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ISO recs for first time visitors to Philadelphia

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My family and I will be all over Philadelphia for a week and we will need to stop and eat at some point. We range from the non-adventurous (mom) to adventurous (me) and we span 18 - 50 years old. Ethnic food is probably out (by ethnic, i mean stuff like Thai and Indian, not the relatively "safe" ethnic foods like Mexican and iIalian.) Also, we're not drinkers so places that aren't necessary. We like hole in the walls and off the beaten path stuff, so feel free to recommend non-touristy spots. Any help would be awesome. I've already gotten some great ideas from just reading this board, but I welcome any other must-eats comments.

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  1. It would be helpful to know where you are staying, what you plan to be doing, how you're getting around, and what places already caught your eye.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      we'll have a car. I'm not entirely sure where we're staying, but i know we're doing all the historical stuff, library, etc. We're plenty touristy when it comes to the attractions but not so much when it comes to the food. I know we're going to Reading Terminal Market, but other then that, we're wide open. I'm on the hunt for the best roast pork. And good coffee.

    2. Right geekerella, lots of good stuff here on this board already. One sure shot, if times matchup, is the Reading Terminal Market. The choices there are endless and most often very good. With a bit more info barryg always has good suggestions. Welcome, enjoy eating Philly!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bacchus101

        I second the Reading Terminal Market recommendation. Best done on Wednesday through Saturday when the Amish merchants are open. And they don't do dinner... http://www.readingterminalmarket.org

        1. re: bluehensfan

          Depending on interest you might find the italian market interesting, as well as things like the farmers market at Headhouse Square where there are things like amazing sausage sandwiches to eat.

          Search for threads about Reading terminal, cheap eats, BYOs (especially since you do not require alcohol,) gastropubs (not because you want the beer but because these places do innovative food at a lower price point and often in a more casual setting... ).

          For looking at fine dining search for discussions of Stephen Starr restaurants, Marc Vetri restaurants, and Jose Garces restaurants.. among others. But definitely get back with more information and barryg will plan your itinerary for you.

          1. re: cwdonald

            Thanks guys, I appreciate the input.

            1. re: geekerella

              For an anazing coffe break or early afternoon snack go to Homemade Goodies by Roz on S. 5th Street between Lomard and South.. I was there this mornign and got a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting that was sooo good - yummy frosting and super moist cake that belive it or not contains NO dairy! Only $2.50 and LARGE too. So, so good. i also bought an apple cake for tonight - the aroma is making me want to break open the box NOW:)!
              My husband loves the raspberry bars - very good too.
              Iti s an amazing little place, has seating ( a nice touch ) and is Kosher too.
              Do give it a try - you will not be sorry. it is so good there.
              Have a wonderful trip and enjpy our wonderful city - it is a great place!
              I .

      2. If overhyped and overpriced is not your thing, I would recommend staying away from Stephen Starr. His themed restaurants all just seem cheesy and overdone, food portions are tiny and expensive, etc. Not to say the food doesn't taste good though.

        Delicious "off the beaten path" Italian food: Try L'ongolo (1415 West Porter Street). Make a reservation because its a VERY tiny BYOB, but it's really something to write home about. Radicchio Cafe (402 Wood Street) is another great Italian BYOB, closer to where you will be.

        For a good, quick lunch in the area where you will be: Try SOHO pizza (218 Market St); not sure where you are from, but pizza in Philly is lacking. This place is the answer. Khyber Pass Pub (56 South 2nd Street) is right in that area, I know you're not drinkers, but they have great bbq food anyway (their fried chicken is also amazing).

        1. You'll find delicious Italian and mexican spots in the Italian mkt

          the taquerias are great (search the board for the best ones) and I've recently fallen in love w monsu- Sicilian at 9th and christian. Would even recommend stopping in for brunch

          for coffee, I like elixr at 15th and walnut. Have also gotten some excellent lattes at old city coffee in reading terminal market