Philadelphia Guide

Visiting Philadelphia? I put together a list of my favorite places to eat in the city. I will be adding to this list as I visit new restaurants in the city. Follow my adventures in the city on Instagram with #LauraAimePhilly! Happy Eating! 

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1. Pete's Famous Pizza - 116 N 21st St - Yes, it's technically a pizza shop. But they have great diner-style breakfast. I always get the 'Gold Medal Breakfast' and it comes with free coffee. Also there's never a line and it's super inexpensive. They also serve local Philadelphia favorites like Pork Roll and Scrapple (just try it). 

2. Sabrina's - 1804 Callowhill St - If you go here on the weekends there will be a line. Just a warning. But it's so worth it. This place is BYOB so it's great for brunch with friends. They have a specials menu with different themes every week varying from 'Broad City' (a fave) to 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' to 'Christmas in July'. That being said, you can't go wrong with the stuffed french toast which is always available. 

3. Green Eggs Cafe- 212 S. 13th St -  This place also has a long wait on the weekends, but their food is so yummy. I love the Chicken and Waffles Eggs Benedict or the Red Velvet pancakes. They used to be a BYOB but recently switched to offering brunch cocktails which is convenient if you forgot to get champagne for Sunday brunch since most liquor stores in PA are closed on Sundays. 

4. Cafe Lift - 428 N. 13th St - This is a cash-only brunch all day place. They have great seasonal specials with fresh ingredients. They are BYOB so bring a bottle and order a carafe of the fresh squeezed orange juice. I love the cannoli stuffed french toast, the lemon ricotta pancakes, and the pumpkin cheesecake french toast in the fall (#basic). 

5. Honey's Sit n' Eat - 2101 South Street - Honey's has been around in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philly for awhile. They opened a second location on South Street which is about a 20 minute walk from my apartment. I love the biscuits which come with the meals. They are also cash only and can have long lines on weekends, but those biscuits are worth it!

6. Parc - 227 S. 18th St - Parc sits right on Rittenhouse Square and offers outdoor tables with amazing views overlooking the square. While Parc serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, I think they really shine at brunch. Make a reservation and be sure to order the breakfast pastries for the table to start. They also have a killer Eggs Benedict.

7. Cuba Libre - 10 S. 2nd St - This place also does all the meals, but my favorite is the Cuban brunch. A fair warning, unless you are EXTREMELY hungry you might want to go a la carte for the brunch tapas. Trust me, they are far more filling than you may think. Also order the bread basket to start, the mango butter is delicious. They also make killer mojitos and I always get the extra shot of rum for $1.50 ;)

8. White Dog Cafe - 3420 Sansom St - This place is in University City so it's perfect if you're visiting UPenn or Drexel. They use all fresh farm to table ingredients from local farms. The french toast is killer. They also have a great lunch menu

9. Federal Donuts - 1632 Sansom St - Ok so I have a serious weak spot for a great donut. Federal Donuts has two categories of donuts to try: gourmet and hot. I almost always go for the hot and fresh donuts. They make them right in front of you and dip them in various flavored sugars. You can't go wrong with any of the three flavors offered: Strawberry, Vanilla, and Cinnamon. Also, they make pretty bangin' fried chicken. There's no where really to "sit" here (except a couple of stools) so take your donuts and chicken to go and head over to nearby Rittenhouse park for a little breakfast in the park. It's one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning!

10. Hickory Lane American Bistro - 2025 Fairmount Ave - If you find yourself in Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood, try Hickory Lane Bistro for brunch! It's right in the shadow of the old State Penitentiary; no longer operating as a prison, it's now a tourist attraction, providing tours daily and a haunted house in the fall! They offer a variety of flavored mimosas, brunch specials, and classic American cuisine. The environment is cozy too, with wood accents and a cool fabric wall


1. Continental Mid-Town - 1801 Chestnut St - This place is great for a casual weekday lunch with friends if you both work in center city or to grab a salad or sandwich if you're visiting and shopping on nearby Walnut St. I almost always get the ham sandwich with a side salad, the sandwich has hard-boiled eggs on it (a serious love of mine!). If you want to indulge a little more try the lobster mac n'cheese. Watching your figure? Try the Asian Chicken salad. So good. They are also open for dinner and offer tapas style dishes including french onion soup dumplings (which are seriously 

