Philadelphia: An eater’s guide

Amanda puts out quite the spread ...

Philly is famous for its soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, and infamous for its unholy combination of both (this, we regret to inform you, is not a joke). But hiding behind the greasy piles of carbs is a food scene in its prime with destination-worthy restaurants. Here are three worth the trip alone, but conveniently located near other stuff you’ll probably want to do.

Tashan
www.mytashan.com
Tashan is serious, very serious about its food. The upscale spin-off of a beloved Indian takeout restaurant, the menu’s a sophisticated take on authentic dishes with plenty of playful winks to local influences (paneer pizza, anyone?). That said, the dining room doesn’t quite let the food steal the show. With touches of Bollywood and just plain old swagger, Tashan’s the perfect place to settle in for a multicourse meal or lounge it up and sip cocktails.

While you’re there: Tashan is on the Avenue of the Arts, making it one of the only restaurants on the strip that isn’t a pre-theater tourist trap. The Kimmel Center, Merriam Theater and Academy of Music are all steps away.

10 Arts Bistro and Lounge
www.10arts.com
If the Ritz-Carlton breaks your budget, you can still get a taste of the swank life at 10 Arts, which casts a soft pink glow over the hotel’s first floor. Dinner in an Eric Ripert dining room still out of your league? Hit up the just-as-pretty lounge for cocktails and a generous bar menu — which includes, yes, soft pretzels.

While you’re there: Less than a block away is Philly’s City Hall, an intensely, infamously strange structure that looks like it was plucked out of post-Apocalyptic Paris. Go ahead and stare — everyone does.

Amada
www.amadarestaurant.com
“Iron Chef” Jose Garces has a mini empire of restaurants to choose from in Philadelphia, but if you only have time for one, make it Amada. Since 2005, his posh but understated flagship has been serving up Spanish tapas that are interested in little else but being delicious. No trends, no gimmicks, no reason to leave hungry: Just tasty little plates of crab-stuffed peppers, salt cod croquettes and pork roasted every which way by people who clearly think about pork too much.

While you’re there: Amada is in Old City, a nook that wavers between historic district (afternoon), can’t-miss art and restaurant destination (Sunday-Thursday nights) and insufferable frat party (Friday-Saturday, from 8 p.m.). Schedule accordingly.

Vedge
www.vedgerestaurant.com
Earning a rep as one of the country’s best vegan restaurants, Vedge does things, strange and wonderful things, to cauliflower that probably shouldn’t be legal. Almost as impressive as its food is its atmosphere: As polished as any restaurant on its level, there are not even trace amounts of grungy tree-huggers in the date-worthy dining rooms. Shake off a day of being a tourist at its happy hour, one of the best in the city, where Korean seitan tacos, smoked mushroom tartare and pomegranate sangria go for around $5.

While you’re there:
Vedge is snuggled into a converted rowhome in Center City, right near Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. You’ll want to spend some time here. The shopping, the bars, the people walking down the street — it’s all a little more stylish than you’ve been led to believe Philly can pull off.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.