Our wonderful city certainly has its bad angles, but Philadelphia is quickly evolving into a beautiful photogenic butterfly. This is especially evident in the bustling restaurant scene that is growing on pace with the massive construction boom we are experiencing. We are blessed to have some of the best and nationally recognized chefs and restaurateurs among us who enthusiastically and proudly call Philadelphia their home. With this new restaurant renaissance we are not only gaining some amazing cuisine, but also a feast for our eyes. Along with extraordinary food, Interior design and ambiance have become the most crucial elements to the success of any restaurant. With the social media and Instagram-happy customers, there needs to be a draw that will keep people coming back and spreading the word to their friends and families. We now crave the same beauty and elegance that we would see in the greatest cities around the world, and mediocrity is definitely no longer acceptable. With that said, here is a list of just some of the most photogenic restaurants in the city that also serve some outstanding cuisine.
Tuna Bar is a newly opened restaurant in the Bridge on Race building in Old City. The entire building is somewhat of an architectural marvel and stands out from the typical styles you will see in the rest of the city. So of course Tuna Bar is anything but ordinary and brings a freshness that is found not only in their delicious sushi and asian dishes cooked by chef and owner Kenneth Sze, but also in the openness and modernness of the design. The high ceilings and inviting central bar area with sushi station and raw bar all make it a beautiful photogenic experience.
White Dog Cafe-University City
This is actually the oldest restaurant on our list. White Dog Cafe in University City has been open since 1983 and became known for their locally sourced ingredients and environmental sustainability before it was cool. Of course the amazing food also had something to do with their success which led to more locations popping up in the Suburbs. However, the reason it’s included on the list is because they recently unveiled their massive expansion that adds a new breath of life to the already beautiful existing space. The expansion, called the Parlor Bar + Solarium, was designed by the super talented Rohe Creative which also designed the visually stunning Harp+Crown.
Walnut Street Cafe
Walnut Street Cafe opened with a lot of fanfare and was meant to be one the greatest restaurants in the city due to its Michelin Star winning team. There have certainly been mixed reviews about the restaurant, but nonetheless there is no doubt that it is absolutely gorgeous. The restaurant features a brightly lit space with high ceilings, modern light fixtures, a cafe bar area and calming and rhythmic jazz music playing on the speakers during the day. You can not help but pull your phone or camera out to take some beautiful pictures.
This restaurant in Fishtown has been on the Phillyfoodlove radar for some time now and we were eagerly waiting for the grand opening. Suraya is the brainchild of the talented people behind Root Restaurant and Wine Bar as well as Cafe La Maude. These two restaurants are exquisitely beautiful in their own right, so you can only expect that together they would give birth to a stunning new concept. Suraya is a Middle East inspired market/restaurant that right away evokes the sights, sounds, and scents of a distant exotic land. The decor and layout are meticulously put together and every aspect is absolutely beautiful. The cafe portion is open now, but we can not wait for the restaurant portion to open early this year. The outdoor courtyard/garden will definitely be a popular destination once the warm weather comes around.
This might be one of the most under-the-radar spots in the city, probably because it is located in an unassuming shopping center in the Great Northeast section of Philadelphia. P-Square lounge is described as the hidden gem of Macaroni’s restaurant. If you walk in from the front door of Macaroni’s, you will never imagine that you are about to be transformed to another place. The Lounge is a modern oasis in the courtyard of the restaurant with an indoor/outdoor glass pavilion that can be enjoyed throughout the year. The space is gorgeous and feels almost too good to be true for the area. Definitely a wonderful place to grab a delicious meal and enjoy the ambiance.
An open-air restaurant with a retractable roof? Yes, we have one in Philadelphia thanks to Maison 208. This unique concept opened last year and is graced with the culinary skills of Sylva Senat from Top Chef. The restaurant is picture perfect all around but make sure to check out the second floor where you will find a photo friendly space perfect for cocktails or a fantastic brunch. The walls are donned with whimsical murals and the overall decor is stunning to the last detail. On a nice warm day you can even experience the al fresco feeling when the glass roof opens.
This center city taqueria serves authentic and fresh Mexican cuisine in a fun and modern way. Upon walking into the second floor restaurant you get a warm and welcoming feeling that is usually uncommon in other open-concept restaurants with communal seating, but somehow works at Mission. The colors are bright and vibrant with soft neon accents and even a central courtyard that draws your eye. Overall a great place for some tacos (with house-made tortillas!) and margaritas with friends or co-workers.