12 Fishtown Restaurants Not to Miss

We don’t need to tell you that Fishtown is a foodie’s paradise. From world-class dining rooms to beer gardens and casual spots for an excellent slice, this area has something to offer for everyone. We’ve spent lots of time eating our way around the neighborhood and created this road map to share some of our favorite restaurants in Fishtown.  

Our top choices include…For Mediterranean specialties, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is an excellent choice. Suraya is great lovers of mezze, kebabs, and creative cocktails. Splurge on Thai dumplings and river prawns at Kalaya. Don’t miss the fresh pasta at Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar, and the pizza at Pizzeria Beddia is a must. Keep reading for details and more recommendations.

Wm Mulherin’s Sons

Fried zucchini blossoms on a plate beside two cocktails.
Zucchini blossom tempura at Wm Mulherin’s Sons

This 100-year-old building that was once a whiskey blending and bottling facility is now a restaurant and boutique hotel serving some of the best pizza and pastas in the city. We love their Margherita pizza with buffala mozzarella and the dry aged ribeye with gnocchi alla romana.

For a sophisticated night out, enjoy an expertly crafted cocktail on a crushed velvet loveseat by the glow of Wm Mulherin’s indoor fireplace. If you’re looking for fresh air, Mulherin’s has two outdoor seating areas in the garden and on the sidewalk that are perfect for a nice night or for a relaxing place to have brunch.

Kalaya Thai Kitchen

Platter with grilled prawn, peanuts, herbs, and sauces.
Goong phao, the river prawn entree at Kalaya

Chef Nok Suntaranon’s traditional Thai dishes at Kalaya are executed with exacting precision and unexpected creativity. Her inventive dumplings are signatures that have helped earn the restaurant numerous national accolades, and the fiery curries are spicy and sublime.

One of our favorite items on the menu is the river prawn. The large platter is prepared tableside with a mix of the succulent prawn meat, fried shallots, garlic, peanuts, jasmine rice, and sauces. We dare you not to eat every bite. Also don’t miss the beef tenderloin stir fry that strikes the right sweet and savory notes with coconut cream, ginger, chilis, and onions.

They are open for evening service and weekend lunch. A table at Kalaya is highly sought after, so plan several weeks ahead if you’re hoping for a prime time weekend reservation. The restaurant shares a parking lot with Suraya at the corner of Front Street and Oxford Street, which we use regularly.

Frankford Hall

People at picnic tables in beer garden.
Frankford Hall’s beer garden

Embrace Philly’s German roots with a cold stein and a hearty bratwurst to soak up the suds. Frankford Hall–a German-style, open-air beer garden–is the perfect spot for happy hour, complete with picnic tables and all the Old World charm you can handle. We’re big fans of the giant Bavarian pretzel and cheese dip.

Frankford Hall is generally busy and weekend evenings and doesn’t take reservations, so prepare for a wait, especially if you have a larger group.

Suraya

Cheese pastry with crumbled pistachios.
The kanafeh dessert at Suraya

Going head to head with James Beard Award-winning Zahav, Suraya has gained a reputation of one of city’s best and one of the best restaurants in Fishtown. Suraya infuses its open concept dining room with traditional Middle Eastern flair, offering complex but inviting flavor profiles that will keep you coming back.

At dinner, we love the kafta kebabs and creamy labneh dip. If the fatteh is on the menu, don’t skip ordering this incredible dish of chickpeas, eggplant, and crispy pita topped with cashews–it’s addictive. If you visit for dinner on Friday or Saturday night, you’ll get the Taste of Suraya, which allows you to pick a little bit of everything for $75. Suraya also offers one of the best brunches in the city, which features many of their delicious mezze plus dishes like poached Turkish eggs and a Lebanese omelette. As noted above, the restaurant has a parking lot on Front Street and Oxford Street.

Pizzeria Beddia

Pepperoni pizza with onion on a try beside a glass of red wine.
One of Beddia’s best

Before its current Fishtown location, Pizzeria Beddia was a no phone, open-till-sold-out operation. Joe Beddia has converted his one-man show into an electric dining room with a horseshoe bar, long farm tables, and the same incredible pizza. Pizzeria Beddia is also known for its natural wine program and its private “pizza and hoagie Omakase experience.”

