Major Accolades for Three Local Restaurants

Coffee and injera from Alif
Feb 22, 2023 37 days ago

Our dining scene in University City is known for its unique and diverse options. We have food options from around the world, including many restaurants run by operators who bring unique flavors and cultural traditions to the dishes they serve. Recently, three local businesses earned major accolades from the media.



Alif Lands on Food & Wine's List of Top Philadelphia Lunch Spots 


Food & Wine, the renowned culinary publication, recently published its list of the eleven best lunch spots in Philadelphia. In a list of high-end French offerings, modern Jewish delis, and other standouts, Baltimore Avenue's Alif Brew & Mini Mart (4501 Baltimore Avenue) ranked as the #3 option for its from-scratch Ethiopian options including injera wraps and coffee. Owner Hayat Ali's all-day cafe has been a welcome addition to Baltimore since opening in 2020, and was also named a top 50 Best Restaurant by Philly Mag. The success of Alif also led to the opening of a second restaurant Doro Bet (4533 Baltimore Avenue), an Ethiopian chicken house that specializes in gluten-free fried chicken, shawarma, and vegan options.  



The Chicken Maroosh from Saad's is Named "Philly's Best Sandwich" 


The Philadelphia Inquirer recently debuted a new feature called "The Best Sandwich in Philly." In the first entry, local food writer Alexandra Jones makes a case for the chicken maroosh sandwich from Saad's Halal Restaurant (4500 Walnut) as Philly's best sandwich. "Stuffed abundantly with fillings, spanning the length of my forearm, and composed to give each bite a transcendent combination of meaty/bready/creamy/tangy, the chicken maroosh is possibly the perfect sandwich," Jones writes. The restaurant, named after owner Saad Alrayes, has earned loyal fans for its falafel, shwarma, and baklava, but for Jones the chicken maroosh, made with "juicy chicken grilled on skewers...[and] finished with grilled onions, sliced tomatoes, and spears of tart, snappy pickle, then topped with curly parsley and generous drizzles of unctuous garlic sauce," is the item most worth trying. Read the entire article here, or watch the video below where YouTuber JL Jupiter visits Saad's to try the sandwich on camera.




Craig Laban Names Honeysuckle Provisions' 'Dolla' Hoagies Some of the City's Best


Food critic Craig Laban, however, identified another local contender for the city's best sandwiches: the "dolla hoagies" from Honeysuckle Provisions (310 S. 48th Street). In his article, Laban writes that "Honeysuckle's turkey hoagie is now my current favorite turkey hoagie citywide." Laban also praises the "fascinating" turnip dollar hoagie, which he considers as "one of the most distinctive veggie hoagies in a town where produce-driven sandwiches have never been better." Honeysuckle owners Omar Tate and Cybille St.Aude-Tate are making quite the name for themselves at their critically-acclaimed venture that focuses on highlighting predominantly Black-made, owned, and grown foods. The pair were recently featured in Visit Philly's Shop Philly campaign, where they curated a collection of books, food, jewelry, and more from African American and women-owned shops. 

Want more coverage of our restaurants, retail, parks, and more? Visit Rediscover West Philly for our curated recommendations!