Dining + Entertainment Guide

Philly is hot. Philadelphia was recently named #1 on Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. list. Last year, Philadelphia was #3 on the New York Times list of 52 Places to Go in 2015. And, Philadelphia is the only World Heritage City in the United States. Our historic city is a major destination for dining, museums, entertainment, and more. The City of Brotherly Love and Drexel University welcome you. Here’s a bit of what we have to offer.

What to Do

Quintessentially Philadelphia

Where to Eat

On Drexel's Campus
University City
Food Trucks
Near the Radisson Blu
Near the Holiday Inn Midtown
Center City
South Philly

What to Do


Philadelphia Museum of Art
Among the largest museums in the US, PMA is home to world-class American and European art. At the time of the conference, the museum will feature an exhibit on Pop Art, International Pop, that “navigates a fast-paced world packed with bold and thought-provoking imagery, revealing a vibrant cultural period shaped by widespread social and political revolution.” And, well, there’s the Rocky steps...

Admission is $20, with student ID $12

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

(215) 763-8100


The Franklin Institute
“Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is one of America's most celebrated museums—a renowned leader in science and technology.” During the conference, the museum will have two fascinating exhibits - Lost Egypt and The Science Behind Pixar.

General admission is $20

222 N 20th St.

(215) 448-1200


Mütter Museum
Part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Mütter Museum is indeed a strange and fascinating place full of medical oddities and specimens. The museum is one of only two places in the world where you can see part of Albert Einstein’s brain.

Admission is $16, students $11
19 S 22nd St.
(215) 560-8564

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Featuring the Sex: A History in 30 Objects exhibit, this museum is close to campus and features artifacts from cultures from across the globe.

$15 admission, $10 student admission

3260 South St.

(215) 898-4000


Academy of Natural Sciences
“Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science.”

$18 admission, $15 student admission

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

(215) 299-1019


The Barnes Foundation
“The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to ‘promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.’ The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of post-impressionist and early modern paintings, with extensive works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Rousseau, Modigliani, Soutine, and Chirico, as well as American masters Demuth, Glackens, Pippin, and Prendergast.”

$29 General Admission

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

(215) 278-7000


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Love Park
A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its famed nickname “LOVE Park” due to its famous sculpture. Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” statue usually resides there, but is temporarily across the street at Dilworth Park while improvements are made to Love Park. Still, it’s a popular destination to grab a bite from some of the best food trucks and people watch.

16th and JFK Boulevard


Dilworth Park
Located on the west side of City Hall, Dilworth park is a gathering space for the community, featuring a lawn, tree groves, a fountain that converts to an ice skating rink in the winter, and a Jose Garces cafe.

1 S. 15th St.

Rittenhouse Square
One of Benjamin Franklin’s original squares, Rittenhouse Square Park sits in one of most popular neighborhoods in two. It’s surrounded by excellent restaurants and some of the best shopping in town. It’s a family-friendly gathering spot where you are likely to enjoy Philly’s lively art scene with street performers, park concerts, and painters.

18th and Walnut St.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Fairmount Park
Open from sunrise to sunset, Fairmount Park encompasses 9,200 acres of land. Quite simply, it’s huge. In addition to many trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding, the park houses the Japanese Tea House, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Schulkyll River trail and Boathouse Row, and historical mansions like Lemon Hill.

Lloyd Hall is a good starting point:

1 Boathouse Row, Lloyd Hall

 (215) 683-0200


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Walnut Street
From Broad St. through 20 St., Walnut Street is full of shops and boutiques ranging from mid to high end. Close to Rittenhouse Square, this is an excellent place to shop and grab a bite to eat.

South Street
Long considered the place for hippies, artists, punks, and misfits of all kinds, South Street (Front St. through 11th Street) features unique storefronts, live music, authentic Philly cheesesteaks, and much more. If you are looking for something you can’t find anywhere else, this is the place to go.

Old City
Old city is home to many of the city’s art galleries but is also a shopping destination for boutique shopping. Styles include indie, vintage, edgy, and avant garde. North 3 St. is home to many of the neighborhood’s trendiest shops.

