Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Jul 14, 2014 09:43 AM

Where's great in Philadelphia

Hi, I am from London and currently planning a trip for next Spring to travel from Boston to New York and on to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. Please can anyone help to suggest anywhere that's good? I'm open to all cuisines, but authentic Philadelphia would be great.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am guessing that you should at least try eating a Philly Cheesesteak since it is from Philadelphia and it so iconic.

    1. We have other dishes that are emblematic of Philadelphia in addition to the cheesesteak. I would suggest that you consider going to the Reading Terminal Market, a large building with lots of food vendors and places to eat. I would eat at the Dutch Eating place and experience Amish style food. I probably would order chicken and dumplings.

      Another dish strongly associated with Philadelphia is snapper soup. The best version these days in my opinion is at the Oyster House.

      If you want to experience Colonial style cooking, you could visit CIty Tavern in Old City Philadelphia.

      And since we have a large italian immigrant population here, you would do well to try some of the "red gravy" italian restaurants in South Philadelphia. One of the most famous is Ralph's, And you should go to either Termini's or Isgro's bakery and have a cannoli.

      I am sure others will have suggestions for other iconic foods in Philadelphia.

      1. Philadelphia has good regional food access so one of the farm to table type restaurants could give you a really good taste of the area

        There is also a lot of local beer here that if you like beer is worth trying -

        There is good Italian food (philly would claim Italian as it's own) Modo Mio and LeVirtu come to mine

        To experience Philly for Philly to me is to enjoy some of the smaller casual neighborhood places. If you have time I would get out of Center City and visit a few of the close in neigborhoods - where much of the culinary action has been happening - Fishtown/Northern Liberties. East Passyunk. and Fairmount are all full of good 'authentic' neighborhood eateries that are tourist worthy.

        1. +1 to Reading Terminal Market, that is a must.

          I'd suggest Eater's lists for a starting point to explore:
          "Philly's 20 Most Iconic Dishes":

          "38 Essential Restaurants":

          "Where to Eat Right Now":

          1 Reply
          1. re: barryg

            those are good links - especially the 2nd two - good broad overview

          2. I'd concur with all those posts below. Since you're from London, I'd chime in on a few other points:

            - Zahav -- You're probably very experienced with Middle Eastern cuisine, and this is Philadelphia's take on it. IMO, some of the best tastes in the city. The chef is really engrained into the Philly foodie fabric (he has a series of donut and fried chicken restaurants called Federal Donuts, that are oh so Philadelphia right now). So, if you're getting a craving for Middle-Eastern, this is a great stop

            Vedge -- Philadelphia has a big vegan community. I don't think veganism is as big in Europe. Vedge is like the haute-cuisine of vegan. Don't worry, the taste quotient is very high

            Unfortunately, we don't do well on the Indian-food front. You'll be hard pressed to find anything that compares. If, however, you're trekking from Philadelphia up to NYC, you might want to stop in between in an area of Northern New Jersey called Edison. It's the Indian-food mecca of the United States. Great southern Indian, dosas are wonderful, IME, and of course a bevy of Northern dishes which are more plentiful here.