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Philly Food Guide

divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
edited October 2018 in PAX Unplugged
Posted this a week ago to the Pax FB group, figured you’d all make use of it too. The full thread is here with some additional suggestions by other locals, and some more by me (GF, vegan, paleo) in the comments.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1621939471246414/permalink/1852192194887806/

Okay, as a Philly native and Center City resident, here’s a short walkable food list. I have NOT included anything in reading terminal because a) many people recommend already and b) it’s packed as hell during cons. Ditto for Panera, Maggiano’s and BurgerFi across the street from the center.

Everything listed is 20 minute walk or closer from con center.

BREAKFAST:
Federal Donuts (doughnuts and fried chicken) (13 min walk)
Great yeasty doughnuts. I like the Oreo ones but they’re a special, so they won’t always have them.
1632 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Green Eggs Cafe (9 min walk)
Cash only and a bit pricey but their breakfast will probably fill you all day. Crab cake Benedict is a personal fave, and my mother swears by the steak and eggs. Expect a massive line on weekends after 830 AM so go when it opens if you want to get in and out quickly.
212 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

J’amie French Bakery (10min walk)
Buttery. French. Croissants. Enough said.
212 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

IHOP (9 min walk)
It’s ihop. It’s open 24 hours all weekend. If you want pancakes at 3am they gotchu fam.
1320 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Lunch/Dinner

Chinatown Square (7 min walk)
Actually about 10-12 little counter stalls (like reading terminal) serving only Asian and middle eastern fare with large seating space in the back (so your group can all order from different places and still sit together) There’s a poke place, bao (basically mini Chinese sandwiches), yakitori, Korean tacos, shawarma, khmeri grill, and more. Karaoke upstairs. My personal favorite is the sweet Japanese curry tonkatsu from Curry Corner. Happy hour specials on Thursdays.
1016-18 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Dim Sum Garden (7 min walk)
Cash only. Soup dumplings. Fast service. Expect stupidly long lines on weekends as half the city waits for a table. I have friends who will come from 2 hours away when I say I’m going here for lunch. They don’t take reservations and they don’t need to with the hungry customers lining out the door. They do offer takeout but not delivery- though Uber Eats might be able to get it to you.
1020 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodles (7 minutes)
You might have noticed these last three restaurants are all next door to each other. I like to call 10th and Race the best foodie corner in the city, and Nan Zhou rounds it out. Big noodles with meat, seafood, or veg. Meatball is by far my favorite and everything is fresh and cheap. Cash only.
1022 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hatch and Coop (9 min walk)
Not everyone likes Chinese food (s h a m e). This place is good quick service egg and/or chicken sandwiches with hekking good curly fries. Most of the guys working here are gamers, and they KEEP. TAKING. THEIR. POKEMON. GO. GYM. AWAY. FROM. ME. They are all team instinct and it drives me bonkers.
122 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Destination Dogs
I normally would never recommend a hot dog place as somewhere to go, but here we are. DD really is just that good. Everything is made in house and their cocktails are also superb (and they use lobster roll style split rolls instead of hot dog buns, a major plus in my book). Personal favorite is La Poutine- a duck sausage topped with gravy, fries, and cheese curds. And as a Jewish girl I have to sadly concede that their latkes are better than mine.
1111 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Additional honorable mentions:
Su Xing (Chinese, vegetarian and vegan)
Smokin’ Betty’s (BBQ and cocktails)
Charlie was a sinner. (Vegetarian and vegan tapas and desserts, cocktails)
Capogiro (gelato and coffee)
Tom’s Dim Sum (I cant vouch, but commenters are saying good dim sum. Also takes card)
A La Mousse (Chinese bakery, and green tea house)
Paris Baguette (Korean bakery (yes, I’m equally confused), good croissant sandwiches)
HipCityVeg (vegetarian and vegan burger joint, take out only)
Bareburger (farm to table burgers, lots of vegetarian options)
Rooster Soup Co (farm to table diner, very small seasonal menu, nonprofit restaurant)

ALSO: If you like Amish pastries, go to Reading Terminal around 4-4:30 on Saturday. Beiler’s Bakery (not the doughnuts, just the bakery) sells its remaining stock in large batches for $5 since they’re closed Sunday’s. If you want a cart load of rhubarb pie, go then.

I’ll add more, feel free to post below too.

divisionten on
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Posts

  • ltgruntltgrunt Registered User regular
    Great suggestions. It might be nice to get out and eat somewhere other than the Reading Terminal Market (although the food in there was pretty dang good). Thanks for the tip on the Amish pastries.

    The only place we got out to eat least year was Nom Wah Philadephia on N 13th St. and it was pretty good. We had about a 15-20 minute wait on Friday night last year, but once we sat down the service was pretty quick. We were thinking of going back there this year because it's better dim sum than we can get in our area here in SC.

