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Where to Eat in Philadelphia

Of course it's almost mandatory that you get a cheesesteak at some point, but beyond Cheez Whiz, Philadelphia has a fantastic food scene covering a variety of styles, ethnicities, price ranges, and venues — from top chefs to family-owned businesses. While we have plenty of options on campus, don't forget about the plethora of culinary options just a few blocks or miles away.

Nearby — Fast Food

When you need to grab something quick, whether it's between classes, an early bite to eat, or a midnight snack, University City has plenty of restaurants to choose from. One easy place to visit that has a lot of variety is 30th Street Station. This transportation hub has everything from snacks to meals with restaurants that include Subway, Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, Milkhouse, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Bridgewater Pub, Au Bon Pain, Wendy's, Cosi, Saladworks, and more.

Nearby — Real Food

Sometimes fast food just won't cut it, and the Drexel area has a diverse number of options. Whether you're looking for a juicy burger, Asian fusion cuisine, a cup of joe for that caffeine buzz, or an award-winning breakfast or lunch, you can find it on campus or within a short walk away. No matter what your budget may be, you can grab a satisfying bite to eat near Drexel. If you're looking for addresses and more, check out the long list of restaurants on the University City District website.

Around Town

To say Philadelphia is eclectic is an understatement — when it comes to food, you've got your pick of the best. Famed restaurateur Stephen Starr set up shop in Philadelphia, and his restaurants span from burgers to beer halls to French cuisine, and plenty more. Plus, Iron Chef Jose Garces' restaurants offer everything from Spanish tapas to modern Mexican to classic American.

Those are just the big names. If there's one thing that's for sure, it's that Philadelphians have big opinions. Ask the locals for their thoughts about good eats, and they'll not only be happy to share their wealth of knowledge, but also explain why their favorite places are the absolute best places to go, from family-owned restaurants with long histories to small dive bars that have great food to the best dim sum in Chinatown. Trust us — Philadelphians know where to go. If you haven't had the chance to meet a local, check out Visit Philadelphia's list of restaurants.


Of course, you can't forget cheesesteaks. You can find Philly's big culinary claim to fame at plenty of places; here are a few of our favorites.

Pat's King of Steaks (1237 E. Passyunk Avenue)

Family owned since 1930; they claim that founder Pat Olivieri was the originator of the steak sandwich in Philadelphia.

Geno's Steaks (1219 S. 9th Street)

Son of the owner of Jim's Steaks, Joe Vento opened Geno's in 1966 directly across from Pat's (you'll know you're at Geno's when you see neon) because that's where people knew to go to get a cheesesteak. Thus was born the Pat's and Geno's rivalry.

Jim's Steaks (400 South Street)

Jim's has been in operation since 1939, opening its South Street location in 1976. Some say it's the best cheesesteak in the city.

Tony Luke's (39 E. Oregon Avenue)

This one is the original Tony Luke's location, now world famous.


Markets are unique visit destinations that foodies and just plain lovers of food can't afford to miss. Philadelphia has two major ones: Reading Terminal Market and the Italian Market. The 1.7-acre Reading Terminal Market has more than 80 merchant stands, so you're bound to come across something tasty. Take your pick of Amish baked goods, local produce, restaurants of every kind, flowers, fresh fish, meats, poultry, gourmet cheese, and more. The Italian Market has been in operation since the 1880s. There you can find open-air fruit, vegetable, meat, and fish vendors, plus specialty meat, pasta, cheese, bread, spice, and kitchen gadget supply stores.