Holidays / Northeast Philadelphia

Where to Eat in Northeast Philly for Valentine’s Day

This guest article was submitted by William, Shawn, and Mandy at TheNortheastLife.

With Valentine’s Day a little more than a week away, you may find yourself searching for the perfect date night location. Although both Center City and Fishtown may seem like obvious places to look, don’t forget about the Northeast as it too has many great options. Below are three restaurants, one chosen by each contributor to TheNortheastLife.

Each place was selected for its uniqueness in serving up a great date night in the middle of winter, meeting different needs. Though not the only great restaurant options, this short list includes a BYOB, a pub, and a fine dining establishment. So be sure to visit one of these places with your date, and escape from the winter doldrums with a tasty dish or drink! 

Looking for a BYOB? Café Carmela fits the need perfectly!

Café Carmela
2859 Holme Avenue
Philadelphia, PA

Located in the Holme Circle neighborhood of the Northeast, this family-owned restaurant is the perfect spot for you and your Valentine for affordable and authentic Italian fare. Be sure to bring your favorite bottle of wine with you to this cozy restaurant.  

Now the biggest question: what to order? You’ll you find a variety of signature pizzas and sandwiches. For those in search of a fancier entree, consider the homemade pasta. Be sure to ask about the rotating menu dishes but know that all their food is made with love. If you’re not quite sure what to order, try a bit of everything and share with your dining partner. Some favorite menu items include the Sicilian Wings, South Philly Pizzaz (if you haven’t tried banana peppers on a pizza, this is your sign to give it a try) and Don Cheech’s Steak with cooper sharp.  Finish it off with dessert, with tiramisu being a must try during your visit! If you prefer to stay home on date night, no worries, they also offer take out! There are many menu options to enjoy for everyone, so just relax and enjoy this quaint local cafe!

Looking for a pub experience instead? Head over to Three Monkeys!

Three Monkeys Café
9645 James Street
Philadelphia, PA

There are plenty of great pubs with tasty food, but the ambiance of this restaurant really makes it stand out. Located in East Torresdale across the street from the train station, this place has two different feels to it. Inside you will find a charming, inviting atmosphere with walls decked out in art and an antique hand carved bar salvaged from an old Kensington taproom. That said, on a warm night you may instead choose to sit in its outdoor tiki garden or its unique tropic-themed bar space. Though February may be too cold for the tiki garden, keep it in mind for the warmer months, particularly for Sunday brunch. Even in the colder weather the bar space will typically be open and can be a great place to catch a game. 

With a regularly rotating drink menu and beers on tap, be sure to start your date night with drinks. Following the feel of the outdoor tiki bar, the pina colada comes highly recommended if available.  A pub at heart, you will want to start with their famous grilled wings, although you’ll have the option to get them fried, go for grilled. For the entrée look at their sandwiches. The Cuban is an excellent option, though with their rotating sandwich specials you will not be disappointed.  

If you can’t make it this Valentines, put this restaurant on your spring or summer schedule. The ambiance must be experienced in person and there’s no place like it elsewhere in the Northeast! 

Looking for fine European dining, Tio Pepe’s is the place to visit!

Fine wine, flaming dishes and whole fish can all be be enjoyed at Tio Pepe, the small Portuguese restaurant located along Castor Avenue in the Oxford Circle neighborhood. Don’t let its humble exterior and first floor pub fool you, you’ll want to head to the side entrance and upstairs for a fine dining experience. 

Tio Pepe Restaurant & Bar
6618 Castor Avenue
Philadelphia PA

Stepping into the second-floor dining area feels like entering a restaurant you’d find in the heart of Lisbon. With a full drink menu that includes beer and cocktails, the imported Portuguese wines pair well with any dish. For an appetizer, consider starting with the chourico assado, or Portuguese sausage, which comes served on a flaming plate. You may also consider the octopus salad, or salada de polvo, as seafood here is spectacular! As a main course, you can’t go wrong with any of their chicken, steak, or pork dishes, but seafood is their specialty.  Consider the whole branzino or one of the paella platters, which really stand out. For dessert, consider enjoying conversation with your date over a coffee drink or dessert cocktail. For drink options, consider a moscatel wine or Licor de Amêndoa Amarga, a bitter almond liqueur served on the rocks, or ask the server for their suggestion based on your preferences.

This guest article was submitted by William, Shawn, and Mandy at TheNortheastLife.

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