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Southeastern Pennsylvania is continuing to emerge as a major force in the nation’s wine industry. As wineries usher in changes that promise to significantly enhance their visitors’ experiences, Pennsylvania wines as a whole are making steady gains in quality, quantity and recognition. The Commonwealth is the seventh-largest producer of wine in the country, and more than 160 wineries operate within its borders, marking more than a 500% increase over 30 years ago. In 2012 alone, Pennsylvania vintners won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, The Jefferson Cup Invitational, International Eastern Wine Competition, Dallas Morning News Wine Competition and...
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...
Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.
Restaurants & Bars:
- Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly
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 history during this 75-minute walking tour to more than 20 sites. It runs daily from April
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
Already sampled Philly’s iconic cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels? Then go beyond these local delicacies to sample some of the city’s lesser-known culinary treasures. From the signature bloody beet “steak” at The Farm and Fisherman and the plantain-crusted fish tacos at La Calaca Feliz to the twice-fried chicken at Resurrection House and the butterscotch budino at Barbuzzo, flavor-seekers will find plenty to explore in the Philadelphia region. Here are 30 dishes and drinks for any visitor’s must-try list:
- Not many American cities can boast a Burmese restaurant, but Chinatown’s Rangoon has been going strong for 20 years with authentic
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
As if making an international name for itself in the 19th and 20th centuries with an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked bell didn’t make Philadelphia quirky enough, it seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- Setting the standard for quirky events, the Mummers Parade kicks off every New Year with more than 15,000 men, women and children spending thousands of dollars on
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