25 Best New Restaurants in Philadelphia’s Western Suburbs
Our area is in the midst of a restaurant renaissance. Here are some of our favorite recent additions.
Amis Trattoria in Devon. Photo courtesy of Amis Trattoria.
There’s probably no better financial arbiter of the region’s economy than the state of its restaurant industry—and our region continues to experience unparalleled growth. Here are 25 exceptional newbies.
The terra tones and contemporary seating options at this Devon Yard stunner complement the satisfying Italian fare produced by chef Kristina Wisneski (most recently of Enoteca Tredici in Bryn Mawr). Wisneski captures the soul of South Philly with her Sal’s Old School Meatballs (Marc Vetri’s dad’s original recipe), fresh pastas, rice-filled aroncini balls, marinara pizzette and porcini-rubbed lamb chops. Amis also offers an energized happy hour and a noteworthy weekend brunch.
138 W. Lancaster Ave., Devon, (610) 590-4782, www.amistrattoria.com.
Andiario in West Chester. Photo by Steve Legato.
The Philly suburbs’ culinary cred has been ratcheted-up several notches thanks to the much-praised Andiario, where scoring a seat can still be a challenge. Chef Anthony Andiario crafts farm-sourced apps (seeded crackers slathered with an earthy chicken-liver pate and brandied cherries), incredible pastas (hand-rolled candele with beef Genovese), and an abbreviated selection of main plates (pan-roasted duck breast with pear puree and smoked au jus). His partner, Maria van Schaijik, has fashioned a succinct wine list and is amping up the cocktails. You can also BYOB ($10 corkage fee per bottle).
106 W. Gay St., West Chester, (484) 887-0919, andiario.com.
Don’t be swayed by the strip center locale. Avola’s contemporary-style chandeliers, high ceilings, gold-flecked walls and blue backlighting impart a dusky Mediterranean vibe, bringing to mind a cosmopolitan Sicilian-style restaurant. The tapas, small plates, wood-fired pizzas and dinner entrées are all sumptuous—and be sure to try the braised short ribs.
625 N. Morehall Road, Malvern, (484) 328-8584, www.avolakitchenandbar.com.
The Bercy in Ardmore. Photo by Steve Legato.
Located in the once-imposing century-old Haverford Trust building, this glam 10,000 square-foot French-style brasserie was easily the most anticipated Main Line debut of 2018. Chef Joe Monnich specializes in classics like steak frites, a French onion soup topped with Gruyere, mouthwatering duck a l’orange and succulent rotisserie fare. The hexagon-shaped tiles downstairs impart a steakhouse vibe, while the upstairs mezzanine offers salon-like sophistication.
7 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 589-0500, www.thebercy.com.
A spinoff of the popular Philly original, Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello’s seasonally focused brunch café lends hipness to Narberth with its cross-generational appeal. The cinnamon-vanilla-dredged challah French toast, lemon-ricotta pancakes and savory whipped cream-topped crispelles are all musts. For hearty appetites, there’s the Polish benedict with Czerw’s Kielbasy. It wouldn’t be brunch without booze, and Café Lift doesn’t disappoint, with draft Kosher wine, beers on tap and a number of eye-opening cocktails. End your meal with a shot of creamy affogato.
724 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, (484) 429-2626, www.cafelift.com.
Chef Volodymyr Hyvel’s self-described “European” BYOB may be small, but it’s also calming, thanks to a slate-gray color palette brightened by two Parisian watercolors. The well-traveled chef’s surprisingly vast menu features classic dishes like steak tartare, chicken pate and a shareable 150-ounce grilled Tomahawk steak. His continental flair is evident in the duck confit salad, stuffed quail salmon sashimi, black cod with miso sauce, and duck Canton with caramel-coffee-orange sauce.
845 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (484) 383-3230, www.thechoice-restaurant.com.
Eddie V's in King of Prussia. Photo by Steve Legato.
Darden Restaurants’ latest addition to the King of Prussia market is a classy standalone known for its Petrossian cavier, fresh oysters, Georges Bank scallops and other premium seafood. The steaks measure up to those at the nearby Capital Grille, and live jazz is a highlight in the high-energy lounge. Almost every table offers see-and-be-seen cache, and the optimal staff-to-patron ratio ensures attentive service.
670 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, (610) 337-7823, www.eddiev.com.
