Philadelphia is a lively, exciting city with a vibrant night life and food scene. Sometimes, a foodie city doesn’t translate to good eating with kids, but Philly is the exception. The fun, flavorful, and sometimes funky eateries adults rave about in the city are often kid-friendly, too. Here’s where we like to eat with kids in Philly.
This historical tavern serves food from the colonial period, using, in some cases Benjamin Franklin’s own recipes. During the late 18th century, City Tavern was at the heart of the American revolution, playing host to many political talks and news. Now, the wait staff sports Colonial garb, and the food’s still excellent. The bill will be high for this tourist favorite, but it’s well-worth budgeting for a meal here. Our favorites: the pot pie, corn chowder, and raspberry shrub (infused soda water drink).
Location: City Tavern is located at 138 S. 2nd St., within walking distance of all Old City hotels..
Mrs. K’s Koffee Cup:
We loved Mrs. K’s Koffee Cup for its no-frills air, rock-bottom prices, and fun diner atmosphere. We felt very ‘in the know’ sitting next to business men and women grabbing a bagel before work. All seating here is at the counter, and we didn’t pay more than $6 per meal at breakfast. Mrs. K’s was a short walk from our hotel, so it quickly became our go-to breakfast spot. We liked the simple egg and hash brown breakfasts, omelets, and French toast. The wait staff is friendly and fast, and the ambiance is high-energy.
Location: Mrs. K’s is located at 325 Chestnut, right down from the Omni Hotel and Hotel Monaco.
Jones Restaurant is a well-known establishment at the heart of the historic center. While this restaurant specializes in omelets and brunch dishes, it’s not just for the morning hours. We ordered omelets for dinner, and enjoyed the chance for eggs and tater tots (which come with every egg dish) very much. Jones also serves pot pies, burgers, and sandwiches, as well as specialty dishes. The menu prices are a bit hefty, but this restaurant is a solid hit. Note: we ordered take out at Jones, and it took an unusually long time. After waiting 45 minutes, the restaurant manager gave us our meal free of charge. I am still happy to give Jones a good review for two reasons: the manager was quick to do what she could to correct the mistake, and I asked around: this restaurant gets consistently good reviews. I think we just hit it at the wrong time.
Location: Jones is located at 700 Chestnut Street.
The Franklin Fountain:
Ready for an old-fashioned ice cream experience? Franklin Fountain features ‘soda jerks’ instead of cashiers and counter service ice cream scoopers, and a full menu that includes egg creams, phosphates, and a dizzying array of ice cream flavors, sundaes, shakes, and malts. Be prepared for a line out the door on weekend evenings, and bring cash: Franklin’s doesn’t take cards or checks. We loved the Franklin Lemonade (a mixture of sherbet, fruit, and soda water) and the honeycomb ice cream.
Location: Franklin Fountain is located near Penn’s Landing at 116 Market Street.
Located a few doors down from The Franklin Fountain, Shane Confectionary is even more sweetly old-fashioned (pun intended). Selling old-school candies such as licorice, gum drops, and even—gasp—bubble gum cigarettes, Shane’s also offers fudge, chocolates, and salt-water taffy. Entering the store, the eye is dazed by all the glassware, bottles, and pretty paper packaging; plan on plenty of time to decide what you want. We love that they weigh and sell Shane’s candy in little paper cones just like in the old days.
Location: Shane’s is at 110 Market Street.
Located approximately 8 blocks from the historic part of town off 11th, the Reading Market is absolutely worth the detour. Go for breakfast to grab local, homemade donuts, pastries, egg dishes, or pancakes for under $10, or pick out a fruit salad and freshly squeezed juice. Half the fun is walking through the stalls of this massive indoor farmer’s market, which also features herbs, meats, handmade goods, and other wares. The market is open until 4 pm daily, so it’s best for breakfast or lunch. The walk to this part of town is pretty, and it’s an easy jaunt back to historic sites along Market Street.
Want itinerary advice for a two-day Philly trip? Start with our post on historical sites for kids in Philly!
What about the cheese steaks? We ate famous Philly cheese steaks at several downtown and Old Town food trucks, and didn’t fall in love with any of them. Feel free to enlighten us as to the best cheese steak in the city in the comments.