The Food Lover’s Guide to Philly

From buying the best steak to assembling the perfect hoagie, here's everything you need to know to eat well in Philadelphia right now.

Philadelphia is just not like other cities.

In its neighborhoods, in its politics, in its characters, in its food, this town has never been an easy one to pin down. We don’t follow the well-trod path, the clearly marked route. Philadelphia isn’t a city where the sentence “Yeah, well, it’s just like in … ” is an easy one to finish with the name of any other major metropolitan area.

Inasmuch as Philadelphia is unlike other cities, so, too, are the ways we look at, speak of and think about food. To take a comprehensive view of food in and around Philly, what we needed was a different kind of food pyramid—one that didn’t just cover the basics of meats and greens and grains, but that gave hoagies, spaghetti and brunch their equal due. So that’s exactly what we did. We made a Philadelphian Food Pyramid and stuffed it full of everything that truly matters—from the sudden explosion of brilliant vegetarianism in Center City to the best desserts in town, from where to buy winter melons and pumpkin ravioli right now to expert opinions on the greatest cheeses of the moment. And it all begins right here. …

>>Need a T-bone? Maybe some pork shoulder? No worries, we’ve got you covered with our list of Philly’s greatest meat shops.

>>We didn’t forget you, veggie lovers—it’s not all about the meat, after all (just mostly). Grab your perfect produce from one of these vendors and get cooking.

>>It’s not a sub, or a grinder, or a hero. It’s a hoagie. And the best ones aren’t bought, they’re made with ingredients from these Philly shops.

>>Philly folks just aren’t content wit’ Whiz anymore. These days, we’ve gone sophisticated thanks to these fine cheese shops.

>>Don’t forget the fish! From the Feast of the Seven Fishes to Friday fish fries, Philly is a seafood city—and these shops are exactly why.

>>As Philadelphians, without pasta, we wouldn’t be able to make it through the day. Here, where to find the best noodles in the city.

>>It’s gotta be tough living as a vegetarian in a meat-loving city like Philly, right? Think again.

>>Where’s the best brunch in Philly? We’ve got all the greatest spots to get your mimosa fix, from Lacroix to Green Eggs Café (yes, even after the rats).

>>Don’t forget to end things with something a little sweet. Click here for the Philly area’s greatest candy shops—and the best treats they have to offer.