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Updating the Eater Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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eaterheatmapphilly.jpgMore often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What's everyone talking about? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment.

Thus, we offer the Eater Heat Map, which will change continually to highlight where the crowds are flocking to, rightthisverymoment. Casual options abound this month, with the debuts of the Blue Anchor (the floating restaurant at Spruce Street Harbor Park), Good Stuff Eatery (where the better-burger trend meets reality-TV stardom), Matt & Marie's 'modern Italian' sandwiches, and Square One Coffee (the first Philly location for the well-regarded Lancaster roasters).

Have any suggestions? Any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments or send 'em down the tipline.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Blue Anchor @ Spruce St. Harbor Park

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South Christopher Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Sure, many of the menu items are pulled from the menu at Village Whiskey, but the setting here couldn't be more different - or more special. Open through August 31, this floating restaurant built on shipping containers is the main food and drink component of the this summer's new waterfront pop-up park. (The massive undertaking also incorporates a beach, gardens, tons of hammocks, boardwalk amusements, and more.) [Photo: Matt Stanley for DRWC]

2. Society Hill Society

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400 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 273-1434
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Society Hill Society is a gorgeous rehab of the choice Headhouse Square space where the Artful Dodger sat for decades. Chef Yun Fuentes, who not too long ago opened Rosa Blanca with longtime employer Jose Garces, has switched gears with an inventive menu that pays homage to classic regional dishes and promises to rely heavily on the farmer's market that takes place just outside its door. The room is especially welcoming for Sunday brunch, which highlights well-crafted cocktails and perfectly executed eggs.

3. Townsend

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1623 East Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA
The last restaurant in this prime East Passyunk space, Christopher's Lee's Sophia, was a notable flop. Now, under the care of chef-owner Townsend Wentz, the location seems to have been given the restaurant it deserves: the modern French menu and beverage program overseen by ace GM and sommelier Lauren Harris have earned the restaurant heaps of early praise. Closed on Tuesdays; otherwise: dinner nightly, bar open until 2 a.m.

4. Petruce et al

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1121 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 225-8232
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Brothers Jonathan and Justin Petruce (whose collective experience includes Mémé and Little Fish) built the kitchen for this new New American around a wood-fired oven and an Argentinean-style grill, so expect a little char. (And keep your eyes peeled for pizza, which isn't on the menu but has made a couple of special appearances.) Partner/GM/wine guru Tim Kweeder and beverage director George Costa focus on smart pairings that are always in service of the food.

5. Lolita

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106 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-7100
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How does a ten-year-old restaurant land a spot on the Heatmap? By reimagining itself as a totally new restaurant, with a street food focus and a brand new liquor license. Make no mistake: the carne asada and the charm may have survived, but Lolita is brand new again.

6. Square One Coffee

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249 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 758-6352
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The first Philly location for the well-regarded, Lancaster-based coffee roaster is notably bright, welcoming, and roomy. In addition to their own very good coffee, the shop carries baked goods from local purveyors like West Philly's Four Worlds Bakery and Philly Cupcake.

7. Volver

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300 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 670-2303
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Few restaurants have gotten Philadelphians talking — really talking, and debating, and placing wagers — quite like Jose Garces' new showpiece that pulls out all the stops at the Kimmel Center. If you're not prepared to splash out on the full tasting menu experience, you can always duck into Bar Volver for cocktails and small plates to get a look at what everyone's been buzzing about.

8. The Treemont

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231 South 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Chip Roman's finally got a Center City restaurant to his name, and the menu and revamped interior are both getting high marks from diners so far. And it works as well for a full-on date night as it does an after-work drink, with a menu ranging from bar snacks through high-end entrees, cozy reserved seating in the loft, and ample room for walk-ins by the lower-level bar.

9. Le Chéri

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251 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 546-7700
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When the owners of Bibou open a swank new restaurant in the Art Alliance building, it's a pretty easy sell. The cuisine is as classic French as it gets, offering selections like pate en croute, lamb pot au feu, and cassoulet.

10. a.kitchen

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135 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 825-7030
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a.kitchen may be a familiar name, but for a while there, it was crying out for someone to breathe new life into it. And that's exactly what it got when the AKA Rittenhouse hotel partnered with Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp (who's installed High Street alum Jon Nodler as chef de cuisine) — the new menu is every bit as intriguing and satisfying as you'd expect from the team behind Fork and High Street on Market.

11. Good Stuff Eatery

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108 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA
Yes, Spike Mendelsohn's burger-and-shake import is yet another better-burger place — but it's the only one in town blessed with a direct connection to sweet, sweet reality-TV stardom. (Well, at least until this place opens.)

12. Matt & Marie's

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2 Logan Sq
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 273-1940
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With just seven sandwiches, a couple of sides, and a small grocery selection of imported Italian sweets, this new downtown fast-casual is focusing for quality (of ingredients and service) over being everything to every person - though the appealing selections cover most of the bases, whether you're looking for something layered with pork products or green veggies.

13. Sancho Pistola's

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19 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 324-3530
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Chef Adan Trinidad worked wonders in the kitchen at Jose Pistola's, and from there it didn't take long for the expansion talk to start. Younger brother Sancho's been kitted out with a more expansive menu that ranges from authentic (e.g. mole as crafted by Trinidad's mother) to the... well, to falafel tacos. Of course, the beer list is major, but the bar also makes great use of mezcal.

