Don’t get me wrong, I love living in DC It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it’s just right. But what sucks is that compared to other cities we don’t have a whole lot of small eateries that do simple food really well. It’s getting better these days and more and more spots continue to open up in the gentrified areas. Because sometimes finding a good sandwich or a decent doughnut can be tricky. I guess my new outlook is if you can’t find it in DC, find it somewhere else. Cue traveling.
I know nothing about Philadelphia other than it has a lot of historical significance and, well, cheesesteaks. It’s been on my list of places to go for quite some time and since my friend had just moved to the area for school I thought it’s the perfect time to see what this city is all about. Getting to Philly from DC is super easy, there are several bus services that travel this route for less than $20 if you plan in advance.
This is what I did in Philadelphia:
- Felicia’s Pizza Kitchen: I’d gotten on an early bus so by the time I got to Ardmore, PA, where Jordan lived I was starving. I also had a serious Pizza craving for some reason so we decided on a nearby pizzeria. Seriously, if you ever crave good pizza just follow the drunk college students. Felicia’s Pizza Kitchen is a charming little spot with indoor and outdoor seating. When you walk in there is a gorgeous stone pizza oven. Above are menus with creatively combined pizza. Take not you cannot substitute ingredients. Of course, we were two people so we ordered, two pizzas because you always need selection.
- Tired Hands Brewing Company and Tired Hands Fermentaria: These breweries are not far from one another, you can easily walk from one to the other. The Fermentaria is sooooo industrial chic, I cannot even handle it. The beers are brewed in-house and they have an incredible selection. I of course am not a beer enthusiast so I wouldn’t be able to describe it much other than, it was damn good and did it’s job, very, very well.
- Dim Sum Garden: While I was researching places to eat at in Philadelphia, I was amazed at the number of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants that were rated so highly. I guess bless my ignorance because I felt like it was my duty to checkout Chinatown. We decided to get Dim Sum for breakfast before venturing around Philly. Of course we ordered for 4 people because when you’re with me, I have to try everything on the menu. I mean, you never know when you’re coming back you know? The soup dumplings were really special. I loved the fried dumplings though, the secret is to take a bite out of the dumpling then pour the dumpling sauce and chili oil inside. BAM. DIY soup dumpling.
- Reading Terminal Market: Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this ever popular public market is full of gems
- Mozzarella: While we were walking around there were samples of tomatoes and cheese made in Philly. I thought to myself, it will be the usual mediocre mozzarella you find in DC markets. But omg was I wrong. It was soft, and melt in your mouth wonderful. I thought to myself, my entire life, I’ve been eating shit. This is what mozz is supposed to taste like. Ever since that moment my outlook on cheese changed.
- Doughnuts: So while walking around the market we saw doughnuts being made and they looked so delicious we decided to get a couple. The problem is that we were so full that we decided that we would have them as a snack later. Well fast forward nearly eight hours we are waiting for a train home and realize that we have doughnuts. They got squished in our bag but we were kinda hungry and decided we shouldn’t waste them. So yes, we at the squished doughnuts and yes, they were still so freaking delicious it was insane.
- Dinic’s: My main motivation for visiting was to get a cheesesteak. Original, I know. But I’ve never had one so it was a, when in Rome kinda thing. Well we decided to try something in Reading and settled on going to Dinic’s. So it wasn’t quite the heart-attack inducing sandwich covered in cheese concoction that I was hoping for… but holy pants was it a delicious sandwich!
- Capogiro’s: It was a hot day and we were craving something chilly, so Jordan suggested we go to a gelato place he’d been meaning to try. Well, once again, Philadelphia rocked my world and my life hasn’t been the same. The quality of the ingredients used to make the gelato is incredible. I still think about how delicious it was and curse the Gods why we can’t have something as good near me.
- Parc: A sister restaurant to Le Diplomate in DC, it is identical in terms of interiors and menus. I ordered the lamb sandwich which tasted just like the one in the District, fries and all. If you’re in a french mood it’s a great casual spot in the city.
- Spruce Street Harbor Park: This space is located on the Delaware river and is quite the gem. It’s magical in it’s creativity. There are lights and colorful things everywhere so whether its during the day or night it’s kind of like a playground. A great spot to grab a drink and chill by the water especially during the summer months.
- Independence Beer Garden: I love that Philadelphia is covered with tons of outdoor beer gardens. All of which have a unique charm about them. Independence Beer Garden is located near the Liberty Bell ans is a huge space where you can of course get a beer and food. Though it is on the first floor of a rather drab looking building, the space is decked out with pebbles and plants to make it feel more like an oasis in the city.