Aksum

4.4
432 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for a Date
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
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Phone number
(267) 275-8195
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jason Ballman
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
47th
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Parking details
Street parking on Baltimore Ave and free parking lot on 47th and Warrington.
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Public transit
34 Trolley
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Gift Card
Additional
BYO Liquor, Cafe, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
What 432 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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4.0Dined 3 days ago

The two lamb dishes while excellent were spicy which should have been noted. None the less the Lamb cha=ops were excellent. It's BYOB which is also nice.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Always a great and pleasant experience whenever I dine with Aksum!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

What a great BYO find! The food is amazing —ethnic, interesting and flavorful. We loved the Brussels sprouts, apple-date salad, and vegetarian tagine. Was a great little neighborhood find and we will definitely be back.

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Everything was very good. The fish--sea bass--was superb. Fattoush was an unusual interpretation; I am more used to more lettuce, cukes, toasted bread pieces + sumac than this version, so that took a little getting used to. We enjoyed bringing a friend from out of town, and she had a great meal!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Great food! Great Service! Christina was professional yet warm.

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

I wish they had better beverages but overall great

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Aksum was nearly full for a late Sunday brunch (starting 1:30 pm). The 3 of us shared the octopus salad and each got a dish of our own. We were all happy with our choices. Will definitely be back.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We have always had a nice brunch with family at Aksum. The service is always excellent: friendly and accommodating. The food is well presented and tastes great. It is always a nice experience.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

I have tried something new each time I visit this excellent Mediterranean restaurant and loved each meal. The staff are flexible, friendly, and efficient. I

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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

Food was great as always, odd thing about this time was there were only two waitresses working and because of that service was a bit slower than usual, which is not the waitresses fault. However, other than that I was delicious food and another lovely experience.

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2.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Food is sub-par. Salt galore. Small portions. Flies and no air in restaurant. Definitely wouldn't go back.

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5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

My husband and I always frequent this restaurant. We frequent the this restaurant at least one a month or more when we have guests in town. Great food great people! Try their other spot Booker’s just as nice

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4.0Dined on July 13, 2018

Aksum is a years long favorite for us and for a while they literally could do no wrong for brunch or dinner. The servers are always sweet and patient; they don’t get hella defensive if you don’t like a menu item or want it prepared differently. What has changed over the years is the food quality-wilted lettuce in my salad, and the “gravy” for the lamb shank no longer tastes the same-for example. But we’ll dine there again-just not with the same enthusiasm.

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

We ordered the roasted beets salad, mussels, salmon, non-alcoholic sangrias and for dessert the carrot ginger bread pudding. The food was outstanding!! Enjoyed every bite! And our server Christina was awesome! Absolutely love this spot!!!

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Had an assortment of appetizers. Really outstanding food, great atmosphere, and personal setvucr

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3.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Great for brunch & group dining. The highlights were the shrimp & grits, crab fritters & the special addition of the grilled octopus salad.

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4.0Dined on June 30, 2018

I though the food was great, the meze was very fresh, octopus salad also very fresh and spicy. Carrot-ginger bread pudding was also delicious. Our server could not have been more lovely; helpful but not intrusive and well informed about the menu. Our GF girl wasn't with us but we noted that the GF items were well marked and plentiful. Definitely recommend!

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5.0Dined on June 24, 2018

I always enjoy Aksum when i am there. It was a warm day and they didn’t have the air on but the seat by the open window and friendliness of the staff, the amazing food, and amazing desert more than made up for the heat.

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5.0Dined on June 24, 2018

Myself and three friends had Sunday brunch and sat outside. It was a beautiful day. All our brunch dishes were delicious and the eggs cooked perfectly. We ordered the lemon poppy pancakes, Moroccan eggs, shrimp and grits, and the Monte Carlo. The food came out in a timely manner but refills and special requests were a bit slow coming or took several requests.
Our waitress was very pleasant.

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4.0Dined on June 24, 2018

It was a nice spot, me and my boyfriend went this weekend and really enjoyed ourselves. I do think that it is a little congested and there is no such thing as a private conversation between you whoever you are dining with. Other then that food and the service was simply amazing. Will be visiting again.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Food was soo good, staff was knowledgeable and prices were very reasonable for the quality.

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Not sure the gentleman name that closed tonight 6 /22/18 taller slim African-American male he was exceptional the service was beyond what I expected it to be he was perfectly amazing everything that I wanted in the dining experience I will definitely book with him all the time that I dine

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2.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Went for a family dinner to celebrate Father’s Day. The meal was delicious and smooth despite the restaurant being understaffed with a clearly stressed staff. We ended up being billed twice for the meal and told that I never showed up for the reservation. Contacted bank and they confirmed the double charge originated from the restaurant and to contact them. When I let the manager know about the situation, she just said that it wasn’t her fault and her records only showed one charge. She was completely unapologetic and pretty uncaring about the whole situation. Saba’s response and all of the trouble that followed the meal truly soured the experience. As much as I love the food there, I doubt I’ll be returning anytime soon or if ever again. It’s sad because we’ve been coming for years to Aksum and to Bookers. I can now see why there is such high turnover and short staff. It all starts at the top.