Everything we’ve ever had at Pizzeria Beddia is delicious. You can’t go wrong with judion beans, Caesar-topped roasted vegetables, and a pizza with toppings of your choice. In summer, the go-to is the special–a pie topped with local corn, cream, marinated cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Pure heaven. (The entrance can be a little difficult to find–look out for the neon green hand holding up 2 fingers.)

Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar

Two kinds of pasta on plates.
Late summer pastas at Tulip

The open kitchen at Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar produces fresh, modern Italian-inspired cuisine. There are heaps of handmade pastas and classics like foccacia and decadent stracciatella. The inventive fried cauliflower with crispy shallots and pecorino wiz was one of the best things I’ve had lately. I left wishing the wiz was sold by the gallon.

Tulip features wines from Wayvine Winery & Vineyard in Chester County, which far exceeded expectations, along with a limited menu of PA spirits and beers. We enjoy this place so much that we’ve even ordered Thanksgiving dinner from them.

Middle Child Clubhouse

Cross-section of a BLT sandwich packed with ingredients.
Middle Child’s luscious BLT

Underneath the Market-Frankford El, Middle Child Clubhouse is the type of place you want to hang out all day. It’s casual with lots of space to relax, the bartenders are friendly, and there’s even a pool table to enjoy.

Beyond the ambiance, Middle Child Clubhouse is one of the best places for sandwiches in the city. Their breakfast sandwiches with fluffy eggs are legendary, and house-smoked pastrami draws rave reviews. In the summer, diners (myself included) come in droves when the BLTs with local heirloom tomatoes are available.

At dinner, the menu is eclectic, featuring everything from oysters to latkes served with unagi. The brick chicken and the cheeseburger are always home runs. Plus, plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan choices are available all day.

Pizza Brain

Funky painted sign saying Pizza Brain
There’s an outdoor garden in the back to enjoy your slice

Pizza Brain is up there with the best, offering giant slices, thin crust, and a museum of pizza memorabilia. Come for the quirky interior, stay for the pizza with unusual ingredient combinations. We love the mushroom-loaded Queenie pie and the Alana, a classic Hawaiian. Most pizzas are available in classic, vegan, and “gluten-friendly” versions.

Cheu Fishtown

Asian food of chicken buns and lettuce wraps with cocktail at a Fishtown restaurant
Asian-inspired dishes at Cheu

With a bright, airy interior, Cheu invites guests to indulge in their ramen, rice bowls, and dumplings. Set in a former horse stable with muraled walls and a vibrant red bar, Cheu embraces the spirit of Asian fusion and cart-style street food. We’re partial to the pork belly buns and the miso ramen with pork shoulder.

This casual spot has good happy hours deals every day of the week (yes, Saturday, too!). Indoor and outdoor seating are available. Reservations are always a good idea, but the bar is first-come, first-served.

LMNO

Guacamole, cocktails, ceviche, and other Mexican food on a table.
Appetizers at LMNO

Stephen Starr’s newest contribution to the Philadelphia dining scene, LMNO is a Mexican restaurant with a massive dining room, patio, and counter peering right into the kitchen. There’s even a bookshop and art gallery to browse once you’ve finished your tacos and margaritas.

The Baja-inspired menu includes aguachiles, tostadas, and nachos. The larger dishes are designed to share and feature several make-your-own tacos options, including a whole pan fried lobster. Some of our favorites include the carne asada tacos with delicious chimichurri and the snapper chicharron with salsa verde Italiano. At brunch, don’t miss the birria Benedict and tres leches French toast.

Murph’s Bar

If you’re hesitant to eat an authentic Italian meal at a place that sounds like an Irish pub… don’t be. Italian-born chef Francesco Bellastelli rents the kitchen from the bar owner and runs the place as a cash-only establishment. Murph’s tight corners and cult-following may leave you waiting for a table, but the fresh pasta and umami of each homemade sauce make it all worth it. The stuffed gnocchi and tagliatelle Bolognese are our favorites.

Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop

Cheesesteak and milkshake on an outdoor table.
Shake and cheesesteaks from Joe’s

Its nostalgic décor and affordable, tasty food make Joe’s Steaks + Shake Shop a popular choice in Fishtown. As the name says, Joe’s is most known for its cheesesteaks stuffed full of prime ribeye on a hard roll. Add in whiz and onions, and you can’t beat it.

But there’s more to Joe’s than cheesesteaks. Other top dishes include burgers, the hot sausage, and numerous milkshakes and sundaes. They’re open daily and you can get something delicious until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

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