Category Archives: Food & Drinks

Restaurants, bars, and all the food of Philadelphia.

Vernalicious: most underrated restaurant in Philadelphia?

Vernalicious, once a most beloved and popular local food truck, has gone brick-and-mortar in South Philadelphia. Chef Verna Swerdlow runs the kitchen in this corner take-out or eat-in BYOB restaurant at the corner of Front and Ritner in the Whitman neighborhood. The space is small and unassuming, but the food is always fresh and delicious and the service is warm and welcoming.

Whether you live in the neighborhood or come from out of town, the pulled pork grilled cheese from Vernalicious is an absolute must-try. That said, the vegetable and salad are the true star of the many dishes in the restaurant. Chef Swerdlow really knows how to bring out the brightness and flavors in a salad.

Vernalicious is the place to be if you’re looking for a true hidden gem tucked into a small corner of a quiet neighborhood.

Vernalicious
101 W Ritner St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 455-0905
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-7pm

Skip Zahav Reservations; take to Musi BYOB

Do you want to experience the Zahav taste without having to wait idly for a bar seat or wait 2 months for an impossible reservation?

Musi, is an intimate BYOB restaurant in South Philadelphia where chef Ari Miller pioneers relationship-based cuisine, focusing on the farmers, foragers, and makers supplying the goods for his peak-season and flavor-packed plates. Chef Ari Miller is an alum of both Zahav and High Street on Market. Named for chef Ari Miller’s legendary fishmonger in Tel Aviv, Musi is pioneering relationship-based cuisine, where food is an expression of the people and community it takes to nourish us all.

Musi’s small, daily menu offers guests the opportunity to choose a few plates on their own or simply let the kitchen cook for them. The service is about seasonality and story as much as geography and region. Each plate is intentional and represents our relationships to the farmers, foragers, makers and artisans who inspire us with unique products and one of a kind collaborations.

Musi made the list of 50 best restaurant in Philadelphia and received high praises from Craig Laban.

Musi BYOB
100 Morris St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

215-377-9466
musiphilly.com

The Yard South Bowl: Outdoor Bar and Games in South Philly

South Bowl boasts cutting edge bowling lanes, pool tables, arcade games, roof deck bar, and an amazing kitchen – all in a spot in South Philly with plenty of on-site parking. It has its own sit-down pizza lounge, which receives high praises. These are probably some of the reasons South Bowl won PhillyMag’s Best of Philly in 2016 for best bowling alley. Did we mention the bar and bowling happy hour?

The Yard at South Bowl (image via South Bowl)

More recently, South Bowl opened up the Yard at South Bowl — an ultimate backyard concept that includes the addition of outdoor games such as batting cages, a bocce court, shuffleboard, horseshoes, billiards, swings, outdoor lounge areas, and additional arcade games. A shipping container has also been added to house a new outdoor bar in addition to the existing rooftop bar and full bars inside.

Outdoor games at the Yard at South Bowl (image via South Bowl)

South Bowl’s brand new bocce court is already in play. And if you want to get competitive, the bocce league meets every Wednesdays at South Bowl during the spring, summer & fall seasons.

South Bowl
19 East Oregon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-389-2695
southbowlphilly.com

Mr. Wish Bubble Tea Coming to Whitman, South Philly

Mr. Wish is popular bubble tea and fruit beverage franchise that has made its way to the United States from Taiwan. There are currently five Mr. Wish stores in Philadelphia, including the Northeast, Temple, Chinatown, Rittenhouse and Washington Ave in South Philly. A sixth Philadelphia store is coming soon to 3rd and Oregon, in the Oregon Market next to Whitman Plaza. It should be interesting for this new Mr. Wish shop to set up in the Oregon Market plaza as there is already a Pho restaurant (Pho Ha Saigon) that serves boba smoothies and a Vietnamese bakery/sandwich shop (Banh Mi Square) that serves Vietnamese coffee and assorted drinks.

Mr Wish

Oregon Market plaza is a prime spot for the popular bubble tea/boba store as there is ample parking in this underdeveloped, up-and-coming part of South Philly.

Mr. Wish on Oregon Ave soft opens on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The grand opening is this weekend, with a buy one get one free special for their special tea.

Mr. Wish
Oregon Market
320 W Oregon Ave, Unit 5
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Oregon Diner ends 24-hour service

Another South Philly diner will be ending its 24-hour service. Oregon Diner, a Whitman Philadelphia staple at 3rd and Oregon ave, will be limiting its hours due to staffing difficulties. The diner, which also serves alcohol, used to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will now be open from 6am-midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and then open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

For generations, Oregon Diner has been serving all-day breakfast, affordable everyday entrée specials, and midnight coffee. Chef Spiro is always cooking up something fresh, and their bakery serves up homemade breads and pastries six days a week. Oregon Diner diner offers an extensive menu and full bar. 

Oregon Diner

With new restaurants and brunch specials popping up all over the city, old time diners are starting to restrict hours and services. As you’re out there enjoying brunch, don’t forget to support your local diner.

Oregon Diner
302 W. Oregon Ave, 
Philadelphia, PA 19148

(215) 462-5566

Philly Cooks 2019

Philly CooksPhiladelphia magazine and Foobooz’s annual food and drink festival returns to Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 from 6:30pm-9pm at the 2300 Arena in Whitman, Philadelphia.

