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Poke Makes A Splash In The Home Of The Soft Pretzel
A Guide To The Philadelphia Region's Trending Raw Seafood Craze
The Hawaiian poké craze has hit Philly in a major way, and no wonder: Raw fish over rice with vegetables, sauce and assorted fun toppings makes for a healthy and satisfying meal. While Japanese sashimi and Italian crudo continue to be widely popular, restaurant goers are also enthusiastically embracing fresh seafood in many new (to the region) ways, whether it’s a traditional dish of Philippino kinilaw or a completely unorthodox Mexican-Japanese mashup tuna taco.
Here are just some of the delicious ways to experience uncooked fish in Philly:
- Bubble tea meets sushi at the aptly named Bubblefish. The Chinatown eatery frequently offers poké as a special to be drizzled with either honey wasabi mayonnaise or spicy sauce. 909 Arch Street, (267) 930-7634, bubblefishphilly.com
- Hawaiian albacore gets the poké treatment at stylish pan-Asian restaurant CoZara. The embellishments include cucumber, mango, jalapeño relish and spicy miso. 3200 Chestnut Street, (267) 233-7488, cozaraphilly.com
- The eclectic menu at Manayunk’s Maya J trots around the globe and includes a stop in Hawaii. The kitchen turns out tuna poké with avocado, lime, chili and cashews. 4371 Main Street, (267) 297-8961, mayajrestaurant.com
- Betting on poké as the next fast-casual trend, Chinatown’s Oishii Poké goes all in. Customers can choose from a list of preconfigured combos (The Oishii Ahi includes tuna, romaine, honey wasabi and tobiko, while the Ebi Crunch includes shrimp tempura, crabmeat and edamame), or build their own bowl. 938 Arch Street, (267) 909-8358, oishiipoke.com
- Whether it’s Ahi on Fire (tuna, scallion, chili and jalapeño) or the Sweet and Spicy Trio (tuna, salmon and octopus with ginger, mango and wasabi cream), Poké Bowl offers a dish for every palate. The make-your-own options include an array of proteins, toppings and dressings. 958 N. 2nd Street, (267) 319-9943
- The poké trend extends into the suburbs with Poké Ono. The Ardmore-based purveyor emphasizes mixing and matching, but also serves a few signature versions, including a tofu bowl with Korean sauce and a fish bowl with fresh tortilla chips. 59 W. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, (484) 413-2058, pokeono.com
- Typically stationed at Headhouse Farmers Market on Sundays and other locations by demand, Poi Dog Snack Shop celebrates all things Hawaiian. A customer favorite: The tofu poké with ogo, sesame and green onion. Locations vary, poidogphilly.com
Sushi Burritos, Tacos & Other Hybrids:
- At the heart of Aqimero, Richard Sandoval’s swanky restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia lies a raw bar, replete with a ceviche selection. Instead of hewing to Latin tradition, however, he dresses his salmon and tuna with Asian flavors like sesame and ponzu. 10 Avenue of the Arts, (215) 523-8200, richardsandoval.com/aqimero/
- The originator of the sushi burrito, Hai Street Kitchen encases raw fish (or other proteins) in nori with rice, zingy sauce and crisp veggies. The fast-growing chain proves that the time for this inventive creation is now. 1625 Chestnut Street, (215) 234-3000; 32 S. 18th Street, (215) 964-9465; 125 S. 40th Street, (215) 349-9482; 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, (610) 290-8576, haistreetkitchen.com
- Raw fish lovers head straight to a trusted seafood source for an Asian-Mexican mashup. Ippolito’s Seafood in Passyunk Square conjures a sashimi tuna taco with chipotle mayo. 1300 Dickinson Street, (215) 389-8906, ippolitosseafood.com
- Sushi meets tortillas at Midtown Village’s Lolita. The tuna tostaditos combine raw fish, crispy shallots, house ponzu sauce and chipotle mayonnaise. 106 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-7100, lolitaphilly.com
- One of the city’s finest sushi bars, Morimoto slices and dices sashimi in innumerable ways. The long-running house specialty of tuna “pizza” on a crisp tortilla with anchovy aioli demonstrates the kitchen’s versatility with uncooked fish. 723 Chestnut Street, (215) 413-9070, morimotorestaurant.com
- A small but charming sushi and sake bar, Old City’s Zento puts forth its own take on the tuna pizza. The resulting creation layers sliced tuna over seaweed salad with a drizzle of spicy mayo. 132 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-9998, zentocontemporary.com
Tiradito & Kinilaw:
- Fish lovers indulge in tiradito, the Peruvian variant of ceviche, at Alma de Cuba. Stephen Starr’s Latin American showstopper serves it with yellowtail fish, cut with apple and cucumber. 1623 Walnut Street, (215) 988-1799, almadecubarestaurant.com
- Filipino chef Lou Boquila uses his native cuisine as the inspirational starting point for dishes at Perla, his bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot. This master’s spin on kinilaw incorporates cobia, cucumber, shishito pepper and pomelo fruit into the usual vinegar and coconut milk base. 1535 S. 11th Street, (267) 273-0008, perlaphilly.com
- At Rarest, the raw items span raw milk cheeses to gravlax. A major highlight of the Washington Square restaurant, the arctic char tiradito reinvents the dish with leek vinaigrette, serrano chili, trout roe and crème fraiche. 834 Chestnut Street, (215) 305-8752, rarestphilly.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.
