If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Philly, you might go a little bit crazy. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential - although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
We’ll be regularly updating this post. Once we’ve checked out a spot, we’ll add a note if it makes it onto our Hit List.
Every dinner at Laser Wolf, the new Israeli grill in Kensington from the team behind Zahav, includes around a dozen vegetable-based salads as well as pita and hummus. The only decision you have to make is what type of grilled meat skewers you’d like - choose from lamb merguez, beef kebabs, or even chicken shishlik in a guava marinade. The space is casual and looks kind of like an open-air market, with colorful tablecloths, string lights, and big tables to fit you and all your friends.
When Poe’s (a Fishtown sandwich shop) closed in 2019, we weren’t sure if they were coming back at all. But they did, and their new home is located in a Kensington brewery called Human Robot. Right now, the huge space has five beers on tap, as well as local ciders, wine, and a natural seltzer that you can add your flavor of choice to. Of course, Poe’s signature fully-loaded sandwiches, plus a few other snacks like fries and burgers, are available as well.
The first location of The Board And Brew is on Maryland University’s campus in College Park. This board game bar, which has bookshelves that contain thousands of games, just opened its newest location right in between Drexel & Penn’s campus in University City. Aside from the games and drinks, the cafe also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Fabrika is part restaurant and part cabaret, with a giant, hydraulic stage where aerialists, contortionists, dancers, and musicians perfrom. In terms of food, the menu’s Mediterranean, with the people behind Kanella Grill overseeing everything.
Bodega Bar has a full menu, with wild things like “Hoctopus” (octopus prepared like Nashville hot chicken) on it. But really it’s more of a nightclub that happens to have food. The Midtown Village spot has a full bar with large-format carafes and live music on the weekends.
If you’ve ever been to Vesper in Center City before, then you know what you’re getting into with the new cocktail bar Leda & The Swan. It’s a 2,500-square foot space that’s essentially a club, with large-format drinks, live music, and late-night DJs on the weekends.
The Goat is a new pub in Rittenhouse from the people behind Monk’s and The Fairview (which just opened a couple of weeks before). It has a small menu of mostly comfort food like pork belly mac and cheese and a reuben burger, as well as a large selection of beer, cider, and wine. There are also two fireplaces, which means you’ll find us here for the rest of the winter.
The Fairview is a bar in Fairmount that has a full dining room and serves green chili cheeseburger empanadas, tikka masala flatbread, and other kinds of bar snacks. They also have a good amount of vegan options, like a sandwich with fake sausage and a bunch of vegetable sides.
This South Street spot looks like a dive bar and serves all the classic dive bar food (nachos, burgers, etc.), but also has a long list of cocktails and growlers full of natural wine they have on tap.
At Vegan-ish, a new fast-casual spot in West Philly, you can get things like burgers (all made with Impossible meat), sandwiches, and salads. If you’re not vegan, there are some seafood options as well, like a salmon burrito and a fried cod sandwich.
The first Philly location of this New York City-based fast-casual spot has just opened at 16th and Chestnut. Their menu mostly centers around build-your-own plates and bowls, with healthy ingredients like herb-roasted chicken and grilled organic tofu.
Blind Barber already exists in a bunch of other cities, but this is its first location in Philly. The Center City spot is a functioning barbershop during the day, but turns into a speakeasy at night, with two floors of bars that serve cocktails and light bar food.
Via Locusta is an Italian place from the people behind Double Knot, Giuseppe & Sons, and about 10 other restaurants in Philly. Pasta is the main thing on the menu, with twelve different kinds - one of which you are supposed to eat with your hands. There’s also a section of small plates, like crudos and salads, and a couple of large-format dishes like roast chicken and strip steak.
Small Oven is really two places in one. It’s both a pastry shop with a selection of bite-size sweets like tarts and eclairs, and a BYO that makes pork sandwiches. The side with the sandwich shop also has a takeout window in case you’re stopping by during a 20-minute lunch break.
