Philly is known as the City of Brotherly Love, and I enjoyed every year of living in the 215. I decided to share some of MY favorite places to visit while in this eclectic city ranging from brunch to dinner time.
Cafe Lift - This BYOB cafe serves breakfast every day from 8 am - 3 pm and gets packed early. If you come here, you have to get the Challah French Toast (BEST FRENCH TOAST IN PHILLY), Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, or the Sausage Frittata. This restaurant is a cash-only spot as well, but there is an ATM on location.
Sabrina's Cafe - With four places in the city regardless of where you at you will be able to try their French toast that is stuffed with Cannoli Cream, fruits, and other goodness. The menu does change from time to time but the stuffed French toast is a staple along with the Barking Chihuahua. Think of this dish as poached eggs meet burrito. This is BYOB spot so bring your own booze.
Green Eggs Cafe - This brunch spot is known for their diverse menu but the Red Velvet Pancakes is what everyone is ordering. Some of my personal favorites include The Kitchen Sink and Shrimp & Grits.
Jack's Firehouse - Directly across the street from one of the most popular penitentiaries this restaurant serves a diverse brunch menu, killer bloody marys, and some of the best outdoor seating for prime people watching.
Max's - This place not only served as a location scene for the movie Creed, but is also home to the BEST cheesesteak in Philly. For many Philly natives such as Meek Mill and Kevin Hart this is their go-to. Their half cheesesteak is enough to feed two people, and full cheesesteak can feed a small village. The bar attached to Max's is called the Eagle Bar, and serves up some of the strongest drinks. Order the Smooth B***h, order a cab, and thank me later.
Jimmy G's - Looking for a quick grab and go or something open late then this is it for you, and the Old Bay fries are delish.
Ishkabibble's - This cheesesteak establishment is located on South Street and is a must if you are in the area.
Honeygrow - Great fast causal spot where you can grab customized stir-fry or a salad bowl.
Golden Cuisine - This place is my guilty pleasure since it is your ordinary take-out Chinese food, but it reminds me of back home (STL).
Federal Donuts - Known for their made to order HOT donuts this Philly favorite then, later on, added fried chicken to their menu and it has been a hit with many. With several locations throughout the city, you have no reason for NOT experiencing this donut oasis.
Rita's Water Ice - Imagine if a slushy and Italian ice got together and had baby. They would create this cold Philadelphia treat.
Oscar's Tavern - This dive bar located in Center City does not have the visually appealing decor, but you come here for the strong long island and cheap drinks. In this bar, you will see every walk of life from a bunch of suits to your ordinary Joe.
Hop Sing Laundromat - This unmarked speakeasy is a great place to grab some crafted cocktails if you can follow the house rules such as no talking on the phone or taking photos.
Manayunk Brewery - Sushi, Pizza, and Craft Beer. What an interesting combination but this is a sure-fire way to make everyone in your party is happy with the menu.
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company - Speakeasy, unmarked entrance, and a dapper doorman is a precursor to a good time.
Writer’s Block Rehab - This library-themed bar is an excellent place to grab a drink with friends.
R2L - From the 37th floor of 2 Liberty Place you can see a span of 40 miles out. Making reservations for this place is a must and window seating fills up fast. R2L serves traditional foods but with a spin of creativity in presentation. I highly recommend paying attention to the dress code of business casual to avoid being turned away.
Han Dynasty - With 9 locations throughout Pennsylvania and New York City, this is the birthplace of this Szechuan establishment. Eater listed them as one of the 38 essential restaurants in Philadelphia. My personal favorites include the pork dumplings in chili oil, Dan Dan noodles, Dry Pot, and Kung Pao.
Devon's - Upscale seafood grill located in Rittenhouse Square is the sister restaurant to Bristols (but WAY better). They have a happy hour that includes bar food specials from Monday through Friday from 5 - 7 pm. My favorite entree is the Seafood Mixed Grill! It includes shrimp, scallops, salmon, crab cake, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. If you can finish this entree, I will be impressed, but I recommend leaving room for their delicious creme brulee.
Rose Tattoo Cafe - This beautiful American fare restaurant has a 2 level green room that is perfect for an intimate dinner. Upon entering the restaurant, you get a chance to take a gander at their desserts that are available for that day. Their carrot cake is something I dream about to this day.
Dasiwa - This BYOB sushi spot has over 20 types of unique house rolls. The quaint restaurant has about 10 or so tables, so I highly encourage a reservation. Dasiwa is very close to the Philadelphia art museum and makes a great dinner selection after indulging in the arts.
Imperial Inn - No bells and whistles and just good sit down Chinese food located in Chinatown.
Reading Terminal Market - This indoor market is one of the oldest farmer markets in America. Here you can grab a soft pretzel, Amish fried chicken (don't ask questions, just do it), candy, Chinese, and a cheesesteak.
City Hall - This point within the city that separates north and south. There is also an ice skating rink when weather permits.
Bus Tour - This is one the best ways to see a significant amount of the city with 29 different stops including Betsy Ross House, Chinatown, Penn's Landing, Art Museum, and Love Park. This tour is about $30 but will pay for itself in terms of transportation and unlimited pick up and drop off locations.
King of Prussia Mall - The largest mall in America by square footage.
African American Museum of Philadelphia - This museum is open Wednesday through Sunday until 5 pm.
Philadelphia Art Museum and Rocky Steps - 72 steps to the east entrance of one of the largest art museums in America is what is also known as the Rocky Steps. The Philadelphia Art Museum is so large that your ticket purchase allows you a 2-day entry.
Eastern State Penitentiary - This place was once home Al Capone, and turns into a haunted house during Halloween.
Feel like I left off your favorite place in Philly? Drop it in the comment section below.