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Two lunches and one dinner in Philly

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Hi all - I'm headed to Philly Tuesday to see a concert. My partner and I will be staying at The Independent. My gameplan is lunch on Tuesday in an area nearby the hotel where we can window shop afterward we eat. Then, I was thinking an early dinner and drinks before heading to the Wachovia Center that night. I'd like a brasserie-type restaurant with a lot of energy that offers great wine and mid-price food. Lastly, we want to spend Wendesday in a fun area where we can eat lunch, linger, watch people and then walk around for a while. Any and all suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!

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  1. Not going to get into specific restaurant recommendations, but here are some neighborhood ideas.

    The stretch of 13th Street between Walnut and Chestnut (around the corner from the hotel) has some good restaurants, bars, and shopping (some places on Sansom right by there, too). Not a huge strip, and not sure what's open for lunch, but definitely check it out. Make sure you get gelato at Capogiro.

    For Wednesday, I recommend strolling down Walnut Street to Rittenhouse Square. Great shopping and people watching. If it's a nice day, there is some good al fresco on the park.

    1. I have no idea where the independent is but Zinc is a good bistro. http://www.zincbarphilly.com/

      1. For Wednesday, I would suggest maybe going down to Old City. They have a wonderful variety of places and I feel like it has a more laid-back environment. And there's a lot of cute shops! Plus, you could always take a trip to Penns Landing or South St. (it's a bit of a hike, but if you want some exercise...)

        Anyway, I like Mexican Post and Joe's Peking Duck House. They are both located on Chestnut St. between 2nd and Front Sts. and have some great food for cheap prices.

        1. Parc is the ultimate French brasserie with a buzzing atmosphere. I have eaten at Zinc too. It is much smaller & a bit more expensive than Parc. Yould could also consider the Caribou Cafe (same owners as Zinc but less pricey).

          1. Where's the Independent? I've never heard of it. Parc is the new big brasserie here. It's right across from Rittenhouse Square so it's a perfect place to people-watch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lawgirl3278

              Hi all - thanks so much for the recs! The Independent is located at 1234 Locust St. and is fairly new. I believe it opened in August '08. I'll report back!

            2. I think Valanni would fit your requirements - lot of energy, good drinks, small and large plates. It's on Spruce between 12th and 13th. That's one block away; Spruce is parallel to Locust one block south. You can walk by and look at the menu. Mediterranean/Continental.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sylviag

                I was also going to suggest Valanni. Another place right in that neighborhood (corner of 12th & Spruce) is Tria, which is a wine bar. They have a good selection of wine, beer, and lots of cheese and other small plates. It's a great place for a light dinner, and usually has very good people watching. I also highly recommend Capogiro (13th & Sansom) for some of the best gelato anywhere.


                The Rittenhous area is a great idea for lunch. Parc is fun. More scene-y than great food, but it's decent French fare. Tinto in that area is also very nice or, for more downscale, Good Dog or Monks Cafe for great burgers, mussels and beer.

                The Rittenhouse area is

                1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                  Hi everyone - so, we ended up with two lunches and no dinner because we had such a late lunch our first day. We were actually there Wednesday and Thursday (sorry, my post had stated Tuesday). It rained ALL DAY Wednesday which ruined the opportunity to stroll around the neighborhood. Initially, we tried to eat at Tria and then Vintage but both were closed during lunch hours. Therefore, we ducked into El Vez which turned out to be good. Although we didn't get a great bottle of wine, we still enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. We shared the Bazooka guacamole which we loved and I had the black bean enchiladas which were delicious but I had filled up so much on chips that I couldn't finish my meal. We lingered for a few hours and really enjoyed ourselves.

                  We had lunch at Parc Thursday afternoon. Great recommendation! We strolled down Walnut late morning into lunchtime before ending at Parc. It was quite busy for such a large space and an early weekday lunch. Although the menu was typical for a French bistro, the restaurant didn't phone in the food. It was prepared wonderfully with beautiful, well-dressed salads to start and well-prepared entrees. My omelette was light and fluffy with just the right amount of gruyere and thyme. Also, the bread basket was excellent. I'm partial, though - I love a bread basket. The fruit and nut bread was my favorite.

                  So, we're already discussing when we're headed back to Philly for an overnight. We're thinking Le Bec Fin and Valanni next tme. Thoughts?