Jose Garces' Top 5 Places to Eat in Philly

Related To:

Jose Garces

Jose Garces against a blue background wearing a brown and red chefs uniform

We can't fault Jose Garces for choosing one of his own restaurants as a top spot in Philadelphia: The guy has opened seven places there in the past six years. But after living in the city for 11 years, he knows some other great finds, too. Here are his top picks:

Middle Eastern Combo


Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Middle Eastern Combo from the Sahara Grill

When Jose is really hungry, he goes to this no-frills Lebanese restaurant. It's small, he says, but the platters aren't. The Middle Eastern combo includes hummus, baba ghanoush, marinated carrots and mushrooms, tabouli, eggplant salad, feta and olives. "It's enough for four people," he says. $11 for lunch, $12 for dinner; 1334 Walnut St.; 215-985-4155

Spinach Gnocchi


Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Spinach Gnocchi from Vetri

Diners wait up to two months for prime reservations at Vetri, but Jose swears the gnocchi, part of a tasting menu, is worth the trouble. Chef Marc Vetri replaces potatoes with spinach to make his extra-delicate dumplings, then tops them with brown butter and shaved ricotta. "It's outrageous," Jose says. $135 for six-course tasting menu; 1312 Spruce St.;

Chicken on a Stick


Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Chicken on a Stick from Dim Sum Garden

Jose loves this hole-in-the-wall Chinatown spot. In fact, he has trouble choosing just one dish as his favorite, but the Chicken on a Stick is definitely up there. It's marinated in sweet-and-sour sauce and then fried. $4.50 for four pieces; 59 North 11th St.; 215-627-0218

Deep-Dish Pie


Photo by: Trevor Dixon

Trevor Dixon

Deep-Dish Pie from Garces Trading Company

Jose, a Chi-town native, was tired of waiting for trips back to the Windy City for authentic Chicago-style pizza. "I was like, 'Forget that — I'm going to bring it home,'" he says. When he opened his sixth restaurant in Philadelphia in 2010, he put this deep-dish pie on the menu. He gets his topped with sausage de Toulouse and wild mushrooms. $38; 1111 Locust St.;

Old Fashioned

Photo by: Douglas Keith

Douglas Keith

Old Fashioned from Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.

This pre-Prohibition-style bar is Jose's favorite place to grab a drink — specifically, an Old Fashioned made with Pappy Van Winkle's 20-year-old bourbon and served over a big chunk of ice. A standing-room-only marble drink rail adds to the old-time feel. $30; 112 South 18th St.;

( Food Photographs: Trevor Dixon; Drink Photograph: Douglas Keith)

Next Up

How the First Female Chef at a Historic New Orleans Restaurant Celebrates Mardi Gras

Here’s how Meg Bickford faced the roaring return of carnival season at Commander’s Palace — and her recipe for an "obnoxiously good" shrimp po' boy.

What Is King Cake?

And why is there a plastic baby inside?

What Is Praline?

You’ve probably heard the name and eaten it. But what exactly is praline?

Subway Will Now Be Slicing Meat Fresh at Each of Its Locations

Customers will be able to see the machines work right in front of them.

Tasting Atlanta, Years Later

One Georgia native revisits his hometown’s growing food scene.

Michael Symon's Top 5 Places to Eat in Cleveland

Iron Chef Michael Symon — the unofficial mayor of Cleveland — tells Food Network Magazine what to eat in his hometown.

Our Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Denver

This laid-back Rocky Mountain city is the ideal spot for a holiday getaway.

Chuck Hughes' Top 5 Places to Eat in Montreal

Pork sandwich, bagels, hot dogs and more are some of Cooking Channel host Chuck Hughes favorite dishes to eat in his hometown of Montreal.

Turns Out, America Isn't the Boxed Mac & Cheese Capital of the World

Its main factory is working 24/7 to churn out enough boxes to meet surging demand in another country.

Where to Eat Dinner in Chicago

Food Network stars and headliner Phillip Phillips share their dinner recommendations to continue your culinary adventure in Chicago.


What's New