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Chez Ben is a French restaurant in Philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Chez Ben

The best new restaurants in Philadelphia to try right now

Fantastic new restaurants in Philadelphia are popping up like crazy. Here, a guide to the ones most worth your time.

By Caroline Coral

Fantastic new restaurants in Philadelphia continue to pop up in neighborhoods across the city. Be among the first to snag a table at the most-worthwhile spots with our constantly updated guide to the best new Philly restaurants, which at the moment includes a great new addition to the burgeoning scene of Latin American restaurants in Philadelphia, a new spot to get pizza in Philadelphia and a cool new food hall in University City cranking out food from Goldie, High Street on Market and more. To create a whole experience, top off your meal with a drink at one of the best bars in Philadelphia or head out for a night of dancing at one of our favorite Philadelphia nightclubs.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Philadelphia

* denotes latest additions

Best new restaurants in Philadelphia

Cadence is a new restaurant on Girard Street
Photograph: Neal Santos

1. Cadence *

Restaurants American Fishtown

A trio of talented chefs from the High Street Hospitality Group branched out on their own at this ambitious BYO in invitingly rustic digs on Girard. Those familiar with chefs Jon Nodler, Samantha Kincaid and Michael Fry will note their playful takes on familiar flavors (think scallops inspired by a roast pork sandwich) and emphasis on locally sourced foods that show up in dishes like the roasted duck with Pennsylvania mushrooms.

Vista Peru brings the flavors of Peru to Old City.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lacey K.

2. Vista Peru *

Restaurants Peruvian Old City

In the past, all of Philly’s Peruvian options were relegated to the further reaches of city limits but now the pisco is flowing in Old City. From bright ceviches to cool causas, little towers of mashed potato and avocado, and soy-spiked lomo saltado, the kitchen here is dishing up all sorts of reasons to fall in love with Peruvian cuisine.


3. Suraya

Restaurants Lebanese Fishtown

A Middle Eastern market and all-day café now graces Fishtown’s main drag thanks to a collaborative effort between the folks from Root Wine Bar and beloved bruncherie Cafe La Maude. Shelves of cookbooks and eye-catching kitchenware line the shelves in a lovely tiled dining room and bar where guests can enjoy flatbreads and pastries in the morning and kebab sandwiches and smooth hummus in the afternoon and evening. Dinner service arrives early 2018.

Porta is a new Italian and pizza restaurant in Philadelphia
Photograph: Andrew Holtz

4. Porta

Restaurants Pizza Center City

Neapolitan-style pizza by way of New Jersey is on the menu at this Chestnut Street newcomer. Settle into the dining room, decorated with mismatched furnishings and pops of colorful graffiti, to work your way through the menu of sharable salads, vegetables and antipasti, and pizzas that are both traditional (think marinara and margherita) and new wave (the Winter Betty comes with goat cheese béchamel, thyme, garlic and Brussels sprouts). Regardless of whether the pies are topped with housemade mozz or vegan parm and cashew ricotta, they all pair perfectly with an approachable list of wallet-friendly wines.

The Love restaurant in Philadelphia, by Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy
Photograph: Corry Arnold

5. The Love

Restaurants Contemporary American Rittenhouse

Stephen Starr’s latest hometown opening brings farm-to-table doyenne Aimee Olexy on board for a spacious, all-American stunner with Rittenhouse views. The menu runs regional with Southern fried chicken, handmade pierogies and Cola-glazed short rib stroganoff with a scattering of pastas thrown in for good measure. Wines here are meant to be shared via an unconventional list that’s slated to evolve from season to season.

Top Chef winner Nick Elmi opens Royal Boucherie in Old City
Photograph: Catharine Hennessy

6. Royal Boucherie

Restaurants French Old City

Check out Nick Elmi’s Old City debut for a selection of raw-bar offerings, house-made charcuterie and beautifully presented larger dishes—all graced with the Top Chef winner’s signature French touch. The bi-level leather-and-wood dining room is warmed by a fireplace, making it the ideal place to share a few plates, a couple of cocktails and a bottle from the wine list that features natural notes.

Restaurant and bar Chez Ben channels Parisian elegance in Old City.
Photograph: Courtesy Chez Ben

7. Chez Ben *

Restaurants French Old City

Named for a founding father who spent time as an ambassador in France, this all-day restaurant and bar is channeling Parisian elegance in Old City. Beginning with breakfast, guests can choose from classics like croque madames or nouveau grain bowls. Later in the day, a cocktail bar called M. Brown’s mixes up cocktails and the kitchen matches them with bowls of mussels, cheesy tarte flambees and entrees like steak frites.

Jasons Cozyday opened a new location in Manayunk

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tina N.

8. Jason’s Cozyday *

Restaurants Korean Center City

Beer- and sochu-friendly plates are made for sharing at the Manayunk outpost of this longtime Korean spot in Olney. Fried chicken comes hot and spicy or sweet, dumplings are fried crisp and bubbling bowls of soon dubu are on offer. The real stars of the show, however, are joomuk bap, meat-stuffed, seaweed wrapped rice balls and molten skillets of corn and mozzarella.

high street on market
Photograph: Courtesy High Street on Market

9. Franklin’s Table Food Hall *

Restaurants Food court University City

Gone are the days when the collegiate set sustained themselves on frozen pizzas, $1 ramen and sub-par cafeteria fare. UPenn’s newest dining addition boasts a full roster of fast-casual joints, all catered by some of the city’s top restaurant groups. Burgers are coming from Kensington Quarters, sushi by way of Double Knot along with Goldie falafel and High Street on Market sandwiches.

10. Redcrest Fried Chicken

Restaurants Fast food spots Greater Philadelphia

East Passyunk Avenue’s fast-casual scene gets an upgrade with a fried chicken takeout spot from Brooklyn chef Adam Volk. His buttermilk brined birds come in two varieties, traditional and spicy curry and are served with fluffy biscuits and sides, like fries, slaw and corn pudding, and a lineup of dipping sauces. Vegan fried chicken sandwiches are on the menu along with soft serve, floats, sundaes and pies.

Divan Turkish Restaurant brings Mediterranean flavors to Jeweler's Row

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Judy S.

11. Divan Turkish Restaurant *

Restaurants Turkish Center City East

The flavors of the Ottoman Empire are on offer all day long at this Mediterranean newcomer in the heart of Jeweler’s Row. Along with fresh salads, chargrilled kebabs and pita sandwiches, you’ll also find an assortment of pide, which are topped Turkish flatbreads, and a variety of shareable combination platters.

Illegal Tacos is a new fast-casual Mexican joint on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts
Photograph: Courtesy Illegal Tacos

12. Illegal Tacos *

Restaurants Mexican Avenue Of The Arts - South

With a familiar fast-casual model, there’s nothing law-breaking about this Avenue of the Arts lunch spot that sits just across the street from the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Choose from a line up of meaty and veggie fillings and then opt to tuck them into tacos, have them rolled into a burrito or sprinkled onto a taco or rice bowl. With a student-friendly pricing model, nothing here tops the $9 mark.

Engimono Sushi is a new Japanese restaurant in Fairmount.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Nanme Z.

13. Engimono Sushi *

Restaurants Japanese Francisville

This sleek sushi bar is a welcome addition to Francisville’s main drag. BYO a bottle of sake and Sapporo tallboys and a dig into a menu that features straightforward staples like sashimi and chirashi bowls, creative rolls, plus a handful of hot apps and entrees from the kitchen. Larger groups can share a boat-full of freshly cut fish.

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