A 10-hour food marathon in Philly
How much food can you stuff in 10 hours? A lot, apparently.
On Saturday, Sandy and I explored 11 food destinations in Philadelphia over 10 hours. Although our sight-seeing to food ratio was extremely low, we made brief detours to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and Elfreth’s Alley — mostly to digest our food.
Below are our serious recommendations for Philadelphia’s food scene — we give our foodie stamp-of-approval for all of these. And if you decide to do it in 10 hours like us, pace yourself.
Here is the Google Map of the destinations mentioned in this post. Special thanks to our fabulous Philly friends for helping us curate this list.
**Disclaimer: We are no local experts— just two foodies that decided to drop in for a day and eat continuously. Also, we’re foodies with no photography skills.
Round 1: An entire morning in Chinatown
We learned today that Google Translate does not have Cantonese. Luckily for us, the staff could read “chive dumplings” in Mandarin. We also ordered our favorite comfort food: taro puffs, and pork and century egg congee. This place serves dim sum by carts.
Be sure to get the pork and crabmeat soup dumplings — they are generous with the soup in their soup dumplings. This is a sit-down dim sum place.
Stop by the Mayflower Bakery Cafe to pick up delicious and cheap pastries (less than $1) for the road. We bought egg tarts and stuffed snowballs.
Heung Fa Chun is the definition of hole-in-the-wall. Order the sweet tofu on its own, or with red beans. The portions are very generous and two tubs came out to $4.50.
Round 2: Desserts and Tea Time
Per a friend’s recommendation, we sat at the bar and shared a Salted Caramel Budino. It was a spectacular flavor bomb with rich layers of caramel, custard, and sea salt sprinkled throughout. On the pricier side but well worth the $9.
We swung by the infamous Reading Market and picked up some donuts at Beiler’s. Sandy got the apple fritter donut and Hong Van went with the classic chocolate glazed donut — textures were light and fluffy.
We stopped by Shane Confectionary to pick up dark chocolate infused with lavender oil, and cayenne chocolate bites.
Located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philly, this quaint tea shop is known for their chai tea. We got iced chai tea and iced Moroccan mint tea — the Moroccan mint was especially refreshing.
Round 3: Dim sum with a Jewish twist and Wing Phat Plaza
We didn’t know what to expect of dim sum with a Jewish twist, but decided to give it a go — and it was SO worth it. We ordered the Korean beef soup dumplings, the roast pork bao, and the green mango & papaya salad (our only “green” dish for the day). All three dishes were delicious, but the roast pork baos were particularly unique in terms of flavor.
Our second stop for dinner was Indonesian food at Sky Cafe, located in Wing Phat Plaza. We ordered the Mie Komplit, a dry noodle dish with homemade egg noodles, pork char siu, mushrooms, wonton, soy egg, and chicken. They also serve a side of chicken broth soup with meatballs. The average entree is roughly $7.
Wing Phat Plaza is a haven for authentic Vietnamese food. We wrapped up the evening with Vietnamese snacks from the food stand in front of Viet Huong Restaurant. They had a diverse selection of authentic, comfort Vietnamese snacks — from sticky rice of all varieties wrapped in banana leaf to “che troi nuoc”(glutinous rice balls with ginger syrup dessert) to “da ua” (Vietnamese yogurt).