Food & Drinks

Restaurants, bars, and all the food of Philadelphia.

Valena’s Simple Cafe opening in Pennsport/Whitman

The vacuum repair shop has closed and is transitioning into Valena’s Simple Cafe! Pennsport and Whitman neighborhood have been sorely lacking in independently owned coffee shops. This new cafe, opening right at the border of Pennsport and Whitman, will be located at the corner of Front st and Snyder ave.

valena's simple cafe
Valena’s Simple Cafe coming soon sign posted outside (photo courtesy of Pennsport Facebook)
Valena's Simple Cafe opening soon
Valena’s Simple Cafe is hiring in the neighborhood (photo courtesy of Pennsport Facebook)

Irish Pub & VMCO Fundraising Social Event

Vietnamese Medical Charity Organization hosts their annual Fundraising Social at Irish Pub to raise money for the Vietnam Medical/Pharmacy Mission, a healthcare mission led by Philadelphia’s Temple University School of Pharmacy students and staff. 100% of proceeds from the social admission and raffle goes to buying medical and medical supplies. You can read more about the mission or donate at vietmeds.com.

VMCO Fundraising Social
When: April 14, 2016 from 7PM-10PM
Where: Irish Pub @ 2007 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
RSVP: $5 wristband @ door or RSVP on the event page.
Complimentary Appetizers, Drink Specials, Raffles, Prizes, Games

VMCO Fundraising Raffle

Fundraising Social

Philadelphia Cooks 2016: Fine Dining Event

Philadelphia Cooks is a premiere dining event hosted by foobooz of Philadelphia magazine. This annual event allows diners to taste sample dishes and meet the chefs from the kitchens of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, handpicked by the editors of Philadelphia magazine.

The event has been a success in past years. This year, 25 of the participating restaurants were featured in Philadelphia magazine’s 2016 “50 Best Restaurants” list. We won’t comment on whether this list is bias or not, but you can. This event is open to the public as long as you pay the $95 fee. (Early registration is over.)

Philadelphia Cooks 2016
FEBRUARY 16, 2016 | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

Participating restaurants:
A.Kitchen | Aldine* | Bing Bing Dim Sum* | Bistrot La Minette* | Brigantessa* | Bud & Marilyn’s* | Buena Onda | Butcher & Singer | Cheu Noodle Bar* | Coeur | El Vez | The Farm and Fisherman* | The Fat Ham* | Fitler Dining Room* | The Good King Tavern* | Helm* | Heritage* | High Street on Market* | Hungry Pigeon | Indeblue | Jerry’s Bar | La Peg | Laurel* | Le Virtù* | Lo Spiedo | Marigold Kitchen* | Monsu | Morimoto | The Olde Bar | Palladino’s | Pub & Kitchen* | Russet* | South* | Talula’s Garden* | Townsend* | Tredici | Twisted Tail | Urban Farmer | V Street* | Vedge* | Volvér* | Whetstone Tavern | Zeppoli*

5 Best Brunch Cafes in Philadelphia 2016

Brunching is one of the fasting growing hobby in Philadelphia. With dozens of brunch cafes and restaurants opening annually, it can be difficult not to overlook the best brunch spots.

Here is our list of the best must-try brunch places for your brunching adventures, boozy or not.

Cafe La Maude
Northern Liberties
816 N 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(267) 318-7869
This French-Lebanese cafe serves breakfast, brunch, lunch & pastries in Euro-style digs with sidewalk tables. They’ll serve your coffee in the most adorable mugs.

Cafe Lift
Avenue of the Arts
428 N 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 922-3031
This popular American brunch and lunch cafe offers a chill vibe, featuring art on the walls in an industrial space.

Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
Northern Liberties
800 North 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 925-1150
Honey’s is a Cash-only, BYOB diner offering a menu of Jewish & Southern comfort eats in a basic space.

