If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Philly, your head might spin. 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.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL PERSICO
There are a few fast-casual taquerias in Philadelphia, but there’s only one with a $3 Happy Hour full of al pastor tacos, chips and salsa, and sangria—and that's Buena Onda. Outside of the daily deals from 5-7pm, you can expect a menu loaded with tacos, burritos, and buena bowls that you can mix your choice of proteins with bean rice, salsa, and crema, and nachos. The Rittenhouse spot has plenty of natural light, lots of seating, and some outdoor tables that will come in handy on a summery day when your group craves adobe chicken burritos.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: MILK JAWN
Located on East Passyunk Avenue, Milk Jawn is Philly’s newest scoop shop. The former pop-up now has its own brick-and-mortar location where they serve up flavors like tahini-fudge swirl, pistachio, malted milk toffee crunch, and lemon curd with blueberry basil swirl. They also have non-dairy options like mango sticky rice and other vegan choices made from pea protein. This makes this somewhere to consider stopping by for a sweet scoop, cone, or pint with your friends after a night out at Mish Mish, Fountain Porter, Ember and Ash, or any of the other spots nearby.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: SOCIETY HILL FILMS
Restaurant Aleksander serves a mostly Eastern European menu full of things like pierogi and lamb shank over polenta with pickled root vegetables. This place is in the old V Street location, and they have an all-day menu doing brunch, lunch, and dinner. You can also sip any of the five local draft beers, or go for a gin and tonic made with housemade rosehip syrup.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: SABRINA'S CAFE
Sabrina's Cafe - South Street
Sabrina’s Cafe already has a few locations, but like the Star Wars sequels or buy-one-get-one coupons, we’ll take another one. The newest spot is on South Street, and you can eat a completely Stranger Things-themed breakfast with dishes like Vecna’s Blueberry Lemon Hotcakes (which look way more appealing than his face). They have freshly squeezed juices to go with it all but, if you’re down for a cocktail, they’ve got you covered with mimosas, peach bellinis, and french toast martinis.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: NEAL SANTOS
Samuel’s is upstairs from Giuseppe and Sons, serving bagels and pastries like sticky buns, coconut macaroon, chocolate babka, and Jewish apple cake. They’re open pretty much all day, so you can also get larger things like egg sandwiches, challah french toast, deli sandwiches, sides like latkes and pierogi, and mains like chopped steak topped with gravy.
Blondie is Manayunk’s newest bistro with a great view of the Schuykill River. You’ll find small plates like honey garlic chicken skewers and shareable mains like their seafood tower stacked with lobster tail, oysters, jumbo shrimp, and crab. It seems like a great place to enjoy a margarita right by the river on the next sunny day.
Nonna & Pop’s
The newest concept from Termini Brothers is a pastry shop, cafe, and ice cream parlor all in one. The Dickinson Narrows spot has a Sicilian menu with things like sfogliatelle, limoncello pastries, biscotti, scumetti cookies, and cakes. When it comes to other sugary options, they make Bassetts Ice Cream sundaes topped with chewy chocolate brownies, butter honey caramel, chocolate fudge truffle, or drowned in jimmies. Even better, you can order the pastries by the tray for your next holiday or birthday.
photo credit: NITZAN RUBIN
Paulie Gee’s Soul City Slice
Paulie Gee’s is a popular pizza spot based out of Brooklyn that just took over the old Amis location in Washington Square West. The slices range from an upside down Sicilian topped with Mike’s Hot Honey, pepperoni, and a sesame seed bottom to a vegan slice covered in plant-based mozzarella and parmesan. When your entire group is down to hang out and have some pizza, they do sell whole pies that you can eat inside at a booth near an old tube TV.
Yakitori + Bar
Main Street was missing a place like Yakitori + Bar: a fun Japanese and karaoke spot where you can belt out some Whitney Houston ballads and snack on rolls, ramen, and skewers. The owners of New Leaf opened this new Japanese spot directly across the street, and it's a place where you can sip on bottles of sake between song selections.
Izakaya By Yanaga
Perhaps they were waiting for the new Beyoncé to drop, or they just knew everybody craves sushi during the summer, but the omakase room at Izakaya by Yanaga is finally open. There are 12 seats in the back that you can reserve from Thursday-Saturday, and the $195, 25-course meal includes 12 nigiri and a bunch of other small bites.
