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Restaurants in Philadelphia

Quick: what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Philadelphia and food? We’re gonna guess it your answer starts with “cheese” and ends with “steaks.” And while, yes, cheesesteaks are a big part of its culinary scene, Philadelphia restaurants are known much more: notably soft pretzels, hoagies, “wudder” ice, the roast pork sandwich, and a plenty more. Scroll down and we’ll reveal some of our top choice for Philadelphia restaurants, plus one or two deals you can grab to take advantage of your night out.

The 5 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

 

It’s a Friday or Saturday night, you’ve got a new paycheck to spend, and you want the best that Philly has to offer. Look no further than one of these five spots, our picks for the best restaurants in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs, presented in no particular order:

 

 

  • Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie: Read our Tony’s spotlight below to learn more. We like Tony’s tomato pie (a Philly classic) because they’ve been doing it for 65+ years. See our Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie deal.
  • Zahav: Since its opening in 2008, this gourmet Middle-Eastern spot has been showered with praise: Eater recently called it one of the 38 essential restaurants in all of America. Don’t skimp—get the tasting menu and revel in the flavors.
  • Delco’s Original Steaks & Hoagies: If you want to go to the tourist favorites for a cheesesteak, do Pat’s or Geno’s. For something real Philadelphians eat, go to the suburbs and hit up Delco’s. See our Delco’s deal.
  • Edgewood Cafe and BYOB: This new American cafe in Havertown is a gem, with a menu bursting with creativity (we like the filet mignon egg rolls the most). Oh, and save a buck or two by BYOBing. See our Edgewood Cafe deal.
  • Ben and Irv’s Deli: Great Jewish delis aren’t relegated to NYC; Ben and Irv’s have been doing giant corned-beef sandwiches since 1954. See our Ben and Irv’s Deli deal.

Spotlight on: Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie

See our Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie deal.

 

While NYC might have be better known for its pizza, Philly lays claim to an awfully tasty pie of its own: the tomato pie, a cheese-less, tomato-sauce-heavy treat served on focaccia-like crust. Also called “church pie,” this Philly institution most resembles a Sicilian-style pizza, but you really can’t get a tomato pie anywhere outside of the northeast. Tony’s offers perhaps the best one in town—if you only have one night to get a tomato pie, try Tony’s, which is known for its extra-thin crust.

 

See what actual customers have to say about Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie

 

Long time customer, 30 plus years! The tomato pie is the best. Ask for it wet and well done. You won't be disappointed. – David M.

 

I’ve been going to Tony’s for many years. Tony’s has been in business and at the same location since I was a teenager in ‘59. How many businesses can say that? I think it speaks for itself. – Robert C.


Tomato pies rank among the best in the area. Outstanding service, and friendly clientele. A neighborhood gem. – Gerald F.

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Great Restaurants in Center City, Philadelphia

 

Philly’s “downtown” is typically called “Center City”—a large neighborhood that encapsulates Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, City Hall, and a number of museums. Here’s our list of great restaurants in Center City, Philadelphia, that are perfect to pair with a trip to Philly’s premiere tourist destination.

 

 

  • Reading Terminal Market: Ok, we’re cheating. This historic marketplace dating back to 1893 is more a collection of restaurants (plus other vendors). But it’s a must-visit. Our recs: go for breakfast at Dutch Eating Place, try the famous roast pork sandwich at DiNic’s, and get a cannoli at Termini Brothers.
  • Koto Sushi: Colorful, mouth-watering maki rolls (29 of them!) make Koto Sushi a Center City favorite. But what customers always reference is the warm and friendly service. See our Koto Sushi deal.
  • Common Wealth: This restaurant is located in the heart of colonial Philadelphia and Independence Hall National Historic District, but you’ll feel like you stepped into colonial Charleston. Try the scrumptious lowcountry cuisine that made South Carolina a culinary destination: shellfish and grits, collard greens, and she-crab soup. See our Common Wealth Philadelphia deal.

Spotlight on: Ben & Irv’s Deli

See our Ben & Irv’s Deli deal.

 

In 1954, Ben Shore and Irv Chudnoff opened a deli in Philadelphia. They wanted to serve big corned-beef sandwiches, a bunch of soups with matzo balls, and delicious fish and meat trays for the holidays. More than 60 years later, Ben and Irv’s family is still carrying on the tradition—fill up on huge sandwiches, get salty with a kippered salmon tray, and start your day with some homemade bagel thins.

 

See what actual customers have to say about Ben & Irv’s Deli

 

I never leave here hungrybig portions and fresh food. Service is excellent and friendly. Wish there were more traditional Jewish delis like Ben and Irv's! The place is big and busy, but I've never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes to be seated. You won't be disappointed. – Constance V.

 

This was my second visit. The pastrami and corn beef was delicious; there are no words to accurately describe the wonderful matzo ball soup. This is a wonderful deli, and I plan to make my way through the menu. – Susan W.


Ben and Irv's has the best food, and the best service for this kind of establishment anywhere around. We eat there frequently, and have never been disappointed. It takes us about 40 -45 minutes to get there from home, but it is worth it! – Joy R.

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How to Order a Philly Cheesesteak

 

It’s a Philly tradition. If you’re visiting the City of Brotherly Love (and you’re not a vegetarian), you simply must have a cheesesteak. It’s a classic—thinly sliced rib-eye mixed with one of three kinds of cheese (American, provolone, or Cheez Whiz). Onions are optional.

 

But if you want to know how to order a Philly cheesesteak like a local, you just gotta know the following:

 

 

  • Don’t say: “One philly cheesesteak with American cheese, please.” You’ll get your sandwich, but the staff will know you’re a tourist.
  • Do: Lead with the cheese. So say, “American,” “Provolone,” or “Whiz.”
  • Do: Follow that with “wit” (if you want it with onions) or “wit’out” (if you don’t want onions)
  • So a proper order would be:”One Whiz wit, and one provolone wit’out”

Spotlight on: Humpty’s Dumplings

See our Humpty’s Dumplings deal.

 

We don’t recommend you sit on a wall when scarfing down Humpty’s Dumplings, the ultimate fusion of Americanized Chinese food and Philadelphia cuisine. Winner of Philadelphia magazine’s “Best of Philly 2016” award for best dumpling, Humpty’s Dumplings serves a rotating collection of dim sum–style fried dumplings, including asian pork, broccoli and cheddar, and, yes, cheesesteak. But they also do lo mein noodles, offering a roasted pork dish reminiscent of the famous Philly sandwich, plus a lo mein dish mixed with...yes, you guessed it, cheesesteak.

 

See what actual customers have to say about Humpty’s Dumplings

 

Quick friendly service! The cheesesteak dumplings are EVERYTHING. – Kimberly K.

 

Great little fried dumplings, fresh to order and cool flavor varieties, from cheesesteak to traditional pork dumpling fillings. They even have vegetarian and sweet options. Cool place, go with a friend and try a bunch of them. – Nicholas R.


These little “pop-in-your-mouth” morsels are wonderful! Today, I tried the shrimp and grits, and the vegan mac n' cheese ones. Everything was delicious! – Deana C.

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