Ring in the Year of the Ox while supporting some of South Philly’s small businesses. Options include take-out, delivery, and (limited) indoor and outdoor dining.
The Chinese call it Chunjie, the Vietnamese Tet, Koreans Solnal, and Tibetans Losar. Although it bears many names, the Lunar New Year festival is celebrated every year around this time in China and other south Asian countries. It also marks the rotation of the Chinese zodiac animal.
The celebration begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, some 15 days later.
2021, the Year of the Ox, begins Friday February 12 and lasts until January 31, 2022. According to the zodiac, those born in an Ox year possess an honest nature, diligence, dependability, strength, and determination.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year locally by ordering take out/pick-up, dining in (or dine out at select locations) at the five South Philly Asian restaurants listed below.
2047 S. 3rd St.
11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
There are no photos or social media presence to share, but, trust us, this Whitman staple is well worth checking out for classic Chinese-American fare. Don’t just take our word for it, read the South Philly’s Review’s chat with the owner. Their menu includes many traditional Chinese favorites. Order directly by phone or through assorted delivery apps.
Editor’s picks: be sure to try the chicken and eggplant in garlic sauce. This dish is packed with tender chicken and creamy eggplant in a slightly picante, savory sauce. Bonus: prices are extremely reasonably.
1100 Washington Ave.
You don’t need to venture to Chinatown to find good dim sum in Philly— explore no further than 1100 Washington Ave. That’s where Wokano serves up the original “small plates” in a large, sun-filled dining room.
If you haven’t tried dim sum yet…order now and thank us later. Attentive servers rover the room with carts laden with all manner of specialities. Start off with a variety of dumplings (steamed or fried), buns, and tasty shu mai. Then broaden your horizon—try intestines, tripe, or chicken feet. Wokano also offers a complete menu of “large plates.” Call the restaurant to check daily selections.
Editor’s picks: shrimp shu mai, and just about anything else. But we’ll pass on the tripe.
1224 South Street
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m.
This counter-serve Korean eatery offers meat, tofu & vegetable bibimbap in a tiny, colorful space. If you’re not familiar with it, Bibimbap sometimes known as bi bim bap or bi bim bop, is a Korean dish that translates literally as “mixed meal” (bap means meal).
On their Facebook page, BAP succinctly describes their namesake dish: “sauteed and seasoned vegetables, barbecue beef [chicken, tofu, or vegetables], topped with an egg and gochujang (chili sauce) to taste, served over a bowl of rice.”
Editor’s picks: the chicken bibimbap.
1019 S. 11th Street
Pandemic hours: Monday & Wednesday to Sunday: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
This beautifully decorated, family-owned restaurant is a gastronomical highlight in Bella Vista, offering a modern take on traditional Vietnamese dishes. Make a reservation for their limited indoor or heated outdoor seating, or order take out available through several online apps.
Editor’s picks: Try their Saigon crab noodle soup and any of the array of stir fried dishes ranging from beef to vegetarian.
New Asian Fusion and Steak
2647 – 2649 S. 13th Street
Monday to Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.
This LoMo establishment has a varied menu that serves as a pan-Asian tour. You’ll find Chinese-American classics like lo mein and egg foo young, curry and pad thai dishes, sushi, and extensive vegetarian options. They also offer special steamed dishes that are low-cal, low-carb, and low-sodium. Oh, and there are chicken fingers for your culinary-challenged child.
Editor’s picks: their extra spicy General Tao’s chicken is our go-to comfort food. The extra-light Gyoza (steamed dumplings) filled with chicken, pork, or seafood are divine.