Barbuzzo: Jewel of the Mediterranean

Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney are the power couple responsible for transforming 13th Street into a Philadelphia destination – with a total of six restaurants and boutiques spread over a few blocks, they’ve put their stamp on this part of the city. One of the best is Barbuzzo, a stylish and comfortable wine bar and restaurant that draws flocks of delighted diners every night. The appetizers here are top-notch – get the “pig popcorn,” made from house-smoked pork rinds with apple cider vinegar powder, piment d’espelette, and horseradish aioli. The wood-fired pizzas are also splendid, cooked to crispy, chewy perfection and topped with market-fresh ingredients. Cheese boards are curated amazingly, with the goat cheese drawing special raves. The sheep’s milk ricotta is also a must. The menu is filled out with a number of pasta dishes and spectacular desserts. Sit at the bar by Barbuzzo's kitchen to watch the chefs work their magic.

110 S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-9300

Beau Monde: Classy Crepes

Crepes are undergoing a bit of a renaissance in American restaurants lately, and for good reason. The skinny French pancakes are remarkably versatile, pairing equally well with sweet and savory ingredients. At Philadelphia’s Beau Monde, loyal diners rave about the exceptionally light, airy crepes and well-chosen fillings that make up the menu. Owners Jim Caiola and David Salama imported traditional cast-iron griddles from the Brittany region of France for their restaurant, and they make them the traditional way. Pretty much everything on the menu is splendid, but some dishes that draw raves from regulars include the mushroom, Swiss cheese, and toasted almond crepe, as well as the Andouille sausage with ratatouille and caramelized tomato sauce. You can also create your own crepe from a wide range of ingredients, and Beau Monde is happy to recommend combinations for you. The Saturday and Sunday brunches are a great way to start a day as well.

Beau Monde
624 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 592-0656

Schuylkill Banks: Riverside Bliss

If you haven’t gotten the memo, Schuylkill Banks is Philadelphia’s premier riverfront destination, replete with greenways, parks, riverfront docks, boathouses, residential areas and industrial sites. Go there to walk, jog, bicycle, rollerblade, stroll, sunbathe and picnic along the river’s banks in a fun, vibrant outdoor environment. It’s just a hop-skip from many Philadelphia neighborhoods, providing a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors close to home. More than a mile of trail connects to Kelly Drive and 5,805 feet of trail is located at Grays Ferry Crescent. Bring your kayak and set off on the river, or bring a pole and fish along the banks. Whatever activity you choose, be sure to take advantage of this fantastic outdoor space in the heart of the city.

Schuykill Banks
Philadelphia, PA 19103

In Riva: Wood-Fired Pizzas

In Riva specializes in wood-fired pizzas oven, sumptuous pasta dishes and savory grilled meats and seafood. Bar offerings include an eclectic array of wine choices, Italian craft beers and specialty cocktails named after Italy’s famed bicyclists. Lunch offerings feature Arugula & Mushroom Salad with crispy shallot and Parmigiano, Crispy Artichokes with lemon yogurt, Pea Soup with roasted garlic and Olive Oil Potatoes with lemon yogurt. Pizza choices include the Quattro Formaggi with ricotta, scamorza & marinated tomato, Polpette Diavolo with meatballs, pistachio & hot pepper and Broccoli Misti with broccoli rabe, ricotta and scamorza. Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

In Riva
4116 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19129
(215) 438-4848

Bufad: Wood-Fired Pizza

Bufad, Philly’s latest entry on the wood-fired pizza scene, features a hip, energetic ambiance, friendly service and a small menu of Italian offerings. Starters include Scamorza with smoked cheese seared in a cast iron skillet with oven roasted mushrooms, and Crostone Bacala with potato, chicken liver & a puree of cannellini beans & fresh herbs. For a delectable, healthy meal, try the Escarole Salad with green apples, toasted almonds & warm raisin vinaigrette. Pizza choices include the Sausage with house made fennel sausage, sauteed greens, & shaved pecorino, the Escarole with tomato sauce, spicy marinated escarole, napolitan salumi and ricotta cheese, and the Mushroom with wood roasted mixed mushrooms, rosemary, guanciale, smoked mozzarella, taleggio & white truffle oil. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