Passyunk Avenue
Located in South Philly, Passyunk Avenue is one of the hottest spots in town for shopping and dining. Located in a hip, yet family friendly neighborhood, Passyunk Ave. includes all kinds of shops from high end clothing to unique home furnishings. There’s a shop for you, your kids and your dog.

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Quintessentially Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is an experience that can’t be described and must be seen. It’s the largest public artwork by famed mosaicist, Isaiah Zagar.

Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries. Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.”

1020 South St.

Philadelphia, PA 19147


Liberty Bell
The historic liberty bell is the iconic symbol of liberty in America. Ironically the large crack in the was actual intentional - it was to repair a smaller crack and keep it from spreading. Learn more about our nation’s history at Independence Hall , where the Liberty Bell is housed.

6th and Market St.

(215) 965-2305


City Hall
“City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out. The public rooms are among the most lavish in the City. The City Council Chamber, the Mayor’s Reception Room, Conversation Hall and the Supreme Court Room are the most ornate.

The exterior is covered with sculpture representing the seasons and continents, as well as allegorical figures, heads and masks. All of the sculpture was designed by Alexander Milne Calder, including the 27-ton statue of William Penn atop the tower. The tower was the tallest building in Philadelphia until 1987. Its observation deck, accessible during guided-tours, provides a panoramic view of the city.“

Broad and Market St.

(215) 686-2840


The Italian Market
Both the oldest and largest outdoor market in America, the Italian Market is one of Philadelphia’s greatest treasures. Though it is still primarily Italian, over the years many cultures have made their home among the merchants.  With over 100 stores, you can buy any kind of food. There are 3 cheese shops, numerous butchers and fisheries, two freshly made pasta shops, three spice shops, and countless streetside produce stands. The market is a chef’s dream, but also a wonderful place to experience the diversity of Philadelphia. During a walk through the market, you will likely hear at least four languages and see products from around the world.

9th Street from Chrisitan St. to Washington Ave.

The Reading Terminal Market
It’s been around since 1892, when trains rumbled overhead and “Market boys” ran orders to people who lived nearby. Like the Italian Market, it features a wide variety of food from around the world, as well as some beloved local cuisine. DiNic’s roast pork sandwich was named Travel Channel’s, “Best Sandwich in America.” With over 80 unique vendors, the market has a variety of sit-down eateries, produce, dairy, meats and fish, flowers, and handmade products.

12th and Arch Sts.

Boathouse Row
A National Historic Landmark, Boathouse Row is located on the east side of the Schuylkill River just north of the Philadelphia Art Museum. It’s a row of fifteen boathouses that house rowing clubs. By day, the Schuylkill River trail is a great place to walk, run, bike or picnic. At night, the boathouses are illuminated in lights that outline each house.

South Street
Long considered the place for hippies, artists, punks, and misfits of all kinds, South Street (Front St. through 11th Street) features unique storefronts, live music, authentic Philly cheesesteaks, and much more. If you are looking for something you can’t find anywhere else, this is the place to go.

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Where to Eat

We’ve covered the bases, from food trucks to fancy. Philly as a great city for eating; you really can’t go wrong. It’s a good idea to call for reservations since many of these places below fill up quick.

On Drexel’s Campus

CoZara, which means small plates, features Japanese food served tapas style, including dumplings, soba, yakitori and other Japanese favorites. Cozara is located on the corner of 33rd and Chestnut

3200 Chestnut St.

 (267) 233-7488


Located on Chestnut Street in front of the Creese Student Center, Joe has great coffee, friendly service and is a popular place to meet colleagues or pop on some headphones and get some work done.

3200 Chestnut St.

(215) 240-4577


Landmark Americana
American sports bar that has something for everyone on the menu. Not a bad place to catch some of the NCAA games.

3333 Market St.

(215) 222-4500


Shake Shack
Fancy burger joint. Really good fast food. Yummy milk shakes. Located right on Chestnut Street in front of Creese Student Center.

3200 Chestnut St.

(267) 338-3464


California style fish tacos and Mexican fare.

3180 Chestnut St.

(267) 737-9876


Pizzeria and wine bar featuring excellent seasonal Italian dishes, imaginative pizza cooked in a wood burning stove and a variety of wine, beer and classic cocktails. Located in front of MacAlister Hall, Zavino is convenient and also hosts an excellent happy hour.

