Philly food is so much more than cheesesteaks. Let us show you.
South Bowl—the South Philly cross-town sister to NoLibs’ North Bowl—has all the same makings of a trendy hipster bowling alley. There are pictures of hipster monarch Bill Murray in Kingpin, pixelated posters of Big Lebowski characters, and club-volume music from the DJ booth blasting from every corner of the place—be that corner downstairs at the bowling alley, upstairs playing air hockey, or on the second-floor outdoor balcony.
The place has a clean and new feeling, a stark different from what you would expect from a bowling alley, and plenty of seating and bar space for those not using one of the alley’s 26 lanes. South Bowl is open until 1am every day, and after 9pm becomes 21+ if you only want to hang around with adults—or what loosely passes for adults most of the time. But if you’re in the neighborhood and need a late-night bite to eat, it will be a passable place to stop in.
If you take the food for what you would expect from a bowling alley, it’s actually quite good. However, if you’re used to the Philly gastropub movement and expect excellent food at almost every bar you go to, you’re going to be disappointed if you’re just here for food. The beer selection, too, is nothing to write home about—but the cocktail list looked like it had a few bright spots.
EAT YOUR FILL OF…
Baker Tots: Like North Bowl, South Bowl specializes in tater tots and any selection from the list is worthy of checking out. But then, it’s hard to screw up tater tots. The Baker Tots have some pretty standard potato toppings in the bacon, sour cream, cheese and scallions, and they don’t disappoint. The tots come out hot, the toppings aren’t sparse, and everything comes together deliciously.
Dante’s Inferno Pizza: A margherita pizza with cherry peppers, pepperoni, and chili oil that doesn’t skimp on the spice. It’s hard to find a good amount of spiciness in something like this, and all the ingredients come together to perform well on that front. It doesn’t hurt that the pizza is tasty as well, but like the tots, it’s hard to mess up a simple pizza.