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Dec 2, 2006 06:20 PM

24 Hours in Philly

NYC hound Will be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott on Juniper Tuesday for about 24 hours. Looking for breakfast, lunch (cheesesteak) and dinner.

I was at this hotel once before for about 9 hours and quickly ran to the Independence Brew Pub near the Reading Terminal Market. I was starving and in a hurry and ordered the cheesesteak, with my fingers crossed. What I got was tantamount to what I'd expect if I'd been in Kansas.

Any nearby breakfast recommendations? Would have tried Dutch Eating Place, but I guess they're not open Tuesday's. We'll be arriving at about 8am after being up all night, so looking for something nearby. How about Sabrina's?

For lunch, I'd like to find a much more authentic cheesesteak than my last experience. Hopefully near the hotel, but will cab it for the real deal. I'm thinking about trying Rick's in the Market???

We'll probably be spent by dinner time, so would also like to stay somewhat close to the hotel. So far Monk's has been suggested. We'll be satisfied with a strong beer selection and a quality burger.



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  1. You should be able to find most of what you want in the RTM, except for a decent cheesesteak. Try Zio's on 13th just south of Chestnut, or Pandora's on the 1200 block of Walnut Street. They are not among the places known for having Philly's best cheesesteaks, but both surpass Rick's.

    Besides Monks, you can find good food and beer at the Nodding head Brewpub, on Sansom Street just west of 15th Street, or Ludwig's Garten, on the 1300 block of Sansom Street.

    All of these suggestions are within a stone's throw of your hotel. Avoid taxis in Philly - the USA's most expensive - and totally unnecessary considering your central location.

    1. If the cost of the cab does not matter (figure about 12 bucks each way) then go to Front and Snyder for the BEST cheesesteak in the city, John's Roast Pork. I honestly dont understand how others recommend places like Pandora's. I promise you the sandwich will bring tears to your eyes. On 15th St not far from you is Good Dog Tavern. They have fantastic cheeseburgers. Sabrina's is a little far from you. It is about a 12 block walk. I am not a breakfast person, so I really cant help you other then to recommend the Melrose Diner which is a cab ride away. There is a breakfast place in RTM that I think is owned by Jack's Firehouse. Others can tell you about that.
      Have fun! Oh, by the way, if you want to try the best Roast Pork sandwich you have ever had, that is also at Johns.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

        Although I have never eaten there, I am willing to conceed that John's may be the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Even so, spending $24 in taxi fares to get a sandwich that is ubiquitous in the City seems absurd! There must be twenty places that make decent cheesesteaks within a five minute walk of City Hall.

        1. re: JohnnyT

          I wish. I've lived in CC for 10 years and worked there for 8. The only decent cheesesteak is Jim's on South Street

          Joe's Pizza used to have great cheesesteaks, but after the fire, the old guy stopped cooking them, and now they suck. At least the pizza's still good.

      2. It might be a bit of a long taxi ride, but if you've never been there, I have to recommend Pat's at 9th and Passyunk. There might be better cheesesteaks out there, but if you want the real Philly cheesesteak, this is the one. If you want authentic, order it "with" onions and cheese whiz.

        Same goes for the Melrose Diner. Not particularly attractive, but quintesentially Philadelphia.

        1. Avoid Pat's and Geno's as well as Rick's, if you're going to take the cab that far I strongly agree with OlderPhiladephian and go to John's. It's been rated the best cheesesteak in the city by our main restaurant critic. And it has gotten that distinction for a reason. I would recommend the steak Italian(spinach and sharp) with tomato gravy on it. You mentioned "We'll" be spent by dinner, if there are 2 people I would also recommend getting the Pork Italain at John's and sharing. If you aren't significant others, ask them to cut it in half for you because they normally dont. For dinner, good beer and burger could be found at Monk's. Good Dog is also a good choice, Monk's has bigger beer selection. Also check out frites and mussels at Monk's. For breakfast I would save the cab and splurge on that for lunch. Maybe grab a waffle at Bonte on Walnut and 13th I think(check website). John's is what you want as your highlight of the day and it's open for the working man from 6am until 2pm, this sandwich is big and will fill you up. But I would get there by 1pm so they don't run out of the good rolls. Also not quite sure how many cabs are down that way to come back into CC so you may want to put a company's number in your phone just in case. Enjoy and report back what you thought.

          1. I'll second the recommendation on Bonte. Anytime I'm in town I make it a point to stop there for a waffle. 3 locations: 9th & Walnut, Juniper & Walnut (next to Naked Chocolate, also worth checking out), and 17th & Sansom. Sabrina's, however, is one of my favorites. The stuffed french toast is worth the walk/cab ride, and if you're going to be here on a weekday, there will be no wait at all.