Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Mar 14, 2010 01:23 PM

Visiting next weekend ~ help with where to eat, please :)

Hi everyone! I'll be visiting next weekend w/ my beau and would love some suggestions on where to eat. Niether of us have ever been to Philly. We'll be staying at the Doubletree on South Broad in Center City. We'd prefer walking distance, but cabs are fine, too. We'll have Friday evening thru Sunday midday.

The only place that I think I really want to go so far is Ortlieb's for dinner, music and dancing. That's probably going to be Saturday. We love live music, which is how I found Ortlieb's ~ and was happily surprised that they have what looks like a great menu. How's the food? We can always go somewhere else for dinner and then head over for some music and dancing. Being from New Orleans, we'll probably be skipping the items on the menu that we can get here.

We both love Irish Pubs and there are two near the hotel that I've found ~ Fado's and Fergies. Which has better food and is more fun? Do both have music? We may go to one of them on Friday nite just to unwind from traveling.

Village Whiskey looks like a good place to have a couple of cocktails and nosh a bit. Reviews?

So, we're looking for somewhere for lunch on Saturday that's near Independance Hall (that's where the Liberty Bell is, oui?) b/c that's where most of the day will probably be spent. I'm thinking cheesesteak. Where's the best spot to go in that area? Also looking somewhere for brunch/breakfast on Sunday.

Other than the mentioned cheesesteak, is there anything that one just has to eat while in Philly?

And any suggestions for places that just can't be missed is very appreciated. Our schedule is flexible and not a single thing (other than hotel location) is set in stone ~ just a fun little getaway. :)

Merci Beaucoup!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ortlieb's is a pretty cool club but, although I haven't eaten there, there are restaurants within a few blocks are almost certainly much better, like Modo Mio (Italian), Koo Zee Doo (Portuguese), Bar Ferdinand (Spanish tapas), and Standard Tap (gastropub). Also there is not usually too much dancing at Ortlieb's when I have been there, the place is totally cramped so there is not really room for it. Still worth a visit for the music of course. Chris' Jazz Club in Center City is much closer to your hotel and although it has a bit less character, is worth checking out to see if you like the act better. But, again, no room for dancing, it is totally packed and the cover can be steep.

    Fergie's over Fado anytime--Fado is a cookie cutter Irish pub with a frat sort of crowd, and DJs playing loud dance music on the weekends. Fergie's has a much cooler neighborhood vibe. The food at both places is of the Cisco freezer-to-deep-fryer variety, and both are overpriced for beer and food IMO. Fergie's I think does have Irish music sometimes, but I don't think on the weekends. You might check out Time, which is right down the street from Fergie's. They have live jazz (usually progressive stuff) on the weekends and the food is pretty good, but also not cheap.

    Everybody loves Village Whiskey, but expect to wait for a seat. Nearby, Tria is also excellent for a bite and drink and little less crazy.

    The cheesesteak thing has been beaten to death and there are no "eliite" steaks in Old City. You should probably just go to Reading Terminal Market (a little bit of a walk) because it is definitely a "can't miss" and you can get a Roast Pork sandwich from DiNics which is better than most cheesesteaks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Thanks, barryg!!!

      I checked out Chris' website and that looks like a great place!! Not so sure about the menu, but I'm sure that there are plenty of places for dinner close by. We're not married to the idea of dinner and music at the same place, tho we do like it. ;)

      Thanks for the tip on the line at VW! The beau is *not* a fan of lines at all. Do you know if they take reservations? Tria looks yummy.

      As for Fergies and Fado's ~ it's all about the atmosphere. I'm not expecting a culinary delite. Gotta satisfy the standard fare desire that the boy has and all the better if it's an Irish Pub. I had a feeling that Fergies had a better vibe. Thanks for the confirmation! I think that's the better place to spend an evening at. I know that he's going to want to hit both, so I'm glad to know which is better for hanging out with a good crowd. I'd expect not too many frat boys on Sunday morning at Fado's. ;)

      As for the cheesesteak ~ after doing some reading on this board, I've realized it's like the po-boy debate here. No one agrees and really, everyone is right. We all enjoy different things. Not having been there b/f, we won't appreciate the little nuances of what makes a cheesesteak ideal, but we'll enjoy what we get, I'm sure! And I have been seriously considering DiNics instead of cheesesteak! Maybe we'll have one and I'll grab the other one for food on the plane. Can yu still do that? I don't want to be standing at the gate, choking on a sandwich b/c I have can't take it on the plane and can't let it go to waste! ;)

      1. re: FleurdeLis504

        You're right, skip the food at Chris'. Dunno about the plane stuff, but if you like neighborhoody kind of bars, you should hit Good Dog instead of Fado. It's pub food, but much better than average so I think you will both be happy. if you end up in Northern Liberties (where Ortlieb's is), Standard Tap also has a neighborhood pub vibe and great food.

    2. I'd recommend Black Sheep for a good Irish pub with better-than-average bar food. They make a mean Irish Breakfast so it's a good brunch pick.