West Philadelphia is the place to go if you want African food. Woodland Avenue and the surrounding areas are home to one of the largest West African populations in America, and along with Baltimore Avenue and 45th Street between Chestnut and Locust – offer loads of African (and related) restaurants. In addition, the area is full of South Asian halal restaurants.
Some of the places we’ve tried:
Kilamanjaro/Youma: One of the many West African offerings in the area, they focus on Senegalese cooking. Not all menu items were available at our visit, but we loved what we got, which was super flavorful with a spicy kick. The fresh ginger juice alone was worth the trip. Cash only.
Kaffa Crossing: One of several Ethiopian restaurants in the area. Food is served on injera on a communal platter. Forgo knife and fork and use the injera to scoop. Each protein comes with several veggies- or just order an all veggie platter. Vegetarian friendly.
Alif Brew & Mini Market: This little cafe does it all – daily injera wrap lunches, Ethiopian coffee drinks, weekend breakfast specials (hope they are serving fir-fir!), monthly Buna coffee ceremonies and a small market where you can stock up on berebere seasoning and injera crisps.
Kingston 11: Another restaurant where the available items vary from the listed menu (one day we are going to get there when they are serving their jerk fried chicken or catfish!), but the chicken curry that was available on the day we went was amazing. Plus, yummy coconutty rice & peas and cabbage. Take out only.
Wa Gi Wah: This Pakistani halal place gets mixed reviews, but we have always loved their whole chicken (longish wait time to cook), super fluffy naan, and chana masala.
For places that are take out only, Woodlands Cemetery (Botany in Early Philadelphia (pt. 2): Woodlands – America’s First Neoclassical Mansion and a Victorian Cemetery) and Bartram’s Garden (Botany in Early Philadelphia (pt. 1): Bartram’s Garden – Alligators, American Plants and a Riverside Trail) are close-by picnic spots.