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Craft beer is big business these days, particularly in Philadelphia, a serious beer town gaining accolades for its suds scene from notable publications like GQ, Draft magazine, Forbes, CNN Travel and others. So what makes the Philadelphia region’s beer scene so great? The bottle shops, for starters. These shops offer hundreds if not thousands of specialty beers to try individually and in “mix-a-six” format (that’s a six-pack of beer with six beers of the drinker’s choosing). What’s more, many of these shops fill growlers of draught beer to go and offer food to accompany the bountiful beer offerings.
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 five-star buffet with caviar, a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails or fresh granola and locally grown berries, Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon meal. Here’s a look at some of the region’s best brunch options:
As home to the world’s original and biggest craft beer week (Philly Beer Week), Philadelphia sets a high bar for beer events. In the city and suburbs, beerific happenings take place all year long that draw hundreds, if not thousands, of beer lovers. Here’s a selection of some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of the artisanal sud:
- With the season of Christmas beers passed, roasty stouts and porters—especially those aged in bourbon barrels—warm up beer drinkers in February. The inaugural Winterfest 2014, The Great Philadelphia Winter Craft Beer Festival emphasizes these malty brews by
The freshest new flavors in Philly’s restaurant scene in 2014? Market culture, replete with artisan goods, eat-in cafes and exclusive dinners at communal tables, for starters. In a town that owns Italian cooking, French cuisine resurges with more chefs turning to classic techniques and traditions. Jewish food in all of its international variations continues to be reinvented in exciting new ways. Meanwhile, the juice bar may well be the new coffee bar, and home-style desserts trump cupcakes. Here’s a look at some trends to watch in 2014:
Philadelphians love high-quality, high-end ingredients, and an emerging crop of
The United States now has more breweries than at any time in its history, and Philadelphia-area entrepreneurs are helping to lead the way by opening even more breweries at a rapid pace. According to the Brewers Association, a craft beer industry trade group, the U.S. was home to only eight craft breweries in 1980, 537 in 1994 and more than 2,500 today. Regionally, craft brewers are opening locations in every county—from Victory Brewing in Kennett Square to Broken Goblet Brewery in Bristol—and more are working hard to secure licenses and locations before 2015. Here’s a look at more than a...
Little by little, Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, a roving pack of lunch trucks and the newest crop of gringo-owned joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where the hungry masses can get their tacos on:
- Fishtown’s divey Loco Pez found its inspiration in L.A.’s fusion-y taco trucks, and the result is a mix-and-match menu of fun and sometimes unexpected flavors. There’s the Gabacho (ground beef in a crispy shell), for instance, or a seitan-and-spinach combo for the vegan crowd.
The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia. The first Coffee & Tea Festival, to be held November 2-3 at the Philadelphia Expo Center, will celebrate local love for the mighty bean with exhibitions, tastings, classes and more. Of course, 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 caffeination are endless. Here are just a few area favorites:
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beers are king. The two newest additions to the city’s beer garden scene are limited-run only spots: the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Garden, a beautifully landscaped lot that’s home to a beer shack serving local brews; and The Oval, the Eakins Oval-transformed oasis that turns into a beer garden and entertainment hotspot on Thursday nights in summer.
Here’s a look at the city’s beer gardens—all places where suds devotees can enjoy warm temps and laid-back vibes, along with...
Used to be, the culinary phenomenon synonymous with Philadelphia was a certain cheese-laden sandwich. And while cheesesteaks are as popular as ever, there’s a slightly higher brow—but similarly homegrown—dining tradition that is quintessentially Philadelphian: It’s the bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurant. The region’s BYOBs are typically cozy, family-run, laid-back and all about the food. Hungry diners can find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. At last count, Philly and its surrounding countryside had more than 300 BYOBs—and the scene continues to expand.
What Is A BYOB?:
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 find it on wheels: brick-oven soppressata pizza, green-tea macaroons, gourmet mac and cheese, Spam musubi, sweet cream ice cream, pour-over coffee, along with staples such as soul food, cheesesteaks, crepes and falafels. Lunch seekers can find trucks all over the city, especially near universities, but they know to check Twitter and Facebook before they make a trip. These trucks have wheels and often use them...
