photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Rex At The Royal review image

Rex At The Royal


1524 South St, Philadelphia
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With several hanging chandeliers, long booths, tall windows that open up to South Street, and a velvet rope at the door, Saweetie’s iconic tweet might’ve been referencing Rex at the Royal. Inside the former Royal Theater is now a restaurant with Lowcountry-inspired dishes like shrimp and grits and frogmore stew.

Rex At The Royal review image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Philadelphia's Best New Dishes Of 2022 guide image

PHL Guide

Philadelphia's Best New Dishes Of 2022

We love this place for date nights where we break out a New Year’s Eve fit we never got to wear, but it’s also useful for when we want to eat their $20 burger or drink some bourbon on a Monday at the bar. Each week there’s live music, and they have an upstairs lounge filled with couches and TVs that can be reserved for a special night out with friends.

Rex At The Royal review image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

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Food Rundown

Rex At The Royal review image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Crab Fondue

The crab fondue is a melty mix of provolone, cooper sharp, and gruyère, and may be one of the best appetizers in the city. It’s super creamy with thick lumps of meat in each bite, and it’s got a lot of Old Bay and crab flavor. The fondue comes with a few warm pretzel nuggets, and we genuinely wouldn’t let the waiters take this away until we had finished off the last bit of cheese sauce.

Braised Collard Greens

This cup of greens is the closest thing you’ll get to your family's Thanksgiving side. They’re subtly spicy, tangy, and the smoked turkey works great for an extra kick of hickory flavor.

Skillet Cornbread

The skillet cornbread is the best baked side they have. Dripping in honey butter, it’s light, sweet, and more fluffy than grainy. The smell of a fresh batch hitting the table is comparable to a breath of fresh on an oceanside vacation (only with more cornmeal).

Rex At The Royal review image

Frogmore Stew

A perfect dish when you want something brothy, savory, and loaded with everything in the sea. The stew is packed with fish, mussels, crab, shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, and corn. Served with toasty sourdough to sop up each peppery drop, this should be your go-to soup in the winter.

Rex At The Royal review image

Crawfish Pot Pie

A great dish that’s warm and flaky, and oozing with a slightly spicy crawfish. The whole thing gets balanced out by the crimini mushrooms and gooey cheese.

Rex At The Royal review image

Shrimp and Grits

You won’t have to look hard for the shrimp in this dish: There are eight jumbo pieces and some andouille sausage and crab sitting on top of a bead of grits. It’s coated with a shellfish gravy that adds an extra punch of flavor to everything else that’s creamy and rich. Order this.

Rex At The Royal review image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Smoked Brisket

The tender beef takes on the smokiness of the chipotle molasses BBQ sauce, and we love that the sauce is drenched all over the dish—including the red island peas. Getting a bite of everything together makes this plate a must-order.

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