A roundup of the best grub, best drinks, and best desserts by neighborhood. Up now: Chinatown.
- Snacks at Yummy Yummy – An favorite spot for something small, either sweet or savory. Yummy Yummy has got you covered for bubble tea and small portions of fried noodles, steamed buns, and takoyaki (Japanese octopus meatballs). The bubble “QQ” waffles in flavors like green tea with white chocolate are worth saving room for.
- Siphon coffee at Ray’s Cafe & Tea House – Though craft coffee has gone mainstream, Ray’s has been brewing amazing single origin coffees using a Hario siphon for more than a decade. Don’t miss the chance to try sumiyaki, charcoal roasted coffee from Japan.
- Noodles at NanZhou and Terakawa Ramen – How could I possibly pick a favorite? Whether stir fried or served in flavorful broth, you can’t go wrong with these different styles.
- Soup dumplings at Dim Sum Garden – A steamer basket full of xiao long bao, which you might find listed on menus as “soup dumplings” or “juicy buns” is a thing of culinary perfection, and Dim Sum Garden sets the bar high. Filled with crab and pork, the juice from the meat is barely contained by delicate wrappers crimped into fragile purses.
- Dim Sum at Imperial Inn – Though the dining room of this Chinatown stalwart could seriously use an update, the dim sum carts can’t be beat if you want to feed a crowd well and inexpensively. Don’t miss the salt and pepper squid and the roast pork sticky rice!
- Bahn mi at T. Vietnamese Sandwiches – Philadelphia loves sandwiches, and we especially love bahn mi, Vietnamese hoagies stuffed with pickled daikon and carrot, slices of fresh jalapeño and cilantro, nearly any meat you can imagine or vegetarian offerings like lemongrass tofu. Either way, a delicious meal for less than seven dollars is tough to beat.
- Cocktails at Hop Sing Laundromat – No, there’s no sign on the door. No, they won’t let you in if you’re not adhering to their dress code. No, they won’t admit large parties. No, there’s no food. And yes, if you want some of the most creative, reasonably priced craft cocktails anywhere in Philly you’ve simply got to go.