Philadelphia: The Right Way

With the great feedback on our Chicago: The Right Way article, we decided to take a crack at the City of Brotherly Love. We asked our friends here at The Interrobang!? and our readers, what’s The Right Way to visit Philadelphia.

If you’re going to Philly you’ll want to grab yourself a few of the thing’s they’re most known for:

  • Hoagies
  • Cheesesteaks
  • Water Ice
  • Soft Hot Pretzels
  • Tastykakes
  • Scrapple

Of course, you’ll need more information than that.  Here are our favorite places and top recommendations:


1.  Sarcone’s Deli. 734 S. 9th Street.  “It’s all about the bread.”  Sarcone’s piles their hoagies into some of the best seeded Italian bread that you can find ANYWHERE. Whether you go for an “American Italian,”  or “The Old Fashioned Italian,” you can not go wrong.  Philadelphia is the sandwich capital of the USA and Sarcones is the sandwich capital of Philly.  Closed Mondays.  Also, if you’re coming from far away, call ahead with your order, even if its only 1 hoagie, as they sometimes sell out early, particularly on sports weekends.

If you’re in the Philly area, and Sarcone’s is closed or runs out (it happens) and you absolutely need a hoagie on your way through town, we love Lenny’s in Conshohocken.  This small town, family run, old-school-as-they-get corner shop makes their own pork, has great bread and kills it in the hoagie department.  Easy parking, and it’s right off the Schuylkill.  900 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, Pa.

2.  The Italian Market.  South 9th Street (runs along 9th Street from Wharton to Fitzwater St.) Be advised that many shops in the market are closed Mondays.  Start your trip with a visit to Sarcones (see #1) and then head north on 9th street for some great ‘souveniers’ to take home.  It’s America’s oldest outdoor market and a part of the history of the city,  so head there, take a stroll, check out the wonderful DiBruno Brothers cheese shop, and Claudio’s  (their home made fresh mozzarella is outstanding- like biting into a cold glass of milk), salumi, pastas, specialty foods etc…  Afterwards, head to nearby Isgro Pastries (1009 Christian St.), for great cannoli, get yourself some sfogliatelle too, .. Say it: svoy-lah-tell-eh! Then eat em up… and then visit Fante’s for the one of our all time favorite kitchen shops.

3.  Paesano’s II.  1017 S. 9th Street. BELIEVE the hype about this place! Inventive, delicious, amazing sandwiches. Standouts include “The Paesano:” juicy beef brisket, sharp provolone, sunny egg… “The Arista:” a fine, FINE roast pork sandwich, “The Bolognese:” crispy fried lasagna, red sauce, sweet peppers, smoked mozzarella, sunny side up egg. then there’s also “Italian Meatloaf Parmesan,” and even a super tasty smoked turkey sandwich called the “Statiooch!” “The Italian Tuna,” is also a good bet- non-mayo tuna salad… THEY’RE ALL FANTASTIC! Tons of no-miss choices on excellent Carangi seeded Italian bread. Extremely difficult to pick a favorite.

4.  John’s Roast Pork.  14 Snyder Ave.  Monday – Friday only.  Get there early! They say that they’re open until 3pm, but when they run out of sandwich makings they close up shop! John’s Roast Pork is by far our favorite roast pork sandwich in the citaaay… It’s so…porky. There’s a lil somethin special in that jus…it feels like love and affection…add them greens and sharp provolone and you’re on your way to a glorious lunch. If you must have a cheesesteak, let it be known that John’s cheese steaks are really great as well. Down there on Snyder amid the chain stores and shopping centers, the plywood image of a deliriously happy pig rises from the cinderblock…He beckons you. Heed his oink…

5.  Reading Terminal Market.  51 N. 12th Street.  It’s great food, and another part of Philadelphia history to check out.    We can’t imagine ever tiring of this joint, especially if you love to cook, eat, or just oggle fresh local produce. It can be quite a crowded scene at times, and almost overwhelming with so many merchants to check out, so many bites to try, but really that’s what can get ya kinda intoxicated about the trip- such vast variety and quality. Navigate through, make the rounds, circle through a couple of times to make a plan before finally deciding what to eat and buy.  Here’s our suggestions, especially if you don’t have time to make it to all the other places in the city.  Get a few things and share:

  • Tommy DiNic’s:  Delicious roast pork sandwiches w/ broccoli rabe & sharp provolone. One of the reeeeally delicious roast pork sandwiches in the city. If you think you won’t like it, you’re wrong.  Try it.
  • Salumeria:  Very good hoagies here.  Get the italian with house dressing.
  • Dutch Eating Place:  Great, homey Pennsylvania Dutch-stlye breakfast. Hearty stuff, pancakes, apple dumplings…mmmmm
  • Beiler’s Bakery:  More Pennsylvania Dutch goodness! Apple fritters, whoopie pies, try the ones made out of chocolate chip cookies.

