Just ahead of his departure from Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain finally took the time to pay Philadelphia its due in the form of an episode of The Layover. While here, he and his crew took in the sights with stops at the Barnes Foundation and the Mutter Museum, before checking out some of what our town offers in the way of food and drink. With that episode set to make its debut tonight, Grub decided now was as good a time as any for a quick review of the city and the restaurants that the food media has decided were fit for airing. Check them out straight ahead.
Before Iron Chef America came calling, Jose Garces launched his restaurant empire from his temple of Spanish tapas in Old City. The Best Thing I Ever Ate paid a visit there for the legendary Cochinillo Asad (whole roasted suckling pig), and Unique Eats stopped in for the Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp).
On her last visit to the City of Brotherly Love, Rachel Ray left a lasting impression in the form of the Passyunk Garden (aka the Rachael Ray garden) across the street from Pat’s King of Steaks, but while making the rounds, she also stopped of for a bite at this Mediterranean restaurant from empire builders Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. And that, off course, made it even more difficult to get a table there.
Though still a newcomer, Anthony Bourdain’s visit to this American small plates gastropub on booming East Passyunk Ave. while here shooting The Layover solidified the restaurant’s and Chef George Sabatino’s already illustrious reputations.
Unique Eats was blown away by Chef Michael Solomonov’s modern Israeli plates at Zahav, paving the way for shows like Chuck Eats the Street and The Layover to follow with their own visits.
Bobby Flay threw it down with Tony Luke Jr. in a cheesesteak battle, which, of course, he lost. The cheesesteak and roast pork offerings at this veritable sandwich paradise have gone on to star in episodes of Man v. Food, and Unique Eats.
George's Sandwich Shop
Surely there’s no shortage of great sandwiches here in Hoagietown, but when it comes to bizarre ones, Andrew Zimmern goes for the time-honored tripe beauty served at George’s in the Italian Market.
Though touted as America's worst Irish bar, and facing a mountain of issues from back taxes to health code violations, this South Street pub still remains in business. And that’s due to a little intervention from Jon Taffer and his Spike TV show Bar Rescue.
Gordon Ramsay transformed this East Passyunk Ave. BYOB from Kitchen Nightmare candidate to thriving success story.
Though neither a diner, drive-in or dive, Guy Fieri and his crew stopped off at this celebrated Fishtown watering hole, and marveled over Chef Jesse Kimball’s “outrageous” bar food and vegan specials.
Andrew Zimmern deserves some credit for passing on Philly’s way overhyped Pat’s and Geno’s, and instead took the time to seek out this Port Richmond gem. There he and his crew discovered old-timey kielbasy made by hand in the same time-honored traditions that have been handed down by several generations.
Old timey is the standard operating procedure for mustachioed brothers Ryan and Eric Berley at their Old City-based soda fountain and ice cream shop. Using only antique equipment and archival recipes from historic sources, it’s no wonder programs like Man v. Food and Best Thing I Ever Ate have featured the handmade ice cream, fizzes, floats and milkshakes served there.
Unique Eats, and Best Thing I Eve Ate were two of the first TV shows to pick up on Marc Vetri and Jeff Michaud’s popular Italian restaurant on North Broad Street. We’re pretty certain that they won’t be the last.
The over-the-top burgers and boozy milkshakes served at Iron Chef Jose Garces’ corner whiskey bar have caught the attention of Unique Eats, and Meat and Potatoes.
Di Bruno Brothers
Anthony Bourdain stopped at the cheese shop’s Ninth Street flagship while touring the Italian Market during his visit here to shoot an episode of The Layover.
We knew Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s all veggie, all the time restaurant is pretty unique for meat and Cheez Whiz-obsessed Philly, but apparently Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats says is it’s just simply unique for anywhere.
Chuck Eats the Street stopped off here to hang with Matt Levin while digging the many offerings along Walnut Street.
Like Memphis Taproom, this Center City bar is neither a diner, drive-in, nor a dive. Still Guy Fieri found it off the hook.
The magic that Bar Rescue conjured up to keep Downey’s afloat didn’t quite work out at this now gone Old City bar. Following the Taffer-led makeover, which rechristened the bar Sheer,the owners changed it back to Swanky Bubbles. And then it closed.
While in town working on Chiarella’s Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares crew also took a crack at this West Philly Mexican restaurant, which appears to be hanging on after changes were implemented.
There are a million restaurants in our naked city, and yet TV show after TV show (too many to mention all here) keep turning out year after yera to feature this tired old Philly cheesesteak mill, and its supposed arch rival Pat’s Kind of Steaks. Each time either one appears on TV, we’re reminded of why it’s called idiot box.
Most Viewed Stories
This Coffee Start-up Uses Whiskey Instead of Water in Its Cold Brew
Here’s the Scene at Today’s Opening of a Real-Life Friends Central Perk
I Pumpkin Spiced My Life With Black-Market Starbucks Syrup
Walmart Told Customers a Fake ‘Sugar Tax’ Was Making Their Coke Cost More
Manhattan Takes Its Next Step Toward Becoming One Enormous Shake Shack Line
GG’s, the Goat Town Reboot, Will Serve Oven-Baked Lobster and Grandma-Style PizzaAll openings »
Looks Like Krescendo Has Served Its Last PizzaAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetIt Only Took America 80 Years to Turn Bloody Marys Into a Complete Joke
Congratulations, everyone.Tom Colicchio’s Next TV Show Will Be ‘Completely Different’ From Top Chef
"I’m laboring over this, because I want to get it right."People Are Not Happy With the ‘Communist’ Logo at Taco Bell’s Bánh Mì Offshoot
"You're just insulting Vietnamese Americans by associating Saigon with the communist symbol."Dominique Ansel Will Open in Tokyo in 2015
"There will be something created just for Tokyo, and I will personally see every aspect of development," the chef says.Krispy Kreme Has Limited-Edition Ghostbusters-Themed Doughnuts
With Slimer and Stay-Puft, of course.A Restaurant Somehow Thought an Adrian Peterson ‘Spank Your Server’ Promo Was a Good Idea
The owner calls it "a bad joke gone awry."Manhattan Takes Its Next Step Toward Becoming One Enormous Shake Shack Line
Hope you like crinkle-cut French fries.Here’s the Scene at Today’s Opening of a Real-Life Friends Central Perk
Free coffee, and one special orange couch.GG’s, the Goat Town Reboot, Will Serve Oven-Baked Lobster and Grandma-Style Pizza
It's the Goat Town reboot.How a Beloved Restaurant Moves Forward With a New Chef
Il Buco Alimentari's new executive chef Roger Martinez on the changes he has planned. (Don't worry: The short ribs are staying put.)
