1. Cheesesteak, 2. Crabfries, 3. Hoagie, 4. Craft beer, 5. Scrapple, 6. Philly soft pretzels, 7. Tomato pie, 8. Pork roll, 9. Stateside Vodka Soda, 10. Chicken pot pie, 11. Pomegranate lamb shoulder, 12. Barbacoa, 13. Roast pork sandwich. Philadelphia's culinary scene continues to be at the pinnacle of quality despite the city's professional sports success being a continual roller coaster of tremendous highs and dismal lows. There are many distinctive native foods and beverages that you simply must taste. There is something for every palette and budget in the city's food culture, from regional drinks to inventive desserts to award-winning eateries. And here are the best foods and drinks you should try in Philadelphia.
- Craft beer
- Philly soft pretzels
- Tomato pie
- Pork roll
- Stateside Vodka Soda
- Chicken pot pie
- Pomegranate lamb shoulder
- Roast pork sandwich
Any American would likely mention cheesesteaks if you asked them to name an iconic Philadelphia dish. Cheesesteaks are properly legendary, delectable, amusing, and an experience and they’re not incorrect for saying so. The rivalry between Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks may be evident if you visit either restaurant, and the locals both assert that their cheesesteaks are quite distinct from one another, yet the slang is the same. The Philadelphia Inquirer claims that “wiz wit” refers to a cheesesteak with cheese wiz and onions. Say wiz without if you don’t want the onions on there.
Even if you’re not a fan of onions, it would be a mistake to order them without them because the caramelized onions give the sandwich a lot of flavors. You may get cheesesteaks anywhere in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, but if you want authentic taste, visit Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s Steaks in the Italian Market neighborhood of Philadelphia. Fortunately, they are conveniently situated across the street from one another if you wish to compare both (talk about a classic rivalry).
When you don’t want regular fries on the side of your burger or as the last nibble to end a fantastic night out, crab fries are the ideal starter. If you haven’t heard of crab fries, you may assume from the name that they are just fries with lump crab on top, but this would be completely incorrect. Instead, french fries are tossed with the well-known crab flavor Old Bay, along with other spices, until every fry is covered. The fries are still wonderful sans the cheese sauce that is often served on the side with the basket of fries.
The dish’s history is rather fascinating. In 1977, Pete (of the restaurant’s namesake) reportedly required a meal that resembled crab during the off-season, according to Chickie’s & Pete’s. Even though the crab fries were created particularly for Chickie’s & Pete’s, several restaurants, taverns, and franchises, like P.J. Whelihan’s, offer their own variations. However, none come close to the original. If you’re close to Chickie’s & Pete’s, you have to stop in. Perhaps it’s because the staff has had so much time to perfect the recipe. Don’t let the long line deter you from visiting Chickie’s & Pete’s if you’re attending a game at Citizen’s Bank Park; it moves quickly and is well worth the wait.
Stopping by Wawa on the way to the beach to get a hoagie, a bag of chips, and a drink is the epitome of Philly. If you’re not from around here, you could refer to a hoagie as a sub. While many people mistakenly believe they are the same thing, there are some little distinctions that make them of a different caliber.
The roll is essential to creating the ideal hoagie, according to The Washington Post. A hoagie with deli meat, cheese, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onions, and peppers is what some people enjoy. Any variant or mixture using those substances will likely be beneficial. The hoagie is the ideal straightforward yet filling meal. In order to compare a true Philly hoagie to others you’ve had, whether you’re new to the city, visiting for the World Series, or just doing some sightseeing, Toplist recommends going to PrimoHoagies rather than Wawa. The distinction will be tasted.
The city’s most popular locations include Triple Bottom Brewing and Dock Street Brewery, which provide hot pizza and cold beer, respectively (nothing tastes bad there, even the darkest of lagers on the lightest of palates). It’s almost as enjoyable to watch the Phillies, Eagles, or Flyers while sipping on a local beer at a brewery or sports pub.
