U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Philadelphia the #2 best place to visit in America. It outstripped vacation destinations like the Grand Canyon, Miami, and Honolulu. Full of history, culture, and world-class attractions, Philly offers a lot to experience. If you’re only in town for a little while, you may miss some of the best sights, restaurants, and yes, cheesesteaks, the city has to offer.
So we gathered recommendations from the best sources: Lyft drivers. No one knows Philadelphia better than the Lyft drivers who crisscross its streets every day. To inject some local know-how into your next trip to the City of Brotherly Love, we asked for their best advice for out-of-towners. Here’s what they said.
When You're Only in Philly for 24 Hours
If you’re a history buff, Philadelphia is full of Revolutionary War sites. Stop by Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Betsy Ross House to pack 250 years of history into one day. For more “alternative” culture, South Street is one of Philly’s most iconic streets. It’s packed with famous tattoo parlors, comic book shops, boutiques, restaurants, and more. Finally, if you’re a “Rocky” fan, you’ll definitely want to run up the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Make sure to snap a picture of yourself at the top—or with the man himself, cast in bronze, at the bottom.
Where to Go for the Most Delicious Cheesesteak
The “best cheesesteak” is always up for debate, but there’s only one first, and that’s Pat’s King of Steaks. It started as a hot dog stand in 1930, and has grown into one of the most famous establishments in Philly. Pat’s neighbor, and rival, Geno’s Steaks is also a Philly cheesesteak mainstay. Another contender is Jim’s Steaks. Jim’s started in 1939 as a West Philly phenomenon, and you can even ship one of these cheesesteaks anywhere in the continental U.S.!
Where to Grab a Memorable Meal
Philly’s cuisine has much more to offer than just cheesesteaks. For an incredible Israeli meal, Zahav has a small plates menu that includes wood-fired laffa bread and some of the best hummus you’ve ever had. Laurel, opened by “Top Chef” winner alumni Nick Elmi, is a French/American restaurant and often booked up to two months in advance, so make sure to call ahead for reservations. Known for his turn on “Iron Chef America,” few people know that Masaharu Morimoto opened his first solo restaurant, Morimoto, right here in Philadelphia. If you’re a fan of sushi, it’s a must-go. With two locations (in Center City and Northern Liberties), Honey’s Sit N Eat offers authentic southern comfort food up in the northeast. It’s a brunch hotspot, with delicious steak, eggs, and other hearty breakfast foods.
Which Neighborhood is the Best
Home to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Institute, the Rodin Museum, the Mütter Museum, and the park itself, Rittenhouse Square has a little something for everyone. For its variety and nightlife, Fishtown is a contender. There’s the Fillmore for concerts, Sugarhouse Casino for gambling, and cool bars like Barcade and Bottle Bar East. South Philly is home to the city’s many sports teams and their passionate fans. If you’re not into sports, check out Passyunk Square for many of the excellent cheesesteaks the city has to offer, as well as the famous Italian market and its delicious food.