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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
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
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
A city reveals itself through its street food, and Philadelphia has always had a bountiful spread of on-the-fly options. Locals and visitors can taste food truck fare en masse at Night Market Philadelphia, scheduled for two Thursday evenings this season, May 24 in Northern Liberties and June 28 along Washington Avenue, or at Philadelphia’s second-annual Vendy Awards, in which the city’s best food trucks vie to be the best, this July. Of course, foodies can always taste the yummy creations the original way, on city streets. Local food trucks run the gamut from student grub in stainless steel...
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...
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) has launched yet another way for residents and visitors to eat their way through Philadelphia and The Countryside®, and that’s by using Foodspotting, one of Time magazine’s “Best Websites of 2010” and one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s “Top Travel Applications” of 2010. To promote local restaurants, wineries, hotels and markets to more than 800,000 Foodspotting users, Visit Philly has become a featured destination on the web and mobile platform dedicated to helping people find and share good food. To kick off the program, GPTMC will award one grand prize and 10 first...
Eating locally and supporting Philly’s food producers is simply a matter of knowing where to shop. From freshly made cupcakes and fried chicken at prepared food emporiums to the ready-made cookies and hummus at specialty markets to the simple wraps and locally roasted coffee at area cafes, the foods of Philadelphia and The Countryside® are made to be enjoyed on the go—during a concert at Crossing Vineyards Winery, at a picnic in Rittenhouse Square, in a hotel room or at home. The following are just a few of the many options to explore:
- A foodie’s paradise, Garces
Surrounded by farms and populated by genius food artisans, Philadelphia and The Countryside® offers a local bounty that’s staggering in any season. From impossibly sweet corn and perfect chèvre to exquisite gelato and to-die-for canelés, the 100-mile radius of Philly eating feels like the center of the world. Here’s a look at just a few of the region’s amazing homegrown eats:
Down On The Farms:
- Kennett Square is widely known as the mushroom capital of the world, and Mother Earth Mushrooms, with its variety of fresh and dried organic varieties (white, portabella, baby bella and shitake), is a standout
Dear Foodies, Culinary Happenings Galore Offer Plenty Of Mouthwatering Reasons To Visit Philadelphia
When foodies hit the road, they take their passion for farmers markets, culinary tours and tasting experiences with them. Whether it’s called culinary tourism or just plain fun, the chance to see, smell and taste the best of local gastronomy is a big attraction, and it’s getting bigger. According to the International Culinary Tourism Association, “Since its true birth as an industry in 2003, culinary tourism … is definitely on the rise, and that encompasses everything from farm-to-table meals, winery tours, cooking classes, trips to boutique stores that carry local cheeses, beers, or vegetables, plus everything in between.”
Experienced cooks and Turkey Day novices eager to give their Thanksgiving dinner extra yum appeal can head straight to Philly Homegrown™’s visitphilly.com/food to score recipes for all aspects of their mammoth meal, which they’re encouraged to use local ingredients to prepare. Submitted by top local chefs, the recipes—from a classically prepared turkey to a not-so-typical oyster hash—will satisfy seafood lovers, vegetarians and others partaking in the annual dining feast. Here’s a look at what’s cooking in the Now in Season section of visitphilly.com/food:
- Appetizers: Oyster hash recipe courtesy of Mike Stollenwerk, chef/owner of Fish and Fathom Seafood House; blended
Philadelphia Really Digs Community Gardens
Based on anecdotal evidence, Philadelphia boasts the second largest number of community gardens—a whopping 500—in the country, according to authors of a University of Pennsylvania report on sustainable food practices. From vacant-lots-turned-horticultural oases to urban “farms” on city land that yield fresh food for the surrounding community, the diversity of the gardens is great. And, so are the gardeners. High school students, senior citizens, community groups and members of ad-hoc co-ops are among the many Philadelphians who love getting their hands dirty while also helping to beautify the neighborhoods where their gardens live and boost