Philadelphia is a city with a vibrant culinary history, from award-winning chefs to BYOB innovators. It is most famous for its cheesesteaks, but there are plenty of other delicious dishes to explore. From falafel to Malaysian cuisine, here are some of the best places to get a taste of Philadelphia's diverse food scene. Goldie is a great place to start for those looking for the best falafel in the city.
Instead of homemade dressings, they provide freshly made pita sandwiches and salads with all the necessary condiments. Everything on the menu is vegan, and they also offer milkshakes in unique flavors like Turkish coffee and bananas. Angelina Branca and her American-born husband John opened their BYOB satin store as a response to the decaying traditional food culture of her home country of Kuala Lumpur. Here you can find traditional skewers made with authentic marinades and caramelized on special coconut charcoal imported from Southeast Asia.
The menu also includes dishes like veal rendang and crab chili, as well as variations of laksa noodle soup. The Dutch is a joint venture between chefs JonCarl Lachman and Lee Styer that always seems flooded with sunlight. They serve regional dishes like eggs benedictine with bologna, as well as house specialties like Dutch Baby cast-iron pancakes. They also host occasional evening dinners with guest chefs taking over the kitchen.
Kanella Grill is a popular midday spot for locals and hospital employees alike. Chef Konstantinos Pitsillides brings a touch of Cypriot flavor to Washington Square West with pork, lamb and fish kebabs served with fresh rice, side dishes and salads. The Mediterranean menu also includes falafel, hummus, tabbouleh and more. For Italian cuisine, Philadelphia has some of the best restaurants in the country.
You can find regional dishes from Piemonte, Emilia-Romagna and Campania, as well as more exclusive Mexican restaurants like El Vez in Midtown Village and Mission Tacqueria in Center City. Taqueria Feliz in Manayunk and Cantina La Martina in Kensington are two of the newest additions to the city's Mexican food scene. Fish lovers should check out Salmon Cafe, which has been open since the 70s and serves some of the freshest seafood in town. The family behind Salam Cafe has further energized Philadelphia's dynamic Ethiopian dining scene with Abyssinia in West Philadelphia serving up meat or vegetable trays perfect for trying various dishes.
Zahav is one of Philadelphia's main sources of pride when it comes to Israeli cuisine. Chef Eddie Konrad's tasting menu is vigorously American in its break with cooking conventions, making every dish more exciting as you eat it. What makes Philadelphia's food scene so special is how communities from all over the world keep their nuanced cuisines intact over generations and thousands of miles. This inspiring act of resilience and perseverance can be seen in many of the city's top 50 restaurants. From Goldie's vegan falafel to Kanella Grill's Cypriot kebabs to Zahav's Israeli tasting menu, there are plenty of delicious dishes to try in Philadelphia.