The Best Restaurants in Philadelphia Right Now
Intimate BYOB restaurants, plant-based fine dining, and top-notch pizza slices.
It’s the time of year when there’s nothing better than a night out tucked away in one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants—and there’s no shortage of options in this city. We’re lucky to have a wealth of culinary talent right in our backyard. So it’s only right that we highlight all the newcomers showing off everything from Georgian fare to top-notch pizza alongside mainstays that we’ve known and loved for years. From plant-based tasting experiences to intimate BYOB spots that define our city, here are all of the best places to grab a bite in Philadelphia right now.
Vegan paradise Pietramala is a produce-first kind of place, focusing solely on produce from in and around Pennsylvania. This paves the way for a hyper-focus on seasonality, and you’ll find menus change often to ensure farm-fresh goodness. Regardless of what’s on the docket, you can universally expect a lovingly curated collection of vegan dishes and specialties, handled with care to put flavor front and center. It’s BYOB, so be sure to grab a bottle of natural wine to round out the meal.
Paulie Gee’s Soul City Slice
Too often the best pizza in Philly can be notoriously hard to order, and often require a bit of planning ahead of time. But pie lovers, rejoice! Brooklyn-born Paulie Gee’s has set up shop in Philly, and it’s everything you need to satisfy those spur-of-the-moment pizza cravings. You can dine in at the retro-tinged space, featuring vinyl, pool tables, and a bar, or get one of the massive pies delivered. The slices are classic Brooklyn-style and beautiful for folding, with vegan options available too.
Chef Alexandra Holt is offering an eight-course dinner tasting menu that is always in flux, following no one type of cuisine but always sharing a thread of innovation. The playful BYOB spot is equally casual yet elevated, serving the perfect whimsical atmosphere to match the meal. Past dishes have included tomato cannolis, kombu ice cream, basque cheesecake, raclette cake with caviar, and more—take a peak at Instagram to get a hint of what you might see during a visit.
Fitz on 4th
Another vegan-friendly spot is moving into town, this time with plant-based Fitz on 4th taking over the previous Fitz and Starts space. Visit for a smattering of vegan plates like empanadas, “crab” cake, and pink penne, and pair it with a signature vegan cocktail like the Fitz Eclipse featuring turmeric-infused vodka with carrot and lemon zest.
Saami Somi takes advantage of the undying, universal love for all things bread and cheese with khachapuri, a Georgian dish that boils down to a sourdough boat housing cheese, eggs, and all kinds of other good stuff. While the full complete menu of Georgian dishes is still in the works, Saami Somi also offers hand-rolled soup dumplings, small plates, and fresh bread in addition to four khachapuri options.
After a few COVID-era delays, Wilder launched onto the Rittenhouse dining scene with a spectacular space that shows off gorgeous design as a backdrop for a fun, approachable menu of elevated favorites. In addition to Neapolitan pizza and fresh crudo taking center stage, Wilder dishes out handmade pasta, stunning raw bar platters, and some on-point mains like the dry-aged strip steak with parm potatoes or Spanish octopus finished with charred eggplant puree and pesto. At the bar you’ll find curated drafts and cans, smart cocktails, and bubbly.
At Amina, Southern fare meets Nigerian influence in a space inspired by the restaurant’s African warrior namesake. Chef Daryl Harmond, in partnership with owner Felicia Wilson, incorporates his own personal spice blends to create a menu that’s rich in flavor and big on incorporating ingredients of African cuisine. The menu runs the gamut from casual snacks to elevated entrees, including peri peri wings, NOLA-style gumbo, catfish hush puppies, grilled lamb T-bone steak tower, and hot fried cauliflower. There are even a few items with a local Philly bent, including the cheesesteak beignets and soft pretzel-dusted fish n’ chips.
Sooo Delicious Soul Food
One of Philly’s most coveted food trucks has found a permanent home for soul food favorites. Owners Aminah McDaniel and Angel King earned quite a following when first opening their food truck just before the pandemic hit in 2020. Despite the topsy-turvy industry over the last couple of years, Sooo Delicious has never lost its momentum, now set up in its Locust Street cafe where you can order the goods daily. Must-try dishes include fried whiting, jerk wings, fried jumbo shrimp, crab cakes, and fried fish with a side of baked mac n’ cheese and honey butter cornbread.
After getting us hooked with pop-ups over the years, chef and owner Jennifer Zavala has finally blessed us with a brick-and-mortar location in South Philly. Juana Tamale offers birria tacos, tamales, ramen, and even vegan wings as menu mainstays, but always keep your eyes peeled for specials you’d never expect.
Ocho Rios Parrilla
Expect all the best flavors from across the Caribbean islands at Ocho Rios Parrilla, which is named after the northern coast of Jamaica. Menu highlights include traditional oxtail stew in rich brown gravy, grilled salmon in Barbados BBQ or Jamaican jerk sauce, and curry shrimp sauteed with tri-color peppers in a coconut curry sauce. It’s even better with specialty house cocktails, from traditional Cuban mojitos to hibiscus tea margaritas.
You’ll always find something new to try at Salam Cafe, with a menu that features baba ghanoush, spicy beef stew with injera, hummus, falafel, and weekend veggie firfir. If you can’t decide which way to go, stop by for the Ethiopian and Mediterranean fusion special, which gets you three courses for $20. Even better, you can always swing by the other side of the restaurant and pick up some essentials from the market to take home.
Middle Child Clubhouse
The grown-up version of Philly’s lunchtime favorite now offers a full dinner menu and bar. Middle Child Clubhouse has upped the offerings with breakfast, lunch, and dinner available at a 40-seat bar or 60-seat dining room. The menu ventures beyond the sandwich—though those are obviously still there—to include an eclectic mix of laidback plates, everything from veggie burgers to fried seafood. At the bar, expect more irreverent charm, this time in the form of frozen negronis and chai tea Old Fashioneds.
