Must-Try

30 Things You Need to Eat & Drink This Summer in Philadelphia

By Danya Henninger | May 19, 2014 By Danya Henninger  |  May 19, 2014

Summer stretches out ahead of us like a daydreaming dog awakening to a ray of sun. The warm weather swells the potential for long lunches and afternoon escapes, evenings outdoors and weekends on the patio. How to make sure you take full advantage? Bookmark this list of 30 things to eat and drink that you don’t want to miss in Philadelphia this season. Check them off as you go to make this your Best Summer Ever.

1) Strawberry Peppercorn Ice Cream at Little Baby’s 16) Hemingway Daiquiri at Jerry’s Bar
2) Adobo Pork Tacos at Poi Dog Philly 17) Crema Mixta Soup at Las Bugambilias
3) Asparagus Pizza at Bufad 18) Pimm’s Cup at Vernick Food & Drink
4) Tuna Tostadita at Lolita 19) Sour Cherries at Three Springs Fruit Farm
5) Local Pints on the Patio at Standard Tap 20) BBQ at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
6) Summer Pie at Morgan’s Pier 21) Capri Coolers at Continental Midtown
7) Strawberry Lemonade at Shake Shack 22) Pea Soup at In Riva
8) Banh Mi at QT Vietnamese 23) Freshly Shucked Oysters at Oyster House
9) Ghost of Mary at The Industry 24) Hot Dog at Memphis Taproom
10) Watermelon Feta Salad at Opa 25) Choco Taco at Alla Spina
11) Avocado Gelato at Capogiro 26) Crab Empanadas at East Girard Gastropub
12) Corn Dogs at Hot Diggity 27) Fresh-Fruit Water Ice at John’s Water Ice
13) Blackberry Bramble at 1 Tippling Place 28) Lobster Roll at Luke’s Lobster
14) Crab and Corn Fritter at Silk City 29) The Five Year Plan at Charlie was a sinner
15) Market Pita at Eat-A-Pita 30) Burger at Spot Burgers
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  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream at Little Baby’s Ice Cream

    Find this refreshing fruit scoop with just a hint of spice at either of the creamery’s storefronts, at Green Aisle Grocery on Grays Ferry, outside Union Transfer or from the tricycle at special events and concerts at the Mann.

    Multiple Locations

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Adobo Pork Belly Tacos at Poi Dog Philly

    Chris Vacca and Kiki Aranita change the menu often at their Filipino-Hawaiian food truck, but follow along on Twitter and try to catch these pineapple salsa- and crispy taro-dressed tortillas of flavorful braised pork.

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Asparagus Pizza at Bufad

    Asparagus comes layered over the top of a deliciously misshapen crust at Michael Pasquarallo’s Loft District pizzeria, with horseradish cream, Brenta cheese and a bright-yellow egg for a pie that won’t weigh you down.

    1240 Spring Garden St.; 215-238-9311

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Tuna Tostadita at Lolita

    Hit up Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s revamped 13th Street Mexican for this thin chip of malanga (similar to taro) topped with a slab of raw tuna with avocado, chipotle mayo and crispy rings of shallots.

    106 S. 13th St.; 215-546-7100

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Local Pints on the Patio at Standard Tap

    It’s all-local, all-draft beer at William Reed and Paul Kimport’s Northern Liberties mainstay, and the covered second-floor patio is the place to play catch-up with the ever-changing draft list during the summer.

    901 N. Second St.; 215-238-0630

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Summer Pie at Morgan’s Pier

    This riverfront deck got a bonus this season with chef David Gilberg - his wife Carla Goncalves, a pastry chef who’ll be putting out an assortment of cool fruit and cream pies perfect for the warm weather.

    221 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-279-7134

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Strawberry Lemonade at Shake Shack

    Whether it’s just a refresher after a long bike ride or a follow-up to burger and fries, the fresh-made lemonade at Danny Meyer’s burger joint is a perfect quencher, and this late-summer special version is even better.

    Multiple locations

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Banh Mi at QT Vietnamese

    When the heat makes a heavy hoagie too much to handle, the banh mi is your sandwich savior, and the generous versions at this bright-orange Chinatown shop bring satisfying crunch at a low, low price.

    48 N. 10th St.; 267-639-4520

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Ghost of Mary at The Industry

    The best brunch drink for a brutally hot day is this lighter take on the Bloody Mary made with clarified tomato juice, so it has all the flavor and none of the thick, heavy feel.

    1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.; 215-271-9500

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Watermelon Feta Salad at Opa

    The ancient Greeks brought this summer fruit over from Africa and cultivated it for its refreshing, cooling flesh, best highlighted next to salty feta cheese and mint at this Midtown Village taverna.

    1311 Sansom St.; 215-545-0170

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Avocado Gelato at Capogiro

    Seek out this flavor at one of Stephanie and John Reitano’s gelaterias and you’ll be rewarded by a scoop that’s unusually smooth and well-suited to pairing with one of the ever-changing fruit sorbettos.