Northern Liberties spot Hello Vietnam is a new BYOB from the people behind Nam Son Bakery - which closed in the fall of 2019. It has things like pho and banh mi, and nothing is over $14.
If you’re a fan of Dizengoff or Goldie’s falafel, then you’ll probably love Merkaz - a new all-day sandwich shop from the same people. The menu in inspired by Israeli street food, and has everything from shakshuka for breakfast to pita sandwiches and schnitzels for lunch to whole za’atar-crusted rotisserie chickens to take out for dinner.
We checked out Merkaz and added it to our Hit List.
Cicala is a new, Southern Italian restaurant in the lobby of the Divine Lorriane Hotel from the people behind Le Virtu and Brigantessa. It looks fancy, with big chandeliers and white tablecloths, and the food is classic Italian stuff - house-cured meats, pasta, and a spumoni dessert that looks like a clementine.
We checked out Cicala and added it to our Hit List.
Gigi Pizza is a tiny, 12-seat Neapolitan pizza shop in Queen Village. In addition to pizza, they’re also serving a few small plates and desserts (get the cannoli dip), plus wines by the glass, beer, and a few cocktails.
We checked out Gigi Pizza and added it to our Hit List.
Poe’s used to be on a corner in Fishtown, but abruptly closed down a few months back. Now it’s reopened in a building in Kensington that will soon house a new spot called Human Robot Brewery. Although the space is much bigger, it’s still serving the same menu of subs, fries, and funnel cakes.
The most expensive thing on the menu at Gabi, a French “diner” from the people behind Bistrot La Minette, is $20. They start serving breakfast every day at 7am, with pastries, eggs, and coffee, and then switch to a lunch and dinner menu, which has things like steak tartare and duck confit.
This new neighborhood spot on Girard functions as both a sports bar and a place to get a casual dinner. You’ll find a combination of small bar bites here, plus bigger things like a falafel burger and salmon with herb pesto and wild rice.
The Hadley, a new American bar and restaurant near the art museum, looks like it belongs on Madison Avenue in the 1960s. The upscale, mid-century modern spot has a full bar and a menu that looks like it was pulled out of a steakhouse - except with the addition of flatbreads and an entire vegan section.
Loco Pez, which already has two locations in Philly, recently opened its third spot in Graduate Hospital. Similar to the other ones, they have tacos, quesadillas, and a long list of tequila and beer. It’s also cash only.
If you’re the kind of person that believes breakfast should be available way past noon, you’ll probably like Eggcellent - a new all-day brunch spot in Old City. It’s counter service only and has a menu of mostly breakfast sandwiches, plus other breakfast and lunch things like huevos rancheros and quinoa bowls.
Natural wine is officially a “thing” in Philly, and Le Caveau, a bar above Good King Tavern, is the newest place in town pouring them. They have a long wine list separated mostly by “France” and “Not France” along with a small bar menu of things like charcuterie, French hot dogs, and chocolate mousse.
We checked out Le Caveau and added it to our Hit List.
River Twice, an American BYOB in the old Izumi space on East Passyunk, is doing everything it can to stay local. Most of their menu, which ranges from Atlantic oysters to dry-aged duck, is made up of products from the area (mainly the Delaware River Valley). And they even had a lot of the furniture custom-made by makers from around Philly.
If you ask someone in New York City what their favorite burger is, there’s a very high chance they say the one at Emily in Brooklyn. Emmy Squared is from the same people, and they already have locations in New York and Nashville. The menu focuses on Detroit-style pan pizza, and also has the “Le Big Matt” burger that everyone loves so much.
We checked out Emmy Squared and added it to our Hit List.
Before Ease opened, this space near the Italian Market used to be a New Orleans-themed bar called Acadia. However, now there are rows of vintage records and vinyl instead of a ton of beads and masks. The bar also serves beer, wine, and a small menu of snacks.
Maple is a small ramen shop in Rittenhouse that’s quick, affordable, and close to all the office buildings. They also stay open through lunch and have an all-day menu that includes other dishes besides ramen, like fried rice, katsu plates, and udon.
