TA Away Game Travel Guide to Philadelphia

05 Sep 2011 1:57 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Andrew Brawley

I like Philadelphia, and I don’t like that I can’t be there more often. Trading Places was filmed there. Ween and the Dead Milkmen are from there. Then there’s all that history stuff like the Liberty Bell and the Constitutional Convention. Oh, and cheesesteaks (which are pure awesome until Cheez Whiz is slathered on…seriously Philly, would real melted cheese be so bad?). This city also happens to be a major hub for sports fans…that of the fanatical breed. I doubt anyone will have to worry about any sort of away-day experience like an Eagles game (or a Dodgers game), but after the local supporters’ group’s not-so-favorable feature in GQ UK, who knows what mood they’ll be in (I know I wouldn’t be stoked about such an article...which is why I’m thankful that our own alt-weekly covers us in unabridged, non-cherry-picked fashion).

Anyway, my buddy Rob, a.k.a. Bobby Soup, has graciously offered up a few tips for the City of Brotherly Love. He’s one of my old music industry pals who also learned that being in LA is harmful to your soul. Hope they treat you well.

The public transportation from the airport sucks, so if you don’t have access to a car, your best bet is a taxi.

As far as Philly goes, I guess off hand I would recommend Pat's and Geno's. They are the famous cheese steak places in South Philly, and they are right across the street from each other.

The 9th Street Italian Market is fun.

Also the Reading Terminal Market is great, too. Tons of food stands.

The better local bars can be found in south Philly, whereas the bars on South street are a mix of locals along with the tourists they’re hosting.


Comments

  • 09 Jul 2016 11:24 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Rob says:
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I lived in Phila (locals don’t call it “Philly”) for 7 years; I can’t say I know the bar scene well, but I do know the food.

    – As far as cheesesteaks go: forget the whiz and get provolone; if you ask for a “cheesesteak hogie” you’ll get it with mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes; don’t bother with the lines at Pat’s or Geno’s (though they are an experience in themselves, I guess) and get your steak at a truck, it will be better, cheaper and there won’t be as much of a line (nor as much attitude). Or skip the cheesesteak altogether (like I usually did) and get a bacon, egg and cheese, or a roast pork with greens.
    – Can’t recommend Reading Terminal enough. It’s what Portland would love to have as an indoor market.
    – I’ve taken the train to and from the airport; I can’t really say it’s much worse than taking the max.
    – Monk’s Cafe (listed in the “better local bars” link on yelp above) still is the home of the best burger I’ve ever had. Their mussels are also really good. The wife usually got the salad with duck. Beer list is long, but more focussed on Belgian than local.
    – Rittenhouse Sq. is a great place to hang if it’s not too hot/muggy and watch the local scene. Also some great local coffee and sandwich shops around the square. wikipedia entry
    – The Phila Museum of Art is amazing. Like nothing you’ll see on the west coast and worth a visit.
    – Not sure I’d agree with the better bars being in South Phila; I’d say more like Old Town (East part of the city). But they probably get more sports oriented as you head South. But, again, that wasn’t really my scene.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 11:25 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the tips, Rob.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:25 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    jwk says:
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I enjoyed the link to the article about the sons of ben. FWIW, I agree 100% with this sentiment:
    With other aspects of the Sons of Ben, Narducci is less impressed. “I don’t like the swearing,” he says. “The Sons of Ben use the lame excuse that it’s done in other MLS stadiums. I think it’s classless and they should be above that. They are clever and creative with their chants, and the swearing detracts from all they add. I could do without the skinheads, too.”
    The Timbers Army does a great job of staying positive and proving you can be passionate in your support and still have class.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:25 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Mike says:
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Just a thought on the cheesesteak thing:

    Tourists go to Geno’s and Pats
    People who think they know what they’re doing go to Jim’s
    Philadelphians go to Tony Luke’s.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:26 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Mike, thanks for the input. Always like seeing the locals chime in.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:26 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Alex Peerenboom says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I had Dalessandro’s last time I was there. It was really good.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:27 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Megan says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Delassandro’s or Chubbys is the way to go. Of course not in Philly (in Robxborough) but some of the best cheesesteaks I’ve every had and they were ranked in Best of Philly for cheesesteaks in the past. If you go to Chubby’s get the cheesesteak, curly fries, and birch beer.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:27 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Heather says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I was born and raised in Philadelphia. Work in center city and a Union fan. A few points:

    Great article, btw. :)
    Locals DO call it Philly. In fact, that’s the only way we refer to it when using its name. Not sure where that first commenter got his information. Lols
    Mostly tourists get whiz on their cheesteaks. I get provolone. Many get american.
    Pats and Genos is so so. I’d personally find a mom n pop pizza place (they’re everwhere).
    Regional rail goes to PPL stadium at the Highland Ave station. There’s a free shuttle from the train to the stadium

