Food & Drink

West Philly restaurant and business news

July 15, 2015

Here’s a short roundup of some latest news from local restaurants, bars and cafés.

DiningDays1University City Dining Days kicks off this Thursday (July 16), with over 30 restaurants participating in the event. During the 11-day promotion, you can choose a pre-fixe three-course dinner menu best suiting for your wallet: for $15 – at Dahlak, Desi Village, Dock Street Brewery, The Gold Standard Cafe, New Delhi, Vietnam Café, and more restaurants; for $25 – at 48th Street Grille, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, The Farmacy Rx, Han Dynasty, Harvest Seasonal, and more restaurants; or for $35 – at City Tap House, Distrito, Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar, Pod, and White Dog Cafe. Reservations should be made directly at participating businesses.

In addition, you can win some great prizes offered by the event organizer, University City District (UCD), including an iPod Touch, an Apple TV, and a $200 bundle of restaurant gift certificates. For more information go to:

UCD has installed a new and the largest parklet in the area – on 40th Street between Walnut and Sansom, in front of the retail space that hosts several eateries, including Hai Street Kitchen, Jake’s Sandwich Board, and Zesto Pizza. The new parklet, designed by Shift_Design, measures about 60 feet long and is among the longest parklets ever constructed. Now you can enjoy your sushi burrito outside.

CafeRenataKatieWe’ve been keeping an eye on the progress of Cafe Renata‘s opening at the new location near 46th and Baltimore. As we reported earlier, Renata co-owners Katie Steenstra and Yasser Aiq, were planning to open the new location this summer, after their old space near 43rd and Locust was heavily damaged in a fire in March. They even participated in the recent Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll (pictured right). It turns out, the opening will not happen until later this summer because Katie and Yasser are busy preparing for a big personal event – they’re getting married early next month! Once they’re “refreshed with marital bliss” they’ll be “back on the street” figuring out the opening date. We’ll keep you posted. By the way, the name of the new place is Renata’s Kitchen.

The Gold Standard Café is hiring Front of House staff, including a busser/runner (for weekend brunch), a server (3-5 days a week), and a barista. Please drop off your resume in person at 4800 Baltimore Ave. or stop in and ask for an application on Monday-Friday from 10-10:30 a.m. or 2:30-5 p.m.. For more information, check out this Facebook post.

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University City Dining Days return next week. Reservations now available

July 10, 2015

DiningDaysUniversity City Dining Days, a popular annual event helping drive traffic to local restaurants during slow summer months, will return on Thursday, July 16 and you can make your reservations now. This event is a great chance for those who like to eat out, but can’t always afford it, or want to check out some new restaurants in the area. As always, the event is based on the concept “3 course, 3 prices” – a pre-fixe three-course dinner special for $15, $25 or $35.

Thirty three restaurants, including craft beer bars, cozy BYOB’s, celebrity chef and ethnic restaurants, are participating in this year’s Dining Days. Six restaurants are participating in the event for the first time: 48th Street Grille, Hai Street Kitchen & Company, St. Declan’s Well, Wahoo’s Tacos and More, William Street Common, and Zavino University City.

See the full list of participating restaurants, menus and prices at Please note that prices are for dinner only and do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. Reservations should be made directly through the participating restaurant.

The event runs through July 26.

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Greensgrow’s low-cost farm share program kicks off this Thursday (updated)

July 9, 2015

UPDATE: Registration for Session 1 of the SNAP Box program is still open. Please go to: or contact Greensgrow at: or 267-496-0148.

snapbox2_72-496x298 (2)Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great thing, but most farm share programs are costly and inaccessible for many city residents. Greensgrow Farms is bringing back its low-cost SNAP Box program this summer to help connect low-income individuals and families with local farmers and their produce. The program launches on Thursday, July 9, and here are more details:

SNAP Box participants in West Philadelphia can purchase their produce from Greensgrow West located at 4912 Baltimore Ave. on Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. The SNAP Box program consists of three sessions, and each session runs for four weeks. Session 1 begins the week of July 9th, session 2 begins the week of August 6th, and session 3 begins the week of September 3rd. A one time fee of $26 valued at a retail price of $64 will offer participants an assortment of 5-8 weekly produce items sourced from local farms throughout the four-week program. In addition, program participants will have access to an onsite nutritionist and herbalist who will answer general health related questions and to free culinary education classes. Recipes, food prep and storage tips will also be offered. Additional information about the farms and farmers who contributed to the share will also be available.

Sign-up is still open for sessions 2 and 3. More information and a sign-up form are available here. If you have questions, please email: or call 267.496.0148.

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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns this Thursday. Check out the map

June 23, 2015

Baltimore-Avenue-Dollar-Stroll-2015-5x7-2A great neighborhood event, the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, returns on Thursday, June 25 with $1 bargains, live music and entertainment. Over 30 neighborhood businesses will be on hand, selling everything for a buck – food and drinks, gift certificates and theater tickets, art prints, plant starts and more – along Baltimore Avenue, between 43rd and 51st streets. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The map of business locations and their offers is below. Expect long lines by Desi Village (samosas & mango lassis!), Milk & Honey (ice cream!), Dock Street (beer!), Mariposa Food Co-op (banana whips!) and some other locations. Take your kid to Redcap’s Corner to pick up some $1 Pokemon cards and mini figures. And make sure to stop by and say hello to newcomers, such as Café Renata who will be serving delicious iced coffee, 8 Limbs Academy who will be offering short kickboxing lessons, and Spirited Tattooing who will be selling stickers and art prints.  Continue Reading

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Ramadan restaurant closings, hours

June 23, 2015


Muslims all over the world are observing the month of Ramadan, which began on the evening of June 17. Here’s a reminder that in observance of Ramadan, some local businesses are closed or have special hours.

Saad’s Halal Restaurant on 45th and Walnut has posted a sign (pictured) that they will be closed until Monday, July 20. Manakeesh Cafe and Bakery across the street from Saad’s will be open at 7:30 p.m. for pick-ups and at sunset for dining in.

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Free Clark Park Thursday Farmers’ Market tours kick off this week; reserve your space

June 8, 2015


Click to enlarge.

The Thursday Farmers’ Market returned to Clark Park on June 4, bringing a bunch of great local vendors and new programs, including cooking demonstrations. This Thursday (June 11), The Food Trust, the nonprofit that manages the Clark Park Farmers’ Market, will introduce another new program for local residents – Thursday Market Tours. The tours are a great opportunity to learn more about the market, its vendors and programs and also allow for local residents to participate in a discussion about healthy eating, wellness, and how that ties with local community development.

Clark Park Thursday Farmers’ Market tours are absolutely free and open to the public, but individuals and groups are asked to sign up beforehand.

The tours will take place every Thursday, from June 11 and August 27, at 4 and 6 p.m., but only if at least five people sign up for them. If you are interested to take part in one of these tours, please click here to sign up and select a date and time when you want to participate.

If you have questions, feel free to email The Food Trust’s Community Outreach Associate Kalie Wertz at:

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