Whether you’re looking for brunch, treats, food trucks, al fresco or the best, most mouth-watering and authentic Philly cheesesteaks in town, look no further than these 11 places in Philadelphia where you can have an unforgettable meal.
With three locations in Philadelphia, Sabrina’s Café is the city’s brunch specialist. Friendly service combined with mouth-watering American fare and enormous portions are a winning combination for Sabrina’s. Philly locals rave about Sabrina’s Stuffed French Toast, a delectable challah French toast stuffed with sweet cream cheese, bananas and vanilla bean syrup. For something savory, go for the Barking Chihuahua, a gloriously filling breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, black beans, red peppers and cheese. Sabrina’s brunch menu is constantly updated, so be sure to check out its Brunch Specials.
Address: 910 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
Jose Garces, the famed chef of American TV show Iron Chef, is creating a mini food empire in Philadelphia. From Andalusian tapas bar Amada to Mexican street food truck Distrito, the Ecuadorian-American chef is redefining Latin American fusion along the mid-Atlantic coast. Garces Trading Company, which opened in 2010, is a European style bistro and gourmet market that serves up some of the best brunches in the city. Garces Trading Co.’s weekend brunch option includes one main, one side, one dessert and unlimited Garces Trading Co. coffee. Try a funghi pizza with a stunning duck fat infused sourdough base or duck-fat fries. Before you leave, stop by the GTC market to pick up some cheese, charcuteries, pastries sauces and oils. See the brunch menu here.
Address: 1111 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Grab a juicy, perfectly cooked Angus beef burger from SPOT Gourmet Burgers the next time you’re around 33rd and Arch. Or, make a special trip out – it’s worth it. SPOT’s bright yellow and red stall is hard to miss, and their burgers range from old school to the creative, with its Classic American burger sitting next to the Umami with pickled daikon, gochujang and teriyaki. Don’t go away without trying the signature SPOT burger with bacon, cheddar, coleslaw, dill pickle and SPOT sauce. Be on the lookout for specials like the ‘lobsta roll’ and Sloppy Joes. As with all food carts, be sure to check their Twitter feed to find out where they are!
Address: 2821 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA
Philadelphia was at the forefront of the food truck trend long before these mobile stalls became hyper trendy. Yet even in this city of food trucks, Cucina Zapata stands out. Fusing Thai flavors with a Mexican twist, Cucina Zapata occupies a distinct niche among the city’s numerous lunch time food trucks. Whether you chose a chicken satay taco or short rib, or even a Mexican Veggie burger, nothing, it seems, can go wrong on this menu. For the slightly more adventurous looking for an extra crunch, go for the Cap’n Crunch Crusted Tilapia Burrito. Wash your lunch down with a cool Thai iced tea. Although you’re likely to face a hefty queue, the food is certainly worth the wait.
Address: 3101-, 3141 Ludlow St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Recently crowned the 2013 Vendy Award for best street food in Philadelphia, King of Falafel serves an unbeatable falafel with tabbouleh, lentils and veggies. Located at 16th and JFK in Philadelphia’s Center City, the King of Falafel is a local landmark and one of the most enduring food trucks in the country, having been cooking up fresh, homemade Middle Eastern food for Philly since 1989. Next time you’re in the area, pop down to King of Falafel for a quick, cheap bite and find a spot in Philly’s famed Love Park for a perfect summer’s lunch.
What could be better than a combination of doughnuts and fried chicken? Federal Donuts, the brainchild of chef Mike Solomonov, owner of Philadelphia’s high-end Israeli restaurant Zahav, has become the go-to place for doughnut lovers. Federal Donuts combines perfectly fried cake doughnuts with decidedly innovative flavors including Cookies & Cream, Peach, Banana Cream Pie, Strawberry Ginger and Vanilla Lavender, to name just a few. Queue up early for doughnuts; Federal Donuts sells doughnuts from 7am until they run out, and run out they do. By lunchtime, it’s likely that hardly any doughnuts will be left on the shelves. Time your visit right, and you might be one of the lucky few to grab a red ticket that entitles you to a serving of fresh Fried Chicken.
Address: 1219 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
If you’ve missed the cut off for doughnuts and chicken, then check out Sweet Box Cupcake Truck – often found at Philadelphia’s Love Park. Flavors include Red Velvet, Chocolate Ganache, PB&J, Hot Cocoa and more. Sweet Box’s chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake is created with an achingly wonderful glop of cookie dough wedged in the center; with flavors like this, it’s hardly surprising that Sweet Box Cupcakes has developed an avid following in Philly. So popular is the Sweet Box Truck that it finally put down roots and recently opened a storefront, to the delight of cupcake aficionados.
Address: 339 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
There’s really nothing better than dining al fresco in summer in Philadelphia. Parc Brasserie is a throwback to French café culture, where people-watching and fine food combine for a perfect leisurely afternoon. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, book ahead if you plan to have brunch on the weekends.
Address: 227 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
Another local favorite, Rouge has anchored al fresco dining in Rittenhouse Square since 1998. Serving weekend brunch and lunch and dinner on weekdays, Rouge offers an intimate spot for dining in the heart of Rittenhouse Square. Munch on a Rouge Burger whilst lounging outside and people-watching in Rittenhouse Square with the locals.
Address: 205 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States
Forget the Philly Cheesesteak and join the queue at DiNic’s. According to the America’s Travel Channel, DiNic’s serves the best sandwich in America and is run by the 4th generation of the Nicolosi family. Succulent mounds of juicy roast pork, deliciously sharp provolone and broccoli rabe is the must-try item here. As unimpressive as the combination may sound, it’s well worth a try as local and visitors swear by it. You can even ask to go au jus for a side of marinating juice to dip your roll in. Be ready to queue, however, as DiNic’s is located in Philadelphia’s ever-popular and ever-crowded historical Reading Terminal Market.
Address: Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Whilst DiNic’s might have taken the crown for best sandwich in America, Philly locals are divided as to who might come out on top in a taste battle between DiNic’s and John’s Roast Pork. This old-school sandwich joint established in 1930 has been run by the same family for three generations. Keeping things simple, John’s Roast Pork has built its reputation on two things – Roast Pork with Provolone and Cheesesteak, Philadelphia’s iconic sandwich. John’s cheesesteaks are indisputably authentic; thinly sliced steak is served on freshly baked Italian with sesame seeds and toppings with absolutely no Cheez Whiz in sight. Do check the hours before heading out though, John’s is closed on weekends and after 2:30pm.
Address: 14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148, USA