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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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The International Bar

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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.

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.

Castellino's Italian Market

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Sort of like Di Bruno Bros. but if it made its home in Fishtown, Castellino’s Italian Market sells all the provisions you’d need to make a veritable Italian feast. There are meats and cheeses and jams, but also a sandwich counter where you can get some of the best hoagies in the entire city. Looking for something sweet? Castellino’s carries Float Dreamery vegan ice cream on the weekends.

Cheu Fishtown/Nunu

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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.

For any special occasion dinners you have on the horizon, Hiroki — a sushi omakase experience on the corner of Master and Lee — is the place to go, not just in Fishtown but the entire city. Everything is delicately done, beautifully plated, and a sensation to eat. It’s an experience so special you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to Japan. Make sure to make reservations.

Pizzeria Beddia

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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 natural 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

A post shared by Eater Philly (@eater_philly) on

La Chingonita

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The roving Mexican food truck, La Chingonita, finally has a well-deserved home at 413 E. Girard Avenue, where the famous tacos, quesadillas, and burritos are available in a permanent setting. Always order an agua fresca.

Kensington Quarters

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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.

Cake Life Bake Shop

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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.

Liberty Kitchen PHL

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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.

Middle Child Clubhouse

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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

Primary Plant Based

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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.

Streetside

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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.

Murph's Bar

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One of Fishtown’s best-kept secrets is a stand-up Italian restaurant curiously situated in the back of an Irish pub. Here, Puglian chef Francesco Bellastelli 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.

Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop

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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.

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.

The International Bar

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.

Suraya

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.

Castellino's Italian Market

Sort of like Di Bruno Bros. but if it made its home in Fishtown, Castellino’s Italian Market sells all the provisions you’d need to make a veritable Italian feast. There are meats and cheeses and jams, but also a sandwich counter where you can get some of the best hoagies in the entire city. Looking for something sweet? Castellino’s carries Float Dreamery vegan ice cream on the weekends.

Cheu Fishtown/Nunu

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.

HIROKI

For any special occasion dinners you have on the horizon, Hiroki — a sushi omakase experience on the corner of Master and Lee — is the place to go, not just in Fishtown but the entire city. Everything is delicately done, beautifully plated, and a sensation to eat. It’s an experience so special you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to Japan. Make sure to make reservations.

Pizzeria Beddia

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 natural 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.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Eater Philly (@eater_philly) on

La Chingonita

The roving Mexican food truck, La Chingonita, finally has a well-deserved home at 413 E. Girard Avenue, where the famous tacos, quesadillas, and burritos are available in a permanent setting. Always order an agua fresca.

Kensington Quarters

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.

Cake Life Bake Shop

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.

Liberty Kitchen PHL

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.

Middle Child Clubhouse

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.

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

Primary Plant Based

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.

Streetside

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.

Murph's Bar

One of Fishtown’s best-kept secrets is a stand-up Italian restaurant curiously situated in the back of an Irish pub. Here, Puglian chef Francesco Bellastelli 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.

Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop

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.

Related Maps

Elwood

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.

Related Maps