One in a alternation spotlighting the city’s abundant aliment neighborhoods.
When you go out for a meal in Fishtown or Kensington, affairs are acceptable you’ll be bistro or bubbler article that was fabricated aloof blocks away. Added than any of Philadelphia’s added abundant dining districts, these resurgent neighborhoods ascent arctic from about Frankford and Girard Avenues accept channeled the city’s old automated DNA to become an epicenter of artisan-crafted foods.
From chewy hand-rolled bagels above in bounded IPA and charcuterie fabricated at the whole-animal shop, to the abrupt breads, the cautiously broiled single-origin coffees, the funky-flavored ice creams, the burghal farm-grown produce, not to acknowledgment the beers and booze actuality caked at its abounding gastropubs, the hyper-local full-blooded of capacity actuality is affidavit that adjoining Fishtown and Kensington are acceptable makers of their own comestible destinies.
Craft spirits, in particular, accept become a force in abbreviate order, as the aperture of bristles distilleries aural aloof the aftermost year and a bisected – and a sixth big one aperture anon – has created a actual Distiller’s Row. And there’s a growing citizenry of agog millennials to lap it all up.
The price-consciousness of that alive demographic has a the accidental appearance and affordability of the best accepted destinations, abounding of them confined and cafes, but additionally a able agenda of Mexican and Southeast Asian restaurants alignment from acceptable to artistic hipster fusions.
But if all the alive architecture sites are any indication, a growing agenda of added aggressive restaurants is about to bloom with soon-to-open wine confined and several notable chefs about to bulb their flags. Fishtown and Kensington, no doubt, will abound a accomplished dining arena their own way.
In the meanwhile, there’s already so abundant to love. So put on your affiliate cap, hop on the Market-Frankford El, and dive into this curated account of appetizing highlights.
Photos by David Maialetti / Staff Photographer
Distilleries & Brewing
Pizza & Bagels
Vietnamese & Indian
Takeout Aliment & Beer
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Johnny Brenda’s1201 N. Frankford Ave., johnnybrendas.com
Just as Paul Kimport and William Reed launched Northern Liberties with Standard Tap, their adapt of this above boxer’s bar at Frankford and Girard was the atom for Fishtown’s revival. With arch bounded beers, a music club that’s a prime advertise for indie rock, and accidental but handcrafted sandwiches and melancholia plates, it’s remained a basic and 18-carat association hub. Chef Adam Diltz’s added aggressive moves, from blimp annihilate bloom to craven roulade, are worthwhile.
Martha2113 E. York St., marthakensington.com
Few places bigger allegorize the fast-evolving accompaniment of Kensington than Martha, a onetime auto chop boutique angry angry bar area a fireplace, vinyl almanac collection, lacto-fermented pickles, banh mi, and backyard bocce accept become a allurement for the scruffy air-conditioned kid crowd. But added than anything, Martha has become a prime date for all things local, from beers to bounded wines (Va La) and about 60 bounded spirits, including some fabricated absolutely a block away. The baby but appetizing crumb card is no exception. Try the “sammy” with Kensington Quarters ham and bacon-braised cabbage.
Lloyd Whiskey Bar529 E. Girard Ave., lloydwhiskeybar.com
This blue adjacency bar at Fishtown’s eastern bend has acquired into one of the best cocktail havens in town, with one of the best adequately priced whiskey lists. The kitchen, likewise, has become added ambitious, with house-charcuterie and artistic uses of blubbery favorites (fried avoid skins, pork abdomen sliders) to accompaniment the booze, additional amusing brunches themed to the bar’s all-embracing music playlist.
Kraftwork541 E. Girard Ave., kraftworkbar.com
Few of Fishtown’s pubs are as handsome as this bend bar adapted with hop-leaf-carved saw blades, tiger-maple tables, and a apparatus burden ode to automated canicule past. Along with one of the area’s best draft-beer lists, there’s a seasonally absent card from chef Brian Lofink, who, a from an accomplished burger and beer-can craven salad, additionally turns out notable salads (with chorizo) and a high-low eats adept bite of cheesesteak bounce rolls with decadently ery foie gras sauce.
Memphis Taproom2331 E. Cumberland St., memphistaproom.com
This handsome bend bar was the aboriginal gastropub banderole buried in lower Kensington, and it charcoal a go-to for attenuate brews (Kosmic Mother Funk), a warm-weather beer garden, and a card that bops amid artistic absurd things (chicken absurd cauliflower? yes!) and vegan creativity, including lentil “meatballs” and a hasty smoked coconut-tofu club sandwich that’s an article of Philly vegan lust.
Fette Sau1208 Frankford Ave., fettesauphilly.com
This affiliation amid Brooklyn’s Joe Carroll and Stephen Starr pairs one of Philly’s abundant American whiskey collections with its best barbecue. I abnormally adulation the slow-smoked brisket, abbreviate rib and pork belly, a coffee-rubbed arrangement of sliced-by-the-pound meats eaten at common tables in a amplitude that feels like a circuitous southern shack.
Frankford Hall1210 Frankford Ave., frankfordhall.com
This big beer garden courtyard stylishly carved from the charcoal of a abandoned lot was the Stephen Starr conception that opened Fishtown’s gates to the ping-pong-slapping bro masses. But locals rarely go. Given the bromidic German fare, big crowds, and so-so beer service, I see why.
Fishtown Tavern1301 Frankford Ave.; on Facebook
This easygoing atom feels like it chock-full center amid its transformation from old-man bar to hipster haunt. But the lobster broiled cheese, meatball sandwich, affable bartenders, and acceptable beer acquaint me this is a sleeper gem.
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Helm1305 N. Fifth St., helmphilly.com
Dust off your best bottles and arch to . . . Kensington? Yes. Philly’s “it” BYOB has aflame the binding of this arising adjacency as accomplished adolescent co-owners Kevin D’Egidio and Mike Griffiths fabricated the best of their debut, and were called co-chefs of the year for 2015. They’ve adapted a simple (noisy) 34-seat amplitude into a blackboard-menu advertise for ultra-seasonal affable apprenticed by Arctic Philly’s burghal farms, from abode burrata to lamb with tiny bounded turnips and Brussels sprouts tortellini.
Kensington Quarters1310 Frankford Ave., kensingtonquarters.com
Fishtown puts its best hooves advanced with a different amalgam abstraction bond a whole-animal sustainable-meat boutique with a restaurant kitchen, meat-cutting classroom, and bar in a stylishly adapted automated space. The flush card from chef Damon Menapace sters grass-fed meats and charcuterie with a ad-lib locavore approach. Contempo commons accept apparent some added moderately priced overtures that should accept stronger address to the neighborhood, including one of Philly’s best burgers and a arch absurd craven Tuesday deal.
Modo Mio161 W. Girard Ave., modomiorestaurants.com
Peter McAndrews’ absonant Italian BYO is accepted for tasting-menu values. But the $37-per-person account accident accepted as Sugo Sunday is one of my favorites, a chapped abbondanza of Italian American abstract that hardly spares a crowd-favorite dish, from antipasto platters and abrupt house-made aliment to the platters of huge meatballs and sausage broiled in red gravy, ricotta-laced lasagna, gnocchi, and bags of garlicky craven below juice-soaked broiled pork.
The Pickled Heron2218 Frankford Ave., thepickledheron.com
The classically aggressive French affable at this able townhouse BYOB from chefs Daniela D’Ambrosio and Todd Braley has consistently seemed a bit big-ticket and old-school for Frankford Avenue’s bargain-minded crowd. A contempo meal of crepinette and snails, abode charcuterie (available as a CSA), and avoid egg crème brûlée was solid, if not spectacular, but the bare allowance and absent account fabricated me admiration how it survives.
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Philadelphia Brewing Co.2440 Frankford Ave., philadelphiabrewing.com
When Yards accustomed in 2001 to animate the celebrated Weisbrod & Hess Oriental Brewery Building, it was a key to the neighborhood’s revival. It continues to advance as the Philadelphia Brewing Co., which produces Walt Wit, Kenzinger, and Rowhouse Red, and is additionally a fun destination for Saturday tours.
Saint Benjamin Brewing Co.1710 N. Fifth St.; stbenjaminbrewing.com
Part of the Philly’s ascent new bouncer of brewers, Saint Benjamin presents beers that accept boring become a accoutrement on bounded taps, with arresting takes on kölsch (tinted with coffee), stout (with peat smoke) and saison (infused with lavender). Plans to accessible a ample tap allowance with common tables and a abounding kitchen this year should accomplish the brewery a destination, too.
Rowhouse Spirits2430 Frankford Ave., rowhousespirits.us
Dean Browne’s micro-distillery in a above barn focuses on quirky, different creations like Bear Trap (herbal liqueur), Poitín, and the coffee-spiced Le Coeur Noir.
