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Jan 3, 2007 10:46 PM

One Day in Philly


I'm doing one day (and night) in Philly. Never been. Want a good food sampling while I'm there. Staying at the Sofitel and do not have a car. First time poster, so I'll apologize and thank you all in advance if the questions have been addressed here ad nauseum. but looking for any good suggestions.

1. Looking for the best cheesesteak lunch (think Shake Shack of cheesesteaks), doesn't have to be the known joints, just want the tastiest.

2. Looking for a medium upscale dinner, but a relaxed kind of place. Not interested in big theme joints like Buddakan or Morimoto just good food in a fun environment (think Blue Ribbon).

3. Looking for tasty down home brunch/ breakfast (meat and potatoes kind of breakfast)


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  1. 1. Check the board for many, many heated posts on the best cheesteak. I'm not going to get into this one.

    2. Why not try Porchini, La Viola, or one of the many other BYOBs within a few blocks of the Sofitel?

    3. Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market sounds like exactly what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cruz

      Thanks, I figured the cheese steak request was pretty played out. I'll check the boards. Thanks for the other recommendations.

    2. I'd pass on the Down Home Diner at the Reading Terminal Market and go to the Dutch Eating Place there (which is open Wednesdays through Saturdays). I have never had a good meal at the Down Home Diner but eat weekly at the Dutch Eating Place, which has great pancakes, scrapple and the like. My sentiment towards the Down Home Diner seems to be echoed by places like Citysearch and the like unfortunately. Sorry for the bad news, just don't want to give Philly a bad name! PS - The Sofitel is great...ask for a room overlooking Liberty Place for the best view.

      3 Replies
        1. re: bluehensfan

          I've got to agree that the Down Home Diner is just awful. We used to go to Jack's Firehouse quite often and really liked it, but the Down Home Diner has disappointed us each time we've decided to give it another shot. But the Dutch Eating Place is always good.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            went to the Dutch Eating Place for the first time two weeks ago. Pancakes and home fries were awesome and I found myself longingly looking at someone else's grits.

          2. For dinner, I would see if you can get a reservation at Pumpkin or Matyson, two great BYO restaurants within walking distance. If not, you could always try Melograno or Caffe Casta Diva, two of Philly's better Italian byo's.

            Be sure to have a drink/light bite at Tria, which specializes in wine/beer/cheese, which is on the same block as the Sofitel.

            1. Don't leave Philly without going to Matyson.

              4 Replies
                1. re: joluvscards

                  Booked! What's the deal with all of these BYOB restuarants? Do they just not give out a lot of liquor licenses in Philly? Not complaining, just curious.

                  1. re: hominaray

                    There are a fixed number of liquor licenses across Pennsylvania, allocated according to population. They can be sold or transferred and they cost around $200-250K. So many restaurants can't or won't afford that cost plus insurance etc., or there just aren't any available at a given time. So a large number of BYOB is the result.

                    1. re: hominaray

                      I was referring to Matyson specifically. Like any fabulous restaurant, byo or not, they book up early, particularly on weekends.

                2. Never been, but there's this Snackbar place not too far from the Soiftel that just opened a few months ago that seems to be a foodie haven. Weird combinations apparently but have never been there so can't comment. Or how about Amada , Ansill or Lolita ?

                  You may want to try a roast pork sandwich at DiNic's (if you're at the Reading Terminal Market while you're here (although assuming you're from NYC there is a Tony Luke's up there)...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bluehensfan

                    I've been to snackbar a couple times, it's good but not as good as Ansill.