Philly is the Late-Night Capital of the US

According to the September issue of Esquire, Philadelphia is the Late-Night Capital of these here United States. The issue’s late-night eats guide contains essays about the difference between truck stops and diners, the glory that is poutine (I’d say we agree), and tons of recipes for manly food to be eaten in the wee hours of the morning. Esquire even lists all the best late-night foods from all over America– from egg rolls in Chicago to fried chicken in Louisville– but without mentioning a single food from Philly. Why? Because we got our own article about why we’re the best ever, that’s why.

Esquire’s guide to the Late-Night Capital of the US starts in Northern Liberties.

If Philadelphia has a late-night strip, it’s the bike-racked, dog-friendly stretch between retro-artsy North Third and retro-woody Standard Tap, each less than twenty years old and both already institutions in a town where a legacy is typically measured in centuries.

The article goes on to call out Khyber Pass Pub’s awesome po’boys, David’s Mai Lai Wah in Chinatown for their pork dumplings, and McGillin’s Olde Ale House for just being great. Good Dog Bar gets a mention for their old-school feel and Kennet gets a shout out for their toffee pudding. Royal Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos, South Philadelphia Tap Room, and Grace Tavern continue the guide to after-hours grub while Memphis Taproom and Sidecar Bar’s classic bar food round out the list.

And as if all this Philly-lovin’ wasn’t enough, Esquire takes time out to call Brooklyn pretentious. Congratulations Philly bars and restaurants for keeping us full and happy throughout the night. And for being better than everyone else.

Esquire Names Philly the “Late-Night Capital of the United States” [Philly Post]

The Late-Night Capital of the United States [Esquire]

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  • Steve

    Pretty cool….now if only we could have a cool food blog that actually talks about the great variety in this city other than kissing the @sses of Vetri/Alla Spina, Le Bec Fin, Hop Sing, etc. With the exception of Aubrey, who consistently writes excellent articles and shows off the city’s variety, Foobooz is a joke and does not do the scene any justice

  • The Realist

    No Esquire, it’s not. It’s painfully, painfully not.

  • Steve

    Clearly Esquire has not been in center city where there are barely any options to eat after 11pm on a weeknight. Oh well. I still love that Philly is getting national press for positive things.

  • charllliee

    i gotta say as much as i love seeing philly get recognition, it seems like esquire is kinda biased towards our city. i mean best night food or whatever?? seems a little far fetched. i also remember an article in esquire ranking philly as the 4th best beer city when practically every other publication out there didn’t even have it on their list. not saying it doesn’t somewhat deserve these accolades just saying it’s odd that it’s always esquire magazine giving them out.

  • The Realist

    I think it’s just one Esquire contributor who lives here… write what you know, I guess!

  • Alex

    To be fair Steve, most Philadelphians don’t stay in Center City after 11 PM period. Plenty of good restaurants in CC but way too many CC bars cater to tourists and suburbanites. It’s the neighborhoods on the periphery of CC and beyond that really offer the best drinking and late night options (E Passy, S. Philly in general, Grad Hosp, No Libs, Fishtown, and, if you don’t include it in CC, Chinatown). I’d say Philly has a major deficit when it comes to very late night (past 2 AM) eats but our city unfortunately doesn’t stay open late like NYC so there’s little chance of that until transit and bars extend their hours.

    And Charlliee, I’d say Philly is undoubtedly a great beer city, certainly the best on the East Coast. Whenever I have friends from NYC, DC, and Boston come down they’re amazed at the variety of beer we get, not to mention the prices, where a pint of Victory here costs less than a pint of Miller in Boston. Not saying it’s the best in the country as I’ve heard good things about the SF, Portland, and Denver scenes but certainly a beer town worthy of praise.

  • Dan

    First, we are nowhere near the best late-night food city in the country. To confirm this try getting a hoagie after 10 pm on a Monday. Good luck. Best gastropubs? Maybe.

    Second, we are the best beer city in the country. I have spent considerable time in all of the places mentioned, and only Brooklyn holds a candle to the variety we have. In this town, you must have at least 6 quality revolving taps to even consider yourself a bar, unless you are a complete dive. My friend who recently moved from SF can also tell you, SF has plenty of California beers, but not nearly the variety of international and national selections we have. Portland and Denver have many more brewpubs than we do, but they also suffer severely from a lack of variety. Brooklyn has similar variety, but at almost twice the price and most of the best beer places (Brooklyn Bowl, The Gate, Mugs, d.b.a., etc.) have mediocre food.

  • Shut It

    Hoagie at 10pm on a monday: Old Nelson

  • barryg

    Old Nelson, Jim’s, Ishkabibble’s, Wawa… outside of CC, Tony Luke’s…

  • buffet

    Philly is not late nite food town unless you go to china town, I moved here 12 years ago from NYC . it was frustrating to find something to eat after 9pm back then now your luckafter 11pm. NYC, San fran, Boston, LA, Chicago, all places you can get great grub as the sun is coming up , philly not even close, be honest ,
    Even shake shack in NYC stays open till 2am in nyc, philly closed by 10pm

  • Shut It

    Point Breeze area is starting to open up. Broad Street Diner sucks. Wish something would clear zoning, or whatever, at the boot and saddle.

  • Tex

    This article must be based on the unstated recognition that Pat’s and Geno’s are open 24 hours a day.

  • Jimmy

    The Realist – What does “painfully not” mean?

  • Dan

    Haha, kool aid drinkers. The deli is closed in most Old Nelson’s at 10. Wawa blows and there are what – 2 of them in the city proper? Jim’s and Ishkabibbles are places that are in one area across the street from each other. Sorry, not walking 10-20 blocks for a sandwich at 10 on a Monday and shouldn’t have to in “the late night capital of the U.S.”

  • upallniteynite

    Philly has some damn good night dining options, that doesn’t mean that the city has to offer you whatever you want, whenever you want and absolutely wherever you happen to be to be deserving of the title. Were talking about good food here people, not just feeding random hunger you can get to in your pajamas. How spoiled do you want to be? Maybe the late night capitol of the U.S. is the White House. That Jeff Bridges president could order crazy anything in “The Contender”. I bet he could have even asked for a hoagie from Philadelphia.

  • barryg

    All this really is anyway is a recognition that we have a lot of good gastropubs. Philly isn’t a 24-hour city.

  • Brian

    You walk 20 blocks to Ishkabibble’s. I’ll stick with Little Pete’s.

  • Warren

    While I love Philly and glad for the accolade, it’s simply not true. Most of the city still closes up early and weeknights are particularly embarrassing. NYC this is not.

  • Richard

    What? Is this a joke. Recently at 10pm on a Saturday night after Vietnamese dinner tried for coffee. Not a single place was available! The town was DOA!!!