Photo courtesy of The Good King Tavern

The Hit ListPhiladelphia

The Resy Hit List: Where In Philadelphia You’ll Want to Eat Right Now

By

There’s no question we hear more often: Where should I go eat? And while we at Resy know it’s an honor to be the friend who everyone asks for restaurant advice, we also know it’s a complicated task. That’s where the Resy Hit List comes in. 

We’ve designed it to be your essential resource for dining in Philadelphia: a monthly-updated (and now expanded!) guide to the restaurants you won’t want to miss — tonight or any night.

Five Things In Philadelphia Not to Miss This Month

  • A Light Bite at Lacroix: One of Philly’s finest restaurants, Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, is now more accessible with a three-course, $55 tasting menu on Thursday nights. It’s a lighter meal at a significantly lighter price, compared to the typical $175 tasting menu with 7-8 courses. On Wednesday nights, a new “Cellar Nights” offering features special bottles from Lacroix’s collection.
  • Now Open: Joe and Angela Cicala’s new Neapolitan pizzeria, Sorellina, is officially open in the Divine Lorraine (the same building where their lovely fine dining restaurant, Cicala, is located). Philadelphians with long memories will recall a moment during the pandemic’s peculiar early days when Joe built a pizza oven in his backyard, started selling pies over the fence, and then got shut down by the fun police. This time, it’s legal and delicious.
  • Through the Red Door: One of the most talked about new openings is the surprise Italian restaurant you access through a red refrigerator door at Rittenhouse’s new gelateria Vita. It’s pretty booked up already, but you can hop on the waitlist or try to book it on the first of each month for the following month.
  • New Chef: Townsend Wentz’s new seafood spot in Rittenhouse, Oltremare, has a new executive chef. Sean O’Brien worked at A Mano and Townsend and recently returned from the West Coast. He’s taking cues from Italy’s Amalfi Coast with dishes like frutti di mare and swordfish alla griglia.
  • Fundraising Farm Dinner: Kiddo is hosting a BYOB fundraising farm dinner at Lundale Farm in Pottstown, featuring ingredients grown on the property. Some proceeds will support the farm’s regenerative efforts. For more experiences, check our Resy Events page.

New to the Hit List (July 2024)
Good King Tavern, Hooked Up Seafood, Jansen, Tabachoy.

1. Friday Saturday Sunday Rittenhouse Square

map

Photo courtesy of Friday Saturday Sunday

The whole country has been talking about Chad and Hanna Williams’ restaurant. FSS beat every competitor in the country in 2023 to win the James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant, and we agree it pretty well defines dining in Philadelphia right now. Which is why we celebrate how perfect their fresh take on fine dining is: The bar, the service, the soundtrack, the lighting, and most of all, the fun and refined eight-course tasting menu that’s never been better. It’s also never been a tougher table to reserve: The books open on Resy on the first of every month at 10 a.m.

Book Now

Photo courtesy of Friday Saturday Sunday

2. Zahav Old City

map

Michael Solomonov’s restaurant opened in 2008, on its way to launching the Middle Eastern dining craze nationwide. In 2019, it was the first Philly restaurant to be named best restaurant in the country by the Beard Foundation. So while this isn’t the easiest Resy to score, jump on it eight weeks in advance or come early to snag a bar seat or walk-in-only outdoor table. All meals start with fluffy, warm Laffa bread, the country’s best hummus, and an array of salatim. Spend the extra $10 to get the four-course Mesibah tasting menu that includes pomegranate lamb shoulder with crispy Persian rice. Yeah, you’ll be full, but the lamb and rice fry up beautifully with an egg on top for breakfast the next day.

Book Now

3. Angelo’s Italian Market

map

The best cheesesteaks in the city. Convince us we’re wrong. Danny DiGiampietro makes the rolls fresh every morning. Is there any other cheesesteak joint in town doing that? Angelo’s is also the first place that we can remember employing Philly’s own melty, creamy Cooper Sharp cheese. DiGiampietro is obsessed with making perfect sandwiches and pizza, and this small Italian Market shop always has a line down the block, but it’s a line of happy people. Happy cheesesteak people. Happy pizza people. The kind of people who will offer your toddler a slice as you walk to the playground; which is a random, totally made-up example, we assure you.

Find more info here.

