Where Should I Eat? Philly Suburbs
I’ve been asked various times: “Marissa, I’m coming to Philly/I’m tired of the usual spots, where should I go?” Although I am not an expert or critic, I am a foodie and my insta always eats first. So here we are ya’ll: these are my favorite spots in the Philly Suburbs, where I was born and raised. Whether you’re a native or just a visitor keep this in mind next time you’re searching for a place to eat! I’ll categorize by Brunch/Lunch, Dinner, Drinks/Sweets, and give you the scoop on the outdoor seating (it is summer, after all!) Enjoy!
Brunch and Lunch
Terrain Devon: Owned by the URBN brand (they are based in Philly!) Terrain has a few locations, but this is the newest one on the East Coast. Think classic farm to table brunch, with cheese boards for days and a french toast to die for. Plus, the best cocktails to match!
O/S: Yes! And in the Greenhouse.
A Taste of Britain: This little nook is a fan-favorite for girl’s brunches and mom’s brunches! Classic British fare, and a wide variety of teas to choose from.
O/S: No, but an adorable ambiance.
Gangster Vegan: With a couple of locations, this place is making a name for itself. Packed with smoothies, juices for your morning routine they also serve some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had. In the mood for lunch? Get the taco salad with walnut “meat”. Delicious.
O/S: No, more of a grab and go kindof place but it’s on State St. in Media and theres plenty of benches and tables.
The Hungry A: This place is my childhood. It hasn’t been updated since it opened and the menu hasn’t changed much either and it doesn’t need to. Their egg salad is my favorite, but trust me… anything Bruce makes you will satisfy.
O/S: Nope. Good old fashioned community counter.
Nudy’s Cafe: My friends would kill me if I didn’t put this on the list. Nudy’s is a ‘Burbs staple. With multiple locations you have no excuse not to go. My suggestion? Carrot Cake French Toast.
O/S: Some locations do, some do not.
House: Whether you want breakfast or lunch House has what you want. Think upscale and local Panera but 100x better with omelets. They have specials on soups, paninis and french toast weekly. There’s always something different to try! My favorite is their Harvest Panini and Croque Madame.
Maria’s Bakery: Ok, yes, this is a bakery and not a restaurant but I don’t care! These are the best donuts you will have in your life, hands down no questions asked. Get the cream filled one. You’re welcome.
O/S: Nope, just a bakery!
The Coffee Station: This is my bestfriend and I’s go to spot. With two locations in the area, it’s a nice mini diner experience with the most incredible breakfast. Their speciality is the “Morton Monster” a breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese on Texas Toast. Yes, there is a eating contest available if you are so inclined. (I tried, and failed.)
Country Deli: Your classic down home breakfast spot. Nothing fancy, but hits the spot every time.
The BrickHaus: My friend sent me to this place upon her highest recommendation. She was correct, this place is great. The cutest cafe on that side of town and they have the menu to match. Their Breakfast Burrito is the bomb.
Media Bean Co: Take out or dine in, this little coffeehouse is adorable. Their breakfast menu is lengthy and their star of the show? Hot Doughnut Tower! Fresh out of the oven doughnuts stacked high and drizzled with chocolate. Wow.
O/S: Yes! On the back porch.
First Watch: Yes, it’s a chain but if you’re looking for a healthy place to eat you have found it. With a few locations in the area I go very often. They always have awesome seasonal specials and its a casual place to go during the week day, but once the weekend starts you’ll definitely have a wait. My favorite is Farmhouse hash with a fresh juice of the day!
O/S: No, but a very spacious inside.
Pour Richard’s Coffee Company: Local coffee shop (with an awesome backstory) which serves some of the best pastries I have ever seen. They have coffee classes too if you are looking for something fun and different to do!
O/S: No, but it’s very cozy inside you don’t need it.
Turning Point: When this place moved into my college town, I was blown away. Not only do they have every variation of breakfast drink you can think of, every single thing on their menu is delicious. I’m serious. It’s a casual place, and man the food is awesome. My go to is the Corn Bread French Toast. Also a plus: they are vegan friendly.
O/S: In some locations.
Savona Bistro: This is my favorite restaurant in the world. I do not say that lightly. I was introduced to Sovana through a PR event, and it has been a staple in my diet since even though I have to drive to Kennett Square to get there. I tell everyone to go for anniversaries, birthdays, I just don’t want to cook days. They are a modern Mediterranean style but have everything from eggplant meatballs to tuna tartar. Pro Tip: Don’t skimp on the table shares AND leave room for a homemade dessert!
O/S: YES! They have the cutest covered porch.
Enoteca Tredici: If the restaurant above did not exist, this would be my favorite restaurant in the world. An upscale Italian bistro, they have a few varied locations from the same owner down the East Coast (including one in Philly). But, tucked in a small shopping center in Bryn Mawr this is the gem. Mysterious from the outside, inside you’ll be blown away. The ambiance is top notch and hands down best wine selection of any restaurant on this list (my mother raved about this one wine she got, got home to try and find it and it was impossible—how about that for exclusivity?.) We are spoiled with this place, I’m telling you. Pro Tip: Want the upscale experience but don’t have the budget? They have an early dining special 4pm-6pm EVERYDAY, for $30 per person for 3 courses! Like I said, we are spoiled.
