Outdoor dining in Philly gets sweet upgrades; Philly does Pizza

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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When it's cold outside, these restaurants have heat lamps, tents, igloos, greenhouses and even a Yurt Village to make your outdoor dining experience as comfy and safe as possible.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Outdoor Dining in the Winter of COVID-19

Though indoor dining restrictions in Philadelphia are easing this weekend, many struggling restauranteurs are still putting their hopes in outdoor dining, investing money in heat lamps, tents, igloos, greenhouses, elaborate wooden structures and, in the case of Zahav, an entire Yurt Village with each dining party getting their own private hut.

Here are the restaurants featured in the story:

a. kitchen | Facebook | Instagram

1737 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Booker's Restaurant & Bar | Facebook | Instagram

5021 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Charlie was a sinner. | Facebook | Instagram

131 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Cotoletta Fitler Square | Facebook | Instagram/

2227 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar | Facebook | Instagram

10 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106


Fork | Facebook | Instagram

306 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106


Talula's Garden |Facebook | Instagram

210 West Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106


The Love | Facebook | Instagram

130 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Tria Cafe Rittenhouse | Facebook | Instagram

123 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.


Walnut Street Cafe | Facebook | Instagram

2929 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Pizza Anyone? New spots, new spins on pizza during the pandemic

Pizza is having a pandemic moment. It's always been a staple food in Philadelphia but during the pandemic it seems to be even more popular.

Four new spots have opened recently offering takeout and delivery options, each with its own spin on the menu.

Pizza in Style has created its own special dough using imported flour from Italy and different takes on toppings.

Eeva is an extension of coffee roaster Reanimator's Kensington space. The wood-fired oven is used to cook the pizza and create a warm all-day space for the neighborhood.

Benny Casanova's is the brainchild of celebrity chef Franklin Becker, featuring Sicilian style pizza and arancini.

Down North is part pizza, part mission-based restaurant. Chef Kurt Evans has focused the restaurant on Detroit style pizza and hiring employees who have been formerly incarcerated.

Known as a "chef-tivist" Kurt hopes his new space will be a turning point in the fight against recidivism.

Down North Pizza | Instagram

2804 West Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Pizza In Style | Facebook | Instagram

1735 Market Street Concourse level, Market Street Entrance, Philadelphia, PA 19103

eeva | Facebook | Instagram

310 Master Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Benny Casanova's | Facebook | Instagram

3300 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hardena thinks outside the box "Not Pizza" Indonesian feast

The owners of a James Beard-nominated Hardena in South Philadelphia don't serve pizza, but their latest offer was definitely inspired by it.

Hardena opened in 2001 and is known for its authentic Indonesian cuisine, with recipes passed down through the generations. It's a small gem on a tiny South Philadelphia street, and business was hammered by COVID-19.

To regain their slice of the economic pie took some thinking outside the box.

So the family came up with "It's Not Pizza," mostly all of their food packed in a pizza box that's lined with banana leaves and a large rice mound in the middle.

Find Indonesian favorites like beef rendang, coconut collard greens and sate, tempeh and tofu.

For the full Indonesian experience, eat it just like you would pizza, with your hands. Traditionally, as you may know, Indonesians like to eat with their hands.

Hardena| Instagram

1754 South Hicks Street #2217, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145

For "Not Pizza," you have to book a slot as they do sell out.

Ghost kitchens are becoming a staple of Philadelphia dining

While we continue to stay safer at home, many of us are ordering in for meals.

Now, food delivery apps like GrubHub and Uber Eats might be all you need to order from a 'ghost kitchen'.

Not a new concept, but one that is growing in popularity, multiple small kitchens are built under one roof and get rented out to chefs and online brands -- for delivery only.

Orders go directly to the kitchens, get cooked and bagged up, then picked up by delivery drivers. The chef and the kitchen are never seen, hence the name ghost kitchen.

Chef Big Rube's Kitchen | Facebook | Instagram


1308 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123


3300 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Bitar's | Facebook | Instagram

947 Federal Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147


Shai Hummusiya | Facebook | Instagram


3300 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Pete's Place replaces Serpico with Korean wings topping the menu

James Beard award-winning Chef Peter Serpico has shuttered his namesake restaurant Serpico and pivoted to what he calls a virtual kitchen with Pete's Place, a kind-of Korean-food that is 100% takeout and delivery, paying homage to his South Korean roots.

Think noodles, bibimbap, Korean barbecue and Kimchi.

The most popular dish being the Korean fried chicken wings, a recipe the fine-dining chef has become known for.

Serpico says he likes to get creative in the kitchen and have fun. With schools gone virtual too, Peter's young daughter has become a frequent companion in the kitchen, putting a personal touch on his pandemic pivot.

You can also find Pete's Place in Washington D.C., where they are running out of their sister restaurant, St. Anslem.

Pete's Place | Instagram

604 South Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147

Open daily 4-10pm, To-go + delivery only

New ad campaign seeks to send lifeline to struggling restaurants

Restaurants and small businesses continue to struggle through various phases of closings and re-openings due to COVID-19.

The Center City District is launching a new ad campaign to remind people that one of the best ways to help is to order takeout, especially directly from the restaurant.

It's one-way residents can do their part to make sure the restaurants are still around on the other side of this pandemic.

#TakeOutPhilly | Enter to win takeout for a year

Featured restaurants

Mustard Greens | Instagram

622 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147


The White Yak | Facebook

6118 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128


48th Street Grille | Facebook | Instagram

310 S. 48th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143


BalletX launches a pandemic-safe way to enjoy dance

Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the introduction of BalletX Beyond, a virtual subscription series that includes films and a live performance

BalletX Beyond

Premieres January 20th and runs through August 31st.

FYI For You: Show wrap

There are new pizza spots popping up all over the city.

Sally just opened at 23rd and Spruce Streets in the former Mama Palma's spot. The new owners are taking advantage of the old wood-fired oven to bake their sourdough pies.

The specialty here is natural unleavened dough, natural wines and small plates.

Sally | Instagram

2229 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103


January 23 is National Pie Day, and Linvilla Orchards is turning what is normally a 1-day celebration into 3. From Jan. 22-24, all pies are $5 off.

There are more than 40 flavors to choose from, all freshly made in the Linvilla Orchards Bakery.

Linvilla Orchards | Facebook | Instagram

137 W Knowlton Rd, Media, PA 19063


The African American Museum in Philadelphia is celebrating Martin Luther King Day with a weekend full of virtual activities, including tours of the museum's new Rendering Justice exhibition, dramatic readings, film screenings and an online service project.

The theme, inspired by Dr. King, is "What can we do for others?"

The virtual celebration is January 16-18, and it's free thanks to a $30,000 donation from Citizen's Bank.

African American Museum of Philadelphia

701 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106