Food and Drink

Down North, Korshak Bagels and Laser Wolf get NYT nod

Three people eat outside Down North pizzeria in Philly's Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
Down North pizzeria in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Down North

Down North Pizza, Korshak Bagels and Laser Wolf made it on the New York Times' 2021 Restaurant List, in which the newspaper's food critics pick this year's 50 most exciting eateries across the U.S.

What they're saying: Times food writers said that "few restaurants give as much flavorful bang for the buck" as Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook's Laser Wolf, and they likened Philip Korshak's bagels to "culinary poetry."

Plus, Down North — whose co-founder we told you about yesterday — received praise for both its mission providing work for formerly incarcerated residents and its generous Detroit-style pies.

Go deeper via NYT

Taylor Allen
Updated Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink

Philadelphia chef Kurt Evans provides second chances through food

Chef Kurt Evans speaks to guest during one of his End Mass Incarceration dinners.  Photo Courtesy of Kurt Evans. Photo Credit: Marc Willians
Chef Kurt Evans speaks to guest during one of his End Mass Incarceration dinners. Photo: Marc Williams/courtesy of Kurt Evans

Kurt Evans already has an impressive list of titles: chef, restaurateur, activist and educator.

  • Now, he's turning his focus to creating a pipeline of new culinary experts among formerly incarcerated people in Philadelphia.

Why it matters: Roughly 27% of formerly incarcerated people living in the U.S. are unemployed, according to the latest figures from the Prison Policy Institute. That rate has likely become worse since the pandemic.

Philly's Dine Latino Restaurant Week kicks off

Chips and guacamole
Photo courtesy of Bar Bombón in Center City, which is participating in the weeklong event. Photo courtesy of Bar Bombón

Dine Latino Restaurant Week kicks off today.

  • As if you needed an excuse to go out to eat, this year's event aims to promote and support restaurants recovering from pandemic-driven interruptions.

What's happening: More than 20 Latino-owned restaurants across the city are participating in the event put on by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce through Friday.

Things to do in Philly this weekend: get a pumpkin and go for a run

Broad Street Run
Runners participate in a previous Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Things to do this weekend

🍂 Harvest Weekend at Dilworth Park kicks off Friday and you know what that means: hay bales, pumpkin carvings, bratwurst and fall-themed speciality cocktails. Oh, and be sure to support local vendors at the Made in Philadelphia Market. The event runs through Sunday.

🌪️ "The Wizard of Oz Educational Exhibit" opens Friday at the Please Touch Museum. General admission ranges from $19-22, depending on the day you visit.

👟 Cheer on this year's runners taking on the annual 10-miler Broad Street Run through the heart of the city Sunday. And check out the street closures and parking restrictions.

🇮🇹 The Italian American celebration will kick off at 1:30pm on Sunday in South Philly, starting at Broad Street and Snyder Avenue and proceeding to Marconi Plaza. A festival will follow.

🥁 Indigenous Peoples' Day Philly, Inc. will host its annual celebration from 11am-5pm on Monday at Shackamaxon (Penn Treaty Park), which will feature art, music performances, presentations and other activities.

Mike D'Onofrio
Oct 8, 2021 - News

Philly considers capping food delivery fees

Illustration of a food delivery bag, with a dollar stapled to it instead of a receipt.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Philly is considering making permanent a 15% cap on food delivery fees that services like Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash charge restaurants.

Why it matters: The city's food industry was decimated by the pandemic, and recovering restaurants are facing thin profit margins. Many still rely on takeout orders and outdoor dining to stay afloat.

  • These higher fees could get passed on to customers.

LMNO, Stephen Starr's new Fishtown hotspot, is worth a stop

Photo: Shane Savitsky/Axios

I may not be cool enough to have been invited to last weekend's influencer-only opener at LMNO, Stephen Starr's new Baja Mexican spot in Fishtown —  but I am on Instagram often enough to score a first-day reservation on Wednesday night.

The take: The latest addition to a bustling stretch of Front Street under the El, LMNO is well worth a stop.

Taylor Allen
Oct 6, 2021 - News

Philadelphia chefs combat hunger through guerrilla gardening

Tonii Hicks and Ben Miller tend to one of their community gardens Oct. 2, 2021
Tonii Hicks and Ben Miller tend to one of their community gardens on Oct. 2, 2021. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

Restaurateur Ben Miller has transformed 30 abandoned plots of land in Southwest Philly into vegetable gardens to feed the community.

  • The gardens also grow produce for The People's Kitchen, where chefs like Miller and his wife Cristina Martinez prepare meals to combat hunger in underserved communities across the city.

Why it matters: More than 16% of Philadelphians are food insecure, lacking consistent and reliable access to enough meals.

Philadelphia Halloween pop-up bar Nightmare Before Tinsel is back

Patrons milling around the inside of the Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios
Patrons milling around the inside of the Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

October has arrived — and Halloween haunts are well underway in the city.

  • I recently checked out the spooky pop-up bar downtown, Nightmare Before Tinsel.

What I tried: The Blood Bag, which mixes Espolon Blanco tequila with orange liqueur, cranberry juice and Red Bull — and yes, it's served in a blood bag. If you go, I'd recommend this punch-like one to try.


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.