Restaurants in Philadelphia
Philadelphia restaurants combine both the buzziest names in the food world alongside some of its greasiest traditions. Many celebrity chef-fronted Philadelphia restaurants, like Stephen Starr's Buddakan, Morimoto and El Vez have opened up second locations in New York City. The Philadelphia-based La Colombe Torrefaction coffee chain now runs a shop in South Korea.
For spicy Mexican dishes in a colorful setting, visit Jose Garces' Distrito. It has earned its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia with upscale takes on south-of-the-border street food, such as Kobe beef tacos, and a bar boasting more than 100 tequilas.
Some of the most iconic restaurants in Philadelphia are its cheesesteak purveyors. Visit the home of the beloved fried onion and Cheese Wiz-topped sandwich at the Pat's King of Steaks takeout window, or visit Geno's Steaks at East Passyunk Crossing, whose bright neon lights attract crowds of late-night fans and a worldwide reputation.
This Center City restaurant serves contemporary Mexican cuisine and invites customers to BYOT — where the "T" stands for tequila. The space consists of exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, black-framed mirrors, and dark wooden furniture.
A Naples-meets-NYC-style pizzeria from restaurateur Stephen Starr. Order the pizza topped with clams, broccoli rabe, pancetta, and mozzarella.
West Philadelphia's Distrito serves modern Mexican cuisine in a 250-seat restaurant decorated with kitschy details like vivid pink lighting and a wall of Mexican wrestling masks.
The Lai family fled both Vietnam and a Malaysian refugee camp before opening this once tiny Vietnamese restaurant in 1984. Benny Lai, the son of the original owners, took over in 1989 and renovated the space into a three-story building with a lounge.
This colorful space serves delicious house-made guacamole and has a wall lined with hundreds of tiny Day of the Dead figurines.
A member of Steven Starr's ever-expanding restaurant empire (which includes more than two dozen eateries on the East Coast), this Center City restaurant specializes in designer comfort food. Fried chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, and matzo ball soup all have a place on the menu.
Tria opened this first location of its now citywide bar and café chain in Rittenhouse Square in 2004, based on the trinity of beer, wine, and cheese. The menu has a rotating selection of approximately 16 artisan cheeses at any time, ranging from Missouri sheep’s milk to Spanish goat cheese.
Chef Jose Garces' second Philadelphia restaurant, Tinto, takes its cues from the tapas and wine bars in the Basque region of Spain. The dining room is designed like a wine cellar; the walls are lined with wooden grids containing thousands of bottles from Northern Spain and Southwestern France.
North Bowl Lounge ‘n’ Lanes is housed in a former auto mechanic's garage, with exposed ductwork and brick walls, and polished concrete floors. Vintage 1950’s benches flank the 17 hardwood lanes, each outfitted with glow-in-the-dark pins. There are also billiards tables and arcade games.
Known all over the world, Geno's has been a pioneer of that greasy tradition, the Philly cheesesteak, since 1966.
Although he worked in several acclaimed local kitchens, it wasn’t until Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov did it his way at Zahav that he achieved national regard, winning the 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic.
Tony Luke, Jr. founded his South Philly sandwich eatery in 1992 and put a gourmet twist on his hometown’s traditional cheese steak.