    Hope to see some of you guys there on Saturday!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:28 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for the tips Heather!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:28 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Erin Blank says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Hey! The Sons of Ben/Illegitimates and other supporters groups are holding a tailgate charity fundraiser, please consider joining us! Check it out on the Illegitimates Facebook page. Today is the deadline for tailgate tickets (money is going towards the kids with cancer charity). Portland – my second favorite team. Go U.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 11:28 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    evan says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Tony lukes is a god awful cheesesteak. People from jersey go to tony lukes. Johns roast pork is better than all of them at front and snyder. Also I’ve lived in philly my whole life, and obviously still call it Philly. Reading terminal market is fantastic.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:12 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    “Tourists go to Geno’s and Pats
    People who think they know what they’re doing go to Jim’s
    Philadelphians go to Tony Luke’s”

    and

    “Dalessandro’s”

    First, that’s a typical saying but you go where it’s good and convenient…people near the Plymouth Meeting suburb go to Pudge’s..people in city got to Chink’s or Steve’s Prince of Steaks if your in the Northeast….and Tony Luke’s is South Philly…Campo’s in Olde City….etc..

    Here ya go…where ever you are in the Philly area:http://www.popscheesesteaks.com/

    People from Philadelphia don’t say, “Philly”?! He didn’t live here long enough…People in and out of the city call it Philly unless they are executive white collar or talking to foreigners.

    Public transportation: skip it..rent a car or have someone pick you up…and i guess you could cab it, just double buckle the belt.

    By the way…Old Town…lol….he must be older than 50…it’s Old(e) City if you ask the younger crowd.

    Bars…in the city once again…stay in Old City, its young, fun and where you find the social life.

    IMO

    Scott B
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:13 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Megan says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I was wondering what Old Town was haha. Olde City is a great place to visit and eat around!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:13 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    D says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    If you are making a weekend of it you should certainly hit up Olde City. Within a 6 block radius you have dozens of small eateries and local neighborhood bars as well as Independence Hall and the Constitution Center. I would recommend Race Street Cafe and Silk City to eat and heading over to Society Hill for beers at The Dark Horse or Eulogy. Enjoy your trip … welcome to Philadelphia !
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:14 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Dorothy says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Agree with Heather – we all call it Philly. Don’t waste your time eating at Pat’s or Geno’s. Jim’s Steaks on South Street has excellent steaks, and the Reading Terminal Market has anything you’d want to eat, including cheesesteaks, Amish cooking, Indian, Vegetarian and more. Not all SOBs are skinheads – some of us are middle aged suburban types!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:14 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Jay says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    “The better local bars can be found in south Philly, whereas the bars on South street are a mix of locals along with the tourists they’re hosting.”

    Quoted for truth. 12 Steps Down, The Dive, The POPE, Cantina, Lucky 13, South Philly Tap Room and Bob and Barbara’s are the reason I rarely feel the need to venture north of Christian St. The article is mostly right about South Street, but if you dig on German beer Brauhaus Schmitz (South St. between 7th and 8th) is not to be missed.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:14 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    jay says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Yes, try monks. You may get some slight ribbing Bhutan the Sons of Ben that work there! DOOP!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:15 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    jay says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    By the Sons of Ben. (Auto correct wins again.)
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:15 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lisa says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    And the bars in Old City are awesome. Not sure where the first guy got old town from. Definitely classy in old city. Manayunk is fun too but in the north west part of the city and probably not easy to get to from the airport area without a car. Rittenhouse is definitely great for people watching. Hope whoever is coming out considers stopping by the charity tailgate before the game.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:15 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Travis says:
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    If you want to go to monk’s plan ahead and get a resrervation, it gets packed.
    go to eulogy of irish pol instead
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:16 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Matt P. says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 12:57 am

    I have lived in the Philly suburbs my whole life. If you rent a car, I highly recommend coming to my hometown of Kennett Square(the mushroom capital of the world) our annual mushroom festival is this weekend, tons of fun and amazing food., not just mushrooms..http://www.mushroomfestival.org/ Sadly we have no public transport in chester county, its about a 45 minute drive from the airport./30 minutes from PPL. I agree with many above, reading terminal is awesome, so much to choose from, never had a bad meal there! To me, pats and geno’s are tourist places, they’re not bad, but IMO not worth the hassle . Welcome to our area, and i’ve always called it Philly.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:17 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    george says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:13 am

    This travel guide shows how civil you guys are. Lol. Those of us from Philly would have insulted Portland 15 times in an article like that. Another option for Timbers fans is to contact Brauhaus Schmitz on South St. Near 7th. Great beer list and they have a bus that goes down to the stadium for games. Fado, at 15th n Locust is another great soccer pub, and they used to have a bus as well.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 12:17 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 8:27 am

    George, you should read the one about our “friends” up north.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 12:18 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    george says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Not sure what you mean Andrew.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:00 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    http://www.timbersarmy.org/Blog/4083931
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:00 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Jim says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Hey,

    Good Article. Some quick tips:
    -If you’re on South St (near 3rd) stop by Lorenzo’s Pizza. It’s cash only (2 bucks/slice) but the slices are enormous. If you want to be adventurous, wrap it around a cheesesteak from Steaks on South or Jims (SOS has shorter lines)

    -Some good places to check out in Old City are are Buffalo Billards, Plough and the Stars (great burgers/Guinness), The Khyber Pass and Mac’s (guys from Always Sunny own it).

