By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Old City is known for its history and now one of its newest restaurants is making history itself!
High Street on Market has been ranked the second best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine.
Ellen Yin opened High Street less than a year ago with the help of Chef Eli Kulp.
She says, “Ecstatic! Really honored.”
Neither of them knew the magazine writer was a guest at the restaurant over the summer.
“I have no idea how they found us.”
Eli adds, “It’s completely anonymous which in a lot of ways is that much more gratifying.”
They make their own bread in the shop and use local ingredients, which may have given them the edge they needed to stand out.
Ellen says, “Many of our dishes are inspired by traditional local dishes, for example the Philadelphia favorite, the roast pork provolone broccoli rabe.”
As vibrant as Old City is, the area has seen many restaurants come and go, some store fronts holding for sale signs.
Ellen says, “Neighborhoods come up and they change, and Old City is definitely one that has risen and changed over time.”
She adds, “Our hope is that more and more independent restaurants who are maybe looking for locations off the beaten path, consider Old City because there are lots of spaces that could be converted into restaurants.”
Job Itzkowitz is the Executive Director of the Old City District.
“So thrilled to have the recognition for High Street, but so many of our restaurants have been around for a long time and are great as ever.”
He says 13 new restaurants have opened up in less than two years.
And although there are still some famous empty store fronts like the old Bookbinders, Old City District Officials say that will soon be changing.
“Jose Garces has a lease at Bookbinders and is working on putting in both a restaurant and catering facility there.”
That’s not all; five more restaurants plan to open soon, leaving only nine retail spaces vacant throughout Old City.
“We hope it really sends a symbol that the Old City restaurant scene is still alive, still vibrant and getting stronger every day.”
And High Street is proof of that.