More Of The Best Soups In Center City: Readers Edition


A few days ago, we posted a list of some of the best soups in Center City–a perfect little thing for a gray, cold day. But almost as soon as it went up, readers started commenting with places that we’d forgotten. And since the first post was never meant to be anything like a canonical list, we’ve decided to expand it here with reader suggestions–plus a couple of extra places that we just love.

So first, I finally got the chance to stop by the new(ish) Hippot Shabu Shabu, which opened a couple months back in Chinatown. I have two things to say about it right off the bat…

Thing 1) If you haven’t been there yet, go now. Like today, for lunch or dinner. It’s slick and shiny, the staff is incredibly helpful even if you have no idea at all what you’re doing, and the food is awesome–giant, steaming vats of hot broth on tabletop burners are perfect for a cold, crappy day.

Thing 2) How is it that I’ve gone through my whole life up to this point without ever having fried tofu skin? Hippot serves big, curled sheets of it, like wisp-thin chicharrones, that you dump into the broth to soften and then eat like taking a big mouthful of slightly crunchy (but also soft and broth-dripping) roti. I could seriously eat this stuff every day for a week and be perfectly happy. (though I certainly wouldn’t turn up my nose at the beef tenderloin, either).

Granted, Hippot serves some other weird stuff, too (pig tongue, chicken hearts, duck feet, frog), but no one’s making you order that. Go there. Check it out. Get an order of the fried tofu skin (I think it’s called “tofu sheet” on the menu) and whatever else your weird little heart desires (including SPAM), dump it in the broth and just instantly get happy. Trust me.

Okay, now onto some other soup-related business.

Though not in Center City, Soup Kitchen Cafe got more than one shout-out in the comments, and we have to agree. Soup Kitchen does some of the hands-down best soups in the area (which, you know, they ought to, since it’s in their name and all. Would be weird if the best thing on their menu was, like, cheeseburgers), and heading out to Kensington on a cold day is well worth the added time, whether you’re getting the shakshuka or any of the daily-rotating soups on their list.

As for reader suggestions? We’ve got a bunch of them, all seconded by someone here on staff.

Vijay reminded us about Terrakawa Ramen in Chinatown, which I can also wholeheartedly recommend.

PHL Transplant mentioned the potato soup at For Pete’s Sake, and Art seconded.

Grocery does three soups daily and rarely has a bad one. Thanks to Jeff for the reminder.

In Clined has a fondness for the snapper soup at Oyster House–a regional dish that can be tough to find these days (though, allegedly, Garces is going to have it on the menu at Olde Bar at Bookbinder’s).

Lynn suggests the lamb and beef soup at Xi’an Sizzling Woks, which Trey would certainly agree with.

Soup Lover brings up the bacon and brussels sprouts soup at Eat-A-Pita, and Art agrees–bad name, but a surprisingly good restaurant.

Jessica S says to go for the Senegalese chicken soup at Good Karma Cafe, and it sounds interesting enough that we’re temporarily considering 22nd and Pine to be part of Center City.

And finally, Drew comes through with two suggestions: the French onion soup at Le Cheri (seconded) and the New England clam chowder at Seafood Unlimited, which none of us have any experience with, but we’re taking Drew at his word here.

So that’s our list for today, folks. If you have to be out there in the wind and the weather, now at least you know a few places you can go for a warming bowl of something delicious. As for me, I’m probably headed back to Hippot for more tofu skin.

Best Soups In Center City, Part 1 [f8b8z]