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New On Philly's Hotel Restaurant Scene
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.
Philly's Hottest Sips
Huddling around a steamy cup is one of winter’s greatest pleasures, and Philadelphia’s restaurants, bars, cafes and tearooms offer plenty of delicious options. Be it a cocoa infused with habanero and orange, a julep with bourbon and mint tea or an old-timey hot fountain soda, this season’s drinks call for leisurely enjoyment. Here are a few of the most tempting hot beverages in town:
- A creative cannoli bakery in the Italian Market, Café Crema pays equal attention to its drinks. The hot chocolate bar is stocked with all manner of meltables—including red velvet, peppermint, peanut butter and
Philadelphia Does Grilled Cheese Great
The grilled cheese sandwich, once considered so plain it was relegated to kids’ menus, has now gained grown-up favor and flavor among specialty food vendors, lunch spots and esteemed eateries in and around Philadelphia. Sure, a couple slices of American slapped on buttered white bread will do at home, but those eating out can discover the joys of melted manchego, sharp provolone, brie and enhancements such as fried jalapenos and homemade brisket. Here’s where to find downright upscale versions of a formerly simple sandwich:
The Classic, Only Better:
- Old City’s Farmicia takes the first part of its name seriously
Philly's All Buttered Up With Biscuits
Once a relatively rare item on area menus, biscuits suddenly seem to take the (savory) cake in Philadelphia. Mitch Prensky’s Scratch Biscuits, a fast-casual concept devoted entirely to the flaky rounds, gives diners endless possibilities, while just about every major bruncherie now serves up a sausage gravy plate or egg sandwich starring the buttery treat. Whether topped with bacon onion jam, baked with golden cheddar or slathered with honey butter, Philly biscuits tenderly hold their own against the competition.
Here are just a few favorites:
- Before he sold his Vetri Family restaurant group to Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters,
What's In The Chinatown Neighborhood?
Beyond the colorful Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch Streets lives Philly’s vibrant Asian enclave, settled in the mid-19th century by Cantonese immigrants. Stretching from Vine to Arch Streets between 9th and 12th Streets, the neighborhood 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 bustles with activity and authenticity, from the steaming platters of hand-stretched noodles to the seasonal street festivals...
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
Philadelphia's Food Scene Catches Francis Fever
The crowds who gather in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the much-anticipated visit by Pope Francis will find sustenance more delectable than loaves and fishes. Inspired by this once-in-a-generation event, many of the city’s restaurateurs, brewers and purveyors are offering specially created dishes and items to honor the Holy Father, his Argentinian heritage and his Italian roots. Pilgrims can savor the humorously named Pope-Hat Pasta, nibble on cross-shaped Philly soft pretzels and wash them down with a pint of refreshing YOPO (You Only Pope Once) ale.
Here are some spots serving up victuals in the Vatican spirit:...
Passion For The Pie: Philly's Pizza Secrets Revealed
Philadelphia’s gained some serious pizza cred in recent years. The city is home to a pizza museum, artisan pizza trucks and, according to Bon Appétit, America’s very best pizza. And since it’s Philly, many of the pie purveyors embrace unusual techniques and quirky “rules” that make each pizza experience different.
These pizzerias are just a few of the names that have helped the Philadelphia region earn a rep for travel-worthy pizza.
Twist On Classic Pies And Pizzerias:
- Neapolitan pizza is more than a hobby in Italy—it’s the law. Chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtù earned the right to make
Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition
In just over three years, the number of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region has multiplied by about a dozen, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers, beginning with some of the country’s earliest settlers.
In 2011, Pennsylvania’s government passed reforms that allowed distillers to offer tours, samples and sales on-site. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits in Philadelphia. In a sign of...
