I had the pleasure of spending this past Labor Day Weekend in the home of hoagies, cheesesteaks, and brotherly love – Philadelphia. This was my first visit to America’s birthplace and it was an absolute foodie delight! Aside from the noteworthy national treasures and historical landmarks, Philly has SO much to offer in the food department in terms of diversity & quality. I tried to soak up as much as I could in the short time I was there, but I definitely foresee another trip in my future.
Although it was hard to whittle down, these are my top Philly dining picks!
Jimmy G’s Steaks:
What I ate: Cheesesteak With Provolone Cheese & Grilled Onions + Fries
Overall review: This was my first authentic cheesesteak experience in Philly, so I didn’t have much of a comparison but Jimmy G’s was pretty top-notch! The food is made to order & piping hot once it’s served. The service wasn’t great, but once I had my food I’d completely forgotten about that. Well worth the $8 I spent!
What I ate: Vanilla Soft Serve Cone with Rainbow Sprinkles
Overall review: Hearing an ice cream truck jingle on a blazing hot summer day is like a gift sent from the heavens. As I was leaving Independence Hall and in desperate need of a icy cold treat to cool down, I spotted a Mister Softee truck in the distance and made a beeline in that direction. I’m somewhat of a purist when it comes to ice cream, so I stuck with a basic vanilla cone and rainbow sprinkles – a choice I did not regret. Mister Softee really hit the spot – I just wish this east coast staple would make its way out to LA!
What I ate: Custom House made Guacamole, Chicken Tacos, + Specialty Margaritas
Overall review: As a Los Angeleno I know a thing or two about Mexican food and Xochitl lived up to my expectations. A friend recommended this place to me and it seemed like less of a tourist magnet, and more of a local spot with a great vibe and equally great food. We started with the custom house made guacamole, then I moved on to my main course of Chicken Tacos. The tacos were a little bit sweet and little bit spicy, which was a delightfully pleasing flavor mashup. No dinner at a Mexican restaurant is complete without a few margaritas, and Xochitl did not disappoint in the drink department. Of the two margaritas that I tried, my favorite was El Pepino – a jalapeño infused cocktail – talk about a kick! This drink really packed a big punch. I will definitely be making a trip back the next time I’m in Philly!
What I ate: Maple Walnut + Pumpkin Ice Cream
Overall review: Franklin Fountain was honestly the best ice cream I’ve ever had – as an ice cream connoisseur, that is not a statement I make lightly. All elements of the shop are frozen in time in the 1920s and leaves you with an overall feeling of nostalgia. The wait was about 40 minutes, but it was more than worth it. The menu offered almost too many ice cream flavors to choose from, so making a decision was VERY difficult. Ultimately, I went with Maple Walnut & Pumpkin ice cream which each would have been absolutely delicious on their own, but together were a force to be reckoned with. I may have to make a trip back to Philly solely to have more of this ice cream!
Any other recommendations for dining hot spots in Philly?!