Despite having a funny name and perhaps unsettling components, you can find this dish on the menu of practically any restaurant or breakfast establishment. Scrapple is here to stay and won’t go away any time soon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, November 9 is National Scrapple Day, a national holiday set aside to honor the occasion. The leftover pig trimmings that aren’t used in other meats like bacon, sausage, and pork rolls are turned into scrapple, a breakfast meal. If that seems disgusting to you, consider this: Scrapple is a symbol of the idea that using every part of an animal and not letting anything go to waste is more sustainable and courteous to the animal.
Scrapple is a common breakfast meat found in most eateries and breakfast places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and South Jersey. Due to the fact that it was developed by German immigrants in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the 18th century, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, it is exclusive to this region. It’s definitely not for everyone, despite the fact that it’s a very resourceful meat. However, if you’re interested, it is extremely salty and typically served on the side or on a breakfast sandwich with eggs and cheese.
Philly soft pretzels
Philly soft pretzels are a mainstay in the appetizer category and are a common sight at all major family gatherings, as well as at sporting events for children, in ballparks, and at home games. Even though you’ve certainly tasted soft pretzels before, none compare to those in and around the City of Brotherly Love. Billy Penn claims that Reading, Pennsylvania, bills itself as the nation’s pretzel capital. Additionally, Philadelphia formerly had a pretzel museum, and you can find a really fine soft pretzel anywhere from a convenience shop to a classy sit-down restaurant.
To put it simply, soft pretzels are a thing in Philadelphia. They are rather filling, and you can add whatever side you desire to make them more interesting. Visit the Philly Pretzel Factory if you want to sample the brand that you know will be successful every time rather than taking a chance on a soft pretzel from Wawa. You may also have the typically twisted dough pretzel with a lot of salt on it (feel free to scrape some off; no one will be insulted). Rivets are the ideal bite-sized snack since they are essentially little pretzels without a twist.
Philly soft pretzels
Pizza is a relative of tomato pie, yet they are very different. Yes, the basic components are the same in both recipes, but the preparation gives them their distinct differences. You probably already know that a basic cheese pizza consists of a circular dough cooked with tomato sauce, seasonings, and a melted mixture of cheeses, ranging from mozzarella to cheddar, on top.
This is the point where competition begins. Pork roll vs. Taylor Ham is a fierce competition, and the answer will reveal which region you actually hail from. It is known as a pork roll in Philadelphia and South Jersey. It is referred to as Taylor Ham in North Jersey. According to CBS News, John Taylor, the man who really invented the product, is to blame for starting this controversy. According to the legend, the product is actually known as pork roll, but Taylor Ham is the name of the company he founded.
Additionally, calling it Taylor Ham all the time would be equivalent to calling ice cream Ben & Jerry’s. While most people would understand if you referred to ice cream only as Ben & Jerry’s, it’s still not the name of the real product. Not all ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s. Whatever name you give it, pig roll is a different kind of breakfast meat that is served in a circular form and may be used as a side or on breakfast sandwiches, much like scrapple, sausage, and bacon. It comes from a pig and is salty like other breakfast meats. You’re on the correct road if you believe it sounds similar to bologna.
Stateside Vodka Soda
Despite being a relatively recent Philadelphia institution, Stateside Vodka Soda deserves to be included on this list. Two brothers who asked each other directly, “Hey, do you want to establish a vodka company?” launched the brand in 2013. “Yes”. That is the most Philadelphia-centric origin tale you have ever heard. The Stateside Vodka firm made this list because of how quickly Philadelphia society was influenced by it. Seriously, however, you can purchase the vodka soda bottled seltzers at practically every bar and eatery in the area, the distillery is a lot of fun to visit and offers tours, and the brand is so distinctly Philadelphia that it would be difficult not to support it. Oh, and the firm produces such high-quality goods.