18 Reasons Philly's Dining Scene Rocks
A richly textured, wonderfully layered dining scene combines history and growth, innovation and tradition, local and global influences. Philadelphia has all of these attributes and more: homegrown bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spots redrafting the rules of elegant eating; a distinctly local sensibility informed by a fertile food shed; a wildly diverse array of ethnic eats; a nationally lauded vegetarian and vegan culture; and much more. Here are 17 reasons why Philly food scene rocks:
- Just Bring It: The BYOB Phenomenon
Though the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant first emerged in Philly more than a decade ago, a steady stream of brilliant chefs with a do-it-yourself...
Philadelphia Food Trucks Satisfy
Say it five times fast: Philly’s fallen for food trucks. From Temple University’s campus to South Philly, the beyond-fun dining craze has truly boomed. If a diner craves something, chances are he or she can source it on wheels: brick-oven soppressata pizza, green-tea macaroons, gourmet mac and cheese, Spam musubi, sweet-cream ice cream, pour-over coffee. That’s not even mentioning staples such as soul food, cheesesteaks, crepes and falafel.
Lunch seekers can find trucks all over the city, especially near universities, but they know to check Twitter before they make a trip. These trucks have wheels and often use them to...
Philly's Coffee Scene Is Hot & Strong
The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia. This summer, La Colombe opens its newest outpost, in the modernist landmark Rohm and Haas building. The vintage-esque interior opens to a coffee garden overlooking Independence Mall, and both areas are scenic spots to enjoy the roaster’s excellent brews and light fare.
The region’s java scene has been percolating for years now: Cafes roast their own signature beans, baristas specialize in perfectly engineered espressos and coffeehouses use one-of-a-kind La Marzocco machines. From an Australian flat white to a Chemex-brewed cuppa, the possibilities for delicious caffeinating are endless....
Breweries In Greater Philadelphia
One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, it was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold.
In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in the city’s environs. One area northwest of Philly, located on the banks of the Schuylkill River near the Girard Avenue Bridge, became known as Brewerytown. As Brewerytown grew, area producers of German-style...
Wineries Near Philadelphia
With geography, climate and growing conditions that mirror those of the Bordeaux Region in France, southeastern Pennsylvania continues to emerge as a major force in America’s wine industry. In fact, Pennsylvania wines as a whole are making steady gains in quality, quantity and recognition.
The Commonwealth ranks seventh in the nation for number of wineries; more than 150 wineries operate within its borders, marking more than a 500% increase over 30 years ago. Pennsylvania vintners have won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, International Women’s Wine Competition, San Diego International Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, Florida State...
Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beer is king. Last year, the city earned countless awards and glowing media reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces, and this year, they’re back with some popular favorites, as well as some new features to keep things fresh. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a beautiful oasis celebrating year two on the Delaware River waterfront, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year.
To capitalize on the growing outdoor-drinking craze,...
Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & The Supernatural
Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and even spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:
History Lessons By Day & Night:
- The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at historic sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall during this 75-minute walking tour. It
Veg Out: Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home
Over the past decade, the number of vegetarians in the U.S. has increased from about one in 100 to nearly one in 30, according to polls from the Vegetarian Resource Group and the Vegetarian Times. Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose—upscale white tablecloth restaurants dishing out inventive vegetable creations to casual spots serving up raw foods and gluten-free dishes. Here are some spots 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 meat substitutes) in a cozy,
Every Day Is A Good Day To Shop At Farmers' Markets In Philly
Situated amidst richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. The open-air stalls dotting the city and countryside—from the bustling energy of the indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market—collectively connect consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many now accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of markets has made eating fresh, local food a way of life for its residents. Here are just some of the places to find seasonal goodies and support area farms:
- The only
What's In The East Passyunk & Pennsport Neighborhoods?
For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
Brunch: It's Always Sunny-Side Up In Philadelphia
Weekends were made for brunching—chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and/or a Bloody Mary. No one knows this better than Philadelphians, who have a wide array of fantastic brunch options to choose from every Saturday and Sunday. Whether the craving is for a prix-fixe menu offering foie gras and lobster (Lacroix), a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails (Rosa Blanca) or fresh granola and locally grown berries (Talula’s Daily), Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon...