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North 2nd Street is a serious food destination.
North 2nd Street is a serious food destination.
Photo: Philly Urban Living

Restaurant Rows: The Best of North 2nd Street

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North 2nd Street is a serious food destination.
| Photo: Philly Urban Living

In this new feature, Restaurant Rows, the Eater Philly team puts together a guide of where to eat and drink on those Philly city blocks that are densely populated with restaurants, bars, and cafes. Next up: North 2nd Street.

North 2nd Street has a ridiculous amount of great food, including the Portugese eatery Koo Zee Doo, El Camino Real, and Bar Ferdinand, where chef David Ansill runs the kitchen. Whether you're looking for something vegan, something meaty, or something boozy, it's all there for the taking.


-- Allison Stadd

· All Restaurant Rows [~EPHI~]
· All Eater Guides [~EPHI~]

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KooZeeDoo

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Start off your route on 2nd just past Green, where husband and wife team David Gilberg and Carla Gonçalves plate family-style Portugese fare like braised chicken gizzards and whole grilled sardines.

Soy Cafe

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Soy Cafe, at 2nd and Fairmount, is one of those vegetarian spots that satisfy carnivores as well. The sun-drenched outdoor courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy a sweet soy smoothie - Soy Cafe makes their own soy milk - and a fresh salad or wrap.

The 700

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If you’re a soccer fan, this is your bar. The club-built-inside-a-house has more than 80 bottled beers, 12 on draft, and a wide assortment of spirits. A word of warning: Thursday through Saturday after 10 p.m., the second level turns into a nightclub. Beware.

Brown Betty

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You’ll definitely want to stop into Brown Betty’s new, expanded 2nd Street location. This place makes you actually understand the over-hyped cupcake trend for the minute or two it takes you to down one of Betty’s generously sized, dense treats with the most sinfully delicious icing in the city.

Circles

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Thai food enthusiasts live and die by Circles, whose Northern Liberties location is a tad more upscale than its South Philly site. Go for the crab rangoon, stay for the pad see ew.

Standard Tap

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At the corner of 2nd and Poplar lies Standard Tap, NoLibs’ neighborhood tavern since 1999. The pub food is solid, the all-local beer selection is unbeatable, and the outdoor deck is great for warm-weather dining. Put it this way: you can’t be in Northern Liberties and not go to Standard Tap.

Rustica Pizza

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Adjacent to Standard Tap, Rustica is the place in Northern Liberties for a slice of pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the reuben pizza -- white pie with corned beef, swiss cheese, caraway seeds, sauerkraut, russian dressing, and pickles -- or Chicken Molé -- chicken smothered in traditional Mexican molé sauce topped with raw red onion.

North Bowl

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People come here for the finger-licking comfort food - they have an entire tater tot menu and four types of mac & cheese - as much as for the bowling, which is only $3 apiece after 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Cantina Dos Segundos

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Los Caballitos’ northernly sister has tequilas for days, and an expansive selection of tasty Mexican eats.

Dmitri's

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Right across from the Piazza, this is the perfect spot -- one of three in the Dmitri’s family -- to continue your evening with traditional Mediterranean fare and enjoy the libation of your choice (it’s BYOB).

Bar Ferdinand

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David Ansill’s back in town at the helm of Spanish tapas-centric spot Bar Ferdinand, dishing up a mean seven-course tasting menu. Don’t leave without trying the churros con chocolate.

El Camino Real

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Northern Liberties’ Tex-Mex favorite doesn’t disappoint, either. You pretty much can’t go wrong, whether you opt for a smoked-in-house BBQ platter or the not-your-usual tacos -- cactus, sweet potato, and fried seitan are just a few of your ingredient options.

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KooZeeDoo

Start off your route on 2nd just past Green, where husband and wife team David Gilberg and Carla Gonçalves plate family-style Portugese fare like braised chicken gizzards and whole grilled sardines.

Soy Cafe

Soy Cafe, at 2nd and Fairmount, is one of those vegetarian spots that satisfy carnivores as well. The sun-drenched outdoor courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy a sweet soy smoothie - Soy Cafe makes their own soy milk - and a fresh salad or wrap.

The 700

If you’re a soccer fan, this is your bar. The club-built-inside-a-house has more than 80 bottled beers, 12 on draft, and a wide assortment of spirits. A word of warning: Thursday through Saturday after 10 p.m., the second level turns into a nightclub. Beware.

Brown Betty

You’ll definitely want to stop into Brown Betty’s new, expanded 2nd Street location. This place makes you actually understand the over-hyped cupcake trend for the minute or two it takes you to down one of Betty’s generously sized, dense treats with the most sinfully delicious icing in the city.

Circles

Thai food enthusiasts live and die by Circles, whose Northern Liberties location is a tad more upscale than its South Philly site. Go for the crab rangoon, stay for the pad see ew.

Standard Tap

At the corner of 2nd and Poplar lies Standard Tap, NoLibs’ neighborhood tavern since 1999. The pub food is solid, the all-local beer selection is unbeatable, and the outdoor deck is great for warm-weather dining. Put it this way: you can’t be in Northern Liberties and not go to Standard Tap.

Rustica Pizza

Adjacent to Standard Tap, Rustica is the place in Northern Liberties for a slice of pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the reuben pizza -- white pie with corned beef, swiss cheese, caraway seeds, sauerkraut, russian dressing, and pickles -- or Chicken Molé -- chicken smothered in traditional Mexican molé sauce topped with raw red onion.

North Bowl

People come here for the finger-licking comfort food - they have an entire tater tot menu and four types of mac & cheese - as much as for the bowling, which is only $3 apiece after 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Cantina Dos Segundos

Los Caballitos’ northernly sister has tequilas for days, and an expansive selection of tasty Mexican eats.

Dmitri's

Right across from the Piazza, this is the perfect spot -- one of three in the Dmitri’s family -- to continue your evening with traditional Mediterranean fare and enjoy the libation of your choice (it’s BYOB).

Bar Ferdinand

David Ansill’s back in town at the helm of Spanish tapas-centric spot Bar Ferdinand, dishing up a mean seven-course tasting menu. Don’t leave without trying the churros con chocolate.

El Camino Real

Northern Liberties’ Tex-Mex favorite doesn’t disappoint, either. You pretty much can’t go wrong, whether you opt for a smoked-in-house BBQ platter or the not-your-usual tacos -- cactus, sweet potato, and fried seitan are just a few of your ingredient options.

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