Stephen Starr’s latest Philly restaurant is way more than just an eatery. The space is a bookstore, music venue, and art gallery, but all of that takes a backseat to the killer food and drink options. A live-fire grill is the focal point of the Mexican-focused menu, serving up meat, seafood, and veggie tacos, along with some smaller plates like guacamole and ceviche. If you want to get fancy, for-the-table house specials include lobster puerto nuevo, adobo lamb shank, and more.
Rex At The Royal
Rex at the Royal is the amped-up return of Rex 1516, which was known for laidback-yet-luxurious Southern-inspired fare, amazing wings, and a killer burger. The new Rex at the Royal—which takes up the ground floor of the newly renovated Royal Theater Apartments—transforms Rex into a cavernous space featuring a bottle shop, a stage for live music, and a much larger bar and dining room. With the new space comes a new menu, keeping a few of the old favorites (you can still get that killer burger, but the wings, unfortunately, are gone for now) while adding a raw bar and more elevated mains to the mix.
Càphê Roasters specializes in premium Vietnamese coffee roasting, sourcing largely from Vietnam as well as other Southeast and East Asian regions. To go with your coffee, the spot offers a cafe menu of banh mi sandwiches, including some with housemade Vietnamese sausage, as well as other bites like eight-spice wings, three-hour confit chicken, and fried mochi that the cafe has dubbed, Pillow Jawns.
Perched at the top of Ironworks at Pencoyd Landing high above its sister restaurant The Landing, Lark offers soaring views of the Schuylkill River and Manayunk. The restaurant is Nicholas Elmi and Fia Berisha’s high-end, dinnertime answer The Landing’s all-day cafe, offering a coastal Mediterranean menu of items like squid ink pasta with lobster, glazed duck breast, and butter roasted scallops. Expect a playful bar program of house cocktails and a curated wine list, plus zero-proof options.
Izakaya By Yanaga
Sushi, ramen, gyoza, and other dishes all come together at one of the latest Fishtown concepts. The restaurant offers maki rolls, sashimi, and a menu of chirashi sushi that consists of fish over seasoned sushi rice with a variety of toppings, alongside starters, ramen, and a skewers menu with wagyu beef, octopus, and salmon. Down the line, you can expect the spot to open a 12-seat omakase offering for a more immersive option, but for now, ramen with pork belly can more than do the trick.
This bakery, bottle shop, and pizzeria is focused on naturally fermented bread. So you can expect ultra-fresh pizzas that keep it simple and stunning, whether you’re going for a classic margherita or the crispy kale pie drizzled in chili oil. Complete your meal with small plates like fresh ricotta or marinated olives, or simply walk out with a country loaf and bottle of wine to your name.
Fish platters, king crab fried rice, and charbroiled seafood are all mouthwatering fixtures at Gabriella’s, which takes inspiration from Vietnamese street fare with the singular goal of feeling and tasting authentic. Chef Thanh Nguyen’s slate of tasty seafood dishes doesn’t stop there—don’t miss the whole branzino grilled in banana leaves, the wok-fried red snapper, or the crispy soft shell crab when you visit this BYOB for family-style dinner servings or Sunday brunch.
La Llorona Cantina
Snacks, tacos, and mezcal—La Llorona keeps its menu unfussy and to the point, which is why people love it so much. Whether you’re after braised beef tacos, a round of queso and warm tortillas, or a full-on carne asada, La Llorona does it in a way that feels fun and instantly relaxed. In addition to dinner, you can enjoy sampling agave nectars at the bar or visiting for weekend brunch.
White Yak is one of few destinations for Tibetan food in Philadelphia, but here you can find a blend of warm momos served with beef broth and house spicy sauce, including chicken, vegetarian, fried dumpling, and other varieties. You might also be allured by classic Tibetan soups like Thenthuk, featuring hand-pulled noodles and fresh veggies.
Down North Pizza
Down North Pizza offers up Detroit-style square pies alongside mango habanero wings, spicy crab fries, apple pie milkshakes, and more mouthwatering creations. Even better, Down North is on a mission to reduce recidivism rates by offering culinary career options for the formerly incarcerated, so you can feel good digging in.
Fiorella serves up a little bit of everything you crave when it comes to Italian food, whether you’re dining in the large indoor and outdoor space or getting takeout. For now, pizza, pasta, hoagies, lots of wine, and even Italian soda are all in the mix, plus Fiorella is in the process of rolling out happy hour, late night, and brunch menus to boot—so it’s a go-to any time of the day.
It’s all about skewers and other grill-worthy foods at Laser Wolf, which is modeled after a traditional Israeli skewer house. First, order a variety of chicken, eggplant, tuna, and Bulgarian beef kabobs or large dishes like branzino and ribs for the table. Then, sit back as the table is outfitted with a plethora of salatim (or salads and spreads) like hummus, Babaganoush, and cucumber and green tomato salad with harissa to share. The restaurant comes from the team behind what is perhaps Philly’s toughest reservation, Zahav, so you know it’s going to be good.
Kalaya Thai Kitchen
James-Beard-nominated Kalaya has been a must-visit destination in Philly since opening in 2019. The menu features stir-fry-centric entrees, like the Kang Pu Bai Cha Plu, with crabmeat curry, wild betel leaves, rice vermicelli, cucumber, cabbage, long beans, and jasmine rice, and smaller delectable apps like the gorgeous Shaw Muang, purple flower-shaped chicken dumplings.