No one knows a city's bars like the talented men and women who work behind them. So we're going straight to the source, asking bartenders about their own favorite drinking establishments in Philly, from dive bars to fancy cocktail spots.
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There are so many overstretched, overcluttered sidewalk cafes in Philadelphia that cracks about your soup being seasoned with tasty public transportation exhaust are becoming less sardonic and more straight-up true. It's difficult to escape the bustle of any big city while remaining within its limits, of course, but there are ways to do it—you just need to look and book a little smarter.
*unless you're from Philly
Undrgrnd Donuts is a doughnut food truck that has joined the rotation of Philly's other great options for truck dining at spots like 33rd and Arch, The Navy Yard, and The Porch at 30th Street Station. Their doughnuts (which at $2.00 each are about the most budget friendly thing you can get from a boutique food truck these days) are of the cake variety, and the flavor options are exciting ones.
Is it a bartender's duty to make sure drinks possess mass appeal? Guy Smith, bar manager of Philadelphia's High Street on Market, doesn't think so. Combining the juice of an already-divisive brassica with smoky-mouthed mezcal and dry seasonings more often found on ribs than in rocks glasses, he's created a vegetable-based cocktail so green it could double as a Kermit the Frog-inspired paint swatch.
Sweet, salty, buttery, and meaty, Melissa Torre's bacon cookies have a big following for a reason.
Xi'an Sizzling Woks, a recent addition to Philly's Chinatown, was so good that I went twice over Thanksgiving weekend to eat their liang pi and biang biang.
It feels a little trite to report about another Momofuku-ish noodle joint, but the food at Philly's CHeU Noodle Bar is worth talking about.
Two offerings from Jake's Sandwich Board in Philadelphia go head-to-head for the right to be called the ultimate Thanksgiving sandwich.
Get out of the taco and burrito rut and ask your favorite Mexican joint what they like to eat.
Di Bruno Brothers, a Philly fixture since FDR was in office, celebrated the grand opening of its newest location late last week by showing off what they did best—hawking rare Euro cheeses, stretching and braiding mozzarella by hand and, in a fit of D.O.P.-approved pyromania, filling wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano with flaming brandy for on-the-spot cheese sauce. Such showmanship is of a piece with the brand's dedication to customer service, which its owners will tell you is the key to it all. Click through the slideshow to take a tour of the market!
Cucina Zapata, a Thai-Mexican-fusion food truck on Drexel University's campus in Philadelphia, combines Cap'n Crunch with fish (and a deep fryer) to surprisingly good effect.
Pho is fundamental, elusive, and polarizing. Is one bowl really the best? We visit Pho 75 in Philadelphia to find out.
Chefs enjoy when their food's the primary topic of discussion, but at Pizzeria Vetri, it's the oven that captures the conversation. Six feet across and four-plus tons on the scale, the Renato Riccio-made beast is definitely a looker, but it's the peculiar schematics—dual facing mouths, with counter on one end and kitchen on the other—that allows peel wielders to shout orders into the oven and have them float out the other side. Calling up a Caesar or checking in on a calzone? For best results, yell directly into the fire.
Fresh, interesting toppings make for an enjoyable pizza experience at Bufad; the summery Pomodori is a highlight of the season.
New to a largely industrial strip of Washington Avenue jammed with warehouses and construction wholesalers, Kermit's was opened by Adam Ritter, a Philly publican who runs the craft beer bars Sidecar and Kraftwork. Named after New Orleans jazz fixture Kermit Ruffins, the beautifully muraled space has an edgy-but-accessible commissary feel, with its buzzing-about-in-aprons staff, high-output equipment, and towering ceilings. We paid a visit to pizza chef Brian Lofink to chat about his pies.
The original Aristan Boulanger Patissier was hardly a neighborhood secret—the bakery has been featured in the media countless times, and in 2013 Chin was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of "Outstanding Pastry Chef." But after having to relocate, it took over a year for the bakery to reopen its doors. We took a look at the new space, including new sweets from tarts to charlottes to a wide variety of croissants.
There's more than meets in the eye in Chef Peter Serpico's playful Peking duck send-up, but that's completely aside from the point. It's delicious.
For many, a meal at Morimoto is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, something to be saved up for and savored, but seven years into his tenure as Morimoto's head pastry chef, Thomas McCarthy is bridging the divide between the elegant and the everyday by offering his handmade, small batch ice creams by the pint for take out.
The 5th annual Pizza Olympics in Philly was an amazing, overwhelming, gut-busting time. With strong showings by J&J Pizza, Cacia's Pizza Pizzaz, Chickie's and Pete's plain slice, and Paulie's sloppy joe pie, over 10 pizzerias offered up slices to satiate a wide variety of palates.