Philadelphia chefs and restaurants are being showcased on the silver screen, with TV hosts like Rachael Ray and Anthony Bourdain filming in town, and star chefs like Jose Garces and Kevin Sbraga calling Philadelphia home. (Photo credits, clockwise from top left: courtesy Chopped All Stars, courtesy Eater Philly, courtesy Top Chef, courtesy Rachael Ray Show)
Philadelphia has a solid place on the national radar when it comes to food and drink.
Just this week, Saveur Magazine declared Philly to be the East Coast’s most exciting emerging food town.
And, as we told you yesterday, Esquire just crowned Philadelphia The Late Night Capital of the United States. Pretty awesome.
Not only has Philadelphia gained print fame but many national food shows are also showcasing our city as a delicious dining town by filming segments and entire programs about the region’s top restaurants, dishes and expert chefs.
And the fame is only just catching fire. Keep an eye out while you’re channel surfing for more Philly features. (Anthony Bourdain, we’re looking at you!)
Check out Philadelphia’s camera-ready restaurants, dishes and chefs, below:
As Seen on $40 a Day
Rachael Ray and the crew of her budget travel show found plenty of delicious bargains for their buck at these Philly eateries.
• Villa di Roma: Right in the heart of the Italian Market, Deluca’s Villa di Roma serves everything from appetizers, salads and pasta to seafood, sausage and steaks–all fresh and affordable.
• Jim’s Steaks: For a Philly classic at an incredible price, look no further. The long-time favorite Jim’s Steaks is well worth the often out-the-door line. This famous cheesesteak joint has been serving Philly for over 70 years and has multiple locations throughout the city.
• Down Home Diner at Reading Terminal Market: Located right inside the bustling Reading Terminal Market, Down Home Diner cooks up authentic home cooking with a Southern twist. Think soups, salads, bacon, scrapple, sausage, eggs, fried chicken and pulled pork. They now also offer to-go options.
• Shane Confectionery: Savory would be nothing without the sweet. Taste some of Philly’s most decadent treats at Shane Confectionery in Old City. Don’t forget to stick around and watch Shane candies being made right inside the shop. Bonus: they’re featured in Philly 101!
As Seen on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
Guy Fieri makes several Philly stops in his signature convertible for highlights on this Food Network favorite.
• Silk City Diner: Although it’s technically only a diner in neon name only, Silk City’s duck-confit spring rolls, pulled-pork empanadas and shrimp-and-crab pot stickers made for crispy golden highlights in a 2008 episode.
• Memphis Taproom: Always worth a special visit are Philly’s extraordinary gastropubs. The Memphis Taproom episode showcased the excellent kielbasa plate, fried chicken and pork belly watermelon salad.
• Good Dog Bar: A stop at Good Dog had Guy Fieri praising the truffled cheesesteak empanadas. This cozy Center City bar offers an incredible drink selection along with mean bar fare, not to mention a whole wall of framed pictures of pups.
• The Dining Car & Market: Homey eats take a star turn on the show, and Northeast Philly’s The Dining Car & Market’s chicken croquettes stole the spotlight for a segment.
• Honey’s Sit ‘N’ Eat: Fieri also showed lots of love for Honey’s Sit ‘N’ Eat. This Northern Liberties Jewish/Southern breakfast spot offers an affordable (and delicious!) daytime meal with latkes to spare.
As Seen on The Best Thing I Ever Ate
It’s the ultimate guide to the country’s most amazing meals, eats, and treats as told by the biggest food stars and chefs who spend their lives obsessing over food.
• City Tavern: Where else can diners get West Indies Pepperpot soup with beef, taro root and greens? Adam Gertler raved about this specialty at Philly’s historical eatery City Tavern in Old City.
• A&M Halal Truck: Robert Irvine was enamored with the singular falafel omelet at West Philly’s A&M Halal lunch truck, and thanks to him, the Middle Eastern taste sensation located at 31st & Ludlow Streets got its 15 minutes of television fame in the Hidden Treasures episode.
• Vetri Restaurants: With a worldwide reputation for excellent Italian cooking, Marc Vetri’s restaurants have made especially photogenic and delicious candidates for the show, including the margherita pizza at Osteria and the chef’s pasta tasting menu at Vetri.
• Starr Restaurants: Stephen Starr’s restaurants have been prominently featured on television time and again, from Continental Restaurant + Martini Bar’s crispy calamari salad, Parc’s mashed potatoes and The Dandelion’s fish and chips.
• Lolita: The show homed in on Chef Marcie Turney’s Mexican-style tiramisu at Lolita, a Mexican BYOT (tequila) spot on the always-packed 13th Street in Midtown Village.
• Ms. Tootsie’s: Nobody does fried chicken like Ms. Tootsie’s, so no surprise, then, that the show featured the South Street soul-food hotspot on one of its episodes.
• Sarcone’s Deli: A Philly institution, Sarcone’s Deli serves up some of the city’s best hoagies, including the Junk Yard Special (turkey, prosciutto, sautéed spinach, roasted peppers, sharp provolone mozzarella, vinegar and oil).
Read on for more nationally-recognized restaurants and chefs from our very own city.
As Seen on The Rachael Ray Show
• Barbuzzo: Chef Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo serves Rachael a fresh beet salad, with local goat cheese and salt-roasted golden red beets, right at the Barbuzzo bar herself.
