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Travel News: Philly's Dining Scene Caters To Discerning (And Famished) Night Owls

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Plenty Of Options For Late-Night Eats In Philly

PHILADELPHIA, PA--As Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to grow, the city’s bistros, gastropubs, brasseries, eateries, diners and fast-food spots are growing by…hours. By law in Philly, last call at the bar happens at 2 a.m. Last call for food, however, is anywhere from 11 p.m. to never. Check out this list of the hottest, coolest and coziest spots to nibble, nosh, gobble and dine well into the early-morning hours.

Until Midnight On Weekends:

  • Alla Spina – A hip and completely original approach to the gastropub, chef Marc Vetri’s bar always feels like the place to be. The crispy pig’s tails, pickled persimmon salad and carbonara mac and cheese keep coming until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight Tuesday through Thursday. 1410 Mt. Vernon Street, (215) 600-0017,
  • Buddakan – Edamame dumplings and chocolate-filled bento boxes are available until midnight at restaurateur Stephen Starr’s ever popular, always glamorous Old City shrine to modern Asian fare. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-9440,
  • The Dandelion – Stephen Starr’s cozy Center City homage to the great British pub serves its full menu of U.K.-inspired favorites: Welsh rarebit, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. 124 S. 18th Street, (215) 558-2500,
  • El Rey – Tacophiles find plenty of options at Center City’s kitschy Mexi-bar. The kitchen slings tortillas until midnight, after which nearby speakeasy The Ranstead Room becomes the obvious next stop. 2013 Chestnut Street, (215) 563-3330,
  • El Vez – It’s always a fiesta at Midtown Village’s modern Mexican spot. Servers keep the margaritas flowing, along with freshly prepared guacamole, sea bass tacos and churros. 121 S. 13th Street, (215) 928-9800,
  • Fergie’s Pub – This stalwart in Philly’s pub scene since ’95 offers the convivial gathering space you might expect to find in Dublin. On the menu: internationally inflected snacks, burgers and an all-day Irish breakfast that tastes great at night. 1214 Sansom Street, (215) 928-8118,
  • Heritage – Daily live jazz and savvy cooking make this destination a celebrated addition to Philly nightlife. On weekends, the kitchen serves its grilled beets over crispy rice with goat cheese, burrata over roasted squash and a mean burnt-chili braised lamb shank with green tomato preserves until the clock strikes midnight. 914 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-7500,
  • Lolita – Honoring weekend hankerings for homemade tamales with spring onion crema, fried-chicken tacos with blue cheese crema, and coconut tres leches, Marcie Turney’s eatery serves up neo-Mexican fare replete with tequila and mezcal cocktails until midnight. 106 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-7100,
  • Morimoto – Sushi lovers feast on tofu mixed tableside, yellowtail searing in a sizzling stone bowl and divine toro sashimi, along with sake-infused cocktails at the Iron Chef’s palace of contemporary Japanese cuisine. 723 Chestnut Street, (215) 413-9070,
  • P’unk Burger – For the discerning late-night burger eater, this bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot supplies a conscientious choice. Locally sourced, hormone-free, fair-trade burgers can be topped with any combination of condiments, including vegan and gluten-free trimmings. 1823 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-PUNK,
  • Revolution Taco – Multiple food trucks came together to form this brick-and-mortar super kitchen that stays true to its student-feeding mission with later hours. Creative tacos and burritos come stuffed with smoked mushrooms, chipotle brisket or roast duck. 2015 Walnut Street, (267) 639-5681,
  • SouthGate – Korean pub fare tastes even better late night. The spoils include super crispy fried chicken, bibimbap and bulgogi burgers, along with Asian-inspired cocktails. 1801 Lombard Street, (215) 560-8443,
  • Strangelove’s – The clever bar food here runs the gamut from cheese plates and warm pretzel bites to kale salad and coconut lemongrass mussels. All can be ordered until midnight on weekends. 216 S. 11th Street, (215) 873-0404,

Until Midnight & Sometimes Beyond:

  • Barbuzzo – Owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran understand that sometimes dinner gets started later. That’s why their kitchen keeps plating its famous dishes—truffled egg pizza, pan-seared gnocchi with mushrooms and truffle butter and their signature salted caramel budino—until today turns into tomorrow. 110 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-9300,
  • Village Whiskey – Burgers and bourbon know no bedtime. Jose Garces’ Rittenhouse Square gastropub keeps both accessible, along with duck fat French fries, truffled cauliflower pickles and popcorn shrimp, until midnight Tuesday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 118 S. 20th Street, (215) 665-1088,
  • Zavino – During the workweek, the stylish Midtown Village wine bar serves artisan pizza and small plates late. 112 S. 13th Street, (215) 732-2400,

Until 12:30 a.m.:

  • Tria – Serving wine, cheese and beer until a minimum of 12:30 a.m., this popular bar—with locations in Midtown Village, Rittenhouse Square and Fitler Square—also offers boutique beverages, prosciutto and broccoli rabe sandwiches, smoked salmon salad and truffled egg toast. 1137 Spruce Street, (215) 629-9200; 123 S. 18th Street, (215) 972-TRIA; 2227 Pine Street, (215) 309-2245,
  • Tria Taproom – With two dozen beers, plus wines and ciders—all on tap—is distinct among its sibling establishments. Flatbread pizzas, burgers and wings stand out on a menu of pub fare. 2005 Walnut Street, (215) 557-8277,

Until 1 a.m.:

  • American Sardine Bar – Point Breeze’s place to be for unpretentious, crave-inducing eats attracts night crawlers with canned beer, 16 drafts, pretzel melts and, naturally, sardines every which way. 1800 Federal Street, (215) 334-2337,
  • Bar-Ly – This sports tavern embraces its role in providing late-night entertainment. With 60 taps, dozens of TVs and a menu of Asian-American food—Shanghai wings, a variety of summer rolls and kamahi pizza—it’s Chinatown’s preeminent after-midnight bar. 101 N. 11th Street, (215) 922-2688,
  • Cantina Dos Segundos – The Northern Liberties location of a two-cantina chain bustles through the night. Fresh juice margaritas, tacos and plenty of vegetarian options make it a favorite among the nocturnal crowd. 931 N. 2nd Street, (215) 629-0500,
  • Cantina Los Caballitos – The first of the two cantinas sets a high standard for quality Mexican food with a contemporary approach. The fun atmosphere, excellent drinks and solid cooking draw patrons past traditional dinnertimes. 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550,
  • Charlie was a sinner. – Nicole Marquis’ sophisticated restaubar provides a great meatless alternative to diners any time of the evening. On weekends, the kitchen turns out carrot mousse, zucchini crab cake sliders and buccatini and meatballs until the witching hour. 131 S. 13th Street, (267) 758-5372,
  • Franky Bradley’s – Midtown Village’s school/old school tavern accommodates night owls with homey plates of potato skins stuffed with brisket and horseradish crème fraîche, Franky’s meatballs and marinara, pressed duck Cuban sandwiches and smartly updated spins on classic cocktails. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735,
  • The Good King Tavern – An urbane French boîte slings platters of socca with ratatouille, steak frites and escargots well into the late hours. 614 S. 7th Street, (215) 625-3700,
  • The Industry – As its name declares, this restaurant was conceived to serve Philly’s hospitality workers. No wonder then that the Pennsport hangout attends to its clientele with fun food (fried green tomato salad; Korean barbecue pork sandwiches; tandoori seitan) after most kitchens close (midnight on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends). 1401 E. Moyamensing Avenue, (215) 271-9500,
  • Jerry’s Bar – The late-night menu here comes out on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 11 p.m. Diners can tuck into plates of meatballs and toast, chicken gnocchi chowder and the house burger. 129 W. Laurel Street, (267) 273-1632,
  • Johnny Brenda’s – A menu of chalkboard specials is offered at this corner hangout for Fishtown hipsters and the live rock acts that entertain them. Think fun but seasonal fare—rabbit rillettes with onion jam, barbecue seitan sandwiches, crispy skin salmon over quinoa, hand-cut fries—and taps locally brewed beer only. 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684,
  • Khyber Pass Pub – Southern-fried cuisine with vegan options and a superior beer list make Old City’s bar a mainstay for late eaters. On any given night, platters of cornmeal-crusted oysters, brisket and po’boys steadily roll out of its kitchen. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888,
  • Loco Pez – Dinner can rightfully be ordered here until the last call at the bar. That includes the volcano burrito, chorizo quesadillas and bacon-wrapped street dogs. 2401 E. Norris Street, (267) 886-8061,
  • Martha – There’s no rush to catch the last call at this Kensington watering hole. The full menu of quirky hoagies, pickled veggies and soba noodles runs through nearly to closing.
  • E. York & Martha Streets, (215) 867-8881,
  • McGillin’s Olde Ale House – At one of the oldest taverns in the country the night is always young. Drop-ins can indulge in straight-up bar food such as fried shrimp, nachos and mile-high meatloaf. 1310 Drury Street, (215) 735-5562,
  • N. 3rd – Dinner’s for sale until early-morning hours Thursday through Saturday at this boisterous Northern Liberties spot. International dishes include curry-sauced salmon, shrimp and veggie dumplings; potato-cheddar pierogies; and Moroccan-spiced lamb burgers. 801 N. 3rd Street, (215) 413-3666,
  • Pub & Kitchen – The seriously inventive yet equally comforting cuisine from deserves notice, with standouts such as parker house rolls with smoked whitefish salad, mussels with cider and crème fraiche and show-stopping burgers. 1946 Lombard Street, (215) 545-0350,
  • Pub on Passyunk East – This South Philly beer hall (a.k.a. the P.O.P.E.) packs eaters (and drinkers) in, night after night. Fourteen taps and a megalist of bottles accompany vegan cheesesteaks, burgers with grilled red onion, fried green tomato and basil mayo, and spicy wings. 1501 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-5125,
  • Royal Tavern – With a jukebox stocked with indie hits, Bella Vista’s original gastropub plays host to a devoted crowd who come for pints of microbrews, refined meatloaf sandwiches, crispy-edged gnocchi, duck-confit potato skins and multifarious vegan noshes, available nightly. 937 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-6694,
  • The Sidecar Bar & Grille – Nestled in Graduate Hospital, this neighborhood favorite accommodates night crawlers with pretzel-crusted chicken bites, chopped romaine salad and a large selection of burgers. Creative daily specials warrant a visit too. 2201 Christian Street, (215) 732-3429,
  • Silk City – An old stainless steel car houses this always-popular late-night diner where an internationalized menu of sloppy roast beef sandwiches, shrimp burgers with Sriracha aioli, pork belly empanadas and fried chicken brings a contemporary spin to down-home cooking. 5th & Spring Garden Streets, (215) 592-8838,
  • South Philadelphia Taproom – This corner bar on the edge of the trendy Passyunk Avenue neighborhood, serves its super eclectic cuisine—gnocchi with eggplant and ricotta, wild boar tacos and fried PB&J —nearly as long as it serves its fantastic selection of beer. 1509 Mifflin Street, (215) 271-7787,
  • Southwark – When the evening needs go beyond burgers and fries, this handsome Queen Village bistro and bar offers a menu of solutions, including some of the best cocktails around. Among the offerings are lobster Caesar salad, spaghetti carbonara with lamb bacon and charcuterie boards. 701 S. 4th Street, (267) 930-8530,
  • Standard Tap – Having paved the way for decades of gastropubs to follow, Northern Liberties’ senior hangout knows just what its clientele wants. Grilled octopus, bowls of mussels, chicken pie and serious burgers perfectly complement the noteworthy local beer list. 2nd & Poplar Streets, (215) 238-0630,
  • Tio Flores – This South Street taqueria brings a street food sensibility to its Mexican fare. Open until 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, the kitchen concocts beer-battered street corn, chicken mole and all manner of tacos. 1600 South Street, (267) 687-2220,
  • Triangle Tavern – Serving dinner well past midnight, this South Philly institution has been smartly updated to accommodate vegans and hipsters, but the flavors are still rooted in the neighborhood. Beers high and low accompany red sauce mussels, meatless roast beef and Parmesan platters. 1338 S. 10th Street, (215) 800-1992,
  • Valanni – Thursdays through Saturdays, this modern Medi-Latin restaurant in Washington Square West turns itself into a lounge slinging specialty cocktails and serving Parmesan-truffle fries, lobster and crab mac and cheese, and crispy shiitake polenta. 1229 Spruce Street, (215) 790-9494,
  • Varga Bar – With its pin-up theme and comfort food menu, this corner venue, celebrates guilty pleasures. No one minds when orders for crab cheese fries, grilled Caesar salad and duck confit wings come in after midnight. 941 Spruce Street, (215) 627-5200,