O/S: Technically yes, they have floor to ceiling windows that fold into the walls for gorgeous days and nights.
La Belle Epoque Wine Bistro: A little bistro on State Street in Media is very homey and kind of makes you think you are in old time Paris. Drink the wine, but come for the crepes. Each is delicious and savory. Into seafood? Go for the “La Mer Crepe” or the mussels and you won’t regret it.
O/S: Yes! Go during Dining Under the Stars on Wednesday nights to experience all Media has to offer!
FirePoint Grill: Nestled in Newtown Square off of West Chester Pike, this place is a great meeting spot if friends are coming from all over the area. It can accommodate big groups and the bar is awesome, spacious for some late night drinks yet intimate enough for a date. The food is fabulous, with my favorite being their Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon Steak appetizer. I’ve never loved bacon as much as I did in that moment.
O/S: Yes! A fabulous porch including a bar and fireplace!
Heng’s Thai Cuisine: I love Thai food, but it’s hard to come by unless you’re just in the mood for Pad Thai. Not a Thai lover? They also have a sushi bar! Located in Springfield it’s not the first place you would think for a casual yet modern Thai place (It’s next to an Outback Steakhouse haha) but if you’re craving Thai, this is the place to go. I love ordering their specials (sometimes they only serve them on the weekends) but if you can snag a Seafood Miso Soup or their Firecracker Roll you’re all set!
Sterling Pig Brewery: When this place opened at the very end of the main bustle of Media, I was intrigued. BBQ and Beer? Yes please. They have much more than just that, but it is what stands out the most. My dad and I love to go and watch sports downstairs (they won’t kill ya if you’re not a Philly fan, it’s a nicer crowd) and upstairs is an awesome dining area if you want something more quiet. The beer is amazing, there is something for everyone. They just opened a location in West Chester as well!
O/S: Yes, but limited. They do open the “garage doors” downstairs though!
Teikoku: Without a doubt my favorite Asian fusion restaurant. They have it all, main dishes, sushi, soups, great drinks and they always have seasonal specials. It’s kindof in the middle of nowhere but it is always worth the drive. My favorite is the Dan-Dan noodles and their Surf & Turf Roll which includes Kobe Beef and Lobster Tempura.
O/S: Yes! Their porch is lovely.
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar: Tired from a day of shopping? Located in the KOP Town Center there are many great places to eat and you should definitely check out, but my favorite is Paladar. It has a funky ambiance with bright colors and velvet booths and their margaritas are delicious. Their Happy Hour is great!
La Porta: If I am craving a savory Italian dish, I go here. Cozy and intimate, I suggest a reservation but there is also bar seating. It has been a staple in my family for years. They are most known for their pizza which is wood fired, but their salads and appetizers especially during Happy Hour are stand outs. If you go, get the Polpetto (a giant meatball) and you will not be disappointed.
O/S: Yes, which the cutest side porch with umbrellas.
The New American Bistro: When my friend first took me here, I asked myself where I was but I left amazed and full. Located in Folsom, this little Bistro is unassuming from outside but is a heavy hitter with awesome dishes inside. Their specials change everyday and range from steak, scallops, pasta and more! If you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, I definitely suggest wandering over. BYOB, its also great for your wallet.
Rize Pizza: I frequented Broomall because it’s between my parents house and where my college was located (Go Nova) and inside the main shopping center is Rize. Let me tell you, once you have Rize pizza you can simply never go back. You have to try it to really experience it. The owners are the sweetest people on the planet and are the hardest workers I know. Run, do not walk to this place, seriously. With a location in West Chester as well (bigger location, more of a sit down place compared to Broomall) you’ll keep coming back for their thick yet airy crust and awesome speciality pies, but don’t neglect their other short menu items like their salads, it’s all awesome. My go to is the “Green Dream” pizza and let me tell ya, it is a dream.
O/S: Yes, but casual and small.
Chadds Ford Tavern: Coming back from a decline a few years ago, with new owners and a new menu this tavern is back ya’ll! After I went to Longwood Gardens I stopped by this place on the way home and WOW. Their Lobster Bisque is decadent and fresh, their burgers are perfect and the drinks are strong. The place is like a chameleon, it’s perfect for a nice romantic dinner but is also casual enough to just hang at the bar. Definitely worth a visit especially after Longwood!
Main & Vine Bistro: Going to Villanova, whenever friends or parents came up I always took them here. (I also went here for my graduation lunch!) Their menu is true to name: things from the mainland and drinks from the vine. An extensive wine collection pairs well with their Napa Style Sourdough Pizzas. My personal favorites are: Chicken Fried Oysters and Steak Frites! Also: not in the mood for wine? They have a great cocktails and mocktails list.
