A busy morning of sightseeing in Philadelphia’s Historic District can easily work up quite the appetite. If your visit leaves you near the Liberty Bell Center at lunchtime, a wide selection of nearby eateries in Philadelphia’s Old City invite you to relax and refuel.
Between 2nd and 8th streets and Walnut and Market streets, you can grab a deli sandwich from the food court in an American landmark, chow down on a traditional Philly cheesesteak, opt for a chef-driven, sit-down meal in an elegant setting or choose from a number of other top-notch eats.
Whatever the rest of your day has in store, be sure to take a moment to recharge with a delicious bite from one of these local eateries.
Sonny’s Famous Steaks serves up popular, made-to-order cheesesteaks (with a variety of cheeses and toppings) as well as rib-eye burgers, cheese fries, onion rings and more. Large parties can reserve tables in advance, making Sonny’s a convenient and affordable option for group dining.
Where: 228 Market Street, Philadelphia
In between sightseeing, partake in another essential local leisurely pursuit by enjoying an authentic Philly cheesesteak or hoagie at Campo’s. The popular spot, which originally opened in 1947 as a small grocery store and luncheonette, sources its rolls from Sarcone’s, the celebrated bakery in South Philly.
Where: 214 Market Street, Philadelphia
Stroll from the Historic District through Washington Square to Talula’s Daily, a casual cafe from the team behind the well-known dinner destination Talula’s Garden (located next door). Patrons can enjoy a selection of fresh pastries, salads, sandwiches and gourmet items in the quaint dining room or take their food to go for an al fresco picnic in the park.
Where: 208 W. Washington Square, Philadelphia
Locals swear by the coffee and pastries at La Colombe, which operates a spacious location on Independence Mall. The stylish cafe features a marble-topped coffee bar and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the area’s historic sites.
Where: 100 S. Independence Mall West #110
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A post shared by Bingkai Photovisuals (@ahmadfaiznasir) on Jul 16, 2016 at 4:52am PDT
Originally serving as the country’s first commodities exchange, the Bourse is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The building houses a modern indoor food court with many delicious food and drink options from more than 27 different eateries and purveyors.
Where: 21 S. 5th Street, Philadelphia
Note: Due to construction, the Independence Mall Cafe is temporarily closed and will re-open for Summer 2018. An outdoor food stand right on Independence Mall, Independence Mall Cafe serves everything from snacks and sandwiches to wine and beer and is open seasonally from May through October. During the off-season, find coffee and light fare just across the lawn at Cafe Independence inside the Independence Visitor Center, open year-round.
Where: 50 N. Independence Mall East
Open seasonally (April through October), Independence Beer Garden features an approachable menu packed with crowd pleasers like pigs in a blanket, al pastor tacos and strawberry shortcake. Kids of all ages love playing shuffleboard or ping pong out back, while the 40 beers on tap give adults plenty of options.
Where: 100 S. Independence Mall West
Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s original five public squares, is home to a mini-golf course, a carousel and SquareBurger, a burger shack selling BBQ pulled pork, fries, salads and more. The signature Cake Shake blended with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets is a highlight.
Where: 200 N. 6th Street
In addition to an approachable menu of classic American favorites, Jones features a bi-level space and retro-chic decor. The design-your-own-salad is a popular menu choice, as are the alcoholic milkshakes and specialty cocktails.
Where: 700 Chestnut Street
The kitchen at Mrs. K’s Koffee Shop churns out breakfast favorites like eggs, pancakes, waffles and scrapple, along with classic lunch fare like burgers, salads and sandwiches all day long. The diner has been serving Philadelphians and visitors for more than 50 years, and the quick, reliable service ensures that visitors can get back out to see the sights as fast as possible.
Where: 325 Chestnut Street
Decorated in a Gothic style, National Mechanics boasts 18 beers on tap along with elevated bar food and even a special kids’ menu. The bar’s name stems from the building’s original purpose as Mechanics National Bank, built in 1837.
Where: 22 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia
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A post shared by Capofitto Forno (@capofittoforno) on Sep 19, 2015 at 10:33am PDT
In addition to world-renowned, homemade gelato from sister outpost Capogiro, Capofitto serves thin-crust, modern-style Neapolitan pizzas cooked in a wood-burning, on-site oven. The menu also features Italian favorites like antipasto, charcuterie, paninis and salads.
Where: 233 Chestnut Street
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A post shared by Khyber Pass Pub (@khyberpasspub) on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:40pm PDT
Po-boys, fried green tomatoes, gumbo and hickory-smoked meats are among the southern-style staples on the menu at Khyber Pass Pub, which also features one notable craft beer list. Tucked inside a Colonial-era building, this off-the-beaten-path spot also offers a wide range of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.
Where: 56 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
On the ground floor of Hotel Monaco, Red Owl Tavern adds a dose of modernity to the classic tavern experience with a menu that includes smoked chicken wings, mussels, salads and more. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere appeals to solo diners, families and groups, and shaded outdoor seating situated across the street from Independence Hall lets guests eat with views of some of the country’s most historic sites.
Where: 433 Chestnut Street
Patrons enjoy sit-down lunches or opt for take out at High Street on Market, which has consistently ranked among the city’s best restaurants since it opened in 2013. Be sure to sample the fresh-baked pastries and buzzed-about breads alongside menu items like Rival Brothers Coffee, artisanal sandwiches, salads and sides.
Where: 308 Market Street, Philadelphia
Jose Garces serves Andalusian-style Spanish cuisine at Amada, where the authentic decor includes hams hanging from the ceiling and wine barrels lining the walls. Open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends, the tapas-based menu is a perfect choice for groups who want to sample several of the restaurant’s mouthwatering items.
Where: 217-219 Chestnut Street
Drink and dine as Founding Fathers did at City Tavern, which recreates the food, drink and ambiance that comforted the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution as they argued over the documents late into many nights. Look forward to Colonial haute cuisine, costumed waitstaff and Colonial-era desserts and drinks.
Where: 138 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
The distinctive Asian fare at Buddakan includes family-style dishes ranging from dumplings and salad to lamb chops and lobster fried rice. The lunch menu features a popular bento box, which comes with three courses and an option to add dessert.
Popular for its wide selection of sustainably and locally sourced dishes and cocktails, FARMiCiA features several distinct spaces within its restaurant, including an airy dining room and the Farm Bar, where solo diners can grab a seat for lunch. The eatery also offers outdoor seating, floor-to-ceiling windows and a kids’ menu to keep little ones happy.
Where: 15 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia
Open for lunch Monday through Friday, this high-design restaurant from renowned Chef Masaharu Morimoto serves an assortment of fresh sushi, appetizers and noodles. The elegantly prepared Japanese dishes pair well with the selection of creative specialty cocktails from the bar.
Where: 723 Chestnut Street
LaScala’s is known for its simply prepared, delicious, homestyle Italian specialities. Everything from the pizza and pasta to more filling dishes like lasagna and chicken parmesan are made from scratch.
Where: 615 Chestnut Street
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through November 30, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, a $25 gift card to the must-visit Reading Terminal Market, free Philly-themed mini-golf at Franklin Square and a $10 Lyft credit.