With the mercury dropping almost as fast as the leaves, “soup weather” has set in. Here’s where to go in Philadelphia when you need a bowl of something steaming hot and substantial. -Chelsea Karnash
Doc’s Gourmet Soup
With a rotating menu of more than 100 soups, it’s no wonder this place keeps its customers coming back – you’ve just got to try them all! Daily, Doc’s offers about 10-12 soups including options like chicken pot pie, tomato bisque, Moroccan chicken and corn chowder, as well as gluten-free and veggie options. Oh, and don’t forget the free pre-order samples!
Soup Kitchen Café
This Fishtown spot is BYOB, so you can happily enjoy a six-pack of craft beer while noshing on your shakshuka (two sunnyside-up eggs topped with tomato stew and feta – yum!). Unique daily soup specials like Watermelon Gazpacho and Chickpea Chorizo can’t be missed either, especially when paired with the stellar meatloaf sandwich and a glass of refreshing cucumber lemonade. A word of warning though: there are only one or two soups up for grabs each day, but they’re all delicious. Order the half-sandwich and soup special, and you’ll be in lunch heaven.
Famous 4th Street Deli
* also at 38 S 19th St
4th Street Deli is famous for its colossal sandwiches, but there’s another, lesser-known specialty being served up at this Old City landmark: soup! Try the traditional matzo ball or the Famous Chicken (served with kasha, noodles, rice, kreplach or a matzo ball), and any inklings of a cold will be gone before you can finish your giant bowl (promise!). Oh, and make sure to cram in a piece of “Rainbow Cake” for dessert—it’s a decadent, four-layer cake made with red velvet, chocolate, vanilla and pistachio pudding layers, topped with chocolate icing and a generous scattering of sprinkles. Old school and ideal.
Dim Sum Garden
For something truly unique, ignore the dilapidated façade and head into Dim Sum Garden, home of the city’s most famous “soup dumplings.” Yes, these tasty, fresh pouches of goodness are just what they sound like: dumplings filled with soup! Even if you stick to a single order of these babies, you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied…and wondering when you can go back for more.
For those counting calories or looking for healthy eats, there’s Rittenhouse Square’s relatively new Pure Fare. In addition to a smorgasbord of salads, sandwiches and desserts, Pure Fare also offers an array of soups. Try the Roasted Sweet Potato or Black Bean for a hearty lunch, or sample lighter options like the French Vegetable or Carrot Ginger as a side. The best part? All of the nutrition information is available (we’re talking carbs, cals, fat content—everything) on their website, so you can peruse your options and make a health-conscious decision before you even get in the door.
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House
Whether you go for shaved or (as the name implies) hand-drawn, the noodles alone are easily worth a trip into this Chinatown eatery. Add in a hefty helping of piping hot broth, a fried egg and a few spoonfuls of red chili oil, and you’ve got a hefty, warming meal that will banish your chills, all for less than $7.