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Rex at the Royal

4.5
23 Reviews
$31 to $50
Southern
REX at The Royal provides guests with transformed southern fare, a full bar, daytime cafe and curated bottle-shop housed in the historical Royal Theatre, known as a staple in the rich cultural history of the City of Philadelphia for its role as a hub for Black culture and artistry, including film-making and live music, during the 20th century. REX at The Royal, now operating out of the newly-renovated theatre, maintains key tenets of the historical site including a stage for live music performances, as well as sweeping arches and other details sustained from the original design.
REX at The Royal cuisine pays homage to the great early 20th-century African-American chefs who adapted traditional southern fare to Philadelphia’s urban landscape. The concept’s foundation lies in the Lowcountry cuisine of the Southeast Atlantic coast, influenced as it was by the grains and traditions of the African diaspora melded with the local agriculture and fisheries.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff is vaccinated
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 23 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipTigresSKS
Philadelphia
138 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Rex - The Royal is as stellar as its predecessor, Rex 1516, now in a larger, beautifully decorated space. Loved the cozy booth our four-top was seated in (from which we would've had a perfect view of the small stage, had it been a live-music night), being able to peek into the kitchen to watch our food being prepared, and the service, which was friendly and knowledgeable.

Definitely recommend coming hungry and with a small group of fully-vaccinated* diners, so you can taste all the offerings! We started out strong with a few appetizers and sides: Hush Puppies and Okra Fries (okra tempura, fried shishito, long hot comeback sauce), Fried Green Tomatoes (jimmy red corn meal, house pimento cheese), Skillet Mac and Cheese (cooper sharp cheese, smoked provolone, gruyere, cavatappi, garlic breadcrumbs), and Buttermilk Biscuits (pepper jam, honey butter). All four were spot on and the hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, and buttermilk biscuits sang to our diners who used to live in the south.

For our mains, we enjoyed (with no complaints**!) the NJ Scallops and Fall Succotash (NJ sea scallops, pumpkin, turnip, butternut squash, sunchokes, corn, crispy kale, brown butter), Frogmore Stew (fish, mussels, shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, corn, spicy old bay brodo, grilled sourdough), Chicken and Dumplings (grilled chicken breast, smoked chicken leg, sweet potato dumplings, green meadow farm mushrooms, roasted vidalia onions, pepper jus), and NY Strip Steak (14oz. sustainably raised NY strip steak, grilled green meadow farm mushroom salad, crispy salt potatoes, compound butter). The Frogmore Stew had a wonderful flavor and heat to it, and the andouille sausage was particularly tasty.

The drinks were well-named and generally tasty: Spotted Lantern Fly (cacao washed whiskey, cardamara, lemon, honeycomb, aqufaba), Royal Sazerac (vieux carre absinthe, templeton rye whiskey, cognac, demerara, bitters), and Sorrel Loser (sorrel, clove, allspice, lime, ginger, sparkling water).

N
vipNalphilly
Philadelphia
76 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Lovely space with Rex’s good food.

SS
SarahS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting and amazing food. What more could you ask for?

k
kulpa3
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent, ambiance was intimate, the interior was beautifully designed and appointed, down to the flatware. Food was delicious. All around excellent experience- have not enjoyed a dinner out like this in years. Keep up the good work!

PR
PRMANManman
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a fantastic space with amazing food. The new location is special. It feels historic and classy. It’s an instant classic. The wait-staff was incredible as well always there when we needed with out being in top of us. The cocktails were incredible and extremely varied in taste and style. The crab fondue and pretzel was amazing, but the star of the show was the pork chop. It was absolutely incredible. Perfectly cooked with the most incredible greens and sauce accompanying it. The weekly burger was my go to at the old location but the pork chop might be my new item every time I come in town the city.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing birthday meal. Really appreciate the quality of the menu, atmosphere, and the service. Excellent food and drinks with fantastic service. Everyone enjoyed the evening.

DM
DanM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Creative cocktails, unique, creative twists of traditional low country dishes. First class dining experience.

AR
AlisonR
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Will always drive over an hour just for the rex burger. Beautiful new location made for such a fun date night.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Had a great time at dinner with my friends. The cocktails were great and the food was tasty. Can’t wait to go back!

R
vipRappaport
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you liked the old Rex, you'll LOVE the new Rex. Great cocktails, and that Rex Burger was just how we remembered pre-pandemic!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The space is lovely. The food was good, but not great. I don’t recall being told we had a time limit on our seating, but the server seemed very aggressive about getting our orders. She wouldn’t place our appetizer order until we ordered entrees because the “kitchen likes to know what dishes” will be ordered. Why? Turns out there was a time limit. That’s totally fine, but be upfront about it.

