Another year, another ten pounds, another thousand posts of belt-notching dishes of Look-what-I-ate Souffle, another level up for Philadelphia’s notoriety in the national food spotlight. All thanks to countless people who’ve help promote or recently joined the ‘Good Food Revival Movement’ that kicked Philly (and most major cities) right in its nuts the past few years.
That’s exactly what this installment of my annual recommendations list entails: a collection of recommendations from people I’ve come to know and love in Philly’s Food Scene. Here you’ll find short essays from some of Philly’s most followed foodies and cooks, as well as some new faces that add some much needed perspectives and areas of expertise. Some of these places have been around for some time already and may not be news to some, but exposing something new isn’t exactly our aim right now. What is our aim is to tell you what we’re genuinely excited or in the year to come; so you can save the hipster eye rolling for the next article of places you knew about before they were cool.
It goes without saying that 2016 was a crazy year for us all and I think I speak for everyone in this article that we just want to move on to bigger and better things… Mainly a food coma fix that will sedate us until Spring.
And trust me… 2016 sucked. I need my fix.
Having said that, here’s a list of food joints we’re looking forward to the most in 2017 starting with me.
Chinatown Square – A 24/7 Food Court
While it was heavily promoted in its beginning stages, Chinatown Square, a project by Philly Restaurantuer Kenny Poon and his partner David Taing, has pushed back its gran opening a few times, making the anticipation one would get for an 24/7 utopia of Asian food more unbearable by the day.
According to the latest updates I’ve found, the space has started its (very) soft opening this past December, with two of its kiosks in service to the public. The Halal Guys franchise has opened a location here, but is only serving food through the food delivery app, Caviar, and ICE NY, a Thai styled ice cream parlor, is open as well.
Along with the other kiosks that have been announced, like Khmer Grill, serving Cambodian street food, Hi Kori, serving Japanese street food, and Dae Mun, a full-scale Korean restaurant, I’m looking forward to having a late night hangout where one can stumble into for some presumably awesome Asian food after a long night of Tsing-Taos and, well… awesome Asian food.
Philly lacks comforting spots that cater to night owls such as myself, and the ones we already have tend to have limited or overpriced menus (overpriced for what they’re serving, at least) so a new option for a late night spot such as this is exactly what we needed.
Chinatown Square is located at 1018 Race Street in Chinatown as has been aimed for a mid-January opening for the rest of their spaces, according to Philly.com. You can keep updated with their openings through their Facebook page.
Bing Bing Dim Sum
Like last year’s recommendation article, I reached out to @PhillyBrunchBabe (my friend Caitlin Cherkin) to help me find the right place to nurse the hangovers I accumulated from our Drunk Food map. Although Cait’s motives for a hearty brunch plate are more innocent than mine, I still seek her guidance when I’m in desperate need of revitalizing breakfast food. As a post-grad law student who cherishes the few periods of down time that she gets, brunch is her area of expertise. Let’s just say that you can trust her opinion on brunch spots as well as I do.
I’m calling it now – 2017 will be the year of BRUNCH! More people are indulging in brunch, and the city’s food scene is taking note. Brunch-focused spots are opening all over Philadelphia, and some of the city’s most loved restaurants are taking note of Philly’s “brunch awakening” and expanding their menus accordingly. This means that Philadelphians get to reap the benefits of their favorite restaurants offering a different type of meal. Most importantly, it means that brunch lovers get to try different spins on brunch that they may have never tried before – think sangria pancakes (available at Tinto) and togarashi eggs benedict with pork potsticker sausage and spicy hollandaise (available at Doubleknot).
The brunch I’m dying to try this year was just added at Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk. They added just a few brunch items, but these dishes pack a huge punch. The items include just enough dim-sum flair with a brunch focus. I’ll be sure to order the Pork Belly Pac Man Buns, with egg, pickles and spicy mayo. Pork belly mixed with doughy bao buns and eggs sounds like a savory brunch-lover’s dream. I’ll wash it down with the Kimchi Bloody Mary, which is mixed with cucumber kimchi and some gochujang and is sure to add some extra spice to one of my favorite brunch staples. I can’t wait to indulge in these out-of-the-box brunch dishes and cocktails.
Keep on brunchin’ Philly!
Bing Bing Dim Sum is located at 1648 E Passyunk Ave in South Philly. You can reach them at (215) 279-7702 or visit their website at bingbingdimsum.com.
The Hungry Pigeon
Philly food blogs and social media accounts are a dime a dozen. What sets John Kim’s blog and accounts from the rest is his attention to detail in his photography. I’m not talking about the usual pan of an iPhone under sufficient dining room lighting either. This guy uses a professional fucking camera that immediately sends his shots to his phone for posting. It puts those close-ups of yet another rainbow-tie-dyed bagel or sprinkled french toast to shame, and I’ve always appreciated that (along with his genuine enthusiasm and knowledge of food, of course).
Part 2 of What We’re Excited For in 2017 will be posted soon with some more of my favorite food bloggers and cooks. If you’re interested in submitting content for Philly Foodporn, be sure to reach out on our contact page.