Philly’s COVID recovery

Philly area restaurants requiring vaccination: a running list

Show your vax card, or dine outside.

Irwin's and Martha were two of the first in Philly

Irwin's and Martha were two of the first in Philly

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With Philadelphia enacting COVID restrictions that offer businesses a choice between having everyone mask on entry or checking vaccination status at the door, several food and drink establishments are adopting the latter.

If you don’t know where your card is, you can get a replacement by contacting the city’s COVID Call Center at 215-685-5488 or by emailing covid@phila.gov.

Which Philly restaurants are requiring vaccination for indoor dining, and what are their policies? We’ll keep a running list here.

Email tips@billypenn.com if you know one we should add.

Martha

2113 E. York St.

Known for its unusual wine and beer lists and cocktails, this Kensington tavern was one of the first in the region to announce vaccination was required for entry. “Out of respect for our fellow neighbors and staff,” the proprietors wrote on Aug. 1. If you’re not vaxxed, you can sit outside on the hidden but spacious back patio.

Irwin’s

800 Mifflin St.

This restaurant at the top of South Philly’s Bok building, which serves chef Michael Ferreri’s elegant Sicilian small plates, also implemented a vaccine requirement Aug. 1 “for the safety of our team and our community.”

Le Virtu

1927 E. Passyunk Ave.

The acclaimed Italian restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Abruzzo is asking patrons to “affirm their vaccination status” when entering the building. Guests who aren’t vaccinated or can’t provide proof are welcome to sit in the patio area, which offers tables beneath a greenery-topped trellis and a lounge area with firepit.

Kalaya

764 S. 9th St.

At Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon’s renowned Bella Vista BYOB, any parties with an unvaccinated guest will be seated outside. Proof of vaccination will not be requested, the restaurant said, but they ask that “everyone please follows the honor system, and respect your fellow diners.” Patrons are also asked to wear masks whenever a server is at your table.

Vetri Cucina

1312 Spruce St.

Marc Vetri’s original Spruce Street restaurant is ensconced in a small rowhome, with an intimate dining room and interactive pasta classes and private events upstairs. Citing the physical layout, the chef announced a policy that requires all guests to either be vaccinated.

Fiorella

817 Christian St.

Vetri’s more casual sister spot, which takes its name from the former Italian Market sausage shop where it now serves housemade pastas, is also requiring indoor diners to be vaxxed as of Sept. 7. Most of the seating is actually out on the sidewalk, where all guests will be welcome.

Zahav

237 St. James Pl.

Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook are implementing a vaccination requirement at their renowned Society Hill flagship for all indoor dining. All guests entering the modern Israeli restaurant, which offers a $72 prix fixe tasting menu of five courses, must show vax proof.

Laser Wolf

1301 N. Howard St., Philadelphia

If you love Zahav but are looking for something meatier and smokier, this CookNSolo Kensington spot is the place to go. Guests who want to dine indoors to enjoy the charcoal-grill kebabs and veggies must show proof of full vaccination. There is a complement of outdoor tables, but they’re not weather-proof.

Abe Fisher

1623 Sansom St.

One of the smallest CookNSolo full-service restaurants, this Center City dining room serving reimagined food of the Jewish diaspora is starting vaccination requirements. All indoor dining guests need to show proof of full vaccination.

Cockatoo

208 S. 13th St.

This Gayborhood cocktail lounge on the busy 13th Street strip offers a “pincho bar” of Latin American-inspired street food to go with its extensive drink list. Proof of vaccination will be required to enter. “Please cooperate with us, as we work with the community to eliminate the surge,” the proprietors said.

Writer’s Block Rehab

1342 Cypress St.

With a bi-level hangout that feels like a library with a bar, this self-proclaimed “social space” from the same owners as Cockatoo is all about stimulating good conversation over drinks. Customers will need proof of full vax before entering the idiosyncratic building, which stands alone in a small alley, just behind Vetri.

Varga Bar

941 Spruce St.

This beer haven with famous wings and a concise menu of easy but well-considered all-day fare is asking anyone who wants indoor table service to dine or drink to show proof of vaccination, with corresponding ID. Many outdoor tables are available for anyone else.

Cafe Ynez, Sor Ynez

2025 Washington Ave.; 1800 N. American St.

The flavors of Mexico City, with its meld of Aztec and Spanish inspirations, are flowing at this Point Breeze outpost from the owners of Jet Wine Bar. Its Kensington sibling, also run by Jill Weber and Evan Malone, has a menu that draws from all over Mexico. At both, indoor dining is by reservation only, and requires proof of vaccination.

Johnny Brenda’s, Standard Tap

1201 Frankford Ave.; 901 N. 2nd St.

Known as much for its second-floor music venue as its beer list and all-day food service, this OG Fishtown bar is requiring indoor diners and drinkers to be vaccinated. There’s also plentiful outdoor seating. It’s older sister in Northern Liberties, considered one of the first “gastropubs” in the nation, is also requiring that all who dine indoors will show proof of vax.

