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cardboard pizza box filled with indonesian dishes including rice, fried whole fish, and prawns Rachel Vigoda

27 Restaurants Offering Philly’s Most Iconic Dishes

The best places for cheesesteaks, injera, pho, water ice, and more of the most iconic foods in Philly

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Everyone knows what you’re supposed to eat in Philadelphia. A cheesesteak, right? Of course. But there’s way more to Philly’s always-evolving food scene. The city’s most iconic dishes are rooted in Italian-American traditions, original Americana recipes, and the contributions of its many immigrant communities. Yes, get a cheesesteak or two — but this map highlights many more classic Philly dishes everyone needs to try.

Takeout is widely considered to be the lowest-risk option during the pandemic. Studies indicate there is a lower exposure risk when eating outdoors versus indoors (which is available only at maximum 50 percent capacity in Philly right now), but the level of risk involved with outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. Masks should be worn whenever you aren’t eating. Tip your servers well, as they are risking their health to serve you and vaccinations for food service workers are still ongoing. For updated information on coronavirus cases locally, visit the City of Philadelphia website.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wings at Cafe Soho

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468 W Cheltenham Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19126
(215) 224-6800
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The moody, K-Pop video lit dining room of Cafe Soho is closed for now, but their worth-the-drive fried chicken is available to go. Opt for double fried wings or boneless, then choose from a menu of sauces ranging from classic soy garlic to sweet chili and spicy, and add an extra order of pickled daikon. Cafe Soho is accepting orders over the phone, so be sure to give them a call at (215) 224-6800 before heading north to West Cheltenham Avenue.

2. Fried Chicken at DeBreaux's

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2135 N 63rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19151
(215) 877-4559

Pre-pandemic, regulars knew to plan for a wait at DeBreaux’s, a small spot in the Overbrook train station parking lot where the fried chicken is cooked to order and comes out piping hot with sides like collard greens, yams, cornbread, and mac and cheese. Now DeBreaux’s requires diners to call ahead to place orders — but it usually takes a few calls to get through, so there’s still that authentic wait.

3. Pho at Thang Long

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2534-36 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-0078
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A savory and aromatic bowl of pho is a go-to dish for many Philadelphians, whether they have a favorite pho destination on Washington Avenue or head north to this Kensington spot. Thang Long does a superb job with both beef and chicken varieties. There’s a second location, named Pho House, at 177 W. Girard Avenue.

Call (215) 425-0078 to order or get delivery through all of the major platforms.

4. Pizza at Tacconelli’s

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2604 E Somerset St
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 425-4983
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Philly’s got square pizzas and fried pizzas and tomato pies and stromboli, but there are few who can make a regular pizza like Tacconelli’s. Extra-saucy, bubbly all around, charred in all the right places, and chewy like it ought to be, the Tacconelli’s pie is one of a kind — and a hot commodity. Ordering a pie might mean reserving the dough in advance, but it’s that sort of forethought that makes one a true pro when eating out in Philly.

Call (215) 425-4983 for curbside pickup.

5. Peking Duck at Sang Kee Peking Duck House

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238 N 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-7532
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The Chinatown spot that claims to have first introduced Peking duck to Philly back in the 1980s is still the place to go for the Chinese specialty. These ducks have a crisp mahogany skin and come with pancakes, steamed buns, scallions, and hoisin.

Order online or get delivery through Uber Eats, Caviar, Doordash, Postmates, or Chowbus.

6. Empanadas at Jezabel’s Argentine Café & Catering

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206-208 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 554-7380
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No trip to Philadelphia is complete without a visit to Jezabel’s in West Philly, where chef Jezabel Careaga offers some of the best empanadas outside of northwest Argentina, where Careaga is from. Order an empanada pack with eight assorted empanadas of your choosing — meat, vegetarian, or vegan — and enjoy with the spicy sauce of the day. Alfajores for dessert are not to be missed, either. Preorder online.

7. Combo Platter at Abyssinia

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229 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 387-2424

In West Philly, homey Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia has convenient meat or vegetable platters on its menu that are perfect for sampling several dishes. Use the injera to scoop up lentils, collard greens, spicy berbere chicken, tender cubes of beef, and more. Call (215) 387-2424 to order pickup or get delivery on Uber Eats.

