Anthony Bourdain Confirms That Philadelphia Is At The Top Of His List For An Upcoming Episode Of No Reservations Or The Layover

A few months back, we told you about how Philadelphia was finally on Anthony Bourdain’s radar as far as being the subject of or destination for an episode of one of his two shows on the Travel Channel, No Reservations and The Layover. This, after Marc Vetri took to Twitter to pitch Bourdain on shooting a show in Philly.

Well, there’s an update. Anthony Bourdain and his No Reservations crew were at South By Southwest this week for a panel session about the show and during the Q&A portion, Bourdain was asked if there is somewhere he wants to do a show that he hasn’t yet. His answer: Philadelphia.

Eater has the quote:

On where [Bourdain] wants to do a show but hasn’t yet: “I’m looking to figure out a really good way to do a Philadelphia show. Haven’t done it yet. I’m still looking for a hook, you know, a way in, an angle. There always has to be something, sometimes it’s a nonsensical thing. But Philadelphia is an example of a city we’ve neglected.”

So there you have it. Anthony Bourdain is on the record saying he wants to do a show here in Philadelphia. He’s just looking for the right angle.

Perhaps you can help him out. We know Uwishunu readers love Philadelphia and are full of potential ideas for an episode.

Bourdain loves a good narrative. He wants to tell a story during the course of one of his hour-long episodes, one with a thematic connector that actually relates significantly to the place he’s talking about.

So what could the story be for Bourdain in Philadelphia?

Let us know what you think in the comments. Or better yet, take to Twitter or Facebook and tell Anthony yourself.

Anthony Bourdain at SXSW: Just the One-Liners [Eater via Eater Philly]

Philadelphia Now On Anthony Bourdain’s Radar For No Reservations And/Or The Layover


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  1. I would think a neighborhood tour throughout Philadelphia would be a great hook. Our neighborhoods are so diverse, and each one has it’s own unique food culture. That would avoid the traditional cheesesteak theme that most out-of-towners opt for.

  2. How about the evolution of Philadelphia’s food scene? We’ve gone from a depressed wasteland to an environment boasting great diversity, quality, and availability – not to mention one of the best beer cities in the USA. Check out Philadelphia Brewing Co, GreensGrow Farms, all the bars featuring high-quality food and beer, the huge BYOB scene. Not to mention the continuing quality of old standards – Reading Terminal and the Italian Market.

  3. That’s a tough one to tackle. It’d be interesting to see him hit up Olney, Mayfair, and the other neighborhoods, but I’m anxious to see Philly get some credit for being more than cheese steaks and pretzels. Every time I go to the northeast to visit my in-laws we hit up center city first and I always pass some new place I want to eat at. Maybe he should hit up Madame Fromage, she’s a great cheese blogger, but she seems to really know where to eat too.

  4. Revitalization of some of our neighborhoods might also be a great hook – areas like Norhtern Liberties. Great food scenes and fun destinations like beer halls and the Piazza. There would be plenty to work with.

  5. a real tour of the restaurants that make philly great. NOT a tour of the Starr, Garces and other corporate giants that have invaded and taken over the city. the small, byob’s that philly locals love.

  6. I like what Dean said and he could also take a historical tour by carriage with me and throw in the incredible history this town has!

  7. Not sure if someone mentioned it in a previous comment, but Reading Terminal Market should without a doubt be one of his stops.

  8. The best hook for him would be for him to start the show with his thoughts on how he thought Philly was just about cheesesteaks and now we’re a thriving food scene.

  9. As a former resident, the thing I miss most about Philly are the BYO’s. I think you could do an entire show on that alone.

  10. He’s gotta stop at Friday Saturday Sunday in Rittenhouse – 37 yrs ago 6 friends threw their savings each in a hat and started this fantastically cozy, hip, and friendly restaurant. They’ve had to seen it all and there still here serving up great fare and good drinks at non-Rittenhouse prices.

  11. I like the idea of him tackling some of the stereotypes of Philadelphia food and then disproving them by visiting some of our many wonderful restaurants. I too would like to see him stay away for all the typical spots that everyone knows: Starr, Vetri & Garces. They have more than enough attention. Instead I’d like to see him focus on BYOB’s and some of our lesser known restaurants like Bibou, Le Virtu, Figs etc. Let’s see really good, imaginative chefs highlighted on national TV.

  12. What about all of the farm to table restaurants? There are so many fantastic ones that have been popping up in recent years that can definitely compete with some of the US’ best places

  13. I agree with the comments about the ever-evolving BYO scene here. We have many friends from all over the country that visit, and they are very impressed by the great quality. Perhaps a visit during beer week also?

