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Food Tour in Philly, The City of Brotherly Love

Posted by in Regional: United States: Pennsylvania  ~  May 28, 2012 01:03:40 PM

Philadelphia, or more commonly referred to as Philly, is one of the fastest rising global city in the world. It is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania; the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America and the 6th most populous region in the country. Every year, almost a billion people visit Philly; mostly because of the city’s wonderful selection of delicacies and cuisine.

Yes, this great city is the veritable paradise for gourmets and gourmands alike. Where else in the US can you find such exquisite delights like cheesesteak, soft pretzels, and hoagies? The city’s iconic foodstuffs stem from Philly’s eclectic ethnic flavors co-mingling freely with each other. Instead of spending most of your time restaurant hopping, we highly recommend you get your walking shoes on (and slipping that credit card into your back pocket) and go food shopping at the Reading Terminal Market at 12th and Arch Street in downtown Philly; and the Italian Market at 9th street.

Okay, we will admit, it is more likely that you will be spending more time eating in these two markets than doing any shopping at all. There are so many small cafes and eating stalls offering so much food that it is impossible to keep a grip on whatever diet you are on. The Reading Terminal Market, in particular offers the best range of baked goodies and ethnic foods. If ever you pass by the stall that offers free samples of sinful Russian ham, we highly suggest you grab one of their little seats and tables and order yourself a full deli sandwich – the works, and that means sandwich, pickles and some of their good, old Russian beer. If you don’t, you will be missing out a lot on this gastronomical feast.

Some eating places even let you buy fresh fish right off their stalls which they will prepare for you in 15 minutes tops, grilled or deep fried. And coffee – let us not forget the authentic Irish creamed coffee that seems to beckon your nostrils to follow as soon as you hit the market entrance.

At the Italian Market, we suggest you gear up for cheese, cheese and more cheese. Nothing could be more exquisite than freshly made mozzarella cheese being hand churned right before your eyes. Italian brewed coffee in tiny, tiny cups is well worth the wait, if you have the time to actually wait. If you can get a seat into a pizzeria, we recommend you order the tomato pie: a cheese-less pizza that is bound to pop some buttons. Unsurprisingly, most of the cafes here are packed to overflowing. Although, most of the shops here still cater to those with want Italian inspired cuisine and delicacies, it is not uncommon now to find chimichangas and tacos and burritos being sold in shops and stalls. There is a growing population of Hispanic food sellers in the Italian Market and some of the higher end restaurants within offer really great 5 course meals that can rival any 5-star eating establishment in North America.

Of course, if you have that eat-and-run attitude while touring, there is no better place to test your palate that visiting Chinatown. Chinatown is now home to a lot of Asian eateries, not just Chinese inspired cuisines but a lot of them are from India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. The fact that most of the food here is relatively cheap is enough to whet anyone’s appetite.