3200 Chestnut St.

 (215) 823-6897


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University City Restaurants and Bars

Baby Blue’s
BBQ joint serving ribs & other meat-centric fare in a quirky space within a repurposed brownstone.”

3402 Sansom St.

(215) 222-4444


Bobby's Burger Palace
Bobby Flay’s burger joint chain, featuring a variety of regionally themed burgers and shakes.

3925 Walnut St.

(215) 387-0378


Cavanaugh's Restaurant & Sports Bar
Classic Irish Pub and sports bar.

119 S 39th St.

(215) 386-4889


City Tap House
The Tap House serves American Pub fare and features a large variety of craft beers in a comfortable, rustic atmosphere.

3925 Walnut St

(215) 662-0105


Doc Magrogans
Oyster house serving seafood in a 20th century Boston setting.

3432 Sansom St.

(215) 382-FISH


Drexel Pizza
Pizza, fast food.

107 N 33rd St.

(215) 222-4722


Ed's Pizza
Late night spot where students go for pizza, wings, and beer.

3513 Lancaster Ave.

(215) 222-4000


Federal Donuts
Philadelphia chain, offering just fresh donuts and fried chicken, brought to you by the team behind Zahav and other Philadelphia favorites.

3428 Sansom St.

(267) 275-8489


Harvest Wine Bar
This local chain serves seasonal fare and beer and an extensive wine list in a relaxed environment. Score drink deals at happy hour on Friday from 5-7, and Friday and Saturday from 10pm-12am.

200 S 40th St.

(215) 662-1100


Hip City Veg
Looking for fast food that you can pretend is healthy? Try local chain, HipCityVeg. You can come for a “groothie” and salad but you’ll be missing out if you don't try the vegan cheese steak and sweet potato fries.

214 S. 40th St.

(267) 244-4342


Authentic and affordable Thai restaurant, with plenty of vegetarian options, where you can BYOB.

3626 Lancaster Ave.

(215) 222-8042


Mad Mex
Lively Mexican-Spanish-Southeast asian fusion restaurant and bar close to Drexel’s campus with large portions and affordable prices.

3401 Walnut St.

(215) 382-2221


Modern Thai restaurant on University of Pennsylvania’s restaurant with affordable menu items

4006 Chestnut St.

(215) 387-8533


This is a great spot for locally sourced, made to order meals. The menu is small, but the food is terrific.

3131 Walnut St.

(215) 222-1608


Savas Brick Oven Pizza
Casual spot for Italian food on Drexel’s campus with a sports bar and easy take out.

3505 Lancaster Ave.

(215) 222-7777


Affordable and tasty Indian. Mango juice, yum.60 S 38th St.

(215) 662-0818


The Fat Ham
Southern, small plate and “pork-centric” restaurant brought to you by Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga.

3131 Walnut St.

(215) 735-1914


White Dog Cafe
Seasonal, organic, farm to table, restaurant between Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania, with a dog themed interior. This is a popular brunch spot, so make a reservation but you shouldn't have a problem dropping in for dinner or happy hour on Friday.

3420 Sansom St.

(215) 386-9224


-3421 Chestnut St.
-34th and Walnut St.
-34th St. and Lancaster Ave.

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Food Trucks

Happy Sunshine
This truck serves a wide variety of fast, cheap meals.

33rd and Arch St.

Dragon statue halal cart
This cart is located on 33rd St. in front of the dragon statue and across the street from the library. The food is delicious and easy on the wallet.

33rd and Market St.

Royal Tea

Bubble tea, bubble tea, bubble tea

33rd and Market St.

Cucina Zapata

Award winning Thai/Mexican fusion food truck on Drexel’s campus and a peer reader favorite!

3101-,3141 Ludlow St (in the walk behind Main Building)


La Dominique Creperie
This cart is run by a former artist and it shows in the creativity of its offerings, with both sweet and savory crepes. USA Today recently named it one of the top 10 trucks in the country.

Market Street, between 33rd and 34th St.

La Porchetta
Between 34th and 36th on Market, this truck boasts the real deal roast pork sandwich. Pork this good can rarely be found outside South Philly. It’s decadently good. Get the fries with gravy for the full experience.

