In the last decade or so, chefs have been elevated to superstar status–right up there with our favorite Phillies and Eagles, but with more consistency on the playing ground. – Suzanne Woods

10 Arts

Eric Ripert and Jennifer Carroll of 10 Arts. (credit:

10 S. Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 523-8273

This gorgeous space, housed under the dome of the Ritz Carlton, is associated with not one but two celebrity chefs, Eric Ripert and Jennifer Carroll. Culinary Director Ripert of the acclaimed Le Benardin, one of New York’s finest restaurants, opened 10 Arts with Carroll as the Executive Chef in May 2008. The following year, Carroll competed with much success on Bravo’s Top Chef, and in 2011, she left the restaurant and has stayed sort of under the radar. Still, 10 Arts is a great spot to hit up, as they use only the finest and freshest locally-sourced ingredients in creating their innovative dishes.


Chef Jose Garces (credit:

217-219 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-2450

Jose Garces has been the talk of this big town for some years now. He brought authentic Spanish tapas to Philadelphia with the opening of Amada in 2005. Since then, he’s written a book (Latin Evolution), and opened Tinto, Distrito, Chifa, high-end burger and bourbon bistro, Village Whiskey, Garces Trading Co, the mobile Guapos Tacos food truck and JG Domestic. He also owns Mercat A la Plancha in Chicago. Last but not least, he furthered his celebrity status (and lengthy resume) by becoming a Food Network “Iron Chef” in 2009.

City Tavern

Chef Walter Staib (credit:

138 S. 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-1443

Chef Walter Staib has devoted his entire life to the kitchen. Born at the entrance to the Black Forest, he came of age cooking with his grandparents. His awards during five decades in the biz are too many to mention. He became the proprietor of the historic City Tavern in 1994, saving it from certain demise. The kitchen had been run by a corporation for years, and the food was nothing worth mentioning. People thought it to be a “tourist trap.” Staib 360’ed it into a restaurant to be talked about with dishes like Lobster Pie and a savory Roast Duckling. The clientele is now divided between tourists and city dwellers. In a modern age that is oft complicated, Staib helps us remember the cuisine our country was rooted in. Make sure you sample the homebrew recipes of the Founding Fathers recreated by Yards Brewing Co.


Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney. (credit:

106 S. 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Marcie Turney and partner Valerie Safran all but own 13th St. They spearheaded the revitalization of the city block now dubbed Midtown Village. In 2009, Philly Style named Turney one of Philadelphia’s 10 hottest chefs. The same year, she was also nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic. With three restaurants, Lolita, Jamonera, and Barbuzzo, a chocolate shoppe, a boutique grocery store and a high-end home novelty shop, Turney and Safran are not just serving up inspiring cuisine (ranging from Mexican to Mediterranean), they are inspiring others, too.

Pub & Kitchen

The website for Pub & Kitchen. (credit:

1946 Lombard St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-0350

Though he has no book deal or TV show, Jonathan Macadams is a celebrity–even if it’s just in our fine city for now. He also opened up the BYO Diving Horse in Avalon in 2010. After four years of non-stop success, Pub and Kitchen still might be a bit jammed on a weekend, so go earlier in the week. Either way, definitely go. You’ll also find yourself in a game of eeny meeny miny mo between the Windsor Burger and Macdonald’s fish and chips with mushy peas.


Chef Michael Solomonov. (credit:

237 St. James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-8800

Michael Solmonov and Steven Cook strike gold again with Philadelphia’s finest modern Israeli restaurant. Located in Society Hill at the southern end of Old City, Solomonov is cooking up life-altering lamb shoulder, hummus, and other Middle Eastern favorites, including a lot of Israeli street food. His Fried Cauliflower with Lebneh made Food and Wine’s “Top Ten Dishes of the Year” in 2008. His other restaurants include the smoky sensation, Percy St. BBQ, and the pueblan hot spot, Xochitl, located in Headhouse Square.


Chef Michael Vetri (credit:

1312 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 732-3478

Marc Vetri is a rockstar–(almost) literally. He’s been known to bust out his guitar in this 35 seat dining room from time to time. The Chef’s Grand Tasting Menu is all that is served on Friday and Saturday nights. Vetri hand-paints an original menu for each table in the restaurant, and it will be one of the best meals you’ve ever had. The sommelier, Steve Widley, echoes his intimate efforts by providing personalized recommendations for your wine or beer pairings. Beer? That’s right–beer. Vetri has an extensive list of artisan Italian beers that match up to his cuisine quite nicely.

Suzanne Woods has resided in Philadelphia since 2001. She’s freelance writer, craft beer enthusiast, and is president/founder of the Philadelphia Women’s Beer Club. She eats out two meals a day, churns out exotic ice creams as often as she can, and has her records spinning more often than not. You can follow her drinking and dining adventures at