Oregon Diner
Whitman
302 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 462-5566
Oregon Diner is an old school, traditional diner that has kept up with modern times. It has been a South Philly staple since the ’60s for filling diner fare served 24/7 in a booth-lined setting. It keeps intact that close neighborhood, old diner feel but has implemented new menu items to serve Philadelphia’s growing brunch needs. They also serve all the alcohol you can possibly consume on a Sunday morning, which is a lot.

Sabrina’s Cafe
Bella Vista
910 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 574-1599
Sabrina’s has three locations in Philadelphia, including locations in the Art Museum and University City, but the Italian Market location takes the number 1 spot for brunch. It’s original, BYOB, and gives you the real unique experience of city brunching.

Neon Lobster opens in South Philly

Neon Lobster, a gourmet Seafood takeout restaurant, opens at 2101 S. 3rd St, on the corner of 3rd St and Snyder. Neon Lobster stands at the boundary of the Pennsport and Whitman neighborhoods, technically belonging in the latter.

Neon Lobster
Neon Lobster sign via Neon Lobster Facebook

Last we heard, Neon Lobster was finalizing renovations and serving a limited menu of breakfast and La Colombe coffee. The full menu has not yet been made available, but they are accepting orders for holiday platters.

Neon Lobster Philly Platter
Neon Lobster announced order availability via Facebook

Justino Jimenez sells Los Jimenez

In November, chef Justino Jimenez sold Los Jimenez Mexican Cocin at Sixth Street and Oregon Avenue in the Whitman neighborhood. The loss of Jimenez, a previous Vetri chef, was a big disappointment for the residents of South Philadelphia.

Under new ownership, Los Jimenez has been rebranded as San Miguelito and continues to serve Mexican cuisine to the residents of South Philly.

Jimenez himself has taken over Logan Square Pizza behind the Franklin Institute and renamed it the Logan Square Pizza and Cocina. Logan Square Pizza and Cocina now serves al pastor in addition to their original pizza and menu items.

Fish Tacos from Los Jimenez
Chef Jimenez’s famous tacos will be missed in South Philly (via Michael Klein)

What was the reason for the big move? Is it the expansion of an empire or was South Philly simply too difficult to maneuver and profit?

Pennsport Beer Peddlers: a successful opening

Philadelphia’s most recently opened beer retailer has been enjoying the fine weather and support of local beer enthusiasts. Beer Peddlers, located at 1942 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, has seen tremendous success since it’s opening last week.

Part of the success may be due to the fact that is located next to Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store. Mostly, we think it’s due to their large selection of craft, import, and domestic beers.

Pennsport Beer Peddlers
Beer Peddlers is located right next to the liquor store (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)
Pennsport Beer Peddlers Opening Doors
Beer Peddlers opens their door wide in support of the fine weather (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)

Art & Craft Beer: Black Cat Tavern coming to South Philly

Black Cat Tavern plans to open at 12th and Oregon, where Cheech’s Beef & Ale once stood. Owners Marlise Tkaczuk and Tom Ball reveal that their draft will include craft beers and the bar menu will be Polish inspired. Tkaczuk will also be utilizing her talent to curate art shows at the bar.

Black Cat Tavern is scheduled to open in the Lower Moyamensing in January 2016. This tavern is the something new, artistic, and cultural that South Philly has been awaiting.

Cheech's closes for Black Cat Tavern
Cheech’s Beef and Ale will be gone and Black Cat Tavern will make it’s grand opening

Authentic Asian Dining in Lower Moyamensing

Along the Lower Moyamensing neighborhood, Cambodia Town serves some of the most authentic asian food in South Philadelphia. None of these little eateries have the grandeur of Washington Ave or Chinatown restaurants, but they have quality and richness of authenticity. The loyalty of the locals who have tried and loved their food have helped them prevail in South Philly for decades.

Influx of new residents have led to newly found fame of some of the restaurants in the once self-contained neighborhood. It will still takes courage to venture out to the unfamiliar ground and cross the language barrier. Be adventurous.