O/S: Yes! It’s spacious and brand new!
Stinger’s Waterfront: Wanna feel like you’re at the shore but don’t want the 2 hour drive? This place is waterfront in Ridley with a cute Marina in the front. Seafood on seafood on seafood is the menu here (definitely try the baked clams) but don’t fret they serve great burgers (including the Impossible Burger) and salads too. Sit outside or at the bar, relax, and enjoy.
O/S: Yes, it is covered.
Teresa’s Cafe: Located in Wayne for the last 20 years, it’s a neighborhood favorite and was nominated in 2018 for the James Beard Awards for Outstanding Bar Program. So, definitely go for the drinks and stay for the food. The menu is considered limited, but that’s when you know it’s quality. Personally, I go for the pasta, and with many different variations to fit any diet restriction, (gluten free penne pasta, spaghetti squash, or gnocchi available) it’s always a go to when meeting up with friends.
O/S: No, but you can walk around Wayne after!
Drinks and Sweets
Tavola’s: This is where I go when I want to drink and be outside. Located at the Springfield Country Club you can expect an older crowd sometimes but my friends and I love going here to relax after work for a drink and if I’m there later the Late Night Bites menu is perfect.
O/S: Yes and it’s stunning!
Goat’s Beard: After a day of walking around Wayne, stop in here for a great whiskey from their “Whiskey Bible” and lunch. Or, come at night to see live bands play for dinner, accompanied by their craft beers. With a location in Manayunk as well, these guys get it and have an awesome crowd. Also, with a kid’s menu on display it’s great for the family too.
O/S: Yes on their front porch
Brick & Brew: A Philly Burbs staple, with locations in Havertown, Media and brand new Malvern these guys keep wowing drinks and foodies alike. Go on a Friday or weekend and it’ll be packed but it’s worth it. Extensive drink menu, and great bar menu and when your stomach starts grumbling, try their Prosciutto Fries.
O/S: Yes in some locations
The Bercy: Relatively new to the Ardmore scene, The Bercy has made quite a name for itself. One of the biggest locations in that area and not a dime unspent in interior, this place is awesome. Their bar has a great vibe and draws a more sophisticated crowd. If you get hungry its hard to stay away from their raw fish bar.
O/S: No, but you wouldn’t want it anyway, the inside is too cool.
Tired Hands Brewery: Beer junkies, you have found your home. Tired Hands is famous amongst the Philly and ‘Burbs crowd (people stand in line for their newest releases) and it’s worth the hype. With usually 12 original beers being served (which changes frequently) it’s always a new experience to be had. With various different seating options you can choose which suits your mood but I suggest the Fermentaria.
O/S: Yes, but with a catch. Their Biergarten is located on Frankford Ave. in Philly.
Grace Winery: Wine lovers, I’ve got one for you. Located at a gorgeous estate away from the busy streets rests this stunning winery (it is no wonder why people have their weddings in the barn!) Their wine is delicious and the view is peaceful. Don’t want to leave? They also have an Inn where you can stay. Check their website for closing due to private events.
O/S: Yes, they have an entire Estate grounds but the main tasting is in the barn.
Autograph Brasserie: Owned by the powerhouse Fearless Restaurants, Autographs is a favorite of mine. I was going to put them on my Brunch and Dinner list (definitely go!) but their bar is what always stands out to me. The decor is all themed with vinyls, autographs, and their show stopper is a trumpet chandelier.
O/S: Yes, but I recommend staying at the bar for the awesome decor.
Grog Grill: I used to live across from this place and people swore I lived there. It’s all great. The drinks, food, and people. Weekly drink specials keep people coming back. Live music weekly and Quizzo on Wednesdays it’s the perfect neighborhood bar. You can order drinks in quantity too… The Grog Gowers is 100 ounces of beer or a mixed drink so if you and your friends are thirsty, you can’t beat it.
O/S: Yes, and the downstairs windows open all the way.
Handel’s Ice Cream: The go-to ice cream and frozen yogurt in the Burbs. Made fresh daily, there is always a line. You can get a single serve or pints/quarts of any of your favorite 50 flavors. Split a 4 scoop sampler with a friend to get the real experience and try out the seasonal picks.
O/S: Technically yeah, it’s a grab and go spot but they do have benches.
Capri: Forget Rita’s, get Capri. Homemade Italian Ice or as we Philadelphians say, “Wooder Ice” is abundant and their soft serve pairs perfectly. It’s a small place with not inside seating, so expect a line on hot days.
O/S: Yes, there are benches out front. Be prepared: parking is hard.
Crave Creamery: Personal favorite, located right near my favorite Thai restaurant (located above) is Crave. Their homemade ice cream AND gelato is so good I have to keep myself from going every day when I’m home. My favorites are: Grasshopper, Cotton Candy and Butter Pecan but they always have something new to try too!
O/S: No, but they do have seating inside!