Ask an out-of-towner what they think of Queen Village and they’re likely to shrug and answer: “Where’s that?” But, those who’ve been there — and especially, those who’ve eaten there — won’t soon forget it. This quiet, established Philadelphia neighborhood is full of small art galleries, boutiques, quirky shops, and diverse architecture that feels a world away from Center City, and it’s home to some of Philly’s most-coveted omakase, all-day cafes, lively Italian destinations, family-friendly options, and much more.Read More
Where to Eat in Queen Village
Nine essential restaurants for pasta, ramen, seafood, steak frites, and more
1. Little Fish
A few different chefs have run Little Fish over the years, but now that owner Alex Yoon, a Philly native with experience working at Le Bec-Fin, Benu in San Francisco, and Mirazur in the French Riviera, is at the helm, it’s better than ever. The tiny BYOB uses a chalkboard menu for its ever-changing lineup of fresh seafood, often prepared with flavors from different Asian cuisines. There’s always a mix of raw and cooked fish, along with pasta and seasonal focaccia.
2. Bistrot La Minette
Make like a Parisian at Peter Woolsey’s Bistrot La Minette, where all the French touches are just right. On a nice night, dine al fresco at one of the bistro tables out front or step into the narrow dining room with its art-lined walls and petite bar. It’s hard to go wrong with the tried-and-true menu here that includes escargot, foie gras, ratatouille, and pot de creme.
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3. Hungry Pigeon
Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, or dinner, Fabric Row’s all-day cafe Hungry Pigeon is always bustling. In the morning, snag one of co-owner/pastry chef Pat O’Malley’s croissants, or a mile-high egg sandwich layered with a thick hash brown. It’s co-owner Scott Schroeder’s turn to get creative in the evening with a menu that changes frequently based on what’s in season.
One of the longest-running restaurants in Queen Village, Marrakesh has been serving Moroccan fare in a themed space for decades. Pull up a brightly colored pillow and use your hands to dig into dishes like lamb with almonds and honey and chicken in a flaky pastry shell topped with powdered sugar. It’s a steal at $25 per person for a set multi-course meal (there are vegetarian options too).
Marina de Oliveira and Chris D’Ambro bought neighborhood standby Southwark a few years ago and refreshed it with a spot-on bar program and a menu of locally sourced new American dishes. A charming garden and friendly staff help make it a perfect neighborhood spot. Following that success, the couple developed a mini-Queen Village restaurant empire that includes the intimate, tasting menu-only Ambra, family-friendly Olly, and coming soon, pizzeria Gigi.
6. Cry Baby Pasta
Two couples with decades of experience in the restaurant industry joined forces to open this busy corner restaurant. It’s not totally clear what a 1990 John Waters/Johnny Depp movie has to do with Italian food, but it’s well executed and reasonably priced here and the vibe is always festive. Go for the chicken francaise, grilled sardine bruschetta, tortellini en brodo, and any of the pastas, like the spaghetti pomodoro or smoked chicken rigatoni.
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7. Neighborhood Ramen
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Chefs and other foodies-in-the-know flock to this snug, counter-service ramen shop that offers several different styles of the dish, including shoyu (chicken broth with soy sauce), shio (chicken broth with sea salt), iekei (pork and chicken broth), tantan (spicy pork and chicken broth), a mushroom-based vegan option, a brothless version, and a chilled ramen.
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8. Royal Sushi & Izakaya
Jesse Ito’s Japanese destination in Queen Village is a two-in-one deal. The dimly lit pub in front is a great spot for ordering yakitori and rainbow rolls with a glass of Hitachino. Or make a reservation for the 18-piece omakase ($130 per person), which is served at a serene chef’s counter set behind a thick curtain in the back and includes dishes like bluefin toro with Ossetra caviar. Nearby in Queen Village, newcomer Sakana also offers omakase, for $58 or $108.
9. Fiore Fine Foods
The beautiful Front Street space that’s now home to Fiore deserves a restaurant as lovely as Justine MacNeil and Ed Crochet’s three-in-one. The daytime cafe, amaro bar, and full-service restaurant is as good in the morning, when sous chef Gina Nalbone’s pastries are the highlight, as it is at night when the wood-fired grill gets going. Don’t miss the delicate pastas and house-made gelato.