Apparently, you can’t keep a good chef out of the kitchen—even after a heart transplant. Lee Krasley celebrates his return with a menu that specializes in farm-sourced comfort fare like Texas chili, mesquite-accented Arizona eggrolls, a Cajun sausage sandwich, angus burgers, and meatloaf. He’s also got beer from Phoenixville’s Root Down Brewing Company, on tap and in cans. The quirky garage-like interior sports exposed steel, reclaimed wood, polished concrete floors and the back end of a ’69 VW Beetle.
570 Simpson Drive, Chester Springs, (610) 615-5189, www.epicureangarage.com.
After experiencing the corporate side of the restaurant business, Megan and C.W. Bruton have gone indie with their Tex-Mex cantina. Featuring (as the name suggests) plenty of tacos, plus a towering Frito pie and Lone Star brisket chili. There’s also a Pennsylvania-focused beer, wine and spirits list. When the weather is agreeable, the outside patio, with its rows of string lights, is a twinkling focal point.
202 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 237-2423, www.estrellatacobar.com.
Taking over Appetites Delight, once a Gateway Shopping Center institution, his ramen-and-sushi spot boast an edgy Anime wall mural and a perky pop-music soundtrack. The pan-Pacific menu showcases tempting steamed buns, citrusy poke, noteworthy rolls, and flavor-packed broths filled with tender tangles of ramen noodles. Though menu items are listed as mild, spicy and hot, heat levels are somewhat tempered to accommodate the masses.
265 Swedesford Road, Wayne, (484) 580-2933.
For all of its restaurants, Phoenixville had long been lacking a true Italian eatery. Chefs Josh Friedberg and Gent Mema changed that last year, repurposing recipes from their well-regarded BYOBs, Il Granaio in Glen Mills and Antica in Chadds Ford. Highlights at this seductive subterranean dining enclave include fresh pastas, veal dishes, sautéed and baked whole fish, and a garlicy New York strip. There’s also a full bar.
184 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (484) 924-8423, www.ilgranaiopa2.com.
An understated presence along Mall Boulevard, J. Alexander’s is anything by ordinary on the inside. The sleek yet serene wood beamed, fieldstone-lined space is the perfect setting for a comforting variety of menu items, including sushi, quality steaks, an “old-fashioned” cheeseburger and a buttermilk-dipped chicken sandwich. The rotisserie barbecue ribs and chicken are also a draw, as is the personable, impeccably trained staff.
256 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, (484) 322-2000, jalexanders.com.
Jason Kim is everywhere. The original Jason’s Toridasu has become a go-to for fresh sushi in Ardmore. More recently, he expanded to Manayunk, with @Ramen noodle house, the small but stylish Japanese bar, Momokawa, and Jason’s Cozyday, which offers authentic Korean cuisine. Now, a second Jason’s Toridasu has appeared in Presidential City, where the sushi, nigiri and sashimi truly shine.
3800 City Ave., Philadelphia, (267) 292-2099, www.jasonstoridasu.com.
The tiny community of Landenberg is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hamlet tucked away in rural Chester County. At its center is this circa-1872 general store, where sous chef Greg Powell now lovingly assembles breakfast sandwiches and made-to-order gourmet takeout items like crab cakes, sushi-grade tuna, chicken cutlet and Angus flank steak. The olive bar is also a great touch. You won’t find a more welcoming culinary oasis in a more unexpected place.
100 Landenberg Road, Landenberg, (484) 508-8008, landenbergstore.com.
Lavi BYOB in Ardmore. Photo by Ed Williams.
At this charming new farm-to-table café, Khadijah Bush and Aziza Young excel at global comfort cuisine. Young’s butternut squash ravioli, butter-poached shrimp and grits, polenta with duck drumettes, and vegan scallop stir-fry are all deftly executed and utterly delicious. This adorable—and affordable—little sleeper is one of the year’s biggest surprises.
1531 W. Wynnewood Road, Ardmore, (484) 413-2779, www.lavibyob.com.
Louette's BYO in Phoenixville. Photo by Steve Legato.
In a casual townhouse setting, Blackfish alum Steve Howells offers four distinct tiers of mix-and-match small plates. A simple starter might be charred broccoli with Romesco sauce and local goat cheese, while the pasta category has house-made ricotta ravioli in sherry brown butter. A main plate could be the 13-hour roasted veal and chestnuts with apple jus—and be sure to order the eggless cookie dough for dessert. Bring a bottle or two; there’s no corkage fee.
106 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (484) 924-9906, louettesbyo.com.
Seasoned restaurateurs Jay Stevens and Kim Strengari bring Napa Valley to Villanova, tapping some of the best in Northern California cuisine—and a Pacific Coast wine list—for their stylish new venture. Chef Charles Vogt channels the essence of California culinary icon Alice Waters, while adding of few 21st-century notes to his comprehensive menu. Other highlights include a raw bar, a pizza bar, tempting daily specials, a late-night menu and weekday lunch service.
