First things to try in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the most important cities in America, and it’s a must-visit for history buffs. For foodies and adventurers, it’s also a great place to try new cuisines.

A trip to the City of Brotherly Love isn’t complete without trying one of the famous Philly cheesesteaks. Whether you like it with cheese wiz or fried onions, a Cheesesteak is something you can’t miss!


The first thing most people think of when they hear the word Philadelphia is cheesesteaks. And it’s not just a joke: Cheesesteaks are an iconic sandwich that traces their roots to a local hot dog stand in the early 1900s.

While most of the best cheesesteaks in town come from Pat’s and Geno’s, there are several other spots worth checking out. And while everyone has their favorite, it’s a good idea to try a few different places to get a feel for the city.

If you’re looking for a new twist on the classic sandwich, try the brisket cheesesteak at Mike’s BBQ. They use a unique blend of cheese, smoked brisket, and fat, fried onions to create a cheesesteak that’s more indulgent than what you’ll find in most other places.

Located in a quiet neighborhood in South Philly, this tiny barbecue place has limited hours but is well worth the trip. Its brisket cheesesteak is unique because the steak is chopped up finer than most other places in the city, so it comes out minced instead of chewy like some others do. The fried onions are also pretty tasty and a nice change from the traditional cheesesteak toppings you’ll see most places serve.

Sourdough Pizza

Whether you’re a pizza connoisseur or just trying it for the first time, Philly is undoubtedly home to some of America’s best slices. Old-school Italians and inventive newcomers alike are making drool-worthy pies that rival some of the best in the world.

From regional specialties like tomato pie and the pizzaz (American cheese, sliced tomatoes) to uber-Italian wood-fired Neapolitan pies and Roman al taglio, Philadelphia’s pizza scene has something for everyone.

One of the newest additions to this legendary pizza lineup, Benny’s makes super fresh square (well, actually rectangular) pies in a ghost kitchen near the zoo. They put a lot of attention into their dough, and it’s very delicious.

This Fitler Square pizzeria and natural wine bar offers irresistible shareable sourdough-crust pizzas alongside inspired snacks and small plates. The naturally leavened pies, blistered in the wood-fired oven and topped with zesty gremolata and housemade stracciatella, make this spot an ideal casual date night destination.

Indian Food

You might have heard of cheesesteaks, but Philadelphia is also home to some truly amazing Indian food. From spicy chicken tikka masala to vegetarian paneer masala, there are plenty of delicious options you’ll want to try in the city.

You don’t have to worry about the flavor being too intense at Indian restaurants in Philadelphia, as they often use spices that are more subtle than those used in American cuisines. That means you can eat all of your favorites and not have to worry about feeling sick from the heat.

The best thing to start off with in Philly is a sundal, a sweet and protein-rich snack made with lentils, legumes, and rice flour. It’s a fun and easy way to get your fill of the protein you need without going overboard.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s JG Skyhigh Lounge

Among the most impressive and innovative restaurants in Philadelphia is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s JG SkyHigh Lounge, which resides on the 60th floor of Philadelphia’s new Four Seasons. The slick, modern architecture and the quadruple-height ceiling (which you have to fight back vertigo to walk up) aren’t just a visual treat for guests; they also give the place a sort of minimalist luxury that Philadelphia has never seen before.

Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges has partnered with Four Seasons for his Philadelphia debut with Jean-Georges Philadelphia on the 59th floor and JG SkyHigh on the 60th. James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Vernick is part of the culinary team, spearheading Vernick Fish, a modern American oyster bar that’s open to the street and Vernick Coffee Bar, an upscale cafe and barista bar.

From power breakfasts to sophisticated dinners, Jean-Georges and Vernick are bringing Philadelphia’s culinary scene to the highest level. The property’s dining options are a must for locals and visitors alike.