I messaged the restaurant saying it was a birthday celebration, but never heard from anyone. They clearly didn’t get the message or do anything with it.

BM
BebeMetz
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The decor is beautiful and the location is prime but the food and service were poorly lacking. It took over 2 hours for our entrees to arrive and the server brought our check after appetizers but before our entrees. The drinks and appetizers were fairly good (The Holiday cocktail is stellar), although our server brought the wrong drink at first, but three of our four entrees were bland and two had parts that were significantly undercooked. One of the glasses of wine was corked but the manager addressed it smoothly. Since they recently opened, some grace and understanding is necessary but quality of food and service should be remedied immediately.

s
vipstanothemano
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience4

A lovely space and one of the few spots in Philly to get half-decent southern food. Can tell they’re still working out the kinks (they just re-opened), the the vibe is hopping.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience5

We were there for the party of 5 people. We kind of liked it. Little overpriced for that food, but I like atmosphere ad design of new location. The manager is a wonderful person, waiter literally charged us for extra bread. It's ok, not a big deal but not acceptable, only $12. They have a good burger, and salad... My friend ordered soup but some reason it was served cold and was little not satisfied with that, it might seated on the counter but the good thing is the manager handled it. It was a ok experience but I would not prefer to go back overall.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Truly enjoyed my time at Rex at the Royal. I was taken away by the decor and how nice it looked. I was greeted with a happy greeting and was asked to show my vaccine card. After checking my coat I was sat and my waitress was Bernadette. She was amazing!!! She made sure to explain to us the entire menu and gave great suggestions on what to eat. Our drinks were so tasteful and def set the bar high when it came to crafted cocktails. I cannot wait for the upstairs to open in order to have us listen to the live music. I don’t know what else to say but GO! Rex is amazing and I can’t wait to go back. PLEASE ask for Bernadette..!! She’s polite, patient and knows what she’s doing.

MM
MattyMo
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

This was my first time back to Rex since they reopened, having moved from a smaller loungey space down the block. The menu is smaller than before, but it still has exquisitely decadent Nawlins and low country grub (the burger with spicy pimento cheese is so good it could make you cry), and the bar is a cocktail lover's dream. The bartender whipped up my fav, a Mezcal Manhattan. We ordered the special lobster tail and claw meat appetizer was phenomenal. The new space in the historic Royal Theater is modern art deco that is Great Gatsby meets Brazil with a fancy doom metal spirit, and the hostess, servers, and bartender were friendly, knowledgeable (despite a recent reopening), responsive, attentive, great with banter, and paid attention ... but not too much. I plan on becoming a regular.

SD
vipSaintDavid
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! The “new” Rex wowed us in every way. Creative, thoughtful, expertly prepared versions of low country cuisine, great new cocktails, an awesome upscale yet comfy dining room and bar, superb service by Bernadette and all colleagues, and open late. What more could one want?

K
Kellz
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and drinks were fantastic. Ambiance was very nice too. Only complaint really was the music. Didn't suit the vibe of the restaurant to me. It didn't ruin my time there though. I will most certainly be back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful spot

BR
BeverlyR
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

They handled the vivid protocol very well / thorough
Was seated quickly
The server was very knowledgeable about the menu
I understand that scheduling was tight but felt rushed
The place is beautiful and it will definitely be a success

D
vipDelish
Philadelphia
90 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So excited for the new Rex. Much larger and more elegant than the old location. Great new menu with some old favorites - fried green tomatoes, chicken and dumplings. Amanda our server was wonderful. Delicious food and wonderful atmosphere. Can't wait to go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Upon seating in the dining room we ordered a beer and a glass of wine. It took over 15 min to be served our drinks. Tables were very close together, as can be usual in the city but considering the pandemic it was very uncomfortable. My meal was disappointing. I was excited to see the Southern themed menu however the details were lost… grits were dried out and lumpy, the greens were over cooked and chewy. The pork chop was a beautiful cut of meat and cooked perfectly but I found the sauce and seasonings overpowering. It felt like they were trying too hard to put a twist on some classic southern dishes. Stopped by the bar after our meal and the cocktails and bartenders were great but I don’t think I’ll dine here again or recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food, drinks, and service in a beautiful historic location.
A must-go Philadelphia restaurant.

FAQs

Rex at the Royal offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (267) 319-1366.

Rex at the Royal is rated 4.5 stars by 23 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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