  14. 2 words: ITALIAN MARKET
    when I first moved to the Italian market, the first thing I thought to myself was “why hasn’t Anthony Bourdain been here, its the most european area of Philadelphia!”

  15. also I’d love to see his take on Port Richmond and the authentic Polish food that has been abundant in that area for so long!

  16. A good one would be about the Jazz Scene…about how all the great players are from here, surrounded by thta philly vibe…unfortunately all the Jazz Venues have now since taken a dive…not too many places to play, yet so many killer musicians. Let alone the food, the jazz music scene could use a push.

  17. How about a round thru some of the summer time block parties. Show the ethnicity, foods and cultures from all around. And in the process show the development of the city and all the revitalized areas! And no cheesesteaks or pretzels…

  18. vetri, vetri, vetri. maybe alla spina? they have many pork offerings and, as we know, bourdain is pretty big on pork.

  19. also, having a cheesesteak wouldn’t be so terrible. even though i don’t necessarily find them to be appealing, they are a huge part of philadelphian culture and are one of the few late-night food options. yes, it is incredibly stereotypical, but they are famous for a reason! also, philly has one of the best beer scenes in the country. he should grab an infamous cheesesteak after a long night of drinking at one of our many bars with a vast selection of beers. federal donuts for breakfast.

  20. really he needs “an angle” to do a show in a city DEFINED by food…I have traveled the world and very few other cities are so closely identified by food…the home of the hoagie, the cheesesteak, the Italian Market, Reading Terminal Market & WING BOWL for god sakes and he cant find “an angle” cmon….just show up

  21. I say Lancaster, Amish produce then seguay to selecting the best cuts and produce at Reading Market terminal, then finish off with an awesome family sit down home made Sunday dinner.

  22. Would love to see no reservations concentrate on the cultural aspect and markets and the layover with the historical sites beb franklin and the museumlove the history and science

  23. He should hit up Manayunk. The bustling hub of the 21-29 year old scene and some good food too.

  24. I love the ideas of a neighborhood tour, with all this city’s great history, especially nieghborhoods like fishtown, liberties, kensignton, etc. that have gone through extreme changes through the years. The byob scene is a great idea too.

  25. Big fan of the farm to table idea, and would love to see his take on the whole artsy hipster scene in fishtown/NoLibs and the corresponding food/beer culture that goes along with that. Also the drinking scene here in Philly would go nicely with what he’s been doing on the Layover. Plenty of gastropubs as well as higher end cocktail joints (hello, Franklin Mortgage???) for him to get sloshed at. And I will be damned if he doesn’t make a stop at federal donuts.

  26. He should go to Chinatown and get the tsa ja mien. Or taiwanesenpork noodle. Whatever you want to call it. Saads in west Philly, dock street, Italian markets, little fish, standard tap, reading terminal, some coffee spots like la colomb too.

  27. Take Bourdain on a tour of the underbelly. He seems like someone that could appreciate the grittier side of life in philthadelphia. As much as i would like to see him stray away from the heavily beaten cheesesteak path i feel that he must go to pat’s in fear of him going to Tony Luke’s, Geno’s or camp’s. lets face it if he’s on a major television network and touring philly he’s going to be munching on some steaks. give him a tour down south, take him to the market on 9th and let him go on a little rant about our mob history. Then take up to center city and walk him around china town. I’m sure they could think of some artsy details to find about our town. Looking forward to watching this episode.

  28. Show subject? Easy… Philadelphia as modern American city of haves and have nots. Philadelphia includes the hungriest congressional district in America. How do they eat? What do those grads looking for jobs eat (recall that Inky “dashed dreams” article)? Mexican/Asian restaurants in South Philadelphia Italian market? Whaa?? (English only, please) Juxtapose that against the culinary and cultural renaissance here: Begin with Le Bec fin (old money Philadelphia) and its new owner changing things; Vetri, Garces… The Barnes move (art of the steal, etc). Philadelphia is a world of vast contradictions and that plays out well in the story of our cuisine. There’s no better American subject than Philadelphia; as much as I enjoy Samir (he’d love Northeast’s stolovaya set), you wouldn’t need to bring him along for a “fish out of water” hook. ;-)

  29. I need to stay away from South st, the trash that is pat’s and Geno’s (I think they make them too quick and have lost the flavor), if he must get a cheesesteak I recommend my personal favorite of Shank’s. I really think he will like John’s in south philly and for a nice restaurant go to XIX or Le Bec Fin. They is tons of little places in Fairmount around Eastern State prison and Tony is a guy that would probably get a kick out of see Al Capone’s cell.

  30. I’m not going to provide any actual restaurants but as many have on here have mentioned- neighborhood hopping would be perfect.

    I would also like to insert Northeast Philadelphia. They have a HUGE Russian and Indian population. Must have some good eats.

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