Participating restaurants:

33RD STREET HOSPITALITY A.KITCHEN AMADA AMIS TRATTORIA BĀOLOGY BARBUZZO THE BERCY CADENCE CHEU FISHTOWN DIM SUM HOUSE EL VEZ FORK HARDENA HIGH STREET ON MARKET HOPS HUNGRY PIGEON LAUREL LE VIRTU LITTLE FISH BYOB NOORD EETCAFE NUNU OLOROSO OYSTER HOUSE PERLA PIZZERIA STELLA POD PUMPKIN PUYERO RIONE  THE RIPPLEWOOD RUSSET SOUTH GATE SARVIDA STINA STIR  TOWNSEND V STREET VEDGE VETRI VILLAGE WHISKEY WILL BYOB

2300 Arena
2300 South Swanson Street
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 from 6:30pm-9pm.



Top 10 Dive Bars in Philly

There is nothing better than a dive bar. Rather than getting all dressed up and spending extra money to journey across town, wouldn’t you rather just walk to the corner looking however you want with the few bucks you already have in your pocket?

Here are some of the best dive bars in Philadelphia, listed in no particular order.

Bob & Barbara

1509 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
215-545-4511

Bob & Barbara’s Cocktail Lounge is more of a gritty dive than the name suggests. It’s been serving the thirsty Philly community since 1969, and its cheap and dirty brand of fun hasn’t lost its charm. Pocket pleasing specials, like a nearly free shot of Jim Beam with a can of PBR keep the floors sticky, while a diverse crowd packs into the tight space for weekly live performances, from punk to jazz. No night is more wild than Thursday, as lineups of lip-synching drag hit the bar, presided over by the beloved local trans icon Miss Lisa. Bring singles for tipping.

Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar

1200 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-365-1169

At Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, everybody might not know your name, but they will give you a free birthday-cake shot on your birthday, complete with a candle. On days when it isn’t the anniversary of the hardest day of your mom’s life, Ray’s is your typical South Philly dive. You can even still smoke at Ray’s, which is either the greatest thing on Earth or a serious annoyance (where you fall on the scale is, not surprisingly, tied to your alcohol consumption).

Dirty Franks

347 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.732.5010

Dirty Frank’s got everything you need to get the job done, cheap pitchers, darts and Mrs. Pac Man.

Mcglitchey’s

259 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215.735.1259

Mcglitchey’s is an old school, grimy, friendly, smoking bar. It has a huge beer list and great food. So what could make McGlinchey’s any better? How about the face that $3.25 buys you whiskey and $2.95 gets you a beer.

Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar

1503 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA

Gotta respect Bonnie’s — outside of mussel night (and maybe a pizza night if you’re lucky), they don’t serve any food. So if you’re hungry, eat before you go. Because at Bonnie’s, you’re there to drink some cheap beer or cocktails. It’s simple, but that’s the way we like it.

Mccusker’s Tavern

2601 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA

Look up ‘neighborhood bar’ in the dictionary (Wiktionary, let’s be real) and you would probably find a picture of a bar that looks pretty similar to McCuskers. The South Philly tavern, owned by two brothers, is your quintessential neighborhood drinking establishment — the menu’s got burgers, sandwiches, and wings, domestics are cheap, and they have a dart board. Pretty much all you need in a bar.

Tattooed Mom

530 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA

Looks intimidating, but the people are friendly! Regular prices might be a little higher than some other dives, but luckily, most nights they’re offering a food or drink special, including half-priced drinks every day from 5-7pm and 10-11pm.

Black Cat Tavern on 12th

2654 S 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
267-519-3574

Opened by owners Marlise Tkaczuk and Tom Ball in the location formerly occupied by Cheech’s Beef & Ale, Black Cat Tavern serves Polish inspired food and has six beer taps featuring mostly craft beers.

Wander Inn

2500 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-800-1264

Wander Inn is a Whitman neighborhood gastropub featuring homemade comfort food, draught beer, wine, and cocktails. This little spot features a jukebox, dining room and pool table, brunch, and seasonal outdoor seating.

Oscar’s Tavern

1524 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA
19103 215.972.9938

Just a few blocks from City Hall, Oscar’s is in the perfect location for anyone who works in the heart of town. The 23-ounce Yuenglings for $3.25, good bar food, and year-round Christmas lights make this cash-only bar look like a scene from that weird Ryan Gosling movie. Be sure to build up that liquid courage before braving the bathrooms.

Lipkin’s Bakery opens in Whitman, South Philadelphia

Lipkin’s started their kosher bakery at 4th and McKean in South Philly nearly 50 years ago. The famous bakery then relocated to Rhawnhurst, where it became a staple for breads, pastries, cakes, and knishes. Now, Lipkin’s is coming home to South Philadelphia!

Lipkin’s Bakery recently opened up a new storefront in the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly at 2153 S. Hancock St. South Philly residents anxiously awaited the opening. The line was around the block!

Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly
Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly

Wander Inn opens in Whitman

Otis & Pickles didn’t last very long, but luckily Wander Inn is here to take its place.

Last year, the owner of The Dive and Watkins Drinkery purchased the taproom at Third and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia that last operated as Otis & Pickles. He renamed the gastropub The Wander Inn, after the historic Wander Inn that once stood at 18th and Federal Streets in Point Breeze before becoming the home of American Sardine Bar.

Wander Inn South Philadelphia

We haven’t read any recent press releases or announcements about the opening of Wander Inn, but at least a soft opening must have happened over the past weekend (according to all the untappd checkins we’ve seen).

The Wander Inn
2500 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19148