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Aug 27, 2007 04:09 PM

4 free hours in Philly

My daughter & I will be in Philadelphia over Labor Day for a wedding. We'll have about 4 hours on Sunday before we need to be at the airport to head back to California. Neither of us is a beef eater, so no Philly steaks. However, we'd like to find something regional that is unique to the area. We'll be staying in the northeast area of Philadelphia, but we'll have a rental car. Any suggestions?


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  1. If you can possibly get yourself to Center City (could be quite a drive from the Northeast, but vaguely on the way to the airport anyway), I really recommend stopping in at Capogiro for some gelato. They have two locations, both in Center City. They are not exactly classic "Philly" food, but they are well on their way to being so. Very high quality, authentic (from what I'm told), handmade small batch gelato from local seasonal ingredients. It really is terrific. You can check out their website here:

    1. Get a soft pretzel from a vendor in Center City.

      1. In the Northeast there is an interesting place called the Philly Crab and Steak House on Grant Avenue (a small ways to the east of Roosevelt Blvd across from the Northeast Philly airport), semi-upscale, done up in really weird dark decor, but serving very good seafood (beyond the crab). Maybe something to try, as long as you're in the neighborhood, which is pretty much a black hole of wasted potential as far as food goes.

        In Mayfair (of all places) there is an interesting French restaurant at which I've had positive experiences. It's on Cottman Avenue just west of Frankford Avenue. Now I can't remember the name of the restaurant. Hounds, please assist!

        There is a French-Mexican restaurant named Paloma on Castor Av, not too far from the Oxford Circle. It's rumored to be good, but I haven't tried it.

        In the Great Lower Northeast there's always Tacconelli's pizza, on Richmond Avenue. Expensive but delicious. But expensive.

        (These really don't count as regional specialites, except for the 'za.)

        1. Paloma, mentioned by Dedicated is good. I would really suggest making the drive to cc - it is on the way to the airport - and going to the Reading Terminal Market - walk around, buy something at the PA General Store (Amish won't be there Sunday), get a Bassetts Ice cream cone or dish (I love capogiro, but Bassetts IS "Philadelphia Style Ice Cream". Take a look at other lunch offerings there - peppers and eggs sandwiches, seafood, vegetarian, Indian, etc - in the oldest continuously operating market in America. Decide to come back when you have more time. If you park at the garage at 12th and Arch, and spend 10 in the market, parking for up to 2 hours is only three bucks! Enjoy!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Bigley9

            Thanks, y'all, for the tips. Is it crazy to think of going to South Philly to check it out? However, the Reading Terminal Market sounds like a great place to explore. We're looking forward to visiting your city!

            1. re: deltagirl

              Not at all. If you are driving from NE Philly to the airport, you'd take I-95 South which will take you right past South Philly, so it is on your way.

              1. re: deltagirl

                The Italian Market is open on Sunday until about 2 or 3 and would make an interesting stop (9th street between Christian and Washington for most stores/stands, below Washington another 2 blocks are the infamous Pats and genos steak shops) Not sure what is open on East Passyunk on Sunday (a little further south - all this is heading toward the airport) And then there is the Melrose Diner at Passyunk and 15th "evrybody who knows goes to Melrose", even Philadelphians who have never been there can sing the jingle. Keep in mind that the Reading Terminal Market is only 1 mile from the Italian Market - in 4 hours you could do it all!

                1. re: deltagirl

                  don't go to reading on Sunday. It is open - but only about 1/5 of the booths are open so really not worth the trip on sundays!

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