6.  Sabrina’s Cafe.  Two Locations.  1804 Callowhill or 910 Christian Street.  Brunch! Brunch and more Brunch! Great coffee, stuffed french toast, omelets, frittatas, daily specials. A really popular spot on the weekends, especially. There can be a long wait, it’s worth it… They don’t take reservations, but you can call ahead and get your name on the list to cut down on that wait time.

7.  Honey’s Sit and Eat.  800 N. 4th Street.   A little bit out of the way from other Philly attractions but if you happen to be in  Northen Liberties, check it out.  It sounds like a crazy concept of a menu, a restaurant that specializes in Southern, Southwestern, and Jewish food specialties? Well, it WORKS! Delicious breakfast options include some really good huevos rancheros, enfrijoladas, biscuits and gravy, whitefish salad and bagels, latkes, and the usuals.  And it’s all delicious. A really cool spot.  Very organic.  Very local.  And run by the nicest bunch of kids you’ll ever meet.

8.  Famous 4th Street Deli.  700 S. 4th Street.  Corned beef hash from 4th Street is enormous. Dig that smoked salmon hash with sunnyside eggs too. Ahh, the breakfast/brunch here is definitely one of those cancel-your-plans-for-the-rest-of-the-day deals. You’re headed back to the land of nod. When you wake up you’ll have leftovers!  Also famous for being the first to bring Corned Beef to Philadelphia.  If you’re from NYC you can probably skip this one, but for everyone else, put it on your list, its another Philly institution.

9.  Amada.  217-219 Chestnut Street.   This could end up being one of the greatest dining experiences of your life.  Put your trust in Chef Jose Garces and order the Chef’s Menu.  Then prepare for the non-stop parade of tapas that will follow. Don’t be afraid to try things that sound strange or that seem like things you wouldn’t like.  Chef Garces consistently surprised us and it was a thrilling experience.  Call ahead for reservations.

10.  Bibou. 1009 S. 8th Street.  An absolutely wonderful French restaurant. This tiny, intimate restaurant is run by a lovely French couple. Charlotte runs the front of the house while her husband, Pierre is the head chef. Bibou serves beautifully prepared French food- fresh, simple, exquisite. CASH ONLY & BYOB. You’re welcome to bring your own wine. Great service, great food. Get the escargots with fava beans, the duo of foie gras, boef; try one of their daily specials. It’s all excellent.

11.  Zahav.  237 St. James Place.  Zahav’s a cool, beautiful restaurant. You may experience the feeling of being transported because of the place’s atmosphere alone: walls of Jerusalem stone…wood & stone & stained glass & a market scenes… Chef Solomonov’s restaurant feels comfortable & casual, yet special all at once. Service is so perfectly attentive and the food, most importantly, is amazing. One could live on salatim & humus alone. Wide array of fantastic fresh little salads… and dig the turkish humus, especially served with the wonderful wood oven laffa flat bread. Definitely recommend ordering one of the tasting menus.

12.  The Pub on Passayunk East aka “The P.O.P.E.”   1501 E. Passyunk Avenue.  GREAT BEER SELECTION. Hipsters abound at this Passyunk Square neighborhood bar, but have no fear, it’s a friendly place with a good jukebox and an amazing array of craft and micro brews, both bottled and on tap. Many draughts change seasonally, and bartenders will often offer samples if you’re unsure of which beer to order. Above average bar food and excellent people-watching makes this a great place to hang out with friends.

13.  Dirty Frank’s.  13th and Pine.  Dirty Frank’s is a true dive. Inexpensive drinks, daily specials, cheap pitchers. I mentioned, it’s cheap? It’s comfortable, accessible, and often has art from local artists on it’s walls inside… Outside sports a mural depicting President FDR, Frank Zappa, Aretha Franklin, and a hot dog. So that alone makes it worth a gander.

14.  Monk’s Cafe. 16th and Spruce:  One of the best beer bars in the country. Monk’s has hundreds of domestic craft and even more imported beers from all the over world on the bottle list, as well as about 20 beers on tap. Great Belgian-inspired food, including 10 different types of mussels with amazing pommes frites, and also some great burgers.

