A roundup of the best grub, best drinks, and best desserts by neighborhood. Up now: South Philly.
Ultimo’s Coffee – There’s no shortage of caffeine to be found along East Passyunk Avenue, but by far the best coffee is at Ultimo at 15th and Mifflin. Perfectly-pulled shots and pour-overs of Counter Culture coffee, paired with expertly frothed milk.
Cocktails at Townsend – It’s true that this charming French restaurant is getting lots of attention for its food, but on the shot-plus-beer and BYOB-heavy stretch of Passyunk Avenue it has also emerged as the best option for pre-dinner cocktails, as well.
South Philly Barbacoa’s Tacos– Formerly only available from their 8th and Watkins truck, Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller have recently moved into a colorful storefront. Only open Friday through Sunday from 5:00am until they sell out, it’s worth waking up early for Martinez’s slow-roasted lamb tacos.
Bing Bing Dim Sum’s Soft Serve – You can’t go wrong with the dumplings, but one of the stars on Bing Bing’s menu is sweet rather than savory. Soft serve ice cream in a seasonal rotation of swirled flavors like honey roasted peanut with tutti frutti, mango chili with vanilla cardamom, and Vietnamese coffee with cinnamon.
Fountain Porter’s Burger – Perfect in its simplicity, the burger at Fountain Porter is among the best, cheapest eats in South Philly. Five bucks gets you a beef patty on a potato roll with lettuce, tomato, and American cheese, and you’ll have enough cash left for one of their excellent beers, as well.
Nasi + 3 Jenis Sayur at Hardena – Delicious Indonesian dishes like beef rendang, satay, and gado gado, a salad of steamed vegetables with peanut dressing, served up in a colorful, no-frills cafe by the incredibly friendly staff. Less than $10 will buy you rice and three dishes from their cafeteria style set-up. It’ll be your best meal of the week.
Tiramisu at Mr. Martino’s – Only open three days each week, the homey Italian fare at this South Philly trattoria is closer to home cooking than restaurant fare, and that’s precisely what gives it its charm. Make a meal of pasta, and definitely save room for a thick slice of tiramisu for dessert.