Also in West Philly, Dahlak has been a reliable option for Eritrean-Ethiopian fare for decades. It’s open for takeout and outdoor dining.

platter of Ethiopian vegetable and meat dishes on injera bread Rachel Vigoda

8. Scrapple at Down Home Diner

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Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 627-1955
Visit Website

Scrapple: It’s a weird and beloved Pennsylvania thing. The Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast staple combines pork scraps, cornmeal, and heavy seasoning into a loaf which gets sliced and pan-fried. Try it at Down Home Diner in the iconic Reading Terminal Market.

Order online. Walk-up orders are also being taken.

neon sign that says down home Reading Terminal Market [official photo]

9. Ice Cream at Bassetts Ice Cream

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45 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-4315
Visit Website

Bassets has been making ice cream in Philadelphia since 1861, and packing pints out of their Reading Terminal location since the market’s debut in 1893. Unlike other ice cream companies who have chosen to modernize with lavish mix ins and out there flavors, this family run creamery keeps it simple with a straightforward line up of flavors ranging from simple chocolate chip and French vanilla to throwback scoops like rum raisin and butter pecan.

Open for walk-ins.

10. Oysters at Oyster House

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1516 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 567-7683
Visit Website

For the last three generations, the Mink family has been in the oyster business. The current location of Oyster House, which has been around since the 1940s, is polished, modern, and known for its happy hour dollar oysters. All of the seafood is served within 24 hours of being taken out of the water.

Order pickup online or delivery through Caviar.

oyster house Jason Varney

11. Budino at Barbuzzo

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110 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-9300
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The reputation of the signature dessert at Barbuzzo — a pudding layered with salted caramel sauce, cookie crumbs, and whipped cream — draws diners to Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s small Mediterranean restaurant in Midtown Village.

Order online.

12. Snapper Soup at the Olde Bar

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125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 253-3777
Visit Website

For more than 100 years, this iconic dish — a soup made of turtle meat, vegetables, herbs, spices, hard-boiled egg, and sherry — was synonymous with the city’s landmark seafood restaurant, Bookbinder’s. When Jose Garces opened the Olde Bar in the former Bookbinder’s building, he made sure a modern version of snapper soup was on the menu.

Call (215) 253-3777 or order online. Outdoor dining is available.

13. Lamb Shoulder at Zahav

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237 St James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-8800
Visit Website

As a nationally renowned restaurant that’s been part of the charge for exceptional Middle Eastern food in America, Zahav is a major point of Philly pride. The lamb, braised in pomegranate molasses and strewn with chickpeas, is the Israeli restaurant’s signature dish. It’s only available as part of a prix fixe menu.

Zahav is not currently offering takeout; reservations for outdoor dining are via Resy.

lamb dish with chickpeas Michael Persico

14. Cheesesteak at Angelo's Pizzeria

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736 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-0000
Visit Website

There’s plenty of debate about where to eat a cheesesteak, but the point is simple: Eat one. For better or for worse, there is no more iconic food in this city than the cheesesteak. Angelo’s makes a showstopper version, as do a couple dozen other places in town. The key factors are a fresh, locally baked roll, flavorful (if moderately greasy) meat, Cheez Whiz (or American), and (optional) sautéed onions.

Call (215) 922-0000 to order for pickup.

15. Square Pizza at Santucci’s (multiple locations)

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901 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 825-5304
Visit Website

The square pie from Santucci’s has been a Philly favorite for many years, starting in the 1950s in Northeast Philly. The pizza is well-charred in cast-iron pans and piled with “upside-down” toppings, meaning the sauce is on top.

Order online from three Philly locations or opt for outdoor dining.

16. Water Ice at John's Water Ice

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701 Christian St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-6955
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While Philly has many places to get good water ice, John’s in Bella Vista is a longstanding favorite. The cold treat is made with only water, fruit, and sugar, just like when the South Philly takeout shop opened in 1945.

Open for walk-ups or call ahead.

17. Meatballs and Gravy at Villa Di Roma

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936 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 592-1295
Visit Website

This retro Italian Market stalwart is beloved for many reasons, not the least of which is its famous meatballs and gravy (otherwise known as red sauce). Get them over spaghetti, atop ravioli, on a sandwich at lunch, even to grab and go and pass off as homemade — just get them.

Call (215) 592-1295 to order takeout.

18. Tacos at Taqueria La Prima

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1104 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 339-5000

The tender chicken tinga, spicy chorizo, and savory lengua are all stellar at Taqueria La Prima in the Italian Market, and the nopales, when available, are almost reason enough to visit on their own. As an added bonus, the tiny, no-frills eatery is open all day and doesn’t stop serving until late night. (It’s the same spot that used to be called Prima Pizza.)

Call (215) 339-5000 to order or walk in. There are a few tables set up outside.

19. Soft Pretzel at Center City Pretzel

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816 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 463-5664
Visit Website

Ask any true Philadelphian about soft pretzels and they’ll tell you about how they considered them a basic food group when they were growing up, about the guys at every intersection selling them in brown paper bags, and about how they used to be much cheaper. Well, the guys at the intersections are mostly gone and the prices have gone up, but pretzels are still part of the standard diet here in Philly. The good ones are almost-crunchy on the outside, doughy-soft in the middle, and baked to a rich, golden brown. Center City Pretzel opens its bakery doors at 4 a.m. to serve the hungry masses, and get its wholesale orders out the door. For more than three decades, this bakery has been going strong and still makes its pretzels with just the basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water — plus that crunchy salt on top.

It’s open for walk-ins.

20. Banh Mi at Ba Le Bakery

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606 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 389-4350
Visit Website

In the rest of the country, these pâté, butter and veggie filled baguettes are known as banh mi, but in Philly they’re commonly referred to as Vietnamese hoagies, because, well, it’s Philly. Ba Le has been baking since 1998 and their order by number menu full of charcuterie, chicken and prawn packed banh mi garnished with spears of cucumber, carrot, daikon, a sprig of cilantro, and racy rounds of jalapeño.

Call (215) 389-4350 to order ahead.

21. Tacos at South Philly Barbacoa

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1149 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 694-3797
Visit Website

Cristina Martinez’s lamb barbacoa tacos regularly draw national attention to this casual Italian Market eatery. The lamb is marinated and cooked overnight before tender chunks, chopped to order, are served on house-made tortillas.

South Philly Barbacoa is open weekends, from 5 a.m., for takeout. Follow the restaurant on Instagram to find out about guest chef pop-ups.

22. Cannoli at Termini Brothers Bakery (multiple locations)

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1523 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 334-1816
Visit Website

South Philly is known for its picture-perfect family-run Italian bakeries, spilling over with sweets like torrone, lobster tails, zeppoli, and cannoli. One must-try spot is the century-old Termini Brothers Bakery, where the cannoli is integral to the Philly experience.

Order curbside pickup or local delivery online.

23. The #NotPizza Box at Hardena

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1754 S Hicks St #2217
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 271-9442
Visit Website

This unassuming South Philly corner has been serving incredible Indonesian food for the past 20 years. Stop by for takeout on any given day for savory stews like fish in yellow curry and tender braised beef rendang. Plus, there’s an enticing array of vegan options including tempeh and tofu in sweet soy and collard greens slow simmered in coconut milk. Real Philadelphians know to order the #notpizza box when they become available, as it’s an array of delicious Indonesian cuisine that Hardena serves in an assuming pizza box. Don’t skimp on the housemade sambal.

To order, call (215) 271-9442 or order through GrubHub.

24. Cheesesteak Torta at Café y Chocolate

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1532 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(267) 639-4506
Visit Website

Residents of Philadelphia can argue ad nauseam about where to find city’s best steak, but there’s no doubt that this cozy Mexican breakfast and lunch spot does does one of the more intriguing takes on the famed sandwich. Cafe y Chocolate brightens the steak and cheese combo with serrano peppers, chipotle mustard and fresh pico de gallo.

Call (267) 639-4506 or order online.

25. Roast Beef Sandwich at Old Original Nick’s Roast Beef (multiple locations)

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2149 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 463-4114
Visit Website

Grab extra napkins because this densely stacked sandwich with thick-sliced roast beef drowning in its own intense beef gravy is messy. But the kaiser roll soaking up some of the juice is one of the best parts of the well-loved South Philly sandwich.

Call for (215) 463-4114 for takeout.

26. Roast Pork Sandwich at John's Roast Pork

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14 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-1951
Visit Website

Philadelphia may be best known for cheesesteaks, but locals know a little secret: Get the roast pork instead. The no-frills John’s Roast Pork in South Philly has been perfecting the sandwich since 1930, even earning a James Beard Award as an American Classic. And if you must have a cheesesteak too, this is an excellent place to get one.

