While Rocky used to tenderize ALL the beef, there's obviously way more diversity to Philly's food scene these days. Like donut-sided fried chicken, and pasta bowls buried under crushed cookies. Here to tell you where to get fat is Thrillist editor Adam Robb.
Favorite Restaurant:The best restaurant in a neighborhood comprised solely of everyone's favorite restaurants, Le Virtu on E Passyunk gets top honors for one single strand of pasta. Mind you, that bite's Maccheroni alla Mugnaia, an uncut, 3ft-long strand doused in garlic, hot peppers, and olive oil
Best Late-Night Eats: Choosing just one from a collection of two dozen hot dogs can be overwhelming at 4a on a Sat night. Fortunately, you can do no wrong with with the parm-, pepper hash-, and chili-topped brats at Underdogs
Best Sandwich: Avoid the lunch rush and arrive early or late (not too late, they close at 4p) for a counter seat at DiNic's Roast Pork in Reading Terminal Market for garlicky roast pork piled with sharp Prov and roasted peppers
Best Italian: Everything else on the menu at Le Virtu is amazing as well. Specializing in the hearty peasant food of Abruzzo's Medieval mountain villages, expect antipasti like spicy spreadable salame and porchetta-stuffed fried olives, plus pasta bowls topped with dried peppers scissor-cut tableside
Best Mexican: Sometimes I want the flavor of Mexico and none of the authenticity, so I score a booth at El Vez and throw down on some red-chili-honey-sauced fried chicken sided with aji amarillo mashed potatoes, blue corn bread w/ agave butter, and pickled Mexican vegetables, and throw back a few tequila-cinnamon Pineapple Canelas
Best Burger: There's no competition for fast-multiplying New York import Shake Shack. Its cheeseburger-topped-with-a-deep-fried-portobello isn't just one of the best in town, it's also one of the cheapest
Best BBQ: Fishtown's Fette Sau's a beer garden-sized version of the Brooklyn original, where you can claim a picnic table and wash down Duroc pork belly, Angus brisket, and bacon brownies with 100+ domestic whiskeys
Best for Work: Steakhouses are where deals close in this town, and there's none better than the multi-level Del Frisco's, which fills the First Pennsylvania Bank building with prime ribeyes and the air of money
1. Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse1426 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
2. Le Virtù1927 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
3. Underdogs132 S 17th St, Philadelphia
4. Hot Diggity630 South St, Philadelphia
5. DiNic's Roast Pork and Beef1136 Arch St, Philadelphia
6. Han Dynasty108 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
7. El Vez121 S 13th St, Philadelphia
8. Shake Shack3200 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
9. Honey’s Sit N' Eat2101 South St, Philadelphia
10. Vernick Food & Drink2031 Walnut St, Philadelphia
11. Fork306 Market St, Philadelphia
12. Fette Sau1208 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
13. The Corner Foodery1710-12 Sansom St, Philadelphia
14. Ela627 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
15. Chick-a-Licious138 S 11th St, Philadelphia
16. Federal Donuts1219 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
Located in what was once the lobby of the First Pennsylvania Bank, Del Frisco's Double Eagle is a show-stopping venue to go with heart-stoppingly good beef. The dining room at this Rittenhouse spot features sweeping three-story columns and a 40ft (1,200-bottle) wine tower at the center of the restaurant. In addition to its steak options, the menu offers a diverse seafood selection.
This taste of Italy in Philly serves fresh fare crafted with local ingredients. And if it can't locate the elements for a dish locally, it'll import them from Abruzzo, a region in Central Italy that was the inspiration for the place.
Underdogs in name only, this hot dog and sausage spot was popular when still in operation for its unwillingness to be satisfied with serving just average dogs. Their menu not only covered the traditional, but went wild with takes like a spicy merguez lamb dog with harissa mayo.
This Philadelphia dog joint will take you on a flavor tour of wieners from around the nation and beyond, featuring menu options such as the Chicago-style "Windy City"and the hot dog-meets-banh mi "Saigon Fusion."
