Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 24 2015

What's on South Street?

Restaurants, Shops, Bars & Coffee Shops On South Street

Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Also lining South are ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert, galleries and performance spaces.

Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask) spans up to 14 blocks: Front Street all the way up to Broad Street.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Food & Drinks:

  • Baklava Café – Diners enjoy fresh Ethiopian and Mediterranean cuisine at this eatery. Specialties include a Moroccan chicken platter, lamb shwarma and, of course, baklava. 627 South Street, (267) 702-3623,
  • The Bean Cafe – With local art on the walls, a dessert case full of treats and a full coffee, tea and smoothie menu, it’s no wonder South Street’s artistic and indie fans crowd this cozy cafe. The rotating selection of vintage action figures and other nostalgic items on display round out the fun vibe. 615 South Street, (215) 629-2250,
  • The Boyler Room – “Good food, good fun, good friends.” That’s The Boyler Room promise. They fulfill it with a weekly changing menu, 20 rotating beers on tap, TVs and an upstairs game room (pool table, arcade games). 328 South Street, (215) 413-8294,
  • Brauhaus Schmitz – At this authentic German beer hall, diners dig into hearty lunches, dinners and late-night dishes with modern, approachable twists. To wash it all down, they can choose from 30 beers on a tap and a bottle list so big it knocks the lederhosen off of any beer fan. 718 South Street, (267) 909-8814,
  • Bridget Foy’s – Featuring a fantastic outdoor deck, this South Street staple packs its menu with casual favorites for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The late-night menu is stuffed with a selection of shareables, including cheesesteak spring rolls and wings. 200 South Street, (215) 922-1813,
  • Caribbean Delight – A jerk-food destination, Caribbean Delight dishes out curry goat, curry shrimp, fried chicken and even vegetarian options. A large outdoor seating area and reggae music set the mood, so guests enjoy a mini-island retreat along with their Jamaican fare. 1124 South Street, (215) 829-1030
  • Copabanana – This brightly painted, vacation-inspired eatery has been a South Street staple for more than 30 years. What keeps diners coming back? The tropical drinks, half-pound burgers and spicy Spanish fries. 344 South Street, (215) 923-6180,
  • European Republic – Specializing in quick bites, this market sells wraps, dips, frites, pasta, rice dishes and desserts to hungry clientele. 602 South Street, (215) 925-3509
  • Ishkabibble’s – Home to Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin’s favorite cheesesteak, Ishkabibble’s is a South Street legend. Ishkabibble’s has been cooking up cheesesteaks and chicken cheesesteaks since 1979, and they’ve even recently opened a second location less than two blocks away. Favorites include Spanish fries and the original Gremlin, a half-lemonade, half-grape-juice concoction. 337 South Street, (215) 923-4337; 517 South Street, (215) 922-0494
  • Jim’s Steaks South Street – Philadelphians love their cheesesteaks, and at Jim’s on South Street, locals and visitors alike wait for a taste of some of the city’s best. At 2:00 a.m., expect to see a line of hungry patrons stretch out the door and around the block. 400 South Street, (215) 928-1911,
  • Johnny Rockets – A perpetual crowd pleaser, Johnny Rockets keeps the 1950s alive with shakes, floats, hamburgers, desserts and a slew diner-inspired menu items. The South Street location is the chain’s only Philly outpost. 443 South Street, (215) 829-9222,
