Philly dining for all tastes and budgets
Philadelphia offers dining choices for every palate and budget. Here visitors can find a plethora of regional American dishes, plus every flavor from Latin to Asian. Hoagies and cheesesteaks can be found alongside fine dining and world cuisine.
2313 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125, USA
Pizza Brain, located on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, bills itself as the world’s first pizza museum and restaurant. With pizza-related toys, artwork, and memorabilia on display around the eatery, fine dining becomes fun dining. An added bonus? An outpost of Little Baby’s Ice Cream—revered around Philly for its handcrafted batches of exotic ice cream flavors—is right next door, making this the perfect address for kids and foodies of all ages. The geniuses behind Pizza Brain have now opened a second restaurant, Pizza Dads, in Brewerytown. Both locations are BYOB.
237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
Chef Michael Solomonov, a 2017 James Beard Award winner, presents his take on modern Israeli cuisine at this Society Hill destination. Zahav is the Hebrew word for “gold,” which is reflected in the beautiful golden decor of the restaurant. Menu highlights include the fabulous hummus, halloumi with strawberries and peas, and any of the mezes or small plates. Try the restaurant’s signature cocktail, the refreshing Lemonnana—Jim Beam, muddled mint, fresh lemon, and verbena—served by the glass or by the pitcher. Save room for dessert; the coffee custard is divine. The bar at Zahav is a popular weekday spot for happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner reservations are a must.
1840 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
With a rooftop lounge, it’s all about the view. This intimate and elegant spot at the Logan Hotel on the Ben Franklin Parkway offers a deck with extraordinary vistas, as well as cozy indoor and outdoor seating and fire pits for when the nights get chilly. The menu features champagne by the bottle or glass, craft cocktails, and savory small bites. The lounge’s capacity is only about 200 people, so arrive early to avoid a line; on busy evenings, a waiting list will be maintained. Hours vary by season.
1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Opened in 2011 in a historic brownstone, Vedge is widely considered one of the best vegan restaurants in America. Even such veganism-averse food critics as Alan Richman have sung its praises, and chef Rich Landau and his wife, Kate Jacoby, the pastry chef at Vedge, have both been nominated for James Beard awards. Landau works with ingredients that traditionally send carnivores running (tofu, seitan), but inventive dishes—such as salt-roasted beets layered with avocado, smoked tofu, and pickle mustard, a play on pastrami on rye—upend their hippie-dippie reputation. Save room for dessert: Jacoby’s creations, such as caramel-and-pecan-topped NOLA mud pie, have their own cult following.
2043 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
In a city where hoagies are everywhere, how can a visitor know which is the best? Ask a local where they buy their hoagies, and chances are their answer will be Primo. The Primo Italian hoagie, for anyone new to these signature Philadelphia foods, is a classic. Winner of multiple awards, Primo Hoagies has locations all around Philly, and boasts an extensive menu featuring sandwiches of many sizes. The offerings include creative meatless options such as the Veggie Diablo (eggplant, sharp provolone, broccoli rabe, and long hot peppers); make sure to try a side of olive salad. Buon appetito!
1219 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19121, USA
Federal Donuts, which sells wacky-flavored handmade doughnuts, coffee, and Korean-style twice-fried chicken, is just one example of how chefs in the City of Brotherly Love are pursuing their culinary obsessions. The original Center City shop has been joined by branches around town (including one at the baseball stadium) as well as a satellite shop in Miami: The owners’ whimsical impulse to pick up a doughnut machine on Craigslist in 2011 now seems less crazy and more like the first steps of delicious empire-building.
524 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
This small, colorful restaurant located near Fourth and South streets showcases authentic Venezuelan street food, including Venezuelan-style arepas rellenas (thick cornmeal patties stuffed with meat, cheese, and other fillings) and patacones (sandwiches with fried-plantain patties in place of bread). With a friendly staff and fast service, Puyero is popular for dining in as well as for takeout and delivery. The limited menu is geared toward meat eaters, but two of the arepas and several sides are vegetarian-friendly. Try the tequeños—deep-fried dough wrapped around white cheese—and the churros. Muy delicioso! Puyero is BYOB.
2031 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
This upscale New American restaurant in a brownstone near Rittenhouse Square is a popular destination for business dinners and special occasions. Chef Greg Vernick is a James Beard Award winner, and the restaurant regularly appears on many national and local “Best of” lists. The dinner menu changes with the seasons, but favorite options include the sea urchin and the roasted whole fish of the day. For dessert, look for the tasty blueberry pie, which is served with elderflower ice cream. A highlight of the cocktail menu is the Milk Punch—a classic rum drink made with Madeira, lime, and bitters.