Jose Pistola’s, Sancho Pistola’s, Pistolas Del Sur

263 S. 15th St.; 19 W. Girard Ave.; 1934 E. Passyunk Ave.

The trio of taverns offering margs, extensive beers lists, and highly-rated tacos and nachos is implementing vax requirements for all indoor customers. Joked the restaurant group on Instagram: “Scared of needles? Sucks for you.” In truth, anyone is welcome at the outdoor tables, whether in Center City, Fishtown, or East Passyunk.

Fountain Porter

1601 S. 10th St. 

Just off East Passyunk Avenue, this spot gained fame for its basically perfect, nothing more than you need, $5 hamburgers, but at heart it’s a true neighborhood bar. A sign on the door instructions customers vaccination is required, and to show the card plus ID to the bartender on entry.

National Mechanics

22 S. 3rd St.

One of Old City’s most reliable taverns, with a large beer list and solid menu featuring lots of vegan options, is asking patrons to be vaccinated if they want a table or bar seat inside the spacious former bank.

North Bowl, South Bowl

909 N. 2nd St.; 19 E. Oregon Ave.

With a menu of fun snacks, beers and drinks that go perfectly with the game room vibe and zany retro decor, these sibling bowling alleys in Northern Liberties and deep South Philly are asking for proof of vaccination on entry.

The Lunar Inn

3124 Richmond St.

Customers can wear masks if they’re just stopping at he bottle shop inside this Port Richmond restaurant run by a bunch of industry vets. But if you’re looking for a seated indoor table, bring proof of vax — the card, a photo, or a scan.

Philadelphia Distilling

25 E. Allen St.

There’s a full bar and lounge right next to a windowed wall that lets customers peek into operations at what was Pennsylvania’s first distillery to open since Prohibition when it launched in 2008. Proof of vaccination is now required to enter, with anyone unable to be vaccinated asked to instead show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the visit.

Tavern on the Hill

8636 Germantown Ave.

This Chestnut Hill mainstay serving Philly-style country club fare — think BLTs, hot horseradish beef, crab bisque, and cheesesteaks with housemade potato chips — is requiring all guests to show vax proof before entry.

Tattooed Mom

530 South St.

All patrons who want to sit in the colorful riot that is the upstairs lounge at this South Street icon will need to show proof of vaccination. “If you care about each other, service workers, small businesses, and our most vulnerable friends and neighbors — this is a small ask,” the bar posted on Instagram. Outdoor seating is also available.

Lloyd Whiskey Bar

529 E. Girard Ave.

When this neighborhood bar first opened in 2015, both its location (on the east end of Girard) and specialty (brown liquors) were ahead of their time as focal points for Philly popular culture. Vaccination is now required to check it out indoors. There’s also a patio where you can sit if you don’t have vax proof.

Time Restaurant

1315 Sansom St.

This combination whiskey bar, blues lounge, and upstairs dance club just off the 13th Street strip is now asking for proof of vaccination to enter. “It has been decided that Time is much more enjoyable when you’re able to move freely and mask-less,” the restaurant website says.

Buffalo Billiards

118 Chestnut St.

This two-floor party bar with pool tables, shuffleboard, and lots of TVs showing the games is requiring full vax to enter. We’ve probably had only a small handful of issues concerning asking people for proof,” said manager Jake Collins. “More often than not people thank us for doing it.”

Spin

211 S. 15th St.

Vaxxed table tennis fans looking for likeminded people, rejoice: this ping-pong social club in Rittenhouse reopens Sept. 7 with full vaccination required. “The safety of our staff and guests is first and foremost,” said GM Kristin Small.

Cornerstone

1 West Ave., Wayne

Considered one of the Main Line’s top all-around spots for brunch, happy hour and dinner, with a raw bar and extensive list of cheese and charcuterie, this restaurant owned by married couple Nick and Christine Kondra started its vaccine requirement Aug. 4. “To ensure the safety of our guests, staff and community,” the Kondras wrote on social media, any guest dining inside the restaurant will need to show proof of vaccination. Other patrons still have the option of dining outdoors, where there’s a large tent and a lounge area around a firepit.

Musi

100 Morris St., Philadelphia

Like its famous “Frizwit” cheesesteak, nearly everything at this Pennsport BYOB from chef Ari Miller uses non-industrial ingredients, sourced locally when possible. It’s not open for regular indoor dining yet — but is doing special dinners where all guests must have the vaccine. The restaurant will be “operating as a vaccination dining society,” Miller told Billy Penn. You’ll need to be a member to get access to events, and you’ll need to show proof of vaccination for membership. More info is forthcoming on Musi’s website and Instagram, Miller said.

Want some more? Explore other Philly’s COVID recovery stories.

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