12 Things You Have to Eat in Philadelphia
From cheesesteaks to water ice
The City of Brotherly Love isn’t only about running up the steps of the art museum, Rocky-style (although that’s pretty fun, you should try it). It has also become a destination for some of the best food in the country, from tomato pie to hoagies to water ice. Here’s what you have to try when you visit.
Strawberry Lavender Doughnut at Federal DONUTS
Come for the sweet, fluffy doughnuts with just the right amount of sugar, and stay for the crispy fried chicken. (And yep, they’ll even let you get them all on one plate. Best meal ever.)
Multiple locations in Philadelphia; 267-928-3893 or federaldonuts.com
The Godfather Hoagie at Cosmi’s Deli
What’s a hoagie? When you’re in Philly, it’s a sub piled high with meat, cheese and veggies. The Godfather—with prosciutto, sopressata, mozzarella, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and green olives—is a must-try.
1501 S. Eighth St.; 215-468-6093 or cosmideli.com
Lemon Water Ice at John’s
This Italian ice (or “WOOD-er ice,” if you’re in Philly) is President Obama’s favorite. But if you’re not a sour fan, the pineapple is amazing, too.
701 Christian St.; 215-925-6955 or johnswaterice.com
Tomato Pie at Marchiano’s Bakery
This regional treat is basically square pizza dough covered with crushed tomatoes and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It’s available at bakeries and pizza shops all over the city, but here it’s arguably the best.
4635 Umbria St.; 215-483-8585 or marchianosbakery.com
Scrapple from Little Pete’s
OK, scrapple isn’t the most visually appealing food of all time. But when in Philly, you’ve gotta try the Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy made with pork scraps and cornmeal. Plus, it’s delicious on waffles.
219 S. 17th St.; 215-545-5508
Cannoli at Termini Bros. Bakery
If you can’t swing a trip to Italy, these made-from-scratch desserts filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips are almost as amazing.
Multiple locations in Philadelphia; 215-334-1816 or termini.com
Meatballs and Gravy at Villa Di Roma
This low-key Italian joint has been serving pasta in South Philly since 1963, so we’re pretty sure they know what they’re doing. But don’t you dare call it “tomato sauce.”
936 S. Ninth St.; 215-592-1295 or villadiroma.com
Cheesesteak from John’s Roast Pork
Skip the touristy Pat’s and Geno’s and try this favorite of South Philly dockworkers instead. Keep it basic or add mushrooms and bacon. You can’t go wrong, we promise.
14 E. Snyder Ave.; 215-463-1951 or johnsroastpork.com
Pho at Thang Long Noodle Restaurant
Venture north to grab a piping-hot bowl of pho for breakfast. You can’t go wrong with either the chicken or beef broth here.
2534-36 Kensington Ave.; 215-425-0078
Tacos al Pastor at Mole Poblano
OK, Philly isn’t famous for its Mexican food, but if you’re having a Taco Tuesday craving, you can’t beat these guys made with thinly sliced pork shoulder. Seconds are encouraged.
1144 S. Ninth St.; 215-465-1616
Pretzel with Garlic from Miller’s Twist
In Philly, you can’t go a block without hitting a pretzel store (and no, we’re not talking about Auntie Anne’s). These homemade twists topped with butter and garlic powder are as good as it gets.
51 N. Twelfth St.; 215-923-1723 or millerstwist.com
Forager Breakfast Sandwich from High Street on Market
Don’t leave without trying this sammie with seared king oyster mushrooms, braised kale, a fried egg and Swiss cheese on homemade bread. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’ll be one of the best things you eat all year.
308 Market St.; 215-625-0988 or highstreetonmarket.com