Ardmore is among the most robust, exciting communities along the coveted Main Line. While certainly a picture-perfect suburb, Ardmore also has the characteristics of a larger city. A diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment scene distinguish Ardmore from its neighboring towns. There’s always something to do and see, and the SEPTA train line brings in a constant flow of people. Suburban Square, the central community shopping center home to Trader Joe’s and Apple, is where you can find many of Ardmore’s shopping and entertainment highlights. Still, there are many other pockets of retail to check out. We’re guiding you through the best restaurants and entertainment options in Ardmore.
Suburban Square restaurant Lola’s Garden opened in 2021 and consists of over 4,300 square feet of indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features American cuisine that highlights seasonal options, like a baby beet salad, glazed arctic char, and crispy duck confit leg. The lush outdoor area is perfect for a date night, but families can also enjoy the kid-friendly establishment.
Another recent eatery in Suburban Square is DanDan, which serves Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine. Apps include options like scallion pancakes and dumplings in chili oil. Larger dishes range from dan dan noodles with minced pork to ginger shrimp fried rice. Enjoy cocktails, wine, or beer along with your meal.
A 2022 opening in Suburban Square is an outpost of the popular Mexican restaurant Rosa Mexicano. The elegant-but-casual restaurant is a great spot to have margaritas with friends while splitting some chips and guacamole. Entrees include pork shank, chile rilleno, and pork carnitas.
DePaul’s Table is a modern Italian steakhouse, and the upscale restaurant is located in the 10,000-square-foot former Haverford Trust Bank building formerly occupied by the Bercy. Menu options include sea scallops, a New York strip steak, and bone-in Milanese. There is an extensive drinks list, and the restaurant is also available for private functions.
Char & Stave
Char & Stave’s motto is “coffee made by whiskey people.” It is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night. There are options like cortados, drip coffee, and nitro cold brew on the coffee side. The cocktail menu has classics with a coffee influence, like the Char & Stave espresso martini, which has Bluebird vodka, espresso, and toasted cardamon.
Tired Hands Brewing Company
Located in a historic trolley repair shop, Tired Hands Brewing Company serves beer, food, and coffee. Their locally-brewed craft beers range from Double IPAs to American Pale Ales and come in awesome, artistic cans. The giant beer halls accommodate a lot of beer enthusiasts. You can also order food to accompany your drinks. Choose from pizzas, burgers, and appetizers, or try a pizza and beer special. Two pizzas and a four-pack of beer? The perfect weekend meal with friends.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
This regional pub chain is another local favorite for good beer and good eats. Named the most award-winning brewery east of Mississippi, Iron Hill brews its beer on-site. Try their Vienna Red Lager, Pig Iron Porter, or Philly Phavorite. Pair your beer with a burger from their craft kitchen and you’ll enjoy the full experience!
Di Bruno Bros
One specialty food shop worth checking out is the Suburban Square outpost of the Italian Market mainstay Di Bruno Bros. From cheeses to meats and cured foods, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect Italian treats to serve at a dinner party or give as gifts. Their cheeses and meats come from all over the world. Serve them with some Italy-imported crackers and a signature cocktail and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy!
Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft
This funky, elevated restaurant spans multiple floors and offers a retro take on pub dining. Their modern American menu offers things like braised short rib, cauliflower tikka masala, and filet mignon. Ripplewood is also known for its creative craft cocktails, like the Bourbon Punch. Enjoy the two indoor floors, or step out onto the beautiful patio.
For some fast-casual dining, check out Sesami. This Asian-fusion restaurant specializes in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean flavors. The “Sesami Bowl” is their specialty—in its most basic form, it consists of a brown rice base, protein, vegetables, sauce, and garnish. If you want to get creative, try one of their many varieties, like Everything Spiced or the Agedashi Bowl. One thing’s for sure; you’re guaranteed to taste sesami in everything you eat!
Autana is a classic Venezuelan restaurant named after one of the most impressive “Tepuis” (table-top mountains) in the country. They serve traditional, homemade food right in the middle of Ardmore! Their arepas are to-die-for—as are the empanadas. Occasionally, Autana pairs up with other local spots for culinary partnerships. Their recent partnership with Sugar Real has added warm, melt-in-your-mouth cookies to the Autana menu.
Mikado Thai Pepper
If you love Thai food and/or sushi, Mikado is the place for you. This Asian-fusion restaurant has an extensive list of Thai menu items, such as pad thai and a wide range of curries. You can also choose from a variety of specialty sushi rolls, as well as poke. Mikado is a local favorite for its freshness, quality, and creativity.
Ardmore Music Hall
Since 1980, the Ardmore Music Hall has welcomed some of the biggest names in music. Past acts have included Hootie & the Blowfish; The Pretenders, Blues Traveler, and more. Independently owned and operated, this venue beats to its own drum, and stays true to its unique taste and style. Head out for a night of dancing and singing along to the music.
There are a lot of quirky boutiques along this stretch of Main Line. Viva Video: The Last Picture Store is one of the last-standing movie stores around. Rent DVDs or VHS tapes, grab your popcorn and get ready for movie night. You’ll also want to check out Puccimanuli. This artisan toy shop rejects traditional plastic toys in favor of quality, handcrafted ones. Named Philadelphia Magazine's Best Toy Store in 2016, you’ll find the perfect children’s gifts, like hand-sewn dolls and hand-knitted snow caps.
Another local option is Past Present Future. This funky spot is part gift shop and part museum. Wander through the aisles to hunt for treasures — like trays, teaspoons, and salt-and-pepper sets. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect gift for someone — even if that someone is you!
Keeping with Ardmore’s upscale aesthetic is HOST Interiors. This glamorous interior design shop sells upholstery, furniture, and decor. Schedule a meeting with an interior designer to get ideas for your home.
In the heart of Ardmore is shopping and entertainment haven Suburban Square, one of America’s original outdoor shopping centers and a definite Ardmore highlight and centerpiece. Come to get groceries at Trader Joe’s or visit stores like Apple or Kitchen Kapers. When you’re tired of shopping, head to the central green quad to sit in one of the idyllic Adirondack chairs. The Square also features regular events, like Pride Month celebrations, dance performances, and concerts.
Haverford College Nature Trail
A short drive from Ardmore is the Haverford College Arboretum and nature trail. Established in 1933 by a campus group, the arboretum showcases a large collection of shrubs, trees, and birds. The trail that runs through the arboretum is gravel, and so is easy to run, walk, or bike along. Take your dog or walk with your friends. Follow the signage and you’ll enjoy a lovely day in nature. Bring your binoculars for those bird sightings!
No one knows Ardmore real estate quite as well as the Macdonald Team. If you’d like to learn more about Ardmore homes for sale, contact the Macdonald Team today for more information.