1240 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 238-9311

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The Farm and Fisherman: Nature’s Bounty

The Farm and Fisherman’s chef, Joshua Lawler, is widely regarded as one of the nation’s hottest up-and-comers. His last assignment was in the kitchen at the prestigious Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where he developed daily tasting menus for the restaurant. Since establishing The Farm and Fisherman, he’s brought that incredible attention to detail and high-quality ingredients to hungry Philadelphians. The dining room here is quite small, but it’s well worth the effort to get in. From top to bottom, the menu is spectacular. Some favorites include the “bloody beet steak,” made with yogurt, shallots, pan drippings, and aged balsamic vinegar, as well as the incredible pork cheek braised in Hop Devil ale and served with a raisin agridulce. For main courses, the pastured chicken baked in hay is a stalwart that never fails to impress, as does the striped bass with endive. These are innovative, perfectly-composed plates that show the best that Philadelphia’s chefs have to offer.

The Farm and Fisherman
1120 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 687-1555

Union Trust: Supreme Steaks

If you’re on the hunt for a steak cooked to absolute perfection, make a reservation at Union Trust. This independent steakhouse is one of the best in Philadelphia, boasting grass-fed beef, line-caught seafood, and a flabbergastingly good raw bar. This is a mode of dining that has a serious history and tradition, and the staff at Union Trust embraces it. The dining room is large, but designed in a way to give diners maximum comfort and privacy. Service is attentive and utterly professional, and the waiters are extremely informed about the kitchen’s offerings. Union Trust's menu is well-constructed, with special attention going to the beef. You have your choice of Angus beef or 28-day dry aged, in a number of cuts. A variety of sauces and toppers are available – go for the black truffle butter, as it adds tremendously to the steak. Union Steak's raw bar delivers oysters by the dozen, but try one of the seafood towers if you really want to splurge. Union Steak is one of the best dining destinations in all of Philadelphia.

Union Trust
717 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-6000

August: A Culinary Delight in South Philadelphia

This awesome Italian restaurant is one of Philadelphia’s most popular eateries, and for good reason. The kitchen is absolutely top-notch. This is an intimate BYOB restaurant, with just 30 seats. Opening across from Columbus Square Park in South Philly, August developed a local following with incredible speed. The menu is Italian fusion, incorporating flavors and ingredients from all over the world, and there’s not a bad dish on the entire menu. Appetizers are well-constructed and lead you into the meal with ease – try the great beet salad or the sautéed artichoke hearts with sun-dried tomato, white beans, and spinach. Some of the favorites according to regular diners include the astounding farfalle pasta with lump crabmeat, porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in a light, refreshing cream sauce, as well as the awesome pan-roasted salmon with sweet chili sauce and risotto. Desserts are very good, with the banana bread pudding and the cheesecake both winning raves.

1247 S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-5926

Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat: Worth the Wait

Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat is one of Philly’s most popular eateries for a heartwarming meal that will soothe your palate and satisfy that hankering for homemade goodness. The lengthy menu befits a classic diner experience, but look out for bargain combos like a breakfast of eggs, potato latke, challah toast, and coffee for an unbeatable price. From staples like chicken-fried steak, meaty Reuben sandwiches, and green bean casserole to specialties like savory matzah ball soup, buttery biscuits, and potato pancakes with sweet, cinnamon-rich applesauce, there are delicious options for every appetite and taste preference. There’s no reason to rush over the lovingly prepared platters of old favorites, as the rustic atmosphere—complete with pine wood floors—and patient staff encourage leisurely dining and appreciation.

Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat
800 N. 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 925-1150

Pumpkin: In Season

With a focus on fresh, local food, Pumpkin serves a menu that changes with the seasons. The menu’s limited selection reflects each dish's ingredients, allowing diners to know exactly what they're eating and where it comes from. Examples of moderately priced menu selections include fresh seafood and vegetables, daily soups and sides, and local meats. The best deal for diners with adventurous palates and big appetites is the Sunday tasting menu! People who really enjoy Pumpkin’s offerings can stop by their next-door market and pick up farm-fresh food to bring home. The intimate interior makes Pumpkin a great spot for a romantic dinner. A few words of caution: Pumpkin is BYOB, not always vegetarian-friendly, and cash-only.

1713 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-4448

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