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24 Hours in Philadelphia Center City

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Hi...Heading to Phila tomorrow afternoon for only 24 hours (I am from NYC) to see the two worst teams in basketball play eachother. I am looking for a few places for good eats. We are staying in the Downtown Marriott on 12th and Market. We wanted to try a really good cheesesteak for a late lunch tomorrow (around 3pm), and were trying to figure out where to go where we didn't have to eat the sandwich in the car (since its freezing right now)...and are looking for a really cool dinner spot (good wine and not too pricey/dressy) for after the game (so late nite)...I am going with my husband and we are in our 30's so we don't have to venture to the trendiest spot in town but want to be relatively close to the hotel or a place where the parking isn't a nightmare...I heard that Phila has some great BYOB spots any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We were also thinking of going to Reading Terminal Market on Saturday (is that a good idea?)...Thank you!!!!

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  1. Two suggestions for cheesesteaks would be Jim's in Queen Village. It is located at 4th and South and they do have seating inside. This is a good walk or a quick cab ride from where you are staying. Another option is to go to the Reading Terminal which is within walking distance of your hotel and have a cheesteak there. I'd suggest Amada for tapas for dinner if you can get a reservation. It is again a good walk or a quick cab ride away from your hotel. Reading Terminal is fun, but will be pretty busy on Saturday. Hope you have a good time here.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DaisyM

      Thanks, do you know anything about John's Roast Pork...it keeps getting press on boards and I was wondering your thoughs?

      1. re: gremlin608

        John's Roast Pork is arguably one of the best Roast Pork and Cheesesteak places in the city. The problem is that it is open 7 am to 2 or 3 pm, Monday thru Friday and some Saturdays. I would have suggested it to you, but there is no indoor seating - it is a small shack by the railroad tracks (freight, thus the hours - breakfast and lunch for dock/warehouse workers.) That said, if the heat works in your car, or if you can drive quickly back to your hotel (about 3 miles) it is worthit!

        1. re: gremlin608

          IMO, John's makes the best cheesesteak (and roast pork sandwich) in the city. But you would have to drive there, they would most likely be closed by 3:00PM, and you would have to eat the sandwich in your car (no inside seating).

          In addition to all of the recommendations so far, I would strongly urge you to go to Capogiro (13th and Sansom, which is right around the corner from your hotel) for some GREAT gelato. I know that it's only 30 degrees outside, but you don't want to miss this stuff...

          http://www.capogirogelato.com/main.html

      2. Reading Terminal is a great idea. Rick's Steaks in the market has good cheesesteaks and a seating area right there, and the Market is steps away from your hotel. There may be other cheesesteaks close to the Marriott but I am not a real big cheesesteak eater so someone will have to help me out on that one. If you venture to the market on Saturday, hit the Dutch Eating Place for pancakes, Fisher's for soft pretzels, and Termini's for cannoli, and DiNic's for roast pork sandwiches (the healthy cheesesteak alternative that Philly embraces but does not get as much press as the cheesesteak).

        As far as dinner, Lolita (a BYO) is a few blocks away to the south and there are plenty of good choices if you want a farther walk towards either Rittenhouse Square (like Estia for very fresh grilled fish or Matyson (another BYO) or a number of places in Old City.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bluehensfan

          Thanks for the BYO info I will definitely check out all of the options you suggested on line!!!! Also Great info on Reading Terminal Market I love cannoli's and plan to bring a cooler to stock up on perishables. I see from some of the boards that Rick's steaks aren't great so I am nervous about doing those....my husband is dying to get the best cheesesteak.

          1. re: gremlin608

            Another place to check out is the Naked Chocolate Cafe, about three blocks south of the Marriott. Wickedly good hot chocolate and other treats! http://www.nakedchocolatecafe.com

            1. re: bluehensfan

              Thats right up my alley!!!! I will be there today!!!

              1. re: gremlin608

                If you go for the hot chocolate, get it European style. The Aztec version is very good. Also, teh frozen drinks are great (but a bit out of season). Decent cupcakes too, a notch or two below Magnolia.

        2. I think Philly's best cheesesteak comes from Jims at 4th and South - which has seating upstairs, but is not necessarily super close to your hotel but as with most things in Philly - not that far really. But if you to the RTM I'd definitely second having a DiNic's roast pork sandwich, doesn't get the national attention like the cheesesteak does but probably a close tie for locals' fave sandwich.
          As for after the game - I like Valanni which is on 12th and Spruce (definitely walking distance) and they serve til 1am : http://www.valanni.com/index.cfm

          2 Replies
          1. re: smackdown

            Vallani looks so good!!!! How is the BYO spot next door and is Valanni close to the Marriott?

            1. re: gremlin608

              The BYO across the street is Mercato and is excellent -as well as connected with Valanni (same owners), although I'm not sure how late they serve food. Valanni and Mercato are about a 5 block walk south from the Marriott on 12th and Market

          2. Tony Luke's at Front and Oregon has great steaks - the original stand is draped with heavy plactic so you can dine there or go across the street to their sports bar.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bigley9

              Is that far from Center City? Is there parking around there and is Tony Lukes better than John's Roast Pork which has gotten much press on the Boards?

              1. re: gremlin608

                I'm not all that sure that John's or Tony Luke's is worth the trip there if you are pressed for time, seeing as DiNic's is right across the street from you. By the way, (in an unrelated manner) do check out the holiday light show at Macy*s...a Philly tradition.

            2. For dinner I reccomend Tria and Matyson.

              1. mercato for dinner on 12th and spruce--its very close to you and has great food, also pretty cozy and you can go casual. cash only! many byos in philly are cash only, so be sure to check before you go

                www.mercatobyob.com

                1. For a cheesesteak or any other italian sandwich, i'd recommend Campos. its on third and market in old city, so under a15 minute walk from where you are staying. Its a nice walk and you'll be able to see Independence Hall, etc. on your walk. Nice family run place, good service, good sandwiches. If staying at the RTM definitely hit DeNic's for a roast pork sandwich, i'd skip Rick's, there are much better cheesesteaks to be had.

                  1. Thank you all for your advice!!!! We had a blast in Philly! Jim's cheesesteaks were yummy, and Naked Chocolate ROCKS!!! That european hot choclate was incredible. Lolitas was delicious and we had so much fun at Reading Terminal Market.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gremlin608

                      Glad you liked Philly and come back and visit soon!