This fall has been an exciting time for the Philadelphia restaurant scene. Whether it’s old favorites like Taco Taco going back to their roots, or established restaurateurs branching out into new concepts like with Condesa and Merkaz, you can’t go wrong with any of these new places. Here's a list of all the restaurant openings you missed while studying for midterms and decorating your dorm room.
Developed by the same people behind Fishtown favorites Suraya and Pizzeria Beddia, Condesa serves up Mexican fare, with a focus on stone–ground masa. The all–day eatery is a laid–back cafe during the day that transforms into an upscale restaurant and bar at night. Come in the morning for conchas, alfajores, and breakfast tacos, and dine at night for a taste of upscale yet authentic tostadas, carnitas, and goat birria (and cocktails, of course). The expansive and trendy space is worth a visit if you’re into the Fishtown restaurant scene or just trying to get some quality Mexican food.
Location: 1830 Ludlow Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
As a restaurant with an emphasis on modern French cuisine, don’t expect to see the same croque–monsieurs or onion soups that are featured at Parc. Instead of moules frites, Old City’s Forsythia has mussels escabeche with uni and paprika. Crème brûlée? Add kettle corn. With innovative takes on classic French favorites, Forsythia and Chef Christopher Kearse have shown that French food isn’t nearly as antiquated as many people think it is.
Location: 233 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
With another French restaurant opening in Philly, it’s clear that French food is having a moment. Chef Richard Cusack has been behind some of Philadelphia’s most heralded French restaurants, such as Le Bec Fin, Bibou, and Parc. With this experience, Cusack cooks classic French dishes among more unusual recipes. Whether it’s Dover Sole ravioli or a classic roast duck, it’s sure to be an interesting and indulgent dining experience.
Location: 1911 E. Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Back and better than ever, Taco Taco Mexican takes the beloved dishes served up at Honest Tom’s before it went plant–based and brings them back. They still serve sweet potato and biff (a walnut–based beef alternative) in their tacos and burritos, but carnivores should be pleased to know that beef, chicken, and pork are back—and for good this time. It’s simple, close, and, at this point, a campus institution. Head to Taco Taco as soon as you can for some wonderful (carnivorous or not) tacos.
Location: 261 S. 44th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Okay, we got too excited. Merkaz isn’t technically open yet, but it’s very highly anticipated as a result of the K’Far hype. Yep, you guessed it, another Solomonov joint is opening up within the next month or so. This all–day Israeli sandwich shop is named after the Hebrew word that signifies a central meeting place; like K’Far, Merkaz also precedes many Israeli town, village, and neighborhood names. So far nothing concrete is known other than the expected opening month and that it’s going to focus on sandwiches, but that’s enough to get excited about when it comes to one of Philly’s most important restaurant empires.
Location: 1218 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
So what are you waiting for? Check out these restaurants for an experience steeped in hyped and elevated cuisine. Whether it's a couple blocks away or on the other side of town, make your next restaurant visit a real adventure.