Call (215) 463-1951 to order.

27. Tomato Pie at Cacia's Bakery

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1526 W Ritner St
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 334-1340
Visit Website

Depending on geographic location, the words tomato pie mean different things to different people. In Philadelphia, it’s a stripped down take on pizza — Italian bakery-made dough, tomato sauce, and depending on who’s asking, a pit of cheese. With a vibrant, lightly sweet tomato sauce and soft crust, Cacia’s textbook tomato pie is offered by the rectangular slice, alongside banana pepper and American topped pieces of pizzaz and white broccoli pie.

Open for walk-ins.

1. Wings at Cafe Soho

468 W Cheltenham Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19126

The moody, K-Pop video lit dining room of Cafe Soho is closed for now, but their worth-the-drive fried chicken is available to go. Opt for double fried wings or boneless, then choose from a menu of sauces ranging from classic soy garlic to sweet chili and spicy, and add an extra order of pickled daikon. Cafe Soho is accepting orders over the phone, so be sure to give them a call at (215) 224-6800 before heading north to West Cheltenham Avenue.

468 W Cheltenham Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19126

2. Fried Chicken at DeBreaux's

2135 N 63rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19151

Pre-pandemic, regulars knew to plan for a wait at DeBreaux’s, a small spot in the Overbrook train station parking lot where the fried chicken is cooked to order and comes out piping hot with sides like collard greens, yams, cornbread, and mac and cheese. Now DeBreaux’s requires diners to call ahead to place orders — but it usually takes a few calls to get through, so there’s still that authentic wait.

2135 N 63rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19151

3. Pho at Thang Long

2534-36 Kensington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

A savory and aromatic bowl of pho is a go-to dish for many Philadelphians, whether they have a favorite pho destination on Washington Avenue or head north to this Kensington spot. Thang Long does a superb job with both beef and chicken varieties. There’s a second location, named Pho House, at 177 W. Girard Avenue.

Call (215) 425-0078 to order or get delivery through all of the major platforms.

2534-36 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

4. Pizza at Tacconelli’s

2604 E Somerset St, Philadelphia, PA 19134

Philly’s got square pizzas and fried pizzas and tomato pies and stromboli, but there are few who can make a regular pizza like Tacconelli’s. Extra-saucy, bubbly all around, charred in all the right places, and chewy like it ought to be, the Tacconelli’s pie is one of a kind — and a hot commodity. Ordering a pie might mean reserving the dough in advance, but it’s that sort of forethought that makes one a true pro when eating out in Philly.

Call (215) 425-4983 for curbside pickup.

2604 E Somerset St
Philadelphia, PA 19134

5. Peking Duck at Sang Kee Peking Duck House

238 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Chinatown spot that claims to have first introduced Peking duck to Philly back in the 1980s is still the place to go for the Chinese specialty. These ducks have a crisp mahogany skin and come with pancakes, steamed buns, scallions, and hoisin.

Order online or get delivery through Uber Eats, Caviar, Doordash, Postmates, or Chowbus.

238 N 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

6. Empanadas at Jezabel’s Argentine Café & Catering

206-208 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

No trip to Philadelphia is complete without a visit to Jezabel’s in West Philly, where chef Jezabel Careaga offers some of the best empanadas outside of northwest Argentina, where Careaga is from. Order an empanada pack with eight assorted empanadas of your choosing — meat, vegetarian, or vegan — and enjoy with the spicy sauce of the day. Alfajores for dessert are not to be missed, either. Preorder online.

206-208 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

7. Combo Platter at Abyssinia

229 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
platter of Ethiopian vegetable and meat dishes on injera bread Rachel Vigoda

In West Philly, homey Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia has convenient meat or vegetable platters on its menu that are perfect for sampling several dishes. Use the injera to scoop up lentils, collard greens, spicy berbere chicken, tender cubes of beef, and more. Call (215) 387-2424 to order pickup or get delivery on Uber Eats.

Also in West Philly, Dahlak has been a reliable option for Eritrean-Ethiopian fare for decades. It’s open for takeout and outdoor dining.

229 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

8. Scrapple at Down Home Diner

Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
neon sign that says down home Reading Terminal Market [official photo]

Scrapple: It’s a weird and beloved Pennsylvania thing. The Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast staple combines pork scraps, cornmeal, and heavy seasoning into a loaf which gets sliced and pan-fried. Try it at Down Home Diner in the iconic Reading Terminal Market.