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Dining Near Radisson Blu Warwick

Le Cheri
French that is approachable yet delicious.

251 S. 18th St.

(215) 546-7700


Audrey Claire
Local, BYOB favorite serving up mediterranean food. Didn’t get a chance to grab a bottle of wine? Walk across the street to Food and Friends, where you can pick up beer or cider and maybe some snacks for later.

276 S 20th St.

(215) 731-1222


Federal Donuts
Just fresh donuts (the cinnamon sugar donut will change your life) and fried chicken.

1632 Sansom St.

(215) 665-1101


Hip City Veg
Looking for fast food that you can pretend is healthy? Try local chain, HipCityVeg. You can come for a “groothie” and salad but you’ll be missing out if you don't try the vegan cheese steak and sweet potato fries.

127 S. 18th St.

(215) 278-7605


Monk’s Cafe
This bar/restaurant is the original Belgian beer joint. It was here before the restaurant revolution in the city and is still one of the city’s best spots to grab a bite and a beer.

264 S. 16th St.

(215) 545-7005


Specializing in wine, beer and cheese this is a great spot for upscale salads and sandwiches and good conversation.

123 S. 18th St.

(215) 972-TRIA


The Dandelion
Upscale British pub with a themed interior, afternoon tea service and family style roasts on Sundays. It looks tiny from the outside but boasts multiple floors and bars, all with different themes.

124 S. 18th St.

(215) 558-2500


V Street
Vegan global street food restaurant (named best in Philly last year) offering small plates in a cool environment. Try the Peruvian fries and soft serve and anything on the drink menu. Reservations aren't required, but are strongly suggested for parties over two.

126 S 19th St.

(215) 278-7943


Pizzeria Vetri
Upscale and lively pizzeria with a great, but sometimes loud, atmosphere from award winning Vetri Family restaurateurs. 

1615 Chancellor St.

(215) 763-3760


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Dining Near Holiday Inn Express Midtown

Midtown is a great part of town for restaurants. There are so many good ones it’s hard to pick. Many of these are also great places to have a drink after dinner, or just take a stroll. Philly is a very walkable city and the nightlife is easy to find.

Marc Vetri’s Roman style trattoria offers up delicious Italian fare. The atmosphere is trendy but comfortable, if a bit loud.

412 S. 13th St.

(215) 732-2647


Garces Trading Company
New American restaurant with a bar and market. This is one of the few good brunch spots in the area that doesn't require a reservation or an hour spent waiting in line.

1111 Locust St.

(215) 574-1099


Smokin’ Betty’s
New American restaurant and bar known for its BBQ and nightlife.

116 S 11th St.

(215) 922-6500


El Vez
Trendy and colorful Mexican restaurant with mid-range prices. It gets busy on the weekends so reservations are recommended.

121 S 13th St.

(215) 928-9800



Known nationally, Vedge is vegetarian but don’t let that dissuade you if you’re a meat eater. This restaurant is considered among the best in the country.

1221 Locust St.

(215) 320-7500


Midtown Spanish restaurant with tapas, large plates and a wine bar from James Beard nominated Chef, Marcie Turney. Mid-range prices and a cozy but lively setting. 

105 S 13th St.

(215) 922-6061


Cheu Noodle Bar
This noodle bar is non-traditional, inventive, affordable and delicious.

255 S. 10th St.

(267) 639-4136


Bud & Marilyn’s
This is an inventive take on classic American comfort food in a quirky, retro environment.

1234 Locust St.

(215) 546-2220


Frank Bradley’s
This pub is one of Philly’s best bars and serves better than usual pub fare and great cocktails.

1320 Chancellor St.

(215) 735-0735


This is high-end, gourmet, top of the line cuisine. Marc Vetri has several restaurants in the city and you can’t go wrong with any of them. This is his flagship Northern Italian restaurant that spares no expense and is worth every penny.

1312 Spruce St.

(215) 732-3478


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Dining in Center City

Both hotels are in great neighborhoods for dining in Center City, so you should check out the restaurants listed there. Here are a few more restaurants that are worth mentioning.

Vernick Food and Drink
Considered one of the best restaurants in Philly, Vernick serves up modern American food with a simplicity that belies the complexity of flavor.