Queen Village has a new plant-based spot taking over the old Fitz and Starts location. The vegan tapas and cocktail bar has a menu full of things like pan-roasted eggplant served over sweet Thai rice, lentil meatballs, jackfruit sliders, and pastas tossed in a creamy beet sauce. You can pair any of it with IPAs, lagers, a glass of wine, or cocktails made with all kinds of fresh-squeezed juices.
Head to Old City to have a meal at this spot serving up Southern and Nigerian dishes. The 70-seat dinner and brunch spot is named after a 16th-century warrior queen and has a menu full of peri peri sticky wings, smoked lima beans hummus, candied yam puree, and braised oxtails. And when you stop by on Saturdays and Sundays, you can bite into plates of maple fudge french toast, a Southern benedict covered in slices of grilled chicken apple sausage, and a few other things while staring at African art in the dining room.
East Passyunk Crossing has a new bar from the teams behind The Goat and 1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge. The 15-seat bar will definitely be a place where you will make friends with anyone next to you since the seating is so tight. The menu is full of things that you’d find at 1225 Raw like Korean fried chicken wings, pork soup dumplings, skewers, and noodle dishes. They’ve got eight beers on tap, and you’ll probably hear a lot of the best background noise a South Philly neighborhood pub can offer: Phillies slander.
Joseph’s Pizza Parlor
The Gaul & Co. Malt House team has taken over the space where Joseph’s Pizza used to be. You’ll find many of the old fixtures inside like the stained glass ceilings, long wooden booths, and large family-style tables, which could be great for bringing a group of friends here and diving into a few pizzas. They have specialty pies like the Vampire Slayer which has fresh slices of garlic and pesto as well as a cheesesteak pie that’s zig-zagged with whiz. They also have other pizzeria staples like steaks, strombolis, fried mozzarella, and a cannoli dip for dessert.
After roaming around the city in a food truck, La Chingona finally has a brick-and-mortar space in Fishtown. From the al pastor, carnitas, and birria tacos to $10 tortas, the menu is full of things that make them a noteworthy new Mexican spot to check out. It looks like a good place to grab some chips and guacamole and suadero tacos for a quick lunch before heading to the office.
If you’ve spent years obsessing over Hocus Pocus and Harry Potter movies, Washington Square West’s The Cauldron Magical Pub has a space where you can act out your wizard fantasies while sipping on a cocktail or two. They offer two types of experiences: a walk-in bar where you can order off a set cocktail menu (which usually has drinks involving smoke, bubbles, and changing colors) or you can buy a ticket for $39.99 a person. The almost two-hour-long potion-making class gets you a wand, a spellcasting 101 crash course, and a list of ingredients where you and your friends can take turns trying to make something drinkable. Either way, you can also eat things like Elven bread, fish and chips with vapor rising from it, and cauliflower cheese that’s lit on fire.
The Cumin Bowl
The Cumin Bowl has opened its first Philly location. It’s a fast-casual spot in North Philly where you can order a traditional Indian curry bowl or you can create your own for $10 by picking your protein, curry, and base. The options can range from chicken tikki masala, pav bhaji, poha, and palak paneer. They also have vegetarian and vegan-friendly bowls like vegan korma, dal makhani, and veggie kadhi that comes covered in a Punjabi yogurt sauce. You can eat inside or take your bowl and mango lassi to Hunting Park on the corner.
Heavy Metal Sausage Co.
When ITV closed in 2020, the chef had a lot of time on his hands. In the spring of that year, he used the empty ITV kitchen to start making sausages. The successful pop-up has now turned into South Philadelphia's Heavy Metal Sausage. Opened with his partner who worked at Messina Social Club and Laurel, the deli and sit-down spot sells things besides cold cuts and sausages. They have products like salads, pastas, light polenta bars, and sandwiches like beutelwurst and cheddar that comes on a house-made ciabatta. They have a handful of seats inside and out where you can people watch as you bite into a plate of sausage lasagna.
