Restaurants on Samson Street in Philadelphia

By Susan Thomas

After glimpsing the Liberty Bell, strolling through Valley Forge National Park or traveling to tee off at the Olde Masters Golf Club, you can find some excellent eateries in the City of Brotherly Love. If you find yourself wandering on Samson Street, near Rittenhouse Square, and are looking for a bite, think beyond Philly cheese steak because some great culianry options await.

Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant

The Nodding Head Brewery could never be accused of being unoriginal. Between the rows of grinning bobble-head figurines nodding in greeting, you will find a plethora of in-house brewed beers, each with a distinctly different flavor. If you are a die hard Bud or Coors fan, this local watering hole may not be for you. The Nodding Head offers micro brews with memorable names like the Monkey Knife Fight (featuring a ginger kick) or the Grog (with a tad of chocolate). With both their beers and food, the Nodding Head confidently mixes tastes unconventionally with delicious results. Among favorites on their menu is the is the well-received baked brie with a mango chuttney and pita bread. Also, the Moroccan mussels (with hints of ginger, garlic and cinnamon) and the “lollipop” double lamb chops (with mustard and hazelnuts) combine different tastes for surprising results.

Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant

1516 Samson St.

Philadelphia, PA 19102


The Happy Rooster

The Happy Rooster is an 1968 former old boy's club converted into a bar and restaurant. This corner bar is small, dark and vintage with comfortable antique furniture and dive-bar ambiance. The walls are full of history and memories. Displayed are pictures and letters from former owners, depicting their lives and travels. A decorative rooster collection of all sizes, shapes and colors bedecks the joint (including a rooster stained-glass window). Despite the swanky exterior, the Happy Rooster maintains the Cheers “everyone-knows-your-name” philosophy. Regulars add character to the bar seem to treat each other as family. This may make up for the slightly overpriced menu and the fact that the roosters seem to outnumber the beer choices. Lots of fun can be found at Thursday karakoke with DJ John.

The Happy Rooster

118 South 16th St. (corner of Samson)

Philadelphia, PA 19102


Sansom Street Oyster House

The Samson Street Oyster House is a family owned Philly seafood restaurant, open since 1947. Some of the American-style dishes like the oyster omelet and shrimp and grits are so deliciously unpretentious, they are almost like comfort food, except that they are served in a classy 19th century dining room. Although generally the prices are high and the portions are low, the Sansom House does offer a very nice “Buck-a-Shuck” special. You could also check out the salad and raw bar and the Happy Hour raw bar deals. The professionally shucked, fresh oysters go well with the excellent local beers they keep on tap.

Sansom Street Oyster House

1516 Samson St.

Philadelphia, PA 19102


About The Author

Susan Thomas has been a journalist since 2004. For three of them she was freelance writer for the "Florida Today's" teen section. She worked for one year as a staff writer for "The Oracle," the student body's newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and psychology from the University of South Florida.
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