Philadelphia, PA - No matter where you go in the city - be it a neighborhood bar, coffee shop, or bakery - there are plenty of excellent women-owned restaurants to choose from. In 2021 Yelp data showed that consumers are actively searching for these types of businesses.
Women-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia
Philadelphian women own some of Philadelphia's most popular restaurants, such as Bud and Marilyn's, Barbuzzo, Little Nonna's, Open House, and Verde. Listed below are some of our favorite female-owned restaurants in the city.
Jennifer Carroll of Spice Finch
Jennifer Carroll, the former executive chef of 10 Arts Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, has returned home and opened Spice Finch with her partner Billy Riddle as a Mediterranean concept restaurant. They officially opened it in July 2018.
This airy space features a modern art deco design with natural wood accents and wicker furniture. There are 168 seats in the main dining room, 16 outside, and two 30-seat private dining areas.
Carroll Couture Cuisine creates culinary experiences that showcase her love of global spices, healthy eating, and camaraderie. Carroll Couture Cuisine supports national charitable organizations such as the American Brain Foundation and No Kid Hungry through their company.
Jezabel Careaga of Jezabel's Argentine Cafe
Jezabel, an Argentinian native born and raised in Palpala, brings the flavors and traditions from northwestern Argentina to West Philadelphia through her menu featuring empanadas, alfajores, and medialunas, as many more delectable sweet and savory items. In addition to teaching cooking classes and hosting special events, she also hosts these gatherings.
Careaga founded her Northwestern Argentina-inspired Restaurant in 2010 at Fitler Square to offer an inviting and delicious North Argentina experience while supporting environmental sustainability, community growth, and financial stability. Recently she moved the business to West Philadelphia, where they now serve breakfast and lunch daily and host special dinners or pop-up events by night.
Sofia Deleon of El Merkury
Sofia Deleon began El Merkury with pop-ups and virtual kitchens before opening her first permanent location in 2018. Deleon has seen great success with her Central American quick-serve restaurant serving street fare, such as churros.
El Merkury also offers a delicious selection of pupusas, tostadas, taquitos, and dobladas--tiny pastries made with four key ingredients: corn, chiles, chocolate, and beans. There are plantain chips, cheese-baked rice with jalapenos and corn, guacamole, and refried beans.
Bridget Foy of Bridget Foy's
In October 2017, a two-alarm fire destroyed Bridget Foy's restaurant on South Street. But now, Bridget Foy's family-run establishment is back open with its full bar, dining room, and outdoor patio cafe again - thanks to some hardy renovations with local designers by some of Atlanta's best. The result is an updated contemporary take on the original restaurant that pays homage to its heritage while remaining contemporary-day.
On the menu at Foy's Pub, they've combined classic Foy's dishes with their inventive spin on American pub classics. Additionally, they added funky tin ceilings and vibrant red accents that pay homage to the original's glory days. It's genuinely a must-try establishment in Philadelphia.
Kate Jacoby of Vedge
Since 2011, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge have been challenging diners' preconceived notions about vegetarian cuisine at their historic Tiger Building restaurant.
This restaurant, boasting an expansive bar menu of natural wines, craft beers, and cocktails, has become renowned for its inventive vegetable-based dishes. It has quickly become one of Philadelphia's most acclaimed dining spots.
Cristina Martinez of South Philadelphia Barbacoa
Cristina Martinez hails from Capulhuac, Mexico, where she learned how to make barbacoa--a dish that involves smoking lamb until it falls off the bone. After moving to Philadelphia with her husband, Cristina opened a South Philly Barbacoa restaurant which quickly gained notoriety. She earned herself a place on Bon Appetit's list of America's 10 best new restaurants.
At Casa Mexico Taqueria on Ninth Street, where she recently expanded, slow-cooked tacos are sold out before sundown. Customers from all walks of life - Mexican families, construction workers, and taco fans alike - come for a taste of her cooking. .
Amanda Rucker of River Twice
James Beard-nominated chef Randy Rucker and his wife Amanda recently opened an American BYO in South Philadelphia. Rucker, a Texas-born chef, and Amanda, an interior designer from Philadelphia who grew up there, traveled across America together before settling at Singing Fountain's triangular space that previously housed Izumi restaurant.
Rucker's menu showcases his expertise in molecular modernist cooking. Still, he also takes a more naturalist approach that draws upon his heritage - foraging and fermenting to create complex flavors with multiple layers.
Nok Suntaranon of Kalaya
After two decades as a flight attendant, Chutatip "Nok" Suntaranon opened her first restaurant in 2003 as an ode to her mother, Kalaya Suntaranon, who inspired the dishes on her menu with love and precision. Her name serves as an ode to both.
She had found the ideal place to begin her culinary journey, taking her far away from home through vast expanses of Southeast Asia and eventually back home again to Philadelphia with Ziv Katalan, a Wharton professor who'd met her during flights. It was an opportunity to reflect upon all the legacies left behind by those who had shaped her life and brought her here.
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Food and Event Writer
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