As per tradition, Eater asked a group of restaurant journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Here, the experts choose the best dining neighborhood of the year.
Adam Erace, freelance writer: My answer is the same every year: East Passyunk. I'm biased because I live in this neighborhood, but year after year, between new openings and old standbys, I find a handful of new regulars to love. This year, I lost my Fountain Porter cheeseburger virginity (very late, I know) and that's become a staple. I got to go back to Laurel this summer for the first time in a couple years, and Nick [Elmi] just crushed it. Speaking of, I love having being able to have his food (with wonderful cocktails) in the more accessible setting of In the Valley, too. These and a dozen other places continue to make East Passyunk the best place to eat in the city.
Drew Lazor, Philadelphia-based freelance writer and author of the upcoming Session Cocktails (Ten Speed Press, May 2018): I say Chinatown every year. Chinatown! But it really did experience so much growth in 2017, adding Chinatown Square, plus all the new hot pot, fried chicken, and dessert places.
Sarah Maiellano, food and travel freelance writer for local and national outlets, including Eater: Sansom Street is bringing it. Mission, Goldie, Rooster Soup, Harp & Crown. Plus everything that was already there: Oyster House, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, Philadelphia Chutney Company. And Washington Square West/Midtown Village has had some good openings.