Order online. Walk-up orders are also being taken.

Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

9. Ice Cream at Bassetts Ice Cream

45 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Bassets has been making ice cream in Philadelphia since 1861, and packing pints out of their Reading Terminal location since the market’s debut in 1893. Unlike other ice cream companies who have chosen to modernize with lavish mix ins and out there flavors, this family run creamery keeps it simple with a straightforward line up of flavors ranging from simple chocolate chip and French vanilla to throwback scoops like rum raisin and butter pecan.

Open for walk-ins.

45 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

10. Oysters at Oyster House

1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
oyster house Jason Varney

For the last three generations, the Mink family has been in the oyster business. The current location of Oyster House, which has been around since the 1940s, is polished, modern, and known for its happy hour dollar oysters. All of the seafood is served within 24 hours of being taken out of the water.

Order pickup online or delivery through Caviar.

1516 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

11. Budino at Barbuzzo

110 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The reputation of the signature dessert at Barbuzzo — a pudding layered with salted caramel sauce, cookie crumbs, and whipped cream — draws diners to Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s small Mediterranean restaurant in Midtown Village.

Order online.

110 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

12. Snapper Soup at the Olde Bar

125 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

For more than 100 years, this iconic dish — a soup made of turtle meat, vegetables, herbs, spices, hard-boiled egg, and sherry — was synonymous with the city’s landmark seafood restaurant, Bookbinder’s. When Jose Garces opened the Olde Bar in the former Bookbinder’s building, he made sure a modern version of snapper soup was on the menu.

Call (215) 253-3777 or order online. Outdoor dining is available.

125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

13. Lamb Shoulder at Zahav

237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106
lamb dish with chickpeas Michael Persico

As a nationally renowned restaurant that’s been part of the charge for exceptional Middle Eastern food in America, Zahav is a major point of Philly pride. The lamb, braised in pomegranate molasses and strewn with chickpeas, is the Israeli restaurant’s signature dish. It’s only available as part of a prix fixe menu.

Zahav is not currently offering takeout; reservations for outdoor dining are via Resy.

237 St James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106

14. Cheesesteak at Angelo's Pizzeria

736 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

There’s plenty of debate about where to eat a cheesesteak, but the point is simple: Eat one. For better or for worse, there is no more iconic food in this city than the cheesesteak. Angelo’s makes a showstopper version, as do a couple dozen other places in town. The key factors are a fresh, locally baked roll, flavorful (if moderately greasy) meat, Cheez Whiz (or American), and (optional) sautéed onions.

Call (215) 922-0000 to order for pickup.

736 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

15. Square Pizza at Santucci’s (multiple locations)

901 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The square pie from Santucci’s has been a Philly favorite for many years, starting in the 1950s in Northeast Philly. The pizza is well-charred in cast-iron pans and piled with “upside-down” toppings, meaning the sauce is on top.

Order online from three Philly locations or opt for outdoor dining.

901 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Related Maps

16. Water Ice at John's Water Ice

701 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

While Philly has many places to get good water ice, John’s in Bella Vista is a longstanding favorite. The cold treat is made with only water, fruit, and sugar, just like when the South Philly takeout shop opened in 1945.

Open for walk-ups or call ahead.

701 Christian St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

17. Meatballs and Gravy at Villa Di Roma

936 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

This retro Italian Market stalwart is beloved for many reasons, not the least of which is its famous meatballs and gravy (otherwise known as red sauce). Get them over spaghetti, atop ravioli, on a sandwich at lunch, even to grab and go and pass off as homemade — just get them.

Call (215) 592-1295 to order takeout.

936 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

18. Tacos at Taqueria La Prima

1104 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The tender chicken tinga, spicy chorizo, and savory lengua are all stellar at Taqueria La Prima in the Italian Market, and the nopales, when available, are almost reason enough to visit on their own. As an added bonus, the tiny, no-frills eatery is open all day and doesn’t stop serving until late night. (It’s the same spot that used to be called Prima Pizza.)

Call (215) 339-5000 to order or walk in. There are a few tables set up outside.

