At 12 p.m. on a weekday, it's pretty clear that the new, rebranded, fast–casual restaurant Dig has already made a great impression on Rittenhouse’s chicest residents. The very long line of eager lunchers snakes through the restaurant, passing an open kitchen and potted plants. 

The space is very welcoming. The broad window on the face of the restaurant lets in just enough afternoon light to brighten the entire space. Abstract paintings grace the wall, accompanied by folksy music and muted chatter of satisfied diners. The clientele are undeniably cool, and all ages are represented. 

Photo: Sudeep Bhargava

While Dig is a New York–based chain, it certainly doesn't look or taste like one. 

The paper menu listed a wide variety of options for a build–your–own bowl style ordering system (similar to ordering at Chipotle). Customers can choose from items like “Farm Greens with Mint,” “Charred Brussels with Honey–Chili Oil,” and “Meatballs with Tomato Ragu.” Dig offers suggestions for combinations, like their “Classic Dig” bowl, which includes Charred Chicken, Charred Broccoli with Lemon, Classic Brown Rice with Parsley, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Garlic Aioli Dressing.

I was not expecting a spectacular meal from a fast–casual eatery, but the Classic Dig bowl was truly incredibly seasoned. I came expecting healthy Chipotle lunch, featuring vegetables that were processed and not particularly fresh. I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted a fresh meal with a variety of crisp flavors.

The Charred Chicken was tender and tasted as if it had been charred in my backyard. The long stalks of Charred Broccoli with Lemon had just enough crunch without being undercooked. These complementary textures mixed well with the fresh Classic Brown Rice with Parsley. The Roasted Sweet Potatoes were tender and added the perfect starch to the meal. The Garlic Aioli Dressing drew the dish together to create a savory, tangy lunch. 

The Rosemary Vinaigrette and the Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan are honorable mentions from the menu. The Dig made Ginger Mint Lemonade—a sparkling drink with a satisfactory kick of ginger—taste amazing (and I don't even like ginger!)

Photo: Sudeep Bhargava

On top of the wonderful meal and lovely ambiance, Dig’s food sourcing is local and sustainable. Their website explains that Dig sources from 102 farms, and that they “buy from minority–run and small–scale farms, using [their] purchasing power to support sustainable growing practices and invest in the future of farming.” Dig also runs a farm in upstate New York to source some of their veggies. 

In July of 2019, Dig Inn announced that they would be renaming themselves Dig to emphasize that their mission expands beyond just serving good food. For example, since Dig won't use day–old vegetables, they donate their leftovers to reputable organizations

Dig has the potential to become a Rittenhouse staple—its fresh food, environmentally friendly farming, and sourcing practices, combined with its calming atmosphere ensures that Dig has earned the reputation it seems to have already garnered in other cities. 

Location: 1616 Chestnut St

Hours: Monday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Price: $$