Fisherman’s stew at Oyster House — Inhale deeply over this brothy bowl — the spicy aroma is almost as awesome as the flavor.
1516 Sansom Street, 215-567-7683.
Mussels in red sauce at Ralph’s — This is what South Philly is supposed to taste like. Plump PEI mussels are steamed to perfection in Ralph’s rich, spicy red sauce.
760 South 9th Street, 215-627-6011.
Butter cookies with lemon curd at Southwark — You can actually smell the butter when these adorable cookies arrive.
701 South 4th Street, 215-238-1888.
Fried smelts at Standard Tap — Battered and fried whole (except for the heads), these surprisingly delicious diminutive fish are best dunked in the caper-rich rémoulade and eaten bones and all.
901 North 2nd Street, 215-238-0630.
Truffled egg toast with fontina cheese at Tria — This is breakfast made luxurious with brioche, truffle oil and rich melted fontina. It will make you wish Tria opened before work.
123 South 18th Street, 215-972-8742.
Foie gras pastrami at Vetri — The balance of the buttery liver, the pastrami spices and the tart mostarda is exactly why Marc Vetri has become our city’s most lauded chef.
1312 Spruce Street, 215-732-3478.
Shrimp tempura mango coconut roll at Vic Sushi — Salty shrimp tempura gives way to tart, fresh mango and then a sweet coconut jam, all expertly rolled to the amazement of a jam-packed bar that seats only eight.
2035 Sansom Street, 215-564-4339.
Fro yo with dulce de leche and toasted hazelnuts at Yogorino — Yogorino comes in just one flavor: plain. It’s slightly tart and creamy, and zooms to another level with a ladle of dulce de leche and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts.
233 South 20th Street, 267-639-5287.
Caramelized brussels sprouts at Alison Two — Chef/owner Alison Barshak is deftly reversing this veg’s bad rep. When she takes it off the menu (in summer), the regulars complain. Complain! About no brussels sprouts!
424 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-591-0200.
Patatas bravas at Bar Ferdinand — The small bite of fried potato that makes us wish we could supersize tapas.
1030 North 2nd Street, 215-923-1313.
Steamed dumplings at Mustard Green — Tender minced pork wrapped in a pleasingly sticky envelope. So flavorful, you’ll skip the dipping sauce.
622 South 2nd Street, 215-627-0833.
Stuffed French toast at Sabrina’s — Challah slices loaded with cream cheese and bananas — the dish that got everyone talking brunch in this town.
910 Christian Street, 215-574-1599, and Sabrina’s Cafe and Spencer’s Too, 1804 Callowhill Street, 215-636-9061.
Godzilla roll at Umai Umai — With specialty sushi rolls (the Godzilla packs in barbecued eel, honey, roasted macadamia bits and more), there’s a fine line between gimmicky-stupid and mind-blowingly clever. This is firmly in the latter camp.
533 North 22nd Street, 215-988-0707.