Exit 13 Gastrobar Is a Must for Pizza and Cocktails in Bryn Mawr

Photos by Ed Williams

Formerly a pizzeria, Exit 13 Gastrobar specializes in generous happy hours, loaded pizzas and good vibes all around.

Perhaps more than anything, Luciano Di Felice wants Exit 13 Gastrobar to be a fun destination. So he’s put his money where his mouth is (so to speak), offering one of the most generous happy hours in the area—a three-hour Tuesday-Friday affair with half-price drinks and ample food specials. The eldest son of Garrett Hill Pizza’s original owner, Di Felice spent three years and $2 million tricking out his pizzeria into a sleek and shiny gastropub. He gutted the entire brick structure, including the upstairs apartments, adding a vaulted ceiling, a second-floor dining area and retractable garage-style glass doors.

Potato gnocchi with pesto
Potato gnocchi with pesto
Loaded pizzas are a definite highlight of Exit 13’s repertoire.
Loaded pizzas are a definite highlight of Exit 13’s repertoire.

Di Felice named his freshly minted Italian bistro after the nearby Blue Route exit. The décor is playful, with local license plates, street signs and motorized European scooters hanging on the walls. “I’ve enjoyed that sense of freedom and fun riding small sports cars and bikes in Italy,” says Di Felice. “I wanted to give Exit 13 that feeling.”

Salmon with cabbage salad.
Salmon with cabbage salad.

In that spirit, the bar stools are actually vintage Vespa seats, complete with license plates, chrome backrests and brake lights. To be honest, they’re a bit awkward to mount at first, but they certainly are unique—much like the signature cocktails. A blend of vodka, pink lemonade and muddled lemon basil, the Summer Vespa is a drink you could ride all summer. For a bit of adventure, try the jalapeño-laced Spicy Ti-Amo Margarita.

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Owner Luciano Di Felice
Owner Luciano Di Felice
Ride your way through happy hour at the bar
Ride your way through happy hour at the bar
The Old Philadelphian, Exit 13’s take on a Manhattan.
The Old Philadelphian, Exit 13’s take on a Manhattan.
Prepping wings
Prepping wings

Befitting its pizzeria roots, Exit 13’s menu is heavy on Italian specialties, and the hand-pressed pies are an obvious highlight. More oval than round, the fire-roasted crusts come loaded with fresh cheeses, imported meats and other toppings. We savored the signature Exit 13, with broccoli rabe, guanciale, pecorino, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. The Potato and ’Nduja (roasted potatoes, spreadable ’Nduja Calabrese salami, rosemary and mozzarella) was also exceptional. Pinsa-style pizza is available upon request. Its healthier, more digestible crust is crispy outside and soft inside.

Short-rib rigatoni
Short-rib rigatoni

Starters include the G.Hill Special—fried dough, shaved prosciutto, burrata, and cherry tomatoes with a balsamic glaze. The traditional bone-in wings were executed well, and the salmon and cabbage salad is a meal on its own. Among the larger plates, the chicken Parmesan, gnocchi and lasagna were all on point, though the short rib in our rigatoni dish could’ve been more tender. The dessert menu also plays it safe with traditional options. Think tiramisu, creme brûlée cake and key lime pie.

Garrett Hill Pizza founder Antonio Di Felice; Exit 13’s exterior refresh.
Garrett Hill Pizza founder Antonio Di Felice; Exit 13’s exterior refresh.

Cost: $10-$25.
Atmosphere: Vibrant yet relaxing.
Hours: Noon–9 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday, noon–10:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, 4–9 p.m. Sunday.
Attire: Casual.
Extras: Happy hour 3–6 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, with half-price drinks and food specials. Kiosks for to-go ordering.

Exit 13’s exterior refresh.
Exit 13’s exterior refresh.

Exit 13 Gastrobar
910 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr
(610) 525-3842, exit13gastrobar.com

Related: Main Line Favorite Pizzeria Vetri Thrives at Its Devon Yard Location

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