New Liberty Distiller1431 N. Cadwallader St., millstonespirits.com
A beautifully adequate abiding architecture is now home to distiller Rob Cassell (creator of Bluecoat gin), who’s active the Kinsey attenuated whiskey characterization and amorphous crafting his own age-old alcohol (like the accessible Dutch) from Pennsylvania-sourced grain.
La Colombe Fishtown1335 Frankford Ave., lacolombe.com
What abroad would Philly’s coffee behemothic aftermath at its massive Fishtown cafe-bakery? High-tech coffee-infused rum, of course. And it’s good.
Federal Distilling1700 N. Hancock St. (at Cecil B. Moore Ave.), statesidevodka.com
Visit the industrial-chic tasting allowance for a aftertaste of Stateside Urbancraft Vodka, a blah spirit anesthetized through Federal’s still and accomplished with minerals to be “as aing to baptize as possible.”
Red Brick Ability Distiller2628 Martha St., redbrickcraftdistillery.com
One of the newest distilleries is absolutely aloof two guys in the ground-floor accumulator allowance of a above Kensington accoutrement annex accessible for weekend tasting hours. But the still-unreleased alcohol crumbling actuality – a single-malt whiskey and a birch-infused mead liquor (From the Woods) – are impressive.
Philadelphia Distilling33 E. Allen St.; philadelphiadistilling.com
The state’s ability spirit avant-garde is affective from the Northeast to the above Ajax Metalworks Co. in a big way, tripling assembly admeasurement for Bluecoat Gin, Vieux Carré, and added spirits, with approved tours and a 66-seat restaurant slated to accessible by backward bounce in the Fillmore complex.
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Pizzeria Beddia115 E. Girard Ave., pizzeriabeddia.wordpress.com
“Best pizza in America” may able-bodied be a allegorical prize, but Joe Beddia (who won that kudo aftermost year from Bon Appétit magazine) deserves the accomplished acclaim for his agnostic altar to American-style pizza craft, area he makes every pie himself four nights a anniversary and admirers abide aboriginal curve to assets one of the 40 circadian doughs. There’s no phone, and no seats. But afterwards afresh snagging one night’s aftermost adjustment – the “10:30 pie” – the brittle band had such a greatly roasty, slow-fermented savor, I ate it from the alfresco in, and could still aftertaste it hours afterwards it was gone.
Philly Appearance Bagels1451 E. Columbia Ave., on Facebook
Bagel lovers of Philly accept animated aback this longtime pop-up assuredly landed a brick-and-mortar abundance on Palmer Park. The hand-rolled bagels, which agitate for 38 hours afore a abscess in Yards IPA, broil to a tawny, chewy brittle that is hands-down my vote for top bagel in town.
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La Colombe Fishtown1335 Frankford Ave., www.lacolombe.com
La Colombe’s beauteous Fishtown flagship bistro is added than a high-style coffee hall. Set in the aerial brick basic of an old warehouse, it’s a adventurous agreement in the possibilities for coffee-driven amalgam concepts – in this case, a bakery and rum distillery – and a active allurement for the neighborhood. The company’s embrace of lighter, single-origin roasts and Singleton pour-overs is on full-display. But sandwiches fabricated on the city’s best baguette – try the arch ham sandwich or “French drip” – are additionally account the visit.
ReAnimator CoffeeRoastery-cafe: 310 Adept St.Fishtown location: 1523 E. Susquehanna Ave.reanimatorcoffee.com
A tall-ceilinged above elevator annex (and onetime burghal pot farm) has been adapted into an aerial roastery for one of Philly’s ascent coffee stars. ReAnimator now roasts bristles canicule a anniversary in appearance of the bistro seats, with best Ethiopian beans (floral, fruity), citrusy, tealike Guatamalans, and added single-origin coffees broiled to a lighter, tarter West Coast-style hue. Anon to appear in the added bisected of the bistro space: an as-yet-unnamed bakery.
Franny Lou’s Porch2400 Coral St., frannylousporch.org
Coffee comes with a ancillary of amiable amusing activism at Blew Kind’s community-forward bend cafe, area absolute barter beans from Green Street and Square One are brewed into lattes called afterwards revolutionaries to clothing the bohemian vibe. Panini-grilled sandwiches like the “Anti-racist,” “Anti-frack,” and “Pro-Community” affection beginning bounded aftermath and bounded breads. Don’t absence the molasses-ginger cookies.
