Aksum

4.3
410 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Good Vegetarian Options
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 410 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 7 days ago

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 7 days ago

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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5.0Dined on May 2, 2018

Everything (location, food, byob) about this place was great, been there twice within three weeks. I don't usually eat sweets but the Oreo Beignets are to die for....love it!!

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3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Having been to Aksum multiple times before, we were disappointed in how challenged the service was- over 1 hr before our appetizers were served and there was minimal engagement by our server to even acknowledge the delay. Fortunately, the food was great and redeemed the experience.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Very creative salads... delicious artichoke appetizer.....lamb shanks the big winner. Great service and we all ended with delicious blueberry bread pudding. We will return...

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Amazing food! Comfortable, yet elegant environment!

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4.0Dined on April 18, 2018

For a chilly Wednesday evening, this neighborhood location had quite a good turnout. That says a lot for the quality of the food, the style of the menu, and the prices. All very good. I had the spicy crab soup, which was just spicy enough, not over powering with heat. A companion had the lentil soup and enjoyed it as well. We also had the fried calamari, which was quite successful because it was not overly battered or refried but light and crisp, and several different salads. All were delicious with large portions. I actually took half of my salad home. We topped off our meals with nice size portions of the crunchy/creamy cherry creme brulee. This was our first visit because someone was being treated at the U of Pa Hospital, but it has earned the right to a return visit.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Aksum restaurant quickly became my new favorite spot. I celebrate my birthdays and bring all my out of town guest. the food is great and so is service(jamillah is my favorite waitress). the atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date or girls night out. my experience is the same every single time I'm there.

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1.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Although open table list them as open Sunday night and the reservation was accepted in the system, . When we arrived after our 20 min drive in the rain the doors were closed and locked. We called asking if they were open and why our reservation was excepted when they are closed. We received a rude reply and no apology or even an acknowledgement that the open table reservation was wrong!
Be aware!

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Good food great service. I always enjoy brunch here.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Perfect place for Sunday brunch with a colleague/friend. The crispy brussels sprouts were enough for 1 entree.

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Nice service and wonderful Mediterranean food at this West Philadelphia just a short drive from the Penn Annenberg Center.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

I always enjoy the food, service as well as ambiance the service is great! You are greeted by a welcoming host ! Overall one of the best gems in Philadelphia I would much rather dine here than many other more pricey restaurants! Aksum is just a warm feeling!

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

Food was amazing and server was wonderful ! We will be back

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Great food very good

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

The menu choices were amazing. Appreciated the variety and versatility especially vegan and gluten free options. The staff was accommodating, chilling our bottles.

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

We had a reservation for a group dinner one evening when a large snowstorm hit Philadelphia. This restaurant stayed open for us and gave us excellent service. Great food. Exceptionally friendly staff.

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

I have dined here several times and enjoyed the food and ambience. This visit was not the same, they did not have the soup of the day, and the meal was marginal.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Excellent food very authentic. Attentive service. Casual dining.

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4.0Dined on March 16, 2018

Great server. Food excellent

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Aksum is a byob and The food is always great and full of flavor.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

This was our second visit to Aksum, and this time with good friends. We all enjoyed our meals, from beginning to end. The food is Mediterranean and well seasoned. As a BYOB in the Baltimore Avenue corridor, it is an undiscovered gem. They also serve brunch with vegan options. Well worth a visit.

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3.0Dined on March 1, 2018

recommend with reservations - food was flat. perhaps just an off night.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Service took a while for such a small place, and it was a bit tough to get a reservation for Sunday brunch. That said, the food was great (especially the crispy brussels sprouts!) and I love the bright colors and natural light. It's a nice atmosphere!

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