    Multiple locations

  • Corn Dogs at Hot Diggity

    Turn hot dogs into a grab-and-go snack you can eat while strolling South Street with this on-again, off-again special at Keith Garabedian’s hipster-chic franks shop.

    630 South St.; 267-886-9253

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Blackberry Bramble at 1 Tippling Place

    Sit in the living room-style easy chairs by the open window at Anne Frey’s Rittenhouse cocktail bar and sip on this summer seasonal mix of fresh blackberries, lemon and light rum.

    2006 Chestnut St.; 215-665-0456

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Crab and Corn Fritter at Silk City

    Bites of this creamy-crispy seafood fritter go down extra easy when you’re ensconced in the sprawling outdoor beer garden at Mark Bee’s Northern Liberties diner/bar.

    435 Spring Garden St.; 215-592-8838

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Market Pita at Eat-A-Pita

    Can a sandwich be invigorating? If it’s a pita filled with “all the veggies” and your choice of dressings at Ralph Kane and Jamie Kelly’s Wash West quick-serve, the answer is yes.

    128 S. 12th St.; 215-925-7482

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Hemingway Daiquiri at Jerry’s Bar

    Add a splash of maraschino cherry liqueur to the excellent daiquiri at this Northern Liberties hideaway for a colorful ode to the tropics-loving author.

    129 W. Laurel St.; 267-273-1632

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Crema Mixta Soup at Las Bugambilias

    Snag one of the few tables on the patio outside this South Street authentic Mexican and savor this energizing bowl of half-poblano, half-huitlacoche soup with a side of house-fried tortilla chips.

    148 South St.; 215-922-3190

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Pimm’s Cup at Vernick Food & Drink

    Head bartender Vincent Stipo tells us that this season's version of the summer-favorite cocktail at the Rittenhouse hot spot is built around a whole new recipe that’s more refreshing than ever.

    2031 Walnut St.; 267-639-6644

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Tart Cherries at Three Springs Fruit Farm

    In late summer, don’t miss these short-season cherries at the fruit farm’s Headhouse Farmer’s Market stand, because they're juicier, more flavorful and all-around better than all other cherry types.

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    BBQ at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse

    Make your way up to the Northeast to pick up a picnic-perfect batch of smoked meat and sides from this ‘cue house, or stop in on Monday nights from 5-8:30 PM, when all you can eat is $21 per person.

    7500 State Rd.; 215-333-9663

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Capri Coolers at Continental Midtown

    You’ll find these throwback cocktail treats at Stephen Starr’s tri-level Rittenhouse bar, and when you poke your straw into the top of the bag you’ll feel like a kid - except the juice in this pouch is potent.

    1801 Chestnut St.; 215-567-1800

  • Photo by: Mark Henninger

    Pea Soup at In Riva

    Bright green pea purée is poured tableside into a bowl of crème fraîche and garlic croutons at Arthur Cavaliere’s East Falls Italian, where you can sit on the deck and watch Kelly Drive cyclists fly by.

    4116 Ridge Ave.; 215-438-4848

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Freshly Shucked Oysters at Oyster House

    Clean and white-tiled, the raw bar at Sam Mink’s Sansom Street seafood haven projects serene cool, and the pristine, shucked-to-order shellfish only serve to reinforce that restorative serenity.

    1516 Sansom St.; 215-667-7683

  • Hot Dog at Memphis Taproom

    Skip the inside and head straight to the courtyard at Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft’s Kensington bar, where the on-site food truck serves variously topped dogs to go with your cans of craft beer.

    2331 E. Cumberland St.; 215-425-4460

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Choco Taco at Alla Spina

    Better than the kind wrapped in plastic at the corner store are these Italian-ized dessert snacks at the Vetri birreria on North Broad, with a classic pizzelle wrapped around fior di latte soft serve and Nutella with a chocolate-hazelnut shell.

    1410 Mt. Vernon St.; 215-600-0017

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Crab Empanadas at East Girard Gastropub

    Crack open the flaky crust to get to the sweet crab inside these Latin hand pies at the Fishtown corner tavern, served with mango salsa and a spicy crema dipping sauce.

    200 E. Girard Ave.; 267-761-9343

  • Fresh-Fruit Water Ice at John’s Water Ice

    A summer in Philly isn’t complete without a visit to the family-run ice stand on Seventh and Christian, where weekend special flavors range from strawberry to cantaloupe to mango and more.

    701 Christian St.; 215-925-6955

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Lobster Roll at Luke’s Lobster

    If you’re not at the beach, you can at least feel like it with a buttered roll overflowing with butter-lemon-kissed sweet Maine lobster meat from this Rittenhouse shack.

    130 S. 17th St.; 215-564-1415

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    The Five Year Plan at Charlie was a sinner

    Bourbon has never been so refreshing as in this peach-and-citrus mix at Nicole Marquis’ hot new vegan bar in Midtown Village.

    131 S. 13th St.

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Burger at Spot Burgers

    Better than anything you could make in your own backyard is one of Josh Kim’s superlative food-truck patties, topped with red cabbage slaw and a super-secret hot sauce.

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