Where To Eat In Chestnut Hill & Roxborough15 great restaurants to check out after a day of gardens and hikes.
Located near Wissahickon Park and Cresheim Creek, Chestnut Hill and Roxborough are known for their historic buildings, parks, and old houses that look like the Keebler Elves’ village. The neighborhoods have plenty of antique charm along with a ton of great shops and restaurants. From several great pubs and bakeries to fine-dining spots, here are 15 great places to check out in settings straight out of The Secret Garden.
Nothing screams “Garden District” more than a restaurant in a Victorian greenhouse that’s attached to a flower shop. But the surrounding florals and natural lighting aren’t the biggest draws at Cake. The Chestnut Hill restaurant has tremendous breakfast and brunch items on their menu—one of our favorites being the garden frittata. It’s light and fluffy, while the creamy, sweet, and nutty smoked gouda adds an extra layer of flavor to each bite. Grab an order plus a few cups of tea, and pretend you’re in a scene from Bridgerton.
In a town where cheesesteaks are acceptable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we know options are never limited. But just because Philly is the place to get them, that doesn’t mean anyone should settle for sandwich mediocrity—and this Roxborough legend does them extremely well. The bread is perfectly soft, and you can load it up with your go-to cheesesteak or buffalo chicken, bleu cheese, and melted American cheese order when you want to switch it up. The spot is cash-only with an ATM inside, but after such a long wait in one line, just make sure to plan ahead to avoid ending up in another.
Not too hard and not too crumbly, not too dry and not too buttery, not too bland and not too sweet—The Biscuit Lady makes the Goldilocks of biscuits. She sells them Thursday-Sunday mornings from a pop-up at Lucky’s Trading Co. in Roxborough, and you can grab them in overstuffed breakfast sandwiches, tossed in cinnamon-sugar and topped with icing, or plain (just add some jam, which she also sells). They usually sell out, so try to order online or line up by 9am for the Neighborhood Jawn, which layers housemade jalapeño pimento cheese, a sausage patty, and egg on an oversized buttermilk biscuit. There are picnic tables inside for chowing down, but the biscuits travel well if you want to bring them home to a hungry group.
Bredenbeck’s has been open in Chestnut Hill since 1889. So they existed before both World Wars, the radio, and the birth of the Philly Phanatic. All of this experience means it’s a go-to for wedding cakes, moist cupcakes, and a creamy scoop of strawberry ice cream. Unlike the bakery (that’s closed on Mondays), the ice cream shop is open seven days a week. And with more than 20 flavor options—ranging from peanut butter swirl to salted caramel pretzel—it’s an easy, laid back place to order one scoop or five and make an ice cream masterpiece.
At Chestnut Hill Grill, you can either dine either indoors in a comfy booth or outside at the spacious sidewalk cafe. But wherever you sit, you should try their New Orleans catfish. The juicy and tender fish is flawlessly blackened and gets an extra peppery kick from the spicy cajun aioli. It’s a casual place to head to after a day of shopping or walking through a neighborhood that looks like the cover of a gardening magazine.
Chubby’s is right next door to Dalessandro’s, so it’s like Biggie and Tupac living across from each other in the 90s. But the winner of this cheesesteak battle is us—since we can head to either, depending on the lines. The rolls at the Roxborough shop are crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside, and filled with quality strips of juicy ribeye, and smothered with any cheese you like (even pepper jack, which is unforgivable). Plus, it can get tavern-esque, since they serve beer, have a few TVs, and stools at the counter where you can dive into your steak while watching the game.
El Poquito makes some of the most delicious Mexican food in Chestnut Hill. And whether you’re dining in the courtyard with a few friends or with a date under the hanging lights in the tent, you can’t go wrong with their grilled shrimp tacos or mole chicken enchiladas. Whatever you choose, go for a margarita, sangria, or pomegranate spritz to round out and extinguish the spice of each bite.
Surrounded by brick houses and apartment complexes in Chestnut Hill (and no visible signage), the first thing you’ll notice about New Era Indian cuisine is how many times you must have walked past without noticing. That’s until the scent of nose-clearing curries, biryanis, and fried samosas invite you in. If you’re into spicy food, start with the chili fish–the sauce might be the bottled version of dragon’s breath from Game of Thrones. But with lots of creamy options like butter chicken and paneer chettinad cooked in coconut milk, you’ll be able to balance the heat level out.
Open since 1921, McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill has long served classic sandwiches, cocktails, and beers in massive, Viking-like mugs to people in the neighborhood. Speaking of classics, nothing’s more iconic than our favorite, “The Schmitter” sandwich. The massive cheesesteak-like combination, with beef, fried onions, and cheese, is topped with grilled salami and a housemade Thousand Island-style special sauce.
In 1959, Dwight Eisenhower was president, Hawaii and Alaska officially became states, and Santucci’s opened in the Italian Market. After all this time, they’ve expanded all over the city and still make extremely good pizza. Head to the Roxborough location for a square pie topped with bright-red tomato sauce and just the right amount of mozzarella cheese (read: a lot). Plus, they have a wine list, homemade desserts, and plenty of large tables for groups.
White Yak is a popular Tibetan spot in Roxborough that specializes in pingsha and momos (chicken, beef, vegetable, and potato). But their tingmo steamed buns are our favorite thing to get here. They’re as fluffy as clouds and are great for soaking up sauces (try the momo sauce if you like your food spicy). It’s not often you visit a place just for the bread, but you should make an exception for this airy, perfectly layered, and spongy bit of heaven.
Tokyo Sushi is located inside The Market at the Fareway in Chestnut Hill. They offer counter service takeout and there’s a few tables on the side where you can eat your rolls and soak up the sun. Along with exceptional service, they have thick spring rolls made with fresh vegetables, dumplings, and some of the best sushi around (we love their tuna and salmon nigiri). And while there may be a wait when you show up, the affordability of each large roll ($10-$12) is a nice consolation prize.
CinCin is a solid option if you’re in the mood for pad thai, spring rolls, and sizzling roasted duck any day of the week that ends in a “y”. The Chestnut Hill Asian fusion restaurant is perfect for big groups— the dining room is nicely sized and their tables are large enough to fit most of the menu. Some staples, like the crab shumai and noodle dishes, are pretty good, while others, like soft shell crab drenched in hoisin sauce, are just so-so. Hit it up early in the evening to avoid the crowd, have a glass of sake, and prepare to leave with leftovers (the portions are massive).
A popular place to head to after walking through Wissahickon Park, Chestnut Hill Brewing Company is the spot for wood-fired pizza in the area. Whether you’re sitting next to the fire pits on the large patio or under the rustic hanging lights inside, you can’t go wrong with their “Presto Bianca.” With creamy parmesan, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, and pine nut pesto melting into each bite, the pie has a perfect combination of nutty and tangy flavors.
Poppy’s Coffee is the preferred caffeine pick-me-up spot for locals, tourists, and overrun parents in Chestnut Hill. It’s casual but not minimalist—there are charming white tables and a patio with hanging lights that spill onto the sidewalk. They have locally-roasted drip coffees, espressos, lattes, and La Colombe nitro brew on tap, but we suggest adding a slice of pound cake or croissant to your order to start your day.