Marathon Munchies: Where to Carbo-Load Before the Race

We've rounded up our favorite places to pack on the carbs before a big race. Here's to pasta, runners.

Are you running the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday? Congrats! You’re officially in the training homestretch.

If my calculations are correct, you probably finished the heavy-lifting of your training program last week and are focusing on fueling up your body right about now. If a pre-race carb-fix is in the cards, may we suggest one of the following Philly eateries? We asked our Foobooz writers to weigh in with their favorite spots for heaping plates of pasta. Here’s what they came up with.

412 S. 14th St., 215-732-2647

You can’t go wrong with a plate of pasta at a Marc Vetri joint. Our food staffers recommend the rotini with wild boar ragu and pears, but I’m eyeing the squash lasagna, too. Dietician Katie Cavuto Boyle green-lights the pappardelle with oyster mushroom ragu and, to start, the veggie-loaded eggplant caponata.

Cichetteria 19
267 S. 19th St., 215-545-0441

Our foodies advise going for the pasta of the day at the newly rebranded C19, formerly Cichetteria 19 in Rittenhouse. The menu changes based on what’s in season and what the chef can get from local farmers. Want to share? Order a few small plates—you’ll find lots of good veggie options—and share a pizza. The margherita and pomodoro spinaci and ricotta look especially race-worthy.

Garces Trading Company
1111 Locust St., 215-574-1099

The spaghetti vognole (tomato confit, chiles, mussels, clams) gets our foodies juiced, but other choices include pappardelle with lamb and peas, and goat bolognese. Cavuto Boyle reviewed the menu and gave a thumbs up to the verde pizza, too.

Il Pittore
2025 Sansom St., 215-391-4900

This Italian eatery is one of the newest in Philly, opening late last month. The pasta menu has nine options, but a word to the wise: I’d stay away from the ones drowning in butter and cheese; all that fat will slow you down on race day. Your best bets might be the tasty, simpler dishes like cacio e pepe, spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino romano (just tell them to go light on the cheese). And you could start with protein-packed beef and farro soup or lamb sausage with lentils.

Ristorante Tre Scalini
915 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-551-3870

What this place lacks in decor, it makes up for in taste. Chef-owner Franca DiRenzo is the real deal, serving up regional Italian dishes that harken her homeland in mountainous central Italy. Our foodies love her squid-ink pasta, but the menu also features polenta, seasonal veggies, fresh cheeses, veal and more. If the pasta doesn’t give you a good carb kick, fill up on the schiaciatta, a rustic Italian flatbread.

618 Collings Ave., Collingswood, 856-854-2670

This 35-seat BYOB in Collingswood, New Jersey, just opened, but our food staff gives it the pre-race seal of approval. Asked what they recommend on the menu, they answered, “All of it.” Pasta choices include tagliatelli di limone (housemade pasta topped with lemon and prosciutto or bottarga) and the clam-laced spaghetti vongole. Bonus: half-portions of pasta dishes are available.

Where will you be carbo-loading this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

>> See also: Seven Bars Near the Finish Line