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.
The newest Comcast Tower, which also houses the Four Seasons Hotel, recently got two new restaurants. Vernick Fish - which is from the same people who run Vernick Food & Drink - is the one on the ground floor, and it’s basically a very fancy oyster bar with small plates, a raw bar, and larger dishes like blackened fluke and pork milanese.
Jean-Georges, (yes, that Jean-Georges), is the other new restaurant in the Comcast Tower. It’s 59 floors up - with views that would make anyone with even a mild fear of heights slightly nervous. This place is up there with the most expensive restaurants in the city with a French menu that includes things like caviar toasts and foie gras.
Punch Buggy Brewing is a 36-seat tasting room and brewery in Kensington with a small back patio area. In addition to their small-batch beers, they’re also serving things like hot dogs and grilled cheese.
The Di Bruno Bros. on Chestnut recently opened an upstairs pizza and wine bar called Alimentari. Besides some cheese and charcuterie plates, you can get salads and Roman-style square pizzas here as well.
K’far is an all-day Israeli cafe from the people behind Zahav with a boutique-hotel look and a full bar. The menu ranges from pastries to Jerusalem bagels to grain bowls and salads.
Pennsport Beer Boutique opened up a sandwich store next door called Charlie’s Roast Pork, and although the menu is mostly limited to lunch and breakfast sandwiches, you can also order things like wings and a caesar salad.
Jet Wine Bar on South Street just opened up a garden next door - right in time for the end of summer. They have a long list of wines, cans of beer, summery cocktails, and small bites like hummus and a cheeseboard.
The upstairs room at The Franklin Bar, which has been tiki-themed for the last two years, is now Encima - a mezcal bar with Mexican street food. The food menu will expand later in the summer, but right now they serve tacos, guacamole, and elote.
Inchin’s Bamboo Garden is an Atlanta chain of Indo-Chinese restaurants, and this Center City location is its first up north. It’s a big place - they can seat over 150 people and have two bars, one on each floor. The menu consists of a lot of noodle and rice dishes, and they have a ton of vegetarian options as well.
Salads are a fine lunch most days, but sometimes you want something a little more filling. Butcher’s Smokehouse on Walnut has an assembly line of beef brisket tacos and BBQ chicken when a bowl of romaine just isn’t going to cut it.
Palma’s Cucina is the newly renovated Italian spot in Fitler Square that used to be brick oven pizza restaurant Mama Palma’s. The new menu has dishes like lobster cannelloni, veal meatballs, and a bunch of pizzas - including the Mama Palma’s special, which comes with a garlic herb sauce, mozzarella, and spinach.
Shaxian Delicacies in Chinatown is a Southeastern Chinese spot with mostly soups and noodle dishes on the menu, as well as some specialties like pig ears and duck feet.
Franklin Social is an American bar and restaurant that’s replacing Chez Ben in the Old City Renaissance Hotel. You’ll find burgers, charcuterie, and pasta on the menu - along with a couple of quotes from Benjamin Franklin.
Don Barriga is a new Mexican spot in University City that has a large menu of things like tacos, fajitas, and chilaquiles. Friday through Sunday they serve barbacoa and consomme, for those who don’t want to wake up early and stand in line for the South Philly stuff.
Bloomsday is an all-day cafe and bottle shop in Society Hill that serves coffee and pastries in the morning, and then switches to snacks and drinks in the evening. They have a long natural wine list, but also serve cocktails, beer, and cider. On their small menu of snacks they have something they call an “emotional support hot dog.”
Even though it’s called a “pizzeria,” pizzas are only a small part of the mostly Mediterranean menu at Stina in South Philly. The small BYOB also has a full menu of dishes cooked in their wood-fired oven, like fire-roasted kebabs and Turkish filled-breads called pide.
Winkel is a BYOB breakfast and lunch restaurant in Midtown Village from the people behind Noord. Like Noord, it has a focus on Dutch specialties, like a smoked salmon benedict and potato salad. But it also serves dishes like buttermilk pancakes and a hot chicken sandwich.
Hiroki is an omakase-only spot from the people behind Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. The 20-course omakase will cost you $135, but will include dishes like soy-marinated wagyu short rib, a hand roll, 12 pieces of sushi, and miso soup. And you can also add a sake pairing for an additional $60.
Felly is a casual Queen Village place with a super eclectic menu that serves everything from French onion soup to a vegan plant-based burger and mango shrimp. They also have live music for their Sunday brunch.
Jembatan 5 in Bella Vista is a new Indonesian restaurant right next to the Italian Market. It’s small, simple, and serving a menu of traditional Indonesian things like satay chicken and sweet pork sausage.
