Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Feb 24, 2009 08:21 AM

Bored off the old haunts in South Philly - new reccs?

We've been to:

Cantina Los Caballitos
Nam Phuong
Cafe de Laos
South Philly Tap Room
Le Virtu
Carman's Country Kitchen
Morning Glory
Mr. Martino's
Lucky 13
Plaza Girabraldi
Black and Brew
Sarcone's Deli
Devil's Den

So where should we try? We're open to everything - a casual dinner out, take out, food shops, you name it!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cafe de Laos
    Tacqueria El Jarocho
    South Philly Tap Room (I haven't been there since the new chef came in though)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      Tell me about Tacqueria El Jarocho and Izumi!

      1. re: saturninus

        Izumi is the new sushi place across from the fountain at Passyunk and Tasker, it's good but it's no Zento.

      2. re: Buckethead

        I have been to SPTR twice in lst few weeks, and they have a great food menu, great beer and a really cool low key ambience. Oysters = excellent, watercress salad with "head", delicacy taken from cows head and crispy potatoes = excellent. head tacos at $1 a piece are great snacks etc.. everything we tried was really tasty, except for chopped salad, ok but not as good as everything else! - I am more of a regular at Royal Tavern and prefer to travel to SPTR.

      3. Hardena @ 17th and Hicks - Very good "home cooked" Indonesian food. $6 / plate! The place always looks like it's closed, but it's not. Really.

        El Jarocho @ 13th and Ellsworth - Truly-better-than-the-rest tacos are $2/pc - chorizo especially good. The goat special platter they do on Saturdays is sublime.

        2 Replies
        1. re: opq

          do you eat in or out at these restaurants?

          1. re: saturninus

            I always eat-in at Hardena - it's a bit like sitting in someone's house. Last time I visited, I recall they were watching the "Mr Bean" movie as I ate.

            I always take out from El Jarocho because I'm a little self-conscious about eating big, greasy, vile-looking tacos in public - possibly in front of women. Just can't do that.

        2. I've been meaning to try 1601 Cafe but haven't had the chance. Looks cute. Anyone been?

          6 Replies
          1. re: juice

            It was good (not great) when it first opened, but slid significantly until I finally stopped going there a year or so ago. Haven't been back since. They have good beers on draft and the place is nice inside if you just want to have a few beers, but the food is not good.

            1. re: juice

              I went to 1601 twice and it wasn't that great. The first time I wasn't impressed (and I can't remember actually why). The second time my husband ordered a burger, medium, and it came to us raw and ice cold in the middle. Of course when it was mentioned it was returned as a hockey puck, with the same bun (which had the raw beef juice on it). That was the end for me.

              I noticed the Royal Tavern wasn't on your list. Definitely worth checking out. Also Chiarella's makes great Italian in a friendly atmosphere.

              1. re: lawgirl3278

                How is Royal Tavern these days? I loved it when they opened but had some lackluster meals and stopped.

                1. re: saturninus

                  Royal Tavern is solid, solid bar food.

                  Brunch there is surprisingly satisfying, but go on Sunday because whoever works the bar on Saturday has no idea how to make a Bloody Mary. And the ones on Sunday are delish - spoken as someone who generally hates Bloody Marys.

                  1. re: saturninus

                    It's great. I'll agree for awhile a couple of years ago the menu got a little strange for me as they got rid of most standard bar food. But now they have a good mix. Their meat loaf sandwich is the best.

                2. re: juice

                  I haven't had a lot of luck at 1601. Also, I heard they just put a giant pool table in the back, so seating is limited.

                3. I still love the Royal Tavern - usually everything is bar-food delicious. Also, Southwark for an old-school cocktail and charcuterie, on 4th and Bainbridge.

                  1. Looks like your list lacks two of our favorites: Tre Scalini and L'Angolo.

                    If you get to Tre Scalini, try the veal filets (thick, juicy, tender) or the veal chop.
                    We like their pastas and many other things, too.
                    L'Angolo is always good and very reasonable.

                    I don't know if 13th and Wharton is too far away for you, but we think August is great. It's cash only. All these are byob.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sylviag

                      I don't eat veal, which is why I didn't like Tre Scalini but I am dying to try L'Angolo.

                      I forgot to list August. I liked it but didn't love it.