4. Tabachoy Bella Vista

map

We’re big fans of Chance Anies’ friendly Filipino BYOB. Tabachoy, which began as a food truck, is a perfect place for sharing. With a tight menu, you might consider ordering it all (even better if that means you have leftovers). You’ll sample pork spring rolls, jumbo fried chicken wings, pork adobo with garlic rice, and pork sisig, along with dishes that reflect the season, like herbaceous littleneck clams in the summertime or a sweet potato and carrot fritter with shrimp in the cooler weather. Pro tip: Do not miss Anies’ unique take on a Caesar salad, with cured duck-egg yolk and fried shallots.

Book Now

5. Kalaya Fishtown

map

Photo courtesy of Kalaya

Much has already been said about Kalaya. But if Nok Suntaranon’s southern Thai restaurant has been delighting diners since its humble start in the Italian Market, it has found a proper spot in its much larger Fishtown digs, with a liquor license that helped create a vital bar scene. Book early and often; you’ll be rewarded with deeply flavored curries, adorably shaped dumplings, and a signature grilled freshwater river prawn that’s mixed tableside with its tomalley and jasmine rice.

Book Now

Photo courtesy of Kalaya

6. Mulherin’s Pizzeria East Market

map

The new sister restaurant from Wm. Mulherin’s Sons goes big on charred pizza made with house-milled farro and a two-day fermentation, plus pasta and vegetable-centric small plates. Chef Sean McPaul, a Starr alum with Michelin experience, runs the kitchen. This Center City operation comes with a pretty bar and an outdoor seating area that feels separate from the hubbub outside, yet also part of it. Read all about it, and book it for lunch or dinner on Resy.

Book Now

7. Jansen Mount Airy

map

Chef-owner David Jansen led the kitchen at the Four Seasons’ celebrated Fountain Restaurant before hanging out his own shingle on a 1700s building in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia. With its fine dining flair, Jansen is a good place for a celebration, but the restaurant has another trick up its sleeve. A spacious, covered patio offers a cool break from city living, particularly in the summertime though it’s open all year. Consider the classics here: oysters Rockefeller, grilled branzino, and heirloom tomato panzanella salad.

Book Now

8. Vernick Food & Drink Rittenhouse Square

map

Ask a chef where they like to go on their day off and chances are they’ll mention Vernick Food & Drink. Greg Vernick’s first restaurant has been one of Philadelphia’s best since its 2012 opening. It’s a good idea to share dishes from each section of the large, modern American menu here. The mahogany roast chicken is always great, as are fluke ceviche in coconut broth, a whole roasted artichoke, anything on toast, and delicate pastas. Locals like to sit at Vernick’s bar for dinner, where the drinks run from boozy to zero proof, along with a smart wine list.

Book Now

9. Enswell Rittenhouse

map

Hello, gorgeous. Rittenhouse’s new cafe and cocktail bar combo may just be the prettiest restaurant in Philly, if not the whole Eastern Seaboard. Designer Lance Saunders of Stokes Architecture + Design created this art deco space with green trim, antique brass, mosaic tile, tall columns, an over-the-bar mural, and custom chandeliers. Rival Bros., New Liberty Distillery, and chef Andrew Farley (formerly High Street on Market) work together at Enswell to delight diners all day long, from coffee in the morning to spicy crab hashbrowns, ice cream sundaes, and espresso-infused whiskey drinks at night.

Find more info here.

10. Forsythia Old City

map

Photo courtesy of Little Fish

Chef Chris Kearse makes elegant French food, but keeps his restaurant fun-filled. At the bar’s happy hour, you can get a junior royale with cheese (burger) and a chicharrónes-corn nut trail mix. Forsythia’s #FrenchAF series centers on a theme, like Foie Gras or the French Laundry, and turns it into a five-course tasting menu. On regular nights in the dining room, this is the place to get escargot, ham and cheese beignets, and tuna Niçoise.

Book Now

Photo courtesy of Little Fish

11. South Philly Barbacoa Italian Market

map

What more can we say about the James Beard Award-winning restaurant known for its appearance on Netflix’s “Chef’s Table”? Mexican chef Cristina Martinez is a wizard with lamb. Her barbacoa tacos and soul-warming consommé draw visitors from all over the country, but equally as revolutionary is her work as an activist for fellow immigrants and those facing food insecurity. Line up at her sunny, casual Italian Market eatery and be patient. This meal is worth the wait.

Find more info here.

