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Beer Trail Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America's Best Beer-Drinking City
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, Philadelphia taverns were, arguably, the true birthplace of the American Revolution.
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...
A Robust Selection Of Wineries Entice Visitors To Philadelphia's Countryside
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 220—and produces more than one million gallons of wine per year. 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 Fair International Wine Competition, Finger Lakes...
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 continues to rage. 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, 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 in some cases it’s wise to check Twitter before making a trip. These trucks have wheels and often use them to...
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. In past years, the city earned countless awards and glowing reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces. This year, these warm-weather venues are back—better, bigger and more numerous than ever. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a bustling oasis celebrating its third year on the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year, and the highly anticipated SkyGarten, an alfresco German beer hall 51 stories up.
Every Day Is A Good Day To Shop At Farmers' Markets In Philly
Surrounded by richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. Year-round and seasonally, open-air stalls dot the city and countryside, from the bustling indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market, collectively connecting consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of farmers’ markets has made eating fresh, local food an easy way of life.
Here are just some of the places to find seasonal goodies while supporting area farms:
- The only farmers’ market
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
Experience A Taste Of That Famous Philly Flavor
Philadelphia’s flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional ethnic recipes and new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes, and these specialties can be found everywhere from the corner store to the fanciest kitchens of haute restaurants. Among the region’s signature foods are national favorites like Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. Other local favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services like Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that will ship Philly goodies throughout the United States. Philadelphians are loyal to their edible heritage, and here...
Southern, Soul & Caribbean Food Satisfy Philly Diners
Nothing’s more satisfying than a plate of down-home eats, and thankfully, Philly’s dining scene is rich in catfish, jerk chicken and macaroni and cheese. Whether it’s a gourmet spin on turkey wings, a zesty bowl of jambalaya or a slice of sweet-potato pie, hearty goodness abounds at the region’s soul, southern, Cajun, Cuban and Caribbean eateries. Caribbean Cuisine Week (April 13-15, 2016) celebrates island flavors while raising funds for 700 high school athletes from Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent, the Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago participating in the Penn Relays.
Here’s a look of some of the mouthwatering delights sure to...
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), an Aussie-inspired brekkie platter (Ants Pants Café) 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 meal. Here’s a look at some of the region’s best...
Philly's Coffee Scene Is Hot & Strong
The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia. The region’s coffee scene has been percolating for years now: Cafes roast their own signature beans, baristas specialize in perfectly engineered espressos and coffeehouses use supreme La Marzocco machines. From an Australian flat white to a Chemex-brewed cuppa, the possibilities for delicious caffeinating are endless. Here’s a look at some of the local favorites:
Signature Beans & Brews:
- Patrons can catch a whiff of caramelizing beans in the upstairs roastery at Chestnut Hill Coffee Company. Downstairs, the coffee bar turns out well-pulled shots and elaborate swirls
What's In The Northern Liberties Neighborhood?
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Schmidts Commons.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders (depends...
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.
Philly Tastes Like Fried Chicken (Sandwiches)
Historically, Philadelphia has been associated with long roll lunches—cheesesteaks and hoagies and roast pork—but these days, there’s another sandwich crowing for attention: fried chicken. And Philly-area kitchens are turning out this sandwich in all forms: with hot sauce and blue cheese, melted cheese and aioli, slaw and pickles and loads of other variations. Here are a few of the zestiest versions currently ruling the roost:
Chicken City In Philly:
- Some of the most creative sandwiches around emerge from the strip-mall eatery The Blue Duck in Northeast Philadelphia. The delectable fried chicken includes ranch red cabbage slaw, spicy pickles and
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
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