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1.0Dined on June 17, 2018

I was so excited about going to Aksum because I'd ordered the food via UberEats and visited it's sister restaurant Booker's. My husband was especially looking forward to it because it was Father's day and he loves the salmon. Sadly, our experience was a horrible one. We got there for our reservation and they didn't have any room for us so they sat us at a 2 person table with and extra table pulled up to the side (it was a party of 3). Then we proceeded to wait almost an hour without anyone coming over to us to TAKE OUR ORDER. That's right..we didn't wait an hour for our food...we might have forgiven that because it was Father's Day...we waited an hour for someone to TAKE OUR ORDER. No one came over to us and said, "I'm sorry, we are short staffed or having a tough time." No one came over to get our drink order or offer bread or even take our appetizer order. No one said anything to us. We just sat there watching the waitstaff look completely and utterly confused. So... we left. They watched us leave too. And they didn't say a word. Not so much as a "We apologize."

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3.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Generally very good but the service was off at our last visit. Our food took a very long time. It's open air and a little too hot on a summer night. The people who work there are incredibly nice, and the food is good, sometimes very good.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

This is my second or third visit to this restaurant and my food was again cooked to perfection. I love this restaurant and the food. I will keep coming back.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Great place to dine! Nice atmosphere, professional staff, and delicious food. BYOB

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4.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Really enjoyed my birthday dinner at Aksum. Our server was a little unprofessional, though it didn’t take away from the overall experience. Great food, open window/outdoor seating flow, and perfect for a summer evening meal. Will come back!

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Their food is always good, haven’t been disappointed. I love their chicken and waffles

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Small quaint restaurant. Food was excellent and service was very efficient. Didn’t realize that it was BYOB but the waitress was kind enough to find me a free glass of wine!! I would highly recommend!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Brunch was amazing with delicious chicken and waffles & attentive service. Will come back again & again.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

I have never been dissapointed when I've been to Aksum. My mouth always leaves much happier than it was when I arrived. This particular evening I was saying goodbye to a friend who was leaving Philadelphia for an academic career in upstate New York. Best choice I could have made. We shared some Tapas: Crab Balls and Roman Artichokes-both were excellent, well -prepared and a delight to eat. My entree was a Tunisian Shrimp special with Orzo and peppers, very flavorful and moderately spicy. My companion had the Roast Chicken which he raved about, served with a Rutabago mash and some greens. We split a rosemary/pistachio ice cream, a perfect conclusion to an exceptional meal. Thanks all for a wonderful meal.

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2.0Dined on June 3, 2018

I really don't like giving this place 2 stars, but it truly was a 2star brunch meal. Let me tell you why:
Service-not bad but not wonderful (3stars)
Food- Appetizers: Crab fritters, all fritter literally almost zero crab. Fried Calamari- was ok, pretty bland same for the marinara side sauce
Main course: Lamb chops and eggs special- the lamb chops were good, best item out of everything but at $18 the sides should have been better and it should come with some type of bread.
Shrimp and grits- wow so disappointing, very small portion size and seriously lacking flavor.
The ambiance is nice and it BYOB, but for the price, we could have had a far better brunch!

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Its great for family fun. We are American Indians and they gave us great service. The waitress was top notch, give her a raise.

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Authentic! Love this place.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Everything was excellent and we would go back again. The food was fantastic!!! The service was great. The only reason I gave service 4 out of 5 stars was it took about an hour for the entree to be served.

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Brought a friend with me for her first time and she absolutely loved every dish. All the food was flavorful and very well done. My only concern was that my lamb chops were definitely over done the first time out but as soon as they came back with my second plate it was perfect. It could have been as simple as an error in which dish was mine on the pick up counter. I will be back again for sure.

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2.0Dined on May 12, 2018

They made us sit at the bar even though we had a reservation because they were overbooked.

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2018

I made a last minute reservation to eat with a friend before they left town. Aksum is always a good spot to drop into. Food is fresh, tasty, and the service is efficient.

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3.0Dined on May 5, 2018

The food was very good but waitress kept making mistakes. We had to send a salad back twice (one person at the table requested the vegan option, yet the other salad was brought out twice without goat cheese). Ordered iced tea but received an orange juice. I made the reservation on open table, but received notice that reservation was cancelled due to no-show. Children at the next table were seriously out of control and ran around behind us, which made the meal a bit uncomfortable. None of the staff (or the parents) seemed to notice or care. Aside from technical issues - the food was very good. We would go back and give it another try!

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