Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Feb 2 2016

New On Philly's Hotel Restaurant Scene

Openings Include Urban Farmer, Richard Sandoval’s Aquimero, Ruth’s Chris & Bud & Marilyn’s

In the decades since acclaimed classical French Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix opened his eponymous restaurant in a four-star hotel across the street from Center City’s Swann Fountain, the Philadelphia hotel dining scene has emerged a foodie force. Today, Lacroix, now flourishing in The Rittenhouse hotel, remains a destination dining spot. But so do newcomers to the scene: locally focused Urban Farmer Steakhouse at The Logan and culinary-kitschy Bud & Marilyn’s at boutique operation The Independent Hotel, along with springtime productions by eminent steakhouse Ruth’s Chris, destined for the Sonesta Philadelphia, and acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval’s Aqimero at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

Newly Opened:

  • Midtown Village, Center City’s thriving district just east of the Avenue of the Arts, has long been the dining purview of Chef Marcie Turney and restaurateur-partner Valerie Safran. The pair opened the neighborhood’s first modern Mexican, Spanish and Italian bistros, all located along 13th Street. In 2015, they debuted fun and funky Bud & Marilyn’s, located just below The Independent Hotel. The mid-century-informed American restaubar, opened for lunch, brunch and dinner, quickly became known for its refined comfort foods. The menu refers to one appetizer as “cheese and crackers;” another is a bona fide pu pu platter, and then there are the outrageously popular cheese curds. Bacon-topped skillet bread, Nashville hot buns, fried chicken, and kielbasa with pierogies take retro fare to refined levels—as does the list of classic whiskeys and old-school cocktails. 1234 Locust Street, (215) 546-2220,
  • The Logan, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection of hotels, recently welcomed the country’s third Urban Farmer Steakhouse overlooking elegant Logan Square. Although the expansive restaurant is located in the heart of Center City, its look remains stylishly rural, keeping an eye toward the regional farms, fisheries and breweries that furnish the menu’s ingredients and libations. Steaks butchered and dry-aged in-house are certainly the centerpiece here, but also of note are the regionally focused cheese cart and charcuterie station and bar pouring suds fermented in the region. 1 Logan Square, (215) 963-2788,

Coming Soon:

  • In May 2016, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia welcomes the highly anticipated Aqimero, Denver-based Chef Richard Sandoval’s latest restaurant showpiece. Beneath the hotel’s Pantheonic dome, the redesigned, 206-seat dining room serves as the newest seafood play space for the Mexican-born chef, who already operates a few dozen successes across the country. On the menu? Wood-grilled wild salmon, black bass, Atlantic halibut and other fresh fish entrees served up with made-to-order marinades, as well as steak and poultry dishes. An expansive sushi and ceviche raw bar overflows with oysters, King crab legs, octopus, spicy tuna and more. The breakfast-through-dinner restaurant, which comprises the lobby’s bar and lounge, is expected to be the most visible of the hotel’s multimillion-dollar update. 10 Avenue of the Arts, (215) 523-8000,
  • The famously sizzling steaks of Ruth’s Chris Steak House make their anticipated return to Center City when owner Marsha Brown reopens her popular, upscale operation in May 2016 in the refreshed Sonesta Philadelphia Hotel. Prime beef (filets, New York strips, cowboy ribeyes, Porterhouse for two, all served on 500°F plates) and potatoes (baked, au gratin, in fries and casseroles, along with creamed spinach and massive onion rings) star on the handsome franchise’s menu, as do Caribbean lobster tails and succulent barbecue shrimp. The steakhouse joins the hotel’s Art Bar, a modern, communal-minded cocktail space featuring artwork furnished by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. 1800 Market Street, (215) 790-1515,

Making News:

  • The AKA Rittenhouse Square’s and bar can’t seem to stay out of the news. While owner Ellen Yin and Chef Eli Kulp have opened their fourth restaurant in Manhattan, they’ve also stepped up the offerings at their sleek west of Broad Street spot. New additions include a non-traditional Sunday brunch during which burgers outsell eggs, oyster happy hours Monday through Saturday, a power lunch (including martini) and a fixed-price menu for clients having dinner at the restaurant’s kitchen counter. 135 S. 18th Street, (215) 825-7030,
  • Long known for its Philly-themed cocktails, Le Méridien Philadelphia’s Amuse is also getting attention for its new, globetrotting, locally focused Chef Daniel Tyrell. A vet of Philly’s hotel dining scene, Tyrell plans to roll out a new modern French-inspired menu in early 2016 and will switch up items seasonally. 1421 Arch Street, (215) 422-8222,
  • Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel welcomed a Bourbon Master Paul Zuber to helm its spirits operation in late 2015. Zuber got his start in the libations business via Philly’s craft beer scene and spent more than a decade behind bars before taking charge of the extensive whisky and bourbon collection—including the onsite barrel-aging program—at the American brasserie. 1200 Market Street, (215) 231-7300,
  • Melbourne, Australia-born Bluestone Lane Coffee opened its first U.S. location outside Manhattan in the historic yet contemporary Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, a block from Rittenhouse Square. The sleek, early morning through late afternoon spot includes a bustling center La Marzocco coffee bar, amazing coconut quinoa porridge for breakfast and the brand’s celebrated “avocado smash” open-faced sandwich all day long. 1701 Locust Street, (215) 735-6000,
  • Named after the floor it fills, elegant and towering American destination dining spot XIX (Nineteen) at the Hyatt at The Bellevue has added Sunday evening (5:00-7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday later-night happy hours (9:00-11:00 p.m.) to its already popular roster of weekday happy hours. During these times, patrons enjoy $4 draft beers, $6 house wines and $6 specialty cocktails. 200 S. Broad Street, 19th Floor, (215) 790-1919,
  • The DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia’s all-American Standing O bistro has taken a turn for the local. Regionally sourced ingredients now go into the 16-item small plates menu. The cocktail list also leans toward the handcrafted, with a focus on scotch and bourbons. 237 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1600,
  • Menu upgrades at Taste, the restaurant at Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel, include a better burger and updated Wine Spectator-worthy wine list, plus additions such as stout onion soup; Brussels sprouts with apples, pumpkin seeds and cranberry; and Portobello mushroom Caprese on ciabatta. 1 Dock Street, (215) 238-6000,


VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, 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.

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Related Releases

Jul 30 2014

Philly's Hotel Bars: Check Out The Scene & The Happy Hours

The Sonesta’s Art Bar Joins Philadelphia’s Collection Of Stylish Hotel Bars

The Sonesta Philadelphia’s Art Bar opened in July 2014, joining the ranks of cool hotel bars in a city that knows its cool bars. With a stylish interior and an art program courtesy of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Art Bar welcomes guests with craft cocktails, beers and wines that complement its modern décor.

The Sonesta isn’t the only property raising the bar. It seems Philadelphia’s hotels are vying for the top bar scene, which means locals and out-of-towners win. On the menu: craft beers, fantastic wines, inventive drinks and delicious bites, plus distinguishing features (skyline views, outdoor dining,

Mar 16 2018

Those Famous Philly Flavors—Delicious And Deciphered

A Guide To The Philadelphia Region’s Legendary Foods

Philadelphia’s signature flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional recipes, new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes—specialties that can be found everywhere—from corner stores to the fanciest restaurants. Among the region’s best-known foods are Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. More local favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services such as Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that ship Philly goodies across the United States.

Here are some of the sandwiches, snacks, meats and more that have left a lasting mark on the Pennsylvania palate:

Jan 23 2018

What's In The Neighborhood?


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 (

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 –
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

Oct 11 2017

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


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

Oct 2 2017

What’s In The Neighborhood?

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 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

Jun 19 2017

Beer Trail 2017 Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America’s Best Beer-Drinking City


One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest beer-brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Local taverns were arguably the true birthplace of the American Revolution, providing the well-stocked gathering spaces needed for our Founding Fathers and common men alike to execute the American Revolution.

In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries thrived in Philadelphia proper, with another 100 operating around the region. An area northwest of what’s now Center City, located on the banks


En Español

May 15 2017

Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

A Sudsy Summer Awaits, Thanks To Pop-Up & Permanent Beer Gardens

Philadelphia has become a major hotspot for beer lovers (and food and wine lovers, for that matter) to drink outdoors, where beer gardens of the permanent and pop-up variety have sprung up all over the city and the surrounding suburbs. Summer staples such as Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Beer Garden and others have seen friendly competition from outdoor spaces at Evil Genius, the Philadelphia Zoo and others in recent years, and 2017 will be no different. Here are some of Philadelphia’s best places for drinking outdoors at parks, patios, porches, decks and docks:

Center City:

  • Drury Beer Garden