Until 1:30 a.m.:

  • Misconduct Tavern – A nautical theme and upscale bar food are offered at both locations of this refined yet fun pub, where the fare centers around approachable comfort dishes such as beer-battered pickle chips, seared salmon sliders and design-your-own mac and cheese. 1511 Locust Street, (215) 732-5797; 1801 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (267) 928-4297,

Until 2 a.m.:

  • Bonchon Chicken – There’s no need to be an early bird to sample the world’s most addictive chicken (Korean fried). Chinatown’s branch of a global chain keeps the buckets coming deep into the dark hours. 1020 Cherry Street, (267) 639-6686,
  • Dim Sum House – Jane G’s West Philly outpost marries Chinese cuisine with cocktail culture. The result is a late-night party with drinks such as sake sangria and Cantonese- and Shanghai- style snacks (buns, dumplings, turnip cakes) 3939 Chestnut Street, (215) 921-5377,
  • Fountain Porter – The formula for this East Passyunk neighborhood bar is quite simple: Serve a wealth of craft beers on tap, plus five-dollar cheeseburgers and a small menu of other eats until closing. 1601 S. 10th Street,
  • Grace Tavern – The tiny little hideaway in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood keeps its focus on a small selection of eats and drinks. The beauty is that passersby can stop in on a whim for a meal until closing. 229 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 893-9580,
  • Lucky’s Last Chance – If ever there were a good time to chow down on a hot dog loaded with Cajun chicken, cheese, onion rings and secret sauce, after midnight would be it. This hybrid bar/fast-foodery maintains locations in Manayunk and Queen Village. 4421 Main Street, (215) 509-6005; 848 S. 2nd Street, (267) 519-2080,
  • Royal Sushi and Izakaya – Like a traditional Izakaya, the Royal offers convivial Japanese snacks, sushi and sake in a dimly lit setting. It may well be the only place in town to score tskukemono, chicken gizzard yakatori and chashu buns until 2 a.m. 780 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9002,
  • Shiao Lan Kung – This standby Chinatown eatery hosts the post-bar crowd on a nightly basis. Hot pots, salt-baked squid and pan-fried beef noodles hit the spot. 930 Race Street, (215) 928-0282
  • Tony Luke’s – It’s worth ducking out of the pub to get in line at this sandwich vendor deep in South Philadelphia. Just-baked rolls filled with slow-cooked roast beef and broccoli rabe, house-made roast pork slathered in garlicky spinach and sharp provolone, veal or chicken cutlets topped with marinara—and one of the best cheesesteaks in town—are just a taxi ride from Center City. 39 E. Oregon Avenue, (215) 551-5725,

Until 3 a.m.:

  • David’s Mai Lai Wah – Well-known among Philly’s post-shift restaurant workers for years, David’s dishes budget-friendly late-night eats. The experience here is no-frills, but the salt and pepper wings, roast pork noodle bowls and walnut shrimp provide tasty sustenance. 1001 Race Street, (215) 627-2610
  • Dos Tacos – The brainchild of a chef and two nightlife impresarios solves the dilemma of where to go when the bar closes. The taco stand dishes up a mix of tacos with traditional and creative flavors, plus a “secret” menu. 120 S. 15th Street, (215) 567-8226
  • Insomnia Cookies – Those in need of a late-night or early-morning sugar fix contact this spot for delivery of fresh-baked cookies in all sorts of varieties—chocolate chunk, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, snickerdoodle and more. 135 S. 13th Street, 108 S. 16th Street, 4319 Main Street, 1601 N. Broad Street, 3417 Spruce Street, 33rd Street between Market & Chestnut Streets, 1084 E. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, (877) 63-COOKIE,
  • Masala Kitchen – There’s no reason to wait until tomorrow for Indian street food. This quick-service kitchen in Center City offers kati rolls and platters laden with curried chicken and lamb. 1211 Walnut Street, (215) 309-3301,
  • Shoo Fry – On weekends, the city’s fry emporium—with locations in both Fishtown and Rittenhouse Square—makes for the perfect post-bar stop-off. Poutine topped with scrapple, cheesesteak or truffle salt and egg tastes sublime after midnight. 132 S. 17th Street, (267) 639-2104; 200 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 309-5560,
  • Sonny’s Famous Steaks – What Pat’s, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s are to South Philly, this spot is to nightlife-filled Old City. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends, Sonny’s serves up cheesesteaks of all sorts, rib-eye burgers, cheese fries and onion rings to partiers who need to fuel up before going down for the night. 228 Market Street, (215) 629-5760,
  • Tai Lake – Even the tardiest lovers of Cantonese seafood can get their fix until 3 a.m. with fish maw soup, clams in black bean sauce and steamed fish with ginger and scallions. 134 N. 10th Street, (215) 922-0698,

Until 4 a.m.:

  • Lorenzo and Sons – It’s an all-ages show until 4 a.m. Saturday and Sundays at this popular South Street walk-up kiosk. Here, an energized post-concert crowd loads up on $2 slices of oversized, thin-crusted, cheese-loaded pizza, devouring floppy wedges that taste distinctly better the later the hour. 305 South Street, (215) 627-4110,
  • Prima Pizza Taqueria – With a name that makes sense in only South Philly, Prima actually only offers tacos—and seriously great ones. Wildly accommodating hours and a super affordable price-point have put this storefront on many a late-night eater’s agenda. 1104 S. 9th Street, (215) 339-5000
  • Wishbone – No matter the stage of the party, pretzel-battered chicken will be welcome. At both its West Philly and Center City locations, this fried chicken joint obliges visitors at all hours with sandwiches, platters and hand pies for dessert. 210 S. 13th Street, (215) 309-3667; 4034 Walnut Street, (215) 921-3204,

All Night Long:

  • Broad Street Diner – Not fancy, but certainly friendly, this well-located diner serves as a post-party pit stop for night owls in transit between Center City and South Philly. Stick to the basics here: They’re known for their omelets, hash browns and hot coffee. 1135 S. Broad Street, (215) 825-3636,
  • Melrose Diner – The slogan at this 70-plus-year-old South Philly institution, is “Everybody who knows goes to the Melrose.” Some weekend nights, it seems like every Philadelphian does. Counter seats are many; peach pies are homemade; and the servers are no-nonsense. 1501 Snyder Avenue, (215) 467-6644,
  • Midtown Diner – Center City’s last bastion of all-night diner food attracts all kinds of eaters with feta and spinach omelets, open-faced tuna melts, homemade vanilla shakes and other rib-sticking fare. 28 S. 18th Street, (215) 567-5144
  • Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks – At 2:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, these across-the-street rivals get slammed. “Originator” Pat’s, with its notoriously sloppy Cheez Whiz topping, and blindingly neon bright Geno’s, with its fancy provolone, draw crowds that meet in the avenue’s center, often stopping traffic just before dawn. Pat’s, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546,; Geno’s, 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659,


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