UPDATED: Philadelphia’s Best (And Worst) Zombie-Proof Restaurants
UPDATED: Oh, yeah. It’s Halloween. And what does Halloween mean around Foobooz World HQ? A fresh update to the list of the best and worst restaurants in Philadelphia for witnessing (and surviving) the inevitable zombie apocalypse. For the past couple years, we’ve occasionally trotted this one out as a helpful guide for those of you who plan on weathering the horde from the comfort of a bar stool. And so, without further ado, Philly’s most (and least) zombie-proof restaurants.
So I’ve been thinking (as I often do) about the inevitable zombie apocalypse. And when I get to thinking about the inevitable zombie apocalypse, my thoughts often turn to practical questions like: When the worst finally happens, where would I hole up for a final drink? Or, when feeling somewhat less fatalistic, what restaurants in Philadelphia would be best for weathering an invasion of the undead?
True, none of the poor saps in World War Z seemed to fare very well during the zombie-related destruction of Philadelphia (except Brad Pitt, who had access to a helicopter and the phone number of a dude who could, you know, call him a motherf#@&ing helicopter), but that doesn’t matter. World War Z was not a good movie (which is a shame, because the book was awesome), and I have more faith in the drunks and fun-hogs in the City of Brotherly Love than the director did. Thus, as a public service, the Foobooz Zombie Defense Working Group has come up with a list of the
six seven best restaurants in Philadelphia for witnessing (and possibly surviving) a zombie attack–plus a list of the places you definitely do NOT want to find yourself when the walkers come.
Philadelphia’s Most Zombie-Proof Restaurants
Important safety tip: Zombies don’t take elevators. Luckily, you–with your un-gnawed digits and fully-functioning frontal cortex–can. Zipping up to this second floor Italian steakhouse will lift you out of any immediate danger and also offer you a fine view of 17th Street while knocking back double-whiskeys at the bar.
111 South 17th Street
When the end truly comes, I call dibs on this place. 19 stories up, accessible only by elevator and with a commanding view of the Philadelphia skyline (and streets far below), a lovely bar, steak frites, shrimp cocktails with Bloody Mary cocktail sauce and patio seating hundreds of feet above the zombie-clogged streets? It’s perfect.
200 South Broad Street
All those things I said about 19? They go double for R2L. Being on the 37th floor puts a lot of distance between you and the brain-eaters on the street. Plus, a lobster paella and some stuffed potato skins with bacon will certainly make the evening pass more pleasantly. The only problem? I’m pretty sure zombies can smell bacon from a long way off…
50 South 16th Street
A beautiful view of Broad and Locust, ideal for watching the world end. And the 100 different beers and dozen tapped kegs don’t hurt either. Again, this place gets you up off the ground (always a bonus, even if it’s only the 2nd floor), but really makes the list for its central location and immediacy to places like my office.
1345 Locust Street
Okay, so I’m just saying that if you’ve got to go, there are worse places to spend your last night on earth, right? Plus, holing up at Lacroix has a few advantages beyond the contents of the coolers, bar and wine cellar. First, the stairs with their weird height changes and broad sweep will likely slow the zombies down some (uncoordinated critters that they are). Plus, the lack of handrails across their width means that if I’m being chased, it’s that much easier for me to push you down (first rule of zombie survival: I don’t have to be the fastest guy out there, I only need to be faster than you). Beyond that, there are doors that can be closed, windows that can be covered. And since it can be tough to find the entrance to the place even on a perfectly normal, non-zombie-filled Friday (unless you know where you’re going), I like my odds of beating the horde.
210 West Rittenhouse Square
The Rooftop Lounge At Continental Midtown
I’ve spent enough time watching the zombies downstairs at the Continental. Now we can all watch them from the safety of the roof while we drink gin and eat giant plates of shoestring fries with Szechuan mustard. Also, I’m pretty sure the outdoor part of the lounge area is big enough for a helicopter to land once we move all the tables and twinkle-lights out of the way, and isn’t that how these movies always end? With the dashing food editor and his friends scrambling aboard the last helicopter out of town just as the zombies swarm over the walls? Well that’s how the movies always end in my head anyway…
1801 Chestnut Street
The Deck Bar at The Corner Three reasons why I like this place as a bar of last resort. One) As previously stated, zombies are less fond of stairs than Chris Christie and my grandma. Two) Killer fried chicken and Carolina pork BBQ croquettes. Three) I like my odds when I’m holing up in a place where the chef’s nickname is “Chainsaw.”
Sadly, The Corner has closed. It has been replaced by Mamou. And Chainsaw’s spot behind the stoves is now being filled by chef Paul Martin. But still, I do like me some Cajun food. And the upstairs space has now been turned into a whiskey bar with outdoor seating for 35. So what’s not to like? Welcome to the list, Mamou.
102 South 13th Street
George Sabatino just opened his new restaurant in the window-y, second-floor space that used to be home to Noche. And while, despite its elevated location, Noche never made this list (mostly because I didn’t want to spend the end of the world at Noche), I’m including it now for two very important reasons. First, the bar stocks Bulleit bourbon and rye. Second, even being the kind of sedentary prick who gets paid to eat dinner, I can still run there from my office.
1901 Chestnut Street
Special Bonus Section: The WORST Bars and Restaurants in Philadelphia For Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
Sugar Mom’s, 12 Steps Down, Franklin Mortgage, Luke’s Lobster or any other basement bar/restaurant
Have you never seen a horror movie? Being in a basement is the worst possible place to be. Sure, it might look good in the panic of the moment–one door, no windows, easily defensible and, in many cases, very well-stocked bars–but once you’re inside, there is no way out. So what are you going to do once the whiskey is gone and you’ve eaten all the bar snacks?
Again, it seems like being on a boat would be the best possible solution to the problem of an undead invasion. And when that boat also has a restaurant inside it and a fully-functioning charcuterie operation? A double win, right? Wrong. Though the notion of just casting off the ropes and sailing off into a better future might appear workable, anyone who has read World War Z will tell you different. Underwater zombie attack on a Chinese submarine? Awesome. Floating zombie attack on a booze-filled party barge? Less awesome.
It’s still a fucking Olive Garden. Even at the end of the world, a man has to have some standards.
Every tourist in the city at any given moment knows the precise location of exactly two things in Philadelphia: the Liberty Bell and Federal Donuts. Delicious as the donuts might be, you don’t want to find yourself in that kind of crowd.
Foobooz Founder Art Etchell’s Apartment
Though a veritable wonderland of fancy cheeses and rare beers, Art is very fond of shotguns and keeps a sharpened hockey skate tied to a long stick by his bed at all times just in case of zombie attacks. Also, there’s this: