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In Philly for 3 days/nights, must try places?

Hi Everyone,

I made a similar post on the DC forums as we are going to be there for 5 days/nights.

Me and my cousin are doing a trip to Philly in about a week (first time over to the eastcoast) and staying for 2 days/nights, we are looking for a variety of food from cheap lunch spots to a fancy dinner so please suggest away. We are also looking for possible interesting bars/nightlife places to check out a well.

Some of the places we were thinking about checking out (additional feedback on these locations would be helpful as well):
Tommy Dinic
Morimoto
Pat's/Geno's (looking for other cheesesteak suggestions)
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co
John's Roast Pork

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  1. Do get the roast pork with provolone and broccoli rate at DiNic's and spend some time at Reading Terminal while you are there. If you are only in town for two days, hitting John's for more roast pork may be a bit too much.

    Cheesesteaks are not my forte but Pat's and Geno's are more atmosphere than good food. Not bad but not tops on my list. Oddly I have similar feelings about Morimoto but it costs a lot more there than Pat's or Geno's. I'd definitely pass on this one. If you want something fancier, consider a place like Zahav for Israeli cuisine, although there are many other fine dining places in town that I'd go to before Morimoto depending on what type of food you are trying to have.

    Dunno much about Franklin Mortgage though...

    1. Skip Morimoto and Pat's/Genos, get a cheesesteak at John's Roast Pork instead. Franklin is great for cocktails, as is Southwark (which also has great food).

      Otherwise this topic is covered on a lot of other threads:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/807588
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/735958
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/766062
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808479

      1. Where are you from? Knowing this would help people know what to swear you towards Nd what to avoid. Ie would not suggest Dim Sum to someone from San Francisco.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cwdonald

          I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area and my cousin is from Texas (Houston/Austin).

          Yeah I've definitely had some good Dim Sum out here! =)

        2. Reading Terminal Market (DiNic's), John's Roast Pork (get a cheesesteak too), Zahav and South Philly TapRoom

          1. Yeah, I'd drop Morimoto. It is good, but you can get better on the West Coast. For your dinners, I'd think about:

            Barbuzzo
            Zahav
            Osteria
            Amada
            Bibou (this one is a BYOB, terrific french food)

            For the fancy dinner, do you want truly upscale atmosphere or are you more interested in the food?

            Philly also has a great gastropub scene, which might meet your dinner and bar interests all in one. Check out South Philly Tap Room, which seems to be a current favorite. There are many others throughout the city: Monks, Standard Tap, Dandelion, Pub & Kitchen, among others. Village Whiskey is also great for a terrific upscale burger and drinks.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              Thanks for all the suggestions.

              I really wish we had more time to explore all the food in Philly.

              Our new revised plan looks like:
              Lunches: Dinic's, John Roast Pork, Dienners Chicken (?)
              Dinner: Amada, Bibou

              It was really hard getting a reservation at Bibou for a good time, any idea on how walkins are?

              1. re: PretzelGuy

                Walking-ins are non existent at Bibou. Small place and one of the top restaurants in the city. Suggestion if you have a choice between an early or late reservation, go early because then you won't have to worry about a dish being sold out.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  I agree you can't get a walk-in at Bibou. If you follow them on Twitter, they tweet when they have last minute openings.

                  For lunch in the RTM, Dienner's is fine but not my favorite. I'd go for the boneless rib sandwich at the Rib Stand. I think it is one of Philly's underrated sandwiches.

                2. re: PretzelGuy

                  Dienners is good--I love their wings--but why not branch out from RTM for lunch, you could go to Barbuzzo or Kanella (only open for lunch Thurs-Sun).

                  1. re: barryg

                    I think Kanella stopped doing lunch on Thursdays, according to their site it's just Fri-Sun now.

              2. talula's garden - excellent, not-too-precious farm to table
                matyson - excellent new american byob, with weekly themed tasting menus (as well as a la carte)
                paesano's - superlative italian subs and waaaay better than cheesesteaks, which i think suck
                han dynasty - outstanding spicy schezuan cuisine. not kidding about "spicy"
                manakeesh - cafe serving lebanese flatbreads. best i've had in the US
                nhu y - banh mi shop in south philly's little vietnam. get the special
                monsu - creative sicilian in the italian market area.

                that's just a start.

                1. Sort of neat how responses can vary
                  My must tries are:

                  Nick's Roast beef- 20th and Jackson
                  Tacconelli's pizza- East Somerville St
                  These two, a car would help, not far from City center, buy a car would help

                  Bibou- 8th and Washington
                  Modo Mio- First and Girard
                  Car would not hurt for these as well.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Absolutely positively axe Morimoto. The sushi at Ebisu in SFO is a thousand times better.

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      Definitely did after reading around a bit more:

                      Our new revised plan looks like:
                      Lunches: Dinic's, John Roast Pork, Dienners Chicken (?)
                      Dinner: Amada, Bibou

                      1. re: PretzelGuy

                        Amada is good. Dienner's is decent but nothing special. I'd get there earier and get pancakes next door at the Dutch Eating Place myself...

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          Farmer's Cabinet is a pretty interesting place right now. I'd definitely take somebody there if they were coming in from out of town for some interesting beers and cocktails.

                        2. re: PretzelGuy

                          How far out does Bibou take reservations? I can't seem to find any info on their website.

                          1. re: roze

                            Are you on the right site? This is it: http://www.biboubyob.com/ , there's a Reserve Online button that takes you to Opentable. OT won't take a reservation more than 30 days in advance but if you call Charlotte at Bibou she'll take a reservation for a date beyond that, I've made reservations two months in advance.

                            1. re: Buckethead

                              Thanks! I'll give a call. Btw OT let me make reservations at Eulogy Belgian Tavern and Barbuzzo for March which is two months away. Only Bibou didn't.

                              1. re: roze

                                Each restaurant can govern how far in advance they want to release tables to open table. I think you will find higher end restaurants, and smaller BYOs restrict the time frame. In general with OP, if you cannot find a table, always call the restaurant. OP does not always reflect table availability.