Philadelphia's Best New Restaurants Of 2022 guide image

PHLGuide

Philadelphia's Best New Restaurants Of 2022

Lots of new restaurants opened in Philadelphia this year, but these are our 8 favorites.

2022 saw an unprecedented demand for dining in Philly. There were countless restaurant openings and reinventions. Reservations were hard to come by, tourists inundated our top spots, and we had to shove an 8th grader on a class trip to make sure we got the last bialy.

But we forged ahead, ate dinners at midnight, and found the new restaurants that totally floored us. Our search took us to every corner of the city, from food trucks and pop-ups to the top of the Comcast Tower. The list ranges from a candlelit Mediterranean spot to punk-rock Mexican and a world-class dinner party. These are the best new restaurants of 2022.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

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1740 Sansom St, Philadelphia
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What can we say about Her Place that hasn’t already been said? The chef was known for throwing dinner parties in her NYC apartment that were so epic that strangers would show up, and then the shindig moved to Philly. The result is an incomparably charming 24-seat restaurant whose rotating tasting menu is inspired by French, Italian, and Jewish cuisines. Once you’re seated in the casual Rittenhouse space, filled with cookbooks and plants, expect dishes like a tender and buttery lobster pain perdu, or crispy sour cream and onion sweetbreads with caviar. The food is world-class, but the entire experience is unforgettable. It feels like the best dinner party of all time, one you’ll want to go to for every special occasion.


You know how after you see an incredible movie, you have to let everyone in your contacts know about it? It’s because truly great things are rare and exciting. And no place has us more excited for a date night than Lark. From the balcony overlooking the Schuylkill to the fireplaces, candlelight, and glowing mirrors, the Mediterranean restaurant from the team behind Laurel feels like the most romantic place on earth. The plates of roasted beet mezzalune with brown butter, citrusy grilled trout with a harissa-pine nut sauce, and perfectly seared steak make us feel especially warm and fuzzy inside. Before you’re seated, sip on a gorgeous cocktail by the patio fire pits, and get ready for a meal you won’t be able to keep to yourself. 


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It’s one thing to open an upscale restaurant, and quite another to put it steps away from existing heavy-hitters like Hiroki and Suraya in Fishtown. But when you’re serving up unparalleled cuts of fish, plating sashimi with gold Louis Vuitton chopsticks, and offering extraordinary sakes, it doesn’t take long to convince the entire city–including us–that this is the new neighborhood showstopper. The Omakase only offers a 25-course, $195 tasting menu, and it all happens in a private space tucked away in the back of Izakaya by Yanaga. You can expect a procession of decadent bites like scallops coated with preserved lemon, a toro tartare served on crunchy milk bread, and crispy yellowtail topped with a miso caramel glaze. The next time you’re celebrating something, head to this fancy eight-seater.


Fishtown’s Tulip has been booked since before it even opened, which isn’t surprising considering the team–it’s a collaboration between PA’s own Wayvine Vineyards and the chefs behind Attico and Messina Social Club. The scramble to get a reservation is worth it, because it’s outstanding. You’ll find dishes like deliciously olive-oiled focaccia with creamy house-made stracciatella, crisp, dense, and doughy mushroom arancini, and the sweet and savory Chesapeake Bay crab ravioli with honeynut squash and crab butter, which is pretty much candy for adults. It’s casual enough for a weeknight bowl of pasta, upscale enough for a special occasion, and hip enough to impress even your most annoying friends from Brooklyn.


Between the fantastic food, friendly service, and Hot Topic-inspired space, it’s impossible not to leave Juana Tamale happier than when you arrived. The East Passyunk taqueria's tight menu mostly involves birria (both tacos and ramen, beef-based or vegan), but the tamales are also a draw, hence the name of the shop. They serve the best birria tacos in Philly–the crisp-fried yet pliable house-made tortillas are stuffed with fall-apart-tender beef and melty Oaxaca cheese for an unforgettably juicy, satisfying bite. The neon-pink and purple BYO is usually blasting 2000’s pop music, so it’s an ideal place to bring Britney fans or anyone who wants to make a birria-dipping session the start—or highlight—of the weekend. 


Passyunk Avenue is one of the city’s busiest dining hubs. It’s home to some of our best restaurants, a bunch of casual BYO’s, and both major cheesesteak tourist traps. But with incredible small plates like the white beans in a peppery broth, and entrees like the pomegranate-glazed grilled chicken–one of our favorite dishes in Philly–this Mediterranean bistro is an obvious standout. The cozy dining space is full of white tablecloths, floor-to-ceiling windows, and warm lighting—perfect for an intimate catch-up with friends or an early-in-the-game date where the buzzy and exciting atmosphere fills in every awkward pause. Come for a night of juicy swordfish skewers, smoky Armenian string cheese, and other unforgettable dishes that deserve their own city historical marker.


You know when you’re driving for a while, blink, and realize you’ve been spaced out for the last 10 minutes of your ride? That’s how you’ll feel at Pera, except instead of a dangerous traffic situation, you’ll be in a baklava-scented daydream about a vacation on the Black Sea. You’ll snap out of it when your dishes arrive–most only have a few elements but create a parade of flavor. Start with the smoky baba ganoush and silky hummus before heading for heartier dishes, like the slow-cooked lamb shank. The casual BYO in Northern Liberties will likely have a wait, but you won’t mind when you’re at one of the wooden tables, admiring rustic clay sculptures and colorful murals of Turkish sunsets between bites of charred eggplant and chewy manti dumplings.


El Mezcal Cantina immediately topping the best Mexican list is like playing any new Adele song on repeat: undeniable and completely necessary. Surrounded by other Point Breeze favorites like Sor Ynez and Los Camaradas, what sets this lively spot apart is the aguachile bar, an impressive selection of rare tequilas and mezcals, and the handmade, wood-fired brick oven–used for making everything from the pliable house-made tortillas and Mexican pizzas to the smoky, tender Pueblan mains. When we want a group dinner headlined by cheesy al pastor pizzas and incredible tacos, this is the only place to be. 

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