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A month in Philly

Good afternoon to you all,

I'll be in Philly for most of February and some of March. I'm coming out from Seattle and will be working throughout the day but my evenings will be free. I'll be staying downtown and like to put some miles on my shoes though I'll also have a car available if there are some recommendations that require traveling. What I am looking for is a variety to keep me interested throughout the month. I'll have enough time to write my own best of cheesesteaks, pizzas, pork roast sandwiches, or any other dish that begs to be sampled from multiple venues. Any help or directions would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. had a fantastic 3 course italian meal at modo mia (I think it was $30). food was great, waiters very professional, plus it is byob which is a bonus. We didnt know so our waiter was kind enough to pay it forward with a 3/4 corked bottle of red left over from last night by someone. nice gesture and it was good wine and delish. Bread is homemade and crusty chewwy and great for sopping up one of their sauces. Go early in the month since I bet you will likely go back. Stay hungry my friend

    1. Sunday Brunch at Lacroix. Just amazing!

      1. Broad question. You'll get good suggestions here but you ought to read old threads on the board, particularly ones from visitors. Here's a couple to get you started:

        You also might want to follow some food blogs while you're here, or look over older posts. Check out:
        You'll get a lot of ideas by browsing those.

        3 Replies
          1. re: crazyspice

            Hit Reading Terminal Market, preferably on a Wednesday through Saturday when the Amish merchants are open (BTW Miller's Twist is now open on Monday and Tuesday) and before the Flower Show starts on March 5th. A good place to start your roast pork journey is DiNic's at the market. http://www.readingterminalmarket.org

            Also try places like Amada for tapas, Zahav for Israeli food (get the Mesibah to enjoy the lamb), Amis and Osteria for Italian (not the red gravy style mind you), pizzas at Zavino, gelato at Capogiro.

            1. re: bluehensfan

              I can't remember who steered me to DiNic's when I was there for the weekend but I still crave that damn sandwich 3 years later!

        1. Amada, Vetri, Le Bec Fin, Lacroix, Osteria, Fountain Room

          Han Dynasty, Morimoto...maybe Buddakan

          Food trucks at Penn, Tony Luke's, Pats Steaks,

          2 Replies
          1. re: gfweb1

            Thanks for all the help to start. So far I think I'll be searching out Paesano's, Termini Brothers, Amada, Monk's Cafe, Willage Whiskey, Vetri, Kanela, and the Han Dynasty (will have to order from the authentic menu as I just got back from Chengdu).

            Unfortunately work will keep me busy from 6:30am-6:30pm just about everyday I am there which will rule out the great looking brunch at Lacroix and the Market. Hopefully I'll be able to free up a bit of time for the Market.

            1. re: jgoran

              The Paesano's on 9th and Christian is relocating and temporarily closed, so depending on their time frame, you might have to visit their outpost on Girard Ave.

          2. I'd also recommend Rangoon for excellent Burmese food and Banana Leaf for excellent Malaysian food.

            1. We get to Philly every year(or every other) and travel a fair amount. Since the Ritz in SF stopped their insanely good Sunday brunch, we think LaCroix is the best we've had in the country. Dinner at Vetri and Le Bec Fin are not to be missed.

              1. I feel like the storefront BYOB is done better in Philly than anywhere else. Great food, low price point, cramped quarters.

                My favorite 10 BYOB's in Philly:

                Koo Zee Doo
                Blackfish (burbs)
                Modo Mio

                1. Thanks for all the suggestions so far, they will definitely help to fill the evenings. Any specific burger or pizza joints I shouldn't miss? Where should I look for the best Manhattan?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: jgoran

                    Burger: Village Whiskey, the Village Burger
                    Pizza: Osteria
                    Manhattan: Probably Southwark, though I can't personally vouch for that.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      Interestingly enough, we took some friends to Vetri a few years ago and someone ordered a Manhattan. He pronounced it one of the best he'd ever had.

                      1. re: Buckethead

                        Since you hinted you wanted to try the same thing many places,
                        so many good burgers, check out this: http://philadelphia.grubstreet.com/20... (I love sharing that link
                        )Pizza: for neopolitan also try Zavino. For NYC-style by the slice, Dolce Carini.
                        Manhattan, also try Ranstead Room, The Franklin, Noble, and Chick's

                        1. re: Buckethead

                          I can vouch for Southwark's Manhattan!

                        2. re: jgoran

                          Burgers- The Good Dog

                          Pizza - Rustica in NoLibs

                        3. pizza at zavino is great!

                          1. Since you have a car available, and most of the responses you have received have focused on Center City, and I agree with 99% of those given, I will offer a couple of options that require a little (very little) travel. For flatbreads please don't miss Earth Bread and Brewery on Germantown Ave in Mt. Airy. Totally worth a little gas and the 8 mile trek up the Drive, and West Mt Airy and Chestnut Hill are worth a visit. Go on a Saturday afternoon and stroll the shops in Chestnut Hill, visit Penzy's Spices (I live on Shallot Pepper and Northwoods Fire), and don't miss Cake and The Night Kitchen for sweets, then have some lovely flatbreads, fabulous beers, and order the seed pizza...trust me (and other Hounds on the board). Go a little further west and stop at Blue Fin (BYOB) in Plymouth Meeting or Osaka in Chestnut Hill for amazing sushi, or From the Boot (BYOB) in Lafayette Hill for terrific Italian. Most importantly, have a great time. We love to share our city, and I hope all goes well for whatever business brings you here!

                            Oh, and to support previous posts...Matyson...DO NOT MISS MATYSON! And venture to Northern Liberties for Las Cazeulas...DO NOT MISS for amazing authentic Mexican in a BYOB.

                            1. Thanks for all the suggestions I've been enjoying them all so far. The trip actually got pushed off from February to April. I've been here a little over two weeks now and have been making my way through the list. So far I've dined at Amada, Zahav, Osteria, Han Dynasty, Monk's, Termini Brothers, Village Whiskey, Steve's Prince of Steaks, Parc, JG Domestic, Banana Leaf, Fish, Adsum, and Chifa. I believe my last day here may line me up for a brunch at La Croix. I've got two and a half weeks left so I think I should be able to clear off most of the list.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: jgoran

                                Reserve now for the brunch at Lacroix. It can be a tough seat (especially around Mother's Day).

                                1. re: jgoran

                                  Amongst other posters, the ones you need to go to. Bibou, ModoMio, The Dandelion, and IMHO the best sandwich in town, Nick's roast beef 'drowned', maybe my fav sandwich worldwide.

                                  1. re: jgoran

                                    Wow. You are eating really well!

                                    1. re: jgoran

                                      Totally impressed. Just a few, I didn't see mentioned: Pod on Penn's campus (easy valet parking, fun atmosphere and interesting fusion cuisine), Horizon in Bella Vista for incredibly original gourmet vegetarian food. The chef was named one of the city's best. It's a BYO. And, another BYO favorite of ours, Radicchio on 4th St just south of Springarden. If you go to Modo Mio, make sure it is during the week. The food is wonderful, but it is just about the noisiest restaurant I have ever been in.

                                      1. re: middleagedfoodie

                                        Horizons is awesome, it's actually vegan though, and has a bar.

                                      2. re: jgoran

                                        paesano's, for the love of god! and manakeesh in west philly!