Aksum

4.1
506 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Aksum is one of Philadelphia’s favorite BYOB restaurants.
Located in the thriving Baltimore Avenue corridor in vibrant and diverse University City, the year-old restaurant features a bright Mediterranean menu that focuses on simple and fresh ingredients, with accents from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
What 506 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OD
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were both great! A lot of GF and vegetarian options, which is wonderful for a crowd with dietary constrictions. My only complaint was that they did not sit us in a table that was big enough for the three adults and a baby.

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N
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Decided to go out to brunch and found this place listed as one of the better brunch places in Philly. Made reservations and arrived a few minutes early. I was seated rather quickly and thats where any service ended. The table was incredibly wobbly but i put a few sugar packets under one leg to stabilize since the server never came back with a leveler. Received a cup of coffee after 10 minutes of waiting and server took our order. And then never came back. After 40minutes she returned to ask "are you waiting on your check?" - uhh, no. i was waiting on our meals but i can see thats never happening and so we walked out. What an absolute disastrous affair. Worst service/No service. The most incredible part is the "manager" who was there sitting at the bar just looking at everyone and not checking on a single table the entire time we were there waiting. This place is garbage and I would never recommend this anyone. Stay away.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite BYOBs in all of Philadelphia! Everyone working there is so nice and attentive. The food is always well seasoned and super delicious!

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j
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Have already recommended to three friends - really great, fun meal.

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DL
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

I’m a frequent customer of Aksum especially for brunch and am usually satisfied. This visit was not a good one. The items my date and I wanted (which were different) were not available. We both had to order something else and although it tasted ok it was luke warm. I had a reservation and had to wait 10 minutes for a table to be cleared. The waitress didn’t seem to be aware of the menu items. It is unlikely I will go back to Aksum. I was very disappointed.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

I was there for brunch on this past Sunday 3/17/19 and it was obviously not enough staff to accommodate everyone. We waited at the door for at least 5 minutes before being recognized and seated. Once we were seated, it took at least 10 minutes or more for someone to come over after I asked if anyone was coming to wait on us. We finally ordered food and the food came out barely warm, no syrup for the pancakes, no spoon for the coffee. We were so surprised and fed up that we just walked out. I have never experienced that kind of service at this restaurant. It was not a good day and I’m sure others were not pleased. The servers were overwhelmed. I would like to return but hopefully with a better dining experience - like I’ve had in the past.

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r
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was fresh and obviously prepared with care. One dish was very salty (and I'm not usually that sensitive). Restaurant was full, and many people arrived at the same peak time, which seemed to overwhelm the kitchen, but the server was aware and apologetic.

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MC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Not many food choices on this visit. No salmon; no rib eye steaks. A bit disappointing.

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F
Philadelphia
74 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

This was our first visit to this restaurant. We made a reservation and arrived on time. We noticed that it looked quite inviting, candlelit tables, quiet. Only one other table was occupied, by 2 people, when we arrived. There was one wait person, who offered us our choice of seats. She came by promptly to bring us water, breadsticks and olive oil. She also took our order (appetizers and entrees) in a timely manner. After about half an hour, she came by to tell us they were out of pita (at a Mediterranean restaurant!). After 45 minutes, we still had not even received our appetizer. Every time we looked her way, she turned her head. We could hear people talking and "working" in the kitchen. We finally decided to leave. I would definitely NOT recommend this experience to anyone.

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We arrived for our 6:30 reservation and the restaurant was closed. The phone went to voicemail.

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G
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very wonderful & eclectically imaginative & executed menu! Service superb & quite friendly! Very cozy restaurant setting but wish it was bigger. We will return!

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j
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

We never got our Appetizers because the server forgot to put the order in. Lamb Chops was a little dry and the food wasn't very hot but everything else was great.

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AD
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I was there for dinner and I couldn’t find the Mediterranean Anywhere I felt like I could cook the food myself. However I been there for brunch and they have a really good chicken and waffle.

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s
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Food was excellent

service was substandard - some parts of the order were not put in on time and food came out late and undercooked

Kitchen seemed overwhelmed on a busy saturday night

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a
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

The food was awful. The squash risotto was tasteless -- except for the salt -- and inedible. The roasted beet salad came with beets from a can, no walnuts, wilted spinach, and nothing resembling the champagne dressing listed on the menu. The waitress was very nice and did not charge us for the risotto. My husband's dish of pasta with shrimp was also sub-par. We had the impression that the the cook had no experience or knowledge of preparing the dishes we had ordered and also lacked the necessary ingredients.

