This week kicks off a beloved tradition returning to Old City — and a delicious one at that.
Starting on May 26, and continuing every Thursday through Aug. 25, Old City Eats will return to showcase the area’s vibrant and growing dining scene. Each night, more than 20 participating restaurants, bars and eateries will offer discounted seasonal small plates, craft cocktails, and beers from 4 to 7 p.m. — but it all starts off with a block party on opening night.
The block party itself, which will feature an extended session from 4 to 9 p.m., will feature live music (think Irish tunes at Plough & the Stars, jazz at Sassafras Bar, and a DJ and salsa dancers at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar), plus the Bourse Food Hall will bring out The Philly Keys dueling piano band for some lively and interactive sing-a-longs. And of course, Old City Eats participants will also offer food and drink specials at their respective locations.
As a release states, participating Old City Eats Block Party restaurants and bars include Amada, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Khyber Pass Pub, Nick’s Bar & Grille, The Olde Bar, The Plough & the Stars, Sassafras, plus six new Block Party participants: the Bourse Food Hall’s Freebyrd Chicken, Grubhouse, Rebel Taco, and Scoop DeVille, plus Brownie’s Irish Pub and Vanderwende’s Ice Cream.
“Our focus for Old City Eats is spotlighting the neighborhood’s impressive and evolving list of dining options,” Old City District Executive Director Job Itzkowitz said in a statement. “With more than 20 restaurants and bars participating, there’s something to appeal to every palette, including Italian, Irish, Cuban, Mexican, Spanish, and other global cuisines. We have as diverse of a culinary scene as anywhere in the city! Whether you visit an old favorite or experience something new, Old City Eats will take you on a culinary journey that will last all summer long.”
For the summer-long portion of the event, however, Old City Eats will be spotlighting 100 restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other eateries. Offerings are designed to appeal to neighborhood locals, people looking to enjoy sips with their co-workers, and tourists exploring America’s most historic square mile.
Sponsors this year include Bacardi, St-Germain, Cazadores Tequila, Night Shift Brewing, Parkway Corporation, and the Bourse Food Hall, specifically for the Block Party.
Spanish tapas hotspot Amada will be participating in both the Eats summer-long program and the Block Party. On May 26, Amada will offer up a Spanish Mojito featuring Bacardi Ocho and a Zanahorias carrot and quinoa salad with avocado. For Eats, Amada will feature garlic shrimp and some sips from Night Shift Brewing with their Whirlpool Hazy Pale Ale Cans.
Other highlights come from Cuba Libre (think Chicken De La Casa empanadas and a Paradise Rum Punch made with Bacardi Coconut,) Khyber Pass Pub (house-made andouille hot dogs and bananas fosters pudding), Lucha Cartel (they’ll be featuring their own version of a “Philly Taco”), Plough & The Stars (lamb lollies with mint sauce) and much more.
In total there will be something for everyone in terms of atmosphere and taste from hotspots such as The Olde Bar, the ever-popular National Mechanics and Stratus Lounge, neighborhood mainstays like Brownie’s Irish Pub and Sassafras Bar, and outdoor dining destinations like Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti and La Peg.
For the latest information, a full list of participating spots, as well as a list of activities and attractions to pair with Old City Eats and the kick-off block party on May 26, visit oldcitydistrict.org, follow @OldCityDistrict on Twitter and Facebook, and follow @oldcityphilly on Instagram.