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Feb 13, 2009 01:45 PM

Visit to Phila

My softball team is planning a visit to Phila for a baseball game in July. We'll be about 8 people. Staying downtown in the stadium area

Would love to know the following:

1) A great place for breakfast
2) A signature place for Philadelphia for dinner price range to max out at around $75 per pp.
3) The best place for:
a) pizza
b) cheese steaks

And anything else that someone feels can't be missed on the trip

Thanks to all!!

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  1. Just an fyi, Philly is a not a pizza town. Lots of other staple foods, from scrapple to soft pretzels to roast pork sandwiches, but pizza isn't really one of ours.

    That said, there's some outstanding tomato pie in town if you're interested. Rich Nichols just did a write up on SLICE in south Philly.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Boognish

      What's the best place for a roast pork sandwich?

      1. re: grownup55

        John's Roast Pork is the best, but it is hard to get to. I would suggest DiNic's in the Reading Terminal.

        For a Philadelphia experience, I would suggest going to Marra's in south Philly. I think there pizza is good not great , and I don't really suggest ordering anything else there.

    2. which hotel are you at or address/intersection? downtown and stadium area are not the same thing, FYI. stadiums are deep in south philly, accessible by the broad street subway if you're staying in center city (downtown). will you have a car?

      for breakfast, a lot of people swear by honey's sit n eat (though it's neither in center city or near the stadiums). i think they are fine (just fine) for breakfast, but for other times of day i believe better meals can be found elsewhere. you said you have 8 people, which depending on the day of week could be a challenge really at any breakfast place in the city. morning glory and sabrina's are two popular south philly places, where again you'll find weekend lines, and i'm not convinced either is great. but those are the three of the most popular breakfasts in the city. depending on your schedule their hours might not work for you, and from either south philly or center city they're a bit out of the way in northern liberties, but my favorite brunch places (i'm usually not awake in the breakfasting hours!) in the city are cafe estelle and north 3rd.

      re: stuff you can't miss in philly... since you've got 8 people which could make a more formal dinner a bit of a challenge to orchestrate, i would suggest sampling our city's amazing array of gastropubs. my two current favorites are the prohibition taproon and standard tap. prohibition is new, and it's not in the greatest area of the city (though it is close to center city and with a group of 8 you'd be safe hoofing it), but the beer list there is outstanding as is the food. i went last night and had a really amazing seafood medley of monkfish, mussels, shrimp and clams in a white wine sauce. (it was a special, not on their regular menu) funny story, you can get the same dish at the other place i recommended, the standard tap (though their menu is always changing too) and it's excellent there as well. my favorite dish of 2009 so far! standard tap's been around forever and also boasts an amazing beer list. lots of local beers at both places; you can really get a flavor of philly that way. i pretty much recommend anything on tap by yards. i had their love stout after dinner last night which was just that (love).

      all these places tend to be a bit off the beaten path, so if you post where you're staying we can tell you the best way to get there, if you're interested.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rabidog

        Thaks rabidog, we're staying at the Holiday Inn in the Historic District does that help.


        1. re: grownup55

          I believe that is Old City. Willl you have a car or do you prefer to remain in that area?

          1. re: grownup55

            in that case, my suggestion for brunch at cafe estelle is actually very close; just north of you, a couple blocks past the bridge. it would be a 10-min walk up 4th st. definitely check their hours first if you're going to be out on the town early.

            also, you're about 5 blocks from chinatown, straight down arch heading towards 9th st. search the board for chinatown recs if you like ethnic food; my favorites are vietnam, vietnam palace, rangoon (burmese) and lee how fook (chinese).

            the two gastropubs i mentioned aren't far either, in two separate directions - NE to standard tap and NW to prohibition taproom. a cab ride would take 5 mins to either.

            for a more upscale dinner, raddichio (italian, BYOB) is two blocks north of you, but tiny so you'd probably need reservations waaaay in advance.

            1. re: rabidog

              I second Cafe Estelle, it's very good and within walking distance of the hotel.

              One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet as a can't-miss stop is Capogiro's gelato. There are two locations in the city.

              1. re: Buckethead

                Cafe Estelle is great and it's not too far of a walk (albeit not the nicest one) from your hotel. Another good option is the Dutch Eating Place at Reading Terminal Market. Honey's Sit and Eat and Morning Glory are good too but involve a long walk.

                Close to your hotel, good choices dinner-wise are Amada (tapas), Zahav (Israeli), or if you can handle a longer walk there are plenty of other choices.

                As far as pizza, I second Slice! and think Pietro's is decent. Once again, ordering pizza in Philly is akin to ordering a cheesesteak in Chicago. Speaking of cheesesteaks, most are over-hyped and mediocre at best. A much better option IMO is a roast pork sandwich with provolone and rabe from DiNic's in Reading Terminal.

                Gotta do gelato (esp. the bacio!) from Capogiro...

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  re: pizza in philly - that's a great way to put it. while slice is good for sure, it's not much of an eat-in place, is it? unless something's changed since i was there. yea, pietro's is decent and i also like mix in rittenhouse, but neither i'd consider real "destination" places.

                  yea, i suppose capogiro sounds good considering the OP is coming in july! i just can't bring myself to crave gelato in this cold.

                  1. re: rabidog

                    if you're from south philly, downtown is the stadiums. :) center city is the other thing (not that an out of towner would know any of this, so is good you directed them). other than that, i agree with most other things rabidog said....except as far as i know, radicchio doesn't take reservations and would be very tricky for a group of 8 and i love morning glory....prohibition taproom is great as is standard tap and gelato in the winter = why?

                    for my own recs, cheesesteaks - jim's is closest to you and they are definitely good, despite being a bit touristy and not the best in the city. i do like them though and grew up very close by. don't bother with pizza in philly, though slice is delicious for takeout and lorenzo's is an institution that people either love or HATE. you can also get a good brunch at beau monde (or dinner too) and the fitzwater cafe (small and some people don't like it, but i do, it is not special but it is very good).

                    for dinner, paxia and xochitl both have excellent mexican food, modern and a bit more upscale (xochitl being more expensive and they have a liquor license), chifa just opened and i am sure it will be outstanding (peruvian/cantonese food from one of philly's top chefs), positano coast is good for groups (not sure about pricing there anymore though), bridget foy's could be fun if you like american burger-y type places (i go about once a year and always enjoy it, though it is not really my thing), and i think i am done....oh, one more - mezza luna is very good for groups too, and while i used to love this place, the last time i went it was crap. the owner was not there, so maybe the cat was away and the mice were playing, but i still feel comfortable recommending it....