Condesa is one of the three new Mexican spots to open in the Pod Hotel from the people behind Suraya. It’s a huge space with a full bar, and almost all of the dishes on the menu - from lamb tacos to a chocolate masa cake - are made with house-ground masa from Mexico.
We checked out Condesa and added it to our Hit List.
Another spot in the Pod Hotel, El Cafe is an all-day cafe on the ground floor with lots of space, and a menu that includes things like breakfast tacos, Mexican pastries, and horchata.
Philadelphia is the newest location of City Winery - an event venue, winery, and restaurant with locations in a bunch of other big cities across the country. They have a full menu with things like flatbreads and burgers, and they pour all their own wines by the glass and bottle.
Queen & Rook is a cafe in Queen Village with over a thousand board games, plus a menu of beer, wine, and bar food - like sliders and nachos.
Triple Bottom Brewing is an environmentally-friendly brewery now open on Spring Garden Street. Try their beer in their tasting room, along with wine and ciders from local vendors and charcuterie plates from Di Bruno Bros.
There hasn’t been a sushi spot in Reading Terminal Market since Tokyo Sushi Bar closed four years ago. But with the addition of Umi, you can finally get made-to-order sushi again, as well as other dishes like crab cakes and lobster mac and cheese.
Chiu’s Kitchen is a casual Cantonese spot on a corner in Chinatown that’s serving everything from Hong Kong-style french toast to hot pot and rice plates.
Forsythia in Old City is the newest place from the people behind Will BYOB, a long-standing French spot on East Passyunk that just recently closed. The menu’s heavy on small plates that are kind of French like corn and ham hock beignets and mussels escabeche.
We checked out Forsythia and added it to our Hit List.
Now that Will BYOB has found a new home, June BYOB took over and opened in their old space on East Passyunk. The person running the kitchen at June is also Joel Embiid’s private chef, which means if you eat here you will most likely become as good at basketball as he is.
We checked out June BYOB and added it to our Hit List.
There’s a very solid BYOB in East Passyunk called Palace of Indian, and the people behind that place just opened up a new spot right near Rittenhouse Square. It’s similar to the one further south and has all the makings for a potential weeknight date spot - there are about 15 tables and there’s no corkage fee.
Ateethi is another new Indian BYOB near Rittenhouse Square that serves things like butter chicken, samosas, and a ton of different curries. There’s also mango lassi and kulfi (Indian ice cream) for dessert.
The newest location of Hello Donuts is in Kensington, right off Frankford Ave. You can get all of their classic donuts (like speculoos crumble and blueberry cheesecake) as well as a few other pastries and ReAnimator coffee.
Bryn & Dane is a place that calls itself “healthy fast food,” meaning you’ll find lots of smoothies and acai-type bowls here, as well as cobb salads and chicken pesto wraps for lunch. This Old City location is the first one outside of the Philly suburbs.
West Philly’s Dock Street Brewery has a new location right on Washington Avenue in South Philly. The massive space is a renovated auto body shop with a restaurant, brewery, and cafe inside. In addition to serving their own drafts, they have an all-day menu that includes pancakes and Moroccan chicken.
We’re not sure what exactly is “fancy” about the “fancy water ice” at East Passyunk spot D’Emilio’s, but it’s one of the main categories on their menu - along with sorbet, custard, and Italian sandwiches.
The newest Comcast Tower, which also houses the Four Seasons Hotel, recently got two new restaurants. Vernick Fish - which is from the same people who run Vernick Food & Drink - is the one on the ground floor, and it’s basically a very fancy oyster bar with small plates, a raw bar, and larger dishes like blackened fluke and pork milanese.
We checked out Vernick Fish and added it to our Hit List.
Jean-Georges, (yes, that Jean-Georges), is the other new restaurant in the Comcast Tower. It’s 59 floors up - with views that would make anyone with even a mild fear of heights slightly nervous. This place is up there with the most expensive restaurants in the city with a French menu that includes things like caviar toasts and foie gras.
