I want to have a typical meal. Where and what should I eat?

By Traveller May 23, 2018
Philadelphia

I want to have a typical meal. Where and what should I eat?

(16 answers)
By Maria Traveller May 23, 2018

I’d really like to dig into the local cuisine on my trip. Any recommendations for authentic local places? Anything I absolutely must try?

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16 answers

Hi Maria! Philly has a lot to offer so I don't think that there is any wrong answer. Many people will say that you should try the "cheesesteak" also called a "hoagie" which is very famous and common there. Make sure you go to an Italian place, there is an Italian market neighborhood in South Philly where you can find lots of places. There are 2 restaurants across from each other called Pat's and Gino's which are very famous and touristic experiences. I would recommend however that you try some local food trucks. They are common in Philadelphia, cheap, and quick foods for lunch or late breakfast. They're similar to what you have in New York city but cheaper. If you can find some Turkish Halal trucks that is my favorite. Philly is a very multicultural city with many many immigrants from around the world, so I would say that trying many different cuisines rather than any one special kind, will give you the most "local" kind of experience. As you might know also, stay away from the city center and commercial areas if you want good, authentic, and not overpriced food. Best of luck!
Local June 5, 2018
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Maria, like everyone has stated, got to have a cheese steak. Jon's Roast Pork (cash only) in South Phila on Synder Ave has one the best. Personally get mine with American, mayo, fried onions and ketchup. They also have other classic sandwiches like roast pork with long hots. The Little Lion is also a great place to eat. Enjoy your trip!
Local May 27, 2018
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Tony Luc's
A
Local May 24, 2018
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Hi Maria,

The best known food of Philadelphia is the cheese steak. If it is your first time going I would suggest Jim's on South Street or Pat's in South Philly. Those of two of the most well known. If you want a more authentic feel I would suggest Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop in Fishtown. If you go there you should also stop by Frankford Hall on the same block. One of my favorite bars in the city. My other favorite places with great food and atmosphere can be found in the Gayborhood; Little Nonnas, El Vez, Bud and Marilyns, Barbuzzo, or Double Knot (make sure to sit downstairs for that one). Hope this helps!
Local May 23, 2018
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Hi Maria,

The best known food of Philadelphia is the cheese steak. If it is your first time going I would suggest Jim's on South Street or Pat's in South Philly. Those of two of the most well known. If you want a more authentic feel I would suggest Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop in Fishtown. If you go there you should also stop by Frankford Hall on the same block. One of my favorite bars in the city. My other favorite places with great food and atmosphere can be found in the Gayborhood; Little Nonnas, El Vez, Bud and Marilyns, Barbuzzo, or Double Knot (make sure to sit downstairs for that one). Hope this helps!
Local May 23, 2018
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Definitely get a Philly Cheesesteak! My favorite place is Dellasandros!
H
Local May 23, 2018
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Definitely get a Philly cheesesteak! My favorite place is Dellasandros!
H
Local May 23, 2018
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You will certainly never go hungry in Philadelphia, as there are options for all different tastes. The most characteristic Philly food would be a Philly Cheesesteak, and while it may not be life-changing, I would absolutely recommend trying at least one. Opt for Cheez Whiz and onions for the full experience. If you travel anywhere else and they have a "Philly Cheesesteak" on the menu, be advised it will NOT be a Philly Cheesesteak. Aside from cheesesteaks, Reading Terminal Market is an indoor market which has a variety of different shops and cuisines. I would recommend a Roast Pork Sandwich from Dinic's, and a Meat Sampler from Hershel's East Side Deli. Lastly, I would recommend seeking out one of the many award-winning restaurants in Philly. I had one of the best meals of my life at Zahav, which serves modern Israeli cuisine. Another personal favorite is the set of restaurants run by Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran (Barbuzzo, Lolita, Bud & Marilyn's, Jamonera.) Stephen Starr has also opened many highly regarded restaurants in the area.
A
Local May 23, 2018
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All good suggestions below, but Philly has over the years developed a thriving and idiosyncratic food scene. Go to Fishtown (sort of like an early stage Williamsburg in B'klyn) to visit Cheu Fishtown for creative Asian-Jewish fare (Brisket Ramen) in a cool converted 19th c firehouse; wander the center of Philly, from Washington Square Park up Sansom Street -- stop in Goldies for an amazing Tehina Shake (and the falafel ain't bad) and Dizengoff for the best hummus outside Jaffa -- and end to hang out in Rittenhouse Square, an urban park gem (with a great farmer's market on Saturday). I could go on and on, but a terrific site for more ideas is philly.eater.com. Also, can't forget, Philly has a thriving Mexican community with great restaurants around the Italian market, which still has a few of the earlier Italian generation hanging on. See our top local food critic's guide http://www.philly.com/philly/food/mexican-restaurants-philadelphia-south-philly.html.
J
Local May 23, 2018
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Jim steak on south street and Ishkabibbles South Street. As for local cuisine, we don’t really have that in the states. Philly is known for their cheese steak.
Local May 23, 2018
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Lots of options, Maria. The folks below have already given you many choices. Opt for the Reading Terminal for many different things: cheese steaks, Amish foods, Italian cannolis, local foods etc. Go on a Friday or Saturday when all the shops are open. Also head to Northern Liberties and visit n3rd and the Standard Tap for local dishes and beers.
J
Local May 23, 2018
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If you want what’s popular in philly, you have to eat the Philly cheese steak. Other than that, everything else is the normal American food. Plus the pretzel is a philly thing also.
Local May 23, 2018
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Anything in Reading Terminal Market. DiNic's and Hershel's East Side Deli are great options. Enjoy!
Local May 23, 2018
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Hi, Maria! While in Philadelphia, you must try 2 different things. We are known for soft pretzels which are large and delicious...especially when they are just out of the oven. Typically, people put mustard on them. There are Philly Pretzel Company stores all over...even at the airport. And then there are cheesesteaks which are large sandwiches comprised of shaved beef with options of grilled onions and melted cheese. As a non meat eater, I don’t eat them( though they do make them with chicken, as well), but the two famous places are Tony Luke’s and Pat’s...I think there is also a Gino’s, but you can find them anywhere, really.
Stephen Starr is a local restaurant developer who has amazing places throughout the city(he’s branched off to New York, too), but. Google him and pick one that suits you. We are fans of The Continental and Buddakhan, but you can’t go wrong with any of his.
Have a wonderful time. Hope you find this truly the “city of brotherly love”!
Local May 23, 2018
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While the cheesesteak gets all the fame and acclaim, the true sandwich of Philadelphia is the Roast Pork. There are tons of freak places to get roast pork in Philly, but none better than John’s Roast Pork in South Philly. John’s is small and only keeps lunch hours, but it’s well worth the trip for their delicious sandwiches on their distinctive seasame seeded bun.
C
Local May 23, 2018
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Philadelphia is known by tourists for its cheesesteaks, but most cheesesteaks are pretty disappointing. I recommend instead a roast pork sandwich, specifically from DiNic's in Reading Terminal Market. It's thinly sliced roasted pork, broccoli rabe, and extra sharp provolone on a roll. Really great. That said, Philly is a great food town, so don't limit yourself to just what some folks think of as traditionally Philly.
Local May 23, 2018
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