It’s no secret that Philadelphia is a foodie city, and in 2022 there were a few new additions to the ever-evolving list of impressive eateries that made this year even more delicious.
This magical pub opened in the city this past spring, and brought with it an immersive experience involving food, drinks, atmosphere and a little bit of sorcery. This interactive space ultimately offers a full menu and bar, but also, a potion-making experience with technology embedded into virtually everything. The class itself (prices range from $40-45 depending on day and time) is a 1 hour and 45-minute experience that draws inspiration from fantasy novels and magical lore. Potion experiences range in offerings, but all come with a Potions Master to help you find the magic yourself.
The walk-in, alchemy-style cocktail bar will serve a range of signature molecular cocktails that showcase the science and magic of our world, according to its co-founder. The food also takes on some of the magical qualities of the venue, with some dishes set on fire and others served in unique and fresh ways.
1305 Locust Street, thecauldron.io/philly
Wilder opened earlier this year in March with much anticipation and comes from chef-restaurateur Brett Naylor, along with his wife and partner Nicole Barrick. The concept was originally supposed to open in 2020, but the pandemic had other plans. Now, everyone can enjoy this bar/eatery located in the Rittenhouse area of the city.
The space looks as though two people had their hands in decorating—one who loves the funky air of prints and mix-matched patterns, and the other who knows how to put together a sophisticated and comfortable venue that embodies fine dining. Together, it provides a unique experience that molds into one vision: Eclectic, yet refined. And food and drinks wise? Options are out of this world spanning pizzas, homemade pastas, seafood, refreshing cocktails, beer, wine and much, much more.
2009 Sansom Street, wilderphilly.com
REX at the Royal
When REX 1516 closed its doors, a new and revamped concept (now called REX at the Royal) was born and moved to the rejuvenated Royal Theatre in October of 2021. However earlier this year in April, more changes made a grand entrance at the fan-favorite spot. Rex at the Royal now offers a full café service and space for streetside dining, with wine and beer from the extensive bottle shop available for both dine-in and takeaway.
The new café at REX at The Royal, located adjacent to the distinct turquoise top bar, offers a full menu of coffee beverages all made with Green Street Coffee, including drip coffee, lattes and iced drinks with alternative milk options and seasonal syrups available. And for those who are looking for a dining and cocktail experience however, the full restaurant and bar is still open and serving up some Southern-styled comfort favorites.
1524 South Street, rexphl.com
Nestled in one of the most scenic street corners of Chestnut Hill, Adelinas sits in the previous home of Paris Bistro & Jazz Cafe, and comes from restauranteurs and brothers, Antonio and Giuliano Presta. Their new location is an accumulation of experience, inventiveness, and of course, some of their Nonna’s recipes. Named after said Nonna, Adelinas revamped the already-charming space to resemble an airy, romantic and fresh-faced venue full of food, laughter and hungry patrons ready to dig in.
The menu spans classic favorites, home-grown recipes and some twists, thanks to the brothers, and Chef Minh Dang. The atmosphere on the other hand is welcoming, and almost disarming. As soon as you walk through the door, the layout opens up: There’s greenery lining the walls, shiny glints of metallic fixtures all along the tables and bar, a soft steam from the extravagant espresso machine, and dimly lit candles during dinner service to set the tone.
8235 Germantown Ave., adelinasitalian.com
Michael Schulson’s spring-opened spot centers its cuisine on Italian fare with some American twists—specifically pizza, pasta and some unique starters with fresh ingredients. The venue itself however, starts off the meal with a visual appetizer. It’s light, bright and airy with soft wood fixtures, a gorgeous white marble-topped bar area, open windows and even a decent amount of outside tables that seem all seem to blend together in this small, but mighty space. And even though it opened in the spring, Prunella feels oddly (and satisfyingly) like summer.
Food-wise at Prunella, Culinary Director Ed Pinellowill offers an American-style pizza and fresh pasta menu. The pizza specifically has been the focal for many who have already dined here, and it’s earned that title rightfully so. Using their own type of styling (crispy on the bottom to hold thick and fresh ingredient combos on top) it’s a nice surprise to find a spot in the city that can rival even mom and pop shops in terms of taste, but have the added factor of interesting toppings to make it a bit more gourmet.
112 S. 13th Street, prunellaphl.com
The new eatery opened earlier this year in Old City, and although from the outside during the day, you can’t tell what exactly goes on past the front door — Frame opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday—it’s in the nighttime that this venue really comes alive. The experience starts with the vibe— which hits you with colors, shapes and all sorts of visual sensory points almost immediately. The space is stylish and chic, very much like a lounge, but there are tables with comfortable seating and even a small (but cozy) outdoor area there to keep things feeling homey as well.
The menu, from Chef Richard Sandoval, who previously worked at the critically acclaimed Scarpetta, has taken over the kitchen, and the seasoned culinary connoisseur has given the menu a bit of a global makeover, with an exquisite twist on each dish. Cocktail-wise every drink is also carefully crafted and a true treat.
222 Market St., framephl.com