    -Old City is nice because it’s compact and walkable with interesting sites everywhere you turn. Freebies (or donations) include Washington House, Franklin House, Firemen’s Museum, Elfreth’s Alley and down in to Penn’s Landing.

    -If you venture in to Northern Liberties, there is a ton of live music and local bars and restaurants (Johnny Brenda’s, Kung Fu Necktie)

    IF you have time, I highly recommend walking around and asking locals where some cool spots are located. They might surprise you.

    Hope you enjoy Philly but lose to the U!

    Doop
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  • 09 Jul 2016 5:01 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lisa says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

    This is blasphemy, but Monk’s is not really that great; beyond the mussels, the food is average at best (they have one of the worst burgers I’ve ever had). Yes, the beer selection is nice, but there are fabulous beer selections all over town: Farmer’s Cabinet would be my ‘don’t miss’ suggestion for amazing/rare European beers, while Standard Tap is all local beers. If you’re staying around Old City, the Khyber and the Irish Pol are a lot of fun (and have great beer); Jose Pistola’s, Tria (both locations) and Varga Bar are wonderful as well. It’s true that the public transit is not much to write home about (especially to and from the stadium), but once you get to PPL Park, look for the Victory and Yards taps – both great local breweries are available inside (one near-ish The River End, the other on the other side of the stadium).

    Back in town, check out some Jose Garces places if you can – JG Domestic and the tiny Village Whiskey are my picks, but Amada is not to be overlooked if you want to splash out.

    Hopefully, we’ll all stay dry…
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:01 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    pj cusick says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 9:24 am

    i’m pumped for the match, can’t wait to see how many TA memebers show up, hopefully a good number of you guys are on the way out, and hopefully more than seattle earlier this year, with a grand total of 9 in the away supporters section. i guess that was all of them? i personally have no beef with PTFC, they’re fun to watch, the fans go the f*ck off, and the squad plays good ball. come enjoy the park, drink some Yard’s IPA, and leave the sh*tty weather at home we’re getting washed out over here. see you saturday.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:01 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Uri says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Taking a train from NYC to watch my Timbers’ first MLS game (I left Portland when they were still USL), can’t wait to reunite and finally wear my No Pity scarf!

    RCTID
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  • 09 Jul 2016 5:02 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Nick says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    It is definitely Philly! Any of the cheesesteak places are good, but Tony Luke’s makes a bangin chicken cheesesteak. Used to be a fan of South Street years ago, but it has changed. If you are staying for the weekend, go to the Dark Horse off of South Street and watch some EPL games.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:02 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Brian B. says:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Firstly, I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and lived for four years in University City. If you have the time / ability to go to either of those places, hit up Steve’s Prince of Steaks and Abner’s, respectively. Steve’s is the best. Stay away from those South Philly places lest you get gouged for an inferior product.

    Reading Terminal is good, but it’s going to be crowded as all get out on a Saturday. If you don’t mind making a drive, 20 minutes west of the stadium is the Booth’s Corner Farmer’s Market. It has the best of Philadelphia and the Suburban/Lancaster area (read: Amish goods and whatnot) without the crowds of Reading.

    Bars in the city: Euology and Moriarity’s, both in the Old City.

    And make sure you go to Rita’s and get some water ice. Seriously.

    Finally, I want to say that I’m really excited about the TA coming to Chester. I, personally, have been very impressed with them as a group since watching the home opener in April, and the Timbers are my favorite Western team for that reason. Hope you enjoy your stay, except for the fact that we’ll beat the tar out of you. ^_^
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  • 09 Jul 2016 5:02 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Megan says:
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Personally, I’d avoid going too far south in South Philly. I lived in West Philadelphia for a year and South Street was my cutoff before it got too sketchy. Philadelphia is one of those places where you can turn a corner in a nicer neighborhood and be in a real rough spot (okay, this happens in many of the neighborhoods). I definitely suggest South Street; it feels a bit like Hawthorne or Belmont, and Reading Terminal has a place called Basic 4 that’s got vegan ‘Philly Steaks’ which are definitely better than the cheeze whiz ones from Pat’s or Gino’s! If you have time I suggest making it to Manayunk-it’s very cute and not too far, and down by the Museum is Boathouse row (what you always see pictures of)! As far as nightlife goes I never really felt Philadelphia was great for it, but there is a spot downtown called Vango that has a rooftop bar, as well as Eulogy (mentioned above) which has LOTS of beer! Also mentioned above is Brauhaus Schmitz- heavy food but good beer. One more place for food that is fabulous is South Street Souvlaki. Get some delicious Greek food there and walk down to the river for a nice view!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 5:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Megan says:
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Ah, and I call it Philly now but Phila when I was there- the signs all over town in the bus stops read Phila (makes more sense anyway, right?)!
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