The 38 Essential Restaurants in Philadelphia

Dinner at Booker’s Restaurant & Bar. | Booker’s Restaurant & Bar

The best restaurants in Philly for everything from rich birria ramen to cheesesteaks to charcoal-fired Korean barbecue

Say hello to the Eater 38, which answers the question, “Where should I eat in Philly?”

This essential group of restaurants covers the whole city (and even beyond), runs the gamut of cuisines and price points, and collectively satisfies virtually all dining needs, whether you want fine dining or counter service, takeout sandwiches or chef’s-choice tasting menus. The list typically updates each quarter, and restaurants should be open for at least six months to qualify. To track down the most exciting new restaurants in town, check out the Eater Heatmap, a periodically updated map of places that have opened in the last six months or so.

For this update, welcome the wildly experimental charm of Restaurant Aleksandar; West Philly’s soul food classic, Booker’s; Collingwood’s BYOB fine dining gem, Hearthside; Alpen Rose, a remarkable steakhouse in Midtown Village; and Rex at the Royal, a Creole-influenced hotspot on South Street.

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  • August 3, 2023
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