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May 27, 2010 12:37 PM

Visit to Philly, staying at Market Street Marriott Downtown

In two weeks, I will pay my first visit to Philadelphia and hopefully will leave the same weight I came (but am being realistic about the potential of this not happening.) I'm really hoping there will be some amazing affordable food within walking distance of this hotel, and I'll also be with my family, who are not quite as adventurous eaters as I am so anything that's a crowd-pleaser would be good.

We're looking for casual sit-down places, definitely have to try a cheesesteak or any other must-have sandwiches, we love Italian, Chinese, and would love to try some things I can't get in DC that are very native to Philly. The only thing is that we don't want to spend too much money and we want to be an easy walk from the hotel. Any tips?

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  1. How many days/meals will you be here for? Your hotel is a block from the Reading Terminal Market, you should get over there at least a few times during your trip.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      oh gosh sorry forgot to include those details, getting in friday night and leaving monday morning. so dinner friday night, BLD saturday and sunday and breakfast monday.

      1. re: Buckethead

        what are some good vendors to visit at the market? i'm usually looking for pickles and pickled vegetables, interesting cheeses and wines, baked goods are OK but i'm not much one for sweets...

        1. re: littlew1ng

          You aren't going to find any interesting wines during your stay, I'm afraid. One of my favorite cheese vendors in the city is in the RTM though, Downtown Cheese. You're also right next to Chinatown, so you can get your Chinese fix there. I'd recommend Rangoon (Burmese), I don't think you can get that in DC. We have a few dim sum places but I'm not a huge fan of any of them personally.

          Some other musts at the RTM include a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone from DiNics and ice cream at Bassett's. The pretzels at Millers Twist are pretty good too.

          I don't know what 'too much money' means to you, but Mercato is a good Italian place that's not too far away. So is Zavino (they claim to be a pizza place, but their pastas are the best thing on the menu). One of the best restaurants in the city is Kanella, which is also not that far away. I can't help too much regarding breakfast and lunch, I'm not in center city during the day very often. Kanella does lunch on the weekend though, if you'd rather not spend the money on dinner there I'd encourage you to go for lunch, it's cheaper and the food is just as good.

          Also, at some point (or several points) you need to stop by Capogiro at 13th and Sansom for gelato.

          1. re: littlew1ng

            Pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place and the roast pork sandwich at DiNic's with broccoli rabe and provolone at Reading Terminal Market are must haves. Just be sure to get the breakfast on Saturday (the Amish merchants at the market (Miller's Twist included) are only open Wednesday through Saturday.

            1. re: littlew1ng

              In the Market by the 12th and Arch corner is a large pickle vendor - PA dutch - barrels of various types of pickles and pickled things. Going toard the middle of the market there is another PA dutch vendor with lots of jarred pickles, chow chow, etc.

          2. A Philly Landmark you shouldn't miss is McGillin's Olde Ale House. Can be a bit tricky to find b/c it's on a back street b/t Chestnut & Sansom and 13th & Juniper, but definitely worth the effort and a short walk from the Marriott, maybe 3 blocks. Good food, reasonable prices, the friendliest staff and great beer selections. They do L & D 7 days a week and Brunch on Sat. & Sun. and is great for groups. A fun place!
            At least go for a beer and soak up some Philly history.


            1. Take a walk down 13th Street (headed south, from your hotel) for all kinds of great options... many of which are money-saving BYOBs. Definitelty check out Sampan-- not a BYOB, but great contemporary Asian.

              1 Reply
              1. re: xtian

                p.s. if you do one of the BYOBs (definitely something unique to philly!!) one of the city's best wine stores is a block south of your hotel on chestnut between 12th and 13th.

              2. definitely the reading terminal market. we could suggest vendors til we're blue in the face, but every visitor i've taken there is so overwhelmed by the place that they often mostly just walk and gape without a real plan. today while shopping for produce i stopped at the thai vendor for a red curry, delicious. a few days ago i made a meal of a gigantic carrot-banana-strawberry smoothie from the 4 seasons juice bar. time before that, i think it was an old city coffee coupled with a termini bros cupcake. and i usually can't leave without buying something from the amish, be it the lemonade or the pretzel or if i'm lucky, the pancakes at the dutch eating place.

                i'm also a big fan of steering people off the beaten path, and if you're staying at the marriott you're not far off from two of my favorites. :) i'm a huge fan of brunch at cafe lift on 13th st (about four blocks north, though i think you have to walk up 12th til you get past the convention center construction). everything i've had on their brunch menu wows me, though i'm a sucker for the frittatas for the most part. a half-block up and across the street, still on 13th, is the prohibition taproom which has an awesome beer selection and some great food. love their green beans, and the frisee salad with potatoes. the two restos are owned by (i believe) the same people.

                definitely check out chinatown... coming from DC myself (years ago) i was overwhelmed by the size of philly's chinatown in comparison. the lentil fritters at rangoon are awesome. i know y'all have some amazing vietnamese food in DC's suburbs, but our offerings here aren't bad either. i like vietnam on 11th.