Top Places to Eat Near the South Philadelphia Sports Complex
Hoagies, tacos, tailgating and more within a 10-minute drive of the stadiums...
Scores of events happen every week at the Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. Fans who head to the stadiums to catch a concert, game (Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers and more) or other event can check out South Philly’s awesome eateries.
From classic tailgating spots like Chickie’s and Pete’s (featuring an “Ultimate Tailgate” deal on the menu with a jumbo lump crab cake stacked on a seared burger and drizzled with aioli sauce) to sit-down restaurants such as Le Virtu (serving up tasty, authentic Italian cuisine from the region of Abruzzo), here are some of the top spots within a 10-minute drive of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
Located next to I-95 on Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia, Tony Luke’s is a Philadelphia institution. There’s no need for an inside dining room here; customers order and pick up sandwiches from the street-side windows and feast at the outdoor picnic-style tables. While the menu of delicious “Old Philly Style Sandwiches” can seem overwhelming, the cheesesteak (with whiz, provolone or American cheese) and the Roast Pork Italian are the two most popular choices by far.
It’s easy to miss John’s Roast Pork . The little stand with its four-table outdoor seating area sits on a triangle intersection in South Philadelphia amidst big box stores, but the marquee of a smiling cartoon pig identifies this hidden gem. The eatery also serves excellent cheesesteaks, but it was the roast pork that put John’s on the map in 1930. A fluffy, sesame seed-crusted bun wraps around juicy pork (watch the cook ladle some of the roasting juices over the meat as he builds the sandwich) with either sharp or mild provolone. Want a vegetable? There’s no broccoli rabe at John’s; they add deep green spinach instead. Take-out only .
This Philadelphia establishment has been serving up simple, succulent sandwiches for over 70 years. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, the namesake roast beef sandwiches are the obvious must-order, along with a side of the enthusiastically topped gravy fries.
Another 24-hour South Philly cheesesteak joint, Philip’s Steaks shines in its variety. Not only can patrons score standard sandwiches here, they can also choose from unconventional but enticing options like the “Old-Fashioned,” a cheesesteak that comes with provolone cheese, grilled tomatoes and peppers. Take-out only .
Looking for a sandwich that satisfies? At Primo Hoagies , the whole-sized hoagie option packs two pounds of meat, ensuring no one leaves hungry. The most popular menu item is the Italian Hoagie, but the owner is partial to the Sharp Italian. With over 60 options to choose from, there’s a little – er, big – something for everyone. Take note: Hoagie trays are available, so call in advance for pre-game tailgate orders.
Just beyond a 10-minute drive from the stadiums is Philly’s most famous spot for grabbing its signature sandwich: Cheesesteak Central. This is where rivals Pat’s and Geno’s each whip up steaks for patrons who have to make the tough choice of which eatery to choose. Decide whose cheesesteak is the most worthy at this home to the two most famous cheesesteak vendors in the world.
The South Philadelphia Tap Room serves dishes ranging from comfort classics — like the ultra-popular three-cheese grilled cheese and tomato lager soup combo — to highly innovative yet casual options like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich breaded with Frosted Flakes before going into the deep-fryer. Tons of vegan-friendly eats make the menu, too, along with standard taproom fare like burgers loaded with local grass-fed beef and topped with smoked cheddar. The bar pours unique drafts from praised craft breweries around the country.
Looking for bar food and a lengthy list of brew selections to pair with it? Head to Taproom on 19th , where more than a dozen drafts and a slew of bottle options await, alongside a gastropub menu of seasonal eats. The burger options are impressive, including the signature burger made with New Jersey beef, fontina cheese, garlic aioli and more.
The 20 craft brews on tap at Fountain Porter are best enjoyed at the wooden indoor picnic tables at this old-school South Philly corner bar. The food menu includes a short but sweet selection of bites, including a daily burger that costs just $5. Veggie burgers are available, too.
Northern Liberties’ North Bowl is a top spot for bowling and beer drinking, and the South Philly version is convenient for those looking for some fun before or after an outing at the nearby sports complex. This lively spot is equipped with 26 bowling lanes, pool tables, video games, pinball, foosball, air hockey and a fully stocked bar. For food, South Bowl serves the much-loved tater tots that North Bowl made famous, in addition to pizzas, wings, pretzel bites, burgers, macaroni and cheese and more.
Located in the heart of South Philly’s sports complex, XFINITY Live! houses 80,000 square feet dedicated to dining and entertainment. This popular spot features a massive 24-foot LED video wall in the XFINITY On Demand Theater and an enormous 32-foot Sony LED screen inside at the NBC Sports Arena. While on site, check out Victory Beer Hall from local Victory Brewing Company, PBR Philly: A Coors Banquet Bar, 1100 Social (see below) and the Broad Street Bullies Pub complete with iconic 1970s-era Flyers memorabilia, gourmet burgers and 48 beers on tap.
Savor top-notch eats and chic atmosphere at 1100 Social at XFINITY Live! The menu includes elevated bar food like loaded brisket fries, Korean meatballs, General Tso’s rice balls and firecracker shrimp tossed in a spicy cream sauce. Hand-crafted cocktails and party bowls round out the menu in this spacious, 300-seat venue.
