Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by Wandering our World
Just 16 miles away from downtown Philadelphia is the bustling town of Ambler. We love this place for a lot of reasons – its parks, theaters, festivals, and lots more – but what’s most appealing for food enthusiasts like us is their thriving food scene.
Dotted with classy eateries and cozy cafes, downtown Ambler can take your tastebuds to far-flung places across the globe.
Even better is when the dining areas spill onto the pavement as Butler Ave closes during the semi-annual restaurant week! So here are our picks for the best restaurants in Ambler, PA – places you must visit if you happen to be in the area. Let’s dig in!
Our Top Eight Picks For The Best Restaurants In Ambler, PA: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. From the Boot
Italian favorites served in a comfortable atmosphere with outdoor seating and occasional live music
Anyone can open up an Italian restaurant, but very few can do it with the bubbling passion like that of the owners of From the Boots.
What started as a small takeout restaurant in Lafayette Hill in 1999 has now expanded over three locations with raging success. As a result, Ambler residents have been savoring their authentic Italian flavors since 2009, with the current chef Nick’s innovative specials drawing customers back for more.
An inviting and comfortable atmosphere prevails inside as patrons chat away on the tables, with a full-service bar on the main floor and a more quiet, wine cellar-like atmosphere in the basement for hosting parties. When the weather is nice, you can settle down on their street-side tables, or the ones at the back with space heaters around.
Dive into the hearty world of Italian cuisine with their sprawling menu of Italian favorites. Shared appetizers like bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, and steamed clams keep patrons busy as the chefs prepare the swoon-worthy main courses.
While the chicken, veal, and seafood mains are known to be good, their house-made pasta dishes are worth trying out too – the penne bolognese being one of the favorites. Pizzas, light pasta, and hearty soups make lunches laid-back and easy, while their incredible wine list ensures your experience is memorable. You can also buy some of the finest wines from their impressive collection at From the Vine.
Keep in mind that as this place is one of the most popular restaurants in Ambler, PA it can get busy, even on weekdays, so arriving early or making reservations on weekends would be a smart move. From the Boots is open Monday-Thursday, 4 pm onwards, and Friday-Sunday, noon onwards. Buon appetito!
Address: 110 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA
2. Saffron Indian Kitchen
Delectable Indian cuisine served in a comfortable, BYOB dining room with sidewalk seating
Owner/Chef Rahul Bhatia and his recipes bring the bold and daring flavors of Indian cuisine right to the heart of Ambler. They’re a reason behind the continued success of Saffron’s three locations, and once you taste their food, you’ll understand why.
Sit inside their saffron-colored dining room, where the atmosphere is relaxed and the set up low-key, though folded napkins add a nice flair to the decor. Sidewalk seating is also available for those who want to take in Ambler’s street views while chomping on delicious Indian eats.
With an extensive menu that gets the waterworks running inside your mouth, Saffron does a great job catering to different preferences. Samosas, chaats, and similar favorites found among the street stalls in India can be savored from the appetizers section before you move on to the main stars of the evening.
For many it seems the butter chicken is the star of the show, as is the spicy chicken Tandoori Tikka. There’s an entire section dedicated to exciting vegetarian picks too, so the meat-averse clientele can enjoy things like Gobhi Aloo (spiced cauliflower and potatoes) and Saag Paneer (spinach and cottage cheese). Don’t forget to try the garlic naan either!
The place is BYOB, so you can bring along your favorite wines and the hospitable servers will gladly pour them out for you. They’re open every day from 11.30 am onwards.
Address: 60 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA
3. The Lucky Well
Trendy venue for Memphis-style BBQ and vibrant cocktails, with regular live music and other events
Owned by Chef Chad who has been on several TV shows including Food Network Star, The Lucky Well is where this man shows off his skills and love for BBQ.
It’s the perfect place to catch up with friends over some brisket and sangrias, as food and drinks flow freely at this buzzy venue. Although the atmosphere is casual, the place looks pretty modern with its industrial chic aesthetic, trendy decor, and a long, fully-stocked bar (with top-shelf whiskeys and local ales!).
Dance parties, comedy nights, and regular live music keep this place alive with laughter and chatter, though you can also dine alfresco at the sidewalk tables for a quieter experience.
Despite all the fun stuff that’s always happening here, the main reason why The Lucky Well is a staple among restaurants in Ambler, PA, is its mouth-watering, Memphis-style BBQ. Their short, fine-tuned menu mainly features BBQ and sandwiches, though an eclectic selection of appetizers and entrees are also available.
