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Aug 24, 2007 07:32 AM

New Yorker coming to Philly-- need recommendations

My girlfriend and I will be spending Labor Day weekend in Philly. We're staying at a b&b in the Rittenhouse area, but are looking to do some exploring. I've been to Philly a bunch, my mom grew up there, so I know the city fairly well. But I've never done much food exploring there, other than looking for cheesesteaks and hot pretzels. So, what should a foodie do with three days in Philly? Thanks for your help.

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  1. You'd have to hit Reading Terminal Market on preferably Saturday (they are closed on Labor Day and you'd miss the Amish merchants on Sunday). Best bets at the market are Dinic's for roast pork sandwiches, the Dutch Eating place for pancakes, Termini's for cannoli, and a soft pretzel from Fisher's. It puts the Chelsea Market to shame!

    Also you may want to go to the Italian Market for a day.

    Tinto is a new restaurant near Rittenhouse that is worth checking out as is the DiBruno's location on Chestnut St. for cheeses and provisions also close to where you are staying.

    1. I went to Philly from NYC a few weeks ago and had an incredible dinner at a Spanish restaurant called Amada. ( Get the Matador cocktail and the insalada de jamon, among many other tapas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: saltysnack

        I'd go to Tinto instead, Amada chef Jose Garces' newer place. It's closer to Rittenhouse, and I like the food better there than at Amada.

        If you have three dinners in Philly, I'd make them Ansill, Osteria, and Tinto. Hit the RTM for lunch.

      2. Try to take advantage of the huge BYOB scene right now in Philly. Among the best are Matyson, Mercato, Ava, and Mandoline. I'm sure there are others on the boards that can suggest more, these just happen to be my favorites. Go to and use their store locator to find a place to grab a bottle or two before dinner. These BYOBs have great food and you can certainly save some money by bringing your own booze.

        1. Where to begin? Near Rittenhouse Square is Matyson, one of the best BYOB's in the city; make a reservation in advance. Within a block or 2 of Rittenhouse Square are Brasserie Perrier, Le Bar Lyonnaise (downstairs at Le Bec Fin), Branzino, and Caffe Casta Diva, to name a few. Check the thread about dinner with a very attractive woman--lots of good suggestions there--and comb the other threads for some good ideas.

          1. I agree with the BYOBs. I like Django and Dimitris. Mercato is ok. Depends what kind of food you are in the mood for. If you can't do one of those though try Plough and the Stars or Restaurant Panorama and there is always The Continental.
            If you want Brunch go to Sabrinas, right by the Italian Market but get there early or call ahead/make a reservation!

            4 Replies
            1. re: littlecmad

              I enjoy having drinks at Plough and the Stars, and Ristorante Panorama (great wine flights), but I don't think the food at either can compare to many of the other places mentioned. I wouldn't say they're bad, exactly, but much better can be had, especially if the OP is only here for a weekend.

              I'll second Ansill (one of my favorites), Mandoline, and Le Bar Lyonnaise. Though I've only had apps at Brasserie Perrier, they were quite fine.

              1. re: gina

                For Italian I recommend Branzino and Casta Diva -- both BYOB's

                1. re: idia

                  2nd both of these. The 2 best Italian restaurants in Rittenhouse Square.

                2. re: gina

                  Brasserie Perrier isn't anything like any brasserie I think of, but the food is very good, and the wine list isn't half bad. The place, however, seems to be perpetually crowded, and if that's not the OP's cup 'o tea, that might not be the place to go. Moreover, while the food may be very good, it isn't anything so special that one can't get similar in a good NYC restaurant.