15.  Jones.  700 Chestnut Street.  If you’re in town with kids, take a trip to Jones.  One of many great restaurants designed by Stephen Starr, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a jazzed up version of the Brady Bunch house.  The retro-modern look comes with great homestyle favorites on the menu like mac ‘n cheese, meatloaf or a full Thanksgiving Dinner.  If you’re there for brunch the monkeybreads are a must.  And its near the Liberty Bell to boot.

16.  Center City Pretzel Co. 816 Washington Avenue.  You can’t visit Philly without  having a hot pretzel and Center City Pretezel makes some of the greatest real soft pretzels in Philly.  They are not in Center City, by the way. If you can get there between the hours of Midnight and Noon weekdays, the change in your pocket can buy you a warm, delicious pretzel.  A little crisp and salty outside, soft yet dense and chewy inside…These Philly pretzels are freakin perfect.

17.  Cheesesteaks.   If you want to see the famous Pat’s and Geno’s, that’s fine.  Head over and take some great pictures.  But if you want a great philly cheesesteak, skip ’em both (and Jim’s Steaks too).  We’ve found that the best steaks are found in the local pizzaria’s usually outside of center city.  Conestoga Style Pizza in Bryn Mawr is just one example of many.  But if you’re looking for something a little more cinematic, the buzz around town is that the places worth checking out these days are Chubby’s, Chinks,  (now known as Joe’s) and Steve’s Prince of Steaks . Try them out and let us know which place has your favorite cheesesteak.  We remain undecided.

18.  Water Ice.  Just look for a sign that doesn’t look too fancy, and you’re most likely going to get great water ice, particularly below South street.  We recommend Italiano’s (2551 South 12th Street) but they usually close up shop in the winter.  Sadly, all the good places do.


While we could spend weeks in Philly doing nothing but eating and drinking, you probably want to do something in between meals.  Lucky for you, there’s plenty to do.


1.  Philadelphia Art Museum. 26th St and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.  Sure you can do the gimmick of running up the stairs like Rocky Balboa. Stand at the top with your arms raised victoriously, I won’t chastise…BUT THEN GO INSIDE! If you are in an unbrilliant-rut, this beautiful place might bust you out of it.  Try to do it ALL. Take it all in. It’s an eye-feast. Every first Sunday of the month is “pay what you wish,” which makes for a packed museum, but that’s cool too. Resist the urge to trip a Rocky-stairs-runner. Today you are cultured, genteel.

2.  The Franklin Institute/Please Touch Museums.  If you have kids, these are possibly two of the best children’s museums in the country.  At the Franklin, check out the giant walk through heart exhibit, which has been a part of the museum and thrilling children ever since it opened in 1954.   The nearby Please Touch Museum is full of educational places to play.  Climb in, try, touch, and experience each exhibit, all of which are fully interactive and designed to stimulate imagination and teach understanding.

3.  Fairmount Park.  After you’re done running up the Rocky steps and checking out all that is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, walk around to the ‘back yard’ of the museum for a beautiful view of the Fairmount Waterworks, the famous Boathouse Row, and a corner of the great Fairmount Park.   There is more than you could ever hope to do in one visit, but at the very least, dip a toe in, walk around and enjoy the river views.

4.  The Barnes Foundation.  With the status of this remarkable art collection constantly in flux, we’re not 100% sure what’s what.   To understand what we mean, go watch the documentary The Art of the Steal, or at least check out ’s interview with Director Don Argot.  It seems that you can no longer see this incredible art collection exhibited in the former home of the collection’s curator (Albert Barnes, now deceased).  after art lovers lost a long hard fought battle to keep the art in its former home.  The collection is in the process of being moved to its future home on Benjamin Franklin parkway near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The new facility doesn’t open until May 2012, but we think the court case may be pending.  Regardless, if for any reason the opportunity should ever arise again to view the art in its former home in Merion, make it a priority.  If not, it will be interesting to see the collection in its new home.  The saga continues…

5.  Philadelphia’s Magic Garden.  1020 South Street.  MAKE SURE you check out this lovely place. There’s more colorful mosaic than you can imagine. Has to be seen to be believed. Mosey and gaze at the twinkly, colorful everywhere of mosaic. Yes, mosey through the mosaic. That’s what I said. You’re walking through one of (Philadelphia’s own) Isaiah Zagar’s works of art. And it’s just fantastic.