14. Stock.

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308 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
This gorgeous new Fishtown spot from Tyler Akin and Nicole Reigle (a husband-and-wife team, both formerly of Zahav) opened fairly quietly, serving a succinct menu of (mostly) noodles to a small dining room (18 seats; walk-in only). They're BYO, almost the entire menu falls under $10, and reports on the food from the first few days are very, very strong. NB: Stock is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but opens early for lunch (serving killer banh mi) on the weekends. (Full hours and details are on the website.)

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1. The Blue Anchor @ Spruce St. Harbor Park

South Christopher Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Sure, many of the menu items are pulled from the menu at Village Whiskey, but the setting here couldn't be more different - or more special. Open through August 31, this floating restaurant built on shipping containers is the main food and drink component of the this summer's new waterfront pop-up park. (The massive undertaking also incorporates a beach, gardens, tons of hammocks, boardwalk amusements, and more.) [Photo: Matt Stanley for DRWC]
South Christopher Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

2. Society Hill Society

400 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Society Hill Society is a gorgeous rehab of the choice Headhouse Square space where the Artful Dodger sat for decades. Chef Yun Fuentes, who not too long ago opened Rosa Blanca with longtime employer Jose Garces, has switched gears with an inventive menu that pays homage to classic regional dishes and promises to rely heavily on the farmer's market that takes place just outside its door. The room is especially welcoming for Sunday brunch, which highlights well-crafted cocktails and perfectly executed eggs.
400 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

3. Townsend

1623 East Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA
The last restaurant in this prime East Passyunk space, Christopher's Lee's Sophia, was a notable flop. Now, under the care of chef-owner Townsend Wentz, the location seems to have been given the restaurant it deserves: the modern French menu and beverage program overseen by ace GM and sommelier Lauren Harris have earned the restaurant heaps of early praise. Closed on Tuesdays; otherwise: dinner nightly, bar open until 2 a.m.
1623 East Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA

4. Petruce et al

1121 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Brothers Jonathan and Justin Petruce (whose collective experience includes Mémé and Little Fish) built the kitchen for this new New American around a wood-fired oven and an Argentinean-style grill, so expect a little char. (And keep your eyes peeled for pizza, which isn't on the menu but has made a couple of special appearances.) Partner/GM/wine guru Tim Kweeder and beverage director George Costa focus on smart pairings that are always in service of the food.
1121 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

5. Lolita

106 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
How does a ten-year-old restaurant land a spot on the Heatmap? By reimagining itself as a totally new restaurant, with a street food focus and a brand new liquor license. Make no mistake: the carne asada and the charm may have survived, but Lolita is brand new again.
106 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

6. Square One Coffee

249 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
The first Philly location for the well-regarded, Lancaster-based coffee roaster is notably bright, welcoming, and roomy. In addition to their own very good coffee, the shop carries baked goods from local purveyors like West Philly's Four Worlds Bakery and Philly Cupcake.
249 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

7. Volver

300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Few restaurants have gotten Philadelphians talking — really talking, and debating, and placing wagers — quite like Jose Garces' new showpiece that pulls out all the stops at the Kimmel Center. If you're not prepared to splash out on the full tasting menu experience, you can always duck into Bar Volver for cocktails and small plates to get a look at what everyone's been buzzing about.
300 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

8. The Treemont

231 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Chip Roman's finally got a Center City restaurant to his name, and the menu and revamped interior are both getting high marks from diners so far. And it works as well for a full-on date night as it does an after-work drink, with a menu ranging from bar snacks through high-end entrees, cozy reserved seating in the loft, and ample room for walk-ins by the lower-level bar.
231 South 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

9. Le Chéri

251 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
When the owners of Bibou open a swank new restaurant in the Art Alliance building, it's a pretty easy sell. The cuisine is as classic French as it gets, offering selections like pate en croute, lamb pot au feu, and cassoulet.
251 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

10. a.kitchen

135 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
a.kitchen may be a familiar name, but for a while there, it was crying out for someone to breathe new life into it. And that's exactly what it got when the AKA Rittenhouse hotel partnered with Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp (who's installed High Street alum Jon Nodler as chef de cuisine) — the new menu is every bit as intriguing and satisfying as you'd expect from the team behind Fork and High Street on Market.
135 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

11. Good Stuff Eatery

108 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA
Yes, Spike Mendelsohn's burger-and-shake import is yet another better-burger place — but it's the only one in town blessed with a direct connection to sweet, sweet reality-TV stardom. (Well, at least until this place opens.)
108 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA

12. Matt & Marie's

2 Logan Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19103
With just seven sandwiches, a couple of sides, and a small grocery selection of imported Italian sweets, this new downtown fast-casual is focusing for quality (of ingredients and service) over being everything to every person - though the appealing selections cover most of the bases, whether you're looking for something layered with pork products or green veggies.
2 Logan Sq
Philadelphia, PA 19103

13. Sancho Pistola's

19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Chef Adan Trinidad worked wonders in the kitchen at Jose Pistola's, and from there it didn't take long for the expansion talk to start. Younger brother Sancho's been kitted out with a more expansive menu that ranges from authentic (e.g. mole as crafted by Trinidad's mother) to the... well, to falafel tacos. Of course, the beer list is major, but the bar also makes great use of mezcal.
19 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123

14. Stock.

308 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
This gorgeous new Fishtown spot from Tyler Akin and Nicole Reigle (a husband-and-wife team, both formerly of Zahav) opened fairly quietly, serving a succinct menu of (mostly) noodles to a small dining room (18 seats; walk-in only). They're BYO, almost the entire menu falls under $10, and reports on the food from the first few days are very, very strong. NB: Stock is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but opens early for lunch (serving killer banh mi) on the weekends. (Full hours and details are on the website.)
308 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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