Whether you’re a lifelong Philadelphian or visiting for the first time, South Street is arguably one of the city’s most iconic destinations. Boasting over 400 shops, restaurants, and other small businesses, it may come as no surprise that South Street is one of the best spots in the city to grab a bite to eat. With the sheer number of restaurants, it may be overwhelming to know where to begin. If you’re looking for fine dining restaurants, lively bars, and charming cafes, or if you want to embark on a late-night culinary adventure for a cheesesteak, this list has got you covered.Read More
The Essential Restaurants of South Street
This iconic Philly destination is known for its variety, lively bars, charming cafes, and spots to grab late night eats
Lazaro's Pizzeria and Grill
This infamous pizza shop is known for its gigantic slices of pizza, creamy mac and cheese, veggie sandwiches, and cheesesteaks. Open daily, pay them a visit Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., and on Sunday 12 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Rex at the Royal
This notable restaurant and bar serves Southern cuisine well — and with generous servings of cajun fried shrimp, fried tomatoes, braised oxtail, and strong sazeracs, it’s worth visiting more than once.
Pleasing pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven and plentiful pasta served al dente are what keep people coming back to Pizzeria Stella. Must-try menu items are the piccante pizza made with capicola, crushed red pepper, and aged provolone, and the linguine cacio e pepe featuring black pepper, pecorino, and parmesan.
Bon Kif Grill
One of the few restaurants in Philadelphia serving Tunisian cuisine, Bon Kif Grille serves a menu full of Mediterranean favorites. Start a meal here with one of their many regular or spicy hummus or salad options, then dive into a heavier entree like the whole grilled chicken, kabob, or beef kofta.
Bánh Mì and Bottles
The menu at Bahn Mi and Bottles is full of traditional Vietnamese dishes and cocktails with a modern flare. The bahn mi burger served with lotus root fries is a must-try dish for first timers. Or for a fantastic cocktail try the “yes, chef” (it’s take on an old fashioned) made with pork-belly infused whiskey, cherry cardamom bitters, and honey.
Federal Donuts (multiple locations)
A collaboration between Michael Solmonov and Steven Cook, Federal Donuts is celebrated for its unforgettable pairing of incredible fried chicken with candied donuts. Its menu includes many options including chicken wings, tenders, a fried chicken sandwich, and rotating flavors of regular and fancy donuts. Its South Street location is on the corner of 6th Street, right in the heart of the hustle and bustle.
For an intimate and rustic Italian dining experience, you have to visit Bistro Romano. The restaurant offers a dynamic 5-course tasting menu, with weekly additions, promising something new with each visit. If you’re looking to enhance this experience, choosing the optional wine pairing will make it even more memorable.
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The food and cocktail menu at this graffiti-filled bar is as lively as the atmosphere. Dig into a hodgepodge of snacks, fries, tater tots, and sandwiches, all with vegan or vegetarian options. Also of note are its impressive list of cocktails which are often imaginative twists on classic boozy favorites.
The Twisted Tail
This lively restaurant in Headhouse Square that doubles as a juke joint is perfect for partaking in classic Southern comfort food with a side of whiskey. Whether you’re joining them for dinner, brunch, or happy hour, regulars can’t get enough of its tasty classics like the smoked wings, BBQ smoked ribs, and crawfish mac and cheese.
This takeout-only spot is a historically popular place to stop by after a concert at the TLA (Theater of Living Arts) or a night bar hopping in the area. Here you can devour one of its many original chicken cheesesteaks or sip on its most popular drink, The Gremlin, made with equal parts of grape juice and lemonade.
If you’re in the mood for a satisfying bowl of pasta, lemony veal or chicken piccata, or creamy burrata this is the place for you. Located at 2nd and South Streets, this casual BYOB takes reservations Tuesday through Sunday and is cash only.
Reef Restaurant & Lounge
A true marriage of Caribbean and American flavors, Reef has been a staple of South Street for many years. With a menu that channels island vibes, try favored starters like the Trini doubles, sweet plantains, or peppa shrimp, and main courses like the Montego Bay salmon, rasta pasta, or its famous jerk chicken.
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A partnership between Yowie, Reanimator Coffee Roasters and eeva, the highly anticipated Wim Cafe’s opened officially opened its door in August 2023. Its small menu of food and beverages offers options for various dietary restrictions, from vegan to gluten-free. Here, you can munch savory toasts, quinoa bowls, and fresh salads, or order one of its signature lattes.
Emmy Squared Pizza
In 2019, Emmy Squared opened its doors, aiming to bring Detroit-style pizza to Philly. Located on 5th Street, a short walk from South Street, its menu is packed full of artisan pizzas, shareable salads, and small plates. Don’t miss out on the Big Ang pizza — an effortless combo of vodka sauce, ricotta, Italian sausage, and banana peppers.
Spicy firecracker pork, Shanghai-style spring rolls, and Hong Kong beef are just a few of the dishes this family-friendly Cantonese-style restaurant does so well. Make a reservation or stop by Tuesday through Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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