Esquire Names 3 Philly Restaurants on Their List of “Top 100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford to Lose”
2020 was a very rough year for many businesses. Here in Philly the restaurant world was turned upside down and many local favorites closed their doors for good. Restaurants are more than just a place to grab a bite. It’s where memories are made. Where we gather with friends and share stories. Where we go on first dates and in some cases even propose. It’s where we go to unwind after a hard day or to get businesses done. Whatever your reason, we all have that one restaurant we hold near and dear to our hearts. “If we lose them, we lose who we are,” Esquire wrote.So when Esquire made a list of the Top 100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford to Lose, it was nice to see Philly represented on the list. See the list below and Esquire’s remarks.
Abyssinia (229 S 45th St.): “Oh, I love that place.” That’s what I often hear from Philadelphians whenever I happen to mention Abyssinia. The connection runs deep. And that’s no surprise, because the warmth of the hospitality at this beloved Ethiopian spot makes you feel as though you’ve joined a family for dinner in their home—even if you happen to be dining alone. A little while back, when I was teaching a writing course at Drexel University, I used to catch an early train from Manhattan just so that I could get a quick, quiet lunch of injera and stews at Abyssinia before dashing to the classroom. But it’s even better with a big group. Let’s all gather here when the pandemic is over. We’ll have a feast. —JG
Fork (306 Market St.): I got my first restaurant job at Fork restaurant when I was just out of college. Fork had recently opened and added an elegant vibe to Philadelphia’s Old City. My entire family has dined at Fork and loved every meal—from shrimp and grits at brunch to Champagne roasted chicken (takeaway) dinners during quarantine. Every experience at Fork is edifying. Ellen Yin has maintained this gem for more than two decades and I hope it lasts at least another twenty years. —Klancy Miller
Kalaya (764 S 9th St.): No punches are pulled by chef/owner Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon and her remarkably spicy, funky, practically vibrating Thai dishes that are a snapshot of her mother’s recipes she learned while growing up in Southern Thailand. —KS