You’ll love this 75-minute walking tour about Philly food favorites like cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels and the vibrant Reading Terminal Market where they’re sold. Leaves from the Market info desk, 12th and Filbert sts., at 10 a.m. every Wed. and Sat. (Group private tours also available). Only $16.95. Click here for summer tours or here for post-Labor Day tours or call 800-838-3006 for (required) reservations.
The affordable Philly food tour led by the author of the definitive "Great Philly Cheesesteak Book"!
Recession-busting Philly Travel Tips
from the Owner of Philly’s Most Affordable Food Tour
1. Check out some of Philly’s hottest restaurants at a fraction of the usual cost from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays June 3 through Sept. 2 as part of the Center City District’s summer Sips program. Appetizers are half-priced and selected drinks are $3-$5 during this special happy hour. Among notable restaurants participating are Jose Garces' Rosa Blanca and Garces Trading Company, George Sabatino's Aldine, the Independence Beer Garden and Charlie Was a Sinner. Visit centercityphila.org for more information. The evening gourmet food truck confab known as Night Market is also fun and affordable. It's happening just north of Center City at Callohill Street on June 18 and on Lancaster Avenue on Aug. 6. Or check out the Dollar Stroll in West Philly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on both June 25 and Sept. 24 when restaurants located on Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 50th offer food bites for only a dollar.
2. Another affordable way to sample the talents of some of Philly's best chefs while ...read more
How to Order a Cheesesteak:
A Guide for Tourists
There is a protocol to ordering a cheesesteak at the cheesesteak epicenter of Ninth and Wharton, which, if not followed, can result in being sent to the back of the line Soup Nazi–style, or even worse, getting less meat.
At Pat’s and Geno’s, you must order by saying the name of the cheese you want and then “with” or “without” (or as it is often pronounced in South Philly, “wit” or "witout"), which means with or without grilled onions.
A correct and traditional order there would be “Whiz wit.” “Mushrooms witout” will get you a steak sandwich with mushrooms but no onions or cheese. You order and pay for your drinks and fries at a separate window.
This ordering system is chiefly used at high-volume shops, which need to keep their lines moving quickly, or other places (many out-of-town) who are trying to provide an “authentic” Philly cheesesteak experience. Slavishly adhering to the “wit or witout” phraseology at a more low-key neighborhood joint in Philly will mark you as a nervous tourist. Many of these out-of-the-limelightplaces don’t even offer Cheez Whiz. White American is the more common cheese default regionwide, along with provolone and mozzarella.
Acceptable cheesesteak condiments include peppers of all kinds, hot pepper relish, hot sauce, ketchup, dill or sweet pickles but not mustard and mayo ...read more
A Cool Tour in More Than One Way!
The Market is indoor and air-conditioned and so a great activity for rainy or very hot days. Click here to reserve your space on any regular 10 a.m. Wed. or Sat. tour.
I recently was called on to help First We Feast's Cara Eisenpress make a cheesesteak. Too bad I forgot to tell her not to cut the bread all the way through.(See the comments section, where Philadelphians set the poor kid straight with characteristic bluntness.)
Philly's Favorite Frozen Asset
Abe Lincoln was president when Lewis Bassett first started selling ice cream. In 2010, a Bassett served Pres. Obama. My City Paper story explains what happened inbetween.
Check out my recent Boston Globe cheapskates guide to Philly written for Bostonians who might want to take advantage of JetBlue's cheap direct flights between the two cities (but useful for any visitor!)
Get a Taste of the Tour