A former pastry chef who worked at Buddakan and Parc opened up a new Mexican BYOB specializing cemitas (including birria, cochinita, al pastor) from the Puebla region. They also have tacos, tostadas, smoked seafood aguachile, and a plant-based menu featuring Michoacán-style sopa tarasca and cauliflower tacos marinated in recado negro. The East Passyunk spot has grab-and-go options, but if you want to spend a casual night surrounded by the smells of enchiladas and toasty sandwiches, you can eat inside or outside on a sunny day.
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
Formerly The Franklin Bar, this upscale speakeasy now has a new name: Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. The 90-seat bar near Rittenhouse Square has drinks that will run you around $16-$23, or you can get a massive $55 brandy, gin, and red wine-based cocktail that serves four if you’re coming with a few friends. They have deep leather booths, a long u-shaped bar, and intimate small tables for two, which seem like they would be ideal for an after-dinner drink on date night.
With around 1,400 outdoor seats, this Penn’s Landing spot is Philadelphia’s largest restaurant that shares the second floor with the Independence Seaport Museum. The three-level spot has no bad view of the Delaware River waterfront and a menu that has sandwiches like roast pork and a brisket version of a Philly cheesesteak, seafood, salads, and small bites like spicy Korean bbq cauliflower. Come here to pass time after a long day with a bowl of mussels, or stay out all night drinking an IPA until it’s tomorrow.
This Washington Square West spot’s menu is a mash-up of French-inspired dishes and Southern comfort food. That means it’s a place where you can grab a fried chicken and waffle eggs benedict for brunch on the weekends and have things like ratatouille and duck rillette when you come for a casual weeknight meal. It’s a BYOB, so you can also bring your favorite bottle of red here with some friends while biting into a cheesy burger, cod frites, or shrimp and grits.
photo credit: GAB BONGHI
It may have felt like the wait for this brick-and-mortar spot to open was longer than the drought between Rihanna albums. But one of the best bagel pop-ups in the city over the past two years has finally found a home in Fishtown. Head to Kismet Bagels to grab some fresh bagels, pastries, bialys, salads, and sandwiches. Open 7am-2pm from Wednesday through Friday, you can start your morning with a fresh cup of Moonraker Coffee Roasters, bite into a sea salt rosemary bagel covered in golden milk spread, and walk out with a sourdough roll as a souvenir.
In August 2021, this Brooklyn-based ice cream brand and frozen treat spot opened their first Philly locations in Midtown Village. Now, they started selling housemade dairy and vegan ice cream in Rittenhouse. Here you can get cups of black cherry chocolate chip, brown sugar cookie dough chunk, and pumpkin cheesecake until 11pm from Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on the weekends.
Pera Turkish Cuisine
A new BYOB has opened in Northern Liberties serving up Turkish dishes like spinach tarator, falafels wrapped in grape leaves, lamb shish, baklava, and more. You can also add it to your list of places that serve lunch and are open on Mondays. So technically you could begin your day here at 11am, when they open, with a gyro and come back later for a plate of garlic chicken and a warm bowl of milk pudding to end your night.
This 150-seat spot in Rittenhouse Square has a bar where you can grab a few drinks on the first floor, and then head upstairs for some wood-fired pizzas, crudo, oysters, handmade pastas, and mains like dry-aged strip steak drenched in au poivre. On the third floor, they have a run of locations for private events—an open kitchen, bar, and 25-seat communal table when you want an intimate celebration spot for your birthday.
This new spot in Midtown Village has pizzas topped with things like garlic crema, sausage, and mozz, along with pastas, small plates like zucchini fritto, and a few larger plates like golden bass. The casual neighborhood spot has streetside cafe table seating for people-watching and showing off your new sunglasses. You can head to their long bar to sip on a few drinks after work and stay late since they’re open until 11pm.
Homemade by Bruno is a spot in Point Breeze serving up things like Italian rainbow cookie gelato and vegan lemon basil sorbetto, but they also have a counter space that holds up to eight people where you can take some pasta-making classes. You may have tasted their gelato before since the frozen treats are sold at Kalaya Thai Kitchen. But now you can just casually drop in for some cups, pints, and push pops without having to order bowls of massaman curry to get to them.
