Food & Drink

11 Things You Must Eat in Philly Before Summer Ends

Published On 08/03/2015 Published On 08/03/2015
Courtesy of Punch Media PR

Sure, having a few drinks on the patio or seeing an outdoor movie can be fun, but the most memorable thing about summer is... that time she dressed up like Wonder Woman for Seth Cohen, obviously. Well, either that or these 11 Philly foods you should totally eat before summer’s over:

Seafood bouillabaisse

Red Owl Tavern (address and info)
Old City
All the summer you could fit in one stew includes shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, Maine lobster, fingerling potatoes, and tomatoes confit, all in a tomato-lobster broth.

Doc Magrogan's Oyster House

Buck-a-Shuck oysters

Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House (address and info)
University City
Every Monday, all day long, you get exactly what it sounds like: oysters to shoot back at just a dollar a piece. You can also order off the raw bar menu for variations on the Doc’s classic dish with cocktail sauce or jumbo shrimp.

BRÜ Craft & Wurst

Pulled duck & seared tuna sliders

Uptown Beer Garden (address and info)
Center City
The summertime pop-up beer garden from the people behind BRÜ Craft & Wurst is one of the city’s most spacious, and it doesn’t mess around when it comes to sliders: get the tuna with thai basil & wasabi aioli, or pulled duck with apple slaw and porter plum sauce.

Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar

Crawfish Bucket

Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar (address and info)
Northern Liberties
This may not be New England, but few things are more evocative of summertime than a bucket of crawfish enjoyed with a cold beer. The only place for this is Crabby’s, where the pub fare is outshined every summer by the menu’s premium seasonal items.

Hazelnut S’more Ice Cream

Little Baby’s Ice Cream (address and info)
Spruce Hill & East Kensington
Really any ice cream here is a good idea, but it’s one of the newest releases that will have you in search of a campfire to sit next to, especially if you opt for the ice cream sandwich version to get the complete graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow experience.

John's Water Ice

Lemon water ice & a pretzel

John’s Water Ice (address and info)
Bella Vista
Nothing tastes more like a Philly summer than the sweet-and-savory combo of a freshly baked, still-warm soft pretzel alongside a fresh cup of water ice, which is why John’s is not to be missed during its summer season hours.

Big Gay Ice Cream

The Bea Arthur

Big Gay Ice Cream (address and info)
Washington Square West
Now that one of New York’s most fabulous ice cream shops finally found a home in Philly, it’s only appropriate to try the ongoing specials while the sun is high and the sweat’s dripping down your back. The quintessential serving? A cone of this vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, and vanilla wafer blend.

Fette Sau

Duroc St. Louis ribs

Fette Sau (address and info)
There are plenty of places to score great barbecue in Philly any time of year, but few offer indoor-or-outdoor seating along with naturally raised meats and classic BBQ sides like smoked corn on the cob, potato salad, and dill chips, like Fette Sau does.

Smoked wings

Rex 1516 (address and info)
Graduate Hospital
The dimly lit cocktail bar isn’t only good at getting you tipsy in the classiest of matters, it also rocks an excellent summer menu, complete with this starter of whole chicken wings and your choice of seasonal molasses chipotle, maple mustard, or Nashville hot dill.

Devon Seafood Grill Philadelphia

Fresh fish of the day

Devon Seafood Grill (address and info)
You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood at Devon, whether you opt for jumbo lump crab or fresh shrimp -- but it’s the fish-of-the-day specials that will have you splurging on the season’s best catches. Plus, the Rittenhouse outdoor seating isn’t bad either.

Luke's Lobster

Lobster roll

Luke’s Lobster (address and info)
Sourced from Maine and doused in garlic and lemon butter, the lobster on a toasted bun is the perfect thing to eat while sprawled on a blanket in the park.

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Marielle Mondon is a Philly-born editor and freelance writer, who’s not that worried about fitting in a bikini. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MarielleMondon.

