Philadelphia also nicknamed the City of Brotherly Love was my summer getaway this year. This was my second time to this city. I had gone several years ago with my crew. We had a blast! But there was not enough time to do everything I wanted to. Since it’s only about a 3 hour drive from southwestern Connecticut, why not head back!
This time I stayed at Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse, located in central Philadelphia. It was perfectly situated. I walked everywhere from there. It’s a nice hotel, renovated recently. When you walk in, you’re welcomed by the sleek decor and walls adorned with a script. My room was simple and it was really more of a place to sleep than anything, knowing that I was only in Philadelphia for 2 1/2 days this time.
The last time I came, all the locals had told us to go to Sonny’s Famous Steaks so I never made it to Pat’s or Geno’s. So that was my first stop. Their rivalry is well-known. I walked there from the hotel…it was a long walk; I should have drove, but hey, I walked off the calories from the cheesesteaks even before eating it. Plus, there really is no parking. Pat’s and Geno’s are literally right across from each other. They both look a lot bigger on television. Pat’s was first; I ordered the steak wit-out cheese whiz. The steak was shaved and lathered with cheese whiz. The bread was amazing. Then, off to Geno’s where I got the same thing. Geno’s sandwich had layers of steak, but my cheese was watery, which I know is from the beef juices, but that’s not my cup of tea. For me, Pat’s was better.
When you go to Philadelphia, you can’ leave without having a Philly cheesesteak. Personally, I think it is really going to come down to one’s own preference. Head to Philly and you decide for yourself which is best!
The other place that I had to go to was Reading Terminal Market. Prior to going I had checked out their website and researched what I should try. My list included: try donuts from Beiler’s Bakery, get cookies from the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, try some pastries from Termini Bros Bakery, get some fried cheese curds and a corn dog from Fox & Son, eat a pastrami sandwich from Hershel, have ice cream from Bassett’s and try pierogies from Franks-A-Lot. I know, overly ambitious…I tried.
My definite must-try are the donuts from Beiler’s Bakery. Get there early; there’s usually a line that’s wrapped around. I got the Salty Caramel, Chocolate Mousse, Boston Creme, Apple Fritter, and Strawberry-filled donuts. They were the lightest, most fluffiest donuts I have ever had! And no, I didn’t eat them all in one sitting.
I also wanted to check out their Chinatown because the last time I had gone, it was one of the stops on the Hop On/Hop Off sightseeing bus tours. It’s not really that impressive as New York City’s Chinatown.
Some of the other places that I’d recommend going to are:
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
- Philadelphia Zoo
- U.S. Mint
- One Liberty Observation Deck
If you are looking for some other places to eat besides the merchants in Reading Terminal Market, here are a few of my suggestions:
- Cuban/Latin food-Mixto
- Italian food-Gran Caffe L’Aquila
- Vietnamese food-Pho 75, Tu’s Teas and Banh Mi
- Cheesesteak-Sonny’s Famous Steaks
I hope you can get away and enjoy exploring the city of Brotherly Love! Happy and safe travels!