Falafel sandwich at Mama’s — Vegetarian Hoagies got nothin’ on this perfectly composed pita, in which hulking falafel balls add some crunch to a sprightly quintet of cabbage, cucumber, tomato, grainy hummus and tahini. (A splash of hot sauce, and you’ve got sandwich Nirvana.)
18 South 20th Street, 215-751-0477.
Meatballs at Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern — Legendary owner Sonny Mancuso died suddenly in April, but his plump meatballs live on at his Atlantic City red-sauce joint, in a recipe as closely guarded as the Colonel’s (and rightly so).
2300 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, 609-344-2439.
Thai curry mussels at Grey Lodge Pub — Who says the best thing to drink here is beer? Use your now-empty mussel shells to spoon up every last drop of the aromatic sauce.
6235 Frankford Avenue, 215-825-5357.
Deluxe pig-out at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse — Great barbecue deserves to be eaten in great quantities. And with this sampler, you won’t have to choose from all the sweet meats and mouthwatering sides.
7500 State Road, 215-333-9663.
Pork belly buns at Chifa — Save the fight and just order two.
707 Chestnut Street, 215-925-5555.
Cassolette of snails at Le Bar Lyonnais — An adventure, we know. But when you’re ready to leap, do so with this Perrier-concocted parachute. The nutty, garlic-buttery champagne sauce makes for the softest of landings.
1523 Walnut Street, downstairs, 215-567-1000.
Fried chicken at Resurrection Ale House — This newcomer wooed us with its twice-fried chicken, whose spicy honey drizzle made it an instant classic.
2425 Grays Ferry Avenue, 215-735-2202.
Tofu Aphrodite at Caffe Galleria — This bistro touts itself as “the place where the unapologetic carnivore and the dedicated vegan dine -together … happily.” Exhibit A is this swoon-worthy dish, topped with bold veggies, bathed in a simmering wine sauce, and served with a side of feta. (The carnivore can swap in chicken for the tofu.)
18 South Main Street, Lambertville, 609-397-2400.
Unagi tobiko roll at Sagami — This warm, earthy maki (right) with a satisfying fried crunch inside will surprise sushi-wary friends. Just don’t tell them it’s eel till after they’ve ordered their -second plate.
37 West Crescent Boulevard, Collingswood, 856-854-9773.
Churros with chocolate dipping sauce at Café Apamate — Four steps to happiness: 1) Dip. 2) Swirl. 3) Crunch. 4) Repeat.
1620 South Street, 215-790-1620.
Stuffed artichokes at Café 2825 — An artichoke like you’d cook at home — except better, because of its rich throwback filling: breadcrumbs, chopped egg, parmesan and onions.
2825 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, 609-344-6913.
Grilled cheese at Royal Tavern — It’s the way the trio of cheeses works -together — smoky, melt-y gouda, sharp provolone, tangy, denser goat cheese — that takes this sandwich (perfectly griddled on thick-cut French boule) to another level.
937 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-389-6694.