Eat Like a Local: Philadelphia

posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 1:27:59 PM

Spend a long vacation in the City of Brotherly Love tasting the melting pot of cuisine that calls Philadelphia home. From fresh farmer’s market meals to the signature Philly cheesesteak, see our exclusive list of restaurants to ensure you eat like a local. And, while you’re at it, read our Philly Fun Facts and test your knowledge of the city!


Reading Terminal Market 
Cuisine: Food Hall/Farmers’ Market

Although you could probably eat all of your meals here for an entire vacation, you will have to resist yourself to just this one – but rest assured that it will be multiple courses. The Reading Terminal Market has been offering fresh and local food every day since 1893. Make sure you download the Market map online before your visit, or you might be slightly overwhelmed by the options. We’ll try and make your decisions a little bit easier though by recommending some fan favorites here (in no particular order): 1) The Prosciutto Hoagie at Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies, 2) Chocolate Chip Cannoli at Termini Bros Bakery, 3) Gator Gumbo at Beck’s Cajun Café, 4) The Famous Reuben at Hershel’s East Side Deli, 5) The Falafel at Kamal’s, and 5) The Chicken Pot Pie at Dutch Eating Place. Good luck picking between those… and hundreds of other options at dozens of other stalls. And just your luck, The Market is located directly across the street from the hotel – so maybe you will be back more than once!


Cuisine: Vegetarian

Vedge defines all odds of what people normally think of when they think of a Vegetarian restaurant – “inventive” and “tasty” are two words that people constantly use to describe the food at Vedge. With nearly 1,000 reviews on Yelp and a 4.5-star rating average, you know they must be doing something, or frankly a lot of things, right! Some even would claim that Vedge is the best restaurant in all of Philly. So you’re asking what exactly they are serving up, let us tell you, menu favorites include: anything off the Vedge Bar (Portobello carpaccio, fancy radishes, stuffed avocado, salt roasted gold beets), eggplant braciole, grilled seitan, seared shitake mushrooms, broccoli rabe, shaved brussels sprouts, and basically everything else. The dishes are pretty small so order a whole bunch and plan to share with the table. Located in an old mansion with a great ambiance, you can also expect impeccable service, incredible food and one unforgettable meal at Vedge. The restaurant is a .4-mile walk away from the hotel.


Sonny’s Famous Steaks  
Cuisine: Sandwiches

No matter who you ask in Philly, they will likely all tell you a different place for “Philly’s Best Cheesesteak,” it seems to be a matter of personal preference. So since you don’t have enough meals to sample them all, you should probably pick the one that is closest to the hotel (and also a top contender with many native Phillies). Sonny’s is a little bit less than a mile walk from the Marriott. The sandwich options here are pretty straightforward, the traditional is to have steak, but Sonny’s also offers chicken as an option for all their sandwiches. As for add-ons, you can have just steak, you can add your choice of cheese for the classic cheesesteak, or bacon as well for the bacon cheesesteak, there is also the cheesesteak hoagie with lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, and cheese, or the pizza cheesesteak, with marinara and mozzarella, and pepperoni if you want it. The options are simple and everything is tastey and made to order! There are also burgers and grilled cheeses on the menu for anyone who might not be interested in a cheesesteak, as well as a variety of fried sides. Enjoy this Philly tradition at one of Philly’s favorite establishments.


Cuisine: American (farm-to-table)

Chef Andrew Wood has created a really exciting dining experience for those who join him for dinner (or brunch) at Russet, the menu includes intensely seasonal, rustic farm-to-table cooking and varies often. Located in an 1877 brownstone home, the ambiance is cozy and intimate. Although the menu varies, some example of Wood’s dishes include: hand-cut tagliatelle Bolognese, American red snapper, roasted pumpkin hash, and beer-braised beef shoulder with carrots, turnips and leeks. If you’re hesitant about what to pick off the menu, be sure to ask your server, because people rave about Russet’s staff. Also note this restaurant is BYOB, so if you’d like a bottle of wine with dinner, make sure you grab it on your way over from the hotel, which is a 15-minute long walk away.


Dim Sum Garden 
Cuisine: Chinese

As the Marriott is located on the edge of Philly’s Chinatown, it is only appropriate to enjoy some dim sum during a stay there – Dim Sum Garden is located less than a half a mile from the hotel and offers Chinese classics including dumplings, rice and noodle dishes. In its recently opened new location, Dim Sum Garden claims to be Philadelphia’s premier authentic place for Shanghai soup dumplings, which is a favorite. Other Dim Sum offerings range from chicken dumplings to pan friend beef dumplings to shrimp dumplings and everything in between. Along with the dim sum menu, there are also over 20 noodle and rice dishes to choose from plus cold dish appetizers, soups, along with additional vegetable, fish, beef, chick and duck entrees. With a total of 116 items on the full menu, Dim Sum Garden certainly offers something for everyone!

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