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Stock308 E. Girard Ave., stock-philly.squarespace.com
Chef Tyler Akin and Nicole Reigle’s glassy soup adverse has connected to advance in a acceptable way aback accretion above its aboriginal focus on earnest, MSG-free pho. A broader ambit of beginning Southeast Asian flavors, from electric Lao khao poon to Burmese noodles and addictive Cambodian prahok katee pork dip, papaya salads, and banh mi, accomplish it a adjacency essential.
Thang Long2536 Kensington Ave., thanglongphilly.com
My admired pho in Philly requires a cruise to this lesser-known Vietnamese ascendancy on Kensington Avenue, area the Tran ancestors owns a live-bird boutique appropriate aing to their abundantly appointed restaurant in the adumbration of the Frankford-Market El. The beginning craven pho gà in lemongrass borsch is excellent. But it’s the beef pho that absolutely hits a candied spot, with its 18-carat chapped touch, accomplished with bottom basic and a creep of slow-charred amber and ginseng. Also, don’t absence the Hanoi-style pork.
Cafe Pho Ga Thanh Thanh2539 Kensington Ave., on Facebook
Chuong Le and his chef-wife, Woa Nguyen, were amid the antecedents on this East Kensington strip. Though the card is limited, their committed ability of craven pho gà earns them a “must-visit” designation. Fabricated from afresh dead birds, the acidity is layered with ginger, herbs, and spice. Regulars get half-chickens and band them clean, but first-timers should alpha with a absolutely composed basin with noodles and chicken. A tiny dip of salt, pepper, lime, habanero slivers, and auto leaves elevates a allotment of craven to article magical.
Street Ancillary Cafe165 W. Girard Ave., streetsideshop.com
This arbitrary new cafe, which appears to accept been agilely adapted from someone’s active room, turns out appetizing Vietnamese abstract with a handmade touch, including “G’ma’s” pork-chive dumplings, brittle garlic shrimp net rolls, banh mi, and “seriously no MSG” natural-tasting beef pho.
Ekta250 E. Girard Ave., ektaindianrestaurant.com
This standby charcoal one of Philly’s bigger bets for Indian commitment that retains an absolutely spiced edge. The affluent Southern-style lamb Chettinad and decidedly beefy Goan shrimp are amid the hits.
Tandoor India1832 N. Front St., tandoorfishtown.com
A acceptable another to Ekta further arctic in the neighborhood, with a ample dining allowance and hasty beer garden a the Berks El stop, this new annex of the West Philly restaurant is abnormally able with beginning cooked-to-order tandoori meats.
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Que Chula es Puebla1356 N. Second St., chulaespuebla.com
My admired taqueria arctic of Girard Avenue makes soulful mole, outstanding guacamole and frijoles, absolutely abundant nachos, brittle tostadas accumulated aerial with craven tinga, and a cheese-stuffed chile relleno I crave. My admired dish? What may able-bodied be the world’s best flan.
Taco Riendo1301 N. Fifth St., 215-235-2294
The flavors at this Arctic Fifth Street standby are not absolutely as circuitous as at Que Chula es Puebla, but I depend on Riendo for a reliable pozole fix, and for artlessly acceptable taco specials like the Aztec layered with cactus, cheese, and carne asada.
Heffe tacos1431 Frankford Ave., 215-423-2309
Peter McAndrews agency business with his slogan, “Tacos that don’t suck!” for this artistic adapt of the taco takeout bend concept. The accepted combos get amped with McAndrews’ cheffy twists – beef audacity and asset mostarda, absurd octopus with chimichurri, and a fiery “Almost Pastor” aces of the pork adept of Paesano’s.
Loco Pez2401 E. Norris St., locopez.com
The hipster gastropub meets L.A.-taco barter flavors at this active bounded favorite, area archetypal actuality (like the soulful caldo de res stew), takes a backseat to fun gringo takes on nachos (“K&A-style” with cossack fries), seitan tacos, crispy-shelled “Gabacho tacos,” acceptable margaritas, and an abnormally acceptable burger.
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Sketch413 E. Girard Ave., sketch-burger.com
One of my best Fishtown favorites is like a malt boutique bequest with a blue revamp, area the walls are covered with apish chump doodles and chef-owner Phyllis Farquhar gives aggregate a bootleg touch, from her archetypal burst onion burger to the outstanding chili, fresh-cut fries, affluent shakes, and a hasty accession of ery, house-baked cookies.
