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.

Barbuzzo Mediterannean Kitchen & Bar

The Story: Experts/Chefs Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney have been turning out some of Philly’s best Mediterranean inspired cuisine and consistently making “Best Of” lists and winning awards since opening on 13th street in 2010. They’ve gone from hot new restaurant to local institution, with a following so loyal you’ll want to make sure to make reservations before stopping by. 

What to Eat: In keeping with the true spirit of Medditerranean cooking the menu at Barbuzzo is highly seasonal, so go with what speaks to you and the recommendations of your server. In addition to housemade pasta and pizza showcasing the best of the season, certain items like the Grilled Spanish Octopus, House-Made Charcuterie Board, and Salted Caramel Budino are available year round and too popular to be missed.  

What to Drink: Classic cocktails with a contemporary spin, a rotating line up of microbrews on draft, and wines imported from the Medditteranean. 

The Vibe: An intimate, warm, contemporary dining space with interior accents of turquoise, cerulean, and blue that recall the Medditeranean sea. 

Sang Kee Peking Duck House

The Story: When Chef/Expert Michael Chow arrived in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, it was as an electrical engineer, not a restauranteur. Like many Chinese immigrants of his generation, when Chow was unable to find immediate employment in the profession in which he was educated, he took a below minimum wage job in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. Applying the same precision and capacity for focus that made him an excellent engineer to his newfound craft of cooking. In 1980 Michael Chow opened Sang Kee Peking Duck House, and is credited as being one of the first people to bring this heavenly, five-spice scented, duck delicacy to Philadelphia. 

What to Eat: The Peking Duck, half or whole: “On a nice cold night, when the last thing I want to see is another sauté pan, Sang Kee Peking is my pick. Order their Peking Duck that's served in courses. The pancakes are my favorite: thin, fluffy, and rolled around crispy-skinned duck with house hoisin sauce and plenty of finely julienned green onions,” says Chef/Expert Sylvan Senat. The Roasted Pork Wonton Noodle Soup “"At least once a week... It delivers on every level: tender pork, shrimp dumplings, ramen noodles and choy. Doesn't get any better than that,” says Expert/Chef Ben Puchowitz. Chef/Expert Mike Stollenwerk is obsessed with the Crispy Shrimp Rolls “I love these bad boys so much, I get the Sang Kee duckman to deliver them to Fish as a pre-service snack. They're 100% shrimp, no filler, like an egg roll shell but wrapped around all shrimp. Ask for extra spicy mustard.” 

What to Drink: Cocktails, Tsing Tao Beer, or Hot Tea. 

The Vibe: A warm family establishment with an open kitchen and a house full of happy, loyal patrons. 

Bistrot la Minette

The Story: Chef Peter Woolsey, inspired by his time spent cooking at Lucas Carton in Paris, and of course the love he shares with his French born spouse Peggy Baud-Woolsey, opened Bistrot la Minette in Queen’s Village in 2008. Woolsey and Executive Chef Chef Lloyd take great care to ensure that the menu pays proper homage to the various regional cuisines of France. This charming, Parisian style bistro has our Experts’ votes for the most authentically French dining experience found in Philadelphia.

What to Eat: Expert/Chef Joey Campanaro says “the Cassoulet De Toulouse is a must... lamb and tomato stew with duck confit, lardons, garlic sausage, Tarbais beans, and duck fat breadcrumbs." Expert/Chef Lynn Rinaldi says the Oeufs Du Pécheur takes her to her happy place: “When I dine La Minette. I have to order the wonderful fisherman’s style poached egg. Served with mussels in a tarragon cream sauce, delicious as always. Chef Woolsey’s execution of this classic dish is always spot-on.” Expert/Chef Terence Feury is all about the Escargots de Bourgongne “I think about these snails a lot. Chef Peter Woolsey makes them garlicky and chewy, and serves them up in beautiful little crocks topped with tiny toasts. The chef brings such a beautiful sense of balance to a classic dish”

What to Drink: A bottle or two from their carefully curated selection of imported French varietal wines. 

The Vibe: With its red banquettes and servers in vests to match, hardwood floors, and charming antique fixtures and Art Nouveau accents, the feel is very much that of a bistro in Paris in the 1930’s. 

Bistrot la Minette
Spot
Queen Village, Philadelphia
$$$$, Outdoor Seating, French, Full Bar
6 Recommendations
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