The best new restaurants in Philly.Less
The restaurant took over the former Casta Diva space, and after a small makeover, is intimate, charming, and buzzing with groups of friends, couples, and ‘80s pop hits. The menu is made up of shareable appetizers like calamari in a kalamata-tomato sauce, caesar salad, and antipasto with truffle-stuffed burrata, and satisfying mains like a 16 oz veal chop and branzino with Israeli couscous. But it’s the handmade pastas that have turned us from first-time diners into devoted regulars.
With massive picture windows and bright green signage, it’s hard to miss this Kensington pasta bar and wine shop. But even if you don’t notice the couples sharing bottles of merlot as you walk by, the unmistakable scent of lamb ragu will draw you in. From perfectly blended cocktails and unique, affordable wines to pastas so good that you’ll consider proposing to the chef, this intimate corner restaurant should be your go-to for date nights, small group dinners, and every occasion in between.
Pietramala, Northern Liberties’ upscale vegan restaurant, is churning out complex and satisfying plant-based dishes without any meat substitutes to be found. The cozy restaurant has a relaxed, bohemian feel–candlelit, earth-toned and covered in plants–while smoke wafts from the open kitchen. The menu is seasonal and will rotate depending on available ingredients, but you’ll find dishes like the crunchy, sweet and tangy fried lion’s mane mushrooms and sweet potatoes with spicy grilled peppers.
Grandma’s Philly is a casual BYOB in Midtown Village serving an extensive menu of Northern Thai food like papaya salad, Kad Prao basil chicken, and Pad Kee Mao drunken noodles. The most notable dishes, though, are inspired by the restaurant’s namesake, the chef’s grandmother. Everything is meant to be shared, from the perfectly spicy, deliciously creamy panang curry to the mountain of pineapple fried rice, but you’ll want to keep Grandma’s Meatballs to yourself.
Taco Heart is East Passyunk’s counter-service breakfast spot serving up Austin-style tacos. The Migas Maximus packs egg, sausage, migas, fresh jalapeño, queso, and avocado in their house-made flour tortilla, but you can’t go wrong with the BECA (bacon, egg, cheese, and avocado). The breakfast bowls are equally hearty–we love the Mornin’ Bowl, with sweet potato, spinach, refried black beans, sunny-side-up egg, cilantro, and avocado.
Part neighborhood slice shop and part bar where you can play Duck Hunt on an old tube TV, Paulie Gee’s has the casual pizza hangout down to a science. All the slices at this NYC-based spot are good, but it’s their Freddy Prinze that sets them apart from other places in town. The square and upside-down Sicilian pie comes loaded with sweet tomato sauce, mozzarella, pecorino romano, and a sesame seed bottom that ensures each bite has just the right amount of char and nuttiness.
This French spot that reopened in 2022 is on the 59th floor of the Four Seasons, and the panoramic views of the city and the warm welcome from the staff really set the stage for an incredible meal. Go for the six-course land and sea $198 tasting menu, where you’ll find things like perfectly cooked wagyu beef tenderloin and beautifully seasoned black bass with a sweet and sour vegetable jus. The price point makes it somewhere you should probably save for a special occasion.
At Omakase by Yanaga, sashimi gets plated with gold Louis Vuitton chopsticks. That’s just one detail that makes this spot in Fishtown feel like a more glamorous than usual omakase experience. They only do a $195, 25-course tasting menu from Thursday-Saturday, and it all happens in a private section of Izayaya by Yanaga. The fish is truly excellent with small bites and nigiri that can range from scallops coated with preserved lemon, a toro tartare served on milk bread, and crispy yellowtail.
This Mediterranean spot in Old City will stay in your head long after you have a meal there, like the fact that your morning cappuccino froth will probably remind you of the goat cheese cream on their ravioli. The menu at this BYOB is heavy on the seafood, so you can expect to see couples sharing plates of octopus drenched in a garlicky limoncello pesto and birthday celebrations centered around some perfectly cooked salmon covered in a mound of fluffy couscous and tzatziki.
It’s rare to find a Turkish spot in the city that delivers one hit after another. But now we’ve got Pera in Northern Liberties, where dishes like tabouli, silky hummus, and lamb chops make for great plates to split with a group. Inside, there are a handful of long tables where you should post up with a couple of friends, along with cozy two-seaters near the massive windows if you want to people-watch on a casual date night.