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Where to eat in Downtown Philadelphia?

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  • Hodgson DL Jan 23, 2006 04:39 PM
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Folks, I am attending a convention at the downtown Marriot in Philadelphia. I would like to patronize some nearby restaraunts (by taxi) that epitomize the Philly dining experience. I am on an expense account, so cost is no issue (within reason). Your suggestions are welcome. Thanks

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  1. There are many good places to eat in Philly. However do make sure you walk a block from your hotel and check out the Reading Terminal Market. It's a paradise for foodies that is inexpensive, seemingly endless, and is uniquely Philly. A good start to your day would be to join the line at the Dutch Eating Place for pancakes.

    As far as other places to eat, are you looking for the cheesteak end of things or more (ahem) haute cuisine?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Bluehensfan

      On Expense Accounts

      Barclay Prime
      Morimoto
      Le Bec Fin
      Lacroix
      Bookbinders (Snapper Soup, Raw Bar and Lobster)
      Striped Bass

      1. re: JennyG

        Too much Stephen Starr on that list. I would try places with less formulaic menus and a bit more soul. Lots of wonderful BYOs in Philly to try. Maybe Pif, Little Fish, Django, etc.

      2. re: Bluehensfan

        I'll have a cheesesteak for lunch. I have three free nights for dinner. I was thinking Steak, Seafood and Italian. Something between $25 and $100 per person.

        1. re: Hodgson DL

          Barclay Prime is good for steaks and Estia is good if you want really, realy fresh fish that is simply prepared (at a price...)

          1. re: Bluehensfan

            For Italian, you should go to South Philly. Maybe Saloon or Kristians... Expensive, but very Philly.

            1. re: granolagirl

              Saloon is awesome
              Great Service and Langostines
              Also Mezzaluna is very good and
              La Famiglia on Front and market.

            2. re: Bluehensfan

              Thanks so much for the reccommendations. I made it to:
              Barclay Prime (great desserts)
              Estia (you have to try the octopus)
              Old Original Bookbinders (tasty lobster)
              Saloon (My favorite)

        2. You have two different issues here.

          The "Philly dining experience" is not usuallly like an expense account dinner. If you browse this Board, you will see that the BBYO's, which are less expensive, are very much talked about.

          We have some terrific ones, often with chef/owners.
          Marigold Kitchen and Matyson are two that are consistently good. They are also popular - not easy to get a reservation, especially if it's a weekend.

          Some excellent places are not particularly representative of Philadelphia. Why should they be? The ingredients most restaurants use here are similar to what's available in NY or California.

          Estia is a beautiful place to enjoy fresh fish - walking distance. I haven't been to Barclay Prime, but from what I hear, it's the preferred place for steak.
          Vetri is upscale Italian - definitely for an expense account, if you can get a reservation. The more "typical" places are mostly BYOB. One of our favorites is Tre Scalini, in South Philly.
          If you want to stay in town, you could try Branzino, on 17th St, also BYOB.

          Enjoy our great city!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sylvia G

            I second the vote for Estia. It's pricey but for very fresh fish served in a beautiful, unique atmosphere, it can't be beat.