Best of Philly Nominations

Bridget here. For the second year, I’m a proud member of our Best of Philly food team (along with food editor Ashley Primis, critic Joy Manning and a smattering of foodie staffers).

In our Best of Philly experience, it’s the hidden neighborhood gems that produce the best iconic Philly eats — which is why our research for those categories (we’re talking cheesesteaks, roast pork, water ice) is usually the most extensive. Rightly so: The steaks (sorry, couldn’t resist) are high in these categories; Philadelphians are passionate about their eats, and these are the foods that define us as a region.

So, this year, while formulating our eating plan, we had an idea: Why not reach out to our new foodie friends for some tips? (That’s you, btw.) As the team and I discuss our personal faves, scour the city’s food blogs, and make lots of calls, I’m asking you, Restaurant Clubbers, to weigh in. Where do you go for roast pork? Who beats out Jim’s and Geno’s in your book? Yeah, we all love Famous 4th Street’s chocolate chip cookies, but is there a hidden gem whipping out gotta-have-’em cookies in your ’hood?

Let’s hear your suggestions for cheesesteaks, roast pork hoagies, cookies, pretzels, water ice, and ice cream in the comments below (or e-mail me at bsalmons@phillymag.com) and we’ll get to tasting.

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  • Mackie

    I LOVE LOVE John's Roast Pork has awesome everything: cheesesteaks, roast beef, roast pork – all delicious. It has gotten a good amount of publicity, but for some reason I still know tons of locals that have never even heard of the place!

  • Lisa

    I love August. The food is delicious. The service superb. I don't have to pay to park, there are available spots on the street. It is close to the theater and the ball park. I can bring my own wine. It is great. I have never had anything but a wonderful meal.

  • Pat

    Fink's Hoagies of Northeast Philly is a hidden gem. They have a roast pork hoagie with fresh spinach, sharp (and yummily stinky) provolone with a garlic sauce all on a famous south philly seeded roll. They have recently added cheeseteaks to the menu which are tender and chopped (the only way to serve them) with your choice of melty cheese. They're homemade long hots and salads are like mom's. Check it out, you'll love it!

  • John

    I know it's no secret spot, hidden gem, trendy hotspot, or neighborhood secret, but the Pork Italiano with broccoli rabe at Tony Luke's is still just about perfect. Hey, you're underneath I-95! What could be more Philly than that?

  • Bridget

    best cheesesteaks in the suburbs- Pizza Time Saloon in Conshohocken

  • Susan

    THE BEST COFFEE IN PHILLY – HANDS DOWN.. Old City Blend – reg or decaf is the best blend… really hard to duplicate , roast their own beans.. . great breakfast food… chocolate chip cookes are amazing!

  • Brian

    The best pretzels in Philly. Not like those crummy dry ones you can buy on a street corner. They even started making pretzel sticks coated in cinnamon that tast like Philly's answer to the churro. Ole!

  • Brian

    The gotta-have-em cookies are the sugar and molasses ones at Tartes, the tiny pink bakery across the street from the Betsy Ross House on Arch between second and third streets. Granted the employees there are not as entertaining as the women at 4th St cookies…

  • Brian

    DiNic's is my go-to place for savory roast pork, broccoli rabe, and provolone. Paesano's does do a good pork sandwich too. Too bad nobody else in town serves up a pig like they do at the Italian Market Festival every year….then I'd be as big as one.

  • Kathy

    Having celiac disease and finding it really difficult to find good tasting snacks, I found these at Mugshots Coffeehouse in Fairmount and they are absolutely awesome. And they're vegan too! Looking forward to more stuff from this place.

  • Susan

    FABULOUS!!!! Fair Trade Locally made fudge, sauces, the CUPCAKES are the best in the city!!!! the Chocolate with the white frosting is the best. The FUDGE is the best in the city. Also serves to distribute locally made cheese and organic veggies but CHECK OUT THE CUPCAKES AND THE FUDGE!!!!! Small batches made on premises.

  • Susan

    Darlings Cheesecake is a genuine Philly Cheesecake. Much better, lighter than NY variety. REAL 2 locations I know of – chef harry is great also great chicken salad.