6.  The Penn Palestra/University City.  Philadelphia is a great sports town and while you certainly can (and should) take in an Eagles, Flyers, Phillies or 76ers game, we actually recommend something a little different to sports fans.  Check out the historic University of Pennsylvania Palestra in University City.  Since its opening in 1927, The “Cathedral of Basketball” has hosted more games, and more NCAA tournaments than any other facility.  It still hosts about half of the Big 5 matchups.   Afterwards, stroll through University city and the beautiful U Penn main campus.

7.  The Philadelphia Zoo.  If for no other reason, it’s worth visiting just because it is America’s  first Zoo, literally.  Yep it opened in 1959 and it’s incredibly charming,with plenty to see and do.  Great for kids of any age with interactive exhibits, swan boats, camel rides,  a train and plenty of facilities along with wonderful animal exhibits.

8.  Macy’s/Wannamakers.  It’s not often you find a Macy’s on a list of things to see and do, but this isn’t your ordinary Macy’s.  If you’ve seen the 80’s movie Mannequin then you might remember the spectacular setting of scenes in the film’s fictional Prince & Co. department store with soaring ceilings, balconies and majestic grand court. Prince & Co might have been fictional but the location was real and continues to exist.  Stand in the center of the grand court and imagine you’re back in a day when a department store had a touch of magic to it.  Check out the 2500 lb bronze eagle statue in the grand court, and the world’s largest playable pipe organ, played twice daily.  The Christmas Light show– a tradition since 1956 is well worth the trip.

9.  Places to sit, stroll, shop, watch.  Philadelphia has an endless list of places to just walk, and here’s just a few suggestions to get you started.  Benjamin Franklin Parkway (spanning from City Hall, diagonally to the Philadelphia Museum) Walnut Street (upscale shopping and eateries from Rittenhouse Square to Broad St),   Pine Street (smaller shops, street vendors and more from Broad St to 4th),  South Street (touristy but fun, from 10th to the river), Rittenhouse Square (a great place to sit and soak up some sun),  Passyunk Square (many cool little shops, restaurants, bars), City Hall (a beautiful historic building, and where parts of 12 Monkeys was filmed).

That’s it, for us, but here is a collection of some things our readers sent in on twitter to recommend where to go to do Chicago The Right Way.  Let us know if you love or hate anything mentioned here.  And of course, let us know what we missed!




@YankeeGKM   Best burger in Philly is the Churchill Burger at Pub and Kitchen.
@Jer872  Best Italian: ralph’s best hoagie: sarcones best punks: the dead milkmen
@Jeffcasey53   A tour of Eastern State Penitentary is a most!
@Caprichosa77   Chifa is a great Peruvian fusion place
@Klivangm   Steve’s Prince of Steaks on the bvld
@KurtisMuller   add Euology Belgium Beer Heaven at 2nd and Chestnut for Philly done right
@FGSalvage  Great Philly eats and retro clubbin’ at Silk City Diner
@SerotoninsGone  Amada. So good. For great late night drunk food, D.P. Dough. Over 40 calzone varieties plus make your own.
@LBIBASS  Best cheesesteak @ Chinks and the milkshakes are great too.
@Jervember  belgian beer bar:  monks or eulogy;  Beer, wine and cheese bar:  tria;  Diner: morning glory;  Tapas: amada
@taxeljones  Best martini bar – Bleu Martini, Best Movie Theater – Ritz at the Bourse
@jay_spliff  Best of Philly – The Mutter Museum – they’ve got the skeleton of a midget standing next to the skeleton of a giant.

From Charli555 Nick’s Roast Beef 20th and Jackson
From JustinP  Pork sandwich= Denics;   Dive Bar = Oscars;   Monk’s = best beer list, maybe in America, excellent mussels
From JeffM  The comcast building lobby with the HUGE television monitor
From ShayneS Sushi at Toyo Japanese Restaurant, 13032 Bustleton Ave, they’ve ruined normal sushi for me.  I can only eat their specialty rolls, they are so good;  Crepes at BeauMonde, 624 South 6th Street, Philadelphia;
From Tom  best pizza osteria
From SeanM  Best nanobrewery is Mellody Brewing
From WillG  Best get-in, get-out from I95 cheese steak.  Jim’s Place.  Exit 9A, Wanamaker Ave & Industrial Hwy, Essington.
From AndyD    Crab fries and football at Chickie and Pete’s
From KevinK  Sushi: To Kai in the Northeast section. Not only is the sushi off the charts, but the staff is the nicest you’ll meet. Brwery:  Tied between Philadelphia Brew Company in Kensington or Yards in Northern Liberties.
From JimS   Sonnys Cheesesteaks
From Michael F  (thank you michael F for so many great recommendations!) Monks Cafe, Bistro La Minette (low key great value, french), Sabrinas, Osteria (out of this world housemade pastas), Tony Lukes (roast pork, broccoli rabe and provolone sandwiches), Cochon Restaurant, Resurrection Ale House, Dock Street Brewery, La Colombe coffee, Pub and Kitchen


  1. Kurt Muller

    October 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Saw Lydia Bastianich tape at Sarcone’s, they claim to be the first to put sesame seeds on rolls/bread. Everyone else did it to pass off their crap as Sarcone’s. I’ve been lucky enough to stop in there every Friday for the last 3 weeks and order a sub for the weekend.