12. The Good King Tavern Bella Vista

map

Philly’s Frenchest spot brings it on all fronts: Food, bar, vibes. This father-daughter operation is known for its chalkboard menu, thoughtful wines by the glass, and elevated tavern fare. Go here for steak frites, escargots, nice cheese boards, and any of the daily specials. Owner Chloe Grigri goes all out for events and there’s nowhere more charming to be than the Good King’s Bastille Day annual block party.

Book Now

13. Fiore Fishtown

map

This Pennsport favorite has reopened in Fishtown with a new format. No longer a sprawling, sit-down Italian restaurant, Ed Crochet and Justine MacNeil have honed in on pastries, gelato, indulgent sandwiches, and coffee for their 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. cafe. Fiore has always been known for its stellar pastry program. Whether a raspberry cornetti or cream-filled maritozzi, you can’t go wrong here. At breakfast, The Saltie explodes with soft scrambled eggs and ricotta on focaccia, and for lunch, grab some gnudi in brown butter.

No reservations. More info here.

14. Royal Sushi Omakase Queen Village

map

Philly’s only Beard Award finalist remains one of the hardest reservations in town to snag. It’s worth the effort to experience Jesse Ito’s high-skill omakase at Royal Sushi. The fish here is carefully sourced, intensively prepared, and delivered bite by perfect bite at an intimate counter in a back room of Royal Izakaya, a busy Japanese bar/restaurant. Royal Izakaya is walk-in only; Royal Sushi you can book below.

Book Now

15. Abyssinia West Philly

map

College students from nearby University City are the first to recommend this classic Ethiopian restaurant. It’s affordable, casual, delicious, and filling. To get the full experience, order a meat combo and a vegetable combo to share with your dining companions. Each comes with a few classic, Ethiopian stewed dishes on top of tangy, spongey injera (similar to a thin pancake). Abyssinia offers reasonably priced beer and runs a too-cool-for-school upstairs bar that often hosts live music, comedy, and other activities like chess and karaoke.

Find more info here.

16. My Loup Rittenhouse

map

We’ve been loving on My Loup since it opened a year ago. Amanda Shulman’s sophomore restaurant has been racking up national praise — another spot we think helps to define Philadelphia’s dining scene. With husband Alex Kemp, she serves a menu of interactive dishes that are equally fun and delicious. Think: Thin slices of rare roast beef wrapped around hot fries and pickled shrimp served in a mini mason jar with a side saltines. (We have some tips for snagging a table.)

Book Now

17. Stina Pizzeria South Philly

map

Bobby and Christina Saritsoglou’s Stina seems like a come-as-you-are brick oven pizzeria, but it’s really much more. Chef Bobby’s Greek heritage shows up all over the menu, from spanakopita with barrel-aged feta and wood-fired pita to shawarma and baklava. Don’t miss the crispy, slow-cooked Spanish octopus or the leopard-spotted, boat-shaped pide filled with lamb sausage or mushrooms and cheese. Of course, you’ll want to get a perfectly charred pizza to share too. Fun fact: Christina is one of the founders of Philly AIDS Thrift, and Stina is known for supporting local non-profits.

Book Now

18. Kampar Bella Vista

map

We are giddy about the return of chef-owner Ange Branca, and her soulful Malaysian fare, to Philly’s food scene. With Kampar, she has a new, two-story location with a concept on each floor. Upstairs, the Kongsi (social club), which is open now, offers energetic vibes, a full bar, and an a la carte menu, with new and old dishes, including rendang, achat, and a saucy street burger wrapped in a crepe-like omelet. When it opens, downstairs will have a fixed price tasting menu by Branca, along with various chefs in residence.

Call (215) 989-2202 for reservations.

19. Hooked Up Seafood Wildwood

map

Shore dining with the atmosphere and quality of Hooked Up Seafood is hard to come by. At this ultra-casual, dockside destination, the Bright family cooks what they catch in the waters off Wildwood. That means you’re in for the freshest seafood around, and all of it is cooked perfectly, from fried flounder to little necks in a buttery broth with plenty of bread for sopping up.

More info here.

20. Townsend EPX East Passyunk

map

Photo courtesy of Townsend

Townsend Wentz is celebrating his eponymous restaurant’s 10 year anniversary this spring. His flagship restaurant is known for its seasonal and classic French dishes, best showcased in a five-course tasting menu. Lovely à la carte offerings, including snails and roasted bone marrow, are also available. Sommelier Gordana Kostovski expertly leads the drinks program at Townsend, which has one of Philly’s great bars. (Open until 2 a.m.!)

Book Now

Photo courtesy of Townsend