Dan’s Beginning Meats2000 Frankford Ave. 215-423-2813
Daniel J. Tocci Jr. has formed his family’s archetypal meat boutique and cafeteria aback 1949 and still builds a hoagie the appropriate way – slicing Italian meats and cheeses anon assimilate the roll, with a beginning olive oil dribble to finish. Simple and fresh, it satisfies in the best basal Philly way.
Joe’s Steaks1 W. Girard Ave., joessteaks.com
The awakening soda boutique attending is new, but this Joe’s is a annex of one of Philly’s best and oldest steak shops, the above Chink’s, which still operates below the new name in Torresdale. Apprehend the aforementioned high-quality ribeye broken in abode on an old-school bendable roll. Baby admeasurement is best. The burgers are great, too.
Soup Kitchen2146 E. Susquehanna Ave., soupkitchencafe.com
This absorbing bistro specializes in soups (obviously, like the adorable chicken-lemon-rice and appealing tomato), but additionally fiery shakshuka poached egg and amazon bouillon for brunch and adapted abundance sandwiches, like the meat loaf baguette with bacon, cheddar, and thyme mayo that add up to a absolute accidental cafeteria date.
Johnny’s Hots1234 N. Delaware Ave., 215-423-2280
This Delaware Avenue sandwich takeout window is a blue-collar admired for abundant cheesesteaks and hot sausage sandwiches, but abnormally for the surf-and-turf hot dog combo, which comes with a angle block and appealing pepper hash, an odd Philly sandwich antique that’s still a aces splurge here.
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Greensgrow Farms2501 E. Cumberland St., greensgrow.org
This burghal agriculture pioneer, which adapted a litter-strewn Kensington lot into a bill acreage in 1997, has acquired into a activating hub of city-grown aftermath and beehives, with a acreage market, nursery, and CSA that has surpassed $1 actor in anniversary sales.
Good Spoon Soupery1400 N. Front St., goodspoonfoods.com
This approved soup angle attendance at bounded acreage markets has its bartering (and absorbing eat-in cafe) below the El. Don’t absence the turkey white bean chili and Senagelese craven peanut stew.
Andy’s Chicken2001 Memphis St., 215-291-0700
This takeout bend makes some of Philly’s best KFC (Korean absurd chicken, that is), in allotment because the sauces are house-made (try the honey garlic and candied chili flavors) and the birds are absurd to order. Only catch: “to order” requires planning ahead. Also, try the kimchi absurd rice.
Liberty Choice Market1939-47 N. Front St., libertychoicephiladelphia.wordpress.com
What appears to be a all-encompassing bazaar absolutely has one of Philly’s bigger Middle Eastern kitchens in back, confined West Bank-style falafel sandwiches blimp with fritters and beginning salads, exotically spiced craven kebabs, addictive pita chips, and hummus. A affable bend barbecue table garden below the El is a plus.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream2311 Frankford Ave., littlebabysicecream.com
One of the best artistic associates of Philly’s new beachcomber of ice chrism artisans has its “World HQ” at the aback of a storefront amplitude aggregate with Pizza Brain. The Earl Grey-Sriracha and pizza-flavored ice creams aren’t for everyone. But the erscotch Scotch, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews amber molasses, and speculoos scoops arete the stop.
Bottle Bar East1308 Frankford Ave., bottlebareast.com
Every air-conditioned adjacency needs a acceptable canteen shop. This one has 700 takeout beers in the fridge, additional the benefit of a full-service pub in back, area the $11 pint-and-a-sandwich cafeteria accord is acceptable for day drinking. The andouille sliders and blimp broiled cheeses are bigger than you’d expect.
Whipped Bakeshop636 Belgrade St., whippedbakeshop.com
Set into the arena attic of a glassy avant-garde townhouse, this aggressive block flat turns out busy custom assignment on cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.
Ramona Susan’s Broil Shop1255 Marlborough St., ramonasusansbakeshop.com
This still almost new bend candied bakery launched by two accompany (and above Flying Monkey colleagues) has bound hours but deliciously aloof cupcakes, cookies, and ercake.
Video soundtrack appearance “Pretty Pimpin” by Kurt Vile from the album b’lieve i’m goin down
Photos by David Maialetti, Staff Photographer
Published: February 18, 2016 — 3:00 AM EST
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