Web Original: Taste Daily: Critic’s Notebook: Philly vs. New York

I was recently compelled to take a short culinary vacation to Manhattan. New Yorkers may argue that their city is superior to ours in terms of restaurants and food (yes, this season of Top Chef was filmed in the Big Apple) but on my scorecard, Philly clearly comes out on top.


WE HAVE: Osteria, Marc Vetri’s fine dining pizzeria

THEY HAVE: Otto, Mario Batali’s fine dining pizzeria

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Even Mario says that Marc Vetri is the best Italian chef on the East Coast. Honorable mention for Otto’s wine list, but the Iron Chef doesn’t have to battle with the PLCB


WE HAVE: Capogiro, generally regarded as Philadelphia’s finest gelato

THEY HAVE: Il Laboratorio del Gelato, generally regarded as New York’s finest gelato

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Il Laboratorio lists some very interesting flavors on its site, but at the store last week there was nothing Capogiro couldn’t whip up in its sleep. Texture-wise, the two are on par, but for flavor, Capogiro trumps the too-sweet taste of Il Laboratorio


WE HAVE: Christos’ Falafel Cart, street food at 20th and Market

THEY HAVE: The Biryani Cart, street food in Midtown Manhattan (46th and 6th Avenue)

WHO WINS: New York

WHY: New York, I have to give it up for New York’s street food. The Biryani Cart’s Kati Roll boasts tender chunks of lamb dosed in a sweet-spicy sauce rolled into a soft Indian flatbread


WE HAVE: Parc, a fake French restaurant where you may see a celebrity

THEY HAVE: The Odeon, a fake French restaurant where you may see a celebrity

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Same distressed mirrors and yellow lights, but I saw world champion Phillie Pat Burrell at Parc and nobody of interest at Odeon

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Leon

    New York destroys philly in food and everything else. Get over your New York inferority complex philly will never rival New York in anything especially food. Ask anybody not from New York or Philly who have been to both cities who gots better food and New York wins. New York has the best Italian food in the U.S. better pizza than Italy!!!pizza,pastraimi,cheesecake,giros,delis,hotdogs, and the best chiefs in the world espeically for Italin food. Come to Eas Brooklyn!Stop lieing to yourself philly boy!!!!!


    New York pizza is the best everybody in America all over talks about it!!! If philly pizza is so good how come nobody in California or the South says I had good pizza in philly. I have never heard that in my life. You philly people live in your own world. Not in America. New York got Lombardis 1st pizza in American history, Goodfealls pizza, Grandpas pizza, and lets not even bring Brooklyn in this. Brick oven and Coal oven pizza is a New York thing. Your don't even know what that is philly boy. New York tap water is the best for pizza dough, Hudson River baby that the secret for New York! Not good for drinking but the best water for pizza in th world. Philly chessesteaks are overated, everybody from N.Y. knows a good chessesteak has provolone and mayo. On a soft sub roll. Carls steaks in New York is the best with BBs cheesteak speical New York chessesteak sause. New York wins again!!!!!

  • Taste Tester

    All of these statements are false. How come every major food show or food contest is in New York not philly?, why do cheifs from all around the world come to New York for cooking schools not philly?,why does every major food magazine in the world say New York is the best place for food? not philly,Go to other countries and they will talk about food in New York not philly, Nobody in the world know's philly for food they know New York which is worldwide in food and everything else. Most people in the world have never even heard of philly. Stop comparing your little city to New York thats stupid. Boby Flay beat your best chief in pretezles in philly and the judges were from philly, oh yeah Flay is from New York. Our New York chelf beat your best cheif in your city. Mulberry St. in Manhattan the best Italian food in America. In Italy they talk about food in New York not philly. Stop your lies !!!!

  • Taste Tester

    Philly chessesteaks are nothing special. I lived in south jersey for 16 years and have been to philly and your chessesteaks are the biggest lie ever told. Their is nothing special about a philly chessesteak. Pats, Genos, Tony Lukes I've had them all nothing special at all. Their is no special grill you make them on, no special sause,no spcecial roll,no special steak meat, and then you put cheese wiz on them in philly and now the whole thing tastes like chesse wiz. Chesse Wiz on a chesse steak thats nasty cheese wiz goes on nachos not a steak sandwich. I had a chessesteak at BBs in New York and its was better then anything I had in philly. Popi seed roll, and the onions were marinated in a onion sause they day before, plus they have a special chessesteak sause thats only in New York!!! Best chessesteak I had was in a pizzaria in Brooklyn with provolone and mayo. Great New York chessesteak the best in U.S.