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1. Red Owl Tavern 433 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Society Hillqueen Village)

The walk up to Society Hill's Red Owl Tavern, along cobblestoned streets before Independence Hall, is quintessentially Philadelphia, and the food at this upscale Hotel Monaco restaurant is appropriately American rustic, but with some modern updates. The lunchtime cheesesteak synonymous with the city is brought up to speed with Angus ribeye, sharp cheddar, caramelized onion and hot peppers (no whiz, here). Marrowbones are topped with pickled lamb tongues. Venison, cut by the in-house butcher, is augmented by a huckleberry marinade. The zinc-topped bar in the brown and brick dining room continues the patriotic theme, serving up a Penn’s Treaty (bourbon, blackberry, honey, mint, lemon) to thirsty tourists and red-blooded Americans alike.

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2. Doc Magrogan's 3430 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (West Phillyu City)

From the dishwasher-turned-chiropractor-turned-restaurant magnate (and motivational speaker!) behind Kildare's, Doc is a 100-seat ode to the East Coast oyster house, with two stories' worth of distressed woods, high-end patterned upholstries, and a sunlit, brick-floored indoor patio with enough windows to make you want to crash there.

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3. Uptown Beer Garden 1735 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Center City West)

Uptown Beer Garden located in the courtyard of the BNY Mellon Building, is brought to you by the team behind Brü and U-Bahn, is one of the city's largest, with more than 9,000sqft of outdoor drinking space. Apart from offering craft beers, the bar at this rustic hangout spot also serves cocktails, wine, food.

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4. Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar 1050 N Hancock St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (North Philly)

This Northern Liberties spot brings Cajun and Vietnamese dishes on the same menu. We're talking Fried Catfish and Crabby's Gumbo alongside Pho Tai and Pho Bo Vien. The menu also has tons of seafood, Po' Boys, and burgers.

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5. Little Baby's World HQ 2311 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Fishtown)

The ice cream here uses dairy 100% supplied by Pennsy cows, is prepped Philly-style (no eggs), and includes all-the-ingredients-in-the-name cart favorites (Earl Grey Sriracha and Bourbon Bourbon Vanilla), plus flavor flavs like Sour Cherry & Honey, Strawberry Pink Peppercorn, and Maryland Bar-B-Que, which's made with BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, and Old Bay.

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6. John's Water Ice 701 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Philadelphia)

Ignoring how strange the name of this treat is, John's Water Ice is THE place to get one in Philadelphia.

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7. Big Gay Ice Cream 521 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Midtown Village)

This Philly outpost of the NYC famous ice cream shop brings the same flavors and vibe to Washington Square West.

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8. Fette Sau 1208 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Fishtown)

Fette Sau keeps it simple. Wooden tables, concrete floors, gourmet BBQ, craft beer and whiskey. No pretense. Sounds like the go-to spot for the most interesting man in the world, doesn't it? Named after the German phrasing for "fat pig," Fette Sau's obviously got pork on lock, plus other delectable, dry-aged and smoked meat comestibles. The Philly outpost of this Williamsburg standby is sure to satisfy.

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9. Rex 1516 1516 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (G Ho)

From the crew behind Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516 is a breezy 35-seater that pairs an interior reminiscent of a derelict mansion (wrought iron chandeliers, antique mirrors, distressed woodwork) with a Mobile-bred, chef-prepped menu that covers all the Deep South culinary bases. With ongoing whiskey specials and a killer burger (and a home run mac n’ cheese), you get both killer food and drink under one roof.

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10. Devon Seafood Grill 225 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

The seafood at Devon is sourced daily, so it's guaranteed fresh. Options like jumbo lump crab, fresh shrimp, and steaks are always available, but the fresh catch-of-the-day is definitely something to look out for.

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11. Luke's Lobster 130 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

Luke's Lobster is a Maine lobster-slinging New England seafood joint, offering you buttered rolls stuffed with knuckle and claw meat, as well as a rotating lineup of seafood soups.