The Philly Break-Up Guide: Where To Eat When Your World Ends

When you finally stop playing “Officially Missing You” and need food.
The Philly Break-Up Guide: Where To Eat When Your World Ends image

photo credit: EMILY SCHINDLER

Maybe the relationship ran its course. Maybe they pour the milk in the bowl before the cereal and you reached your breaking point. Whatever happened, you’re single now, and need something to eat (and lots to drink). So stop scrolling their socials and wondering if that new haircut makes them look sexy and start enjoying the world of pasta, birria tacos, and rosé waiting for you.





Center City

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsCasual Weeknight DinnerDinner with the ParentsCatching Up With MatesDate NightDrinking Good WinePeople WatchingSpecial OccasionsUnique Dining Experience


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Once the breakup hits, all your friends will want to tell you how this is great f*cking news and you’re better off. Why not let them do that at one of the best restaurants in the city? The Rittenhouse supper club has an excellent wine list and an incredible four-course $85 tasting menu—that changes every two weeks—and it’s the only place in Philly where you can eat world-class food while watching the chefs sing along to throwback pop and R&B. You can expect a rotation of French-leaning dishes like trout with a vegetable barigoule, mussel toast, and sweet blueberry profiterole that will convince you more with each bite that you really are better off without them.  

After thinking that moving in together would bring you closer, you’ve found that all it’s done is given you an extreme disdain for how they load the dishwasher and chew gum. It’s time to move on (literally), and the first place to head to is Pizzeria Beddia. From the neon lighting and cartoon cloud above the bar to the incredible thin-crust pizzas, everything here will do the job of distracting you from the fact that your ex actually exists. Plus, with the best ice cream in the city (from 1-900-ICE-CREAM) on the dessert menu, you can soothe your emotional collapse with something deliciously creamy and smooth.

No, we’re not “trained therapists,” but we can confidently tell you that there’s no pit of sadness that a plate of great pasta can’t fix. This Kensington pasta bar and wine shop offers a scent better than your ex’s: it comes from the creamy crab butter and heirloom squash in their housemade ravioli. From perfectly blended cocktails and an affordable rotation of wines ($12-$16 per glass), to a menu full of unforgettable modern takes on Italian classics, this intimate spot should be your first stop after you run a comb through your hair for the first time in two days. 

So, they demanded you tell everyone they’re a black belt because they play a lot of Mortal Kombat. And you didn’t think that was a red flag. Instead of your friend telling you “told you so,” they’ve offered to take you somewhere fancy for a drink. 60 floors up, everything will seem so small and insignificant—even how their laugh always made you smile. This upscale bar in the Four Seasons serves dishes like osetra caviar with a chive creme fraiche and yellowfin tuna tartare. Plus, you can head to a much-needed spa day a few floors below. Hopefully, your friend is still paying. 

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo


After agreeing that you were the Grey’s Anatomy of couples—way past your prime and ridiculously dramatic—it’s over. Take a trip to El Chingon in East Passyunk for some incredible cemitas, aguachile, and interiors with colors we’re sure will inspire your upcoming apartment remodel. Plus, with lots of seating inside and along the sidewalk, the BYOB can be a great place to bring your friends on a nice day while you delete every photo in your camera roll. They sell margarita, michelada, and jarrito mixers by the liter for the table. But if you’re really feeling down, it’s the kind of place where you can just stick your straw in the pitcher, have at it, and nobody would blink.  

Your ex has moved on faster than Pete Davidson and you’ve been watching true crime documentaries nonstop. What you need is incredible views, perfectly charred orange glazed chicken, and seating that reminds you of the last time you believed in love: high school. From the spaghetti alle vongole to the citrusy whole fish, almost everything on the Sicilian menu is a hit. Plus, with Bok Bar across the hall, you could potentially meet someone new and keep the night going. 

After years of doing couples’ Crossfit and competing for the most steps in a week, take advantage of your newfound freedom in the form of a juicy sandwich and crispy fries.  One of the best places to do that is Center City’s Huda. Every sandwich here is served on pillowy homemade milk buns, including our favorite, the short rib grilled cheese. And since each one is under $20, you can grab a few, add a pile of fries, all without putting a dent in your savings for a new place to live. 