There is also an iced tea line of seltzers, in addition to varieties including lemon cucumber mint, black cherry, pineapple, and orange. Stateside Vodka also offers bottles of vodka online and in person at the company’s very own bar on Philadelphia’s North Hancock street if you like your vodka neat rather than mixed with seltzer. You may also follow the company on Instagram to stay up to date on the cutting-edge concepts and fresh seltzer flavors the Stateside Vodka team is coming up with.
Stateside Vodka Soda
Chicken pot pie
The Reading Terminal Market is one of Philadelphia’s most famous gourmet destinations, and for many excellent reasons. It’s a novel idea to have an underground market with so many restaurants and little stores where you can buy anything from soap to trinkets. The Pennsylvania Dutch (the Amish) owns 12 distinct businesses, including bakeries, delis, a dairy, a cheese shop, and more.
This restaurant is one of the most well-known locations in the market in terms of market fame. There are full breakfasts, lunches, and dinners available, but the chicken pot pie is a must-have. Many eateries in the neighborhood have great chicken pot pies, but the Dutch Eating Place is unrivaled. It is unique because dumplings are baked within the pie filling, giving a traditional dinner dish some extra flavor. You won’t have to worry about moving your pot pie too far because there are several tables in the market.
Chicken pot pie
Pomegranate lamb shoulder
Winner of a James Beard Award You must at least once in your life encounter Zahav, a Philadelphia phenomenon. The pomegranate lamb shoulder is a mainstay you can always have there, and for good reason. The menu does vary quite often, updating with the current seasons and available ingredients.
Even if you’ve never tasted lamb or don’t really like it, the way the chefs at Zahav prepare this feast will convert you. The founders of this Israeli restaurant, which debuted in 2008, have subsequently branched out into several other culinary endeavors, including the ownership of the fantastic Philadelphia restaurants Federal Donuts (so excellent), Goldie, and Abe Fisher. But Zahav is unique because the owner is also the chef, not merely because of its (many) awards. Together with businessman Steve Cook, Mike Solomonov founded Zahav, and he continues to serve as its executive chef today. The commitment and concern for the products and businesses really enhance the experience. You may be sure that anything you eat there was prepared with love. The must-order dish is the Zahav lamb shoulder, which is brined, smoked, and then braised in gorgeous sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses.
Pomegranate lamb shoulder
In Philadelphia, there are several great and distinctive Mexican and Latin establishments, but none are as well-known as South Philly Barbacoa. Everyone who visits gives it five stars since its signature dish is so excellent. Because of the exceptional quality of the slow-simmered goat, which is offered by the kilo with all the fixings and as an a la carte taco, Chef and owner Christina Martinez was featured on a Volume 5 episode of the Netflix series “Chef’s Table” for both her culinary skills and motivational backstory.
Even though there may be a large line, it moves fast and is well worth the wait since this barbacoa may be the greatest you’ve ever tasted. According to Philly Voice, South Philly Barbacoa is a family-run restaurant that has been operating since 2014. You can be sure that everything you order will be top-notch because the tacos and sides are so delicious and freshly made on the premises. Remember that this is a weekend-only establishment, but Martinez also opened Casa Mexico, a restaurant that is open every day, right next door.
Roast pork sandwich
Around here, a roast pork sandwich is just as ubiquitous as a cheesesteak or a cheeseburger, and it’s so good that you’ll wonder why it isn’t more popular elsewhere. Locals will be aware that Tony Luke’s is renowned for its tasty roast pork sandwiches. Initially located in South Philadelphia, the restaurant has subsequently grown to include a few other sites throughout South Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was established in 1992, and the fact that the staff even produces their own bread to put the sandwich components on enhances the quality even further. Tony Luke’s makes sure there are never any stale rolls there since nobody likes them.
If you’ve never had one before, a roast pork sandwich consists of a fresh bun with toasted roast pork, onions, peppers, and cheese. The roast pork sandwich at Tony Luke’s is created with bread, roast pork, seasonings, and broccoli rabe on top. However, you may always choose the components you want for your sandwich.
Roast pork sandwich