Philly's Best Food & Drinks: Bella Vista & Italian Market

Philly's Best Eats & Drinks: Bella Vista & Italian Market

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Bella Vista/Italian Market (Between 6th & 11th Streets, South Street to Washington Avenue)Bella Vista/Italian Market (Between 6th & 11th Streets, South Street to Washington Avenue)

Breakfast & Lunch:

  • Famous 4th Street Delicatessen –Classic, 90-something Jewish deli known for its popularity among pols—and its mammoth portions: huge omelets, baseball-sized matzoh balls, Frisbee-esque black-and-white cookies. No Wi-Fi. 700 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-3274,
  • Fitzwater Cafe – Vintage gas station turned into quaint breakfast and lunch spot for airy French toast, crunchy-topped banana muffins and roast pork sandwiches. No Wi-Fi. 728 S. 7th Street, (215) 629-0428
  • Sabrina’s Cafe –Fancier-than-a-diner spot is known for its breakfast-all-day menu of mega omelets, huge pancakes and very big salads. Yes Wi-Fi. 910 Christian Street, (215) 574-1599,

Late-Night Food & Drink:

  • The Good King Tavern –Bustling tribute to French pub fare; wine is served by the glass or pitcher. Yes Wi-Fi. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (menu until 1 a.m. daily) 614 S. 7th Street, (215) 625-3700,
  • Royal Tavern –Awesome burgers, piled-high nachos, vegan Sloppy Joes and meatloaf sandwiches, lots of beers; always busy, usually loud. Yes Wi-Fi. 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (menu until 1 a.m. daily). 937 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-6694,

You Gotta Try:

  • John’s Water Ice –Circa-1945 summertime tradition transforms lemons, pineapple or chocolate, plus sugar and frozen water, into water ice—known elsewhere as “Italian ice.” So. Refreshing. 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955,
  • Di Bruno Brothers –Italian Market’s cheese, cured meats and gourmet condiment shop (with newer locations in Rittenhouse, Washington Square and the Comcast Center). Request samples. 930 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-2876,

East Passyunk (South Philadelphia, between Wells Fargo Center and Center City)

Breakfast & Lunch:

  • Artisan Boulanger Patissier – Just-like-Paris baguettes, decadent chocolate (and pistachio) croissants, banh mi and strong coffee (including Vietnamese iced). No Wi-Fi. 1218 Mifflin Street, (215) 271-4688
  • Plenty –Cafe and bar, with all-day menu of chorizo-and-egg sandwiches, pulled-pork panini, beet-cured salmon and wine cocktails. Yes Wi-Fi. 1710 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 909-8033,
  • South Philly Barbacoa –Authentic Mexican lamb tacos, right down to the tortillas made with home-ground masa. No Wi-Fi. 1703 S. 11th Street, (215) 694-3767

Late-Night Food & Drinks:

  • Cantina Los Caballitos – Modern Mexican—vegan fajitas, mahi mahi tacos, tequila flights and fresh-fruit margaritas inside and on the patio. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily (menu until 1 a.m.). 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550,
  • Garage – Canned craft beers, pinball, Skee-Ball and a rotating food truck in an old auto repair shop. No Wi-Fi. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (food carts until 11 p.m.). 1231-1233 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 278-2429,
  • Pub On Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.) –Microbrews and a jukebox stuffed with early rock—hipster haven. Menu includes fried tomato-topped burger and vegan cheesesteak. Yes Wi-Fi. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily (menu until 1 a.m.). 1501 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-5125,

You Gotta Try:

  • Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks – South Philly’s dueling landmark cheesesteak stands (Pat’s is the inventor), across the street from each other, both open 24/7. Pat’s, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546,; Geno’s: 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659,
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