  • Jon’s Bar & Grille – The actual birthplace of Larry Fine, one of The Three Stoogies, Jon’s boasts 10 big-screen televisions, 20 beers on tap and daily and game-time drink specials. A not-so-subtle mural overlooking the outdoor patio pays homage to Fine. 300 South Street, (215) 592-1390,
  • La Fourno Ristorante Trattoria – Along with an extensive wine list and bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) nights every Tuesday and Friday, this Italian restaurant dishes out specialty platters, such as mussels and shrimp scampi, along with more casual eats. Diners round out their meals with selections from the decadent dessert menu. 636 South Street, (215) 627-9000,
  • Las Bugambilias – Those who crave Mexican fare can find authentic dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner here six days a week. The restaurant’s draws include inventive cocktail and tequila lists and traditional house-made mole sauce that tops entrees, including enchiladas with Chihuahua cheese gratin. 148 South Street, (215) 922-3190
  • Lovash Indian Cuisine – Now with a full-service bar, this fine-dining establishment comes with all the traditional plates one expects to find at an Indian restaurant. Plus, diners can enjoy some unusual ones such as scallops, crab in pastry and grilled salmon with goa sauce. 236 South Street, (215) 925-3881,
  • Manny Brown’s – First opened in the summer of 1983, Manny Brown’s prides itself on dishing out good food and good fun. The menu features traditional bar food like Buffalo wings, chicken fingers and potato skins, and daily specials often make drinking here quite affordable. 512 South Street, (215) 627-7427
  • Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge – Serving Southern specialties with a big side of soul, Ms. Tootsie’s entices the dinner crowd with its award-winning golden fried chicken, lobster macaroni and cheese and collard greens. Patrons can make a night of it at the Luxe Lounge Sky Bar, offering cocktails, bottle service and a late-night menu. 1312 South Street, (215) 731-9045,
  • Percy Street Barbecue – The product of James Beard-winning chef Michael Solomonov and restaurateur Steven Cook, Percy Street serves classic Southern eats, draft craft beers and delicious mixed drinks in a homespun atmosphere. Its off-tap selection alone makes it worth a stop, evidenced by its designation as one of the “15 Most Cantastic Places to Grab a Can of Craft Beer in America” by 900 South Street, (215) 625-8510,
  • Serpico – New York’s Peter Serpico (of Momofuku Ko fame) and Philadelphia’s own Stephen Starr opened Serpico in 2013 to rave reviews. The one-room, 60-seat project represents a culinary renaissance for South Street, via an evolving menu of playful yet unfamiliar takes on global fare. 604 South Street, (215) 925-3001,
  • South Street Diner – Open 24 hours a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this 40-year-old South Street favorite serves traditional diner fare, along with Greek specialties such as spanakopita. Fresh baked goods and free delivery make it a go-to. 140 South Street, (215) 627-5258,
  • South Street Souvlaki – For nearly 35 years, this South Street staple has been dishing out award-winning dishes. On the menu: authentic Greek and Mediterranean fare such as stuffed peppers, souvlaki, gyros and falafel. 509 South Street, (215) 925-3026,
  • Tattooed Mom – Beers and a casual comfort-food menu take the spotlight in this dive bar with a rock edge. Upstairs, a lounge, two pool tables and an eclectic art collection add to the joint’s laid-back vibe. 530 South Street, (215) 238-9880,
  • Vegan Tree – The folks at Vegan Tree tout their love for three things: vegan food, their customers and the planet. The wide variety of vegetarian-friendly goodies here includes smoothies, cakes, bubble tea, chow mein, wraps and salads. 742 South Street, (215) 454-2898,