2. Dandelion - 124 S. 18th St - This is another great spot for lunch during the work week or to pop into if you're shopping nearby. My work team for a client in center city loves to frequent here for Friday lunches. I either get the chicken salad platter (it's huge and loaded with fresh veggies) or the turkey sandwich which comes complete with a fried egg (like I said, I love a good egg on a sandwich). They are styled after a British pub and the decor is cozy. They also have a dinner menu but I have never been for dinner. I have heard the bar is a great place for drinks on the weekends!

3. Fat Salmon - 719 Walnut St - This is a cool sushi bar in Washington Square area that offers great, fresh rolls. The decor is pretty standard for a sleek, inner city sushi bar, but isn't too fancy. I love their specialty rolls menu and recommend the Dancing Vampire roll. 

4. Buena Onda - 1901 Callowhill St - This is a newer restaurant opened by Jose Garces in 2014. It's counter service and offers a variety of tacos, quesadillas, appetizers, and of course margaritas. They even bring around free beer samples from Yards Brewery (a local Beer brewery) while you wait in line to order, can't beat that! I recommend the grilled shrimp or fried Mahi Mahi tacos and the prickly cactus frozen margarita. I usually order three tacos and am STUFFED at the end of the meal, so if you're a light eater stick to two. Also, if you order one of the yummy side dishes I recommend splitting it with a friend because they are pretty filling. 

5. Dizengoff - 1625 Sansom St - This is another quick service place in center city. They are actually right across the street from Federal Donuts and very convenient to Walnut St. shopping. Every friend that has visited me from out of town who I have taken here LOVES it. They always ask to come back on their next visit. It's so good. They only offer hummus with a rotating menu of flavors, and beverages. The hummus comes with an Israeli salad, cucumbers, and a fresh baked pita bread. Get any flavor hummus (be bold and try one of the random daily specials!) and a frozen mint lemonade. Thank me later.

6. Di Bruno Brothers - 1730 Chestnut St - Di Bruno's is a Philadelphia institution. They have three locations, but I listed the center city location because that's where I frequent. They are half gourmet grocery store half food counters. I really enjoy the cheese samples and the staff is so knowledgable and passionate about the foods they're showcasing. They even have a coffee table book available called "House of Cheese". My kind of house. I recommend getting one of the specialty sandwiches and sitting upstair to eat. It's a great casual place to grab lunch with friends, or get all the necessary items to build the perfect charcuterie or cheese place! 

7. John's Roast Pork - 14 E Snyder Ave - This award-winning sandwich shop located in South Philly is cash-only. It also appears to be a shack when you get there. Don't let that stop you. The specialty "Hot Roast Pork" sandwich is soooo good. Go there and try one. Roast Pork is really the best specialty of Philadelphia in my opinion. I like mine with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. 

8. Jim's Steaks - 400 South St - It wouldn't be a Philadelphia travel list without a cheesesteak suggestion. Pat's and Geno's get all the press, but my favorite Philadelphia cheesesteak is Jim's on South Street. The line can get pretty long at lunch time, but if you're in the mood its a great steak. Order it "wiz wit" or "wiz witout" depending on whether or not you'd like your cheesesteak with fried onions or not. Also, you have to get "wiz" a.k.a. cheese wiz as your cheese type for the authentic experience. Otherwise you have the option of provolone or american cheese, but don't ever think I recommend those. 

9. Lorenzo's - 305 South St - This little pizza joint on South Street is cash only and offers HUGE slices of pizza. Seriously, so big. Really great thin crust pizza. 

10. Prohibition Taproom - 501 N. 13th St - This little bar in the loft district has some great sandwiches and burgers for lunch. They also have great french fries, and that alone is enough to make this list. On Sundays they offer BYOV - Bring Your Own Vinyl - and you can bring your records to share with the bar while chowing down. 

