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Philly: A week in town + food near the Wachovia Center?

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Hello! We (2 adults) will be in Philly for a week and are seeing concerts at the Wachovia center. The concerts all begin at 7:30, so we need either a conveniently located restaurant near the Wachovia center or somewhere within a short driving distance from there that serves food early, as we will need to sit down to eat at around 5pm.

Something casual such as good pizza, low key italian, mexican, or a good pub would be great as we will be in casual clothing. We have four nights of this, and are hoping to be able to eat some good food before the shows. Any recommendations?

Also, any recommendations for something truly Philly inspired that we should check out while we are in town? We have not been to Philly before and are excited to experience the city!

Are there any good brunch or lunch spots we should check out?

We also hope to visit the Amish country. We have no place in particular planned yet, and food recommendations might guide us here! Thoughts on good restaurants in Amish country?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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  1. There really isn't that much near Wachovia Center. The closest places worth visting are Chickie's & Pete's (monster sports bar and a Philly institution, known for its "crab fries"). Also in the same complex as Chickie's is Celebre's Pizza, which is excellent, and a location of Termini's Bakery (great cannolis).

    1. If you come up Broad Street a litle further to Oregon Ave, you can go to Criniti's for good Italian and they are open all afternoon so you can definitely eat at 5 PM.

      http://www.crinitirestaurant.com/

      1. L'Angolo at 1415 Porter, just off Broad is close and opens at 5 - a great Italian BYOB. Search thi sboard for reviews!

        1. All good recs so far. Here are some additional ideas on the way to Wachovia Center and also near the subway that runs down there. All are casual.

          South Philly Taproom. Very good and creative pub food, great beer list.

          Cantina Los Cabailltos, Mexican-themed gastropub. Good food, not Tex-Mex but sort of a Yuppie twist on authentic fare. Make sure to check the specials board.

          Marra's. Old-school Italian brick oven pizzeria. Skip most of the menu; get house salads and pizza (many like ordering it well done).

          Fuel. This is new place that just opened along the same strip. The idea is fresh salads/sandwiches/small plates etc with all menu items under 500 calories. I haven't been there but it looks pretty good and it may be a nice place to turn if 4 nights of dining out starts to take its toll on your waistline.

          As far as Philly inspired, assuming you mean about food, don't miss Reading Terminal Market. If you have time get to the 9th Street Italian Market, too. I also highly recommend a hoagie at Sarcone's or Primo's if you're around during lunchtime for some real Philly flavor (better than 90% of cheesesteaks, guranteed).

          1. Since you've never been to Philly, you'll have to try a cheesesteak. Talk Of The Town,on Broad Street a few blocks north of the Wachovia Center, has a very underrated cheesesteak. It is very small with limited parking,though.