14 of Philadelphia's Tasty & Interactive Culinary Adventures

14 of Philadelphia's Tasty & Interactive Culinary Adventures

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PhillyBite10Philadelphia, PA - In a dynamic food city such as Philadelphia, eating out is often much more than only a great meal, first-rate service, and decent prices. Philly establishments are differentiating themselves with entertaining, worldwide, interactive, and memorable, dining experiences. The  list features Korean barbecues, Brazilian rodizios, Ethiopian destinations, Italian trattorias and much more:


Spice C – In the rear of the dining room of this welcoming Chinatown walk-up, chefs prepare noodles through a window, weaving, stretching and dividing the pliable dough with great flourish. The menu offers both thin, hand-drawn noodles and a craggy hand-shaved version, both destined for brothy chicken or beef soups and deep stir-fries. 131 N. 10th Street, (215) 923-2222, spicenoodle.com

Hippot Shabu Shabu – This Chinatown hotspot offers visitors build-your-own hot-pot experiences. Diners select a broth, then prepare their steamy mix of fresh vegetables, sprouts, tofu, and meat slices right at the table, dressing creations with offerings from a considerable sauce bar of oils, spices, butter, and vinegar. 1002 Arch Street, (215) 928-8838, facebook.com/hippotshabushabu

Kim’s Restaurant – Korean barbecue choices are plenty in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood. However Kim’s is the only location using lumps of natural charcoal to fuel its ovens. Dining tables here are packed with ample choices of banchan (kimchi, steamed veggies, seaweed salad as well as other Korean sides), beer and shochu (a Japanese liquor), together with well-marinated beef, pork, and chicken ready to sizzle on a tabletop grill. 5955 N. 5th Street, (215) 927-4550

Marrakesh – This Moroccan destination in Society Hill invites diners to fill up on a half dozen courses—which they consume with their hands. Authenticity here means stimulating the senses with traditional dishes such as b’stella, a nutty and cinnamony aromatic chicken pie; aromas of incense, cumin and fresh mint tea; and textures of cooked eggplants and fluffy couscous. 517 S. Leithgow Street, (215) 925-5929, marrakesheastcoast.com

Lacroix – Champagne and caviar aside, Sunday brunch at The Rittenhouse Hotel is a special occasion. During this elegant meal, a buffet extends around the dining room and into the kitchen, giving guests the rare opportunity both to fill their plates and to peek into the inner workings of one of the city’s most beloved restaurants. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, (215) 790-2533, lacroixrestaurant.com

Victor Cafe – This South Philly Italian eatery bills itself as “a music lover’s rendezvous,” which is ideal both for the location, a former gramophone shop and for its servers, who all sing opera as they work. In between running dishes of chicken piccata and fettuccine Verde, singing servers break into ballads. 1303 Dickinson Street, (215) 468-3040, victorcafe.com

Anastasi Seafood – This particular old-school family-owned eatery, bar and seafood marketplace anchors a busy corner of the historic 9th Street Italian Market. Dining here means passing by glass cases of fresh, fragrant catches before sitting down to break open hard-shell crabs, then dipping the perfectly cooked crab meat in melted butter. 1101 S. 9th Street, (215) 462-0550, anastasiseafood.com

Picanha Brazilian Steakhouse – This no-frills buffet and grill in the center of Northeast Philadelphia’s Brazilian community serve lunch, dinner, coffee, and dessert. Diners could load up on plantains, yellow rice, stewed beef and more at the buffet, but Picanha’s rodízio—all-you-can-eat meats sliced right at the table—tends to fill guests to the brim with chicken, beef, lamb and more. 6501 Castor Avenue, (215) 743-4647, picanhagrill.com

Perla – Kamayan is the utensil-free Filipino way of sharing a meal, and, at East Passyunk bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) Perla, rice, spring rolls, fried fish, veggies and sauces are all spread on banana leaves and eaten with the hands while diners share stories and drinks. It’s a guaranteed way to feel like part of the family at this restaurant, named for the chef-owner Lou Boquila’s mother. 1535 S. 11th Street, (267) 273-0008, perlaphilly.com

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ – This Logan Square dining establishment specializes on Japanese yakiniku (barbeque). A personalized grill is at the center of each table, allowing guests to cook their miso-marinated steaks and vegetables while taking pleasure in Japanese sake and beer. 1901 Callowhill Street, (267) 603-9482, gyu-kaku.com

Royal Sushi & Izakaya – There are loads of sushi counters in Philadelphia, but this Southwark nine-seater in the back of a dimly lit barroom features a most intimate experience with chef-owner Jesse Ito. A maximum of three seatings each night allows Ito to carefully guide guests through the Japanese provenance and expert techniques he uses to craft a multi-course omakase (tasting menu). 780 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9002, royalsushiandizakaya.com

Kabul Afghan Cuisine – a fantastic Old City staple for 25 years offers authentic Afghani fare, most notably buttery rice along with plump raisins, vegetarian and meat stews. In the rear of the restaurant, diners can eat the traditional way: on the floor on top of pillows and rugs; Afghani performers and dancers also regularly make appearances. 106 Chestnut Street, (215) 922-3676, kabulafghancuisine.com

Fez Moroccan Restaurant & Hookah Bar – With tapestry-covered interior walls, cozy couches and trays set up for utensil-free feasts welcome diners at Queen Village’s Moroccan hideaway. Lengthy and luxurious group meals start with rounds of appetizers and segue into larger entrees, accompanied by fruit and sweets, and sharing of the hookah and live belly dancing. 620 S. 2nd Street, (215) 925-5367, fezrestaurant.com

Dahlak – Baltimore Avenue’s Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurant and bar is a well-known, come-as-you-are, community meeting place for West Philly youngsters, families and neighbors. Here, guests sit at low, basket-like tables, serving spongy injera bread to scoop up stews and dishes while listening to a mix of pop as well as traditional Ethiopian music and songs. Drinkers gather on the string-lighted back patio. 4708 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 726-6464, dahlakrestaurant.com

 

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