Archive for Smofcon 30 - Restaurants

Philadelphians love to eat, and have restaurants of every cuisine and price range.


The Restaurant Guide is up!

The Hyatt Regency (for people who use mapping software, its address is 201 S Columbus Blvd.) has Keating's River Grille and Park Cafe (which serves Starbuck's coffee).  Other nearby restaurants include La Veranda (Italian/seafood), the historic City Tavern (founded in 1773 and a popular spot for members of the Continental Congress) Chart House, and the Moshulu, which is inside an old sailing ship. Dave and Buster’s converted an entire pier to an American food, drink, and play destination.

If you click this link to Google, you'll see a map showing how many restaurants are nearby (and there are quite a few).

Chinatown and Reading Terminal Market are only under 1.5 miles away. And Reading Terminal Market is now mostly open on Sunday.

For Iron Chef fans, Morimoto is just a few blocks away.

Marrakesh is said to be very good and is nearby for fans of Moroccan restaurants.

Le Bec Fin, Philly's classic French restaurant is back. Note that it is not open on Sunday.

There are so many great-looking restaurants in Philly, I wish we were staying a few days longer! Jim discovered this one, which looks extremely promising: Jamonera, a Spanish wine bar that serves all kinds of pork products. It's a little over a mile and a half from the Hyatt, near Philadelphia's City Hall.

Over the next few months, we'll be adding all kinds of restaurant information.  Here are some lists to get you started:

GQ magazine has also just named Philly one of the top five beer cities in the US, and wrote that Philly has the best pub crawl in the country. The Beer Advocate has a guide to pubs in Philly. And here's a list of the best 50 bars in Philadelphia.

My Favorite Philly Food

by Nancy Lebovitz

Monk's Cafe    264 S. 16th St. (about 2 miles from hotel)
Good food, generous portions, moderate prices (that is, the prices look kind of average, but the $18 mac and cheese is what I'd call two meals, and likewise for the $10 small pot of mussels).  [ed. note:  Monk's also has a great beer selection]
Audrey Claire  Twentieth & Spruce (about 2 1/2 miles from hotel)
Very good food, not quite as good a deal.
Dante & Luigi's  762 South 10th Street  (about 3 1/2 miles from hotel)
Excellent Italian food, average prices (most entrees a little under $20).
When I asked customers there what their favorite dishes were, they were struck silent. They like everything.
Cosmi's Deli 1501 S 8th St. (at Dickinson St) (about 3 1/2 miles from hotel)
I go there for the subs/hoagies/heroes. Both the bread and the meat are excellent, and they have some nice Italian combinations that I haven't seen in other places. I recommend the tonno (Italian tuna) hoagie.
Nam Phoung  1100-1120 Washington Ave. (about 2 1/2 miles from hotel)
Excellent Vietnamese food, good prices.
Famous 4th Street Delicatessen 700 S. 4th St. (about a mile from hotel)
Good traditional deli food, huge portions.

Cuisine in Philadelphia

by Stacey Helton McConnell

Philadelphia is known for its wide variety of cuisine and iconic foods created/invented in Philadelphia (cheesesteak, hoagie, soda pop, snapper soup, stromboli, and tastykakes) and associated with Philadelphia (soft pretzels, water ice, scrapple, tomato pie, pork rolls, German butter cake, peanut chews, and spiced wafers). The city also has a wide variety of restaurants that have been featured on various different shows on Food Network.

Please be aware that parking in downtown Philadelphia is extremely difficult at best, expect to take a cab to most places. There are parking structures, but they can be pricey and fill up quickly.

Iron Chefs in Philadelphia

  • Jose Garces' Restaurants: Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa, Village Whiskey, Garces Trading Company, and JG Domestic
  • Masaharu Morimoto's Restaurant: Morimoto
  • Bobby Flay's Restaurant: Bobby's Burger Palace

For Beer Connoisseurs

  • Monk's CafĂ© – exceptionally long beer list; small, expect to wait for a table
  • The Standard Tap – good but limited beer list; very good daily specials. If you go, be sure to stop in at the bottle shop right across the alley, where you can get mixed six- packs from a very wide selection.
  • Moshulu – floating restaurant at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River
  • City Tavern – good food that would have been eaten in Colonial times; re-created 1773 tavern; servers are in period-garb.


  • Biggest cheesesteak rivalry: Pat's and Geno's Steaks have a highly publicized rivalry. They are located across the street from each other on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia.
  • Another popular cheesesteak place is Tony Luke's. The original Tony Luke's is also in South Philadelphia on Oregon Avenue.

So what is a Philly cheesesteak?

Cheesesteak (Shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia): A cheesesteak, also known as a Philadelphia cheesesteak, Philly cheesesteak, cheese steak, or steak and cheese, is a sandwich made from thinly sliced pieces of steak and melted cheese in a long roll. A popular regional fast food, it has its roots in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cheesesteaks have become popular in restaurants, cafeterias and food carts throughout the city with many locations being independently owned family run businesses. Variations of cheesesteaks are now common in several fast food chains. Versions of the sandwich can also be found in locations ranging from bars to high-end restaurants.