When you’re done nibbling at the appetizers, prepare yourself for the most succulent, smokey, and flavorsome BBQ you’ve ever had. Whether it’s the brisket or the smoked pulled pork, you’ll be licking your fingers clean once you’re done! Their burgers are juicy, made with in-house patties, and loaded with house sauces, while the entrees such as the Jambalaya are much appreciated by the non-BBQ folks.
They take their drinks equally seriously, so expect some mean cocktails while you’re at it! The Lucky Well remains open Wednesday through Sunday, 4 pm onwards – check out their socials for the live music and events schedule.
Address: 111 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA
4. Gypsy Blu
American favorites served in a beautiful ambiance, with outdoor seating options and live music every Friday and Saturday
Inside the historical Wyndham Hotel is the vibrant, thriving pub Gypsy Blu. Even without stepping foot inside you can tell this place is gorgeous, thanks to its rustic stone walls exterior.
But once inside, you’ll find yourself in a lively atmosphere, surrounded by muted colors, dim lights, and a spacious, beautiful bar. The place is great for anything from casual hangouts to first dates, so it’s a comfortable and relaxed vibe here, especially considering the regular live music they’ve got going.
Upstairs, they’ve got a speakeasy bar in a stunning setting with various seating options (the purple couches are eye-popping!) and live music, so you can chug tasty drinks, sing along, and have loads of fun. Their patio has plenty of seats too, as does their upper deck that offers skyline views as you sip on drinks. 5/5 for the ambiance alone, if you ask us!
Despite the exuberant venue, their menu is relaxed and easy, offering many American favorites done right. Start with their hot gypsy wings or go for the vegetarian Mediterranean platter, then move on to the scrumptious mains.
Stacked burgers and loaded sandwiches grace the menu, including a vegan eggplant and portobello sandwich and some of the best shrimp tacos you’ll ever have! Their flatbreads pair well with the exotic cocktails, as does the handful of entrees such as the hefty and mouth-watering chimichurri flank steak.
More vegan and gluten-free options are on the menu as well. Oh and, weekend brunch (10.30-1.30) offers a glorious spread of chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, breakfast tacos, and other all-time favorites.
A unique addition to the town’s dining scene, Gypsy Blu is easily one of the best restaurants in Ambler, PA. Open on weekdays from 11 am onwards, and on weekends from 10.30 onwards, this stunning pub should be the first on your list if you’re out for a fun-filled night!
Address: 34 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA
5. KC’s Alley
Casual fare served in a comfortable, pub-like atmosphere with live music and outdoor seating
KC’s Alley has been that warm, cozy spot where people walk in for drinks and comfy eats since 1999. It’s clearly a favorite among locals, mostly for its good food and drinks but also for its atmosphere.
On days when you aren’t feeling the best, KC’s Alley feels like a warm hug with its exposed brick walls, homey lighting, and friendly chatter in the background (not to forget the newly re-modeled entrance!).
The pub-like atmosphere is only enhanced by the many TVs behind the bar, so you’ll often find sports fans cheering on their favorite teams. Fridays and Saturdays often come with live upbeat music, so you’re bound for a mood lift! For a quieter experience, you can ask to be seated upstairs, or outside in the narrow, cozy little alley.
As expected, the menu is laid-back and filled with everything comfortable. Devour hefty burgers and hearty sandwiches like ‘Steve’s Bangin Sammy’ filled with grilled chicken, cheese, fried onions, and KC’s all-time favorite alley fries. Or you could get their vegetarian burger ‘Cool Beans’ made with a homemade patty, or one of the cheesy pizzas to pair with some fantastic drinks. They’ve also got small plates of nachos, buffalo chicken, quesadillas, and other cheesy tidbits.
Every day is exciting here, too for instance, Wednesdays are filled with Mexican specialties, Thursdays are Trivia nights, and on Saturdays, you can get bottomless mimosas to kick things up a notch. Oh and, let’s not forget the rotating draft beers!
Open all week long from 11.30 am onwards, KC’s Alley has happy hours every day lasting from 10 pm-12 am, with the bar open late into the night on weekends.
Address: 10 W Butler Pike, Ambler, PA
6. Bridgets’ Steakhouse
Elegant plates of steaks and seafood served in a classy atmosphere.
Maybe you want to celebrate a special occasion or simply want to treat yourself, either way, there’s no better place to splurge than at Bridgets’ Steakhouse – a restaurant that can give any downtown Philadelphia steakhouse a run for its money!
This modern steakhouse is more upmarket than you’d expect, serving classy plates of tender steaks and seafood. Dark curtains on black walls with vibrant artwork by local artists offer a pop of color inside this elegant place, where the atmosphere is dimly-lit and romantic at night, and bright and sunny during the day. Multiple dining spaces offer different vibes, with one of them having a very swanky-looking bar with large windows that open up to give an outdoorsy feel to the room.
