene), chef Mark McKinney’s Primary Plant Based is a standout choice for more herbivore-inclined diners. Everything from black bean udon noodles to the infamous mushroom and eggplant umami burger will satisfy cravings for something less meat-heavy.

161 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123

13. Streetside

165 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Is a Philly neighborhood truly complete without a stalwart pho joint? Streetside on Girard is the go-to for all things pho, banh mi, vermicelli, and dumplings, all of which are peppered with fresh herbs and excellent flavors. It’s an easy takeout option for a weeknight — or really, any time at all.

165 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123

14. Murph's Bar

202 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

One of Fishtown’s best-kept secrets is a stand-up Italian restaurant curiously situated in the back of an Irish pub. Here a chef straight from Puglia cooks up a nightly menu of pastas like strozzapreti with cherry tomatoes and burrata and tagliatelle bolognese. The only catch is that since the chef rents kitchen space from the bar, food and drinks are paid for separately.

202 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

15. Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop

1 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

A good rule of thumb for a cheesesteak place is that it’s probably delicious if it’s just some dude’s name. And while some will argue that a restaurant’s second outpost is never as good as the original iteration, this version of Joe’s is inarguably pretty solid. The speciality shakes and the Old Bay fries never fail to satisfy, either.

1 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Related Maps

16. Elwood

1007 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Get dinner with a side of local history at Adam Diltz’s BYOB, which aims to illustrate that Philly is much more than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. The chef draws inspiration from the region’s past to recreate and update dishes like snapper soup, ham pot pie (the Pennsylvania Dutch staple also known as bott boi), and locally sourced pork and rabbit served family-style. For dessert, don’t miss out on the funnel cake, and on the weekends, check out the tea service that includes specialty snacks like scrapple and snickerdoodles.

1007 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Related Maps