East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID)home to more than 160 independent businesses in South Philadelphia, is a premier destination for exceptional and unforgettable dining and cocktails for locals and visitors alike, thanks to its diverse lineup of reputable food and beverage owners, including Gabriella’s Vietnam, embers and ashes, Pearl, river twice, Townsend EPX, Laurel, In the Valley (ITV), and Parrilla of Ocho Rios. People who dine and soak on East Passyunk Avenue have a huge selection of distinct finds and dining experiences, many of which are atypical of traditional diners and drinks.

East Passyunk Avenue is a world-class dining destination in Philadelphia.(Courtesy of Visit East Passyunk)

One of Philadelphia’s most revered new restaurants, Gabriella’s Vietnam (1837 E Passyunk Ave) spearheads the diverse collection of restaurants and bars along the avenue, serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine curated by Chef Thanh Nguyen. Named one of America’s 50 Most Exciting Restaurants this year by The New York Times and the Be2022 St of Philly® Best Restaurant Winner, Gabriella’s Vietnam is known for its tasty and typical dishes served in a family style, including water fern dumplings, shaken beef and savory pancakes.

Equally rooted in authentic flavors and classic techniques, Pearl (1534 S 11th St) and Ocho Rios Parilla (1710 E Passyunk Ave) brings long culinary traditions from two distinct cultures to South Philadelphia. Chef Lou Boquilla started Perla out of respect for his childhood and Filipino background, offering guests a prix-fixe Kamayan feast served on bamboo leaves and eaten.”kamayan,” Tagalog for “by hand.” Ocho Rios Parrilla also capitalizes on the rich history of Caribbean cuisine, taking its name from a region in northern Jamaica with classic island cocktails and authentic favorites like jerk chicken. homemade and oxtail stew.

Conversely, embers and ashes (1520 E Passyunk Ave) leads the way in contemporary cuisine with a culinary philosophy based on sustainability, seasonality and locality. Striving to not only capitalize on the finest and freshest ingredients, but to use them in their entirety in new and delicious ways that reduce food waste, Ember & Ash triumphed on the TV hit Defeat Bobby Flay in 2021 and continues to innovate in the new American kitchen space. Plus, their open kitchen and custom wood-burning fireplace give you a chef’s view like no other restaurant in town.

For upscale, prix fixe, and tasting menu dining, East Passyunk Ave offers a host of options, including (but not limited to) Townsend EPX (1623 E Passyunk Ave) and river twice (1601 E Passyunk Ave) – two James Beard-appointed restaurants with stellar prix-fixe offerings and impressive wine selections.

Townsend EPXChef Townsend Wentz’s flagship restaurant, offers fine contemporary French cuisine with complex flavors and stunning presentation, with a la carte and chef’s tasting menu options available in addition to a host of classic and inventive cocktails.

river twicethe brainchild of Executive Chef Randy Rucker and his wife Amanda Rucker, offers hyper-seasonal day-to-day fare with impressive seven-course prix-fixe dinners, four-course Monday meals and intimate counter experiences of the chief.

In addition, Laurel (1617 E Passyunk Ave) and its cocktail and wine bar In the Valley (ITV) (1615 E Passyunk Ave) both offer truly exceptional drink options including craft beer and mocktails in addition to their extensive wine selection and innovative seasonal cocktails. The Laurel’s six-course tasting menu is prepared daily, led by owner/executive chef Nicholas Elmi, in tandem with seasonal offerings from local farmers and vendors.

The next door, In the Valley (ITV) offers a more casual nighttime destination, with small plates based on Laurel’s current menu and carefully selected craft cocktails.

“East Passyunk Avenue is constantly changing and expanding with exciting new restaurants and bars, all of which have something special to offer customers,” said Adam Leiter, executive director of East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District. “Our culinary community has made an impact on Philadelphia’s culinary scene, and we look forward to bringing experiences to as many people as possible that are more than just a meal for themselves.”

Whether it’s the restaurants mentioned above, Avenue classics like Le Virtu or newcomers like Mish Mish who continue to ensure that the atmosphere and attention to detail matches the culinary expertise – this list only scratches the surface. East Passyunk Avenue is a world-class dining destination in Philadelphia that offers something for everyone and should be on everyone’s list to visit.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer. philadelphia food scene, South Jersey foodthe greater Mid-Atlantic region, and beyond. Email Marilyn at [email protected] with food and travel news. If you liked this article, throw a coffee to Marilyn! Follow Marilyn on Twitter, instagramand ICT Tac.