If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Philly, you might go a little bit crazy. 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.
We’ll be regularly updating this post. Once we’ve checked out a spot, we’ll add a note if it makes it onto our Hit List.
Technically this is a reopening, but after being closed for a couple of years, this Mexican spot is back with a different menu and a totally different location in Callowhill. They serve mostly classics, like tacos, quesadillas, and fajitas.
BenTai is a combo Japanese/Thai restaurant near Logan Square that we’ll be ordering Sunday night pad thai from in the very near future.
For fast casual Mediterranean on the border of Queen Village and Society Hill, check out the new Mashwa Grill. They’re open until 10:30pm every night, and the menu is a mix of things like hummus, kebabs, and pita wraps.
Hajimaru is a new ramen spot on Girard that, in addition to ramen, serves everything from pork belly buns to rice bowls.
Musi in Pennsport calls their food “relationship cuisine,” and we’re not really sure what that means, but it looks mostly Mediterranean-influenced, with things like marinated feta and beef neck on the 12-item menu.
Aether is a seafood-focused spot in Fishtown from a group that already has a couple of restaurants out in King of Prussia and Princeton. The interior is small and datey, with mostly two-tops and leather booths, and they’re donating part of their profits from the first month to the non-profit Women Against Abuse.
Makhani is a new Indian spot in Old City that has a whole bread section on their menu, as well as a lot of mango-centric dishes.
The Common is a big, new American restaurant in University City that does a mix of small plates, pastas, and larger things like sea bass and roasted chicken.
Until recently, Neighborhood Ramen was solely a pop-up that you may have chased around West Philly at some point, only to find that it was sold out once you finally pinned the location down. But now it finally has a permanent 20-seat BYOB home in Queen Village, and is serving ramen and a few sides.
Cry Baby is a wine and pasta bar that opened in the old Ela space in Queen Village, and is starting with just dinner service, but will expand to lunch and brunch sometime later this year. And even though pasta places usually aren’t ideal if you avoid gluten at all costs, all of their dishes (including pastas) can be made gluten-free.
Angelo’s Pizzeria, which was located right over the bridge in Haddonfield until last year, just opened up their new location in the old Sarcone’s Deli space. They’re keeping the same menu that they had in their New Jersey shop for now, but will be (thankfully) adding some Sarcone’s hoagies into the rotation later this year.
Fiore is a new all-day Italian cafe in Queen Village that’s in the old Kanella South location. They’re currently just doing breakfast and lunch, but they’ll be open for dinner service later this month once they get their liquor license later this month.
This is a completely vegetarian and kosher BYOB Chinese spot near the Art Museum, and it’s from the people behind the similarly vegetarian Su Xing House in Center City.
Aurora Grace is primarily a chocolate shop and cafe in Queen Village that makes painted chocolates, macarons, and other sweets. They also serve Rival Bros. coffee and a house hot chocolate.
Poe’s is a to-go window right on Frankford Ave. that was opened by self-appointed marijuana enthusiast/comedian, N.A. Poe. This place serves overloaded sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and fries until 3am on the weekend, which is exactly when eating all of these things sounds like a good idea.
Chatayee Thai is a huge, two-story Thai restaurant in Midtown Village that focuses on Bangkok-style street food. You’ll see more traditional dishes here, from beef and chicken skewers to bigger things like braised short ribs.
New York City’s Mamoun’s Falafel now has its first location in Philadelphia, occupying about 1,400 square feet on the corner of 3rd & Market in Old City. They serve things like hummus, pita sandwiches, baba ganoush, and tabbouleh.
This is a huge, two-story Italian place from the same people as Sampan, Double Knot, and El Vez. The first floor is an all-day cafe serving sandwiches and pastries from Termini Bros., while the basement is a dark, upscale bar and restaurant that does classics like meatballs & gravy and chicken parmigiana.
The Bourse building in Old City right across from the Liberty Bell has officially reopened, with more than 30 vendors. Most notably, there’s a Rebel Taco, a Freebyrd Chicken, and a location of DC Korean BBQ Takorean.
Chubby Cattle’s first Philly location opened in Chinatown, and here you order via iPad and build your own Mongolian hot pot off of a conveyor belt that runs by the tables.
A casual taco spot from the chef behind Blue Duck is now open in North Philly. It’s BYOT (bring your own tequila) for now, but they’ll supply the rest of the ingredients for your margaritas.
Mainstay Independent is the first spot to open inside Craft Hall, the old Yards Brewing building, in Northern Liberties. It’s mostly a taproom/brewery, but also has a small menu of bar food, including crab dip and a Lost Bread pretzel with beer mustard.