South Philly - Food & Drinks Guide

South Philly - Food & Drinks Guide (Photo: VisitPhilly)

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PhillyBite10Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Also lining South are ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.

Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask) spans up to 14 blocks: Front Street all the way up to Broad Street.

Food & Drinks:

  • The Bean Cafe – With local art on the walls, a dessert case full of treats and a full coffee, tea and smoothie menu, this cozy cafe plays host to South Street’s artistic and indie crowd. The rotating selection of vintage action figures and other nostalgic items on display round out the fun vibe. 615 South Street, (215) 629-2250, fairmountfair.com/beancafe
  • The Boyler Room – “Good food, good fun, good friends.” That’s The Boyler Room promise, fulfilled with a weekly changing menu, 20 rotating beers on tap, TVs and an upstairs game room (pool table, arcade games). 328 South Street, (215) 413-8294, theboylerroom.com
  • Brauhaus Schmitz – At this authentic German beer hall, diners dig into hearty lunches, dinners and late-night dishes with modern, approachable twists. To wash it all down, they can choose from 30 beers on a tap and a bottle list so big it knocks the lederhosen off of any beer fan. 718 South Street, (267) 909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
  • Bridget Foy’s – Featuring a fantastic sidewalk deck, this South Street staple packs its menu with casual favorites for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The late-night menu is stuffed with a selection of shareables, including seasonal flatbreads and wings. 200 South Street, (215) 922-1813, bridgetfoys.com
  • Caribbean Delight – A jerk food destination, Caribbean Delight dishes out curry goat, curry shrimp, fried chicken and even vegetarian options. A large outdoor seating area and reggae music set the mood, so guests enjoy a mini-island retreat along with their Jamaican fare.
    1124 South Street, (215) 829-1030
  • Copabanana – This brightly painted, vacation-inspired eatery has been a South Street staple for more than 30 years. What keeps diners coming back? The tropical drinks, half-pound burgers and spicy Spanish fries. 344 South Street, (215) 923-6180, copabanana.com
  • European Republic – Specializing in quick bites, this market sells wraps, dips, frites, pasta, rice dishes and desserts to hungry clientele. 602 South Street, (215) 925-3509
  • Ishkabibble’s – Home to Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin’s favorite cheesesteak, this pink-and-yellow vendor is a South Street legend. Ishkabibble’s has been cooking up cheesesteaks and chicken cheesesteaks since 1979. They also operate a second location less than two blocks away. Favorites include Spanish fries and the original Gremlin, a half-lemonade, half-grape-juice concoction. 337 South Street, (215) 923-4337; 517 South Street, (215) 922-0494, ishka-philly.com
  • Jim’s Steaks South Street – Philadelphians love their cheesesteaks, and at Jim’s on South Street, locals and visitors alike wait for a taste of some of the city’s best. From lunchtime past 2 a.m., a line of hungry patrons stretches out the door and around the block. 400 South Street, (215) 928-1911, jimssouthstreet.com
  • Johnny Rockets – A perpetual crowd pleaser, Johnny Rockets keeps the 1950s alive with shakes, floats, hamburgers, desserts and a slew diner-inspired menu items. The South Street location is the chain’s only Philly outpost. 443 South Street, (215) 829-9222, johnnyrockets.com
  • Jon’s Bar & Grille – The actual birthplace of Larry Fine, one of The Three Stoogies, Jon’s boasts 10 big-screen televisions, 20 beers on tap and daily and game-time drink specials. A not-so-subtle mural overlooking the outdoor patio pays homage to Fine. 300 South Street,
    (215) 592-1390, jonsbarandgrille.com
  • La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria – Along with an extensive wine list and bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) nights every Wednesday and Friday, this Italian restaurant dishes out specialty platters, such as mussels and shrimp scampi, along with more casual eats. Diners round out their meals with selections from the decadent dessert menu. 636 South Street, (215) 627-9000, lafourno.com
  • Las Bugambilias – Those who crave Mexican fare can find authentic dishes for lunch and dinner here seven days a week and brunch Friday through Sunday. The restaurant’s draws include inventive cocktail and tequila lists and traditional house-made mole sauce that tops entrees, including enchiladas with Chihuahua cheese gratin. 148 South Street, (215) 922-3190, lasbugambiliasphilly.com
  • Lovash Indian Cuisine – Now with a full-service bar, this white tablecloth establishment comes with all the traditional plates one expects to find at an Indian restaurant. Plus, diners can enjoy some unusual ones such as scallops, crab in pastry and grilled salmon with Goan sauce. 236 South Street, (215) 925-3881, lovashrestaurant.com
  • Manny Brown’s – First opened in the summer of 1983, Manny Brown’s prides itself on dishing out good food and good fun. The menu features traditional bar food like Buffalo wings, chicken fingers and potato skins, and daily specials often make drinking here quite affordable. 512 South Street, (215) 627-7427
  • Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge – Serving Southern specialties with a big side of soul, Ms. Tootsie’s entices the dinner crowd with its award-winning golden fried chicken, lobster macaroni and cheese and collard greens. Patrons can make a night of it at the Luxe Lounge Sky Bar, offering cocktails, bottle service and a late-night menu. 1312 South Street, (215) 731-9045, kevenparker.net
  • Percy Street Barbecue – The product of James Beard-winning chef Michael Solomonov and restaurateur Steven Cook, Percy Street serves classic Southern eats, draft craft beers and delicious mixed drinks in a homespun atmosphere. Its off-tap selection alone makes it worth a stop, evidenced by its designation as one of the “15 Most Cantastic Places to Grab a Can of Craft Beer in America” by craftcans.com. 900 South Street, (215) 625-8510, percystreet.com
  • Serpico – New York’s Peter Serpico (of Momofuku Ko fame) and Philadelphia’s own Stephen Starr collaborate on this one-room, 60-seat project. Serpico has been credited with heralding a culinary renaissance for South Street, via an evolving menu of playful yet unfamiliar takes on global fare. 604 South Street, (215) 925-3001, serpicoonsouth.com
  • South Street Diner – Open 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this 40-year-old favorite serves traditional diner fare, along with Greek specialties such as spanakopita. Fresh baked goods and free delivery make it a go-to. 140 South Street, (215) 627-5258
  • South Street Souvlaki – For nearly 35 years, this South Street staple has been dishing out award-winning dishes. On the menu: authentic Greek and Mediterranean fare such as stuffed peppers, souvlaki, gyros and falafel. 509 South Street, (215) 925-3026, southstreetsouvlaki.com
  • Tattooed Mom – Beers and a casual comfort-food menu take the spotlight in this dive bar with a rock edge. Upstairs, a lounge, two pool tables and an eclectic art collection add to the joint’s laid-back vibe. 530 South Street, (215) 238-9880, tattooedmomphilly.com
  • Vegan Tree – The folks at Vegan Tree tout their love for three things: vegan food, their customers and the planet. The wide variety of vegetarian-friendly goodies here includes smoothies, cakes, bubble tea, chow mein, wraps and salads. 742 South Street, (215) 454-2898, 742vegantree.com
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