  2. Rusty

    October 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Tony’s tomato pie in the northeast. while there, check out the original chickie’s and pete’s, greenman’s hoagies, and the grey lodge. they are all just a couple blocks away from each other

  3. Kathleen Bx

    October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    WillG- I so second a stop off at Jim’s Place on Industrial Highway there! Bri’s Philly fam introduced me to em, some years back… Anytime we were headed back south down 95 we’d grab one. Another factoid for no reason: I have a hideous yellow t shirt from there from like 10 years ago- it says, “Jim’s Place Home of the Heavy-weight.” Jim’s makes really great steaks… Sometimes we go park in the Wawa parking lot to eat em…like animals. They’re dope 🙂

    • Wri37

      October 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

      Go farther towards the river on the cross street and you’ll find Romano’s. They have amazing Stromboli’s.

  4. kshane

    October 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Reading Terminal is one of my favorite places on the planet, but it lost a little something when they forced Rick’s Steaks to move out. Whether or not you liked their particular sandwiches is somewhat beside the point. It was that great smell that hit you when you walked in the door of the market (Rick’s was right up front) that’s missing.

    • Rusty

      October 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      dinics roast pork and martins gourmet sausages are enough to make RTM a destination. i refuse to tailgate without a martins buffalo chicken sausage

      • kshane

        October 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

        Yeah, Dinic’s is my go-to place in the Market now that Rick’s is gone.

  5. Rfrost

    October 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Sugar mom’s, best dive bar. Angelo’s food cart at 16th and chestnut, best of anything ever.

  6. regi405

    October 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Sonata Restaurant in Northern Liberties is the best BYOB. It’s got a great casual atmosphere and the best crispy pork belly you’ll ever have. Find them at

  7. Wri37

    October 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Two hidden treasures to see are;
    The Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Which has incredible collections of artifacts from Egypt and China, as well as from early America. 38th and Spruce.
    The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, a simply amazing building used by the Freemasons. One North Broad Street across from City Hall;

  8. TripleSkeet

    October 20, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Italianos is the best Water Ice, but Pops is owned by the same family, right around the corner, and opened from March to October.

    Best tomatoe pie in the world is at Iannellis on Passyunk Ave. near 8th.

    Great dive bar is The Druids Keep in Northern Liberties.

    Also for a great cheesesteak try Talk of the Town on Broad and Packer.

  9. Myles

    October 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I don’t know who put this together, but I’m a former Philly guy myself and this list is freakin fantastic. It also makes me sad. One day I will settle down there.

    Steaks… You missed the mark, but are SOOOO close. You mentioned Chubby’s steaks.They are good, but seriously, the real deal is Dalessandros (right across the street from Chubby’s). Chubby’s makes a great steak hoagie (lettuce, raw onion, maybe some tomato), and they have better hours and other food choices, but if you want your mind blown by a standard cheese steak… Dalessandros is the place. My favorite steak is cheese (they only use provolone), with green (bell) peppers (big honkin chunks), and ketchup (one time the counter lady said “if you want ketchup, you can put it on at home.” So be weary of this last choice, I just happen to love it. And being from Philly I am slightly turned on by older women yelling at me).

    I worked in TV production as a PA in Philly, and one day I worked with none other than George Wendt. He requested I get him a steak from Dalessandros, and I informed him that it was also my favorite place. We discussed this for no less than 10 min and when I returned with 2 steaks intending on having a lunch together, he thanked me for “thinking ahead and getting him two… your a good guy.” Like most good steaks, It’s not in Center City (it, and Chubbys, are in Roxborough)

    • kshane

      October 20, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Great call on Dalessandro’s Myles. It’s definitely the best I’ve had.

      • Kathleen Bx

        October 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

        Dalessandro’s has been on my running list of “Places to Try” for so long- Too long! The ole gal’s gonna be a-headin to Roxborough SOON wit cheese steaks as my mission. Wanna cheese steak so bad right now 🙂

    • Rob215zza

      November 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      yeah, i’ll take advice from a clown who puts ketchup on a steak.

