Philadelphia Visitors Guide

I wrote a guide for my coworkers when visiting Philly for work or a personal trip. Here is a modified version of that guide:

@belcherj‘s Top 10:

  • Zahav – Amazing Israeli food, considered top 3 restaurants in Philly. Let me know if you need help with reservations.  I have the hook up.
  • South Philly Barbacoa – Real Barbacoa made by Cristina Martinez who was recently on Chef’s Table (Netflix).  Food is amazing! She is also a civil rights and immigration advocate.
  • Royal Boucherie – American eatery meant to have a vintage feel.  Created by Chef Nick Elmi winner of Top Chef. Really great food and amazing atmosphere.
  • Kanella Grill – Where Adrienne and I had dinner with family after getting married at City Hall.  Greek food in a small quaint comfy atmosphere.
  • Dim Sum Garden – Best Dim Sum in Philadelphia.  They are known for their soup dumplings but all of their food is amazing.
  • Noord – Located on Passyunk Ave this is an amazing Northern European eatery.  One of our favorites. After dinner the neighborhood is worth exploring and there are lots of places for drinks. Fountain Porter is just down the street.
  • Fountain Porter – Like beer and/or natural wines? This is the place.  Want to open up some budget and do dinner on the cheap? They have $5 burgers with $3 fries. They also have a veggie burger and small snacks. Food is fantastic but the curated wine and beer selection is why you go.
  • Tria Taproom – Considered one of the best beer bars in the city with a great wine selection on tap. 
  • Irwin’s – Bok Building is a technical school that shut down in 2013 and has been converted into a commercial space.  I used to have my coworking space there. There is BBQ joint on the first floor if meat is your thing. On the 8th floor there is a restaurant, Irwin’s, that has a very unique feel. The website pictures don’t do it justice.  The views are pretty amazing and the atmosphere is worth the trip.
  • Bud & Marilyn’s – It is modeled after a 1950’s diner and does a great job.  The atmosphere is fantastic. The food is even better. Easily my favorite casual dining experience. 

Classic Philly Spots

  • Dim Sum Garden – Dim sum
  • Tony Lukes – Best cheesesteak in Philly, please don’t go to Pat’s and Geno’s
  • Parc – From Paris and miss that alfresco rattan chair outdoor dining? Parc has you covered with a French style eatery right on Rittenhouse Square.  Outdoor tables are first come first serve but inside isn’t bad either.
  • Yakitori Boy – Fancy some Karaoke? Need I say more. Reserve ahead of time for private room
  • Italian Market – A little dirty, a little smelly.  Go to Di Bruno Bros.
  • Citizens Bank Park – If the weather is good tickets to baseball games are cheap.  You can take the subway. I highly recommend. https://www.mlb.com/phillies/schedule/2019-04
  • Victor Cafe – Like Opera? Like Italian food? Like it when your wait staff break into Operatic chorus every 15 minutes? South Philly got you covered. Also where they filmed Adrian’s restaurant in Rocky.  

Food

  • Friday Saturday Sunday
  • Vernick
  • Zahav
  • South Philly Barbacoa
  • Vedge
  • Royal Izakaya
  • Abe Fisher
  • Irwin’s
  • Noord
  • Townsend
  • Royal Boucherie
  • Hardena
  • Saté Kampar
  • Double Knot
  • Perla
  • Blue Corn
  • Will
  • Kanella Grill
  • High Street on Market
  • Tria – Multiple locations
  • Tria Taproom
  • Dim Sum Garden
  • Bing Bing Dim SUm
  • Cheu
  • Nan Zhou
  • The Foodery Rittenhouse

Beer

  • Monk’s
  • Fountain Porter
  • South Philly Taproom
  • Fermentary Form
  • Memphis Taproom
  • Khyber Pass

Cocktails

  • Giuseppe & Sons – downstairs
  • Attico Rooftop
  • ITV
  • Hop Sing Laundromat
  • Friday Saturday Sunday
  • V Street
  • Helm Rittenhouse
  • Ranstead Room
  • a.bar 
  • Oyster House
  • Bud & Marilyn’s
  • Irwin’s
  • Townsend
  • Royal Boucherie

Attractions

  • Liberty Bell
  • Liberty Hall
  • Mutter Museum
  • Art Museum, Rocky steps, statue
  • Rodin
  • Barnes

Groceries

Grocery stores depend on where you are staying. These are the best places to get groceries in Philly:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods (multiple locations)
  • Sprouts
  • Reading Terminal Market (market style)

Not as good but still going to get you everything you need:

  • Shoprite
  • Green Grocer
  • Acme

Specialty

  • Di Bruno Bros. – Cheese, Meats, etc

Transportation:

Use Google maps! The airport has a train that will take you to 30th street station which you can then take the Market Frankford line.  That being said your best bet is to Uber most places from the airport.

Subway:  There are two subway lines in Philadelphia, the Market Frankford line which goes east – west and the Broad Street line which runs North – South.  The Subway can be really useful and fast if you are coming from and going to a place that is close to the line. Google maps will tell you when it makes sense.  If you are not in Center City you will want to be close to a Subway stop.

Buses:  Buses run pretty much everywhere.  Google maps will help you know which bus to take, where to find the stop, and when the next one is expected.  The expected next bus is not always accurate.

Uber: everywhere you want to go. 

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