Hidden Gem Eats in Philadelphia

Real estate brokerage Redfin recently published a list of hidden gems in Philadelphia on its blog. They asked me to contribute an under-the-radar spot in the food/dining category, which I was more than happy to do.

It was not easy to pick one because Philadelphia is a city dotted with hidden gems. From fine restaurants to hole-in-the-wall spots tucked away in alleyways, there is no shortage of phenomenal eats and drinks that don’t get the recognition they deserve. The list is honestly too long.

I chose Morea, a restaurant and bar at 110 South 11th Street in Center City, because it opened around the same time as when the pandemic struck, and I think it’s flown under the radar for the most part.

Here’s more of what I had to say:

“Morea, located in Center City’s Midtown Village, is a gastronomic delight hidden in plain sight. This contemporary American restaurant offers a stellar lunch, dinner, brunch, and happy hour menu. More importantly, the specialty cocktail program by expert mixologist Billy Hines showcases inventive spins on classics and new concoctions that even the most discerning drinker can appreciate. The daily late-night happy hour sets it apart from comparable establishments, making it a prime choice if you’re looking for a late-night spot.” 

I love when an establishment combines excellent food any time of day with terrific cocktails. They also host “Love of Cocktails” tasting events where they pair spirits brands with a special dinner menu. Check it out!

Other suggestions from fellow food writers and local luminaries include:

Gabriella’s Vietnam 

Kiki Aranita of Poi Dog Philly noted that it is one of her favorite restaurants and stated, “you can enjoy beautiful bite-sized renditions of Vietnam’s favorite street snacks on perfect little ceramic dishes.”

Gabriella’s Vietnam is located at 1837 East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia.

The Southeast Asian Food Market

Jamie Shanker of Philly Food Adventures mentions that The Southeast Asian Market in FDR Park is one of her favorite hidden gems in Philadelphia. She says, “it is a Wonderland of vendor rows under tents making Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, & Indonesian food, each stand with its own fragrant offerings.”

The Southeast Asian Market is held every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 6PM.

Stina Pizzeria

Julia Birnbaum of Philly Cheese School recommends Stina Pizzeria in South Philadelphia because “Their Borek caught my eye. It’s crispy phyllo covered in Greek honey, toasted sesame, pickled blueberries, and stuffed with Kasseri, a Greek sheep’s milk cheese.” YUM!

Stina Pizzeria is located at 1705 Snyder Avenue in the Newbold section of South Philadelphia.

Taproom on 19th

Kevin McElroy of Philly Rock Radio said his favorite hidden gem is Taproom on 19th because “It’s a typical Philadelphia-styled corner bar that’s not typical. It consists of upscale pub fare, in a cozy atmosphere, served by friendly staff.”

Taproom on 19th is located at 2400 South 19th Street in South Philadelphia.

Pizza Plus

Flower Clvb said their favorite hidden gem is Pizza Plus because “It feels like the kind of place you’d walk into in the 90s after a long day of surfing or at the beach. Oh, and the pizza tastes awesome too.” 

Pizza Plus has two locations; one at 1846 South 12th Street in South Philadelphia and another at 4814 Spruce Street in West Philadelphia.

Bad Brother

Tales and Ales Philly chose Bad Brother as their favorite hidden gem because “With an amazing rotating craft beer list and a food menu to match, Bad Brother can easily be overlooked as just another row home if you pass by too quickly.”

Bad Brother is located at 726 North 24th Street in Fairmount.

The Black Squirrel Pub & Haunt

Heather McBride Photography loves The Black Squirrel Pub & Haunt as her favorite hidden gem in Philadelphia because “I have yet to try something on their menu that I didn’t absolutely love, but I might have to say the cottage pie is my favorite.”

The Black Squirrel Pub & Haunt is located at 3749 Midvale Avenue in the East Falls neighborhood.

Take a look at the full list of hidden gems in Philadelphia on Redfin.

What are your favorite hidden gem eats & drinks in Philadelphia? Let me know in the comments.

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