      • Myles

        November 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        haha. I agree asking for ketchup on your steak is a sure way to get into a fight at dalessandros, but I just like it, so it’s worth the risk. I’d say you actually get ketchup 2/3 times you ask for it.

      • Zona

        January 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm

        Whats wrong with Katchup on a steak. That is my philly way. Salt, pepper, fried onions and katchup. That is what I grew up on.

  10. ben

    October 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I lived in philly for a bit for work and dated a chick from there for a long time. Besides the people, philly is a great city especially for food but they should really quit it with the cheesesteaks. It’s meat and cheese on bread, it’s a recipe, not an invention. I don’t see what the big deal is. I’ve gotten just as good, if not better ones in jersey.

    I went to Honey’s Sit and Eat on my last trip. It was so crowded for brunch but worth it. Amazing biscuits and gravy.

    check out the Memphis Taproom. Amazing beer selection and they have this amazing arugula salad with fried pork belly and watermelon. It’s on my top 5 favorite things i’ve ever eaten list.

    Jose Garces has a few restaurants that have amazing tasting menus. Check out Chifa (peruvian and cantonese) and Distrito (mexican – try the mushroom hurrache w/ truffle oil)

    • JMB

      October 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      “Besides the people…” Class act, Ben. Class act.

  11. Adam DiVine

    October 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    These articles are great! Can we please have one for NYC?

  12. JMB

    October 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    If you want a great dive bar that hasn’t been totally over-run by awful hipsters check out McGlinchey’s by Bookbinders. Super cheap drinks, seedy atmosphere. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays “Topps” a room above McGlinchey’s is open. Same cheap prices, pool tables, decent jukebox.

    Stay away from Northern Liberties and you’ll be fine.

  13. Queen Elisabeth

    October 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    One of my favorites is Dining Car on Frankford Ave. Best Chicken Croquettes I have ever had. The french toast is outstanding too. (plus they have a bar!!)

  14. @jaymep

    October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    fuck yeah for MONKS

  15. Anonymous

    October 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Zahav is one of my favorite restaurants ever, that turkish hummus is amazing, I would bathe in it.

    As far as cheesesteaks, generalizing them is wrong, hoagies are more generalized, because anyone can take the same lunchmeat, and put it on the same roll, and there are still many different, and amazing hoagie places. Dalessandros which is right across from chubbys is the best cheesesteak there is, there is also a place called mama’s in belmont hills (right over the manayunk bridge) that is a different cheesesteak experience, but is also amazing. I dont eat around when it comes to cheesesteaks, I get one of the 2 I mentioned, so I cant say what is better and worse.

    Agree on the memphis taproom, but was sad to not see the smoked tofu club there… I am not close to a vegan, and that sandwich is one of the best things I’ve eaten.

    Other cool places to check out in philly

    Frankford Hall: Stephen Starr beergarden, fantastic food, and you can order a liter of beer.
    Green Eggs Cafe: in N Liberties, is a good alternative to waiting an hour for honeys, and is great… always great specials.
    Marchianos Bakery: In Roxborough, they make these specialty breads, that are sort of like strombolies but smaller, and dont have pizza sauce, hard to explain, but they have so many varieties, and they are all delish… great for parties.
    Franklin Fountain: ice cream? go here… you will wait in line, but its such a cool place to go, its presented like an old school soda fountain (you can even order hand made sodas), a must go
    Talulas Garden: Last stephen starr place I will mention, just great food, awesome atmosphere, and they have a cheese menu… make a reservation early, its hard to get a seat here.
    2 cheesesteak places above of course
    and my outside of philly special is majolica… its in phoenixville, on bridge street… an amazing french restaurant AMAZING, and its on a cool little street you can wander around afterwards.

    I’m sure there are plenty more, @zolttt if you’re in town and need suggestions !! #shameless plug !

    • DerwoodOMalley

      November 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Agree completely with Dalesandro’s. Best in Philly. Haven’t tried Mama’s but will try.

  16. TripleSkeet

    October 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    If youre looking for a breakfast or brunch place, the best Ive ever been to is Carmens Country Kitchen on 11th and Wharton. Just make sure you make reservations. Its very small, totally eclectic and has an menu that changes weekly. The slogan for the place is “She put the cunt back into country.”

