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Updating the Eater Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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More 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. While it was a relatively slow month for openings, the two new faces this time around are strong additions: Fishtown's newest Mexican spot, Sancho Pistola's, and Jason Cichonski's The Gaslight, which is still in soft-open mode in advance of its mid-month grand opening.

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


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Pizzeria Vetri

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It may not have come as a huge surprise, but Pizzeria Vetri started racking up praise immediately for its pistachio pesto-gilded rotolo and Neapolitan pies that Craig LaBan called "contenders for the city's best." Desserts and an exciting bar program round things out.

Tria Taproom

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The draft system is pretty attention-grabbing, with 40 taps carrying beer, wine, cider, and sodas, plus the ability to go online and look up exactly how much is left of that rare brew you're stalking. But this is also the only Tria with a full kitchen, serving flatbreads and elevated pub grub in addition to the cheeses you'd expect from any place carrying the Tria name.

Le Chéri

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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.
The buzz was built in for Avance, opening as it did in the storied former home of Le Bec-Fin, and marking the return of native son Justin Bogle from NYC, where he ran the show at two-Michelin-starred Gilt. So far, the rehab, service, and food have all lived up to and over the hype — and the enthusiasm extends from the top-end chef's tasting menu right down to the lamb burger served only in the downstairs bar.

Rosa Blanca

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Jose Garces closed Chifa over the summer to make way for a Cuban diner, serving breakfast all day in addition to lunch and dinner. As fits a diner, the menu is expansive, with Cuban coffee and pastries, classic Cubanos, a wide variety of shakes and smoothies, and even a rum list with more than 70 varieties available. For dinner, family-special specials rotate daily through choices like arroz con pollo, mondongo, and roast suckling pig.

High Street on Market

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High Street on Market replaced Fork:etc. to yield even more Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin amazingness. The bread, pastries, and breakfast and lunch options made it an insta-favorite, but now they're running one of the city's most compelling dinner services, too. (Pssst: An industry night on Tuesdays offers a steal of a tasting menu for just 25 bucks.)

The Gaslight

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With the grand opening coming up mid-month, Jason Cichonski's new food-forward bar in Old City is still in soft-opening mode. But on the strength of Ela, a little dose of reality TV fame, and elevated bar food (including wings in flavors like Thai sesame and whiskey-caramel mustard), people have been champing at the bit.

Serpico

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With its stellar food and gorgeous interior, one of the city's most highly-anticipated openings in recent years just keeps living up to the hype.

The Good King Tavern

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GKT opened in the same month as Le Cheri, meaning things are suddenly looking way up for Philly francophiles. The Good King is decidedly less white-tablecloth, with a lively bar and a classic brasserie menu with some inventive touches from chef Paul Lyons, who worked with George Sabatino for years.

Artisan Boulanger Patissier

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The new location of Artisan Boulanger is predictably fantastic. In addition to their large selection of top-notch classic pastries (including a number of different croissants; try the pistachio), they also offer coffee and take-out sandwiches for lunch, including very good banh mi.
Nicholas Elmi is a favorite to win the current season of Top Chef, but the cooking he's doing at his new E. Passyunk BYOB overshadows even Bravo-reality-show-level hype. The room is as tiny as it is lovely, so plan ahead.

The Fat Ham

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Kevin Sbraga's second restaurant is a tiny U City spot serving Southern food to early raves. The menu nails respectful renditions of comfort classics with just enough cheffy twists and surprises to keep things fresh. In addition to the hot chicken and oyster po'boys, look for a very strong bar program, with barrel-aged bourbon cocktails and draft options that include beer, wine, and sweet tea.

Sancho Pistola's

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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.

Pizzeria Vetri

It may not have come as a huge surprise, but Pizzeria Vetri started racking up praise immediately for its pistachio pesto-gilded rotolo and Neapolitan pies that Craig LaBan called "contenders for the city's best." Desserts and an exciting bar program round things out.

Tria Taproom

The draft system is pretty attention-grabbing, with 40 taps carrying beer, wine, cider, and sodas, plus the ability to go online and look up exactly how much is left of that rare brew you're stalking. But this is also the only Tria with a full kitchen, serving flatbreads and elevated pub grub in addition to the cheeses you'd expect from any place carrying the Tria name.

Le Chéri

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.

Avance

The buzz was built in for Avance, opening as it did in the storied former home of Le Bec-Fin, and marking the return of native son Justin Bogle from NYC, where he ran the show at two-Michelin-starred Gilt. So far, the rehab, service, and food have all lived up to and over the hype — and the enthusiasm extends from the top-end chef's tasting menu right down to the lamb burger served only in the downstairs bar.

Rosa Blanca

Jose Garces closed Chifa over the summer to make way for a Cuban diner, serving breakfast all day in addition to lunch and dinner. As fits a diner, the menu is expansive, with Cuban coffee and pastries, classic Cubanos, a wide variety of shakes and smoothies, and even a rum list with more than 70 varieties available. For dinner, family-special specials rotate daily through choices like arroz con pollo, mondongo, and roast suckling pig.

High Street on Market

High Street on Market replaced Fork:etc. to yield even more Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin amazingness. The bread, pastries, and breakfast and lunch options made it an insta-favorite, but now they're running one of the city's most compelling dinner services, too. (Pssst: An industry night on Tuesdays offers a steal of a tasting menu for just 25 bucks.)

The Gaslight

With the grand opening coming up mid-month, Jason Cichonski's new food-forward bar in Old City is still in soft-opening mode. But on the strength of Ela, a little dose of reality TV fame, and elevated bar food (including wings in flavors like Thai sesame and whiskey-caramel mustard), people have been champing at the bit.

Serpico

With its stellar food and gorgeous interior, one of the city's most highly-anticipated openings in recent years just keeps living up to the hype.

The Good King Tavern

GKT opened in the same month as Le Cheri, meaning things are suddenly looking way up for Philly francophiles. The Good King is decidedly less white-tablecloth, with a lively bar and a classic brasserie menu with some inventive touches from chef Paul Lyons, who worked with George Sabatino for years.

Artisan Boulanger Patissier

The new location of Artisan Boulanger is predictably fantastic. In addition to their large selection of top-notch classic pastries (including a number of different croissants; try the pistachio), they also offer coffee and take-out sandwiches for lunch, including very good banh mi.

Laurel

Nicholas Elmi is a favorite to win the current season of Top Chef, but the cooking he's doing at his new E. Passyunk BYOB overshadows even Bravo-reality-show-level hype. The room is as tiny as it is lovely, so plan ahead.

The Fat Ham

Kevin Sbraga's second restaurant is a tiny U City spot serving Southern food to early raves. The menu nails respectful renditions of comfort classics with just enough cheffy twists and surprises to keep things fresh. In addition to the hot chicken and oyster po'boys, look for a very strong bar program, with barrel-aged bourbon cocktails and draft options that include beer, wine, and sweet tea.

Sancho Pistola's

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.

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