Classic Philadelphia: Beyond the cheesesteak
You become a true Philadelphian the day you make a meal of a water ice and a soft pretzel, said Sarah Maiellano in Eater.com. But even once you’ve tried every cheesesteak in town, you almost can’t run out of iconic foods to choose from in this food-mad city.
John’s Roast Pork Visitors can flock to the cheesesteaks, “but locals know a little secret: Get the roast pork instead.” Though DiNic’s, in Reading Terminal Market, makes the classic—served with broccoli rabe on a hoagie roll—John’s roast pork with sautéed spinach on a kaiser roll is worth a pilgrimage to South Philly. The place is “as no-frills as they come,” but who can complain when John Bucci also makes a cheesesteak that contends for bragging rights with Pat’s and Geno’s? 14 E. Snyder Ave., (215) 463-1951
Stogie Joe’s Tavern With apologies to Romano’s of Essington—the Philadelphia-area pizzeria that invented the stromboli in 1950—the best example of the Italian-American lunch roll is served at this lively, decade-old tavern, widely beloved as well for its red pies and meatball sandwiches. 1801 E. Passyunk Ave., (215) 463-3030
The Olde Bar An oyster bar has to make this list, and this one has a few advantages. Occupying the former bar area of the Old Original Bookbinder’s—for decades a see-and-be-seen spot for Philly’s machers—this handsome throwback has even worked up a modern version of Bookbinder’s snapper soup. Made with seasoned turtle meat, puréed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, sherry, and vegetables sautéed in duck fat, it’s garnished with a hard-boiled quail egg and served with sherry espuma, or foam, for patrons to add to taste. 125 Walnut St., (215) 253-3777