As summer winds down, Philadelphia revs up, especially its culinary scene. We have an abundance of dining experiences that are perfect for the season, from al fresco brunching in the city’s last warm days to hunkering down in cozy old-school stalwarts. So whether you’re planning to dine out with pals or treating yourself to a solo snack at the bar, here are the dining experiences we’re most excited about this fall, a.k.a. everywhere we want to eat right now.
1. Savor the last few days of ideal outdoor dining…
… at Condesa’s fireside patio on Ludlow Street. A unique spot for watching the frenzy of a bustling Mexican dining room while sipping on one of their 50+ Mexican spirits. If the weather turns, head upstairs to their year-round covered rooftop joint, El Techo, for more mezcal and handmade tacos.
2. Toast to the new season with…
… sundaes at Forsythia, a prix fixe seasonal tasting menu inspired by French comfort food. This is where chef Christopher Kearse brings stylish and refined classics to a quiet gem in Old City.
3. Put some time on your calendar…
… to check out all the new restaurants opening this season. You can find a list to all the latest restaurant openings in Philadelphia here. We’re particularly jazzed about Alice, Dave Conn’s new Italian Market spot.
4. Take a weekend trip.
Escape to Margate and then head to Steve and Cookie’s by the Bay where fresh fish specials and neighborhood service have been convening locals for decades. While you’re in town, check out the Margate Community Farmers Market and nearby historic Reed’s Farm where Cookie Till herself sources produce for her famed bayside restaurant.
5. Or if you can’t get out of town, check out a place you haven’t been to in a bit.
Go for a hike through the Wissahickon, then reward yourself with hearty Italian food at Adelinas in Chestnut Hill.
6. Indulge in some comfort food…
… like chicken schnitzel with fennel salad at illata, a day-one menu item that remains a crowd-pleaser. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of wine and grab a loaf of housemade sourdough on your way out.
7. Don’t forget to treat yourself.
Go for the sweet and savory dessert at Laurel, which is layered with shavings of fromage blanc, berry cream, and Seven Sisters farmstead cheese.
8. Hang onto summer Fridays with a power lunch…
… at a.kitchen+bar, where chef Eli Collins and team boast impressive globally-inspired dishes like potato fry bread with Tropea onion soubise, confit lamb neck, and shaved truffles; or pork ribs with soy honey glaze, Basque peppers, plum, and celery salad. If that doesn’t seal the deal, ordering the double patty burger with cheese and pickles should.
9. Now that everyone’s back from vacation, it’s time to gather the crew for brunch.
Definitely head to Sor Ynéz for Mexican classics like enfrijoladas, chilaquiles, and a California-style breakfast burrito, which this city desperately deserves.
10. Or bring everyone together for dinner…
… at Han Dynasty, the king of Sichuan-style dining in Philadelphia. Warning: must love hot dry peppers in all the food — and drink.
11. Cozy up to a good book at…
… Southwark in Queen Village, a perfect spot for solo dining. Pro move: Come here on Mondays for #WineWark where former manager, Jamie Harrison Rubin, turns the bar into a coveted wine-focused menu ranging from pricy vintages and unique cellar picks to budget-friendly options by the glass.
12. Take part in a very special happy hour.
Head to Irwins on Thursday, September 21 to celebrate the “Slow Drinks” book release with author Danny Childs, off The Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill. Your $20 per ticket includes a cocktail, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, plus a meet-and-greet with the author.