Skip to Content

A Foodie’s Guide To Visiting Philadelphia

Share The Article

Last Updated

Philadelphia is one of the best cities for foodies. This city is chock full of diverse cuisines, local staples, and fine dining. In Philly, you can grab a cheesesteak in the afternoon, and head out in the evening for a serving of red gravy pasta with fine wine. This guide will also show you how the locals eat. Read on to plan your next gastronomy trip with a foodies guide to Philadelphia. 

Love Sculpture Philadelphia

A Foodies Guide To Philly

Philly Food Specialties

Like many large American cities, Philadelphia has many local specialties. Food items that are a must in Philadelphia are: 

Cheesesteaks are without a doubt, the most famous food here. Jim’s South Street serves up incredible ribeye steaks every day. Other cheesesteak standouts include Geno’s Steaks, Sony’s Famous Steaks, Chubby’s, Max’s Steaks, and Steve’s Prince of Steaks. Stop by any one of these establishments and sink your teeth into a scrumptious cheesesteak. 

Philadelphians love their soft pretzels. A multilocation bakery called the Philly Pretzel Factory serves them up in many forms including sticks, nuggets, braided, and sandwich rolls. 

Hoagies in Philadelphia are what other regions call subs or grinders. Hoagies come with fresh deli meats, cheese, and veggies. The bread is the key ingredient, with fresh rolls coming from local bakeries daily to shops all over the city. At Matt and Marie’s, you can try the Italian Stallion, which is topped with coppa and salami.

Sink your teeth into the fresh tomato sauce on top of focaccia-like dough with a tomato pieSarcone’s Bakerymakes this Italian bakery staple every day and it is delicious!

While in South Philly, indulge yourself in some red gravy pasta. In the Italian market, Ralph’s has been making this wonderful red gravy for over 100 years. 

Food Neighborhoods in Philly

Enjoy Fine Dining in Center City

Center City comprises of the downtown area, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, Midtown Village, and Washington Square West neighborhoods. For those that crave awesome bread, stop by High Street Philly. You can also enjoy a cocktail at the Franklin Bar or a delicious falafel sandwich at Goldie. In the evening, dine on small plates such as saffron braised squid or charcoal grilled lamb merguez at Vernick, located on Walnut Street. No foodie trip to Philadelphia would be complete without a visit to Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s oldest and largest public markets. 

Choose from Many Ethnic Cuisines in South Philadelphia

In South Philly, there is a large Italian-American population, and the neighborhood is filled with multiple Italian restaurants, pizzerias, and sandwich shops. There are also many other ethnic cuisines in South Philadelphia including Mexican, Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurants.  On East Passyunk Avenue,  you will find many great restaurants such as fine French fare at Laurel, and Perla for lechon kawali and other great Filipino cuisine. 

Nosh in University City and West Philly

West Philly is home to University City, where students from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Temple University live and study. This causes the area to have a young, vibrant vibe. There are many eateries that cater to the college crowd. Students and tourists alike enjoy the stellar pizza at Pitruco, or yellowfin tuna at Kensington Quarters. The Walnut Street Café is a local favorite for any meal, while Vientiane Café serves up outstanding Thai and Laotian curries. 

Nibble on Spring Rolls in Chinatown

Chinatown in Philadelphia is very small compared to other large cities, but the neighborhood has much to offer. Dumpling lovers should stop in a Tom’s Dim Sum, or taste some hand pulled noodles at Nan Zhou. In Chinatown Square, you can also sample Korean sundubu jjigae at Dae Bak, or spring rolls from Vietnam restaurant

Get an Awesome Meal in Fishtown

Fishtown & Northern Liberties is a neighborhood where you are guaranteed a fantastic meal. At Suraya, you can nibble on Lebanese flatbreads and kebabs. Try a veggie burger at Tiny’s Bottle Shop, or some pho at Stock. In Northern Liberties, stop by Yards Brewing Company, a 70,000-square- foot brewery and tap room.

Grab Something Special in the Northeast

Northeast Philly is a large diverse community with many cuisines including Portuguese, Jewish, Indian, Italian, Eastern European, and much more. If you are craving something special, try Taste of Brazil for great Brazilian barbeque. Cheesesteak lovers should visit Steve’s Prince of Steaks or Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop for the quintessential Philly food. 

Have a quiet evening with Outstanding Food in Northwest Philly

This quiet, overlooked section of Philadelphia has a lot to offer foodies. Mount Airy Taproom is perfect for a date night as well as hotspot Jansen. In Roxborough, White Yak features Tibetan food, and Pizza Jawn has the best pizza in the neighborhood. Vegans will love the good food at Nile Café and All The Way Live

Foodie Walking Tours in Philadelphia

There are many tour companies in Philadelphia that can take you on a guided tour of popular food neighborhoods and specialties. 

City Food Tours has many walking tours in various neighborhoods including Historic Old City, Highlights of East Passyunk, Decadent Gourmet, plus many more. On the Flavors of Philly food tour,you will visit locals-only dining establishments in Philadelphia.

With Secret Food Tours: Philadelphia you will enjoy a variety of local Philly favorites. Chewie Food Tours has ‘a unique taste of Philadelphia’. They offer tastings with secret menus and personal food demonstrations. 

Plan your next gastronomy trip with this foodies guide to Philadelphia!

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 for 2021

Top 10 US Foodie Destinations For 2021

Top 5 Road Trips from Philadelphia

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.