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,
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 a few places to find seasonal goodies and support area farms:
- The only farmers’
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. Today, area craft breweries have reclaimed the region’s reputation by brewing some of the world’s best beer and earning the recognition as Maxim’s “favorite beer burg” and one of the “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” according to GQ, among other notable designations assigned by the national press. Visitors can tour the facilities, sample...
Philadelphia welcomes 2013 with a host of new and notable restaurants and bars. The big trends this winter? Italian cuisine and pizza, cocktails and coffee, and existing restaurants updated with new looks and concepts. From neo-Southern cuisine in Conshohocken to a Fishtown pizzeria from a local expert—along with a slew of new openings coming this spring—Philly’s kitchens runneth over. Here’s a look at some of the exciting flavors worth sampling now:
Tasty New Openings:
- Zahav’s Michael Solomonov enters the Main Line dining scene with the upscale glatt kosher restaurant Citron and Rose, where the delicacies include mushroom knishes with
Philadelphia’s restaurants are poised to cook up a whole new menu of deliciousness in the coming year. With increased attention from national press and an influx of talent from other cities swooping in to join the scene, local eateries are becoming ever more cosmopolitan, seeking inspiration from influences as varied as Southern and Japanese cuisines while still maintaining the region’s rootsy culinary identity. Meanwhile, chefs are going deeper into DIY to make their own charcuterie and spirits and working to elevate vegan eating to the next level of sophistication. In all, these trends should make for a very tasty twelve...
Philly’s restaurants can fuel any power breakfast with high style and great flavor. In the mood for an organic smoothie? How about chipped beef? Maybe it’s a quiche Lorraine kind of morning? Here’s a look at some of the best bets around town for early meeting and eating:
- A mod restaurant at the base of the AKA Rittenhouse, a.kitchen serves a well-heeled morning workforce toasted bagels with smoked salmon, thick cut onion and tomato; homemade English muffins with country sausage and fried egg; Counter Culture Coffee; and pastries from local artisanal bake shop Au Fournil. Monday through
The canned beer revolution is gaining momentum, and Philadelphia restaurants and bars are embracing it in a big way. In August 2012, craftcans.com named “15 Cantastic Places to Get a Beer,” and three Philly places made the list, with Percy Street Barbecue topping it and Memphis Taproom and BAR following behind at #15 and #10 respectively. Meanwhile, canned beer is popping up all over town, from suds-snob hangouts like Craft Ale House and Grey Lodge Pub to burlesque bars and gastropubs such as Trestle Inn and Good Dog Bar. Here’s a look at some of the best places to sip,...
Philadelphia is full of edible treasures, and national food shows are recognizing the region’s arrival as a delicious dining town by filming segments and entire programs that show off top restaurants, stellar dishes and expert chefs. Whether it’s the Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode showcasing Tony Luke’s classic cheesesteak, the Man v. Food segment featuring the enormous Mt. Vesuvius sundae at The Franklin Fountain or any number of The Best Thing I Ever Ate highlights, there’s real flavor behind the hype. Here’s a look at a few of the great local eats that have been given the television treatment:
Visitors To Philadelphia Can Party Like It's Prohibition Time & Enjoy World-Premiere Exhibition On The Subject
The Prohibition craze that’s manifesting in the nation’s bars, bookstores and TV programs will spark even more interest when the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition makes its debut at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, which is curating and hosting the first-of-its-kind exhibition from October 19, 2012 to April 28, 2013. The exhibit contains 120 rare artifacts, including original ratification copies of the 18th and 21st Amendments, and interactive elements such a recreated speakeasy where visitors can learn to dance the Charleston.
Outside the Constitution Center, visitors can partake in the Prohibition party at bars, restaurants and...
Soda as we know it had its early origins in Philadelphia, thanks to a few enterprising doctors and pharmacists: Many historians believe Dr. Philip Syng Physick sold the first flavored carbonated beverage, while transplanted Englishman Joseph Hawkins patented a device to pump bubbly water for dispensing in his apothecary in 1809, thus setting the stage for drugstore soda counters. Today soda is enjoying a resurgence in the region, with local chefs, bartenders and craft producers adding fresh new twists to the carbonated soft drink. With newfangled flavors like jalapeño lime or an old-school specialty like Black Cherry Wishniak, Philly’s sodas...