Philly's food scene — often highlighted for its cheesesteaks, roast pork and water ice — has experienced a restaurant renaissance over the past decade. Now-renowned chefs have built their legacies here, filling local and visiting stomachs with creative, diverse and, most importantly, delicious meals.

Whether you're looking for inventive, modern cuisine or an old comfort (cheesesteaks do live up to the hype), Philadelphia can satisfy nearly every palate.

The best restaurants in Philadelphia

You want to hit one of Philly's gems? We've got a list for you. Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan's list of the top 25 restaurants in Philadelphia has something for everyone.

Within this grouping, there are acclaimed places such as Zahav and Vernick Food & Drink. There are also casual spots, such as Kanella Grill in Center City, Cheu in Fishtown, Saté Kampar in East Passyunk and El Compadre in the Italian Market (which houses a robust Mexican food community).

Reading Terminal Market

If you find yourself in Center City, a trip to Reading Terminal Market, which dates back to 1892, better be on the agenda. Michael Klein's guide will take you through the famous vendors, from Beiler's Doughnuts to DiNic's and its famous roast pork sandwich.

>> READ MORE: The best BBQ in Philadelphia | Craig LaBan


Venture beyond the market and you'll find Chinatown, where dim sum and Cantonese cuisine shine. This guide to navigating Chinatown's food scene, which also includes southeast Asian, Korean and Japanese cuisine, is a great place to start. And, if your sweet tooth acts up, here's where to find the neighborhood's best desserts.

Cheesesteaks and hoagies

Go beyond Pat's, Geno's and Jim's. The top cheesesteak spots, according to LaBan, are "found deep in the neighborhoods at shops run by people passionate" about the ins and outs of steak — from quality meat to crusty rolls. For hoagies, try Pastificio Deli in South Philly, about a mile north of the stadiums.

Roast pork, soft pretzels, scrapple, water ice and other Philly classics

After cheesesteaks, these are the other staple items of Philly's cuisine. Pick from the dozens of local choices we recommend here.

>> READ MORE: The top restaurants in Philly's suburbs

The best restaurants and bars in Philly’s suburbs

Not in the city? Maybe you're on the Main Line, in South Jersey, or in Chester, Montgomery, Bucks or Delaware Counties? The best food and drink in each place are detailed in our easy-to-use map.

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