2301 Walnut St.

(267) 639-6644


Ela’s menu is cutting edge New-American cuisine. The menu is refreshingly original and the atmosphere is hip but not pretentious.

627 S. 3rd St.

(267) 687-8512


Talula’s Garden
Focusing on New American cuisine and locally sourced food, Talula’s Garden has been one of the most popular restaurants in town for several years.

210 Washington Square West

(215) 592-7787


Village Whiskey
Really, really, ridiculously good burgers and amazing selection of whiskey.

118 S. 20th St.

(215) 665-1088


Michael Solomnov’s modern Israeli cuisine is considered by many to be the best in the city and it’s earned the reputation.

237 St James Pl.

(215) 625-8800


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Dining in South Philadelphia

Passyunk Avenue in South Philly is home to some of the city’s best restaurants in addition to shops and boutiques. These are just a few of the dining choices; there are many more that range from casual to fancy.

French. Great wine selection.

1623 E. Passyunk Ave.

(267) 639-3203


Top Chef winner Nick Elmi’s award winning restaurant frequently tops the best restaurants lists. It’s tasting menu only, intimate and refined (without being stuffy). Reservations are hard to come by, so definitely call ahead.

1617 E. Passyunk Ave.

(215) 271-8299


This unique Dutch and Scandinavian menu is delicious. BYOB.

1046 Tasker St.

(267) 909-9704


Creative takes on classic dishes that look as good as they taste. BYOB.

1911 Passyunk Ave.

(215) 271-7683


Bing Bing Dim Sum
More dim sum inspired than actual dim sum, this food is fun and tasty and the atmosphere is funky.

1648 E Passyunk Ave.

(215) 279-7702


Le Virtu
Dedicated to Abruzzo cuisine, this is Italian like you have never before experienced. South Philly is known for Italian food, but none are better than this.

1927 E. Passyunk Ave.

(215) 271-5626


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And finally, cheesesteaks.

If you are looking for a real Philadelphia cheese steak, see below.

Pat’s King of Steaks
Pat Olivieri invented the cheesesteak and his family still runs Pat’s. It’s been around for over 80 years serving up steaks and fries right across the street from their rival, Geno’s. If you want to order like a native, choose your cheese and toppings say either “with” for a steak with fried onions or “without” for a steak without fried onions. For example, “whiz with” is a cheesesteak with cheese whiz and fried onions.

9th and Wharton St. in South Philadelphia


Geno’s Steaks
Setting up right across the street from Pat’s in 1966, Geno’s fiercely competes with them for the tourist business. (Most Philadelphians get their cheesesteaks elsewhere. These really aren’t the best in town. Shhhhh.)

1219 S. 9th St.


Jim’s Steaks
Jim’s has also been around for a long time - close to 75 years. Located in the middle of the action on South Street, Jim’s frequently makes the list of best steaks in town. It’s also a bit touristy (the line usually ropes around the store onto 4th street). They’re in the middle - their steaks are better than Pat’s and Geno’s, but not the best in town, in our humble opinion.

400 South St.


This little deli hidden away in South Philadelphia is the go-to spot for South Philadelphians for steaks, hoagies, etc. The steaks are fantastic and come on either a traditional roll or a seeded roll, and the owners are some of the nicest people around.

1501 S 8th St.

(215) 468-6093


John’s Roast Pork
Okay, you really have to be hunting for  a damn good cheesesteak if you venture to John’s. It’s an out-of-the-way little stand near the docks off the Delaware River. It’s where the dock workers go for lunch and the cheesesteaks are roast pork are better than almost anywhere else in town. Worth the trip.

14 Snyder Ave.

(215) 463-1951


Campo’s Deli
Located in Old City, this spot is close to many of the historical sight-seeing destinations and serves up a delicious and authentic cheesesteak.

214 Market St.

(215) 923-1000


Off the beaten path, Dalessandro’s is in Roxborough on Philadelphia’s northwestern ridge. Makes the top 10 list every time and does so because the steaks are the greasy and decadent real deal. If you venture out this way, head to Main St. in Manayunk for some shopping and bar hopping.

600 Wendover St.

(215) 482-5407


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