Cafe Vinh Long (2225 S 7th St; 215-334-8505; vinhlong.farphilly.com) is a small, simple restaurant cafe that makes fresh Vietnamese hoagies, or banh mi, right in front of you. Sure, you can travel to Washington Ave and other parts of South Philly to eat the mainstream Ba Le hoagie, or you could try this hidden gem. The Vietnamese coffee are made to order with French coffee drips.

New Phnom Penh (2301 S 7th St; 215-389-2122) is a hole-in-the-wall, less than 10-tables seating cafe that serves the absolute best Phnom Penh Noodle Soup (Hu Tieu Nam Vang) in Philadelphia. The streets around here are small, with less than inviting looks and some language barriers – but don’t let that stop you from trying some of the best Cambodian comfort food in the city, as reviewed by the Philadelphia Weekly.

 

Cambodian Noodle Soup
Noodle Soup with extra veggies and hot sauce via instagram

 

Other notable nearby Khmer eateries in Lower Moyamensing and Whitman neighborhoods:

Heng Seng Restaurant
2217 S. Seventh St.
215-755-5390

I Heart Cambodia
2207 S. Seventh St.
215-755-2728

Khmer Kitchen
1700 S. Sixth St.
215-755-2222

Khmer Sweet Basil
1801 S. Sixth St.
215-465-2329

Breezy’s Cafe Not Closing Permanently

Philly.com gave Point Breeze residents quite a scare when they announced in their headline that Breezy Cafe located at 1200 Point Breeze was closing. Kristin from Breezy’s Cafe was quick to ensure fans that Breezy’s Cafe is looking for a new location to move to and will not be closing permanently.

The building where Breezy’s Cafe now resides was listed on craigslist by OFC Reality, which caused a disturbance in the neighborhood. Ori Feibush of OFC Reality was singled out by some locals as a source of the confusion. Feibush addressed the criticisms thrown his way, but the details behind the situation remains unclear.

Breezys Cafe

Kristin’s Facebook message:

Hi friends,
I wanted to reach out and say thank you to everyone who has expressed concern about Breezy’s Cafe “closing”…and to let you know that it’s totally not true! Not sure why philly.com went with such an ominous headline, but we’re not closing! Take a deep breath, go to your happy place, and rest easy tonight on a bed of organic, sustainable greens wink emoticon.
We heard your feedback about the heating and cooling and, as many of you know, we’ve also had some (many) issues with water leaking. Attempts have been made to fix the problems, but so far without success. Since I’ve just been made aware that I will not be getting a new lease, you will not have to worry about those issues we’ve been having any longer!
Let’s worry about a better location to serve the community! We don’t just serve Point Breeze, we’re part of it, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.
Love you guys!
– Kristin
P.S. Point Breeze location suggestions welcome! Send me a message! ‪#‎pointbreezepride‬

Ori Feibush’s Facebook response:

Many of you asked me over the last few days why “I am pushing Breezy’s out” of their current location. I am not.
You asked me why I couldn’t try and make things work. I have.
You asked me why I haven’t given them a second chance. They had a dozen second chances.
You asked me why I had to let them find out through social media that their space was for rent. I did not. I told them 4 months ago.
You asked me why I couldn’t give them the first opportunity to lease their space again. I did.
You believed these tall tails because every story must have a hero and a villain and OCF must be that villain.
The truth is that Breezy’s had an opportunity that no small business owner ever gets. It’s an opportunity others could only dream of. Rather than take that opportunity and run with it, they took a crap all over it.
I spent $150,000 of my own money to help Breezy’s open up at 1200 Point Breeze. That amount does not include the year of free rent which I gave them to get on their feet, the fronting of their security deposit so they could open the doors without spending a dollar, or the thousands I spent with a smile on my face for taxes and insurance to make their lives as easy as possible.
You may also think that I own the building where Breezy’s is. I do not. I leased it for the sole purpose of giving them a real chance after they picked a terrible first location. Any of you who are disparaging my team are welcome to do the exact same thing for their next location.
All of that said, life is too short to hold ill will and I consider this to be a simple reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.
I wish Breezy’s nothing but success and hope they find their new location to be even better than their old.