789 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, (484) 380-3688, mainandvinebistro.com.
Conveniently situated in the shadow of the new Ardmore Place, this recent addition is an offshoot of the original Nam Phuong in South Philly. The Vietnamese headliner is the lemongrass-accented silken rice vermicelli noodles with an assortment of succulent meats, poultry or seafood—a beefy pho providing the most flavor and depth. Broken rice and soft egg-noodle stir-fries accentuate the menu, as do spicy beef and vegetarian dishes.
43 Cricket Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-1888, www.namphuongbistro.com.
With its central location along the mall’s Savor food court connector, North Italia is a major new contributor to KOP’s upscale-casual culinary renaissance, offering first-class pizzas and pasta, hearty grilled meats, and fresh seafood. Start your day with the sausage-filled Nonna Casserole—and there’s also weekend brunch, happy hour and an inviting outdoor patio in warm months.
350 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, (484) 751-9000, www.northitaliarestaurant.com.
Granted, Portabello’s has been a Kennett Square staple for several years. But its recent move across State Street has brought about some significant changes. The expanded space features a martini bar with a piano, a separate pizza kitchen, and private and semi-private dining rooms. Meanwhile, chef Brett Hulbert has expanded his repertoire to include bar food like burgers and shrimp cocktail—though his menu remains rooted in European, American and regional classics. The Portabello Fries remain, along with the exceptional service.
108-112 E. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 925-4984, http://www.portabellosofkennettsquare.com/.
Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft in Ardmore. Photo by Steve Legato.
Peter Martin chose to remain true to his dual inspiration: A long-gone dive bar from his youth in Elkins Park and the Grateful Dead song “Ripple.” His many loyal customers are now the beneficiaries of this quirky-cozy speakeasy nostalgia trip—plus the kitchen prowess of chef Bill Gottehrer and the virtuosity of Ripplewood’s mixologists. Patrons can nosh on such worthwhile indulgences as a double-patty burger, Fontina- and brisket-covered Ripp Fries, and the award-winning Tongue & Cheek Tacos.
29 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 486-7477, ripplewoodbar.com.
This second outpost of the Royersford-based Stickman Brews has proved immensely popular. It has a wide array of Stickman’s small-batch American brews—several with the signature malty Belgian backbone it’s known for, including Store Bought Is Fine Double IPA and the medal-winning Cousin Stoopid Grand Cru. Soak up the first-rate suds with dry-rubbed roasted and fried wings, mac-and-beer cheese, a sliced ribeye cheesesteak, an Italian roast pork sandwich, or the vegetarian-friendly Impossible Burger.
861 Kimberton Road, Chester Springs, (484) 202-8576, www.stickmanbrews.com.
Contractor Michael Quinn had the perfect skill set to properly renovate this mid-1800s inn. He also has his oldest son, Isaac, who’s well established in the culinary field. The result is the quintessential country tavern with nine spruced-up hotel rooms. Comfort food dominates the menu—burgers, melts, grinders, a steak sandwich. The Overbrook-style pan pizzas are made from dough that undergoes an hours-long fermentation process, yielding some of Chester County’s best pies.
3512 Strasburg Road, Coatesville, (484) 718-5121, www.stottsvilleinn.com.
Alex “Tank” Reid and Joe “Libby” Libertore first met while working in a local Wegmans kitchen, before teaming up to open this successful breakfast-and-lunch spot in the Pilgrim Gardens Shopping Center. Their menu heightens the art of short order cookery, thanks to its omelets and frittatas, creative Eggs Benedict variations, decadent chicken and waffles, and Philly-inspired sandwiches like pulled pork and cheesesteak “wit.” They also pour La Colombe coffee.
1011 Pontiac Road, Drexel Hill, (484) 455-7527, tankandlibbys.com.
Terrain Café at Devon Yard. Photo courtesy of Terrain.
Much like its older Glen Mills sibling, Terrain offers the unmatched experience of dining in a flower-filled terrarium—or, if the weather’s nice, a perfectly tended garden. Menu items range from crispy sumac-dusted chickpeas and roasted-eggplant-and-tahini toast to the Terrain Burger (topped with onion jam) and chanterelle mushroom fondue with sourdough. If you’re a morning person, don’t pass up the sweet-and-creamy hazelnut brioche French toast.
138 W. Lancaster Ave., Devon, (610) 590-4671, www.shopterrain.com.