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Jun 16, 2011 07:10 AM

Philly July 4th weekend

We'll be in Philly the July 4th weekend, actually leaving on the 4th to come home. We are going for my husband's 60th. There will be 7 of us ranging in age from 21 to 60. We are staying at The Doubletree on South Broad.

My husband and I have been to Philly a number of times and those trips do tend to center around dining. We've eaten at Amada, Tinto, Le Bec Fin, Monks, Tria, Parc, Rouge to name some.

This trip will be a bit differant as there are a group of us and some of them are very fussy eaters, meaning that rules out a lot of ethnic restaurants. Also they don't have as much money to spend.

Saturday will start with lunch at the Reading Market. Something for everyone there. I figure maybe on Saturday we'll wander the Rittenhouse area, hitting up local bars and eating snacks as we go, mussels here, cheese plate there, burger at the next bar.

We've never been to the South Street area, would that be a good option for us? My husband loves beers so beer bars are always an option.

Also looking for a place, with a liquor license to have dinner on Sunday. I was thinking maybe Parc, but also like the looks of some of the gastropub type of places like South Philly Tap room or Pub and Kitchen though I've never been to either.

Also thinking of going to the ice cream festival on Penn's Landing if that is worth it and then hitting up places in Old City. I am not that familiar with that area either.

So basically looking for help on some dining suggestions and great places to hang out, have fun, and get some good beers.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. On South Street I would head to Brauhaus Schmitz, which is our best source for german beers in the CIty along with well prepared Bavarian Style cooking. Also in that area Chick's Wine Bar is a great place for nice cocktails and light food.

    In Center City consider Good Dog which has nice burgers, and has good microbrew selection.

    Khyber Pass in Old City does have a nice beer selection, and does some great Cajun food. Eulogy is similar to Monks and is in the Old City area and has good belgian beers.

    Two brewpubs which are good not great; Triumph in Old City (across from Eulogy) and Noddinghead in Center City are other sources for good fresh beer. Noddinghead is known for their Berliner Weiss which if you like that style makes it worth seeking out. Also next door to Noddinghead is the Oyster House. Good seafood and some nice cocktails.

    Stella which is a Stephen Starr restaurant is right there at Headhouse Square (at the end of south street) and does a very nice thin style pizza, and has some decent beers. Similar type restaurants in the Center City area are Zavino and Barbuzzo (they are right next to each other on 13th street.)

    Only other caution is that you are in Philadelphia during the Welcome America weekend.. it will be packed. Have a great celebration.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cwdonald

      Good suggestions and make dinner reservations as soon as you can.

      If hubby likes American microbrews, Khyber has among the best draft lists in the city. Varga Bar (10th & Spruce) also has a great American draft list. The food is better at Khyber though. Both have significantly better drafts than Good Dog in my experience and again food at Good Dog is not as good as Khyber (with the notable exceptions of their famous stuffed burger and fries).

      I'd keep Parc in the snack realm; I enjoy the atmosphere and cheese/charcuterie very much but have been very disappointed with the other food. It is a great place for a drink or snack.

      Just off of South Street, Southwark has great food and cocktails. A little farther south, Catahoula on Front St has excellent New Orleans food and a nice outdoor area. Really good burger, too. I think the Po' Boys are way better than the ones at Khyber. You'll walk through more of a residential area on the way to Catahoula but if you've seen other parts of the city, the area is very nice and could be a pleasant change of pace.

    2. Think about Dandelion for your Sunday dinner. Good beers, interesting foods in a range of prices, and they take reservations.

      9 Replies
      1. re: urbanfabric

        I wouldn't have picked the July 4th weekend to come except this way no one had to take off from work.

        On Sunday I think we'll be in the Old City area, I took a look at the menu at Khyber Pass and it looks interesting, not pricey at all, and the beer selection is awesome. Plus they have Miller Lite for my sisters. I may make reservations for dinner there for Sunday.

        The Dandelion is on our list of places to go. I've read good and so so reviews. First saw it on Best Thing I Ever Ate on TV, they did the fish and chips. My husband tends to order fish and chips out a lot and the place intrigued him. Maybe we'll go on Saturday. Have to decide if we want to do a dinner or just wander and pick. With the crowds making a reservation for dinner might be a better way to go.

        It's not far from Capogiro which is always a plus in my book!


        1. re: KathyH

          I don't think the Khyber takes reservations. It's really a bar with a dining room. We were just there last night and the beer selection was really interesting and tasty... much different stuff than we've seen at other gastropubs. On a Sunday night, though, you probably wouldn't have to wait. One thing we noted, it's crazy loud! But, the food was great, good value too. Very much like Royal Tavern.

          1. re: urbanfabric

            I called Khyber and they do take reservations for large parties and with 8 people we qualifed as large. I made them for Sunday so we are all set for that night.

            Now just have to decide if on Saturday we want to make dinner reservations or just pick and snack at various bars we hit. Being that it is going to be a busy, crowded weekend, we might do better to make reservations. Now of course have to decide where, maybe The Dandelion since my husband wants to try it. I saw an article about Pub and Kitchen in a Philly beer magazine and that looked interesting too.

            Saw that the Duck tours are operations. We did them in Seattle and they were quite fun, may do them in Philly.


            1. re: KathyH

              Check the routes on the duck tours to make sure they go where you want to. They changed them a bit after the tragedy last year when a boat hit one of the duck boats in the Delaware River killing several people.

              Dandelion does have good food. People are raving about their fish and chips. Their pork belly is outstanding. I think their roast and yorkshire pudding (sundays and holidays only) is passable. Definitely not a bargain. Imperial pints of beer are about 9.00 a pint, though they usually have several good ales on cask.