A Guide To Group Dining In Philadelphia
Dinner just tastes better when everyone’s together, and this is especially true in Philadelphia, where the concept of Brotherly Love extends across the table. For breaking bread with family, friends or both, a restaurant that’s both physically and conceptually designed to handle a big, hungry bunch is an invaluable find. Here’s a diverse selection of Philadelphia’s top group dining options, including casual spots to pop in with a party of 10 (and more upscale destinations where foodies book big tables in advance), bistros with prix-fixe menus and/or BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) policies that take the worry out of splitting the bill, to...
25 Things To Know About Philly's Food Scene
Philadelphia food is so much more than the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel, or even scrapple, or roast pork sandwiches. It’s also amazing vegan fare, quirky BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants, world-class craft local beer, emerging distillery scene, or chef-driven concepts and passion projects. Philly’s food scene is about neighborhoods that grow with their restaurants. And competing chefs who work together. It’s about sourcing ingredients from the region’s farms and giving casual dining its due. It’s about embracing delicious diversity.
Here is a primer of 25 lesser-known components of Philly’s lush and luscious food scene:
- Richly Rewarding Food Shed:
The BYOB Restaurant: A Philly Phenomenon
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
When It Comes To Vegan Dining, The Home Of The Cheesesteak Proudly Vedges Out
It’s a curious thing that a city so renowned for its cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches could also foster one of the nation’s most robust vegan food scenes. Upscale diners can find delight in the shared plates at Vedge or the coursed and the home-style elegance of Miss Rachel’s Pantry, while those seeking a quick bite can swing by Blackbird Pizza for fare that is more traditionally Philadelphian. Factor in some coffee shops, bars and even a diner, and vegan eaters will see—and taste—that the city’s offerings have something for every palate, day or night.
Here’s a look at some
Fall For Philly Restaurants
It’s official: Two of Philly’s recent openings—Wm. Mulherin’s Sons and South Philly Barbacoa—made Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants list, marking 2016 as a banner year for the local restaurant scene. There’s more yet to come this fall, with a thrilling lineup of globally inspired newcomers, including Philly’s first poke shop (Poke Bowl), a boldly imaginative taqueria (Mission), Filipino fine dining (Perla) and Latin American street food (La Mula Terca). Here are just a few highlights for the season’s must-try list:
Center City East:
- Taking up residence in a cozy
Philly Pizza Pleases Every Palate
Philadelphia’s gained some serious pizza cred in recent years. Not only is this city home to a pizza museum and restaurant (Pizza Brain), an artisan pizza truck (Pitruco) and, according to Bon Appétit, America’s very best pizza (Pizzeria Beddia), but it’s also a proving ground for the idea that this traditional food can be reinvented in infinite ways. Whether it’s a straightforward but studious Neapolitan round, a floppy tri-corner slice with cheese to spare or a newfangled pie laden with unexpected but carefully sourced ingredients, there is absolutely a pizza for every eater’s predilection. Here’s...
Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home
There’s no doubt that Americans are increasingly health conscious. Current studies, including the Vegetarian Resource Group’s Harris Poll, suggest that there are now some eight million vegetarians in the United States and one million vegans. Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose, from upscale white tablecloth restaurants offering inventive vegetable creations to casual spots serving raw foods. There’s also plenty of great gluten-free goodies.
Here are some health-minded eateries worth checking out:
- Vegetable lovers head to Bucks County, where Mike Jackson’s Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille turns out creative, big-portioned vegetarian food (no
What's In the Callowhill Neighborhood?
Dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead, Callowhill is something in between these two extremes. The stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood attracts both young professionals who enjoy its high-end condos and close proximity to Center City and artists looking for affordable-yet-expansive studio and gallery spaces. It’s a formerly industrial neighborhood that charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries and the kind of hidden cultural gems that intrigue visitors and residents alike.
Vegan Paradise: Philly Leads The Way For Meatless Eating And Sustainable Living
Ever since Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s nationally lauded restaurant Vedge opened in 2011, Philadelphia has been a true destination for vegans with standards. Many of the region’s most popular vegan eateries are direct descendants of Landau and Jacoby’s kitchens. The scene continues to bubble over with great ideas, interesting concepts, excellent locally made products and an ongoing mission to make the lifestyle actually livable.
Here are just a few of Philadelphia’s vegan treasures:
Fine Plant-Based Dining:
- A forerunner to today’s hip vegan joints, Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille cooks up plant-forward fare in Bucks County. While many dishes have