The "tax" equaled the amount discounted by an ad.This Coffee Start-up Uses Whiskey Instead of Water in Its Cold Brew
It's clearly an idea whose time has come.Kobayashi Battles the Tiny Hamster in the Eating Contest You’ve Eagerly Awaited
It's like Ali versus Frazier, but with hot dogs.Group Reconsiders Plans for a Pop-up That Only Serves Death Row Last Meals
It offered all of the culinary perks "without the nasty execution bit."I Pumpkin Spiced My Life With Black-Market Starbucks Syrup
One man's quest to make everything taste like a latte.The Rainbow Room Finally Reopens October 6
The Art Deco landmark is back.Bidding Is Up to $100K on eBay for NFL Player’s 20-Cent Tip Receipt
Six figures for a glorified autograph.OddFellows Launches Delivery in Manhattan
Right in time for the cold weather.Will These 20 Food-Porn Photos Make You Feel Less Hungry?
According to a new study, they might!Starbucks Is Testing a Dainty ‘Mini’ Frappuccino
A ten-ouncer you can hold in the palm of your hand.
"The Outlook for the Future Is Bright."6 Dishes From a ‘Weird Chinese Food’ Dinner That Mostly Just Sound Delicious
Duck gizzards, pig ears, and thousand-year eggs.Surge — the World’s Most Nineties Soda — Is Coming Back
The revived brand will be sold in 12-packs available only on Amazon.What to Eat at Marta, Danny Meyer’s Brand-New Pizzeria
Pizza, beer-brined chicken, and more pizza.Fall Fruit: 16 Spots to Hit If You’re Looking for Fresh Figs
With foie gras, quail, ricotta, and, of course, honey.A Pizza Hut Horrified Animal Lovers With Free Pets for People Who Bought Pizzas
The offending store concedes it was probably a "bad idea."An Ice Cream Shop Rolled Out ‘Big Straight Ice Cream’ This Weekend
"What's the issue? We can call our ice cream whatever we want," the wine bar's manager says.Restaurant Review: At Wilma Jean, the Southern Chef Surrenders to New York's Fried-Chicken Fixation
Plus: Hanamizuki serves up fusion omusubi in a serene setting.California Makes It Illegal to Sue People for Posting Nasty Yelp Reviews
The first, and probably not last, state to do this.Shake Shack and Doughnut Plant Unleashed a Limited-Edition Concrete
The limited vanilla–raspberry–sesame cake doughnut run lasts untill September 21.
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.Tavern on the Green Finally Admits It Has a Problem
The iconic Central Park restaurant has ditched chef Katy Sparks.Activist Olive Garden Investors Want to Kill Unlimited Breadsticks
All that dough on the table means less in their pockets.The Beckhams Party at Salvation Taco; Madonna Dines at Scarpetta
This week's Celebrity Settings.Why Food Arts Closing Is a Major Loss for People Who Love Restaurants
The niche magazine will cease publication — and the food world has lost one of its guiding voices.Owner of PBR in Talks to Sell Company for Almost $1 Billion
Nearly four times what it sold for in 2010.Estelle Breaks From Fashion Week to Eat Doughnuts
"If you're gonna eat doughnuts again, do it fabulously."A Japanese Chain Is Stuffing Doughnuts With Hot Ramen
Just in time for the brisk fall season.Gordon Ramsay Decides Now’s the Best Time to Open an Atlantic City Restaurant
He's coming to Caesars in early 2015.America Hits the Pumpkin-Spice Saturation Point
English muffins, Jell-O, seltzer, and more.
The spoon is something of a talisman for chefs, in addition to being an incredibly useful tool.A Steakhouse Sued Yelp to Make It Identify a Malicious Reviewer
Someone impersonating a worker claimed to have "personally spit" in food.Here Are 33 Different Kinds of Dumplings From NYC’s Newest Dumpling Paradise
This place has everything from lamb and bean to egg and dill to spicy beef dumplings.In-N-Out Burger’s Surprise Toronto Pop-up Instantly Draws Hundreds of People
It's In-N-Out Burger's first East Coast foray.Starbucks May Let Baristas Show Their Tattoos
The company is "rethinking" workplace morale.This Upstate Bakery Is Essentially the Ideal Small-Town Cafe
Its growth has been slow and organic — just like its food.A Chipotle Had to Shut Down Because Its Employees All Quit, Blaming ‘Sweatshop’ Conditions
The fast-food chain's workers say they felt like they were working on an actual chain gang.Burger King’s Newest Japanese Burger Is Covered With Black Cheese
The bun is also black.Il Buco Alimentari Names New Chef
It's Barcelona native Roger Martinez.McDonald’s Wants to Trademark ‘McBrunch’
Bring on the McMimosas.