The Required: Philadelphia

The Required: Philadelphia

A definitive guide to Philadelphia's tried and trues, as chosen by over 3000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

July 30, 2020
The Required: Philadelphia

The Required: Philadelphia

A definitive guide to Philadelphia's tried and trues, as chosen by over 3000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

July 30, 2020

Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love. Philly. Home to some excellent food, and now part of our Required club. 

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf.

Oyster House

The Story: A reputable seafood joint that’s been in current Owner/Expert Sam Mink’s family for four generations, under Mink and Chef/Expert Aaron Gottesman’s expertise Oyster House feels like a fresh take on a Philly institution. 

What to Eat: Raw Atlantic varietal oysters on the half shell, the New England Style Lobster Roll, and the New England Style Clam Bake ($35 per person) all get high marks from our Experts. 

What to Drink: With Oyster Shooters, Pimm’s Cups, a rotating cast of microbrews local to PA on draft, and a short but sweet wine list, you should have no problem finding a beverage to your liking. 

The Vibe: A contemporary Seafood eatery with decorative vintage memorabilia here and there from its 40+ year history, Oyster House feels fresh and bright with exposed white brick and tile walls, hardwood floors, and abundant bar and table seating. 

Oyster House
Spot
Center City, Philadelphia
$$$, Happy Hour, Full Bar, American, Seafood
8 Recommendations

High Street on Market/Ellen Yin

The Story: Seasoned Restauranteur/Expert Ellen Yin’s High Street On Market sources its ingredients from small purveyors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You could literally spend all day here and be happy, as High Street on Market is arguably the best Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner spot in all of Philly. 

What to Eat: While their menu changes frequently according to what’s seasonally available, here’s the sort of fare you can expect; For Breakfast opt for one of their morning sandwiches like The Hickorytown– Lancaster Bologna, Horseradish Cheddar, Farm Egg, Gherkin Mayo, and Fried Onion, or the Nutella Waffles with Hazelnuts and Maple Syrup. For Lunch: try the Beet Cured Salmon Pretzel Roll. For Dinner: Crab Spaghetti with Old Bay, Celery Leaves, and Breadcrumbs and Fried Chicken with Spicy Butter, Mac & Cheese, and Pickles. 

What to Drink: House cocktails, domestic wine, and small batch beer by the bottle and can. 

The Vibe: A calm, contemporary bistro setting. 

Southwark

The Story: There is a rich history behind Southwark (now Queens Village) located south of Philly. The same can be said of the restaurant synonymous with the neighborhood. Dubbed as the first cocktail bar in Philadelphia, Southwark is actually a staple farm-to-table restaurant showcasing the best of local produce.

What to Eat: There are a couple of items that are on the menu year round. The Steamed Clams come highly recommended by Expert/Chef Scott Schroeder: “If I had to pick a favorite it's the clams. Sustainable, soft, salty with tomatoes, vermouth and so many sweet sliced shallots, this is a real simple dish but it's so comforting.” Chef/Expert Erin O’Shea is all about The Farmhouse Platter “Nick Macri, who makes the charcuterie at Southwark, has talent and passion that shines through. I always get the Farmhouse Platter, a mix of cheeses, housemade charcuterie, fruit, nuts, olives, and bread. It’s all amazing, but my favorite is any Heritage Breed sausage Nick makes." Southwark also offers a limited late night menu which is well worth checking out. 

What to Drink: It’s hard to keep up with their ever changing menu of cocktails with titles that read like inside jokes and obscure Arnold Schwarzenegger movie references, but rest assured, the staff at Southwark has been slanging booze for a long time, you can trust them to steer you right. 

The Vibe: The current owners have maintained the original integrity and charm of this joint, with its hand carved wooden back bar from the late 19th Century/Early 20th Century, and vintage ceiling fans, you just feel like you’re in a proper, no-gimmick bar and pub.  

Southwark
Spot
Southwark, Philadelphia
$$$, Modern, Full Bar, Cocktail
8 Recommendations
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