              1. re: cwdonald

                Yea the beer is a bit expensive, but they offer half-pints at the same price (eg, $4.50 for a $9 pint) which is a nice way to try a few different beers.

                1. re: barryg

                  Kraftwork does this as well. 24 good/ great beers on tap... you can really spread out. The food is better than Dandelion IMO.

                  1. re: mlane

                    Love Kraftwork. I particularly appreciate that I can get a flight of (pick my own) mini-beers, since I can never decide. And although they've taken my favorite thing off the menu, the food is solidly quite good.

                    1. re: mlane

                      Haven't checked out Kraftwork yet, sounds great!

            2. re: KathyH

              KP is good on all fronts. Dandelion is overpriced but good. Fish and Chips at Pub and Kitchen blows them away IMO and far cheaper.

          2. Beer - Kraftwork, Standard Tap, Sidecar, Farmer's Cabinet, Belgian Cafe, Monk's. A few more....

            11 Replies
            1. re: mlane

              Thanks for all the additional info. When I googled Kraftwork looks like it is up in the Northern Liberties section of Philly. I don't think we are going to make it up there.

              As of now I think on Saturday night we'll be in the Center City area and on Sunday the Old City area.

              My project today and tomorrow is to come up with a list of bars or places that would be good to stop in both areas.

              Have a few already picked out, like Monks, McGillians, Eulogy, Khyber, Pub and Kitchen, Tria, Good Dog, Sansom Oyster House, to start. None of these are set in stone but gives us a start.

              Other suggestions in either of those two areas would be appreciated.

              One question, I've never been to the South St. area. Is it more of a younger kids scene or something for everyone. Is it walkable from Khyber?

              Again thanks for the additional suggestions.

              1. re: KathyH

                Skip visiting South St. unless you're going to Brauhaus Schmitz for their really good selection of German beer or Percy Street for bbq. Most of what you'll find on South St. is meant for dim-witted 20 year olds - it's pretty trashy for the most part.

                1. re: caganer

                  Thanks, that is what I thought so I'm good with not wandering in that direction. Figure there are more than enough places to go in the Center City and Old City area, should keep us busy for a while.

                  Another question, we are going to the Reading Market for lunch on Saturday. Stepson wants a cheesesteak. I looked on the vendor list and they don't have anyone that specializes in cheesesteaks. Who would you suggest for one at the market. He has his heart set on getting one so other food options won't do. I'd much rather have a roast pork sandwich from DiNics.

                  1. re: KathyH

                    The area around South St has some good stuff, it's just that South St. itself is like a little purgatory you have to suffer through before you make it there - Southwark is one block below south at 4th Street and is a great place for cocktails and there great byob's like Chochon &Little Fish, lots of bars further south on Passyunk. The 9th St. market is great for sanwiches or mexican food and some shopping.

                    1. re: KathyH

                      There's a place called Spataro's Cheesesteaks. I haven't eaten there but they seem to make, you know, cheesesteaks. I found them on the list of places on the RTM website.

                      1. re: KathyH

                        Carmen's in the Reading Terminal Market does a decent cheesesteak. Pasta by George also does one but I've never had it.
                        Great thing about the market each of you can go to your stand of choice and then meet at a table in center court!

                        1. re: Bigley9

                          Bigley, that is exactly why we picked the Reading Market. Great place for everyone to get whatever they want. Or better yet, come back to the center court area and share!

                          1. re: KathyH

                            Make sure at leaast one person in your party gets the roast pork with provolone and greens or rabe at DiNic's. Makes any cheesesteak pale in comparison.

                            1. re: bluehensfan

                              I've had that roast pork sandwich it's awesome. I am not a huge fan of cheesesteaks, I can take them or leave them.

                    2. re: KathyH

                      Triumph is a brewpub and it's across the street from Eulogy and Khyber, and Nodding Head is another brew pub directly above the Oyster House and around the corner from Good Dog. I'm a fan of Nodding Head's beers. You have a very solid, almost aggressive list though. I'd recommend enjoying a few of those places instead of hustling to hit every one of them. Of course, you could just go hardcore and do it all. I'd certainly respect that!

                      1. re: Cheesesteak

                        Oh, we don't have to nor plan to hit them all. Just like to have options. Like if we go to a place and it is so jam packed we can't get in, we have someplace else on the list to go. The list is more of a guide than a "must do". We are nothing if not flexible when traveling and having fun.

                  2. Lurked around this post as I was trying to figure out where to have dinner prior to the fireworks on Saturday. Want to thank everyone because I ended up at Khyber Pass and had a delicious meal! Fried catfish w/ sweet potato fries and baked mac & cheese for $16. Great value & great food. Also tried two different beers they had on tap. Sat at the bar and service was friendly and efficient.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SnowCat

                      Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. We had a great time. What was surprising is that the city was not really crowded at all, at least not at our end of town. We did leave after breakfast on Monday so we probably missed it all.

                      We did have dinner at Khyber and everyone loved their meal. Food was served piping hot, I mean really hot. I had the brisket and pulled pork combo, it was very tasty. I love the carolina mustard sauce that was served on the side. Sister and step-son both had the fried chicken thought it great. BIL and other sister had burgers. I tasted BIL's and agreed it was very, very tasty. Husband had the shrimp and oyster po boy and loved it.

                      Beer selection was great. They had just tapped a cask conditions climax ESB so the boys enjoyed that.

                      We wound up eating breakfast/lunch both days at Schlessinger's which was near our hotel. I thought the food was quite good. Had the pastrami for lunch on Monday as I tasted my DIL's the day before and was craving it all day.

                      Saturday we did the market, everyone enjoyed, and wandered in an out of places, tasting and drinking and having a great time.

                      Thanks again for everyone's help.