What to expect for Northern Liberties first ever Restaurant Week

El Camino Real
Eddy Marenco

One thing Philly certainly does right is food, and locals normally find any reason to indulge their appetite. Starting this weekend, April 9, Philadelphians can head to the Northern Liberties area of the city to check out its first-ever Restaurant Week, which will run until April 18.

NoLibs in the past few months has seen a slew of grand openings for their food scene, even during a pandemic. And this week will highlight 20 different spots, both old and new, offering specials for lunch and dinner. Specifically, diners can look for special lunch menus with two courses (plus a non-alcoholic drink) for only $10 and $15, and special dinner menus with three or more courses for only $15, $20 and $25.

Heritage. Eddy Marenco

“Northern Liberties Business Improvement District is proud to present our first-ever Northern Liberties Restaurant Week from April 9 to 18,” said NLBID Executive Director Kris Kennedy in a statement. “Look for all the things that make restaurant weeks great – from amazing food, great values, chef’s specials, feature dishes, off-menu surprises, beer features, special desserts and more. Our restaurant scene has grown tremendously in the last year. We have seen grand openings, creative pivots, expanded streeteries, embellished outdoor dining, ghost kitchens and many other things that have helped our eateries survive the pandemic. As we looked ahead to the spring weather coming, and more grand openings on the way, a brand new restaurant week was a win-win that will support our growing and adapting culinary scene, while helping us offer socially distanced and safe programming on and around N. 2nd Street.”

The focus is on dine-in options for both indoors and outdoors, plus diners can look for select options for take-out, delivery, legal cocktails to go and more. Reservations are strongly encouraged for this first-time event, and they can be made with each participating restaurant.

Apricot Stone, one of the most well-reviewed restaurants in the area, will be offering a $25 dinner menu. The eatery’s Chef Fimy will be serving up traditional Mediterranean, Armenian, and Middle Eastern flavors with highlights including Khnkali Dumplings, Khatchapuri, Cabbage Dolma, Bamia Okra, Lamb Shank, Vospov Kufteh, Eggplant Salsa and more. For fare from south of the border, diners can head to Añejo Philly, which opened its doors last summer. Executive Chef Ricardo specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine (for Restaurant Week look for dishes such as Pork Belly Tostadas, Crispy Cauliflower Tacos, Chicken Empanadas, Short Rib Tacos and more), but the spot is also known for its wide selection of tequilas, and expertise in cocktails and agave spirits.

Families can head to Bourbon and Branch for dishes that will please the kiddos, and spirits that will please the parents. Highlights for this well-priced eatery include Shells and Cheese, a Smash Burger, Chicken Cheesesteak, Cheese Pizza, Mediterranean Salad and more. Germantown Garden Grill on the other hand, offers a chic backdrop for those looking to enjoy some food and snap some pics. Philadelphia’s only open-air poolside steakhouse will be offering Crackling Calamari, Crispy Cauliflower Bites, Germantown Garden Burger, Chicago Wedge, BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Cajun Shrimp Penne, Veggie Lasagna, Oreo Cheesecake, 6 Layer Chocolate Cake and more.

Apricot Stonenna Ovsepian Photography

Globally, your tastebuds can also go on a ride with Hello Vietnam, who will be offering four selections for lunch for $15 and three selections for $25. Dishes to choose from range from a Banh Mi Half Hoagie, Vietnamese Beef Stew, BBQ Pork Sliced Vermicelli, Filet Mignon Shaking Beef Vermicelli and more. Local favorite Jerry’s Bar is also gearing up for the food-filled week. According to the release, this neighborhood grand corner bar and restaurant is back open just in time for Northern Liberties Restaurant Week with refined bistro fare and full bar with a whiskey focus in a tavern filled with salvaged artifacts. Highlights include: P.E.I. Mussels, Bartlette Pear Salad, Bone In Pork Chop, Charred Japanese Eggplant and Rigatoni Gratinata.

Other participating spots include Cantina Dos Segundos, El Camino Real, Germantown Garden, Heritage, Hunnies Crispy Chicken, Love and Honey Fried Chicken, North Bowl, SET NoLibs, Spuntino Wood Fired Pizzeria, Standard Tap, The 700 Club and Urban Village Brewing Company. Each restaurant can select if they will do lunch, dinner or both, and their price points. Some restaurants will additionally offer upgrades to their meals for those seeking a higher end experience.

For more information on Northern Liberties Restaurant Week, visit northernlibertiesrestaurantweek.com