They didn’t send a text or even call. You found out when they went on a “work trip” and posted the same view of the Golden Gate Bridge as their old college friend. You need something brothy, warm, and soul-reviving. When you stop by the cozy noodle shop, try the shoyu ramen. Each bowl has a couple of juicy pieces of pork chashu seeping with flavorful chicken broth, house shoyu, and toppings like scallion, fried garlic and sesame seeds. It’s a comforting blend that will almost put you in the mood to forgive the state of California. Almost. 

Yes, Rex is on our date night guide, but sometimes a good shrimp and grits is worth returning to the location of Valentine’s Day past. Plus, with a long menu of Lowcountry dishes, live jazz, and cozy velvet booths, everything about this place is about comfort. Contemplate your life and dating choices over a plate of smoked brisket, spicy mac and cheese, and buttery cornbread, and make some new, less painful memories. 

So the orange of Gritty’s fur reminded you of their terrible highlights, and you’ve been reliving a montage of every romantic moment since. Ditch work early and head to Pearl & Mary Oyster Bar for Happy Hour. Starting at 4pm and running through 7pm, the Midtown Village spot has everything from $5 beer, $6 wines, $2 oysters, and $7 sandwiches. And since we particularly love all of the small plates at this buzzy seafood restaurant, you can just order a whole bunch, stay for dinner, and tell your new friends at the bar why you’re seriously, totally, and completely fine.     

With a giant back patio, neon lighting, over-the-top party pictures on the wall, and a private vinyl listening room, Fishtown’s LMNO offers the things you need the most: tacos and escapism. Be prepared—after a few rounds of margaritas, your friends will list all the reasons they never liked them for you anyway. But the incredible seafood aguachile may be a fair exchange for your friends knowing your life was a lie for a year. 

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO



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Your neighbors keep banging on the wall because they’re tired of your unhinged rendition of Taylor Swift's “All Too Well” (yes, the 10-minute version). Take your vocal talent and heartbreak to a place where they’ll be appreciated—Chinatown’sYakitori Boy. The karaoke pub with a second-floor lounge has a selection of roasted skewers, sushi rolls, and sweets (like the mango cheesecake) that we just can’t get enough of. Plus, if you start weeping mid-song, people will just think it’s a part of the performance and go with it. 

There’s a saying about the best way to get over someone is to get under…you know the rest. But after a five-year relationship, you’re so out of the social loop that you don’t know why people can’t post feet anymore. Increase your chances of ending your night with someone new by hanging out on the patio outside of Fishtown’s Two Robbers. The colorful hard-seltzer cocktail bar gives you access to everyone coming from Frankford Hall, Johnny Brenda’s, Murph’s Bar, and even Barcade (if you’re that desperate). Bite into a smash burger, an order of fries, and wait for the magic of someone you’ll never share your wifi password with. 

In moments of crisis, sometimes you don’t want fancy. During those times, you need the simple stability of Cheesecake Factory’s comically large menu and a slice of peanut butter cheesecake covered in fudge. We don’t have a menu favorite here—even though their oat-topped brown bread is an American hero. The dimly lit Center City restaurant is ideal for eating your feelings, your new uniform of choice—a pair of comfy sweats and sunglasses—and not bumping into anybody that you know. 

On some nights, this South Philly dive bar is so dim that you’ll feel like your one light bulb away from total darkness. And that’s exactly what you’ll need, since you’ve been crying nonstop. The cash-only, wood-paneled space has throwback memorabilia like old Pearl Jam posters and rehydrate with Artic Splash in the fridge (we’d suggest tequila instead). They have standard, affordable bar food like $7 wings and $4 onion rings, and you can use your change to play your favorite rock ballad on the jukebox (or save it since you’re no longer splitting the rent). 

Stuck with this big tidal wave of emotions, there’s only one way to let it out: throwing an axe into a plank of wood while picturing your ex. The massive Old City axe-throwing bar has a long list of beers and a menu of sliders, flatbreads, and tacos like carne asada. But the most important thing it offers is the ability to release stress. And that’s exactly what you’ll need when you realize them forgetting your birthday was a huge indicator that they weren’t ready for a serious relationship. 

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