We here at Foobooz certainly enjoy Philadelphia’s food scene but that doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally roll our eyes at some of the other dining room’s tables. Here is our list of the thirteen kinds of diners you’ll find in Philadelphia. Who do you recognize, what behavior are you guilty of?
Compiled by Isabelle Gallicchio, Ela Torres and Alex Tewfik
1) Starr Enthusiasts
To them, Starr always delivers a value—even if it’s a costly one. They love compliments, they like to show off, and they drive red convertibles.
Where You’ll Find Them:
- In Philadelphia: Il Pittore
- In New York: Buddakan
- In Florida: Steak 954.
Catchphrase: “Give me Stephen Starr or give me starrvation.”
They’re regulars at Vedge and probably have a shrine to Gwyneth Paltrow in their kitchen. They swear kale chips are better than Cheetos (pro tip: they’re not).
Where You’ll Find Them: Clogging the lines at HipCityVeg or Trader Joe’s.
Catchphrase: “I just feel lighter, you know?”
3) The Comparers
Overheard at a.bar slurping down oysters and discussing why El Celler de Can Roca lost its first place title to Noma. Do you think anyone in Philly forages like Redzepi?
Where You’ll Find Them: Volvér
Catchphrase: “I disagree. To me, Noma’s lunch was better than el Bulli’s dinner.”
4) The DIYers
The over-eager restaurant goers who explain that they could, like, totally make this appetizer. And maybe even add a few spices? Yeah!
Where You’ll Find Them: Trying to get into the kitchen to chat with the chef.
Catchphrase: “I saw Nick Elmi do this on Top Chef.”
5) The Winos
You can find them stocking up at the local Wine & Spirits before dinner. They carry their own wine key and always finish the bottle.
Where You’ll Find Them: East Passyunk Ave.
Catchphrase: “Can we have a different glass for our red?”
6) The Cheesesteak Snobs
They’re right, you’re wrong, it’s a fact of life. There’s no way your palate is even comparable to theirs, and even if it is, “it just isn’t.” It’s their world, you’re just living in it.
Where You’ll Find Them: John’s Roast Pork, D'Alessandro’s, Steve's.
Catchphrase: “I’ll take a good roast pork and broccoli rabe over a cheesesteak any day.”
7) Suburbanites Who Instagram the Entire Meal
A readjustment of plates, a quick flash, and a peek to see if anyone saw—these are the tell tale signs that a Suburbanite-Who-Instagrams-The-Entire-Meal is in your presence. Be warned: they usually travel in packs.
Where You’ll Find Them: El Vez, Continental, and Amada (when the ‘rents are in town)
Catchphrase: “Do you think this looks better in Valencia or #nofilter?”
8) The Center City Sips Crowd
If you ever need a reminder as to what day it is, just take a peek into any bar. If it’s overly crowded with 20-somethings (plus a few outliers: underage kids and too-old-to-be-there adults), it’s Wednesday and the Center City Sips Crowd is out for some cheap drinks and a fuzzy Thursday morning.
Where You’ll Find Them: Anywhere with $5 cocktails, $4 wine, and $3 beer.
GUYS: “Bruh, I only drink craft.
*to bartender* “Magic Hat, please.”
GIRLS: “Hey girrrrl!”
9) The Reminiscers
These are the diners who long for Bookbinders soup and the golden days when Georges Perrier was still cooking (and relevant).
Where You’ll Find Them: Staring into the windows of Avance, day dreaming of the greatness that once was Le Bec Fin.
Catchphrase: “$18 for broccoli?!”
10) The Locavores
They know the pet-names of at least five pigs at their local farm. They take part in a CSA, a cow share, a lamb share, a chicken share, a beet share, and volunteer their time to (at least) one of the city gardens on the reg.
Where You’ll Find Them: Farm 51, Greensgrow, Urban Gardens, Green Aisle Grocery
Catchphrase: “Only $18 for broccoli!”
11) The At-Home Mixologists
They only stock top-shelf liquors, they've got more bottles of bitters than they do knowledge of bitters, and after promising you “Hop Sing Laundromat’s Montana Payback”, ten minutes later, all you’ll want is a Miller High Life.
Where You’ll Find Them: Dinner parties.
Catchphrase: “Honey, could you grab me some eggs?”
12) The Brownstoners
These people have tiny noses and even tinier glasses. They never leave the safety of their beloved neighborhood because, to them, no neighborhood worth going to starts with the word “Fish”.
Where You’ll Find Them: Eating breakfast at Parc.
Catchphrase: “Do you take AMEX?”
13) Craig LaBan Disciples
What Craig says goes.
Where You’ll find them: Checking their Inquirer app every Saturday night, while sitting in last weekend's LaBan-reviewed restaurant. Then, via-OpenTable, making their next Saturday reservation (depending on the bell-count).
Catchphrase: “He gave them two bells, but it read like a one.”