• Famous 4th Street Delicatessen: Rachael takes a stop at the Famous 4th Street Deli, and who can blame her? With a huge selection of overstuffed deli sandwiches, this signature deli knows how to serve you a quick, cheap and delicious meal from the corned beef hash to the potato latkes to the chocolate chip cookies at the very end.
• Distrito: This pink and green modern Mexican creation from Jose Garces make the list on Rachael’s places to visit. Distrito offers a delicious selection of Latin cooking from traditional guacamole to ceviche. Expect a tequila list longer than the wine list. And if you’re lucky, you can dine in the white car right by the window.
• Lorenzo’s Pizza: Surrounded by the Italian Market, Lorenzo’s Pizza was Rachael’s go-to for trying a quick, cheap and authentic slice. Their old fashioned, boardwalk style pizza have even won them a “Best of Philly” title.
• Sketch Burger: Fishtown’s Sketch Burger knew how to serve Rachael an incredible burger, especially since we’re the #2 best burger city in America. They also offer seitan and vegan options. Don’t forget to leave without drawing your own sketch. You might end up seeing it in the Sketch Gallery.
Local Gems, Oddities And Challenges
• Johnny’s Hots: Every city has its own frankfurter topping. The Hungry Detective tracked down the inimitable Philly-style fishcake hot dog at Johnny’s Hots and enjoyed every bite.
• Franklin Fountain: Brothers Eric and Ryan Berley of The Franklin Fountain served up one of their gigantic Mt. Vesuvius sundaes (vanilla and chocolate ice cream, brownie pieces, hot fudge, malt powder and whipped cream) to Adam Richman in a memorable Man v. Food showdown.
• Jake’s Sandwich Board: The 5 Lb. Philly Challenge—a two-foot steak, brisket or pork sandwich, four soft pretzels, an entire box of Tastykakes, two dozen peanut chews and a Champ Cherry soda consumed in 45 minutes or less—is the subject of Jake’s Sandwich Board’s recent appearance on Outrageous Food.
• DiNic’s at Reading Terminal Market: Philly takes their sandwiches very seriously. So serious, in fact, that Adam Richman of Man v. Food fame made a pit stop for the delicious roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s at Reading Terminal Market for his newest show, Best Sandwich in America.
• Flying Monkey Bakery at Reading Terminal Market: Outrageous Food also visited Flying Monkey Bakery in Reading Terminal Market to sample the larger-than-life Pumpple Cake, a pumpkin pie and an apple pie baked into a chocolate-and-vanilla layer cake with a thick coating of buttercream.
• Questlove’s Fried Chicken: Definitely an oddity in its own right, Questlove’s fried chicken made national television fame when The Roots member challenged Momofuku chef David Chang to an epic fried chicken battle on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. While his “Love Drumsticks” are only available at food festivals and private parties, according to Bon Appétit, we’re hoping they’ll become a Philly staple soon.
• Jose Garces: With a gaggle of successful restaurants in Philadelphia (Amada, Tinto, J.G. Domestic, Chifa, Village Whiskey, Garces Trading Company and Distrito) Garces made a fierce rival on Iron Chef, defeating Bobby Flay in a 2008 episode in which melon was the featured ingredient. He became the sixth Iron Chef in 2009 after beating Jehangir Mehta. More recently, he’s wielded his knife on Chopped All-Stars.
• Michael Solomonov: It was Philly versus Philly when Solomonov faced Jose Garces on Iron Chef in 2011. He made a Zahav-style creation, a fresh chickpea falafel with passion fruit and amba. While he didn’t win, he garnered a whole new audience of fans. Since then he has kept plenty busy with Percy Street Barbecue and Federal Donuts and gained a bit of Uwishunu Philly 101 fame, too!
• Kevin Sbraga: Sbraga certainly made a stir on Top Chef season seven, winning the whole contest and going on to open his own Broad Street restaurant, the eponymously named Sbraga. Don’t forget to catch him on our very own Philly 101 series here.
• Lasheeda Perry: Pastry chef and Philly native Lasheeda Perry brought her magic to the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia’s Fountain Restaurant before sugarcoating the judges on Sweet Genius this past spring.
• Peter McAndrews: Paesano’s owner Peter McAndrews pit his namesake sandwich (brisket, fried egg, horseradish mayo, peperoncino, sharp provolone, roasted tomato) against Bobby Flay’s brisket grinder on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Naturally, the Paesano creation won. Meet him and see him in action here.
• Tony Luke: Luke also battled on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, pitting his South Philly namesake restaurant’s famed aged rib eye cheesesteak against the host’s sirloin version. Tony Luke’s also faced Pat’s King of Steaks in an epic Food Wars cheesesteak competition. In the end, the King retained its crown.
• Joey and Lou Campanaro: Brothers Joey and Lou Campanaro of The Village Belle in Queen Village went head to head against another team of brothers, Iron Chef Marc Forgione and his brother Bryan, on Iron Chef America.
• A Cupcake Wonderland: As three-time contestants on Cupcake Wars, the team from A Cupcake Wonderland has proven a formidable opponent, winning the day with creations like mango-coriander pound cake cupcakes with mango chutney filling and sweetened condensed milk whipped cream. Delicious!
Spot any of your Philly food favorites on the tube? Give us a heads up in the comments.