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.
This Rittenhouse gastropub is popular with the after-work and date-night crowds. The dining room has exposed brick walls and banquette seating.
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.
It would be hard to miss this Old City restaurant, with its colorful name-bearing banners running down the building. The relaxed 122-seater, which is co-owned by the Metropolitan Bakery team, is well loved for its contemporary American fare.
Situated in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, this no-frills pub is known for its immense selection of Belgian brews. The dim, narrow space contains two bars—one up front and one in back, separated by a handful of wooden booths.
Water Works Restaurant & Lounge's riverfront view—which includes a cluster of buildings reminiscent of old Rome, Boat House Row, and the Schuylkill Dam—is the main attraction.
This colorful space serves delicious house-made guacamole and has a wall lined with hundreds of tiny Day of the Dead figurines.
In an Old City neighborhood dominated by hoagie joints, this Market Street ice cream parlor is, by design, old school.