Where to Eat Comfort Food in Philly

Cold and hungry? Follow our guide to Philadelphia's best comfort food, from meaty shepherd's pie to savory stuffed crepes.

It’s cold out there. Really cold, right? You’re uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable, right? The best suggestion that we can offer is indulge in this city’s finest heartwarming and belly-filling comfort foods.


What is more comforting, more reminiscent of home and the holidays, than Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings? It’s served all day, every day at Jones, a retro-chic restaurant in Center City that specializes in American comfort food staples, including beef brisket with kasha and bow tie pasta, hearty chicken pot pie topped with a fluffy crust, jambalaya made with andouille sausage and a good old London broil steak with baked potato. 700 Chestnut St., Phila., 215.223.5663

Snockey's Oyster and Crab House

One of this city’s oldest seafood traditions is the dense oyster stew that Snockey’s boils up throughout the year—a hot concoction that is particularly satisfying as winter grows colder. Slightly sweet and piping hot, this rich, near-bouillabaisse is perfect for the fishy comfort menu lover. So too is the old school two pound lobster stuffed with crab meat, the meaty crab balls and the plump fresh mussels done in a sea of garlic. 1020 S. Second St., Phila., 215.339.9578

Le Virtu

East Passyunk’s white linen Abruzzo-style eatery dances between old world traditionalism and new school culinary designs. Most of what Le Virtu offers is hearty Italian fare. Start with antipasti of savory stuffed crepes and stewed tripe with spicy tomato and pecorino. Then, move onto the pasta and you’ll find paccheri with duck liver, dried cherries and burnt onions (trust us on this one) as well as bucatini rigate and rabbit ragu. When it comes to entrees, Le Virtu’s lightly spiced seafood stew isn’t light on the belly. Neither is its braised lamb shank in lentils and Calabrese chili. 1927 East Passyunk Ave., Phila, 215.271.5626

The Dandelion

The legendary constancy of a damp chill in the British air is probably what makes Philadelphia restaurant giant Stephen Starr’s ode to UK pub life, The Dandelion, the perfect spot for wintry comfort food. And drink, when you consider their body-and-soul warming Brit traditional hot toddy of Christian Brothers Brandy, Twinnings tea and ginger syrup. The Dandelion’s menu is highlighted by its lamb shepherd’s pie, an old fashioned bangers and mash fit for any pub regular, and a sticky toffee pudding that will send you into cold happy and heated. 124 S. 18th St., 215.558.2500

The Dandelion pub in Philadelphia
The Dandelion's bangers and mash with savory onion gravy. (Courtesy The Dandelion)

Rex’s 1516

South Street’s Southern hot spot serves up a winter comfort food menu so cozy, you could fall asleep munching on the likes of the Bienville pan roast (the catch of the day in a pillow of sourdough, mussels and little neck clams, smothered in bacon-mushroom-sherry sauce), the pork neck rigatoni, served on a bed of homemade ricotta, a roasted root vegetable shepherd’s pie, highlighted by Hen of the Woods mushrooms, a plate of tender escargot in garlic, gruyere cheese and Absinthe butter, and a Southern Ramen soup made with pork belly and kimchi collards. 1516 South St., Phila., 267.319.1366

The Fat Ham

Doesn’t the name “The Fat Ham” say it all when it comes to the concept of comfort food? Along with any number of signature pork main dishes, there’s pork shank in the collards, homemade pork rinds in the charred, tangy cabbage and surryano ham in the gooey baked mac n’ cheese. Plus, if you don’t like ham, you can always opt for the crispy hot chicken with cool ranch dressing and white bread. 3131 Walnut St., Phila., 215.735.1914

Le Cheri

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels of Bibou in South Philadelphia turned the elegant Philadelphia Art Alliance space on Rittenhouse Square into a home of Francophiliac comfort food at Le Cheri. Start with the boudin noir of pork blood sausage and apple compote—it’s to die for—before moving on to the densely decadent, meaty cassoulet, a meal so comfortable a French family meal, you’ll feel right at home. 251 S. 18th St., Phila., 215.546.7700