Philadelphia, PA

Gilda Cafe & Market in Fishtown Philadelphia Opens on Friday, March 3rd

Marilyn Johnson

Gilda (pronounced Jil-da), a Portuguese-inspired cafe and market, is opening on March 3, 2023, in Fishtown by husband team Chef Brian Oliveira and Chef Brian Mattera.
Gilda Cafe & Market opens at 300 E. Girard Avenue in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia on March 3rd.Photo byGilda

The cafe will serve Brian and Brian’s famous pastéis de nata & other house-made pastries, breakfast & lunch, and custom blend coffee in partnership with Elixr Roasters. A retail selection of specialty food products, imported & local goods, and prepared foods will also be available.

Gilda will be open 8 am-4 pm every day except Tuesday. It is located at 300 E Girard Ave at the corner of Girard Ave and Marlborough St.

Gilda is inspired by Brian Oliveira’s experience as the American-born son of a Portuguese immigrant. His family emigrated from Portugal in 1980 and settled in Newark, NJ, a city that still to this day has a large Portuguese presence (Gilda will be getting their bread daily from Teixiera's Portuguese Bakery in Newark as well as many of their featured Portuguese imports are sourced from Triunfo Foods in Newark). Brian Oliveira would spend summers and holidays at his grandparents’ house, often in the kitchen alongside his grandmother. The recipes at Gilda are inspired by the food she loved to cook and share with her family. 

The cafe is named after Brian Mattera’s grandmother, Gilda Mattera, who went by the name's Italian (and Portuguese) pronunciation [Jil-da]. They keep the same pronunciation for the cafe to stay true to her name. Gilda Mattera was an Italian immigrant and the matriarch of the family. She was passionate about cooking, food, and family (and playing the card game pinochle!). It has been three decades since her passing, but her spirit has always lived on through family stories and her 50+-year-old cookbook that Gilda now proudly displays in the new cafe.

Gilda’s location is meaningful to Brian Mattera and Brian Oliveira because it’s the same space as Girard, where the Brians first met and began cooking together in 2017. Brian Oliveira was the former chef/owner at Girard, and Brian Mattera was a regular at the restaurant because he was a bartender at a nearby restaurant. They ended up working together at Girard, launching their catering brand, Happy Hour Hospitality, together (as well as their Portuguese side project, Cozinha), getting married in May 2021, and now they're back in the same space where it all began to open Gilda! After searching for the perfect home for Gilda for many months, it was meant to be that this space became available. 

“We're so excited to share this space with our friends, family, and the community,” says Brian Mattera and Brian Oliveira. “It feels great to be opening back up in the same neighborhood we love so dearly.” 

Signature menu items at Gilda will include:

Pastéis de Nata ($4 each | $20 half dozen | $35 full dozen) - Traditional Portuguese custard tarts, a cinnamon-infused custard in a flaky pastry shell baked at 500 degrees | Traditional + rotating flavors such as lemon raspberry, dark chocolate and sea salt, coconut almond, strawberry-rhubarb, and basil

The Antonio ($10) - Housemade linguiça patty, fried egg, and Cooper sharp with breakfast sauce on a Portuguese roll 

Bifana ($12) — White wine and garlic marinated pork cutlet on a Portuguese roll with dijon and cabbage slaw

Pastéis de Bacalhau ( $12) — Salt cod fritters with potato, lemon, and herbs 

Char Grilled Piri Piri Chicken ($16) — Chili-garlic marinated chicken, saffron rice, and shoestring fries 

Gilda’s coffee program will feature Elixr Coffee, including a custom blend for Gilda. Bica (long shot of espresso with sugar in the raw) and Mazagran (cold brew and freshly squeezed lemon with honey and mint) will be two of the signature coffee beverages available. 

Local, imported, and house-made goods will include chouriço, cheeses, fresh breads, pantry staples, snacks, and chocolates. They’ll also carry a small variety of Portuguese-crafted housewares, cookbooks, and branded merch. 

Gilda will be open on select evenings for private events, chef collaborations, and a seasonal dinner series. Email to inquire about a private event.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey food, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. Email Marilyn at with food and travel news. If you liked this article, throw Marilyn a coffee! Follow Marilyn on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email for Philly area news; for travel tips and opportunities.

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