Historically a predominantly Italian neighborhood in South Philadelphia, East Passyunk is now a vibrantly diverse pocket of cafes, bars and restaurants celebrating the art of great hospitality and good cooking. The epicenter for most of the activity of this neighborhood is centered around the street for which the neighborhood is named: East Passyunk Avenue.
The entire mile-long stretch is dotted with incredible restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. Sure, you can get your Italian gravy and pasta, but how about Malaysian, Asian dumplings with a Jewish twist, or Spanish tapas? Whatever you’re craving, East Passyunk has it!
Primal Supply Meats
The meat cabinet is a beautiful gallery of locally sourced meats — Photo courtesy of Jason Varney
This female-run butcher is not a boutique meat supplier. They source from local pastures to provide the city of Philadelphia with a sustainable and high-quality product.
You can order a variety of cuts, such as ribeyes and pork shoulder as well as products like sausages, eggs and soup bones, all à la carte. Or join the Butcher’s Cub for an exclusive meat subscription. Primal Supply Meats is also the meat purveyor for several restaurants in Philadelphia, so be sure to study the menu to see where your meats are coming from!
Chhaya has the vibe of a hip coffee shop but serves a brunch so bountiful you’ll feel like your grandmother is trying to fatten you up. For nearly a decade, Chhaya has served up classic brunch comforts like quiche, truffled egg toast and homemade soups to the East Passyunk neighborhood.
Even if you’re not hungry, sitting back in their window seat with a coffee (perhaps a pour over, French press or siphon coffee) while people-watching on Passyunk Avenue is a delight.
Classic fried chicken is at the heart of this casual spot. Rocking a lunch-counter setting, Redcrest has mastered the art of fried chicken, pairing their delicious meat with homemade sides like buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, collard greens and corn pudding, as well as creative sauces like garlic ranch, spicy honey and spicy mayo.
Thighs, breasts, drumsticks and wings are succulent and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. If meat on the bone isn’t your style, you can get popcorn chicken, chicken tenders or a chicken sandwich. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a homemade sweet tea or lemonade.
Guests of Noord enjoy rustic, traditional meals in a chic and modern atmosphere — Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for GPTMC
Noord is a BYOB that puts a rustic twist on Dutch and Northern European cuisine. Located next to East Passyunk’s Singing Fountain, Noord has an elegant décor that matches its setting. Some specialty dishes include Gehaktballen (Dutch sirloin meatballs made with carrots, spinach and lingonberry onion jam), Lohikeitto (a seared Norwegian Salmon), and a beer-braised pork loin.
Noord is also open for brunch with dishes that feature more of Northern Europe’s lighter, fresher ingredients like beets, gooseberries and wild mushrooms.
Situated on the corner, Stateside offers great views of Passyunk Avenue — Photo courtesy of Fusco for GPTMC
Stateside is the perfect place to grab a classic cocktail. With over 100 bourbons and ryes, Stateside has one of Philadelphia’s most envious library of spirits. There’s also a menu of upscale gastropub fare such as broiled oysters, potato gnocchi and roasted duck salad with as many ingredients as possible sourced locally. But if whiskey, bourbons and ryes aren’t your style, Stateside also has a wide range of local beers and a wine menu for every palate.
A classic beef and onion meat pie from Stargazy — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
If you’re in the mood for British comfort food, then maybe you need a traditional English pie and mash. If that’s the case, then head down to Stargazy where Sam Jacobson has been cooking up savory meat pies, the classic being a traditional beef and onion pie served with mash and a parsley liquor.
Tucked away in a cozy storefront, the flaky, savory pies sell out quickly. So if you can’t get a pie, then try some traditional British desserts like sticky toffee pudding, fruit pie, or banoffee tart.
Chef Angelina Branca spent her formative years in Malaysia and when she moved abroad, she had the dream of opening a restaurant where she could showcase the flavors that she grew up with. Lucky for Philadelphia, she decided to set up shop on East Passyunk Avenue.
The “sate” in Sate Kampar refers to skewered marinated meats grilled over coconut shell charcoal, which is a great place to start on this authentic Malaysian menu. But diners can also get a taste of Branca’s childhood with a classic nasi lemak bungkus, rice soaked in coconut cream served with sambal, roasted peanuts, anchovies and a hard-boiled egg wrapped in a fresh banana leaf.
Bing Bing Dim Sum
This fusion of flavors has become a staple in the East Passyunk neighborhood — Photo courtesy of ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
You may have heard of fusion, but you haven’t seen a fusion like this before. Bing Bing Dim Sum is a playful take on dumplings, bao buns, rolls and noodles cooked in the Asian tradition but fused with Jewish deli flavors.
While some dishes stick to the rules of dim sum, like pork soup dumplings with miso flavoring, other dishes include a turnip cake made with matzo and bread with smoked whitefish, dill and cucumber. And because you’re in Philadelphia, there’s even a cheesesteak bao.
Since 2011, lifelong friends and Philly natives, Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi have been elevating the java-drinking experience by expertly roasting the coffee. Before the bean hits the roaster, Adams and Pileggi work hard sourcing seasonal single-origin beans to bring to Philadelphia’s coffee-lovers.
Through their passion, not only are they roasting and brewing an excellent coffee, but they’re educating locals on what it means to ethically source coffee beans, and showing by example the hard work and dedication that goes into a perfect brew.
Barcelona brings the joy of Spanish-style tapas to East Passyunk Avenue. The menu changes with the season, but you’re always guaranteed to have a quality Spanish meal infused with some of the best flavors the Mediterranean has to offer. As is the tradition of tapas, everything is served on small plates encouraging you to share, as well as try a bunch of different dishes. Be sure to bring friends so you can try all of the different flavors that Barcelona has to offer!