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Pre-Show Fueling Up Near Union Transfer.

March 16, 2012

It used to be a Spaghetti Warehouse and, long before that, a farmer’s market. But if you’re going to Union Transfer now and you want food  beyond  snacks, you’ll need to go elsewhere. Here are a few of our faves near Philly’s hot new venue.


Prohibition Taproom

501 N. 13th Street

The neon glow of the sign reading “BAR” hanging over the door of this Loft District joint draws you into the cozy, casual pub. Open from noon to 2 a.m. daily, they feature gastro-pub fare and craft beers. Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, making it a great place to meet friends before a show.

The Institute

549 N. 12th Street (at right)

This two-floor bar has 16 beers on tap and an eclectic menu with Asian, Mexican and other influences. The sambhar nachos, for instance, are made with lentil curry, black bean-cilantro relish, jicama slaw and mango-jalapeno coulis. They occasionally have bands or DJs entertaining upstairs.

Llama Tooth

1033 Spring Garden Street (below)

Located right across the street from Union Transfer, Llama Tooth is great place for pre-show drinks and food. They have an impressive drink menu, including their own “Llamarita,” and a long list of craft beers. The outdoor dining area next to the restaurant is perfect for hanging out in the spring weather.

Jose’s Mexican Food

469 N. 10th Street

Jose’s is in a plain brick building at 10th and Buttonwood streets, making it easy to miss. But if you go, you’ll be happy you found it. Some people argue it’s the best Mexican food in the city. Their chorizo burrito is so good, it will bring tears to your eyes. The BYOB restaurant is tiny, unpretentious and inexpensive, and the staff are very friendly.

Also: Check out SAZON, Pennsylvania’s only Venezuelan restaurant, located at 10th and Spring Garden. Read our story about the chocolate haven here.

– Text by Brendan Menapace. Images by G.W. Miller III.

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