This coffee and pie shop already has a location in Port Richmond, and now it's landed in Old City. Specializing in sweet and savory hand pies like pork roll and cheese, glazed cherry, mushroom and swiss, and apple, you can walk out with a flaky pocket for dinner and one for dessert for $4-$5 apiece. They also serve La Colombe coffee, teas, bagels, and a few other grab-and-go things.
Sooo Delicious Soul Food Cafe
For almost a year, this Southwest food truck was the place to go for chicken wings, fried fish, mac and cheese, honey butter cornbread, and other soul food go-to’s. Now you can grab a platter at their Midtown Village location at 11th and Locust St. At the fast-casual place, you can order those same items like fried catfish, collard greens, and banana pudding for takeout, or you can dive right into a plate at the handful of seats in their dining room.
Fuel Healthy Kitchen
FUEL has expanded into the Northeast after opening a few shops in Center City, South Philly, and University City. The menu here includes salads, rice bowls, smoothies and juices, and a few sandwiches like their spicy Thai or black bean burger. It’s a great place to go when you want a light wrap to eat or before heading to take on the Broad Street Run.
Head to University City to eat at DIG’s new bi-level and 2,700 square feet location. With a menu featuring locally-sourced and seasonal options, this fast-casual spot is a place where you can build your own bowl of spiced farro, brussels sprouts, peppercorn steak, and some other things. Or you can let them do the thinking and order a chef’s special bowl like their spicy lime leaf salmon which has forkfuls of fish, avocado, broccoli, cabbage slaw, and brown rice.
photo credit: MOCHI RING DONUT
Mochi Ring Donut
In Philly we can never have too many donut shops—that would be like the Cookie Monster saying he’s over new places to get an oatmeal raisin. This Rittenhouse spot is the latest addition to the city and its first mochi donut spot. They sell things like churro, blueberry, matcha, and strawberry donuts, bubble teas, and Korean rice dogs stuffed with mozzarella. While all of those menu items make us want to stop by, we’ll be heading there soon to try some of the warm doughy mounds covered in frosting.
Patchwork is a restaurant and bar located on the second floor of the Hyatt Centric Center City in Rittenhouse Square. When you come to sit down in their 50-seat dining room or outdoor patio that looks over Walnut St. for a Happy Hour or dinner, you can sip on cocktails, eat some Cape May oysters, and think about the important things in life like if a hotdog is a sandwich. Outside of a menu that includes burgers, sirloin steak frites, and breakfast options like a ham, egg, and cheese on a pretzel bun, they also have a 24-hour grab-and-go market for sandwiches, salads, coffees, and anything else you’d need to make it through back-to-back meetings on a Monday.
Sometimes remixes work out for the better, like when Megan Thee Stallion added Beyoncė to “Savage.” The same can be said about the new Korean iteration of Pod in University City. They have reopened their doors and added a few fun things like a pink flipping sign displaying specials and a raw bar full of things like fatty tuna that you can dip into soy sauce while reminiscing about your undergrad years. It’s a fun place for some handrolls, cups of soju with a few friends, and some spicy rice cakes—all reasons as to why it made our Hit List.
This Pennsport BYOB reopened with a $65 four-course tasting menu with things like celery heart tartare, silk chili bowtie pasta, and sunflower oil cake with a sugary beet drizzle. You can also add up to three extra courses like marinated tofu in chickpea mujadarah to both the main and vegetarian tasting when you come with a big appetite.
Other Half Brewing Co.
Much like the Michael Keaton to Christian Bale Batman transition, sometimes the next iteration of something can be an upgrade. Other Half Brewing Co., which is now where Goose Island Brewery used to be in Fishtown. The Brooklyn-based spot offers to-go beers that you can order online, and they have a massive yard where you can snack on curry cauliflower, wings, pizzas, and a few other things that go with your IPA.
The group behind Bud & Marilyn's, Barbuzzo, and Lolita opened this new Italian spot in Midtown Village selling thick-cut square pizzas, pastas like bucatini bolognese, small plates like steak carpaccio, and some other things that we’d love to eat while sipping on a Negroni. You can also make every pizza gluten-free for $2 more than a regular pizza, and the place has a long list of Italian wines.
Frame is a new spot mixing our love for martinis and steak with our need to avoid going home before 11pm on a celebratory night. The late-night Old City restaurant is a place where you can get small plates like steak tartare, roasted half-chickens, a few cocktails, and a white chocolate mousse all up until they close at 2am.
Former Will BYOB chefs have opened 1911 BYOB in East Passyunk Crossing. When stopping by to first-come, first-serve spot, expect plates like pork rillette, braised mackerel, and beet steak on a layer of roasted vegetables and quinoa. And when you get to the bottom of your favorite bottle of merlot, they also have apple sorbet and Earl Gray panna cotta to end the night.
Across from the Betsy Ross House, you’ll find this new Mediterranean restaurant with a seafood-heavy menu. Here you can start your meal with octopus mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, chorizo, and romesco and work towards heavier options like pastas, braised rabbit, and pork chops smothered in a mustard grain sauce.
The former food editor of Philadelphia Magazine has opened this Mediterranean spot in South Philly that has things like fried Armenian string cheese, braised fennel with capers and clams, and pomegranate-lacquered chicken on the menu. It’s a BYOB so, before you can get to a steaming bowl of mussels, consider stopping by a wine store to grab the right thing to pair with them.
Cantina La Martina
Right across from Somerset station, a former El Rey chef has opened his first solo spot. This Mexican restaurant serves chicken chilaquiles for brunch, tinga tostadas for lunch, and braised pork shank and masa dumplings dinner. And since they’re open every day at 11am, you can get in a couple rounds of tacos and margaritas before noon to celebrate your next weekday off.
This Brazilian bakery pop-up finally got a brick-and-mortar location on Passyunk Avenue. The shop is probably filled with the sweet smell of guava, vanilla birthday cake, and double chocolate stuffed bolo de rolo. Their cake rolls are thin, can be brought in one log for $36, or in individual slices $6. They also have other treats like vanilla sonhos, pineapple trifles, and egg and cheese empanadas for breakfast.
Machine Shop Boulangerie
After years of pop-ups and wholesale business, Machine Shop Bakery finally has a permanent location in South Philly’s Bok Building. The bakery will have pop-up favorites like croissants, seeded breads, orange cardamom morning buns, tarts, and other sugary treats. Located in the former auto body classroom in the repurposed school building, it has several booths and tables where you can enjoy a warm kouign-amann and sip on some coffee to start your day (they open at 9 am).
Who decided to spread peanut butter and preserved grapes on bread for the first time? That’s kind of what we think of when we look at the menu for North Philadelphia’s Blazin Flavorz. They have things like buffalo chicken finger waffle cones, General Tso’s chicken and shrimp fries, and soft pretzels stuffed with glazed chicken. We don’t know if they’ll all work out like a PB&J, but we’re going to stop by to find out.
Giuseppe & Sons
Center City’s Giuseppe & Sons has reopened its doors for Happy Hour and dinner. The massive dining space in the Italian spot is filled with long bar seating, big coushiny booths, and private dining rooms named after Frank Sinatra (fits up to 40 people) and Louis Prima (fits up to 10 people). Here they have yellowtail crudo, ricotta tortelloni, whole branzino, and other shareable options. On the Happy Hour menu, look for $7 negronis, $6 small plates like beef tartare and fried calamari, and $7 pastas.
A new Italian place has opened in the Chestnut Hill Hotel. Adelinas serves dishes like eggplant fritters, whipped ricotta-stuffed focaccia, a spuma di patate that’s filled with prosciutto and fontina, and fresh pastas like gigli Toscana in rabbit ragu. They also have a full bar in their 84-seat dining room that’s full of green velvet banquets and preserved live moss garden wall.
The Sugar Factory
If you want a sundae as big as a basketball (their King Kong Sundae is literally 24-scoops deep), topped with gummy bears, fudge, and jimmies (or sprinkles depending which part of the city your from), head over to Chestnut Street’s Sugar Factory. The restaurant has breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus full of wild things like a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos burger, alcohol-infused candy goblets, and bacon cheeseburger milkshakes. But on a lowkey day, you can still grab simple dishes like pan-roasted salmon, a club sandwich, and chicken and waffles. They also have a retail candy shop next to the dining space that’s open daily and sells gelatos, pastries, and pops.