Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Oct 13 2017

Food Tours & Classes: Delicious Ways To Discover Philadelphia

Culinary Tour Guides & Chef-Instructors Heighten Any Philly Visit

Eating out is one of the very best ways to get to know a place, and Philadelphia’s culinary tours and classes offer fast and delicious regional familiarity. After all, discovering a historic city famous for its food shed, farmers’ (and other) markets, spot-on neighborhood dining, celebrity chefs, distilling and brewing scenes and mom-and-pop eateries requires some guidance. Here are some tours, trails and classes that come highly—and appetizingly—recommended:

Food Tours:

  • Chew Philly Food Tours – These 2.5-hour walks through the culinary (and historical) highlights of the northwestern city neighborhoods of Manayunk and Chestnut Hill focus on eight mom-and-pop gems apiece. In Manayunk, that means joining the line out the door for tomato pie from Marchiano’s Bakery. And in Chestnut Hill, it means bites of McNally’s famous Schmitter®, the cheesesteak’s quirky cousin. (800) 656-0713, phillyfoodtours.com
  • City Food Tour – Visitors eat like locals—and receive some general city background—in food-driven neighborhood walks that work especially well for first-time visitors. These themed crawls include the basics—Flavors of Philadelphia—plus the Decadent Gourmet Tour, Ethnic Eats of South Philly, Prohibition Cocktails, Philly Pizza and Highlights of East Passyunk. (877) 413-7224, cityfoodtours.com
  • Philly Food Adventures – Award-winning food writer and blogger Jamie Shanker welcomes groups of four to 20 for her 2.5-hour jaunts around Chinatown. The tour begins with a quick history lesson beneath Chinatown’s Friendship Gate before moving eaters to five independent finds (including markets) for bao buns, soup dumplings, salt-baked squid, bubble tea and, really, whatever they’re craving that day. phillyfoodadventures.com
  • South Philadelphia Food Tour – Chef Jacquie serves as a personable culinary guide to her neighborhood during this tour. Daily behind-the-scenes trips through the Italian Market include hearty tastes of meatballs and gravy at Villa di Roma and samples at other stalwart Italian and Mexican food vendors along South 9th Street. On Monday through Thursday evenings, she hosts a four-course progressive dinner along East Passyunk Avenue. (610) 506-6120, taste4travel.net

Drink Tours:

  • Brandywine Valley, Bucks County and Montgomery County Trails – In Philadelphia’s surrounding counties, the winery scene has grown into three distinct, daytrip-worthy trails. Each trail offers self-guided tours through vineyards and vintners. Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, (610) 444-3842, brandywinetrail.com; Bucks County Wine Trail, buckscountywinetrail.com; Montgomery County Wine Trail, (215) 801-2227, montgomerycountywinetrail.com
  • Philadelphia Beer Trail – As the onetime beer-brewingest city in the Western Hemisphere, Philly’s got some serious suds cred—with names such as Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company (PBC), Saint Benjamin and other small-batch operators. Larger brewers such as Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Company pour their ales in impressive onsite bars, most offer regular tours, and none will turn down a kind request for a cold sample. visitphilly.com/beertrail
  • Philadelphia Distillery Trail – The national boom in small-batch distillers is in full effect among the region’s 15 or so artisan makers—with an informal trail now available for self-guided spirits exploration. Worthy city operations include Philadelphia Distilling (Bluecoat Gin), Federal Distilling (vodka), New Liberty (whiskey and rye), Rowhouse Spirits Distillery (whiskey, gin, rum, liqueurs)—all of which welcome visitors for formal or impromptu tours—and sell their wares by the glass, bottle and/or case. phillydistillerytrail.com
  • Philly On Tap – Serving as one of the Philadelphia Urban Adventures tour options, the two-hour jaunt takes a small group of participants to a few of the city’s great watering holes to sample the region’s finest beers—all during happy hour time. Both brew novices and experts enjoy sipping draughts, learning about the brewing process and discovering the history of the city’s brewing culture. (215) 280-3746, philadelphiaurbanadventures.com
  • Tastings & Tours’ Winery & Brewery Tour – Those who appreciate a good drink can enjoy a carefree day at these tours. The itineraries cover some of the area’s finest wineries, breweries, brewpubs and distilleries, along with some beautiful scenery en route. The guided, all-inclusive, private tastings are offered in Bucks County and beyond. (484) 695-6465, tastingsandtours.com
  • Tippler’s Tour – Participants sing along to 18th-century drinking songs, enjoy stories of the drinking traditions of Colonial times and sample beverages and snacks as they ramble through Philadelphia’s Historic District by night. Thursdays, April through December. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org

