I’m just going to say it from the start. Philadelphia has it going on when it comes to the food scene. I’m always on the lookout for unique eats in a new city and Philly definitely provides options. You certainly have to get the obligatory famous Philly cheesesteak. I consider having said cheesesteak in its city of origin to be a unique experience itself. But, in addition to this classic, there are some truly unique restaurants in Philadelphia to indulge.
The Unique Classic
Grab that classic Philly cheesesteak at Geno’s.
This was my first cheesesteak. Ever. I think I surprised myself. Have to admit, I picked the best city and place to have my first!
TIPS: Go later at night to avoid crowds especially on a weekend. If it’s your first cheesesteak, try it the classic way. If it isn’t your first, try one of their many cool combinations!
Geno’s is open 24 hours daily at both of their locations.
The Unique Uniques
2. Beiler’s Doughnuts
Beiler’s Doughnuts are simply fabulous.
While there’s often a long line, it moves fast and you can watch the Amish establishment hand roll their doughnuts while you wait.
They have all kinds of interesting flavors so definitely branch out!
TIP: Try the Maple Bacon, it’s their specialty!
Beiler’s Doughnuts is open Mon-Sat and closed on Sunday. Hours vary by location and you can find all of that information here.
3. Sang Kee
Authentic Asian food is something I’m always on the lookout for. You can find that at Sang Kee.
Their shrimp dumplings had come highly recommended to me and I figured out why.
These were some of the softest, best-tasting dumplings I have ever had. And since my favorite ethnic food is Asian, I’ve had quite a lot.
The shrimp egg rolls were pretty tasty too!
TIP: Get a few selections and share. This way you can make the most of their goodness!
DiNic’s is another great option also located at Reading Terminal Market.
DiNic’s roasted pork sandwich was voted the best sandwich in America in 2012 by Travel Channel. I had mine with provolone and ketchup. While I’m not sure it would be my pick for favorite sandwich in America (mostly because I prefer other types of sandwiches), it definitely had that juicy taste of goodness and I highly recommend it.
TIPS: Be prepared for a line and a little wait. If the sitting area at DiNic’s is full, there is a larger seating area diagonally across from it.
DiNic’s is open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sundays 9am-4pm and is located in at Reading Terminal Market 51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
5. Federal Donuts
Before heading to the airport on my last day in Philadelphia, I stopped in at Federal Donuts to check it out. I was intrigued by a couple of their menu items.
If you go for lunch, you can combine the fried chicken and donut experience. Every order of their chicken comes with a honey donut and your choice of a dry rub, wet glaze or plain. I got the sweet soy-garlic wet glaze. Its description might seem straightforward, but the taste way over exceeded my expectations! It was moist, tangy, sweet and just good!
The honey donut was also good, but it was the strawberry lavender donut that grabbed my attention. I’m not even a lavender fan, but something about this just sounded appealing. I honestly can’t even explain the combo of flavors except to say that I wish I had had 5 more to eat on the plane ride home!
TIP: Go right at 11am when they start serving chicken to not only have the best experience but also to not run the risk of them selling out (and this happens). Hours vary by location and you can find that information here.
Don’t discount the foodie side of Philly! Get out there and experience it! Have you been to any of these? If so, what places and menu items do you recommend?
‘Til next time…