Conventions go by fast. Touring the exhibitor hall, taking meetings, and attending seminars can leave little time to make after-hours dinner plans. Luckily, when you’re in Philadelphia for a meeting or event, dinner near the Pennsylvania Convention Center is literally steps away. In the heart of America’s most walkable city, the Convention Center District boasts top-notch dining options – whether you’re seeking a casual happy hour with colleagues or aiming to impress a client with an exquisite dining experience.
The hustle and bustle of a business trip can leave little time to sit down and have a full meal. But that’s not a problem in a city with a lively pulse. In Philadelphia, fast food doesn’t just mean burgers and fries — it’s getting a taste of the city that keeps up with you.
A truly impressive display of Philadelphia’s food culture, Reading Terminal Market includes 80-plus diverse food vendors. From Pennsylvania Dutch baked goods to Middle Eastern specialties, the market’s eateries and shops represent the city’s unique cultures. Visitors can quickly grab essential Philadelphia foods for lunch —like a cheesesteak or roast pork sandwich —or sit down for a hardy entrée and a beer at one of the iconic bars and restaurants.
Across the street from the Convention Center is the award-winning Iron Hill Brewery, with a delectable take-out menu. Monster Vegan is a local vegan restaurant with classic horror movie decor, offering quick comfort food and spooky cocktails. Or venture to Chinatown for some hidden culinary gems. One is Philadelphia’s original duck house, Sang Kee Peking Duck House, which serves freshly roasted duck daily.
Networking Happy Hour
The conference room isn’t the only place business happens. Sometimes, the strongest connections are made over a drink at happy hour. And with Philadelphia’s eclectic bar scene, there’s a walkable happy hour spot that fits any vibe.
Just three blocks from the Convention Center, Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro features over 30 wines by the glass. Take your colleagues to Tria Café, a warmly lit, welcoming café with superb cheese and wine pairings. For those more inclined towards beer, City Tap House offers New American pub fare and craft beers within a spacious, rustic environment ideal for both professional and personal meetups. Or, if you anticipate more than one drink, start happy hour with craft cocktails made from aged liquors at Bank & Bourbon where you can transition into dinner with American dishes with a modern flair.
Philadelphia warmly welcomes convention attendees to make their trip a family affair, offering a wealth of great dining options for all ages. Attached to the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the Hard Rock Café, where the walls are decorated with iconic memorabilia from Philadelphia-area legends like Taylor Swift, Hall and Oats, and Boyz II Men. Mixto Restaurante serves a mixture of Cuban, Latin American, and Caribbean flavors in a warm and friendly atmosphere. At Sueño, every day is the day of the dead, with walls painted with traditional Mexican muralism and irresistible street food on the menu.
If you’re looking to impress clients (or treat yourself), Philadelphia’s fine dining scene is equal parts luxurious and delicious. Indulge your guests in a gastronomic adventure at Double Knot, where you’ll experience the fusion of Japanese-inspired cuisine and a chic, intimate atmosphere. North of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Cicala at the Divine Lorraine is where diners indulge on rich Italian flavors in an elegant ambiance. Across the street, the critically acclaimed Osteria combines fine dining and family style for unforgettable house-made Italian dishes. And at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, guests enjoy traditional white tablecloth dining in dark wood-paneled rooms as they enjoy fresh seafood.
For those looking for more than a sensational dinner, Philadelphia has an alluring nightlife scene. Whether you’re seeing live music or toasting with welcoming locals, you’ll be grateful you stayed out to make timeless memories.
Time is a restaurant, whiskey bar, taproom, and music venue blocks from the Convention Center with nightly live performances. The speakeasy has three rooms: a dining room with swinging jazz performances, an upstairs with a Parisian-style club, and a whiskey bar for a comforting nightcap. For casual conversations and hand-crafted burgers, DBG Philly is a lounge and beer garden with eclectic vibes. And for a truly unforgettable night, Yakitori Boy is a karaoke lounge and sushi bar where the performances are as memorable as the menu.
Philadelphia’s delectable dining scene isn’t limited to the Convention Center District. Visit our food and drink page for more can’t miss culinary experiences.