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New 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, 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...
Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.
Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the...
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. In 2013 alone, Pennsylvania vintners won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, International Women’s Wine Competition, San Diego International Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition,...
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 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 feed new...
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
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,
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...
Philadelphia has been recognized as the country’s best beer city by publications from Maxim to GQ, and every month brings news of the opening of a bar/restaurant that specializes in craft beer. Though Philly has held a prominent place in the hearts of Belgian brewers for many years, other international craft beer brewers are now finding ready audiences in the city of brotherly suds. Stalwarts like Monk’s Café and relative newcomers like Brauhaus Schmitz have established such tight relationships with foreign brewers that they import beers that no other American bars can access. Similarly, several revered American breweries—think Russian River,...
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’
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
Donna Schorr, a young-at-heart Baby Boomer
Director of Communications
Yes, I take a train ride to the city every day, and at this age, I’m no expert on late night clubbing. But I’ve lived in or near Philly for decades (never mind how many), and I can tell you a lot about great things to see and do that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of my sentimental favorites:
- Rittenhouse Square: When I miss my dad, I visit his memorial bench in one of the most loved green spots in the city. Rittenhouse Square is the heart and soul
In Philadelphia and The Countryside®, more and more people—especially those with children—have developed an interest in understanding where their food comes from and finding ways to get involved in the local food scene. Whether they want to buy fresh food for their family, get a taste of new local flavors or teach their kids that milk comes from a cow not a carton, a growing number of visitors and locals are finding answers through agritourism—agricultural activities on or sponsored by farms.
Here’s a look at some of the region’s family-friendly offerings:
- Active Acres Farm, located just north
Among Philly eats, it doesn’t get much more iconic than the hoagie. The hefty sandwich of Italian origin (but now adopted by many cultures) has been an affordable lunch mainstay for the region’s residents and visitors for at least a century. And while the hoagie continues to evolve with new ingredients and modern interpretations, the classic version is as popular as ever. So what constitutes a traditional hoagie, and how did it rise to prominence? The following is a primer on all things hoagie.
What Is A Hoagie?:
Declared the “official sandwich of Philadelphia” by Mayor Ed Rendell in
According to local lore, the original hoagie-makers were Italian immigrants who sold their wares from carts or dockside luncheonettes. Today, the region’s favorite sandwich knows no bounds: From South Philly to the suburbs, there are go-to hoagie shops in every town and every neighborhood, and many even send their sandwiches through the mail to sate long-distance cravings. Whether it’s a traditional combo of spicy meats and fragrant dressing or a creative variation with artisan ingredients, there’s no shortage of the city’s signature cold sandwich. Here’s a look at some of the most sought-after hoagies in town:
All Over Town:...
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s (GPTMC) Philly Homegrown® initiative announces new partnerships that will broaden people’s understanding of the region’s local food scene and drive them to visitphilly.com/food, where they can meet the makers, find out what’s in season, see the diversity of farmers’ markets open each week, get local recipes and more. Here’s a look at seven new partnerships:
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society:
GPTMC has partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for PHS Pops Up!, a temporary garden at 20th and Market Streets. Through October, PHS is growing vegetables, herbs, grains and flowers to be
Chef: Robert Bahm
Restaurant: Becca’s, 19 S. Whitehorse Road, Phoenixville, (484) 924-8502, beccasrestaurant.com
Love of Local: After a few decades in the restaurant industry, including 10 years at the award-winning Taquet Restaurant, chef Robert Bahm knows what makes great food. “The better the product you have and the more you can do yourself you ensure a superior finished product. [With local/organic] you get a superior product,” said Bahm. That’s the commitment to local he brings to the tables of Becca’s, the two-year-old fine dining restaurant named after his 12-year-old daughter.
What to Expect: A Victorian farmhouse-turned-Main Line mansion houses this
The following itinerary is available on visitphilly.com/food:
LOCATION: Center City; Old City; Fishtown/Kensington; Kennett Square; Center City; University City; Italian Market
TRANSPORTATION: Foot, taxi, bus, regional rail or car
DURATION: Three days and two nights
TRIP SYNOPSIS: Philadelphia and The Countryside® is bursting with local flavors—lively farmers’ markets, excellent wineries and breweries, local-minded specialty stores and top-notch restaurants sourcing their ingredients from area farms. A tour through the region’s indigenous flavors should hit all the legendary sites for local eats, plus some lesser-known finds.
9:00 a.m. – Take a bus or a cab or walk to
Women have always had—and still have—a strong influence on what and how Americans eat. Yet from Betty Crocker to Rachael Ray, historically most have wielded that power from behind a stove. Today, there’s a new crop of women influencing the next generation of eaters—and many of them can be found right here in the Philadelphia region. But instead of making cooking simpler and eating easier, these female foodies are committed to providing high-quality local food and beverage. And instead of cooking up change from the kitchen, these smart and sassy ladies have chosen to cut the proverbial apron strings and...