The Grays Ferry and Point Breeze areas – located between the Schuylkill River, Broad Street, and Washington and Snyder avenues – are home to not only an eclectic group of people, but also an array of churches, recreation centers and restaurants. The area has some of the most diverse culinary options in the city. Here are just five of the many restaurants in the neighborhoods.
Café y Chocolate, located off Snyder Avenue, attracts customers immediately with the colorful and intricate artwork that adorns the building. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food and, as the name of the restaurant denotes, some of the best hot chocolate in the city (top photo).
Arturo Lorenzo, the owner of Café y Chocolate, pointed out items on the menu such as the molletes, which is an authentic dish rarely found in Mexican restaurants around the city.
When asked why he chose the area for his restaurant, Lorenzo said, “I saw the opportunity to grab a spot in the area thinking that it was going to work – and right now the area is getting better.”
Aprons Soul Food is a restaurant that capitalizes on the owner’s Mississippi roots. Despite the Southern influence on menu items – such as chicken and sweet potato waffles, a customer favorite – there are also Italian options like pasta dishes.
When asked how Aprons Soul Food has impacted the community, Melissa Jordan, the owner’s daughter, explained it simply.
“Since Moe’s Hot Dog [the previous owners] closed, people did not have anywhere to go, so they were all really appreciative,” Jordan said.
Miss Rachel’s Pantry is the brainchild of owner and chef Rachel Klein, whose catering company specializes in vegan foods. The weekend market at Miss Rachel’s Pantry features baked goods as well as gourmet cheeses, and lunch or dinner snacks.
One of the most unique aspects of Miss Rachel’s Pantry is the Saturday night farmhouse table dinner for 12 people, which includes six courses of freshly prepared food. Along with the full-service catering company, Miss Rachel’s Pantry also offers a weekly pre-made meal service.
With its signature cat adorning the walls and the sign of Breezy’s Cafe, the quirky vibe of the restaurant is clear. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, patrons can enjoy specialty soups, salads and sandwiches on tables fitted with classic board games. The freshly brewed iced tea is a top seller, and Breezy’s offers a nod to one of Philadelphia’s favorite snacks with sandwiches made on pretzel buns.
Devil’s Pocket Food and Spirits is named after the small neighborhood where the restaurant is located. Devil’s Pocket Food and Spirits not only offers an extensive beer selection, but also brunch and dinner by Chef Andrew Wagner and co-owner Marcus Versace.
– Text and images by Santina Pescatore