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Buena Onda
Photograph: Courtesy Buena Onda/Jason Varney Buena Onda

Ten great restaurants near the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Where to eat before or after your trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

By Amy Gordon

Want to pair your visit to one of the best art museums in the country—and one of the best things to do in Philadelphia—with a fine meal? From upscale, bring-your-own-bottle eateries to casual, grab-and-go spots, restaurants of all types and price points are within easy reach of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or great burger before you head inside or are in the mood to talk about the museum’s masterpieces over an elegant sit-down meal after your visit, here are our picks for ten great eats near the PMA.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide for Philadelphia Museum of Art

Restaurants near the Philadelphia Museum of Art

London Grill
Photograph: Courtesy London Grill

1. London Grill

Restaurants American Greater Philadelphia

Dine on high-quality New American cuisine in a casual atmosphere at London Grill, just a ten-minute walk from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The bold menu features sophisticated fare like foie gras mousse and tuna tartare, but pint-sized diners can opt for kid-friendly dishes like a burger or chicken fingers. Owners Michael McNally and Terry Berch McNally also operate the Paris Wine Bar located right next door.

2. Jack’s Firehouse

Restaurants Hamburgers Fairmount District

In a 19th-century firehouse just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, chef Jack McDavid serves a menu that blends the best of American cuisine; dishes range from Rocky Mountain buffalo to New England clam chowder to Cajun shrimp. While the decor includes unusual touches like a crew boat and paddles hanging from the ceiling and an authentic firemen’s pole, patrons love sitting outside on the sunlit patio when weather permits.


3. Rose Tattoo Café

Restaurants American Franklintown

Set on the corner of 19th and Callowhill streets, Rose Tattoo Café has been delighting diners for more than 25 years. From the wrought-iron indoor balconies strewn with twinkly lights to the flowers that adorn the bar, the atmosphere at the Rose Tattoo Café oozes with romance. The menu features contemporary American cuisine, and regulars come back for signature dishes like the mushroom bisque and the warm chocolate macadamia nut brownie.

4. Mugshots Coffeehouse

Restaurants Coffee shops Francisville

After traversing the galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, head six blocks east to Mugshots Coffeehouse. Behind the counter, baristas serve up organic, fairly traded coffee and tea. Patrons pair their drinks with locally sourced goodies like hearty sandwiches, savory flatbreads and fresh-baked sweets. In addition to entertaining guests with musical acts and open mic nights, the cafe features a rotating selection of art from up-and-comers in the area.


5. A Mano

Restaurants Italian Greater Philadelphia

Pick up a bottle of red or a bottle of white at the liquor store at 20th and Fairmount and head to the neighborhood’s newest Italian restaurant. Chef Michael Millon serves a seasonal menu at this 48-seat BYOB whose name translates to “by hand.” The ingredient-driven, hand-crafted food pulls its inspiration from regions all over Italy. Think Calabrian chilis, egg-based pastas with hearty sauces, and house-made sausage. And with Chef Michael Millon in the kitchen, the presentation of each dish is its own work of art.

6. Sabrina's Cafe & Spencer's Too

Restaurants American Franklintown

The line may be out the door, but brunch at Sabrina’s Café & Spencer’s Too is well worth the wait. One of five locations throughout the Philadelphia area, this kid-friendly BYOB is located less than a mile from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Plates leave the kitchen overflowing with decadent fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the chefs have fun creating a rotating list of brunch specials based on pop culture and current events.


7. Buena Onda

Restaurants Mexican Franklintown

With Buena Onda, Iron Chef Jose Garces turns his talents to Mexi-Cali cuisine in the form of a bright and modern taqueria. Socially conscious diners can feel good about eating here: the fish tacos are made with sustainably sourced seafood; the staff t-shirts use eco-friendly, water-based ink; and a portion of the proceeds from every purchase of guacamole and bottled water goes to the Garces Foundation, which raises money for Philadelphia’s immigrant community.

8. Trio

Restaurants Pan-Asian Greater Philadelphia

If the PMA’s many East Asian masterpieces have you in the mood for dumplings pad Thai and samosas, head to Trio, where Pan-Asian cuisine meets white-tablecloth dining. This charming, bi-level BYOB on the corner of Brown and Taney streets is open seven days a week for dinner only. In warm weather, diners can enjoy their meals on a second-floor outdoor deck.


9. La Calaca Feliz

Restaurants Mexican Fairmount

Enjoy bold flavors, creative cocktails and bright décor at La Calaca Feliz, a vibrant Mexican eatery from Chef Timothy Spinner. The menu features contemporary takes on traditional favorites, like fig and bacon guacamole, queso fundito with lump crab, and cauliflower tacos. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday and brunch on Sundays, this Fairmount eatery is an easy ten-minute walk from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

10. Rybread

Restaurants Coffee shops Fairmount

Ryebread is the perfect place to grab a quick, affordable bite before or after your visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is located just a ten-minute walk away. For breakfast, pick up goodies like bagels, muffins and egg sandwiches. Fresh salads, soups and sandwiches satisfy hungry museumgoers come lunchtime. The menu’s diverse flavors are inspired by the cities for which they’re named, like the New York panini with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, or the Santa Monica sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado.


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