Last updated: 11:06 AM ET, Mon July 25 2016

Take a Bite Out of Philly: Where to Dine During the DNC

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | July 25, 2016

Take a Bite Out of Philly: Where to Dine During the DNC

PHOTO: Butcher and Singer. (Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia) 

Democrats are in luck on the dining front for their Philadelphia convention, taking place at the Wells Fargo Center from July 25-28. The City of Brotherly Love, in addition to being known as the birthplace of American democracy, is also one of the country’s great food cities. So, America, get ready to eat your hearts out.

“Philadelphians want the rest of the country to know they’re about so much more than cheese­steaks and pretzels,” said Craig LaBan, restaurant critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, to the Washington Post. “To eat in Philadelphia now is to ‘see the vitality of a city expanding its seams.’”

 READ MORE: Find Democratic National Convention's Donkeys Around Philadelphia?  

Here are five restaurants where you can sample more some of the city's renowned dishes and get a feel for its foodie culture.

Vernick Food & Drink

Getting ready for a new America? Try out the New American cuisine served up at a Rittenhouse Brownstone in an upscale atmosphere. The establishment has been raking in awards from the James Beard Foundation, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and is consistently recognized by critics as one of the cities top restaurants.

Sample small plates such as smoked Pocono trout, warm parmesan custard with carmelized baby artichokes and sweet pea ravioli or main dishes like pork chop Milanese or roasted rack of lamb.


Located in Washington Square West, this restaurant has been praised for its farm-to-table salads and “serious eats.” The budino comes highly recommended. The rest of the Mediterranean-inspired menu features seasonal soups, a variety of salads, pizzas and pasta, Mediterranean antipasti and cured meat and cheese boards.

Talula’s Garden

Also located in Washington Square, Talula's crafts seasonal new American cuisine in a farmhouse setting that guests describe as “adorable” and “intimate.” An on-site garden adds to the ambience and the food is both inspired and beautiful. There are seasonal cheeses, profiteroles to start, pastas and mains that feature steak, salmon, lamb belly, duck breast and more from chef Charles Parker.


This Italian restaurant is another Washington Square dining option. Vetri’s clientele rave about its six-course tasting menu with wine and beer pairings. There are also private dining options and other classes and events – possible options for extracurricular convention activities.

The menu features a variety of pastas, including spinach gnocchi, almond tortellini, saffron fusilli with lobster and more. There are also items such as rib-eye, polenta and roasted turbot. Dessert is also worth saving room for – that is if you like hazelnut flan, chocolate polenta, mocha zuppa  and more – yum.

Butcher and Singer

This is the classic American restaurant, located in Rittenhouse Square and inspired by old Hollywood. The interiors and style, set in the location of the old Butcher and Singer stock brokerage, evokes an era in which men wore suits and the woman donned fabulous dresses before heading out for a night on the town.

READ MORE: Get to Know the 2016 National Convention Cities 

Menu items also have a classic feel and include onion soup au gratin, crab cakes, filet mignon and the raved-about stuffed hash browns.

Luke’s Lobster

Experience Philly’s BYOB (bring your own bottle) culture at this Rittenhouse Square restaurant and get a taste of Maine in the process. The lobster shack has locations in Maine, New York, Boston and Vegas, as well as Philly, so you may already be a fan. They are committed to traceable and sustainable seafood, so you know you are eating some of the best and freshest there is. Choose from seafood rolls (people rave about the lobster, of course) and chowders, soups and bisques. There are also salads, chilled lobster tale and more that can be paired with local brews and small-batch artisanal sodas. 

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