Food (& Drink) For Thought:

  • Cook – At Audrey Claire’s retail boutique and cooking demonstrations studio, renowned chefs share their secrets during culinary class/dinner events. The onsite boutique tempts with its wonderful selection of cookbooks, kitchen tools, pantry goods and more. 253 S. 20th Street, (215) 735-2665, audreyclairecook.com
  • Counter Culture’s Philadelphia Training Center – Free to the public, “Tastings at Ten” take place at this second-floor center (atop the Graduate Hospital neighborhood branch of Ultimo Coffee) Friday mornings. Every month, the center books up for “Brewing Basics,” a two-hour class in perfecting the at-home pour-over. 2149 Catharine Street, Unit B, counterculturecoffee.com
  • Miss Rachel’s Pantry – The vegan destination and bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot invites diners to join patrons around a cozy farmhouse table for 12—and also offers private, two-hour cooking classes for parties of two to four. Chef Rachel Klein leads each customized course, offering basics in cruelty-free comfort cooking to the careful composition of an entirely plant-based, home-style, three-course meal. 1938 S. Chadwick Street, (215) 798-0053, missrachelspantry.com
  • Panorama – Unique, small production wines comprise the 800-bottle list at this Italian Old City wine bar, which has the Guinness Book of World Records honor for having the world's largest preservation and dispensing wine system—which can serve 120 distinct wines by the glass. Ordering a personalized five-glass flight is an education in vintage and variety. On Wine Wednesdays, the sommelier discounts a typically small-batch red and white. 14 N. Front Street, (215) 922-7800, panoramaristorante.com
  • Pinot Boutique – This two-time “Best of Philly” winner in Old City offers great regional wine, accessories, tastings and classes and private parties. The specialty here: uniquely local wine classes: pairing vino with cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Tastykakes and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, and lessons on wines of the American Revolution. 227 Market Street, (215) 627-9463, pinotboutique.com
  • Reading Terminal Market – Center City’s historic indoor market is the motherland for the buy-local movement in Philadelphia, and naturally has its own educational cooking space. Free cooking demonstrations every Saturday highlight market vendors, products and ingredients.11th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-1170, readingterminalmarket.org/market-events
  • ROOT restaurant + wine bar – The charming Fishtown restaurant and wine bar has recruited Philadelphia oenophile Jason Wilson as leader of Planet of the Grapes, a series of lively, late-afternoon wine classes at the trendy Fishtown restaurant. Wilson explains trends and concepts while introducing students to lesser-known vintages; the kitchen serves snacks.1206 Frankford Avenue, (215) 515-3452, rootrestaurant.com
  • The Wine School – Vinologist and wine writer Keith Wallace helps students understand and appreciate the (sometimes intimidating) worlds of wine and beer via one-time classes. Longer courses on beer brewing or advanced wine appreciation provide a judge’s certification at the end. Various dates. 109 S. 22nd Street, vinology.com
  • Tria’s Sunday School – The school’s program offers a special cheese, wine and beer each week along with information about their provenance. The unusual offerings are well priced—and unlikely to be seen elsewhere around town; Tria has plans to open a third location with an outdoor wine garden at 31 S. 18th Street in 2018. 123 S. 18th Street, (215) 972-8742; 1137 Spruce Street, (215) 629-9200; triacafe.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

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What Is A Cheesesteak?:
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