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  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    Great suggestions. Honestly, if you walk about 3 blocks in any direction other than north (which goes into Chinatown, where you probably need to walk about 5), you're going to find FAR less busy restaurants and a ton of good stuff.

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    The Bourse just opened up, which is about 6 blocks east, and is a massive food court like Reading Terminal with far smaller lines.

  • tasiewbaotasiewbao New York CityRegistered User regular
    This post is incredibly helpful for us visiting Philly. Thanks!

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    The Bourse just opened up, which is about 6 blocks east, and is a massive food court like Reading Terminal with far smaller lines.

    I was excited about this, then saw it's actually a mile and a half away from the convention center :\

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    The Bourse just opened up, which is about 6 blocks east, and is a massive food court like Reading Terminal with far smaller lines.

    I was excited about this, then saw it's actually a mile and a half away from the convention center :\

    That’s quitters talk. Take an hour break and see the city a bit!

  • pandoras.lunchboxpandoras.lunchbox Registered User new member
    Schmulki wrote: »
    The Bourse just opened up, which is about 6 blocks east, and is a massive food court like Reading Terminal with far smaller lines.

    I was excited about this, then saw it's actually a mile and a half away from the convention center :\

    Grab a bus, trolley, or train. It'll take a minute. Or just walk and see a pretty cool historic city.

  • FugitoidFugitoid New York, USARegistered User regular
    Don't forget about the legendary cheese steak debate! Who's the best? You decide. It's not a walkable trip, but a quick Lyft or Uber and you won't regret it. There is Pat's and Geno's, they are across the street from one another, and they are open 24/7.

    Pat's King of Steaks
    1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

    Geno's Steaks
    1219 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

    I've tried them both and there is a clear winner IMHO, but I'll let you decide. If you like meat and cheese it's worth it, I'll be eating 2 a day from my preferred establishment.

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    Fugitoid wrote: »
    Don't forget about the legendary cheese steak debate! Who's the best? You decide. It's not a walkable trip, but a quick Lyft or Uber and you won't regret it. There is Pat's and Geno's, they are across the street from one another, and they are open 24/7.

    Pat's King of Steaks
    1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

    Geno's Steaks
    1219 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

    I've tried them both and there is a clear winner IMHO, but I'll let you decide. If you like meat and cheese it's worth it, I'll be eating 2 a day from my preferred establishment.

    The winner is Joe’s, you fool! (Hahahahaha)

  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    Yeah, hasn't the general consensus been that the best steaks aren't at either one?

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    bubba0077EagleAlphaX
  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    Yeah, hasn't the general consensus been that the best steaks aren't at either one?

    They’re not bad, but they’re low on my list. They’re basically a tourist trap at this point. Joe’s line is shorter and you’re sat either at counter or one super long table, so it’s a brood chance to talk to locals.

    Also Joes has milkshakes, which is a game set match in my book

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    That’s quitters talk. Take an hour break and see the city a bit!

    Oh I've seen the city enough, I don't need to walk 3 miles, round-trip, in what will probably be not the greatest weather.
    Grab a bus, trolley, or train. It'll take a minute. Or just walk and see a pretty cool historic city.

    I don't think there is a such thing as a single one of those which will get you down that way since it's both south and east. You'd probably need 2+ or to still walk a decent chunk.

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    Honestly, if you want a good example of a good cheesesteak without dealing with the tourists or going way across town to Pats/Gino's, just head over to Steve's: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pennsylvania+Convention+Center,+1101+Arch+St,+Philadelphia,+PA+19107/Steve's+Prince+of+Steaks,+41+S+16th+St,+Philadelphia,+PA+19102/@39.9532003,-75.165745,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c6c62b8bffffff:0x18876b45306b5bc2!2m2!1d-75.1599819!2d39.9549028!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c6c6303ab85e57:0x60cfd7455c33ee1f!2m2!1d-75.1669224!2d39.9514979!3e2

    It's not the greatest cheesesteak you'll ever eat, but it's up there, under a half mile walk from the convention center so it's both not too far, but not so close that it's going to be a madhouse, and along the way, you'll walk right by city hall and the Christmas Village (a whole bunch of small independent places in small "booths" outside. It's a bit touristy, but some neat stuff there.

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    I forgot Christmas Village swill be up! Hot spiced cider yaaaaaas

    ltgrunt
  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Yea, I walked by there this morning, the little buildings are all up, I couldn't tell if the places are open yet. If I get a chance, I'll check around lunchtime.

    edit: looks like it's open after Thanksgiving

    Schmulki on
  • brandgalmbrandgalm Registered User regular
    If any vegans (or veg-curious folks!) want to make the walk down to HipCityVeg with me for dinner on Saturday, hit me up!

