Spent last weekend in Philadelphia – and thanks to Mindy Elgart – had the most amazing time exploring the city’s food scene!
Here are my top spots – all three are in the Fishtown/Kensington section of town.
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons (1355 N. Front Street)
My absolute favorite – loved the ambiance, the somm was amazing, great cocktails and wine, the food is top-notch (pastas, pizza, beets, stuffed dates, Hamachi crudo – we had it all!).
It’s a very cool spot with a young vibe but it attracts a diverse age group. Very refined in a hipstery way. If I lived in Philly, this would be my go-to for sure!!
They also have a small hotel with a couple of rooms next door.
Helm (1303 N. 5th Street)
Loved this almost as much! Great vibe – a little more casual than Wm. Mulherin’s. Definitely attracts a younger foodie set. The menu is very innovative but not in a crazy way. I am also under the impression that it changes frequently based on what is in season or available at the market. But one item that really rocked my boat was the octopus small plate with squash and olive oil – just about the most delicious thing I’ve ever had. Make sure you order it if you see it on the menu.
The staff is great, very informed and friendly. They do need to get tougher on the dawdlers from the earlier seating so that those with later reservations get their table.
It’s also BYOB – which is much appreciated. It doesn’t look like there is a liquor store anywhere in the vicinity so be sure to bring a bottle or two with you.
La Colombe Torrefaction (1335 Frankford Avenue)
This is La Colombe’s flagship café and roastery and absolutely fantastic. I would definitely hang out here if I lived nearby.
They also serve pizza and wine and have wifi and lots of communal tables. The draft latte is the best! Never had it before but so delicious (I hope that calorie count they provide is accurate).
Read on below for my favorite ice cream parlor and for a really fun, creative Vietnamese streetfood place – as well as a complete listing of all the places we hit up.
The Franklin Fountain (116 Market Street)
The caramelized banana ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate fudge is just about the most awesome thing I’ve ever had. A definite must when visiting Philly.
It’s a real old-timey kind of place and usually you can expect a long wait but we visited mid-afternoon on a cold day so got right in.
Note: it’s next door to Shane Confectionary, another old-timey kind of place.
Streetside (165 W. Girard Avenue)
The food was good and the mocktails were especially innovative. I wouldn’t classify this as the best Vietnamese I’ve ever had but it is a very chill place and the food is very tasty – and not expensive.
They’re open for both lunch and dinner.
In case you’re wondering if this was it, NO! Here is a full list of all the restaurants we hit up. While all were good, they were not as unique or as exceptional as those listed above:
- Vernick – Mindy loved the uni dish, so if you get in, that’s what you need to order!
- Double Knot – good food and fabulous smokey cocktail but it felt like were in the midst of a giant tinder date
- a.Kitchen – service was very off
- Barbacoa – meh!
- The Hungry Pigeon – good breakfast place but very out of the way for us
- Reading Terminal Market – NOT my scene but man, people love this place!!
- Parc Brasserie – good, not great (it’s Starr’s Balthazar)