Just like the ambiance, the food here is like dining in the lap of luxury. Enticing appetizers and small plates include burrata, lobster risotto, and some of the best fried calamari you’ll find among restaurants in Ambler, PA.
Mains feature fancy cuts like Filet mignon in a shiitake and Sake reduction, or the 12-hour braised, fall-off-the-bone short ribs. Creative seafood entrees like the mango-glazed grilled salmon also make for excellent choices.
Or, you could go for the short but inclusive prix fixe menu available every day from 5-6 pm and all night long on Mondays. Do try something from their interesting wine collection as well!
Oh and, did we mention that they just opened up a fancy bar/lounge on the upper floor, offering panoramic views of the town? We bet you can’t wait to sip on cocktails here! Currently, they’re open every day for dinner from 5 pm onwards.
Address: 8 W Butler Pike, Ambler, PA
7. Sweet Briar Cafe
Quaint neighborhood cafe offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with an ice cream window with outdoor seating
Located just off Butler Ave is the hidden gem Sweet Briar Cafe. Established in 2012, this quaint little place has those neighborhood eatery vibes, where you’re welcomed by warm smiles and served hearty, affordable, and delicious meals.
A comfy atmosphere prevails inside, with a few tables surrounded by some homey decor, while plenty of seats are available outside on the cute, fenced-in patio. Their walk-up ice cream window offers rich ice cream in innovative flavors, so don’t blame yourself if you feel like an excited kid while ordering it – we would feel the same way!
Humming with activity from dawn to dusk, this place remains open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, using fresh ingredients sourced locally.
Breakfast offerings (8 am onwards) are homestyle yet ridiculously delicious, including benedicts, waffles, french toast, and a decadent Philly omelet served with fries and toast. In fact we think this place is easily one of the best restaurants in Ambler, PA, when it comes to breakfast.
Lunch comes with sandwiches, burgers, and a whole lot of vegetarian picks (quinoa mac and cheese or homemade black bean burgers, anyone?).
Meanwhile, dinner options are equally hearty and homestyle – their plate of pasta and meatballs can remind you of your mom’s homemade meals made with love and care! BYOB for dinner, or go for the four-course Prix Fixe meals offered on the first Tuesday of each month, where chef Chad showcases his creativity with seasonally-inspired dishes. Grab an ice cream cone on your way home!
The sweet little Sweet Briar cafe is open from Tuesday to Saturday 8 am – 9 pm, and Sunday to Monday 8 am – 2 pm for breakfast and lunch only.
Address: 11 Lindenwold Ave, Ambler, PA
8. Sushi Hatsu
Elegant sushi place serving Japanese and other Asian delicacies, with a raw bar and seasonal Omakase.
We realize that sushi isn’t everyone’s thing. But here at Sushi Hatsu, you don’t just get freshly rolled, creative sushi rolls, but also some of the best Japanese entrees served tapas style.
Enhancing the whole experience is the slightly upscale vibe inside their dining room, which is sleek, elegant, and minimalist. There are limited tables inside, but in our humble opinion, the best place to experience their sushi is probably at the brightly lit bar, where you can watch talented chefs skillfully whip up your meals.
Sidewalk seating is also available, though you’ll have to get a reservation for any table – inside or outside – since this place gets super busy and is easily one of the most popular restaurants in Ambler, PA.
The menu starts with small plates of soups and salads, along with raw options that include scallops and king crab. Other small plates include a zingy salmon ceviche tartare served with a strawberry guac, duck confit Shumai (a type of dumpling), Hiya tofu with a ginger scallion chutney, and other creative picks.
Sushi offerings cover everything from all-time favorites like dragon rolls to specialties like the Ambler love roll with smoked salmon and cream cheese, along with all the sashimi you could ever want (uni, unagi, snow crab – you name it). This place is BYOB too, and try not to drool when you’re presented with artfully plated food!
Oh and, Sushi Hatsu also offers Omakase on a seasonal basis, where you can sample the chef’s hand-crafted specials, so stay tuned on their socials and book your tables ASAP, as seats are always limited! Currently, they operate from Wednesday to Saturday, 5 pm onwards.
Address: 51 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA
The Best Restaurants In Ambler, PA: Our Final Thoughts
Despite being such a tiny town, the restaurants in Ambler, PA, offer everything from upscale fine dining to quaint eateries with comfy fare.
So save yourself the hassle of looking up places and head towards one of our favorite places – thank us later!