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    brandgalm wrote: »
    If any vegans (or veg-curious folks!) want to make the walk down to HipCityVeg with me for dinner on Saturday, hit me up!

    My go to is a Bistro Bella with a side Asian salad.

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    Not a vegan and I can vouche for HipCityVeg. Their "chick'n" is scary how much it tastes like the real thing. They definitely don't lack on flavor in that place.

    Just realize it's a bit of a walk (I want to say around 5 blocks west and 4-5 blocks south from the convention center) and there's only a few tables in the place. I don't think I've ever successfully eaten at a table there.

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    Not a vegan and I can vouche for HipCityVeg. Their "chick'n" is scary how much it tastes like the real thing. They definitely don't lack on flavor in that place.

    Just realize it's a bit of a walk (I want to say around 5 blocks west and 4-5 blocks south from the convention center) and there's only a few tables in the place. I don't think I've ever successfully eaten at a table there.
    Yeah I just get it as takeaway.

  • brandgalmbrandgalm Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    Not a vegan and I can vouche for HipCityVeg. Their "chick'n" is scary how much it tastes like the real thing. They definitely don't lack on flavor in that place.

    Just realize it's a bit of a walk (I want to say around 5 blocks west and 4-5 blocks south from the convention center) and there's only a few tables in the place. I don't think I've ever successfully eaten at a table there.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Striker511Striker511 Registered User new member

    Dims Sum (May only be until 3pm, Unsure if they do it later)
    Ocean Harbor – more popular and considered preferred by some
    https://goo.gl/maps/9VU7WjsmU4N2

    Ocean City – usually better in my opinion overall as the wait is usually shorter
    https://goo.gl/maps/LCcqiBSApm42

    Cantonese Noodles and Meat
    Ting Wong
    https://goo.gl/maps/oJAPxCM2EiD2

    M Kee
    https://goo.gl/maps/Uu5DTBrWECC2

    Hand drawn
    Spice-C
    https://goo.gl/maps/LiZ2JbHEGwG2

    Vietnamese
    Pho Xe Lua (thai food is also offered)
    https://goo.gl/maps/7283NzpmLFF2

    Japanese Ramen and Food
    Terakawa Ramen (Can be quite tight on space and probably long wait for groups during dinner/lunch rush)
    https://goo.gl/maps/FC7Wcgg5Ta72

    Dessert/Bubble Tea/Pastries Options
    Vivi Bubble Tea
    https://goo.gl/maps/fdPYMs7YdPy

    Teassert Bar (Bubble Tea, Rolled Ice Cream)
    https://goo.gl/maps/ByXtCAoUzzC2

    Hong Kong Pastries
    Mayflower Bakery (After 6pm, they have a special of 3 for $1.75 of what is left),
    https://goo.gl/maps/SMkozLRvuXE2

    Most Bakeries around chinatown are about the same, but personally I have only been to the above in recent times. English is a bit worse at the bakeries.

    Paris Baquette (Not Hong Kong pastries and pricier, much richer types of pasties)
    https://goo.gl/maps/ZBxrgcSAcUR2

    Family Style Restaurants and Fresh Seafood, also late night (open to 3am)
    Tai Lake
    https://goo.gl/maps/Jd2yzws6YWp

    Jade Harbor
    https://goo.gl/maps/SG6bhskrxaG2

    Outside of Chinatown
    Maggiano’s
    https://goo.gl/maps/h7Zc34ppytr

    Shake Shack (Burgers)
    https://goo.gl/maps/hDdy31ovJUR2

    Barbuzzo (Mediterranean Tapas and Pizza, Mostly great stuff to go with wine but good. Space can be tight in the restaurant )
    https://goo.gl/maps/AeNXKtvLQyL2

    Zavino’s (Same description as above and next to Barbuzzo)

    Capogiro Gelato Artisan (Gelato)
    https://goo.gl/maps/kDFW4F4YZ6A2

  • ossipagoossipago Registered User regular
    If you're vegetarian/vegan (or even if you're not) and up for a splurge, I highly recommend Vedge (about a 12 minute walk south). You can probably make a meal out of their Friday happy hour offerings. Still a $30+ meal per person, probably, but cheaper than the main restaurant.

  • ltgruntltgrunt Registered User regular
    Y'all. We got back to the hotel after one last round of D&D this evening and we we're too spent to go anywhere. We found a place called Cleavers that we'd never had before and got it delivered via Uber Eats.

    Y'all, these we're some dang good sandwiches for the price. The loaded fries were really good as well.

    mkf6ad9.png
    Elbasunu
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