Many true originals argue the neighborhood doesn’t really begin until Washington Avenue, while some will argue it’s Bainbridge Street. Either way, there are fantastic places to visit north and south of Washington.
The first major stop for many tourists is the corner of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue to dine on the original Philly cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks. Catty-corner to Pat’s is Geno’s Steaks, which came shortly after the original Pat’s. Despite the authenticity of Pat’s, and to some extent Geno’s, most locals know there are places throughout South Philly for far more affordable, and arguably tastier cheesesteaks.
Take J&J’s for instance. Located right up the street from Geno’s, at 9th and Federal Streets, the low-key atmosphere of a typical pizzeria replaces the “soup-nazi” environment found at Pat’s and Geno’s.
The Italian Market is home to countless retailers of the finest Italian meals and food products, from deli meats and whole chickens to world class dining experiences. Ralph’s for instance, located between Fitzwater and Catherine on 9th Street, offers a variety of fantastic home-cooked meals at a very reasonable price. Another bang-up option for you newbies is Dante & Luigi’s, located a block west of Ralph’s.
So take a ride down the lovely Broad Street Line to South Philly stops, Lombard/South and Ellsworth/Federal for Italian Market and the cheesesteak joints, respectively.
Julian Root can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org