Punch Buggy Brewing is a 36-seat tasting room and brewery in Kensington with a small back patio area. In addition to their small-batch beers, they’re also serving things like hot dogs and grilled cheese.
The Di Bruno Bros. on Chestnut recently opened an upstairs pizza and wine bar called Alimentari. Besides some cheese and charcuterie plates, you can get salads and Roman-style square pizzas here as well.
We checked out Alimentari and added it to our Hit List.
K’far is an all-day Israeli cafe from the people behind Zahav with a boutique-hotel look and a full bar. The menu ranges from pastries to Jerusalem bagels to grain bowls and salads.
We checked out K’far and added it to our Hit List.
Pennsport Beer Boutique opened up a sandwich store next door called Charlie’s Roast Pork, and although the menu is mostly limited to lunch and breakfast sandwiches, you can also order things like wings and a caesar salad.
Jet Wine Bar on South Street just opened up a garden next door - right in time for the end of summer. They have a long list of wines, cans of beer, summery cocktails, and small bites like hummus and a cheeseboard.
The upstairs room at The Franklin Bar, which has been tiki-themed for the last two years, is now Encima - a mezcal bar with Mexican street food. The food menu will expand later in the summer, but right now they serve tacos, guacamole, and elote.
Inchin’s Bamboo Garden is an Atlanta chain of Indo-Chinese restaurants, and this Center City location is its first up north. It’s a big place - they can seat over 150 people and have two bars, one on each floor. The menu consists of a lot of noodle and rice dishes, and they have a ton of vegetarian options as well.
Salads are a fine lunch most days, but sometimes you want something a little more filling. Butcher’s Smokehouse on Walnut has an assembly line of beef brisket tacos and BBQ chicken when a bowl of romaine just isn’t going to cut it.
Palma’s Cucina is the newly renovated Italian spot in Fitler Square that used to be brick oven pizza restaurant Mama Palma’s. The new menu has dishes like lobster cannelloni, veal meatballs, and a bunch of pizzas - including the Mama Palma’s special, which comes with a garlic herb sauce, mozzarella, and spinach.
Shaxian Delicacies in Chinatown is a Southeastern Chinese spot with mostly soups and noodle dishes on the menu, as well as some specialties like pig ears and duck feet.
Franklin Social is an American bar and restaurant that’s replacing Chez Ben in the Old City Renaissance Hotel. You’ll find burgers, charcuterie, and pasta on the menu - along with a couple of quotes from Benjamin Franklin.
Don Barriga is a new Mexican spot in University City that has a large menu of things like tacos, fajitas, and chilaquiles. Friday through Sunday they serve barbacoa and consomme, for those who don’t want to wake up early and stand in line for the South Philly stuff.
Bloomsday is an all-day cafe and bottle shop in Society Hill that serves coffee and pastries in the morning, and then switches to snacks and drinks in the evening. They have a long natural wine list, but also serve cocktails, beer, and cider. On their small menu of snacks they have something they call an “emotional support hot dog.”
Even though it’s called a “pizzeria,” pizzas are only a small part of the mostly Mediterranean menu at Stina in South Philly. The small BYOB also has a full menu of dishes cooked in their wood-fired oven, like fire-roasted kebabs and Turkish filled-breads called pide.
Winkel is a BYOB breakfast and lunch restaurant in Midtown Village from the people behind Noord. Like Noord, it has a focus on Dutch specialties, like a smoked salmon benedict and potato salad. But it also serves dishes like buttermilk pancakes and a hot chicken sandwich.
Hiroki is an omakase-only spot from the people behind Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. The 20-course omakase will cost you $135, but will include dishes like soy-marinated wagyu short rib, a hand roll, 12 pieces of sushi, and miso soup. And you can also add a sake pairing for an additional $60.
We checked out Hiroki and added it to our Hit List.
