Philadelphia is a favorite destination for foodies, and with good reason. The abundance of amazing restaurants makes it difficult to single out the most mouthwatering spots and tasting tours, but we did our best. Whether you’re craving Japanese or one of our famous cheesesteaks, we’re happy to point you in the right direction. Here are our top recommendations for the best restaurants in Philadelphia.
If you aren’t familiar with the term “New American Cuisine,” you’re not alone. The Chicago Tribune explains New American is food that uses flavors from many cuisines and doesn’t fit into another category. Basically, it can be a bit of everything brought together in a new way.
If New American cuisine sounds like your cup of tea, you have to try Friday Saturday Sunday on South 21st Street in Rittenhouse Square. Their menushowcases a diverse range of sophisticated dishes full of unexpected combinations. People can’t stop raving about it!
Note: The dining room is on the second floor, but for any limited mobility guests, they’re happy to offer their entire menu at the bar downstairs on a first come first serve basis.
If you have your heart set on an authentic Italian meal, visit Center City’s Vetri Cucina on Spruce Street. Rather than the traditional menu, Vetri Cucina offers a fixed price tasting menu. This means that everyone gets the same multi-course meal of chef chosen dishes.
You’ll be asked about your preferences and food restrictions, after that though, the entire meal is out of your hands. Just imagine, sitting down to a meal where every expertly prepared course is a complete surprise!
Tip: Keep in mind, a menu like this is great for people who like to try new things, however, for the pickier eaters among us, it’s a risk.
Located on the corner of Lee and Master in the heart of Fishtown, Hiroki is a traditional sushi restaurant and so much more! The menu is what’s known as omakase, Japanese for, “I’ll leave it up to you.” This menu style is all about respecting the experience and skill of the chef.
You sit in an intimate space surrounding the chef, watching him work, and eating whatever’s served. The menu changes to showcase the freshest ingredients each season. If you aren’t sure if you should give it a try, this beyond-rave review might change your mind!
Hint: If you only like certain kinds of sushi, their current menu can be found on their website to look into the dishes first and save it for a time when you know you’ll enjoy the selection.
Our choice for vegan cuisine is the Locust Street favorite, Vedge in midtown Village, a restaurant Philly.Eater.com chose as #1 on their list of 38 Best Philadelphia Restaurants. Phillymag.com even mused that it might be one of the best restaurants in the country! If you want a meal with full-flavor meatless dishes, this is the place for you!
In this interview, the chef, Rich Landau, talks about how his food is a hit, even among meat-eaters, because he cooks vegetables “…like any other chef would cook meat.” Adding that, “Food is about flavor, not flesh.” Finally, a vegan restaurant that makes you forget any food groups are even missing!
Quick Tip: If you can’t get a reservation, the same chefs have a street-food centric spot called V Street located at 126 South 19th Street.
Mix and Match
If you prefer to try a few things or your group can’t quite agree on where to eat, we’ve got you covered! Head over to the University of Pennsylvania’s new food hall, Franklin’s Table. This foodcourt-style cafeteria is open to the public and each stall houses a mini-version of a top Philly restaurant. It’s your one-stop-shop for some of Philadelphia’s best dishes!
If you’re anything like us, after tasting all this amazing food you’ll want to go back home with more than just a doggy bag. One meal from these incredible chefs is never enough but you know what they say, give a man a five-star meal and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man to cook a five-star meal and you’ll feed his soul for a lifetime!
That’s right, you don’t have to settle for just eating at your favorite Philly restaurant once, you can take a class from the chef at Audrey Clair Tichman’s Cook on South Twentieth! With a different guest chef almost every day of the month, the chances are good that your favorite has an upcoming class in this Center City culinary school. They have classes on every kind of food you can think of so you can become an expert at making your favorite meals!
Just a Taste
These are just a few of our top picks–you’d need weeks to dine through all of the amazing food in Philadelphia. Want to add a night to your stay and squeeze in a few more meals? Book the Weekend Like a Local package with Hilton and save up to 50% on your Sunday night stay (40% for non-Honors members). Happy tasting!