Over the past seven years of working in South Philadelphia there have been a number of new restaurants opening in the area. When I first started working there, I rarely ventured beyond the corner deli, but once I started to explore, I was pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of options nearby. While the locals have long known how great South Philly is, the national media has recently started to recognize Passyunk Avenue as well: Food & Wine magazine, USA Today Travel, and The New York Times Travel Section. It seems that I am not alone in recognizing the wealth of culinary talent in the neighborhood.
While we do not have a lot of time to eat while we are working, we love when there are opportunities to get out for lunch or schedule an after-work happy hour or dinner. Whether it is lunch with coworkers or a celebratory dinner with residents, East Passyunk Avenue has something for every occasion and budget. Here’s a list of some of my favorite restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops in South Philly:
1) South Philly Tap Room— The menu here changes so often that sometimes your favorite item is gone by the next week, but it will surely be replaced by a new favorite. You can’t beat the grilled cheese and tomato lager soup though. Local, seasonal ingredients and friendly staff make this a steadfast neighborhood eatery.
2) Chhaya Cafe— The newly expanded cafe known for its brunch and local mom meet-ups has delicious wraps and home fries. My personal favorite though is the egg sandwich.
3) Fuel— 500 calories or less for lunch keeps us coming back regularly. This is our go-to for take-out/delivery. Keep an eye out for seasonal specials.
4) Ultimo— Our nearest caffeine fix can be found here and if the weather permits you can sit outside.
5) Le Virtu— I don’t know if we had more fun guessing what “guitar-cut” pasta was or admiring the outdoor garden where we dined beneath the stars. An authentic Italian experience right on Passyunk Avenue.
6) Bing Bing Dim Sum— Far from traditional dim sum but just as delicious and sharable. The food is as quirky as the decor and both will make you smile. My favorites are the scarlet dumplings and cauliflower.
7) Pallodino’s— While we haven’t made it inside the restaurant yet, Luke Pallodino was nice enough offer us neighborly hospitality and feed our office lunch. We couldn’t get enough of everything he brought!
8) P’unk Burger— Humongous burgers and amazing milkshakes that we feel good about eating despite all the calories as they are organic, non-GMO, antibiotic- and hormone-free. Did I mention they have a s’mores shake? You’re welcome.
9) Stogie Joe’s— If you are looking to eat a stromboli by a crackling fire, this is your spot. After only a few minutes, the staff will make you feel like you are part of their South Philly family.
10) Green Eggs Cafe— Any place that can cater to my children and serve me créme brulee french toast is a win in my book. It’s not only child-friendly, but environmentally conscious and has vegan and pork-free options.
With so many delicious options nearby, it is no wonder that my waistband is getting tighter. I am happy though to see the neighborhood that I have come to love get the attention that it deserves. As I see more and more people in the industry in my office as parents of patients, I am excited that this means chefs are continuing to choose the Passyunk area to open their restaurants. So next time you are looking for a bite, think about venturing to South Philly for more than a cheesesteak!
[I have no affiliation with any of the above business and I was not compensated for this post. All calories were consumed by me!]