If you’re a devout foodie, fall is a great time to be in Philadelphia.
As the seasons change, so do the menu options of many top restaurants in the city, looking to infuse popular fall tastes into new, inspired dishes. But it’s not just what’s on the menu, but all the new concepts coming to the area this fall. At last count, there are anywhere between 12-13 new restaurants hitting Philly’s food scene before the year ends – some are expanding from flagship locations, but a majority are completely new, in terms of concept, location and ambience.
For example, it seems Rittenhouse is the obvious next place to go for popular Fishtown-Kensington BYOB restaurants like Stock and Helm, as both are set to expand into the Rittenhouse neighborhood this fall. Known for its intimate setting on Girard in Fishtown, Stock is set to bring much of that same casual vibe along with favorites like its spicy papaya salad and peanut noodles and that banh mi that rivals any you’ll find in the city.
If it’s new dishes you want, Honeygrow founder Justin Rosenberg has partnered with an NYC favorite to add some flair to his menu with a noodle bowl ($14.50) that already sounds sexy by description alone. Pairing with popular Gotham bagel shop Black Seed, the bowl will host Honeygrow’s egg noodles, smoked salmon and organic baby spinach, tossed in a three-herb pesto sauce. Where Black Seed enters is in the final touches, everything bagel flavored croutons along with an everything bagel spice that features red onions, fried capers, watermelon radish and fresh dill. The bowl doesn’t drop throughout Honeygrow locations until October as it’s still being perfected inside the company’s Front Street test kitchen.
But if you’re more of a sit down, enjoy the ambience sort of diner, there are a few new spots that offer ideal settings. Perhaps none more than Harper’s Garden, the new indoor/outdoor restaurant in Center City, offering great food and an even better dining experience. A fan favorite in the entree category is surely the crab spaghetti ($19), which offers jumbo lump crab over a harissa spice blend of noodles and squash, rounded off with garlic bread crumbs, oregano and basil. This spot seats more outside than in (roughly 50 tables inside) making it an obvious choice if you’re looking for a nice meal under city lights.
Suraya, the popular Lebanese-inspired eatery on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, is set to open its back patio for the fall season as well. An ambience that truly speaks for itself, the restaurant sports fireplaces, lounge seating and a garden. With the added space, diners have more space and seating options to enjoy some of the great dishes on Suraya’s lunch and dinner menu.
This is only a sampling of options from a city that hosts James Beard award-winning chefs, some of the best restaurants in the world, arguably more food trucks per capita and overall a food scene people from all over flock to give a try. Enjoy fall, folks, and all the season plans to offer your plate and your palate.
FRESH FOR FALL
With more than 10 new eateries already open or set to open this fall, here’s five that you should definitely consider for a Friday night if you’re looking to change it up and have a conversation starter when you’re back in the office on Monday.
If you’re going to Louie Louie, the trip is less for a big meal but more to sample some absolutely fantastic cocktails. This University City eatery is gorgeous on the inside and features French-inspired dishes but that definitely arrive with an American twist. We kept it strictly American with a pairing of the steak tartare ($17) and the truffle pomme frites ($8) – a steak with french fries, essentially – and were not disappointed. But back to the cocktails; Louie Louie offers 13 different specialty cocktails all priced reasonably fair and housed with any spirit you heart desires. Highly worth a trip to the West side of our fair city. | 3611 Walnut St. louielouie.restaurant/
Graduate Hospital has its first Italian-inspired BYOB in this well-lit and airy eatery featuring classic Italian favorites and some that will definitely expand your horizons. The group that brought us Center City’s Melograno has bolstered this menu with a host of seafood options. Ever had sea urchin? No? Well, for $18 you could try it in the Carbonara di Mare, a sea urchin spaghetti with egg sauce, pistachio, black pepper parmesan and garum, a Roman-inspired fermented fish sauce used as a condiment on many menus in the Old Country. Enjoy. | 1001 S. 17th St. lanimaphilly.com/
From the folks that brought you Dizengoff, Abe Fisher and the cancer-curing Zahav, the Rooster is packed with a rundown of Jewish-inspired sandwiches that are too good to say you’ve never tried. There’s the lox, egg and onion sandwich ($10), which features house cured salmon, eggs and schmear all pressed between a kaiser roll. Pair it with a signature soup and it’s game over. It’s first-come, first-served as the Rooster doesn’t do reservations. Perhaps the best part about this place is not only its food but its mission as all proceeds from the Rooster support Broad Street Ministry. | 1526 Sansom Ave. roostersoupcompany.com/
Open since July, Irwin’s, the rooftop restaurant located alongside Bok Bar in South Philly, offers a great menu and a great ambience. Small Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is the goal of this menu as Irwin’s features dishes like a lamb kofta ($13) which features herb-spiced lamb meatballs and spicy paprika lamb meatballs alongside a herb tzatiki-like yogurt sauce. There’s also over five different salad options (highly suggest the eggplant salad) and more than 10 specialty cocktails on the menu to pair with any dish. | 800 Mifflin St. irwinsupstairs.com/
Chef Drew Abruezze is doing big things at this Fishtown-East Kensington piano bar, located in a part of the neighborhood that if you blink twice you could miss. What you can’t miss once inside is the clean cafe feel on the first floor and the more intimate lounge setting on the upper floors complete with a grand piano in the dining area. The dishes at the new Pineville iteration are modeled closely from the success the restaurant has had at its historic Bucks County location, featuring a fresh raw bar daily, to bar favorites, to a Luger steak ($75) that feeds two if you have the appetite. | 2448 E. Huntington St. pinevillefishtown.com