  • Susan

    Best Salads in the city – tastes better than I've ever had anywhere! Baked goods – best brunch – poached eggs florentine is best egg dish in town. Good for vegetarians, and meat eaters a like – not a bad dish in the house.

  • susan

    Wonderful Reuben – check out the deserts – chocolate suffle at a bar! and the pecan bar w/ice cream is great! Best bar in the neighborhood.

  • l

    Gayle just became a BYOB… and it is absolutely fabulous!

  • Mackie

    The Kitchen With out is Malvern has pretty phenomenal homemade cookies. It's a neat story too, apparently the woman that is "The Kitchen Witch" was a woman who was very successful in the business world, but simply got tired of her job and started this business. Great cookies, great story. I love everything about it.Here's a site, copy and paste it to check it out: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5958396#

  • Mackie
  • patti

    knotz in swedesboro has great pretzels! i love the "everything" knots. tuesday is $1 pretzel dogs.i always bring a platter to work on holidays, and they are gone before lunch. they als let kids twist their own pretzels!

  • Peg

    The BEST water ice in the city is John's at 7th and Christian Sts. in South Philly. The chocolate is to die for and it is the perfect ending after a Geno's Steak!!!!!

  • joe

    bayou bar & grill on main street in manyunk has the best wings in philly-they have won every award out there. only .20 on mondays & tuesday. the owner says he will have a wing off any place any time but no one has aswered his challenge

  • maryann

    Authentic food, fresh, interesting.

  • Todd

    Best Pork sandwich by far. Roasted suckling pig with broccoli rabe.

  • Joan

    True Roman style pizza by the slice "pizza al taglio" is being sold at North Philly's new Pizza Rosso. Besides being delicious and beautiful, the selection includes over 20 varieties at all times. Nowhere else can you get this kind of variety. The pizza is delicious and first rate. Chef owner Derek Davis figured it was time to upgrade what was available in the " hood." i figure just venturing into this neighborhood is noteworthy and certainly worth an award, regardless of its Broad and Allegheny location this pizza is worth the trip!

  • Eddie

    Marra's. Great food and great prices make you keep coming back. Entrees are great and pizza is unbeatable.

  • Mike

    The gelato made in this tiny cafe in Bristol rivals anything the city has to offer.

  • Mary

    Best pizza SliCE near the Italian market. Thin and crispy. Simply delicious!!!

  • Paul
  • Eric

    Fink’s has the best hoagies around hands down , they also have gourmet hoagies which are named after most of the neighborhoods in the Northeast.

  • Robert

    Would like to recommend The Cheesesteak Fcatory for your next Cheesesteak. They have a Salmon Cheesesteak to die for. They also have a Greek Cheesesteak with Tender lamb and Feta Cheese.

  • deb

    the best burger ever, anywhere…really a hot dog place…they are good too.

  • Deb

    Yo Dogs on Willow Grove Ave in Wyndmoor….amazing

  • debv
  • Anonymous

    Yo Dogs in Wyndmoor has amazing Hamburgers. They also offer the best Dogs in the city…Check it out you won’t be disappointed!

  • Anonymous

    Yo Dogs in Wyndmoor has amazing Hamburgers. They also offer the best Dogs in the city…Check it out you won’t be disappointed!

  • Holly

    Best around. You won’t eat another hoagie anywhere else.

  • DAN

    BREADBASTARD,A FROM-HOME BAKER IN MORRELL PARK, IS BY FAR THE BEST CHEESECAKE I’VE EVER HAD…ANYWHERE!!! HE IS A GENIUS!!! I’VE HAD MANY VARIETIES & LOVE THEM ALL. PROBABLY THE MANGO IS MY FAVE, BUT IT’S HARD TO SAY..KUDOS, JIMBO!!! AKA BREADBASTARD.

  • paganos

    I love pizza of Pagano’s Market. Pagano’s Market is one of Center City’s most reputable and well known Eateries and Caterers. It provides best pizza in Philadelphia. They also provide creative and affordable corporate catering services to the Greater Philadelphia area business community. Fore more information you can visit there website: http://www.paganosmarket.com

  • Gayle

    Best cheese steaks, best homemade chocolate chip cookies, best ruben sandwich…best of everything with fresh ingredients and served with South Philly hospitality!