Source, foobooz, Jason Sheehan
On Black Friday, the King of Prussia Mall is going to be a mess. Thousands of people locked in life-or-death struggles over discounted comforters, pumpkin spice Yankee Candles, and the last Nintendo Switch this side of the Susquehanna.
But that’s okay. Consumerism is a blood sport, and if you willingly put yourself in the ring, you know what you’re in for. We’re just here to help you survive with a few suggestions on where to carb up, chill out, hydrate, get some red meat in you, or find a couple martinis when you really need them.
Seriously, KOP and the area around it has exploded recently, with dozens of new restaurants opening, with many offering food that’s way better than you think. From the award-winning modernism of Mistral to fast-casual pho and falafel, there’s a lot out there for you.
And we’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. So let’s start with…
The Best Restaurants at & aroung King of Prussia Mall
Yeah, from the guys who won all the awards in Princeton. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if a creative, modern, fine-dining team was given command of a mall restaurant, this is where you come to find out. The menu changes frequently, but the Szechuan chicken wings and Riblets (yeah, you heard me) are worth getting when they show up on the board.
Two things this place has going for it? Prime-aged steaks handled by a kitchen that knows what it’s doing and a fully-stocked bar. It’s an excellent place to hide out while everyone else is shopping, and even if you don’t wanna drop a hundred bucks on a porterhouse, some lobster bisque and a shrimp cocktail, you can always just hang out at the bar and wash down some crab cakes with Morton’s version of The Last Word.
Chopped salads, lamb tikka masala bowls, and fast-casual Indian food, straight out of the tandoor. It’s like we’re living in the future.
A seafood specialist with a steak section on the menu, this (very) new spot is part of a chain coming out of Texas that prides itself on its live music, excellent service, and locally-tailored menus and wine lists. If you’re looking for a champagne and oyster pairing to go with your Black Friday shopping, this is the place to get it.
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
You could drop in quick for a tamarind BBQ pork wrap and a Dark & Stormy at lunch, or stick around until dinnertime for dry-aged skirt steak churrasco, empanadas, tuna poke tacos — and a couple more Dark & Stormies. Paladar is a small chain, but if you’re not militant about keeping it local, this is a nice place to stop while you’re shopping.
True Food Kitchen
Did you know that Dr. Andrew Weil has his own restaurant? Well he does, and this is it — a wonderland of butternut squash pizza, sweet potato ramen, and kale guacamole.
Made-to-order donuts, served fast-casual style in a variety of creative styles. These are cake donuts, which are generally inferior to yeasted donuts, but they’re fantastic hot from the fryer. The lemon iced with raspberry drizzle is a winner on the sweet side, and the maple with bacon crumbles a savory showstopper. But really, the simple combinations (cinnamon sugar, glazed, strawberry iced with rainbow sprinkles) are still the best.
A simple, straightforward Japanese teriyaki specialist offering big portions, reasonable prices, and a food court location. It’s one of those places that’s consistently better than you expect it to be — which, when you’re talking about a mall food court, is really what you’re looking for.
Another Philly staple with a home at the mall. Everything is run through touchscreens, all the stir-fry bowls are customizable, and they’ve got what amounts to a build-your-own-sundae bar, only with fruits, toppings and honey.
Sure, TL’s cheesesteaks taste good. But the best thing about picking one up on Black Friday is that you can use it like a bat when the crowds get too thick.
Half sports bar, half New American restaurant with cornmeal-crusted cheese curds, fish tacos, hot chicken, and burgers on the menu, with 90-plus craft beers at the bar.
If you need ice cream, homemade fudge, handcrafted chocolates, caramel apples, or anything of the sort, this is your spot. The lines can get long, though that mostly seems to be during ice cream season.
Naf Naf Grill
This fast-casual, build-you-own-bowl, Middle Eastern chain is popular for two reasons. First, because the falafel and the shawarma are really good. Second, because it’s just fun to say “Naf Naf.”
There are two Shacks here for your convenience, a small one inside the mall and a larger, free-standing one in the parking lot.
I know we’re not exactly short on good Italian around here. But if you’re stuck at the mall and looking for something a little bit nicer than the food court Sbarro, try Pizzeria Vetri. If you’re looking for something a lot fancier (like squid ink mafaldine, braised short rib, or a $15 prosciutto pizza fancy), then North Italia is what you’re looking for.
Famous L.A. hot dogs, recently opened right here in King of Prussia.
Three kinds of pho, a couple appetizers, pad Thai, and Vietnamese coffee, all in a food court location. Seriously, what more do you need?
Seasonal, wood-fired, New American cooking with a nod toward local sourcing and Mediterranean flavors. The prices are reasonable, the dining room is large, and there’s something on the menu for everyone — which is probably why this place is pretty much always busy.
Hai Street Kitchen
Because sometimes you just really need a burrito made of sushi.
Not a place to stop for a quick sandwich (though it does do lunch), Savona is where you head if you’re making a day of your trip to the mall. It’s fine dining Italian with some real talent in the kitchen and serious comfort on the floor. And I can’t think of many other places in the area where you’re going to find a cheese trolley, artichoke soup, or lobster and saffron risotto on the menu. 100 Old Gulph Road
Ralph’s Italian Restaurant
If leaving the rowhouses and terrible parking behind has you missing South Philly, you can get your head screwed back on at this suburban ode to the original Ralph’s, veal parm, penne à la vodka, and plates of sautéed broccoli rabe included. 480 North Gulph Road
People love this place because there’s something there for everyone. Sushi? Deviled eggs? Caesar salad? A burger, a steak, baby back ribs, or fish tacos? Yeah, it’s all there, and a lot of it comes off the wood-fired grills in the back. 256 Mall Boulevard
There are a lot of options for Indian food in and around KOP, but Tiffin has always been one of the most dependable, whether you’re looking for chicken korma, saag, samosas, chicken wings (really), or something out of the tandoor. 254 West Dekalb Avenue
Finding authentic Szechuan food in Philly isn’t hard. Finding something in the suburbs that’s not just Americanized strip-mall Chinese? That’s a little tougher. Which is why Pin Wei feels like such a discovery — a bright and welcoming sit-down spot where you can get smoked pork stir fry, a pig’s feet hot pot, and dumplings with chile oil, or burn your face off with dry pepper tofu. They even have a special part of the menu labeled “Americanized Chinese Food” if you just have to get some beef with broccoli. 314 South Henderson Road
Look, once you get clear of the mall, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for McNuggets and Chalupas. But if you’re looking for something a bit better (and a lot more local), check out this spot with soups, sandwiches, and salads, all in an unassuming little cafe with chalkboard menus and a few tables hidden away in the lobby of an office building. 2200 Renaissance Boulevard
South Indian food with lots of vegetarian options and an authentic spread of dishes on the menu, from dosa and idli to poori masala and goat in Chettinadu curry. 145 South Gulph Road
Want a big, fat steak and a couple martinis to help you unwind after your Black Friday exertions? This is the perfect place. Highly ranked in the hierarchy of national steakhouse chains, Capital Grille understands that focusing on the details of every dining experience (padded tables, comfortable chairs, heavyweight cutlery, excellent service) makes a huge difference. And the steaks are pretty good, too. 236 Mall Boulevard