Philadelphia is making some huge strides in recent years on becoming a foodie destination. Here are some of my latest favorites from the City of Brotherly Love:
Darling’s Diner is good anytime of day, not just for breakfast. In fact it’s open 24 hours/day (and has a full bar). They are known for their cheesecake, but should be known for their Northern Liberties Monster; a breakfast sandwich with 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 3 cheeses, sautéed mushrooms, and scrapple. And you can order breakfast anytime of day, hint, hint, hint. Located near the piazza in Northern Liberties at 1033 N. 2nd St.
I’ve got two favorites for brunch. Green Eggs Café does a fine brunch with an “eco-conscious” twist. Try the innovative Philly Style Eggs Benedict—grilled pork loin on a pretzel roll with Philadelphia cream cheese, topped with two poached eggs and béarnaise sauce. Another highlight is The “Kitchen Sink”—three eggs scrambled with cheese, their signature potatoes, peppers, and onions, topped with homemade jumbo biscuit and country sausage gravy in a cast-iron skillet. Dine from 8am-4pm in Northern Liberties at 719 North 2nd Street or in South Philly at 1306 Dickinson Street.
Café Lift at 428 North 13th St. has a fantastic menu and pretty much everything is outstanding. They have a great selection of frittata, crespelle, and panini. For something sweet, go with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Open 9am-3pm.
Village Whiskey is a trendy little place for lunch or even a late night drink. Since opening his first restaurant, Amada, in 2005, Chef Jose Garces has emerged as an enormous talent and one of the nation’s most gifted young chefs. You might know him from his appearance on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America when he defeated Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Village does an incredible burger as well as chicken sandwich. Portions are quite big. I was foolish to finish all of mine in one sitting. Located at 118 South 20th St.
There are endless place in Philly to eat your evening meal, but Jones is a fun place to go if you are foreign or have been out of the country for a long time. Jones is the comfort food restaurant of Steven Starr fame that serves up favorites like Thanksgiving Dinner, Meat Loaf, and Baked Macaroni and Cheese. I can’t say enough good things about the Chicken Pot Pie. The atmosphere is a lot of fun too. Located downtown at 700 Chestnut.
The Memphis Taproom is one of my choice bars. They have a great variety of domestic microbrews on tap as well as a couple of imports: Belgian, German or English. Seat yourself inside at the tables, the bar, or outside in the beer garden (open April-October).The food is good too. Don’t leave without trying the beer-battered kosher dills. They’re excellent. Drop by the Memphis Taproom at the intersection of Memphis Street and E. Cumberland St. on the border of the Port Richmond and Fishtown neighborhoods of Philly, in the Kensington section of the city.
The Foodery at two Philadelphia locations is a remarkable place to buy beer, offering 800 American and Imported craft beers. Monk’s Belgian Café and Beer Emporium is the place to try a vast array of Belgian brews. Monk’s is at 264 S. 16th St.
Ninth Street Italian Market is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the U.S. It hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years, except now there are plenty of Latino vendors in addition to Italian ones. Don’t miss talking to the Cheese mongers at Di Brunos Bros., which offer an incredible assortment of artisanal cheeses, both import and domestic.
Nearby, on 947 Federal Street, Bitar’s is also not to be missed if you like olives, pita bread, and other Middle Eastern specialties.
For a nice selection of a variety of foods and delicacies, head over to the Reading Terminal Market adjacent to the Convention Center. It’s a gastronomic bazaar filled with local produce, dairy products, meats, seafood, baked goods, Amish products, as well as vast array of prepared ethnic foods perfect for lunch.