Scratch Biscuits are waiting in Midtown Village

It’s only been a few months since school let out and summer kicked in, but — this being Philadelphia in 2015 — there’ve been a ton of restaurant openings since then. From Korean fried chicken in Fishtown to meat pies on East Passyunk, here’s where you need to make plans to eat if you want to catch up with the Philly food scene.

Fishtown/Northern Liberties

Andy’s Chicken
Korean-American Andy Choi is getting serious with the most successful snack food export from his ancestors’ home country with a counter-service takeout spot a few blocks off Frankford Avenue, where you can choose from several sauces to coat your crispy bird.
2001 Memphis St., 215-291-0700

Crispy spring rolls at Same Same
Crispy spring rolls at Same Same Credit: Facebook

Same Same
A chef who gave up high-end American restaurants to go cook in Vietnam has brought back everything he learned and is giving Philadelphia a taste of real South Vietnamese street food at this ultra-inexpensive BYOB.
614 N. 2nd St., 215-625-4575

North Broad

The stretch of Broad between Temple and City Hall looks finally poised to explode with new development, and the brothers behind this super-chill tavern in the shadow of the Divine Lorraine are ready to provide a relaxing backyard to it all.
1502 Brown St.

University City/West Philly

Nachos at Distrito
Nachos at Distrito

Distrito Taqueria
It’s not entirely new, but after 7 years, Jose Garces has changed things up at his colorful taqueria, where fancy tapas has been banished to upstairs and the first floor menu is now built around $3.50 tacos, $9.50 burritos and $9.50 quesadillas (never fear, the 250 tequilas haven’t gone anywhere).
3945 Chestnut St., 215-222-1657

Midtown Village/Gayborhood/Wash West

Giorgio Pizza
Tip your hat (but don’t strain yourself) and say farewell to longstanding Paolo’s Pizza; the owners of Giorgio BYOB down the block have taken over the spot, which is generally good news for those who like their cheap pies to come from clean, well-run kitchens.
1334 Pine St., 215-545-2571

BBQ brisket, horseradish mayo, pickled red onions and smoked cheddar on a Scratch Biscuit
BBQ brisket, horseradish mayo, pickled red onions and smoked cheddar on a Scratch Biscuit

Scratch Biscuits
The way to #PutSomeSouthInYoMouth has never been so easy since Mitch and Jen Prensky (of South Street’s Supper) launched this counter-service spot offering hot flaky biscuits filled with all kinds of sweet and savory delights (don’t miss the one with 1732 Meats bacon — or the late-night “Five Buck Cluck” sold out the back door across from McGillin’s).
1306 Chestnut St., 267-930-3727

Fink’s Hoagies
The hoagie czar behind this Northeast favorite has taken over a Jeweler’s Row storefront and is shocking Center City with how good a cheap sandwich can be.
132 S. Eighth St., 267-758-6415

Chinatown/Loft District

Brick and Mortar
Across from what will someday (soon?) be an entrance to the Reading Viaduct Park is this new graffiti-covered pub with a varied dinner and brunch menu, lots of cocktails and a solid happy hour (just pretend you don’t notice when they call themselves “BAM!”).
315 N. 12th St., 215-923-1596

Special crepe holders at T-Swirl
Special crepe holders at T-Swirl Credit: Danya Henninger

T-Swirl Crepe
Crepes with fruit or crepes with eggs or crepes with chocolate or crepes with short ribs — no matter which of nearly 30 fillings you choose, your freshly-made thin rice pancake will be (over) stuffed and then beautifully rolled before being handed to you in a custom cone for easy eating.
150 N. 10th St., 215-238-0111

East Passyunk

There aren’t enough places — any places? — to get real-deal English meat pies in Philly, so native Londoner Sam Jacobson set out to remedy that with a brand new counter selling pie, mash, puddings and that apparent British classic, jellied eels (definitely optional).
1838 E. Passyunk Ave.

Pancita and barbacoa tacos at South Philly Barbacoa
Pancita and barbacoa tacos at South Philly Barbacoa Credit: Danya Henninger

South Philly Barbacoa
The duo behind Philadelphia’s best lamb taco cart jumped into a brick and mortar home (it was previously Vegan Commissary) where every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning they peddle the same great barbacoa and pancita wrapped in tortillas with sides of consommé and agua fresca.
1703 S. 11th St., 215-694-3797

PHS Pop-Up Garden Wharton
Just a block or two away from the cheesesteak nexus is a formerly vacant lot that’s currently a gravel-lined beer garden with a bar run by the crew from Triangle Tavern.
Ninth & Wharton streets

Classic chicken parm at Triangle Tavern
Classic chicken parm at Triangle Tavern

Triangle Tavern
The wedge where 10th meets Reed meets Passyunk is lively once again, because the team behind the Khyber, Cantina and Royal Tavern have reopened this classic dive and added killer comfort food — mussels, chicken parm — in a menu that has lots of vegan options, and also adult water ice.
1338 S. 10th St., 215-800-1992

South Street/Queen Village/Bella Vista

Nora’s Taqueria and Grill
The Mexican-Peruvian couple behind a popular UPenn taco cart expanded with a South Street storefront offering the cuisine of both of their native countries — expect great flavors and low prices.
248 South St., 267-758-2413

Country meets city in the dining room decor at Whetstone
Country meets city in the dining room decor at Whetstone Credit: Facebook

Whetstone Tavern
If something can be creative and throwback at the same time, the team behind Brauhaus Schmitz has done it with this corner spot, which sat empty for way too long before finally coming back to life as a relaxed American dining room with a lively bar.
700 S. Fifth St., 267-909-8814

