Why: For the people-watching. Yes, the food is excellent—beef bourguignon, baguettes, escargot—and the champagne equally so, but we love Parc most for the way it allows us to partake in conspicuous consumption while conspicuously comparing everyone else’s hair and shoes.
Honorable mention : Bibou.
Favorite Indian Restaurant
EKTA, TASHAN (tie)
Why: When it comes to Indian, the timeless Fishtown debate of “Ekta or Tiffin?” rings down through the years. In 2012, Tiffin’s hip little sister Tashan steps up; whether you lean toward Ekta’s Goan shrimp curry or Tashan’s goat cheese naan, you win.
Honorable mention : Tiffin.
Favorite Italian Restaurant
SPASSO, MODO MIO (tie)
Why: Spasso is damn classy and that’s all there is to it; the ravioli quatro formaggio is about as good as they come. Modo Mio is gorgeous and its portions are bountiful; lasagna bolognese and swordfish are musts.
Honorable mention : Le Virtu.
Favorite Mexican Restaurant
Why : Guacamole, and lots of it: “Indian Red” with spicy crab and cilantro; “Tito Santana” with mango and papaya; “Bazooka” with goat cheese and pistachio; “Cesar Chavez” with basil, Oaxaca cheese and pasilla-balsamic sauce.
Honorable mention : Tequilas.
Why: Amid a list with lots of longtime favorites, it’s awesome to see Philly’s newest pizza destination shooting to No. 1 with a bullet. Pizza Brain serves amazing artisan pies alongside a literal museum of pizza memorabilia; look around, eat, and look some more.
Honorable mentions: Pizzeria Stella, Rustica, Santucci’s, Fairmount Pizza, Slice.
Favorite Thai Restaurant
Why: Pineapple yellow curry, sauteed wild boar, lemongrass-marinated rack of lamb, fried white dragon, the irresistibly named “fantasy duck,” and the best mango sticky rice (with coconut cream) you’ll find around these parts.
Honorable mention: Circles.
Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant
Why: Only open a year now, Vedge has already made a name for itself both in town and out as a top-notch foodie mecca—its dishes locally sourced, meat-free and lovingly prepared. Autumn squash pierogies for the win.
Favorite Vietnamese Restaurant
Why: Le Viet cares about giving its customers a memorable dining experience—from the modernist aesthetic to the stunning array of two dozen unique stir fries. An arbitrary delicious choice: Mâng Tây Xào Bò, beef with asparagus, bamboo, and onions.
Favorite Wine Bar
Why: Bright and cheery environs, bries and goat cheeses till you can’t take any more, and an amazing wine list that spans American reds like Siduri’s cherry-inflected pinot noir as well as exotic dessert wines like the honey-nut treat of a Portuguese Malmsey.
Honorable mentions: Panorama, Vintage.
[ NEIGHBORHOOD FIXTURES ]
Why : Cool cuts for cool-lookin’ dudes. Like any good barbershop, it ain’t complicated.
PW's Summer Guide 2014