Arts & Entertainment:

  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens – Mosaics bloom at this fantasy-like art showplace, presenting and preserving the work of award-winning artist Isaiah Zagar. Visitors can take a tour or attend a mosaic workshop led by the artist himself, a major player in the South Street community since the 1960s. 1020 South Street, (215) 733-0390,
  • Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) – The smallest large venue in Philadelphia, the TLA offers concertgoers a more personal environment in which to take in well-known metal (High On Fire), hip-hop (Raekwon & Ghostface Killah), punk (The Sonics) and pop (Neon Trees). The venue houses two bars, a snack stand and a 21+ balcony. 334 South Street, (215) 922-1011,


  • Accent on Animals – This brightly painted pet-supply shop fills its shelves with high-quality foods and accessories for all types of pets. 804 South Street, (215) 625-8420
  • Atomic City Comics – Atomic City features new comic book and graphic novel releases each week, an extensive collection of back-issue and $1 comics, a handful of 1990s arcade games and a sizable selection of independent and small-press books for comic enthusiasts and casual readers alike. It also hosts parties for highly anticipated releases, as well as movie and television viewing parties. 638 South Street, (215) 625-9613,
  • Cheesesteaktees – Proud Philadelphians come here for tanks, tees, hoodies and an array of clothing featuring all-things Philly. The go-to place for fun, funny and snarky sports apparel, Cheesesteaktees ensures that Philly fans stand out from the stadium crowd. 506 South Street, (215) 238-5880,
  • Dudes Boutique – This clothing shop offers goods for both men and women, including handmade leather jackets and custom-designed shoes. Stylish shoppers come here to stock up on items from brands such as Jeffrey Campbell, B.B. Simon and Irregular Choice. 646 South Street, (215) 928-0661,
  • Eyes Gallery – Julia Zagar, the wife of prolific mosaic muralist Isaiah, opened this must-shop destination for exotic South American crafts back in 1968 with her husband. Religious iconography, sterling-silver jewelry, hand-woven blankets and folk art fill the place from floor to ceiling. 402 South Street, (215) 925-0193,
  • Garland of Letters – At this New Age bookstore, people can find serenity—or at least a book to direct them there. Crystals, journals, incense and gifts assist in the journey to Zen. 527 South Street, (215) 923-5946
  • Gilly Jeans – Urban cowboys and cowgirls alike shop for American-made boots and leather goods here. The belt-buckle selection alone impresses all who enter. 320 South Street, (215) 592-9926
  • Greene Street Consignment – The upscale, boutique-style atmosphere at Greene Street delights secondhand shoppers. One of several Philly-area locations, this store houses an unlimited number of treasures, from Gap to Gucci and from clothes to shoes to accessories. 700 South Street, (215) 733-9261,
  • Mineralistic – An imaginative oasis with artifacts, rare gems, fossils, figurines and silver, gemstone and Celtic jewelry, Mineralistic packs an original selection of items within its walls. A knowledgeable staff is always on hand to inform shoppers. 319 South Street, (215) 922-7199,
  • Nocturnal – Whether catering to genuine skaters or those who just want to look the part, Nocturnal stocks its shelves with all of the necessary gear and equipment. This neighborhood spot is more than just a place to shop; it’s a hub dedicated to supporting and growing the Philadelphia skateboarding community. 533 South Street, (215) 922-3177,
  • Platinum – Open since 1999, this contemporary clothier stocks hand-selected items from top fashion brands such as French Connection, PRPS, Versace, Moschino, Pierre Balmain, Iceberg, Alexander McQueen, BBC, Comme Des Garcons and Hugo Boss. The store offers everything from outerwear to footwear to accessories for men. 526 South Street, (215) 599-7528,
  • Ps and Qs – At this menswear boutique, heritage brands such as Herschel Supply Co. and Pendleton share racks with trendy labels like Norse Projects, Penfield and Victory Press. Each piece has been thoroughly vetted to be on point, right down to the masculine scents of the rugged candles. 820 South Street, (215) 592-0888,
  • Repo Records – An underground music haven for the last quarter-century, Repo Records moved to South Street more than a decade ago. The shop provides audiophiles with CDs and vinyls of their favorite indie, punk, hardcore, new wave, soul, jazz and alternative rock bands, along with hard-to-find releases. 538 South Street, (215) 627-3775,
  • Retrospect – At Retrospect, throwback fashionistas find jeans, furs, coats, hats, jewelry and old T-shirts. 508 South Street, (215) 925-3761,
  • Totem Brand – Classic, rustic, American: That’s Totem Brand in a few words. The store carries men’s clothing—from Wolverine, Danner, Rogue Territory, Steven Alan, Red Wing, Filson, Woolrich, Pendleton and Norman Porter—plus candles, soaps and incense that appeal to the outdoorsman in everyone. With many items American-made and a focus on brands that are U.S.-created and manufactured, people feel patriotic about their purchases. 535 South Street, (215) 440-9922,
  • Villa – Head-to-toe gear for men, women and children fill a high-energy environment equipped with flat-screen TVs and computers. The company is also committed to helping the local community via neighborhood partnerships, educational initiatives and anti-violence programs. 608 South Street, (215) 574-4980,
  • Wooden Shoe Books – An indie neighborhood isn’t complete without a collectively run anarchist bookstore, and Wooden Shoe Books fills that role for South Street. Volunteers stock the shelves with resources for activism, organizing, art and community building. Be on the lookout for events such as musical performances and film screenings. 704 South Street, (215) 413-0999,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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