Circles Thai
That whole Mexi-Thai fusion thing didn’t go over that well, so chef Alex Boonphaya converted the former Tuk Tuk Real into a third outpost of his always-popular classic Thai BYOB.
429 South St., 267-639-2396

More than 500 beers line the walls of this new Fabric Row bottleshop that also offers eight changing brews on draft to enjoy while hanging out or in growlers to go.
714 S. Fourth St., 267-930-7859

South Street West/Graduate Hospital/Fitler Square

Ti Penso
In the former Roberto Cafe near the South Street Bridge is now this BYOB; despite the name, the food is a variety of American dishes like mussels, salads, scallops and chicken.
2108 South St., 215-735-4200

Korean fried wings at SouthGate
Korean fried wings at SouthGate Credit: Facebook

The corner where jazz-themed nightclub Tangier stood for 18 years is now this Korean pub with an alum of Momofuku Ko helping guide the kitchen and an appropriately sleek bar.
1801 Lombard St., 215-560-8443

PHS Pop-Up Garden South Street
For at least several weeks longer, this tree- and flower-filled pop-up oasis next to Jamaican Jerk Hut will still serve beer and cocktails at a bar run by Erin Wallace of Devil’s Den and Barren Hill Tavern.
1438 South St.

Rittenhouse/Financial District

Dry pot fish at DanDan
Dry pot fish at DanDan Credit: Danya Henninger

Signature dandan noodles are far from the only thing you’ll want to try at this tiny but elegant Sichuan restaurant that offers food that’s just spicy enough, killer lunch specials and a full bar.
126 S. 16th St., 215-800-1165

Bar Bombon
Nicole Marquis (of HipCityVeg and Charlie was a sinner fame) has gone Latin for her newest venture, which is soft-open in the former Crumbs bakery corner — like her other shops, everything from drinks to tacos is vegan, but you might not even guess.
133 S. 18th St., 267-606-6612

Dos Tacos
Squeeze up to the counter at this diminutive taqueria where the tacos are not at all “authentic” but are completely great anyway — if you’re going for the chicken tinga, definitely get the optional foie gras.
120 S. 15th St., 215-567-8226

Pizzeria Vetri
Lobster pizza at Pizzeria Vetri

Pizzeria Vetri
Marc Vetri and crew turned a back-alley doorway into a second outpost of their popular Neapolitan-style pizzeria, where the pies are hot, fresh and seem to disappear way too quickly (but always with room for a fior di latte soft serve or bottled cocktail).
1615 Chancellor St., 215-763-3760

Uptown Beer Garden
The folks behind Bru Craft & Wurst and U-Bahn have transformed a corporate courtyard into one of the year’s best pop-up beer gardens, complete with happy hours and tons of brew on tap.
1735 Market St.

S’mores is just one of many flavors of dessert at Cheesecake Factory
S’mores is just one of many flavors of dessert at Cheesecake Factory Credit: Danya Henninger

Cheesecake Factory
Yes, Center City is now a place where you can order your chicken 80 different ways and choose from three dozen kinds of cheesecake, and if you can get past the gaudy decor, it’s not half bad.
1430 Walnut St., 267-457-2203


Fourth and Cross
Breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner are all easy, affordable and delicious at this new more-than-diner across from Dickinson Square Park.
1527 S. Fourth St., 215-303-9463

Cool living wall flowerboxes outside 1st Ward Sandwiches
Cool living wall flowerboxes outside 1st Ward Sandwiches Credit: Facebook

1st Ward Sandwiches
Creative between-bread combos at this corner take-out shop include merguez sausage with hummus and chicken meatballs florentine, plus there are lots of sides and salads to go along.
100 Morris St., 215-551-8000


SawTown Tavern
When the people who run Grey Lodge Pub and Hop Angel Brauhaus take over a bar, you know the end result will be full of great beer. That’s exactly what happened at this Tacony joint, where there’s also now wood-fired pizza.
1717 Princeton St., 215-332-1699

Real deal BBQ brisket at Smokey Pint
Real deal BBQ brisket at Smokey Pint Credit: Facebook

Smokey Pint
Formerly only available from a food truck, Oink & Moo BBQ is now yours whenever you want, along with lots of good beer on tap and in bottles, at this new ‘cue shack out in Bridesburg.
2549 Orthodox St., 267-343-4266

South Philly

Mercer Cafe
If you need more than two words — Tacconelli’s Pizza — to get you to the Navy Yard location of this new outpost run by the same family that owns that Northeast classic, it also serves brunch specials, sandwiches, salads and more in an airy, relaxed dining room (open weekdays only).
4920 S. 15ht St., 267-457-5585

The controversial garden is currently open
The controversial garden is currently open Credit: Danya Henninger

Point Breeze Pop-Up
Yes, this controversial beer garden from the man behind South Philadelphia Tap Room has managed to stay open for several weeks running now, so catch it before the weather goes south (or L&I decides to get pissy again).
1622 Point Breeze Ave.


Crime and Punishment Brewing Co.
Putting the beer back in Brewerytown is this vaguely Dostoyevsky-themed brewery and tasting room, where you can try one of eight really great, unique beers on tap and nosh on pierogies and borscht (open Thursday through Sunday).
2711 W. Girard Ave., 215-235-2739

Chill vibe and great beers at Crime   Punishment Brewery
Chill vibe and great beers at Crime Punishment Brewery Credit: Danya Henninger

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...