Serving up hearty cuts juicy delicious goodness at the Reading Terminal Market, DiNic's is a must-try for every carnivore in Philly.
Han Dynasty is a spacious Chinese resto located in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. With over 60 combinations of menu items, leaving unsatisfied is not an option.
A Stephen Starr restaurant, El Vez is a vibrantly designed restaurant serving equally colorful, traditional Mexican food. This Midtown Village spot also quenches your thirst with an awesome, house-made margarita of your choice.
The New York City equivalent to Los Angeles' In-N-Out, Shake Shack is the modern-day answer to the 50s soda shop and burger joint. The influx of college kids from the nearby UPenn campus will tell you, this is the chain to devote yourself to, for its ideally palm-sized, paper-wrapped, utterly Instagram-able burgers alone. The branded bag you get with your to-go order (with the milkshake flavor of the week, of course) makes an accessory any New Yorker would be proud of as you step across the block to eat in Hill Square.
Honey’s Sit N' Eat, a premier breakfast/Southern comfort food spot on Philadelphia's South Street, serves all of your favorite morning specials, and then adds three different kinds of bacon just to make you sweat. Made mostly of locally farmed and fresh ingredients, this eatery encourages sweet, gluttonous indulgence with a conscience. Normally it's one or the other.
While Vernick Food & Drink is an upscale American eatery with a complex, innovative menu, the chef's standout mainstay is (drum roll, please)...toast. But this is not burnt wonder bread with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter -- this is toast 2.0. Vernick's chefs have created a number of spreads and mashes to dollop onto fresh baked sourdough, using everything from charred eggplant with chanterelles and broccoli-bacon jam to Bayonne ham with whipped brie and Maryland crab, all of which can be enjoyed at the bar alongside one of the numerous creative house cocktails. Beyond the sought-after collection of toasts, there are raw oysters, small plates, and plenty of meat and fish entrees, most of which are roasted in a wood-fired oven. The tables are built of thick, weathered wood, the waiters wear suspenders and bowties, and the whole place is engulfed in a warm yellow light.
Farm-to-table fare may sound cliche these days, but Fork has has been a pioneer of the food movement for since the late 1990s. The intimate restaurant breathed new life into Old City when it opened, and keeps the torch lit with American cuisine locally sourced from farmers located throughout the Delaware Valley. A woodland mural and dried branches in the dining room make for a woodsy yet elegant setting where the food is far too intricate to simply be foraged from the forest the decor nods to: vegetable-heavy starters like roasted carrots with bone marrow gremolata, precede housemade pastas and complex meat dishes like duck with persimmon and gingered rutabega.
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.
Gourmet sandwiches and hundreds of craft beer is The Corner Foodery's DNA. Also, there are large, lacquered communal tables on which to chow down with a group of friends, when not waiting in anticipation of Executive John Taus's daily chef specials.
An American restaurant directed by the steady hand of acclaimed chef Jason Chichonski, Ela serves cuisine that changes seasonally but is consistently innovative and crafted to perfection. With an extensive wine list and large collection of craft beers, something is bound to go well with your whipped foie gras.
Chick-a-licious, located in Midtown Village, is exactly what it sounds like. Using fresh ingredients, this comfort food spot serves wings dipped and seasoned with dry rubs and features, wait for it, a fried chicken-finger sandwich.
With several locations around the city, Federal Donuts has grown into a sugar-coated Philly favorite. FD's secret weapon is a "Donut Robot," a mechanical monster-mastermind that handles all the dough dispensing, frying, and flipping. The deep-fried dough rings are sweet, sinful, and eminently scarf-able -- coming in flavors like maple-bacon, lemon bar, spicy PB&J, Turkish mocha and, of course, classic glazed. Because specializing in just one caloric indulgence doesn't cut it, this spot slings famous fried chicken in a changing lineup of rubs and sauces (coconut curry, anyone?).