You just got a fantastic haircut, if you do say so yourself, and you know that no matter how many instructions and products you’re given to help “recreate it at home,” tomorrow it will probably look like you did it in the dark wearing oven mitts. So you want to go someplace where people other than you, your iPhone camera, and your roommate’s pet turtle will be able to appreciate it. You need a spot that’s fun and a little (or a lot) sceney - and you want to eat something good, too. Try any of these 13 places.
Philly has its fair share of restaurants in big, historic buildings, but most of them are white-tablecloth spots filled with people who look like characters from Clue. Porta is different. It’s the third location of a fun Asbury Park pizza shop and it’s the perfect place to bring a big group of friends and impress them with your new cut and color. The walls of what used to be a furniture store are covered in graffiti, and the huge space has three different bars, so once you’ve finished hogging the dinner conversation about your new stylist Gemma, you can catch up with the group of attractive humans from the table next to you over a drink.
During the day, Suraya is a casual cafe. But at night, it turns into a fun dinner spot that has lots of long tables for you and all of the friends you invited to eat with you as soon as you saw your hair in the mirror. The attractive space makes it perfect for a group dinner when you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, and the mezze plates are great for sharing with your friends who don’t want to commit to a full entrée before going out. Plus, there’s a fountain in the backyard that’ll work well as a backdrop for a group shot that you’ll eventually end up cropping to just you and your new hair for your dating profile.
If you don’t feel like changing out of the sweatpants you wore to the salon, but still want to show off your new bob, head to Barcelona Wine Bar with a few friends. It looks upscale, but still feels casual enough to show up in whatever you happen to be wearing. The food is good, the wine list is better, and the outdoor patio sets it apart from most other restaurants on East Passyunk. The menu is mostly tapas, which makes it a perfect spot to split food with a few friends, and if you decide to take your hair out for a few extra drinks afterwards, there are about 15 solid bars within walking distance.
It’s your birthday, and even though you said you were going to “keep it small” this year, you found a 20% discount at a blow-dry bar and took it as a sign that you should actually make this one totally about you (just like all the others before it). Harp & Crown is the ideal place for your sort-of-pricey birthday dinner that includes all 25 of your closest friends. They have everything from pizza and small plates to a $68 NY strip that you should get for the table. There’s also a large private room and two bowling lanes that you can rent out downstairs, so if you really want to be the center of attention, that’s the move.
Spice Finch is a large, attractive restaurant near Rittenhouse Square, and right up front there’s a big round bar to give everyone walking by a 360-degree view of your new look, which is great since the bar is generally the most fun part of the entire restaurant. You should stay for a few drinks at least and, if you decide to stick around for dinner, the crispy shabazi fries with spicy harissa aioli will not disappoint. The dry-rubbed chicken is also delicious, although it’s a bit messy, so you might want to save that for a night when you have your hair thrown up in a top bun.
If the weather is even somewhat nice, there’s going to be a line for the coveted outdoor seating at Harper’s Garden. But it’s worth waiting for, especially when you only have a small window in which your hair will reflect the sunlight perfectly. You’ll want to stick to the small plates here - like the prosciutto flatbread or the kung pao calamari - but honestly you’re mostly here to let the wind be your personal hair fan, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Double Knot is one of those places that can work for about any type of celebration, but we especially like it for what we call a Special Occasion Lite™ - like finally teaching your dog to roll over when you say “bang bang” or getting a particularly gorgeous new haircut that the entire world should see. There are two floors here, but all SOs should be held in the basement izakaya. It’s basically the polar opposite of the cafe upstairs, and on any given night it’s completely full of people drinking sake and working their way through the enormous menu. The best option is to get the $60 tasting menu, which includes everything from sashimi to duck bibimbap and to let yourself be surprised by whatever ends up in front of you.
Alma de Cuba on Walnut is one of the best places to start a Saturday night out with a few friends - especially if you all just got back from a full day at the salon together. The loungey space is full of cushy booths where you can discuss whose balayage came out the best, and if you’re not super hungry, split a few of their ceviches. If you want something more substantial, get the skirt steak with black beans and tomato escabeche. And for the full experience, head across the street to Ashton Cigar Bar after dinner - just beware that you’ll probably have to wash the scent of cigars out of your hair before you return to work on Monday.
Sometimes the only way to get a hair appointment in the next six months is to schedule it for a weekday and cite a really rare sickness that you found on WebMD to miss work. But once it’s finally done, you want to be able to show it off to all of your coworkers before you sleep on it and ruin the delicate structure your stylist magically created. Meet them, and the rest of the city’s workforce, at Mission Taqueria. Between all the windows and hanging plants, this place is perfect for a few “candid” photos of your new look, and the $6 house margaritas and $2 tacos during Happy Hour aren’t too bad either. Just check in and make sure your boss won’t be tagging along before you show up perfectly healthy.
Sampan in Midtown Village has a large, loungey, and very purple dining room that feels kind of like a club - except without all of the people stepping on your toes and spilling their vodka sodas on your perfectly-styled hair. Bring a bunch of friends here to split some small plates, like the chicken bao bun and rabbit egg roll. And then, if it’s nice out, head back to Graffiti Bar out back, which is a lot less purple and has four walls to prevent the wind from bringing back all those baby hairs that took so long to hairspray down.
El Vez in Midtown Village is a huge, sceney spot that kind of looks like the inside of the Please Touch Museum, with brightly colored walls and a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. There’s also a bar that extends the length of the room, so, if you sit there, people will be compelled to walk by you and stare at your fresh cut. They serve riffs on traditional Mexican food and we like their tacos quite a bit, but they’re definitely on the expensive side, so your best bet is to come during Happy Hour and try not to let your hair get in the way of the half-priced tacos.
Why should you waste your new haircut on your friends? They’ve seen you with four days worth of dry shampoo in your hair and haven’t excommunicated you yet. Instead, find someone to take on a date and plan it for Nunu in Fishtown. Split a katsu sandwich and some wings in the small, very red bar that makes your new highlights pop, and attempt to connect while tipping back a few of their on-tap whiskey highballs. Even if it doesn’t end up working out, you can be sure that it’s not because you tried to do some homemade hair curling and ended up looking like Annie from Annie.
Giuseppe & Sons’ main floor is a casual lunch spot, but the bottom floor is designed for dinners where you want to show yourself off. The huge space looks like the cave where James Bond gets all his weapons, and since you basically look like a perfectly-coiffed member of Bond’s entourage tonight, it’s the ideal time to have a meal here with all of your minions. They serve Italian classics, from meatballs and gravy to a clam linguini, which you should make time for in between takes of throwing your head back and laughing in slow motion. You just never know when there’ll be cameras around catching all the angles of your shiny locks.