March 1, 2021
City Guides

Best Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia

Planning a trip to Philadelphia? Whether you’ll be doing business, visiting friends, or touring this historic city’s monuments, you’ll want to take time to sample the best food in Philadelphia while you are there. 

What Food is Philadelphia Known For?

When the topic of Philadelphia cuisine comes up, many people automatically think of Philly cheesesteaks. While these sandwiches are indeed popular, there’s a lot more to the Philadelphia food scene than Cheez-Wiz and beef. 

Philadelphia cuisine has strong Pennsylvania Dutch and Italian influences which can be found in water ice (known elsewhere as Italian ice), and scrapple, a fried, loaf-shaped Pennsylvania-Dutch breakfast staple made from pork scraps and cornmeal. Another iconic Philly specialty is snapper soup made from turtle meat and flavored with sherry, and is more commonly found in the city’s fine dining restaurants.

What to Expect From Philadelphia Restaurants 

You can find a full range of dining options around town. Still, there is a decidedly working-class ethos that impacts the local dining scene, which means that you can find plenty of places where you don’t have to get dressed up to enjoy a good meal.

Another thing to expect is BYOB restaurants. Due to restrictive state liquor laws, many restaurants forgo having a license of their own and instead invite patrons to bring their own bottles. Save money and enjoy your favorite beer or wine while dining, instead of being limited to a restaurant’s list of beverages. 

Finally, Philadelphia has a huge street food scene, with vendors selling everything from sandwiches and pizza to ethnic delicacies. Just step right up to order a meal and then enjoy it while walking around or, perhaps, picnicking at a local park.

Best Restaurants in Philadelphia 

It’s hard to pick a “best restaurant” in Philadelphia: It really depends on what kind of cuisine you wish to enjoy. Still, there are a handful of favorites that locals swear offer some of the best food in Philadelphia. 

Angelo’s Pizzeria South Philly: Cash-only restaurant serves up some of the best pizzas and sandwiches in town. Famous for its white pizzas (no tomato sauce), as well as cheesesteaks and hoagies (known as submarine sandwiches elsewhere in the country). Food is made from scratch with top-notch ingredients.

The Original Turkey: Is once a year not enough Thanksgiving for you? The Original Turkey can satisfy your cravings. Since 1983, this stand has offered fresh roasted turkey dinners, sandwiches, and traditional sides at affordable prices. 

Geno’s Steaks: Cheesesteaks are native to Philadelphia, and Geno’s Steaks is famous for its mouthwatering authentic Philly cheesesteaks made with thinly sliced rib-eye steak, onions, and cheese. Open 24/7. 

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