  17. Ron Paar

    October 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Datillo’s in NE philly, great Italian deli:

  18. Flyerfan116

    October 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Best pizza = Marra’s on Passyunk

  19. Mafialife Chris

    October 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I need to get my ass to Philly soon. Gonna take the family on a trip there and use this list as a ref. Thanks buddays

  20. Billy Vegas

    October 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Luckily, I’ve found myself in Philly yet again for the weekend – this time for a Wedding. I’m planning my rounds now to bring home some goods back to Jersey… Sarcones is a must, the rest is TBD… but this list is epic… and accurate. Well played, iBang.

  21. bob

    October 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

    here is a cheesesteak tip… say some tourists force you over to pats and genos for a chessesteak. We’ll unless its 3am then walk over to COSMI’s Deli (blocks away) and get your cheesesteak there. Not the best in the city but definitely the best in the area.

  22. Dan

    October 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    there are a couple good Mexican resturants in philly, Tequillias on Locust, and if i remembed correctly i liked Xochitl. Also my favorite place for a cheese steak is in the suburbs at Ardmore Pizza

  23. Chaz on the Main Line

    October 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Better dive bar in Center City, Oscar’s at 1524 Sansom Street: you get the old, young, black, white, gay, straight, rich, & poor. It’s great to watch the clientele change as you start at happy hour and let the night continue. 22 oz L.I.Iced Teas are not all that tasty, but are the specialty.

    Better dive bar if you’re not going to remain stuck in Center City is Pitcher’s Pub in Manayunk. 4236 Main Street. In fact, you can have a nice little bar tour on Main Street from the bridge at Green Lane until you get down to the Manayunk Brewery…provided they’re reopened after the flooding. Thursday through Sundays you get a nice mix of locals, young renters, and St. Joes, Nova, Temple, etc students.

    A great chicken cheesesteak is only available on weekdays between 11-3:00 at John’s truck at the corner of 18th & Marklet. He uses whole boneless chicken breasts, marinates them overnight, and cooks them up right there. It’s not your usual cheesesteak and you’ll be thankful for it.

    Vietnam Restaurant in Chinatown should also be mentioned. 221 N. 11th St. Great drinks, great food, and yet because it’s Asian cuisine it gets passed over. Racists bastards.

    Things to do: Muter Museum. How can medical oddities not have made this list?

    Try riding the El (blue line of Septa) through the warzone of West Philly all the way to 69th street and see crime up close. It’s terriffic.

    Chinese New Year in January is great for strolling around Chinatown in the afternoon, watching the lion dance, and checking out the firecrackers strung up 2-3 stories.

  24. Vince

    October 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

  25. Jonny Kozicz

    November 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I can’t go to philly without getting three cheesesteaks from talk of the town. honestly a hole in the wall but i wish i lived above it. i recommend talk of the town to anyone

  26. The_BooBieMan

    December 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Well last week I was in Philly for the joke of a Eagles game against the patriots…UHG..anyway, been to philly about 4 times. So I tired a few philly cheese steak places before. Pat’s and Geno’s is a fast food of cheese steaks. Tony Luke’s is pretty good. We were in Philly for a few days and used the Philadelphia: The Right Way.

    Saturday night went to eat at a place called Varalli, Northern Italian. Located on Broad and Locust. Very good..some great sea food dishes. Scallops with a pesto sauce. Wife had sword fish. tasty, nice atmosphere, price was decent..I’m use to NYC prices. Then went to the 879 lounge. Located at 110 Chestnut, Actually owned, or just using their name by Brent Celek TE of Eagles and Todd Herremans RT. It is a ok place. nothing special. Bar chick are advertised as hot..but again nothing special.

    Sunday was just depressing and drunk…I know shocker.

    Monday, hung over and we did the Fairmount Park. Very nice. Fantastic views and the architecture of behind the Philly art museum is pretty cool. Great walk ways. We walked over to the Row houses. Very old and nice looking. Also drove through the park…very pretty. (I said drove not walk..hung over)

    Next we headed for John’s Roast Pork, Very good. I had the cheese steak and wife had the Roast pork. It is very good but not really near anything, unless you are going to work in a factory or one of the new shopping malls. We did the drive just to eat their, and again good but not the greatest. There are better.

    Then headed over to Magic Garden… different. At first when you walk in and your inside it is sort of ok..but go outside..just wow. Very cool and very different. Only $5 to go in, so worth going and seeing this. Also after going there as we drove around we saw on sides of building other pieces of the art work. Again Very cool.

    Monday night went to Triumph Brewery, located at 117 Chestnut Street. Very nice, Some very good beers and enjoyed the happy hour. Food was pretty good, not your typical bar food but decent.
    Afterwards we went back to the 879 lounge and got to meet Brent Celek. We met him before and he was very nice, Todd Herremans was also their but was a not even hello douce..ah well.

