On a recent trip to Philadelphia, every place I ate seemed to invite a comparison to the Chicago restaurant scene. As I matched up places to familiar spots, I realized this may be a handy way for people to look for places to eat in the City of Brotherly Love. Here’s part one of my dining adventures out East…
If you like Chicago’s French Market, make a stop at Reading Market Terminal…
Our train station/eating extravaganza is a polite, dainty cousin compared to the Philadelphia experience. Fish mongers, organic farmers, and chocolate-covered onion purveyors duke it out in a raucous visual and culinary battle for your senses. There is something for everyone here, and you only have to fall off the train to get it. If you’re tired of the calm in Chicago, go sit next to the Philbert pig statue with an obligatory cheese steak sandwich and wonder why our train station can’t be fun like this.
Reading Terminal Market
51 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2954
If you like Cyrano’s, then try the cuisine at Parc…
Expect tiny tables, cozy fare and home-made bread at this French bistro located on Rittenhouse overlooking the park. There’s an emphasis on fresh seafood at Parc, and the staff is happy to share the provenance of any dish you have questions about. I’m still raving about the scallops I tried here, and the black cod was also outstanding. There are also plenty of traditional French dishes on the menu including pomme frites, escargot, and coq au vin. It’s a reasonably priced taste of Paris, at about $40 per person.
227 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Miss Chicago’s cupcake trucks? Track down Buttercream!
Philadelphia’s Buttercream cupcake truck works the same way that Chicago’s trucks do. Look up the schedule via their Twitter account and hope they don’t run out of the good stuff before you get there. Buttercream carries at least two fancy flavors on the truck as well as the usual standards. My big regret I wasn’t there for the egg nog buttercream, yum!
$2 for standard cupcakes, $3 for fancy.
Special thanks to Theresa for being my guide to Philly! I’m willing to come back and eat any time.