3711 Market St.
Legend has it that Han Dynasty owner Han Chiang once had an elderly woman call the police on him because she thought he was tricking her by making her food too spicy. Take that as a lesson and order your meals extra spicy at your own risk. The menu of flavorful Szechuan food gives the spice level with a 1-10 scale, but dishes can be altered to suit your spice level. The Dan Dan noodles are a long-standing favorite with crispy pieces of pork, peppers and soy sauce and typically rating a six on the spice scale. Looking for a ten? Order the dry pot (available with your choice of protein,) featuring a sizzling mini wok with bamboo shoots, Sichuan peppercorns, peppers, mushrooms and a spicy hot pot sauce. Other dishes that top the spicy list include tea-smoked duck in beer sauce, spicy pork stew and rabbit with peanuts in chili oil.
The Fat Ham
3131 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Kevin Sbraga’s first claim to fame in Philadelphia was winning season seven of Bravo’s Top Chef. Now with two successful Philly restaurants under his belt (Sbraga and The Fat Ham), he’s also known for his incredible hot chicken. The Fat Ham’s take on the Nashville favorite features buttermilk-soaked chicken that’s dredged in flour, salt and a spice mixture of onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika. It’s fried until crispy, and then doused in a cayenne-based hot sauce for a result that’s delightfully flavorful, even if it does have you reaching for your drink. (Tip: You’ll want to try one of the cocktails such as the “Licensed to Dill” made with gin, cucumber water, lemon and chartreuse.) The hot chicken is served on brioche with buttermilk ranch and pickles and is available on the a la carte menu for $15 or as one of the featured dishes during the multi-course, family-style Sunday Supper.
Related: Top Spots For Fried Chicken
1700 S. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Cambodian food is known for its unique flavor profile that’s a combination of sour and spicy. Khmer Kitchen brings these authentic flavors to South Philly with a menu that’s served family style, so come with a group or be ready to leave with leftovers. The papaya salad is always a standout dish at the family-owned spot. Made with julienned papaya with tomatoes, fresh basil and vegetables, guests often say that even the “medium” is super spicy. Other favorites include the Cha mussels and Cha Kr’ung with chicken and Pleah Sak-Koe. The cash-only BYOB is closed on Mondays.
205 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
This Midtown Village spot serves classic and contemporary takes on Indian cuisine, made with fresh ingredients and an abundance of spices. Most dishes can be altered to suit your level of spice preference, but a few notable spicy dishes include the stuffed long hot peppers, chicken tikka chipotle, tofu chili and pork vindaloo. If you visit during weekend brunch, order the spicy chicken and waffles. This spin on the traditional soul food dish is flavored with sriracha, sweet chili and maple syrup for a combination of sweet, savory and spicy. If you’re looking for the best deal, happy hour is offered 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and then again from 8:30 p.m. to closing. Among the drink and snack specials, you’ll find $3 stuffed long hots and $4 “drums of heaven,” Indeblue’s version of chicken wings.
Related: Top Curry In Philadelphia
19 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Sancho Pistola’s is from the same group as Center City’s Jose Pistola’s. Like its counterpart, the Fishtown version of the Mexican bar and restaurant serves a variety of innovative taco options such as Korean rib, Brussels sprout and falafel along with modern versions of the classics. The spicy tuna guacamole appetizer is consistently rated as one the best dishes on the menu. It starts with the same base as any good guac, but then gets extra flavor from diced yellowfin tuna that’s seasoned with Sambal, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce and topped with sesame seeds. The result is a mighty tasty (and spicy) Mexican-Vietnamese fusion. Other favorites for those that like some heat are the spicy pork tacos and the Sancho burger with cheese, jalapeno bacon, poblano peppers and chipotle aioli.
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area.
< a href=http://www.examiner.com/user-michelle-hein