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Anthony Bourdain-Inspired Philadelphia Itinerary

Go beyond “The Layover” with an alternative weekend in Philadelphia

Anthony Bourdain in Philadelphia filming "The Layover." Credit: Travel Channel


It took nine seasons of No Reservations and one season of The Layover on the Travel Channel, but Anthony Bourdain finally made the trip to Philadelphia, eating and drinking his way through the city’s diverse neighborhoods along the way.

In honor of his Philly-centric adventure, we’ve put together a Bourdain-inspired weekend itinerary that takes you through a few spots Anthony missed, but would have loved.

View the listings below to begin your Bourdain-inspired adventure. Click the buttons (in blue) to proceed to the next day.

Friday 7pm

13th Street Eats

Noticeably absent from Bourdain’s trip was the restaurant empire on 13th Street created by Chef Marcy Turney and her partner Valerie Saffron. Being a lover of all-things Pork, Tony would have been right at home at Jamonera, a Spanish wine bar specializing in small plates and cured meats. For a sweet finish to your meal, head across the street to Barbuzzo for a salted caramel Budino.

105 S 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Friday 10pm

Irish Eyes

The night is young and the beers are cold at Philadelphia’s excellent dive bars. Head down the Sansom Street and grab a pint at Fergie’s Pub, a pleasantly dark Irish pub with an impressive bottle selection. Further west across Broad Street, the dingy red door to Oscar’s hides old school charm, cheap drinks and endless stories.

Fergie’s Pub
1214 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Friday 11:30pm

Late-Night Special

Citywide special anyone? The Pabst beer-inspired decor of Bob and Barbara’s on South Street is the perfect place to listen to live music late into the night with a beer in one hand and shot in the other.

1509 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Friday After Midnight

Beyond Midnight Snacks

It’s late and you’re starved. Your best bet is to head to David’s Mai La Wah in Chinatown, a favorite for locals and late-night partiers for its satisfying plates of noodles and no-nonsense service. Not to mention they are open until 3am.

1001 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Saturday 9:45am

Hair of the Dog

Strong coffee is needed this early in the morning. La Colombe in Rittenhouse will satisfy your need for caffeine with their world-renowned roasts and attention to brewing the best cup of coffee possible. Grab your cup and head out into the fresh air to explore the fabulous shops and sites of Rittenhouse Square.

La Colombe
130 South 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Saturday 10:30am

Turn the Page

While they don’t have a 40-pound colon seen during Anthony’s trip to the Mütter Museum, the Rosenbach Museum and Library does have an original manuscript of James Joyce’s magnum opus Ulysses, which is celebrated each year during the museum’s annual Bloomsday festival. Bonus: The Rosenbach’s collection also features notes and an outline from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

2008 Delancey St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Saturday Noon

International Hoagies

Philly is a sandwich town and it goes far beyond cheesesteaks (as Tony pointed out). Located on the edge of the Italian Market, Cafe Nhu Y has a selection of delicious (and addicting) banh mis – otherwise known as Vietnamese hoagies. Cheap and tasty, it’s the perfect pit stop.

802 Christian Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Saturday 12:45pm

Just Dessert

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in the right part of town. Isgro’s Fine Pastries has been producing mouth-watering desserts for more than 100 years. Choose from a staggering display of cookies, tarts and traditional Italian sweets, including cannolis which are hand-filled to order.

1009 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Saturday 1:30pm

Historic Stroll

Walk off your sugar rush with a brisk visit to Philadelphia’s historic district, located just a few blocks away from the Italian Market. It’s worth a quick stroll past Independence Hall and a glance the Liberty Bell. Take note: the nearby President’s House is line-free and outdoors.

6th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 3pm

Break Time

There’s nothing wrong with a little mid-day rest. Take a nap at your hotel or head to one of the Ritz Movie Theaters for a relaxing afternoon of international and domestic arthouse films.

400 Ranstead Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Saturday 6:30pm

Pork, Pork and More Pork

Time to eat. Head north up Broad Street and begin your evening at Marc Vetri’s ode to the Italian beer bar, Alla Spina. Housemade pretzels with beer cheese, mortadella hotdogs and, depending on the chef’s menu at the time, a whole-roasted pig’s head are just a few of the amazing eats available. Wash it down with a few Italian brews on tap.

1410 Mt. Vernon St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Saturday 8:30pm

Kick Out The Jams

Philly is packed with live music venues, so why not catch a show at Union Transfer in the city’s Callowhill neighborhood or head under the tracks of the El for an intimate dance party at Kung Fu Necktie.

1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Saturday 11pm

Bring Quarters

It may be too “hipster” oriented for Tony’s taste, but the Philly-outpost of Barcade Brooklyn-born bar featuring craft beers and vintage arcade games–is a great place to decompress after a few hours of loud music. For a quieter evening, head to The Druid’s Keep, a hole-in-the-wall in Northern Liberties that is short on pretension and big on affordable drinks.

1114 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Saturday Late-night

Cart Attack

In the early morning hours there’s one thing that always seems to satisfy: meat in tube form. Often found in Northern Liberties until 2:30am, the Dapper Dog has a constantly rotating menu of fantastic hot dogs, including Chicago-style, Chili-Chz and The Mack–a regular hot dog gratuitously slathered with mac-and-cheese.

2nd and Poplar Streets
Philadelphia, PA 1913

Sunday 9am

Nuts for Donuts

Mmmm. Donuts. The brainchild of Chef Michael Solomonov, Federal Donuts cranks out hot, fresh donuts dusted with exotic spices and sugars and sweet-topped fancies with rotating flavors like white chocolate pretzel and spicy peanut butter and jelly. Plus, they serve a serious cup of coffee. For those who sleep in, Federal Donuts begins serving some of the city’s best fried chicken at 11am.

1632 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Sunday 10am

Get to the Parkway

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is one of the most museum-dense miles in the country with The Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, The Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art all within walking distance. Take a few hours and explore.

16th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA

Sunday 1pm

Last Meal

For your final meal, head to the Reading Terminal Market. A food lovers paradise, the Market is packed with international cheeses, fresh-baked desserts, unique ingredients and fantastic foods. The roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s Roast Pork and Beef is a must-try, garnering the award for the best sandwich in America in 2012.

12th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107



Streets and Dive Bars of Philadelphia


By foot in Center City; by taxi, Septa or car for locations beyond


Three days and two nights.

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