    Finally on Tuesday we go to my favorite. Well one of my favorites…Reading terminal market might be the best place for food on earth.

    Tommy DiNic’s is the best, but gets very packed. And I noticed that a lot of juries go to Reading, must be near the courts. Best to go Wednesday thru Sunday…two words…Amish desserts ever, caught them the last time but not this time.

    We headed to the best…best cheesesteak..Steve Prince of Steaks on Bustleton Ave. So good so tasty..I loved it. I ate so much I am still full from them.

    So thanks theinterrobang, Philly is a great place and this list made it even better. We seen it before but planning to go back before Christmas just to see MACY*s.


    • memeseeker

      February 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Steve’s Prince of Steaks is AWESOME!

  27. Bill

    January 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I think some of the Gastropubs in Northern Liberties deserve an honorable mention. My favorites are North Third, Standard Tap, and Johnny Brenda’s. You will find yourself in a sea of hipsters but the food is interesting and delicious.

  28. stonerjb

    January 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Where can I find a duck that is also a boat? You know, if I wanna ride-da-duck!

  29. Parischarlie

    January 5, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Jesus, Paris SUCKS! Philadelphia: The Right Way has me about to pack my bags for…home.

  30. Zona

    January 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Look at those pretzels! Damn.

  31. Iowadelphian

    February 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Taconelli’s in Port Richmond is the best pizza I’ve had in Philly. Best wings = Rustica in Northern Libs. Best breakfast = Honey’s in Northern Libs.

  32. Iowadelphian

    February 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Silk City is a great diner to go for a late night meal, and they have good DJ’s and often have great local musicians from Philly’s jamtronica scene get together for one-off all-star jams. Best bet at Silk City is the mac & cheese with a tomato soup. They are both boner worthy.

  33. FunkinWesley

    February 24, 2012 at 10:39 pm


  34. FunkinWesley

    February 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    @BWild Tony Luke’s is for tourist. I thought they were good too until I had John’s.
    BTW Veggie Hoagie? Really?

  35. Kristen

    March 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    such a great list! really makes me miss Philly! but you forgot Love park! great place for people watching. Also, best chinese food I’ve ever had is at Lee How Fook ( on N. 11th St in Chinatown..there are about 12 tables in the restaurant & it’s family owned & amazing! Their salt baked squid, sweet & sour pork & steamed vegetable dumplings are the best I’ve ever tasted..can’t go wrong with anything on the menu (& it’s BYOB!). Also, best ice cream ever is at Scoop DeVille ( on Chestnut St…try the Abbey’ll change your life.

  36. jamie thomas

    March 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    this is a pretty lame guide to philadelphia. honestly:  like biting into a cold glass of milk??
    I.E. dirty FRANKS.
    paintings of: FRANKlin d roosevelt. Aretha FRANKlin, hot dog?? (how about FRANKfurter). 
    its the inner workings and below the surface meanings that make philly a special place and although most of your list is valid it lacks interest.. 

  37. memeseeker

    March 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Good News!  John’s Roast Pork is going to start Saturday hours April 7th. 10-4.

  38. PatInTheBronx

    May 31, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Nick’s Roast Beef- best sandwich in the world. 20th street in South Philly. Order it soaked with long hots and broccoli rabe on the side.

  39. PatInTheBronx

    May 31, 2012 at 11:52 am

    McCrossens Tavern 529 N 20th Street
    Great brunch with bottomless bloodies and mimosas.

  40. MikeZoltek

    October 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    how I have not replied to this… I do not know.
    2 Cheesesteak places: Mama’s on Belmont Ave, Dalessandro’s on wendover and henry ave (roxborough area for both)
    2 Breakfast / Brunch places:  Silk City, actually all their food is tremendously underrated but their breakfast and brunch rule (spring garden street) and Green Eggs Cafe on 2nd and fairmountish in nolibs
    2 good dinner spots that are byo”b”: Dimitri’s (also on 2nd street) and lolita (13th and sansom).  Lolitas you bring your own tequila and they mix it with one of their mixes. 
    Someone mentioned Tequilas below, but I love that place… they have my favorite drink there (Oaxca old fashioned) and their food and service is always 100% on point.  It’s a close 2nd to zahav (mentioned above).
    Also Talulas garden is good, as is Parc, Tinto, Villiage Whiskey and Barbuzzo.
    want a good beer, check out frankford hall or barcade.