Felly is a casual Queen Village place with a super eclectic menu that serves everything from French onion soup to a vegan plant-based burger and mango shrimp. They also have live music for their Sunday brunch.
Jembatan 5 in Bella Vista is a new Indonesian restaurant right next to the Italian Market. It’s small, simple, and serving a menu of traditional Indonesian things like satay chicken and sweet pork sausage.
Pizza Gutt’s new spot is called Circles + Squares, and instead of having to reserve pizzas beforehand and pick them up in the back of a coffee shop, you can now walk into the shop and wait for about an hour for your Detroit-style pan pizza.
We checked out Circles + Squares and added it to our Hit List.
Cotoletta’s original location is in Bala Cynwyd, but the newest BYOB is right off the park in Fitler Square and will be serving a similar menu as the first one, with Italian dishes like cacio e pepe and chicken cutlets.
Elwood is a new BYOB in Fishtown that’s focusing on old-school, traditional Pennsylvania dishes like catfish & waffles and ham hot pie.
We checked out Elwood and added it to our Hit List.
Blume is a completely ridiculous-looking wine bar in Center City with equally ridiculous drinks, like one that has cotton candy melted into it. They’re also serving a full menu with things like cauliflower steak and an “avocado sundae” and pouring only natural wines.
Bincho is a small Japanese spot on South Street that’s focusing mostly on robatayaki skewers, with things like chicken, beef, fish, and veggies cooked over the binchotan grill. They also have some sushi and sashimi on the menu, but the focus is mostly on the grill, which the entire restaurant is centered around.
Liberty Kitchen is a new deli and market in Fishtown with a menu of mostly hoagies, plus a few salads and tomato pie. There’s also space for rotating pop-up classes and vendors (like 1-900-ICE-CREAM) in the back.
Pho House is the new place in Northern Liberties from the people behind Thang Long in Kensington. The menu is similar to the original one, with things like banh mi and vermicelli noodle bowls, in addition to a few types of pho.
Vernalicious used to be a food truck, serving mostly comfort food like a pulled pork grilled cheese, but its new permanent location focuses on healthier, vegetable-centric dishes.
Ambrosia is a tiny corner BYOB in Fitler Square with mostly Italian stuff, like squid ink tagliatelle and chicken Milanese, and makes all of their bread and pasta in-house.
Kalaya is a 30-seat BYOB Thai restaurant in the Italian Market that serves almost entirely classics - none of which are modified to accommodate the desired spiciness, so proceed at your own risk.
We checked out Kalaya and added it to our Hit List.
Separatist Beer Project started out in Easton, but has just opened their first tasting room right off East Passyunk. On top of 16 drafts (12 beers, two cocktails, and two wines), they also have pies from neighboring Stargazy.
Olly is a new bar and restaurant from the people behind Southwark that will eventually be coupled with an adjoining pizza place called Gigi, set to open later this summer. For now, it’s just Olly, and it has an eclectic, American-ish menu with things like crispy chickpeas, mushroom carpaccio, and lasagna.
We checked out Olly and added it to our Hit List.
Hops is a 4,500-square-foot spot in Brewerytown that’s nicer looking than your average brewery. It has 16 drafts on tap, as well as cocktails and wine, and a long menu of mostly bar food like bacon tater tots, pizzas, and burgers.
Lunar Inn is part bar and part bottle shop, and also serves a menu of mostly bar food stuff, like pickled deviled eggs and fried chicken with collared greens and cornbread.
The team behind a billion restaurants in Midtown Village (Double Knot, Harp & Crown, Sampan, etc.) just opened another one in the same neighborhood, Alpen Rose. It’s a steakhouse with a pretty classic menu and has steaks that range from a $35 filet to a $110 tomahawk.
We checked out Alpen Rose and added it to our Hit List.
The time has finally come. Pizzeria Beddia 2.0 has opened in a little alley right off Front Street in Kensington, and it has a tiny menu of a few pies, small plates, and soft-serve ice cream. Reservations until June sold out pretty much as soon as they were available, but they save room for walk-ins every night.