1104 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

19. Soft Pretzel at Center City Pretzel

816 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Ask any true Philadelphian about soft pretzels and they’ll tell you about how they considered them a basic food group when they were growing up, about the guys at every intersection selling them in brown paper bags, and about how they used to be much cheaper. Well, the guys at the intersections are mostly gone and the prices have gone up, but pretzels are still part of the standard diet here in Philly. The good ones are almost-crunchy on the outside, doughy-soft in the middle, and baked to a rich, golden brown. Center City Pretzel opens its bakery doors at 4 a.m. to serve the hungry masses, and get its wholesale orders out the door. For more than three decades, this bakery has been going strong and still makes its pretzels with just the basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water — plus that crunchy salt on top.

It’s open for walk-ins.

816 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

20. Banh Mi at Ba Le Bakery

606 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

In the rest of the country, these pâté, butter and veggie filled baguettes are known as banh mi, but in Philly they’re commonly referred to as Vietnamese hoagies, because, well, it’s Philly. Ba Le has been baking since 1998 and their order by number menu full of charcuterie, chicken and prawn packed banh mi garnished with spears of cucumber, carrot, daikon, a sprig of cilantro, and racy rounds of jalapeño.

Call (215) 389-4350 to order ahead.

606 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

21. Tacos at South Philly Barbacoa

1149 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Cristina Martinez’s lamb barbacoa tacos regularly draw national attention to this casual Italian Market eatery. The lamb is marinated and cooked overnight before tender chunks, chopped to order, are served on house-made tortillas.

South Philly Barbacoa is open weekends, from 5 a.m., for takeout. Follow the restaurant on Instagram to find out about guest chef pop-ups.

1149 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

22. Cannoli at Termini Brothers Bakery (multiple locations)

1523 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

South Philly is known for its picture-perfect family-run Italian bakeries, spilling over with sweets like torrone, lobster tails, zeppoli, and cannoli. One must-try spot is the century-old Termini Brothers Bakery, where the cannoli is integral to the Philly experience.

Order curbside pickup or local delivery online.

1523 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

23. The #NotPizza Box at Hardena

1754 S Hicks St #2217, Philadelphia, PA 19145

This unassuming South Philly corner has been serving incredible Indonesian food for the past 20 years. Stop by for takeout on any given day for savory stews like fish in yellow curry and tender braised beef rendang. Plus, there’s an enticing array of vegan options including tempeh and tofu in sweet soy and collard greens slow simmered in coconut milk. Real Philadelphians know to order the #notpizza box when they become available, as it’s an array of delicious Indonesian cuisine that Hardena serves in an assuming pizza box. Don’t skimp on the housemade sambal.

To order, call (215) 271-9442 or order through GrubHub.

1754 S Hicks St #2217
Philadelphia, PA 19145

24. Cheesesteak Torta at Café y Chocolate

1532 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Residents of Philadelphia can argue ad nauseam about where to find city’s best steak, but there’s no doubt that this cozy Mexican breakfast and lunch spot does does one of the more intriguing takes on the famed sandwich. Cafe y Chocolate brightens the steak and cheese combo with serrano peppers, chipotle mustard and fresh pico de gallo.

Call (267) 639-4506 or order online.

1532 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

25. Roast Beef Sandwich at Old Original Nick’s Roast Beef (multiple locations)

2149 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Grab extra napkins because this densely stacked sandwich with thick-sliced roast beef drowning in its own intense beef gravy is messy. But the kaiser roll soaking up some of the juice is one of the best parts of the well-loved South Philly sandwich.

Call for (215) 463-4114 for takeout.

2149 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

26. Roast Pork Sandwich at John's Roast Pork

14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Philadelphia may be best known for cheesesteaks, but locals know a little secret: Get the roast pork instead. The no-frills John’s Roast Pork in South Philly has been perfecting the sandwich since 1930, even earning a James Beard Award as an American Classic. And if you must have a cheesesteak too, this is an excellent place to get one.

Call (215) 463-1951 to order.

14 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

27. Tomato Pie at Cacia's Bakery

1526 W Ritner St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Depending on geographic location, the words tomato pie mean different things to different people. In Philadelphia, it’s a stripped down take on pizza — Italian bakery-made dough, tomato sauce, and depending on who’s asking, a pit of cheese. With a vibrant, lightly sweet tomato sauce and soft crust, Cacia’s textbook tomato pie is offered by the rectangular slice, alongside banana pepper and American topped pieces of pizzaz and white broccoli pie.

Open for walk-ins.

1526 W Ritner St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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