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Jun 13, 2014 08:33 AM

Good Eats in Philadelphia

Partially inspired by a recent thread about Citron and Rose, I am planning a long weekend trip to Philadelphia over July 4th. Any tips on:
- kosher eateries conveniently located near City Center for quick eats while touristing (especially inexpensive breakfast or lunch places)
- must-try destinations like Citron and Rose (and recommendations for C&R)
- any other kosher insider tips, or insider tips in general for what to see and do (not technically CH topics, I know!)
- suggestions for how to put together a great Shabbos meal in our hotel room


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  1. on Chestnut.

    1. If you're in Center City for lunch, you must try the falafel at Mama's

      1 Reply
      1. re: cb3

        I second that. If you like dairy, Espresso Café in NE Philadelphia is very good. I hear Judah's is good, never been . I wouldn't recommend Palace Royale.

      2. and Mama's are really the 2 main restaurants in center city. Have not had, but Mama's is delicious and fresh and is walking distance to the Franklin Institute (even without kids, it was fun to go as an adult!).

        Another cool place my husband and I found when we went for a few days was the Mutter Museum.It's about a 3-5 minute walk from Mama's. It's a medical history museum with lots of human specimens (skulls, skeletons, etc). If you like that sort of thing, you'll really like this. Neat cell-phone guided tour at each case. Definitely not good for Kohanim! The Constitution Center is excellent as well. My guess is that they will have some special Independence Day events going on. The Constitution Center is great even for non history loving people.

        As for C&R, check out my review on a C&R thread, but definitely try the homemade pastrami! Was not thrilled with the cream chicken soup. Our Grow and Behold Steak for 2 was delicious! The burnt orange sorbet with freshly fried beignets was a great finish to the meal. The waitress told us it's their most popular dessert.

        You can't really stock up for Shabbos in Center City. You'll have to head to Lower Merion (where C&R is) or the Northeast for prepared items.

        1. Since you will be in Philly for the holiday, you want to check out this web site: It lists all types of FUN activities to do, mny which are FREE:) Including a FREE dy at both the Cinstitution Center (pricey otherwise!) and the very cool Academy of Naturl Science- dino bones, insects, fossils and a huge collection of "stuffed" animals. Also walking distance to both on Chestnut and the super delish Mama's:)
          For breakfast I would wander doen to Roz's for some bakery treats. She is worth the walk or Septa (public transit) ride.
          Someone more familiar with center City can tell you the exact place but i kniw I saw a store down 20th near Chesnut and Mamas that sells Kosher cheese and some other light Kosher groceries.
          I am pretty sure that you can get meals at two shuls in Center City for Shsbbss- agin a center City person would know more- I live in the city, but not that area:( Thguh I do live walking distance to Espresso:)
          If you want to try Espresso- do NOT fret that it is not in Center City. It is VERY Septa accesable. Take the El to the Arrot Stion snd then the 59 toilly (it looks like a bus as it is trackless) The trolly stops across the street from Espresso and is an easy ride:)
          Welcome to Philly!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ThePrettypoodle

            Thanks, PrettyPoodle. This is super helpful! One question - Espresso seemed like a pretty typical dairy cafe, at least by NYC standards. Is there anything "special" about it to make it particularly worth the trip out from Center City?
            Also, I know this has been asked before, but it can't hurt to check again - is there anything kosher at Reading Terminal Market? (I plan to go anyway because I like looking at cool food even if I can't eat it!)

            1. re: DevorahL

              OK remeber ai am a Philly girl and rarely get to NYC, but I very uch enjoy Espresso. I reslly like the salom sand pasta dish. VERY yummy. It's cute little place and I can walk there so I LOVE it.
              As for thr trip from CC to there- it's not very far via Septa snd less by car plus there is free (across the street) or meter parking, so driving is not a real issue.
              Kosher at RTM is hard to find:( No stands asre Kosher save (I belive) Le Bus bread, which is fabulous:) and the fresh produce- check out Iovine Bros for the best produce. There is a branch of the Head Nut, that sells lots o fkoisher nuts and bulk candy, but no lace for a Kosher meal IN RTM. However you are close to New Harmony a vegan?Kosher place that does a wonderful dim sum offering- all you can ewt for about $15 a person. TONS of food, really good and even sworn casrnivores like my husbnad like it. If you go there do sk for Pork Buns! YES Pork Buns- no mewt in them but so yummy:)
              A fun thing (I think) to look at at RTM is the HUGE fresh shrimp:)
              Oh, you can get soda there too:)

          2. Here is a link to a few places including the all important kosher Ritas Water Ice locations. So wirht the trip:)

            1 Reply
            1. re: ThePrettypoodle

              Translation for those not from Philly- Water Ice= Italian Ices. When I call it water ice, my friends think I'm crazy!