Philadelphia is for Foodies

Walking—the Best Way to Experience Place
November 27, 2011
Fisheye Fun in Philadelphia
December 13, 2011

Philadelphia is for Foodies

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.
At Cafe Lift


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.
Inside Jones

Beer Bars

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.
At Memphis Taproom

More for the beer geeks

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.

Other Philly Institutions

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.
Di Brunos Bros

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.


Check out all my other posts about Philadelphia and be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

At Memphis Taproom

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Michael Bugno says:

    This is great and all very true! My only bad experience was Darling’s! Great article though – now I am hungry, thanks!

  2. Juno says:

    What a great photo at the end! 🙂
    Ah, the lunch at Village Whiskey was totally a shocking experience. The burger made us to split every meal afterwards, and be a friend with go-to-bag. I guess really Philadelphia was the best town for food. The monster… And cheese from Di Bruno Bros was really good. All the samples, mmm…. I miss cheese! — yeah, Thanks!

  3. Anna says:

    Great article, this article has some power to it to make people hungry while reading it, maybe is the yummy looking pictures that has that effect. I have never been to Philadelphia before but I would go for the food alone.

    Anna L.

  4. William says:

    I’m heading to Philly for my first time in March 2012, this will help much. Thanks!

  5. @Slipstream57 says:

    Great post, Marine! Glad to see you survived BootCamp 🙂 I love Philly ever since my first visit in 1976. My last visit was Dec 2012 and I found a new watering hole that I will surely re-visit whenever in town — Eulogy Belgian Tavern on Chestnut . I specially liked their selection of dark brews on tap.

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