Philadelphia foodies, unite! Our guide to the best food in the region is ready for you to devour. Not only does it have our restaurant critic’s top 25 (and one) restaurants, but it has all the spots you wouldn’t expect to find on such a list. That’s right. This year, we’re here to satisfy your cravings, from tacos and pizza to pho and fried chicken.

Further down in today’s newsletter you’ll find the big takeaways from the federal report on what happened during the South Philly refinery explosion, an update on Joe Biden’s seemingly slowing momentum, and a recap of the sparsely attended (even that’s generous) launch of another presidential candidate who might be best-known for an extramarital affair.

It’s that time of year again. Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan is back with his annual Dining Guide, including the top 25 restaurants in and around Philadelphia. And he has declared 2019 the year of cravings. That’s right, foodies. We’re talking about the best pizza, pasta, burgers, tacos, dumplings, and more. Sure, there’s a time and place for high-end tasting menus and omakase sushi (and my colleague gives those spots their due as well), but sometimes “the sesame-encrusted grip of a hoagie roll packed with the swagger of Italian meats” is what it takes to make our mouths water.

Bookmark and toss these links into your group texts because you’ll be coming back to them again and again:

Some of the highlights of the findings that federal investigators released yesterday were that 5,239 pounds of toxic hydrofluoric acid was released, shrapnel as large as a truck was hurled across the refinery complex, and the disaster began with the failure of a section of pipe that had corroded to half the thickness of a credit card.

After learning about the report’s findings for the first time, some neighborhood residents said they have been or have noticed others struggling with health complications since the accident. They also wondered why officials didn’t talk to them sooner about chemicals in the air.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

It’s a bit drier today, but be careful with those wind gusts. Really cool perspective on this picture, @kslouf. Thanks for sharing!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting


“'Never abandon your shipmate.' Those four simple words formed the first and most important lesson I learned during my grueling first year at the U.S. Naval Academy. ... This ethos to stand by those who served with me formed the foundation of my ethical code. For this reason, I find the U.S. abandonment of our Kurdish allies in Syria so deeply disheartening.” — writes Alexander Emmert, a former nuclear submarine officer and special forces mission planner in the U.S. Navy and current graduate associate and MBA candidate at Penn, about the U.S. withdrawing troops from Syria.

  • Despite the “HBCU-ish” shirts, Temple is not historically black. There’s a key difference between the origin stories of HBCUs and Temple, columnist Solomon Jones writes.
  • With the “debacle” involving the Sixers, the rest of the NBA, and China, Americans are finally waking up to Chinese censorship, writes Thomas J. Shattuck, an Asia program research associate at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

What we’re reading

Correction: Wednesday’s edition of this newsletter misidentified a Burlington County man as a mayoral candidate. He is a township committee candidate.

People stand at the bar inside The Nightmare Before Tinsel, a popup Halloween-themed bar in Center City Philadelphia on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2019.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
People stand at the bar inside The Nightmare Before Tinsel, a popup Halloween-themed bar in Center City Philadelphia on Friday evening, Oct. 11, 2019.

Your Daily Dose of | Halloween pop-up bars

How does an Ecto Cooler shot sound? What about the Kiss of Death? Those are both drinks at stops along a crawl of temporary Halloween-themed bars that you can check out this month.