Philadelphia: Bar Ferdinand

We are on a mission to find the best tapas in Philadelphia. Care to join us for the ride?

After a particularly enjoyable wedding at the end of the summer, a group of 3 couples decided to sign up for the Philadelphia Half Marathon together. Too much Bacardi or Greygoose will make you do anything.


Is this some new dance move???

Fast forward a few months and not only did we complete the Half Marathon, we are still running together and have become great friends. One of the couples has the most adorable one year old ever so they can’t often join us for post run celebrations, but we more than make up for it by ordering more food than necessary. A couple of weeks ago we ate at Tinto (I didn’t have my camera), and last weekend we headed over to Bar Ferdinand.

There is no better way to celebrate a long run… in the RAIN… then with tapas. After completing 8 miles in a Philadelphia downpour (we were the only ones on Kelly Drive- something one does not often see), we showered, threw on random warm outfits, and headed to Bar Ferdinand.

Bar Ferdinand is located in Northern Liberties, an area of Philadelphia I have yet to explore. We walked by a lot of cute shops, and I would like to go back when they are open sometime! We had made a reservation, although since it was 5:45 PM on a Sunday night, we didn’t need one. The decor of the restaurant is so fun, and very Spanish. There is a mosaic on the wall of a bull that was beautifully done. I absolutely love it. The menu was also interesting, with lots of different types of tapas. When eating at a tapas restaurant, one really needs to have an open mind. I ate a lot of foods I wouldn’t normally eat, but I noticed that since everything was so flavorful, a small taste satisfied.


Kristine and I sat down and impatiently waited for the boys to park the car and join us. We may have ordered one little tapa to start us off before our husbands arrived. Sorry husbands, our bellies trumped our manners! (Note: The menu is online so most of the descriptions come from there)

Membrillo stuffed fried Manchego, frozen apple foam, walnut membrillo puréeIMG_1424.JPG

While perusing the menu we ordered a cheese plate, with extra bread of course. I am not a fan of these types of cheeses so I didn’t try any, but my dinner mates said that all the cheeses, especially the soft goat cheese, were incredible. I love that the restaurant offered a pairing with each cheese.

Assorted cheese plate, quince paste, olive tapenade, sangría jelly, candied Marcona almonds


We each ordered one or two items for the table to share. I will say that every item I tried was absolutely delicious, and perfectly done. I can be very particular with my food, and I will say that Bar Ferdinand did a great job making sure each dish had a balance of flavors and tastes. Our dishes:

Various mushrooms:


Braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and a pomegranate reductions:


Duck Confit, frisee, crispy potatoes, poached duck egg, sherry vinegar, olive oil:



Scallop with squid ink risotto


Seared chicken breast, San Simon cheese, chorizo, bacon, swiss chard, smoked paprika aioli



Wild mushroom, caramelized onion, sautéed spinach, Manchego cheeseIMG_1436.JPG


fried Andalusian doughnuts, chocolate



Everyone in our party agreed that the vegetariano sandwich was the absolute highlight of the night. It was so satisfying and flavorful, and reminded me of a healthier version of a gourmet cheesesteak (sans meat of course). I was in heaven!

By the time we finished feasting more than half of the tables were filled with patrons eating, drinking, and laughing. To have that many diners on a Sunday night means they are doing something right. I highly recommend Bar Ferdinand for a fun night out! The best part? The bill! We spent way less than we expected to… the prices are very reasonable, especially for the quality of food.

Next time you are in Northern Liberties, stop into Bar Ferdinand for a meal! And don’t forget to get the vegetariano sandwich!


Have a craving for chocolate covered pretzel rods?? The Chic Life is hosting an online bake sale, with the proceeds going to relief efforts in Haiti. You could be the lucky winner of a batch of custom chocolate covered pretzel rods! The bake sale is tomorrow. Don’t forget to bid!

Just in case you forget how delicious they look





20 responses to “Philadelphia: Bar Ferdinand

  1. Frozen apple foam?! That sounds pretty good. We love tapas. It is usually how I cook for us on the weekends too – that way we get some of everything. 🙂

  2. Omg..those pictures. I want some!

  3. Gorgeous photos!! I thought the first photo was some kind of fancy smores, haha 😀

  4. (The first photo of food, that is!)

  5. GREAT post! Makes me want to go back!!!!

  6. I only been to one tapa restaurant and that was Amada in Old City. I went there for lunch and it was really good, however, I did not have anything else to compare . If you want to take my advice you should check it out. I hope this post finds you well.


  7. The scallop looks amazing in that picture. I want visit Philly so bad just because of all the fabulous restaurants I see on your blog hahaha!

  8. YUM. You are definitely making me want to visit my aunt in Philly! How did you think this compared to Tinto?

    • Come visit! We can hang out!!!

      Tinto definitely had a fancier atmosphere. The food was also more expensive and heavy. I liked Bar Ferdinand more because the food tasted very fresh and light, but super flavorful. I would go back to both though.

  9. That place looks amazing! Tapas and food to share are so much more fun.

  10. those churro’s look amazing!

  11. It sounds like you’re getting really comfortable in Phili. Isn’t running the best way to get to know a new city… and of course eating out. 😉
    This place looks pretty incredible. I now NEED to check out Toro – Boston’s best tapas place.

  12. I think this is my first comment, but I’ve always loved reading your blog because I love finding new restaurants to go to in Philadelphia. This looks great – I’ve never explored NoLibs either, but I’ve heard it’s so much fun there. They used to have a restaurant that only served mac+cheese… it would have been perfect for me 🙂

  13. wow – this place looks incredible! I am slowly compiling a list of places to try out when I move to Philly this summer – this is definitely are the top of the list! thanks =)

  14. I love tapas places- it’s the perfect place for me since appetizers and sharing are my two favorite things!

    P.S. the pretzel rods are super drool-worthy!

  15. those pretzels rods look phenom!

  16. These are terrific photos- mouthwatering, really! You’ve made me want to go to Boston’s answer to Bar Ferdinand- Bar Lola! I’m a huge tapas fan. It looks like you had SO much fun! I’ll definitely put Bar Ferdinand on my list of places to go when I get to Philly!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call for my reservation 😉

  17. LOVE Tinto…though, the last time I went was during restaurant week, which is always tough. Haven’t been to Bar Ferdinand yet, though…we’re never in Northern Liberties. I’m a fan of Snackbar, just off Rittenhouse — I don’t know that I’d call it tapas, since the plates are a little bigger and they also have some “entrees,” like a burger, but it’s generally the same concept — order plenty of plates to share.

  18. Holy yum! Everything looks delish!
    Great job on the pretzel rods- they look perfect!

  19. Everything looked amazing!! Love the pretzel rod action!

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