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A
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was good, but expensive for what it was. Bad floor plan. Our table for 2 kept getting bumped into.

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AD
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Aksum has delicious brunch foods, that are always high in quality. My daughter had her first communion party there, and they served many of us with consistent quality. The dinner is also delicious, and I recommend the alcohol free sangria

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VC
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 4

We had brunch and the food was delicious and 5star we had the French Tost and chicken and waffles. The service from our waitress wasn’t 5 star, we hope the she was new and in training and will definitely go again, hopefully the service will be Tyler this time😀

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R
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Our waiter was extremely friendly and personable but our service was a bit slow.

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EE
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Sunday Brunch in West Philly! Incredible BYOB Brunch experience!

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AV
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

A great place for Brunch. Cute and small. Delicious flavors. Service could be a bit better. It seemed a bit slow and like they weren't use to waiting more than 2-3 tables. For eg, we had a reservation for 3 people and were placed on a table with three seating. But the table setting was only for 2 and had to be requested for. And then the other time, we were halfway through our Appetizer when the main course arrived, and we were still enjoying our App, and the server almost wanted take that plate from under our forks (lol!). Not a super big deal and not a hindrance to the experience. But could work on those details.
On the other hand, loved the involvement of owner. Dropped by our table a couple of times to check on us. Which was fantastic!
Overall, would recommend 100%.

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NS
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Excellent evening. The food was very good. It was noisy due to a large party

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AM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Great service, small intimate atmosphere, good food.

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C
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Will definitely eat at Askum’s again.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent vibe. Lobster bisque was fantastic. Really friendly service.

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N
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 1

Food was pretty great! Unfortunately we didn’t receive our food on the right order. Seafood bisque was outstanding, but then we waited a long time for entrees bec they forgot to bring the salad! Atmosphere was cramped, music sounded tinny like from a transistor radio. I think the chef is very good but the space leaves a lot to be desired...Overall will not return to this restaurant...

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

I don't know if it was because of Valentine's day. The menu was very limited. My waitress seemed to forget about us quit often. My steak was supposed to be a filet mignon. It was really tough. Didn't seem like filet. Then my food was really cold when they brought it to me. I told my server she took my plate brought it back with the same steak that I had taken a bite out of. Looks like the put it back on the grill so u know it was well done by the time I got it and it was still cold. When i got the check they took forever to bring my card back and when i did get it back they brought it back with this tablet that only gave you an option to tip 20% or higher eventhough my waitress didn't deserve the 15% that I had originally planned on giving her.

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LU
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Very tasty and inventive food very busy and a bit cramped nice in the warm weather with windows open and outside seating

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MC
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food - the Brussels sprouts are phenomenal. This is one of our fave byob restaurants in the city

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AJ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food in a wonderfully cozy local spot. Service was prompt, food well prepared, the chicken and waffles was divine!

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved to food and the server was very pleasant. However, it was VERY chilly in the establishment. I will be going back.

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NP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One word... EXCELLENT!!!! I would recommend this restaurant to all of my friends and neighbors in West Philadelphia:-)

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YP
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food always. Service and ambiance can be hit or miss sometimes depending on when you go. Enjoyed brunch though. And the BYOB is fantastic.

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JH
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I always enjoy eating at this restaurant! The food was delicious (had the shrimp and grits) , and the service was great!

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KC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome atmosphere food is excellent and byob ...our server was very pleasant and patient..I’ve been before although this is my first brunch visit I can’t wait to return

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was exceptional, our waitress was amazing

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D
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for a prie-fixe NYE dinner. The food was wonderful—the people in the kitchen really know what they’re doing—and the service was attentive and friendly. We had a great time!

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A
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Could not order from regular menu. Food was luke warm. Had taken way too much time for desserts. Not worth the price. Very disappointed.

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S
Philadelphia
28 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We used to love Aksum but the food selections and preparation are now mediocre at best. Our two favorites, and dependable entrees, lamb shank and chicken with shrimp, are no longer on the menu. At our recent meal, the chicken breast with capers was not the perfectly prepared one we were accustomed to, the lamb burger was over cooked and dry, the very thin rib eye (at $30) came with more poorly prepared potatoes than anyone could possibly eat. And they were not fingerlings as advertised.

Unfortunately, we've now tried twice with the revamped menu and both times have been disappointing. Don't know if it's a new cook, new menu planner, or both. Too bad. We used to love to go and to send people there, too.

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I
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I have brunch here often , love that it is a BYOB food is good and atmosphere is great.

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