Philly's 50 Must-Eats

Tongue tacos, Italian milkshakes, candy-coated flapjacks and 47 other delicious foods and drinks you should be tasting right now. 


By Adam Erace, Tim McGinnis and Brian McManus

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 18 | Posted Aug. 4, 2009

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Presented like gems at a jeweler’s, the vibrant assembly of seasonal canapés by James’ chef/owner Jim Burke proves good things come in small packages: fried sweetbreads with dates; pork trotters dabbed with divine apricot mostarda; chilled soup shooters (carrot-and-lemongrass, lavender-laced spring onion); and scallop ceviche, to name a few. Figure on eight to 10 different treasures per plate, changing weekly, with some frequent fliers like the aranacini—addictive fried saffron risotto balls. And it’s only $11. James, 824 S. Eighth St. 215.629.4980. jameson8th.com


Polpo Pizza


We know they’ve gotten a lot of press and rightfully so. Osteria’s polpo pizza—with tender octopus, lush tomato and smoked mozzarella on a crust that’s thin and smoky thanks to a wood-burning oven—is the real pizza deal. Osteria, 640 N. Broad St. 215.763.0920. osteriaphilly.com


Falafel Sandwich

Mama’s Vegetarian’s crispy, dark golden brown, fluffy, herb-spiked chickpea fritters come peeking out from behind a sea of velvety hummus with shredded cabbage and diced cucumber tucked in a house-made wheat pita. Just don’t go on the Sabbath because (no lie) you’ll press your nose against their window and weep until Sunday. Mama’s Vegetarian, 18 S. 20th St. 215.751.0477. 
mamasvegetarian.com

Tofu Hoagies


Few things are as satisfying as a freshly made Vietnamese hoagie known as Banh Mi—that sexy mix of Vietnamese culinary know-how on warm Italian bread. And considering the cost ($3.75) of the tofu version at the friendliest mini market in town, few things are as good a deal either. Order yours with everything and be treated to plump morsels of marinated tofu garnished with pickled daikon radish and carrots, and just-fat-enough slices of fresh jalapeño. Fu Wah Mini Market, 810 S. 47th St. 215.729.2993


Pickles


There are more Amish pickles slipped at AJ Pickle Patch than in Lancaster County during Rumspringa. These pickle purveyors preserve everything from tomatoes to cucumbers, but a few of their best are the green pickle, a newly pickled cucumber with an intense garlic flavor and the aged pickle, with a more mellow vinegary tang than a feisty youngster. AJ Pickle Patch and Salads, Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch sts. 215.627.8067


Reuben


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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 18 of 18
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1. Rob Pugliese said... on Aug 4, 2009 at 11:29PM

“This list is fantastic...If food is your life, it's good to be alive in Philly. I have had the pleasure of serendipitously sampling some of the goods on this list in the past however this list will be my guide for where I'll be eating for the next few months. First stop is Zahav. I have been meaning to go there for some time and now I know what to order. And I may just have to reserve some of that lamb to enjoy it in the fashion of the Chef Solomonov (in the unlikely scenario that there is some left over). Cheers PW.”

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2. tsarstruck said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 08:45AM

“I don't know if they serve bisuits or not, but Golosa is on 6th street, not 8th. Good list, though.”

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3. Erica said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 09:19AM

“@tsarstruck

You're right! We've changed it in the online document. Thanks for catching it.”

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4. cereal said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:49AM

“"Few things are as satisfying as a freshly made Vietnamese hoagie known as Banh Mi—that sexy mix of Vietnamese culinary know-how on warm Italian bread."

Maybe in Philly all they can get are squishy Italian rolls, but Banh Mi are normally made with French bread, i.e. small baguettes. Since it was the French, not the Italians, that colonized Viet Nam, you see.”

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5. Jonathan said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:27AM

“Your site's Print functionality is messed up for multipage articles. When you go to the Print link, you get a printer-friendly version of just the current page - one of 10. Is the whole site like this?

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6. Dan said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 12:32PM

“Great list. The Bahn Mi at Royal Tavern should be required eating.”

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7. Jackie said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 01:33PM

“one of the best top 50 lists I've seen in a while.... awesome job!”

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8. Luke said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 01:54PM

“Very lame that you cannot view or print this article as a single page and instead need to wade through ten different pages.”

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9. kcbill13 said... on Aug 5, 2009 at 09:37PM

“Hey, print freak demands, BUY the damn paper if you want a printed list, ya cheap bastards...”

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10. Art said... on Aug 6, 2009 at 07:46AM

“Buy the paper? It's free!”

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11. kiwijen said... on Aug 6, 2009 at 12:56PM

“Great list. It'll be a pleasure to work my way through it. Shame the photos online aren't labelled or next to the item they go with. It would be nice to know where to find the item whose photo I'm drooling over.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Aug 6, 2009 at 07:10PM

“Excellent list. The fact that Chickie's Italian Deli was included totally legitimized the list for me. Their tuna hoagies are a phenom. Ask for long hots on it for an extra jolt!”

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13. Wayne Penglase said... on Aug 7, 2009 at 10:40AM

“In quest for a great place to eat, you neglected to mention a great place on Grant Avenue known as Theda Kauffman's. Their food is fresh and fantastic, the staff is second to none. Mike and Nate Kauffman has a diamond of a place down at 1710 Grant Avenue and I feel you shopuld check them out.”

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14. rachel said... on Aug 7, 2009 at 02:48PM

“BItars falafel is so much better!”

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15. Gene De Lisa said... on Aug 11, 2009 at 07:20AM

“No mention of the best sandwich in the city: Roast Pork Italian from either TL or John's?

No mention of the best dessert in the city: Capogiro?

Also as has been pointed out: Epic fail on your "print view" displaying only the current page. Poor website programming.”

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16. capecodphillyfan said... on Aug 14, 2009 at 10:15AM

“BTW, none of the links work.”

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17. Hungry Vandal said... on Aug 17, 2009 at 02:25PM

“TACO LOCO, is amazing. An authentic taco stand (albeit a tripped-out RVEE) that sells killer tacos at dirt cheap prices. It is between 4th and 5th on Washington Avenue, in South Phila. The burritos are ginormous and amazing too.!

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18. cecilia said... on Sep 11, 2013 at 08:46AM

“Philadelphia BEST SPOTS TO EAT...”

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