8 Things to Eat and Drink in Philly Right Now

Corned beef on rye at the Rooster. | Photograph by Alexandra Hawkins

1. Corned beef sandwich at the Rooster

Michael Solomonov’s for-good-not-profit eatery Rooster Soup Co. has rebranded as the Jewish deli — with booze, l’chaim! — of our dreams. The menu has all the greatest hits: whitefish on a bagel, corned beef on rye, and a matzo ball soup that’s so good, it’s offered to-go by the quart.

1526 Sansom Street, Center City.

2. Fried chicken French toast at Café Lift Narberth

Let’s get back to that in a second. This new suburban version of the city institution gets a major upgrade with a full bar, kombucha on tap, dog-friendly outdoor seating, fresh-made pastries, and, yes, a deep fryer, which it’s taking full advantage of.

724 Montgomery Avenue, Narberth.

3. Monica wine at A.Kitchen

Think you’ve had every kind of red out there? You have not. Monica is a grape from Sardinia that maker Cardedu turns into a wine that lives somewhere between heavier rosé and tangy pinot and is as dangerously drinkable as an All Day IPA.

135 South 18th Street, Rittenhouse.

4. Oat milk draft latte at La Colombe

Last year, La Colombe pivoted away from almond milk. (When it comes to saving the planet with plant-based milks, turns out the almond alternative isn’t so great — so oat milk became the thing.) And now there’s the oat milk draft latte: the same creamy caffeinated goodness on tap, sans the guilt.

Multiple locations.

5. “Cheat-Ohs” ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream

The Cheetos-flavored soft-serve that’s rolled in Cheetos dust is just a riff on the Frosty/fries combo — junky and strange, and weirdly good. But that’s not the point: It’s Trump! On a cone!

1351 South Street, Bella Vista.

6. Purple Rain at Ox Coffee

The lone drink special at this purist coffee atelier — dreamed up by employee Isabel Soto — falls well within its ethos. A dash of berry syrup is added to iced coffee, shaken hard (so there’s a nice foam), and topped with mint. Don’t panic; there’s still no wi-fi.

616 South 3rd Street, Queen Village.

7. Chucken burritos at Honest Tom’s

The evolution went something like this: One of Philly’s first bougie food trucks eventually got a storefront and, after a few successful years, decided to go entirely plant-based. Freak-outs ensued. But trust the process: The chucken burrito has roasted chickpeas, plantains, and all the guac and pico you need.

261 South 44th Street, University City.

8. Matzo Project chips at DiBruno’s at Carlino’s Specialty Foods

Established in 5775 (that’s 2015 for gentiles) by camp friends who wanted to improve the matzo, these light, baked chips have finally made their way to Philly. They’re snackable, good with cheese, and dangerously habit-forming — especially the “everything” flavor.

Philly and Ardmore.

Published as “The Menu” in the 2018 September issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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