The deal: If you're not from Northeast Philadelphia, chances are you've never been to Northeast Philadelphia. And that, well, that's perfectly understandable… to outsiders, the area looks like little more than strip malls, sweatpants, and the Ghost of Sizzlers Past, a reputation that very few insiders would find offensive. That said, ya'll are missing out on some seriously great Philadelphian food. A sprinkling of new hotspots, long-kept secrets, and generations-in-the-making legends make the humble Northeast a must for anyone who wants a true taste of the city that goes beyond the obvious steak spots.
The moves: Nestled inside a strip mall (told ya!), The Blue Duck immediately turned heads when it opened its doors two years ago with a menu of stepped-up comfort food that's usually not spotted in the wilds outside Center City. Come for the infamous duck-fat fries, stay for chicken and waffles, and don't forget to make a reservation (yep, they exist in the Northeast these days). Over on Frankford Ave, quirky mainstay Grey Lodge Pub has been pouring legit pints decades before your friends christened themselves "craft beer enthusiasts." If you're brave enough to take a date to the Northeast, local fave Macaroni's does Italian right with house-made pasta and an outdoor kitchen complete with a wood-burning pizza oven.