10 Philly Food Experiences to Share With Dad This Father’s Day

From putt-putt and beers to fancy steak dinners, here are some creative ways to take Dad out on the town.

Libertee Grounds / Photograph by Gab Bonghi

Consider this your official reminder that Father’s Day is coming up and it’s time to make a plan. The playbook for Mother’s Day is pretty defined (brunch, anyone?), but for Father’s Day, you can get a little wilder. Maybe your dad (like mine) wants to go for a hike paired with a fun lunch? Maybe he wants to spend some quality time with you in a spot that’s a little bit of drive? Or maybe he’s a steak guy, in which case you should take him somewhere he can eat a nice piece of red meat. Whatever your dad’s style, we’ve got a recommendation for you. These are the best meals in Philadelphia for Father’s Day 2024.

Dads golf for free at Libertee Grounds, Fairmount
For fathers who want activities and beer, I recommend Libertee Grounds, where you can drink locally brewed beers and eat actually very good bar food before playing a couple of rounds of putt-putt. Let your dad win, or bring the whole family and duke it out for bragging rights. On Father’s Day, dads get a free round. 1600 West Girard Avenue, suite C5.

Steak dinner at ForsythiaOld City
Steak dinner for Father’s Day is extremely classic, and Forsythia is doing a special menu to make it feel even more special. If your dad is a Francophile — or just really likes truffles —  make a reservation for Forsythia’s Frenchified steak night, which will include a Creekstone ribeye with chartreuse Béarnaise and a special Plaid Old Fashioned featuring bacon-washed bourbon, smoked simple syrup and homemade pine bitters. The special menu will be available Friday through Sunday of Father’s Day weekend. 233 Chestnut Street.

A Phillies game and a Juana Tamale hot dog, East Passyunk
Maybe your dad loves hot dogs. Maybe he loves the Phillies. Maybe he just loves a deal. Whatever the case, picking up a bunch of $1 hot dogs at Juana Tamale and then taking SEPTA two stops south to the stadium would be a nice way to spare your dad the pain of paying full price for a Citizen Bank Park hot dog. 1941 East Passyunk Avenue.

best roast pork sandwich philadelphia

John’s Roast Pork / Photograph by Jason Varney for Visit Philadelphia

John’s Roast PorkSouth Philly
John’s Roast Pork is the Father’s Day meal for dads who love Philadelphia nostalgia, big sandwiches, and maybe want to also do a project. Grab a roast pork and a Coke on your way to Home Depot or Lowe’s. 14 East Snyder Avenue.

Steakhouse Classics Night at River TwiceEast Passyunk
If your dad wants steak but thinks of himself as a little more adventurous, make a reservation for River Twice’s steakhouse night, where they’ll be doing a $95 per person four-course dinner with a blue crab salad, shells and cheese with St. Malachi, dry-aged NY strip with cauliflower gratin and sauce forestière, and butterscotch pudding with salted bourbon caramel for dessert. There will be a few add-ons as well. 1601 East Passyunk Avenue.

Porchetta sandwich at Porco’s, Grad Hospital
My dad is always excited when I go out of my way to take him to a “hole-in-the-wall” spot that he wouldn’t have otherwise known about. Porco’s is a particularly good example of that because it is literally a hole in the wall, a window cut into a big industrial building on Washington Avenue, out of which you can be served a porchetta sandwich, some of the best soft serve in the city, or any number of truly excellent pastries. It’s fun to go, but note that there’s nowhere to sit, so picking up a spread for a picnic is the way to go. 2204 Washington Avenue.

Sweet Amalia Market & Kitchen, Newfield
One thing I can say without a doubt is that all my dad always wants from me is a little quality time, and there’s no better way to spend quality time than in the car on the way to Sweet Amalia, where you can have platters of barbecued oysters, sandwiches stuffed with fried clams, and fresh seafood to take home for later. 994 Harding Highway.

An assortment of pastries from Machine Shop. / Photograph by Kae Lani Palmisano

Breakfast at Machine ShopEast Passyunk
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and bringing excellent pastries from a busy bakery (and thereby saving someone the hassle of waiting in line) is a very nice way to express your gratitude. Machine Shop’s pastries, both sweet and savory, are creative and precise. There’s usually at least one seasonal fruit item and something with a jammy egg, and you should really get both. 821 Dudley Street

Bishos and a hike, Northeast Philly
One of my favorite ways to pass a beautiful day is to drive up to Fox Chase and get a falafel rice bowl or beef and lamb rice bowl from Bishos, a Middle Eastern restaurant that also happens to serve one of my all-time favorite beverages: the lemonana, a frozen mint lemonade that is so bright and fresh it once cured my seasonal depression in the middle of January. I’ll take it to the nearby Pennypack Park for a picnic and then a hike. It’s a laid-back, casual way to spend a lot of quality time with someone I really love, which makes it a perfect Father’s Day activity. 7950 Oxford Avenue

Cleo BagelsWest Philly
Dads love bagels and coffee. Cleo serves some of the best bagels in the city, with fun sandwiches like their Ramen Thing, which has a marinated egg, braised bamboo, house-pickled ginger, seaweed crisp, togarashi mayo, toasted ground sesame and scallions. Bonus points if you include an hour or two of people watching in Clark Park while you savor your bagels. 5013 Baltimore Avenue.