11. Reading Terminal Market - 51 N. 12th St - Ok, so I wasn't quite sure where to list this. Reading Terminal is a famous Philadelphia market which has pretty much anything you could want. Termini Brothers, which is famous for cannolis, has a stand here. Beiler's Donuts (open all days but Sundays) has AMAZING donuts with all kinds of unique flavors, like Fruit Loops, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, or Maple Walnut. But my favorite stand at Reading Terminal is definitely DiNic's Roast Pork. They are already famous (they won America's Best Sandwich on the Travel Channel) so you may have heard of them. So so so yummy. There's usually a long line at lunch time but its still worth it. Get the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. You can thank me later.   

Juice Bars and Coffee Shops: 

Mugshots - 1925 Fairmount Ave - I went to Mugshots with my friend Lori one weekend to do some work. It was a nice walk from Center City in the warm weather. I tried the PB&J Smoothie and it was SO GOOD! They also have free wifi, a wide variety of coffees, and a full food menu including sandwiches. 

Peddler Coffee - 2100 Spring St - This is my local coffee place, I go here pretty much every weekend! They have a wide variety of pour-over coffees and a small selection of breakfast pastries. The interior of the place is cool, they have tables which look like tree logs. Also, free wifi which is a must.

Pure Fare - 119 S 21st St - This little organic juice bar near Rittenhouse has a great juice menu and a variety of snack and dinner items. I go to yoga at Philadelphia Power Yoga which is just down the street and sometimes treat myself to a Green Detox juice on the way home. It's a little pricey, but that's what you get when you get fresh, organic juice. 

Good Karma - 928 Pine St - This is a great coffee shop to study or do work in. They have large tables, free wifi, and lots of plugs. I love the lavender latte, both hot or on ice! I wish it was closer to my apartment, but it's probably a good thing or else I'd be there everyday.


1. Pizzeria Vetri - 1939 Callowhill St - This is the most casual restaurant owned by the Vetri Restaurant Group, one of the larger restaurant groups in Philly. They have delicious roman style pizza, wine on tap, and fried pizza dough you can dip into nutella. What more could you want? Nutella. I would start out with Wood Oven Salad, followed by the Crudo pizza, and finish it off with fried pizza dough and nutella. The s'mores pizza is also pretty delicious. 

2. Sampan - 124 S. 13th St - Sampan is located in the Gayborhood (seriously, that's the area's name!) in an area with a ton of great little restaurants. Sampan is probably my favorite. They have an awesome happy hour special everyday from 4-6pm where you can get select Asian tapas from their menu at a reduced price (not a reduced size) and offer a specialty cocktail of the day. During regular dinner they have an expanded menu and you really can't go wrong. I love the soup dumplings, kabobs, and kimchi fried rice. Also get the Uptown fishbowl drink to share with a friend. So yummy!

3. El Vez - 121 S. 13th St - El Vez is a owned by Stephen Starr restaurant group and is located right across the street from Sampan. If you want to get dinner on a weekend night be sure to make a reservation in advance. They have a cool vibe inside, including a photostrip booth and a bar with a bike rotating on the top. They have a delicious selection of guacamole. Get a frozen blood orange margarita and the tacos for two deal. The tacos meat and veggies come out on a large grill and there's way more than enough for two people. 

4. So Crepe - 1506 South St - This casual BYOB restaurant on South Street offers both sweet and savory crepes. I like it just as much for brunch as I do for dinner. Bring a bottle of wine and get a savory crepe to start and a classic Nutella crepe for desert. 

5. Barbuzzo - 110 S. 13th St. - I went here for my birthday dinner this year and it did not disappoint. They have Mediterranean tapas and delicious cocktails. I got the basil lemonade, so delicious. We also tried the Sheeps Milk Ricotta, Roasted Bone Marrow, the cheese board, pan seared gnocchi, summer corn arancini, and caciocavallo stuffed meatballs. It was plenty of food for two people and was so so yummy. 

