Eat like a local in Philadelphia

Melange of the menu

Philadelphia is a melting pot of global cuisine and an attractive place for dinner thanks to the list of famous chefs and restaurateurs in the city, including Jose Garces, Mikhail Solomonov, Stephen Starr, Mark Windy, Nicholas Elmy, Michael Shulson and Greg Wernicke. Whether you want to treat yourself to an unforgettable gourmet meal, enjoy a branded urban cheese steak or try something new and different, Philadelphia restaurants are diverse enough to suit every taste.

Philadelphia has a home for creative mixologists with special branded cocktails more than a thousand bars and restaurants downtown, many of which offer outdoor seating, allowing you to combine a fresh cocktail with fresh air. In addition, Philadelphia is considered the BYOB capital of North America with hundreds of restaurants that allow visitors to bring their own bottles of wine and beer.

The Italian 9th Street Market is one of the largest and oldest open-air markets in the country. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

City neighborhoods

With a wide variety of cultures, Philadelphia is city ​​neighborhoods with each associated with certain food styles. Southern Philadelphia, a historically Italian part of the city, offers a variety of Italian-American restaurants with red sauce, sandwiches and pizzerias. Chinatown, the second largest on the east coast of the United States, offers a fusion of Asian cuisines. The Market Terminals Reading is one of America’s largest and oldest public markets, housed since 1893 in the National Historic Landmark building in downtown Center City. Philadelphia also has a wide range of family restaurants, sports bars, vegan options and more. With hundreds of restaurants around the city you are sure to find something to whet your appetite.

cheesecake compos
Cheese steaks Campa. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Eat like a local

If you’re looking for something truly authentic, say nothing about Philadelphia like these local favorites:

  • Cheese steaks: Fresh, soft and tender Italian rolls, usually 12 inches long, stuffed with cream cheese and tender pieces of beef are the main ingredients of this truly Philadelphia sandwich. Most establishments offer a choice of Cheez Whiz (the most popular option, “whistle out”), American cheese or Provolone cheese and the option of adding fried or raw onions to the steak. Popular cheesecake stores include iconic ones Pat and Genoaor Jim in South Philadelphia, or Camp in the Old Town.

  • Pork sandwiches: This juicy classic, made from soft rolls, chopped roasted pork, hot provolon, broccoli, roasted peppers and long spicy – it’s a real treat. The most famous version available at DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal Market was once named “America’s Best Sandwich.”

  • Crab Fries: Combining spicy and spicy with one of America’s favorite dishes Crab Fries is a real treat. Available at several restaurants and locations throughout the city, Chiki and Pete take on a dish is a favorite of Philadelphia.

  • Hagi: “The official sandwich of Philadelphia,” hogs are regionally prepared and the overwhelming favorite. These mouth-watering sandwiches are more than a full sip, packed with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, oregano, oil dressing, cheese (usually Provolone or American) and, of course, delicious Italian meat for lunch such as dry salami, mortadella and capicola – hence the nickname “Italian Hoagi”.

  • Soft pretzels: These soft and chewy pastries, rolled by hand, are the most comfortable food for Philadelphians. These savory dishes, baked daily fresh and available at street vendors, local shops or directly from the factory, are delicious with a little spicy mustard. Several stalls in the market Reading Terminal offer freshly baked pretzels, as well as stalls Philly Cranzel’s Factory (several places). The Pennsylvania Department Store also sends soft pretzels across the country.

  • Water ice: Nothing says summer in Philadelphia is better than water ice (also known as Italian ice). This cool and refreshing frozen delicacy is a smooth blend of ice, fruit juice and fresh fruit.

  • Irish potatoes: Small balls of coconut cream, rolled in cinnamon – the farthest thing that comes to mind when you first hear the name of this dish. Although it is not an Irish dish (or potato), this dessert is usually available on St. Patrick’s Day. Find them in Shane Confectionery– the oldest confectionery in the country – in the Old Town.

  • Scrapple: This is a local invention, which is called the first pork product invented in America – it’s a fried delicacy with any meal. A mixture of pork, cornmeal, flour, onion, greens, spices and other condiments, the greaves are packed in a loaf before frying to perfection for your taste buds.TIP: Try the french fries at the Down Home diner at the Reading Terminal market.

Culinary tours

A fun way to explore the Philadelphia culinary scene is to take a tour. LOSSES Branch will take you through the Italian market and along the mouth-watering East Passoon Avenue in South Philadelphia Taste Branch Food Tours specializes in sharing history and Reading Terminal Market menus. WeVenture offers a collection of walking, riding and segway routes around the city with stops at iconic eateries along the way. City food tours offers an experience based on East Passion Avenue and the Old Town, as well as Fr. Thick Branch Food Tour based on the Reading Terminal Market, which was included in Tripadvisor’s 2021 Travelers ’Choice Best of the Best list. Brewing tours of the city suggestions.

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