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The 11 best restaurants for dining alone | Morning Newsletter

And the pandemic’s toll on children’s mental health

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Glad to be with you on what’s slated to be yet another mild November day with temps in the mid-60s. We’ll also have less smog in the city, after that massive junkyard fire that raged for more than 15 hours.

While we await a verdict in the federal trial of Johnny Doc and Councilmember Bobby Henon, we’re taking a look today at the best restaurants to have a bite — solo.

And for young people, the pandemic has taken a toll on mental health.

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— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

Eating alone at a restaurant isn’t seen as weird anymore. Now it’s embraced. Especially after COVID-19 had us cooped up with family and/or significant others, a little time to ourselves isn’t a bad thing.

Of the 11 spots selected by writer Alisha Miranda, I picked three you should definitely consider, depending on your perspective.

🍔 📖 Get a burger, read a book: Pub & Kitchen in Fitler Square may give off a bit of a sports bar vibe, but trust us when we say it’s most definitely not. Pro tip: Ask for more of the “secret sauce” on the side when you order the Smash Burger. You’re welcome in advance.

🍹⛱️ Margaritas and chill: Chestnut Hill’s El Poquito installed these bubble tents complete with heaters during the pandemic that offered a way to be outside but still be in your own world.

🍽️ 👀 Pick at small plates and people-watch: Fond. Huge windows offer a fishbowl view of East Passyunk, which as anyone from the neighborhood knows is worth the price of admission since you never know who or what is going to stop and smell the flowers out front.

Here’s the full list of spots to consider on your next day away from your day-to-day.

Healthcare providers continue to see fallout from the mental and emotional toll the pandemic has taken on children and teens, says the top psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Kids have had to deal with the fear of contracting the virus and infecting Mom and Dad. They’ve had to cope with the emotional and financial instability that came with lockdown. And virtual learning at schools robbed children of crucial social interactions.

Limited mental health resources have had a domino effect on the healthcare system. Children who need to to be treated get long waits at pediatric emergency departments and hospitals, and gaps that can stretch almost two months before they get the specialized care they need.

Reporter Jason Laughlin has more on the pandemic’s strain on young people.

What you should know today

  1. Two teens who prosecutors say started a gunfight outside a high school football game that led to the fatal police shooting of 8-year-old Fanta Bility have been charged with murder in connection with her death.

  2. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will appeal a court decision to strike down the state’s school mask mandate.

  3. Testimony in the conspiracy and fraud trial of former Temple dean Moshe Porat got underway in federal court.

  4. Former city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley landed a new job with the Department of Health in Washington, D.C., as a senior deputy director.

  5. Legendary Philly news anchor Jim Gardner will retire from 6ABC at the end of 2022.

  6. We’ve got a midseason report card for the Eagles. It’s about what you’d expect.

  7. Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

For you Philly foodies out there: Can you name the city chefs who studied under famed French chef Georges Perrier at Le Bec-Fin? Take a guess and then see how many you named correctly courtesy of our food writer Michael Klein, who listed these chefs that held a dinner in Perrier’s honor on this date in 2014.

Photo of the day

🥨 Your Essential Philly

We asked readers across the region what is something that is authentically Philly to them. For me, it’s most definitely perusing Baltimore Avenue, and then ending the day with some shrimp pad thai and a Singha from Vietnam Cafe.

Here’s what some of our readers told us:

  1. “Hit Sampan and take a walk on Kelly Drive or Wissahickon Drive.”

  2. “Going vintage shopping.”

  3. “Visit my sister and go to games at the Sports Complex.”

  4. “Running the Schuylkill River Trail”

  5. “Mutter Museum. Every out-of-towner has to see it!”

What’s your favorite Philly-area thing to do? Send a reply to

That’s all for Thursday. I’m realizing the recurring food theme of today’s newsletter.

Was that by design, you ask? 😉