Famous for its crab-seasoned fries, hard-shelled crabs and free-flowing beer, Chickie’s and Pete’s has four locations in Philadelphia proper, and its 24,000-square-foot South Philadelphia spot is by far the biggest. With giant bars, huge TVs and a crowdpleasing seafood menu, the eatery and bar has emerged as the most popular place to watch an Eagles game in Philadelphia other than Lincoln Financial Field . Arrive at least an hour before kick-off to guarantee a spot at this packed house.
La Rosa Pizzeria has been making its massive deep-dish square pies for more than 30 years in South Philly. The buttery, thick crust lends itself well to a variety of hearty toppings. Insider’s tip: Don’t miss the potato pizza. Take-out only .
Cacia’s Bakery in South Philly has been satisfying customers with its high-quality pizza and bread for over sixty years. The tomato pie is a local favorite, along with a wide selection of strombolis and hoagies served on house-made rolls. Open 363 days a year, customers relish in cheesy, saucy goodness on nearly any occasion. Take-out only .
Introduced to the region by German (“Pennsylvania Dutch”) settlers in the 18th century, pretzels quickly became a favorite local treat. Philly has made the soft version of the snack famous through institutions like the Philly Pretzel Factory . Swing by for a fresh pretzel and be sure to give it a healthy smear of mustard before leaving. Take-out only .
Fans in search of a solid sandwich head to Talk of the Town Cheesesteaks for lunch or dinner near the sports complex. The walk-in eatery’s extensive menu includes loads of cheesesteaks, hoagies, chicken cutlet sandwiches and roast pork sandwiches, along with a respectable selection of meatless hoagies to satisfy vegetarians.
Best known for its friendly service, delicious baked goods and iconic shared booths, Melrose Diner has been a Philadelphia staple since 1935. The best part? Melrose is open 24 hours a day, so hungry patrons can order bites like custard-based French toast, “potato boats” and famous butter cookies at any hour. Diners mingle among neighborhood devotees, local politicos and late-night partiers, and with shared seating, patrons never know who they’ll be swapping stories with during the meal.
Crab and corn fritters, tacos, pretzel bites, pasta dishes and more are on the menu at Gatehouse (formerly Bar Amis) in the Navy Yard. The beverage menu at the American restaurant is just as varied; Diners can enjoy beers, margaritas, craft cocktails and more.
The inventive, decidedly new-school pizza pies at Birra (porchetta with pancetta, mozzarella and chilis; duck confit with caramelized onion, arugula pesto and mozzarella) complement a robust food menu that includes tasty dishes like lemon garlic chicken, truffle mac and cheese, duck cheesesteaks and tempura-battered calamari.
For tacos, burritos and even a sizzling fajita salad, El Zarape delivers in full force. In addition to golden fried fish and loaded carne asada tacos, the restaurant offers an expansive menu of innovative specials, Tex-Mex classics and authentic drinks. Those looking to enjoy alcoholic beverages should plan to bring their own.
P’unk Burger on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly lets customers select from one of ten specialty burgers on the menu or create their own dream combinations. Patty options include beef, turkey, chicken, tuna, lamb, veggie and portobello mushroom, which can be embellished with signature sauces, cheeses and toppings. Complement the main attraction with sides like tater tots, onion rings and fried pickles.
Stargazy on East Passyunk is an authentic British-style pie shop from London-bred chef Sam Jacobson. On offer are savory styles (traditional beef and onion, roasted vegetable), sweet treats (fruit pie, sticky toffee pudding) and daily specials.
Bing Bing Dim Sum offers a mingling of inventive food, formidable drinks, funky decor and — perhaps most importantly — a generally fun vibe. The casual spot attracts large crowds, with a menu broken down by noodles, rice and dim sum. Be sure to try one of the dumpling options and the mouthwatering roast pork bao.
Malaysian street food shines at Sate Kampar . The Passyunk BYOB grills up meats on a stick in both classic and Hainanese styles and rounds out the menu with herbaceous salads, stir-fried noodles, braised coconut chicken and specialty drinks.
Perla brings authentic Filipino fare to East Passyunk Avenue , serving up dishes like duck breast abodo, sisig and more. On Wednesdays and Sundays, the intimate spot hosts a Kamayan Family style meal, a communal experience where diners eat with their hands.
Where: Perla, 1535 S. 11th Street
At Le Virtù , an impressive wine list complements the authentic Italian Abruzzese cuisine, which gets prepared in an open kitchen amidst warm, rustic atmosphere. The seasonal menu melds local produce, meats and artisanal delicacies like sheep’s milk cheeses imported directly from Abruzzo, a region in Italy which the owner visits regularly for fresh inspiration. An intimate dining room and outdoor patio add to the charm.
Neighborhood establishment Toll Man Joe’s is the place to go for outstanding wings and awesome beer specials on game day. The spacious bar and restaurant in South Philly — on Oregon Avenue across the street from Tony Luke’s — is equipped with 16 TVs inside, plus two more in their outside space.