For me, one of the main draws of traveling is being able to immerse myself into the local culture of the places I visit. Don’t get me wrong I love traveling just for the fun of it too, but I tend to go to places whose culture not only interests me but is a place that I can also nerd out in its history.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I ironically don’t like to spend money on food when I’m in my home base of New York City. It’s weird I know, especially since NYC is such a food focused city. But for me, NY is home (I should probably shake that mindset but after 4.5 years it’s hard), and when I’m at home I like to cook and to bake. In general, I try to live a fairly healthy life – you can’t be as petite as I am and eat everything under the sun. You’ll end up morphing into the shape of a blueberry. But when I travel one of the things I will splurge on is the local fare.
Side Note: I was just in France and ate so many pastries and baguettes and drank all of the wine I’m pretty sure even though I walked everywhere I still came back a few lbs heavier.
Get locally satisfied.
(and no, I am not talking about Tinder)
Unless you live on Mars and only can eat space food I’m pretty sure your diet consists of a mixture of many types of cuisines. It’s hard to live in the world we’re in today and not be influenced by another culture one way or the other. And why not? When you visit somewhere new, learn more about where that food you love so much actually came from!
Far be it from me to tell you to not eat the local food when you travel somewhere, aka when you’re in Philly which is known for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, the hoagie, whoopie pies, Tastykakes and more, but there is something satisfying about avoiding these places and going on a trendy food crawl. After all you don’t need to eat a cheesesteak every time you go.
Get over yourself, you know you’re going to ‘gram it’.
I know, I know, it’s almost a sin to say something like that, and there are many people out there who hate buzzwords such as, "matcha”, “cookie dough” and “activated charcoal,” but they also know they can’t deny that seeing pictures of these types of foods on their feeds give them the teeniest twinge of FOMO. And many of them will give into that FOMO and go sample these trends – although they probably won’t admit to it.
We’re all guilty of it at some point. Quickly, and sometimes embarrassingly, snapping a photo of the food we’re about to eat. You want to see what other people are eating, you want everyone else to see what you’re eating, you want to end up in the ‘top posts’ of all the hashtags. And voilà! Ten minutes later your photo casually pops up on the Instagram feed of the friend sitting across from you.
These days it’s all about the next big thing, but there’s also nothing wrong with riding the wave of the hot 2017 items. So here they are. My top 5 picks in Philly to not only indulge in, but give you the ultimate dose of #FoodPorn.
Doughlicious Edible Cookie Dough from Sweet Box
Oh cookie dough sans eggs. You may think this trend is new, but I knew about NYC’s DŌ 3 years ago when they were located in a tiny apartment randomly placed on 2nd Avenue. But nonetheless edible cookie dough has taken the world by storm and places are popping up all other the place. Whether you head over to their location in Midtown Village or find their truck out-and-about, Philly's Sweet Box has a case full of flavors to satisfy those late-night cookie cravings.
Charcoal Vanilla + Black Sesame Soft Serve from Kuriimii
You can’t tell me you don’t like frozen treats. Even if you’re lactose intolerant, like I am, you can still enjoy a deliciously smooth frozen delight. That is why God, or pharma companies, invented Lactaid.
Out of all the froyo places in Philly, you must head over to Chinatown to experience Kuriimii. Not only do they make froyo as dark as some of your hearts, they also have a unique black sesame flavor which has the perfect hint of sweetness. And did I mention they can top your cone or cup with edible gold flakes (for only 50 cents)?! Nuff said.
Sushi Burger from Bubblefish
There are all sorts of burger places out there that are hopping on the black food trend, many of them using activated charcoal (there it is again) to make their buns look like they’re fully burnt, but still edible. But if you’re like me and love burgers and really, really love sushi then this is your spot! Also located in Chinatown (funny how food trends work) I will admit they are a little hard to eat. But, this is the time when you roll your sleeves up, grab onto that ‘bun’ and accept you are most likely going to get rice and innards all over the table. A mixture of pepper tuna, spicy tuna, spicy crab, lettuce, avocado and fried onion all under two sushi rice ‘buns’ this is $12 well-spent, and $12 that is going to satisfy your hunger until dinner.
Veggie Tacos from V Street
I know tacos aren’t really a trend. But funny enough eating healthier is, and (cringe) saying you’re “a vegetarian” is too. There is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian, that is if you actually are. But there is also no shame in saying you do eat mostly vegetarian but enjoy a good steak once in a blue moon, a la like myself. I adore pretty much every mushroom known to man (except for those little white toadstools), and in general I like the way I feel from eating clean. This is why I headed over to V Street near Rittenhouse Square. Not only is the ambiance cool they are changing the perception most normal eaters have about vegan food with their deliciously inspired dishes. If you go during brunch get the Tofu Po Boy Tacos. You may just find yourself justifyingly ordering another plate.
Doughnuts + Fried Chicken from Federal Donuts
Ummm hello, donuts and fried chicken! Need I say more? Federal Donuts has been around for years and is a staple if you head to the 'City of Brotherly Love'.
They may not fall into the category of a food trend but their unique donut flavors definitely can! As I went in the morning I only got a donut, 8:30 in the morning is a little too early for fried chicken in my opinion (and they don’t start serving it until 11 anyways), but I have been there in the afternoon and can safely say it was some of the best fried chicken I’ve had.
I'm sure there are more trendy foods in Philly, but when you only have 48 hours in a place there is only so much you can eat. If you know of any more please let me know in the comments!
And don't forget to pin the images below :)
Content Creator, Traveler, Foodie, Amateur Photographer (and surprise!) Graphic Designer living in New York City. This website started in 2016 as a space to share my passion to live life to the fullest, make adventures a priority, eat all of the good food, drink all of the wine, and curate the beautiful photos that come along with it.