We checked out Pizzeria Beddia and added it to our Hit List.
Village Bar & Kitchen is basically just a rebrand of Plenty Cafe (they closed in February to give it a facelift), but there’s a totally new menu with things like truffle-bacon mac & cheese and rigatoni bolognese. They’ll also start serving brunch again soon.
The people behind Blackbird Pizzeria have opened a new vegan pizza place in Rittenhouse called 20th Street Pizza. They’re doing pizzas by the slice, as well as vegan donuts from Dottie’s and cookies from Crust Bakery.
Craft Hall used to be home to the Yards brewery, but the 35,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor space is now Mainstay Independence Brewing Co, a bakery by Lost Bread Co., and a counter-service restaurant called Craft Hall Kitchen that serves bar food like burgers and pizza. There’s also a huge indoor playground in case you feel the need to bring your children to a bar.
Nom Nom Bowl already exists in University City, but now there’s a new location in Center City serving a similar menu of bao buns, sushi and rice bowls, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
The Luna Cafe in Kensington is the second location of the all-day brunch spot, and it does classics like chicken and waffles and build-your-own omelettes until 3pm every day.
Technically this is a reopening, but after being closed for a couple of years, this Mexican spot is back with a different menu and a totally different location in Callowhill. They serve mostly classics, like tacos, quesadillas, and fajitas.
BenTai is a combo Japanese/Thai restaurant near Logan Square that we’ll be ordering Sunday night pad thai from in the very near future.
For fast casual Mediterranean on the border of Queen Village and Society Hill, check out the new Mashwa Grill. They’re open until 10:30pm every night, and the menu is a mix of things like hummus, kebabs, and pita wraps.
Hajimaru is a new ramen spot on Girard that, in addition to ramen, serves everything from pork belly buns to rice bowls.
Musi in Pennsport calls their food “relationship cuisine,” and we’re not really sure what that means, but it looks mostly Mediterranean-influenced, with things like marinated feta and beef neck on the 12-item menu.
Aether is a seafood-focused spot in Fishtown from a group that already has a couple of restaurants out in King of Prussia and Princeton. The interior is small and datey, with mostly two-tops and leather booths, and they’re donating part of their profits from the first month to the non-profit Women Against Abuse.
Makhani is a new Indian spot in Old City that has a whole bread section on their menu, as well as a lot of mango-centric dishes.
The Common is a big, new American restaurant in University City that does a mix of small plates, pastas, and larger things like sea bass and roasted chicken.
Until recently, Neighborhood Ramen was solely a pop-up that you may have chased around West Philly at some point, only to find that it was sold out once you finally pinned the location down. But now it finally has a permanent 20-seat BYOB home in Queen Village, and is serving ramen and a few sides.
We checked out Neighborhood Ramen and added it to our Hit List.
Cry Baby is a wine and pasta bar that opened in the old Ela space in Queen Village, and is starting with just dinner service, but will expand to lunch and brunch sometime later this year. And even though pasta places usually aren’t ideal if you avoid gluten at all costs, all of their dishes (including pastas) can be made gluten-free.
We checked out Cry Baby and added it to our Hit List.
Angelo’s Pizzeria, which was located right over the bridge in Haddonfield until last year, just opened up their new location in the old Sarcone’s Deli space. They’re keeping the same menu that they had in their New Jersey shop for now, but will be (thankfully) adding some Sarcone’s hoagies into the rotation later this year.
Fiore is a new all-day Italian cafe in Queen Village that’s in the old Kanella South location. They’re currently just doing breakfast and lunch, but they’ll be open for dinner service later this month once they get their liquor license later this month.
This is a completely vegetarian and kosher BYOB Chinese spot near the Art Museum, and it’s from the people behind the similarly vegetarian Su Xing House in Center City.
Aurora Grace is primarily a chocolate shop and cafe in Queen Village that makes painted chocolates, macarons, and other sweets. They also serve Rival Bros. coffee and a house hot chocolate.