6. Butcher and Singer - 1500 Walnut St - Another Stephen Starr restaurant. This one is themed after an old fashioned steak house. It's dark inside with walnut wall paneling, high ceilings, and cozy booths. The steaks are obviously phenomenal, but so is Bees Knee cocktail (gin with lavender honey) and the side dishes. They even have a 50 ounce steak for two which is half NY Strip and half filet mignon if you can't make up your mind on the cut you'd like. A great date night stop or celebratory dinner location. 

7. Zahav - 237 St. James Place - The owners of Dizengoff also open this upscale modern Israeli tapas restaurant. They have a cocktail version of the frozen mint lemonade that I love so much at Dizengoff and offer a phenomenal tasting menu for about $50/pp. It is worth it. You start out with an amazing spread of various Israeli tapas and fresh pita bread, followed by various small plates ranging from fried cauliflower to duck hearts. Trust me there's so many good ones to choose from. The next course is grilled meats, followed by dessert (and save room, because it's delicious). I like the coffee custard for my dessert. Be sure to make reservations in advance, it's a pretty popular spot. 

8. Pod - 3636 Sansom St - Another University City restaurant, and another Stephen Starr restaurant. They offer modern Pan-Asian cuisine in a chic restaurant. My out of town friends always request to come here when they visit. They have a great cocktail menu and a fun bar to grab drinks at if you don't have time for dinner. I recommend the Ume Plum Margarita. For dinner start with the Crispy Tuna Rice (I have dreams about it, it's that good) and try the Shrimp Pad Thai. As a warning the entrees are rather large so if you're not starving you might want to split with a friend. Get the Nutella eggrolls for dessert. They are peanut butter and marshmallow fluff stuffed eggrolls with a chocolate dipping sauce. Divine. 

9. Jane G's - 1930 Chestnut St - This Chinese restaurant in Center City is a great spot for dinner with a group. They offer Sichuan Hot Pot which is a steaming pot of boiling broth that is placed at the center of the table. Ingredients should be placed into the pot to be cooked and accompanied with different sauces. They give a variety of different ingredients such as meat, noodles, and vegetables. You can choose the broth you'd like and the level of spiciness from 1 - 5. And trust me 5 is very spicy. They also have great family style dishes and appetizers. 

10. Jones -  700 Chestnut St - Another Stephen Starr restaurant (sorry) but this one is one of my favorites! It's located in Old City and is themed after the Brady Bunch's living room. The Thanksgiving dinner platter is one of my favorites and they offer "adult" milkshakes (try The Grasshopper). The Mac n Cheese appetizer is also delicious as is the Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Sundae on the dessert menu. It's great for an "upscale casual" meal with family or friends. 

11. Double Knot - 120 S. 13th St - A new restaurant on 13th Street, Double Knot features a chic coffee shop upstairs with small plates and drinks. Although the coffee shop is cute, the real treasure is downstairs, head to the hostess in the back of the coffee shop and they will guide you downstairs to a cellar-like restaurant which features delicious Asian small plates. I suggest trying the tasting menu to get to sample a little of everything (and everything is delicious). They also have delicious drinks, try the Monkey Fist with your meal!

12. Effie's Greek Restaurant - 1127 Pine St - This cute little BYOB on Pine Street has a tiny inside restaurant and a nice brick patio out back. They serve a small menu of delicious Greek dishes. I suggest trying the stuffed grape leaves to start and the braised lamb for dinner. The dinner portions are generous, so come hungry! They also will give your party a free Greek pastry for dessert!

13. Urban Farmer - 1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway - This cute farm to table restaurant opened in the newly remodeled Logan Hotel, which was formerly the Four Seasons. The restaurant space itself is gorgeous, featuring a country decor, large patio, and beautiful wood bar with craft cocktails. If you go, you have to get a steak. They offer steaks sold by the cut and with separate sides. The mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and asparagus are all delicious. Also the pate appetizer and seafood sampler are great for the table to share. If you don't want to get a whole meal, they have a great bar with interesting craft cocktails!


  1. This is a great list. Your parents mentioned your blog on Doylestown Facebook group.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ruth! I hope this list helps you find some new favorite Philly restaurants 😄


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