Pizza Gutt’s new spot is called Circles + Squares, and instead of having to reserve pizzas beforehand and pick them up in the back of a coffee shop, you can now walk into the shop and wait for about an hour for your Detroit-style pan pizza.
Cotoletta’s original location is in Bala Cynwyd, but the newest BYOB is right off the park in Fitler Square and will be serving a similar menu as the first one, with Italian dishes like cacio e pepe and chicken cutlets.
Elwood is a new BYOB in Fishtown that’s focusing on old-school, traditional Pennsylvania dishes like catfish & waffles and ham hot pie.
Blume is a completely ridiculous-looking wine bar in Center City with equally ridiculous drinks, like one that has cotton candy melted into it. They’re also serving a full menu with things like cauliflower steak and an “avocado sundae” and pouring only natural wines.
Bincho is a small Japanese spot on South Street that’s focusing mostly on robatayaki skewers, with things like chicken, beef, fish, and veggies cooked over the binchotan grill. They also have some sushi and sashimi on the menu, but the focus is mostly on the grill, which the entire restaurant is centered around.
Liberty Kitchen is a new deli and market in Fishtown with a menu of mostly hoagies, plus a few salads and tomato pie. There’s also space for rotating pop-up classes and vendors (like 1-900-ICE-CREAM) in the back.
Pho House is the new place in Northern Liberties from the people behind Thang Long in Kensington. The menu is similar to the original one, with things like banh mi and vermicelli noodle bowls, in addition to a few types of pho.
Vernalicious used to be a food truck, serving mostly comfort food like a pulled pork grilled cheese, but its new permanent location focuses on healthier, vegetable-centric dishes.
Ambrosia is a tiny corner BYOB in Fitler Square with mostly Italian stuff, like squid ink tagliatelle and chicken Milanese, and makes all of their bread and pasta in-house.
Kalaya is a 30-seat BYOB Thai restaurant in the Italian Market that serves almost entirely classics - none of which are modified to accommodate the desired spiciness, so proceed at your own risk.
Separatist Beer Project started out in Easton, but has just opened their first tasting room right off East Passyunk. On top of 16 drafts (12 beers, two cocktails, and two wines), they also have pies from neighboring Stargazy.
Olly is a new bar and restaurant from the people behind Southwark that will eventually be coupled with an adjoining pizza place called Gigi, set to open later this summer. For now, it’s just Olly, and it has an eclectic, American-ish menu with things like crispy chickpeas, mushroom carpaccio, and lasagna.
Hops is a 4,500-square-foot spot in Brewerytown that’s nicer looking than your average brewery. It has 16 drafts on tap, as well as cocktails and wine, and a long menu of mostly bar food like bacon tater tots, pizzas, and burgers.
Lunar Inn is part bar and part bottle shop, and also serves a menu of mostly bar food stuff, like pickled deviled eggs and fried chicken with collared greens and cornbread.
The team behind a billion restaurants in Midtown Village (Double Knot, Harp & Crown, Sampan, etc.) just opened another one in the same neighborhood, Alpen Rose. It’s a steakhouse with a pretty classic menu and has steaks that range from a $35 filet to a $110 tomahawk.
The time has finally come. Pizzeria Beddia 2.0 has opened in a little alley right off Front Street in Kensington, and it has a tiny menu of a few pies, small plates, and soft-serve ice cream. Reservations until June sold out pretty much as soon as they were available, but they save room for walk-ins every night.
Village Bar & Kitchen is basically just a rebrand of Plenty Cafe (they closed in February to give it a facelift), but there’s a totally new menu with things like truffle-bacon mac & cheese and rigatoni bolognese. They’ll also start serving brunch again soon.
The people behind Blackbird Pizzeria have opened a new vegan pizza place in Rittenhouse called 20th Street Pizza. They’re doing pizzas by the slice, as well as vegan donuts from Dottie’s and cookies from Crust Bakery.
Craft Hall used to be home to the Yards brewery, but the 35,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor space is now Mainstay Independence Brewing Co, a bakery by Lost Bread Co., and a counter-service restaurant called Craft Hall Kitchen that serves bar food like burgers and pizza. There’s also a huge indoor playground in case you feel the need to bring your children to a bar.
Nom Nom Bowl already exists in University City, but now there’s a new location in Center City serving a similar menu of bao buns, sushi and rice bowls, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
The Luna Cafe in Kensington is the second location of the all-day brunch spot, and it does classics like chicken and waffles and build-your-own omelettes until 3pm every day.
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.