Jonathan Levin’s love note to Port Richmond’s Polish restaurants

Jonathan Levin
Favorite Spot: Syrenka and Staropolska
Neighborhood: Port Richmond
Address: 3173 Richmond St and 3150 Richmond St

I am: music, food, hiking enthusiast
Years in Philly: 1.5
Current Home: West Philadelphia

My love note: Mmmm…donuts…. Specifically, plum jelly-filled Paczki from Krakus Market, a Polish market in Port Richmond which also contains within its walls the delicious Staropolska restaurant.

One thing I particularly love about Philadelphia is the diversity of its neighborhoods, and how one area of the city can feel like a totally different part of the world than another does. 

Port Richmond is one of my favorite places in Philadelphia for this reason. Strolling down Allegheny avenue between Aramingo ave. and Richmond street, you’ll pass by several delicious bakeries and delis that specialize in traditional Polish fare. Polish is the predominant language spoken in the area, and if it weren’t for the occasional corner Chinese take-out restaurant or passing septa bus, one could easily forget that they are in Philadelphia at all. 
At the corner of Richmond St. and Allegheny are two places to grab a tasty lunch. The first is Syrenka, a soviet-era-styled milkbar that serves homemade Polish food, cafeteria style. I love this place because of its delicious food and its overwhelming amounts of beige and brown wood-patterned pvc wall paneling. On the wall in the back of the restaurant is an enormous map of Poland, which you can sit next to as you wonder how you’ve managed to get this far in life without cheese blintzes. Across the street is the Krakus Market and Staropolska restaurant. While less authentic in feel, there is often a greater variety of food choices at Staropolska, and they also have Polish beers to help ease you into your ensuing food coma.

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