Looking to get out of town this summer? From scenic BYOS to undiscovered strip mall gems, the Philadelphia suburbs are home to all sorts of off-the-beaten-path eateries — not to mention parking galore. Here are 10 destinations worth venturing out of the city.
Credit: Danya Henninger
Tired Hands Fermenteria
Jean Broillet and the Tired Hands crew are brewing some of the region’s most thrilling beers out of a former factory space on the Main Line. The menu changes often, but with experimental hop brewed saisons and rye IPAs on the menu: There’s never a boring pour here.
35 Cricket Terrace; Ardmore; 484-413-2983
Chef-owner MacGregor Mann has been wowing the critics with his solo venture since day one. The Garces Group alum managed to recreate the welcoming feel of a farmhouse in an out-of-the-way shopping center, where he serves locally sourced food in modern platings.
100 Ridge Rd., Chadds Ford; 484-574-8041
Credit: Caroline Russock
Jimmy John’s Pipin’ Hot Sandwiches
Not to be confused with the sandwich chain, this 40s era hot dog haven is pure Americana. From the model trains to the retro dining room to the top-it-yourself relish bar, the dogs here have been winning loyal fans for years.
1507 Wilmington Pike, West Chester; 610-459-3038
Terrain Garden Cafe
Located in an absolutely dreamy home and garden shop, this locally minded BYO is scenic and serene. The menu changes with the seasons and relies heavily on nearby produce for plates like collard greens slaw with duck confit and crispy pork belly with spring onions and guanciale.
914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills; 610-459-6030
Credit: Neal Santos
Specializing in a unique blend of Indian and Chinese cuisines, this strip mall spot has a fascinating menu that includes Manchurian cauliflower and the curiously named chicken 65, made with bite sized pieces of fried bird tossed with chiles, ginger and garlic.
1967 Street Rd., Bensalem; 215-638-2200
Credit: Hawk Krall
Is it really worth a half-hour-or-more drive just to eat a cheeseburger? Ask anyone who’s done it and you’ll get a yes. It’s all about the ratio — thin patty, small bun, easy cheese. Just like it’s been done since 1935, but with a healthy dose of not trying too hard. (Don’t miss the chance for a great black-and-white milkshake while you're there.)
336 Kedron Ave., Folsom; 610-461-4228
This new addition to the Philadelphia Korean scene is a sleek tofu specialist. Bubbling bowls of soon dubu are accompanied by a glorious banchan spread that usually comes with a whole fried croaker and fluffy potato salad.
1333 W. Cheltenham Ave. #102, Elkins Park; 215-782-3828
Credit: Greg Carozzo
1906 at Longwood Gardens
The formal dining room at this horticultural wonderland is home to gorgeous garden views as well as some serious kitchen talent. Embracing all things local, starters like Kennet Square mushroom soup with crispy shallots and show-stopping crudite are followed by pan seared trout three ways with smoked trout tater tots and roe.
1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square; 610-388-5290
Some of the most real deal Japanese fare in Philly can be found at the lunch counter of this grocery store in Ardmore. Hearty beef and ginger topped rice bowls, saucy okonomiyaki and crisp chicken karaage and tempura are all executed perfectly.
5 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore; 484-417-6745
Stuffed cabbage and smoked kielbasa are good choices at this petite retail market/cafe in Roxborough (ok, not officially the suburbs), but don’t leave without taking home a pack of the namesake dumplings. They come in at least a dozen varieties, from “Buffalo Blue” to “Loaded Baked Potato” to, yes, “Philly Cheesesteak.”
648 Roxborough Ave.; 215-483-5301