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Philadelphia's Essential Eats

Play Video Photo by M. Persico for K'Far.
Date June 10, 2024

Philadelphia's Essential Eats

A variety of restaurants can be found throughout the many unique neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

With an abundance of options, there’s something to satisfy any food craving. Here’s a list of Philadelphia restaurants that both residents and visitors alike can’t stop raving about.

Chinatown and the Convention Center District

Home to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia’s Chinatown is home to a vibrant Asian community and authentic cuisine. Savor these flavors at local favorite Sang Kee Peking Duck House serving crispy duck plates. Or sample from various dim sum options available at Tom’s Dim Sum and Dim Sum Garden. Just a short walk away is the city’s oldest continuously operating tavern McGillin’s Old Ale House, and other favorites like Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Wayward, and Bank & Bourbon.

Old City and Society Hill

Rich in American history, but also rich in international flavors, Old City‘s offerings include Cuban specialties at Cuba Libre, seasonal Italian dishes at Positano Coast, Spanish flare at Amada, and Asian fusion plates at Buddakan. Another fan favorite is Fork — from James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Ellen Yin — which offers farm-to-table options. Some must-try sandwich shops in Old City are Campo’s Philly Cheesesteaks and Sonny’s Famous Steaks.


A range of options are available throughout Fishtown, known for its eclectic music scene, hips cafes, and an array of unique street art. Laser Wolf is known for its Israeli skewers, fresh hummus, and baba ganoush. Suraya – a market, restaurant, and garden – features Lebanese-inspired food. For a southern bbq inspired menu, check out Fette Sau. Other favorites include Kalaya, which serves authentic Thai cuisine, and the renowned Pizzeria Beddia.

Rittenhouse Square

Considered to be one of Philadelphia’s premier dining destinations, Rittenhouse Square has plenty of upscale options. Parc is a Parisian brasserie with scenic views of Philadelphia’s picturesque square. Other Rittenhouse Square favorites include the trendy The Love, the English delight The Dandelion, premiere taco spot El Rey, and Barclay Prime of the finest steak houses in the city.

South Philadelphia

Home to rival cheesesteak shops Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, South Philadelphia is packed with hometown classics. Neighborhood staples include generational favorites Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, Victor Café, and Sarcone’s Bakery – famous for its flavorful tomato pie. For those with a sweet tooth, make sure to sample Federal Donuts and Termini Brothers – a bakery founded in 1921 specializing in Sicilian pastries, cookies, and cannoli. And don’t miss Philadelphia’s favorite frozen treat at John’s Water Ice and Pop’s Homemade Water Ice.

Washington Square West, Gayborhood, and Midtown Village

Philadelphia’s Washington Square West neighborhood has a charming blend of historic architecture, trendy shops, and diverse dining options. Plenty of can’t miss options await, including Indeblue, El Vez, and Morimoto. For plant-based dishes, head to Vedge, Charlie was a sinner., HipCityVedge, or Bar Bombon. And stop by the acclaimed Vetri Cucina, an intimate dining experience that evokes the charms of Italy.

Looking for more eating experiences in Philadelphia? Visit our neighborhoods page to find places to eat across the city.