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 Philly—plus the Decadent Gourmet Tour, Ethnic Eats of South Philly, Prohibition Cocktails, Philly Pizza,  Highlights of East Passyunk and the new Hot & Spicy Philly, featuring a Korean hot pot, cheesesteak with deep-fried long hots and Han Dynasty’s notorious Dan Dan noodles. (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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Feb 15 2018

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Philadelphia’s brunch scene has always been strong, thanks to beloved line-out-the-door spots such as Sam’s Morning Glory Diner, Sabrina’s and Honey’s Sit ’N Eat. But more and more, Philly’s brunch options have gone truly global. On the a.m. rise right now: sweet bao and kimchi Bloody Mary’s (Bing Bing Dim Sum), bologna eggs Benedict and Dutch baby pancakes (The Dutch), huevos rancheros and scrapple-stuffed tortas (Mission Taqueria), lobster frittatas (Fork) and vegan Monte Cristos (The Tasty). Here’s a look at some of the region’s best brunch options:

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Jan 30 2018

“Greased Pole” Doughnuts And More Fun Philly Foods For Super Bowl LII

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In Philadelphia, the excitement for the Eagles’ trip to Super Bowl LII isn’t just palpable: It’s edible. The ultimate football turn of events has inspired the city’s chefs, cooks and bartenders to come up with clever, quirky—delicious—Birds-inspired food and drink.

Among the ever-growing list of Eagles fan fare are vegan pastry inspired by Broad Street’s greased poles (Dottie’s Donuts), all-green Bloody Mary cocktails (Pub & Kitchen), broccolini cheesesteaks (Rooster Soup Co.) and underdog everything, including soft pretzels (Philly Pretzel Factory) and mac-and-cheese (Mac Mart). Here are the details:

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Jan 23 2018

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Chinatown

Beyond Philadelphia’s historic Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives a thriving Asian neighborhood, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, Philly’s Chinatown is packed end-to-end with restaurants and stores that represent Hong Kong, Cantonese, Fujianese, Northern Sichuan and Taiwanese cultures, with a sprinkling of Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Burmese, Vietnamese and hipster thrown in for good measure. On any given day or night, Chinatown is active and authentic, popular for steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles, seasonal street festivals, a new food hall (

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Jan 22 2018

Philadelphia Bakeries: More Delicious By The Dozen

A Guide To The Region’s Top Makers Of Bread, Buns, Cakes And Pastries

Philadelphia, a city of neighborhoods, is also a city of neighborhood bakeries. Cannoli from the 9th Street Italian Market’s Isgro’s and Termini Brothers, tomato pie from Manayunk’s Marchiano’s Bakery and pound cake from Port Richmond’s Stock’s Bakery are just some of the crumbs of Philly’s culinary makeup. Today, the city’s blocks also burst with modern French patisseries and boulangeries (J’aime French Bakery, Machine Shop), specialized bakeries (Dottie’s Donuts, ICI Macarons and Café and gluten- and allergen-free specialist Sweet Freedom Bakery) and artisans with modern ideas about heritage ingredients (High Street on Market, Lost Bread

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Jan 3 2018

Taquerias And Taco Trucks Dot Philadelphia Neighborhoods

South Philly Leads The City’s Taco Craze

Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the authentic, mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, roving food trucks and the newest crop of Mexican joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where:

South Philly:

  • Blue Corn – Distinguished among its quick-serve counterparts on the 9th Street Italian Market, this family-owned and operated restaurant has genuine warmth and hospitality—not to mention a liquor license and incredible tacos made with a rotating lineup of specialty tortillas pressed on the premises. 940 S. 9th Street, (215) 925-1010, @bluecornrestaurant
  • El Compadre –
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Nov 30 2017

The BYOB Restaurant: A Philly Phenomenon

Region Boasts 300-Plus Bring-Your-Own-Bottle Restaurants

Despite decades of popularity and expansion, one quintessential Philadelphia dining phenomenon continues to fly deliciously under the radar. It’s the BYOB, the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant—BYO, for short. Typically independently owned and operated, Philly’s BYOBs number into the three hundreds. Diners find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. It’s a curious trend with an interesting backstory—and an even more interesting present.

Here’s a short explanation of how the BYOB scene came to be—and advice on navigating the landscape.

What Is A BYOB?:
A BYOB restaurant allows patrons to

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Nov 6 2017

Classic Holiday Eating, One Philadelphia Mom-And-Pop Shop At A Time

Lines Out The Door Are Part Of The Fun Among These Philly Holiday Food Makers

Philadelphia does festive food and drink right. The proof: Wintertime lines out the doors of the city’s beloved mom-and-pop purveyors. For decades, Philadelphia’s proudly diverse population has represented a variety of home-cooked holiday food traditions holidays: classic latkes, old-world confections, Italian pastry, Polish kielbasa and handmade tamales. Here’s a field guide to eating through the holiday season the authentic way:

Thanksgiving Turkey & Pies:

  • Cacia’s Bakery – Since the 1950s, this venerable deep South Philly bread maker has played a special role in local holiday dinners. Each Thanksgiving, the Cacia family offers their services—their massive, brick-lined bread oven, really—to
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Oct 11 2017

Cheesesteak 101: A Primer On The Who, What, Where & Whiz Of Philly Cheesesteaks

Backgrounder

Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. So what is an authentic cheesesteak and where did it come from? Here’s the lowdown on this region’s favorite sandwich.

What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and mild or sharp provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance

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Oct 2 2017

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Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy

Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at septa.org before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation

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