We already know that Fishtown is Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhood. There’s no sense in denying it. Forbes said so. The New York Times Loves Fishtown. Two years ago, Bon Appetit said you could find the Best Sandwich of the Year at Fishtown’s Philly Style Bagels. There’s been tons of other national press, but I digress.
The best way to explore Fishtown is through its food scene. Philly Foodies Tours is a new company offering a walking tour of Fishtown with stops at various popular restaurants and food-based businesses in Fishtown. Philly Foodies Tour is run by Luis Serrano and his wife Katy and just launched this summer. They started offering these tours to help locals and tourists explore the amazing restaurants and food available in the neighborhood. Neat, huh?
Upon invitation, I recently checked out the Fishtown food tour to see what it’s all about and spend time in one of my favorite Philly ‘hoods. Luis and assistant Sean were our guides on this tour.
Fishtown Food Tour Stop #1 – Pizza Brain
The first stop on the Fishtown Food Tour was Pizza Brain at 2313 Frankford Avenue. This destination is one part pizza shop, one part pizza museum. In fact, they hold a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pizza-related items. During our visit, we enjoyed slices from a “Jane” pie which includes mozzarella, provolone, Grana Padano cheese, and fresh basil and “Forbes Waggensense” which includes mozzarella, fontina, Grana Padano cheese, fresh basil, and smoked pepperoni. Both were well-made and quite tasty.
Besides for great pizza and pizza memorabilia, the shop also features an amazingly large mural depicting local and semi-local celebrities eating pizza by the acclaimed local illustrator Hawk Krall. It is on the side of the building in the back where there is also a small patio available to sit and eat your pizza. This was my first time at Pizza Brain believe it or not. The pizza is very good!
Fishtown Food Tour Stop #2 – Riverwards Produce
Riverwards Produce is an amazing food market at 2200 East Norris Street. They offer an abundance of fresh fruits & vegetables, meats and cheeses, milk and bread, some non-perishables, beverages, snacks, and flowers. Everything they carry is as local and organic as they can possibly get. Owner Vincent Finazzo opened the current 2,000 square foot location in April of 2017. Previously he had operated out of a small garage on Tulip Street, which was also a stop on the tour. Vincent offered samples of deliciously sweet and in season Rainier cherries. I’m glad that this was a stop on the tour because I had been following their progress over the years and always wanted to check it out. I’ve written about them in the past, but this was my first visit go figure.
Fishtown Food Tour Stop #3 – Philly Style Bagels
The third stop on the Fishtown Food Tour was Philly Style Bagels at 1451 East Columbia Avenue. Who doesn’t like bagels? As I mentioned above, they tend to get a lot of good press so it’s no surprise they are very popular. While it wasn’t mobbed during our visit, there was a constant stream of customers in and out of the small shop. Kudos to them! I love seeing small businesses succeed.
I enjoyed the everything bagel, which had a nice chew to it and very flavorful. Just how I love my bagels. They add red pepper flake to their everything seasoning which added a bit of a suprise, but welcome kick. I really enjoyed it. I ate it plain, but they offer a variety of cream cheeses including vegan Tofutti! You can also get some basic bagel sandwiches. As with Pizza Brain and Riverwards, this was my first time at PSB.
Fishtown Food Tour Stop #4 – Good Spoon Soupery
The fourth stop on the Fishtown Food Tour was Good Spoon Soupery located at 1400 N. Front Street under the El and catercorner from Fishtown darling Wm. Mulherin and Sons (which, sadly, is not a stop on the tour). They specialize in soups and stews made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. We enjoyed a delicious sample of luscious butternut squash soup with apples and ginger and a swirl of coconut cream. They also offer coffee drinks and some baked goods. However, if you love soup, you’ll love Good Spoon Soupery.
Fishtown Food Tour Stop #5 – Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop
The fifth stop on the Fishtown Food Tour was Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop located at 1255 Marlborough Street. This bakery specializes in all kinds of baked goods and sweet treats such as cupcakes, cookies, brownies, butter cake, cheesecakes, tortes, and other seasonal desserts. Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop will be celebrating three years at this location in August. We sampled a chocolate cupcake and some butter cake (a family recipe) while there. So good! A “sweet spot” if you will. 🙂
Fishtown Food Tour Last Stop – Kensington Quarters
Saving the best for last? The final stop on the Fishtown Food Tour was Kensington Quarters at 1310 Frankford Avenue. I’ve been wanting to check out Kensington Quarters since it opened nearly 5 years ago! This restaurant and butchery are all about keeping it local. A majority of the ingredients are sourced within 100 miles or so from the restaurant with a dedicated butcher on premises who has a nose-to-tail ethos. They do their own curing, dry aging, and pickling in-house. So rest assured, you’re going to get the best quality food as possible. They also offer private cooking classes such as how to make fresh pasta in their private event space upstairs. Kensington Quarters is an amazing, must-visit restaurant while in Fishtown.
I really enjoyed this Fishtown Food Tour and visiting restaurants and eateries I had never been to before. It is a perfect activity for locals and tourists alike. It’s a great introduction to all of the great food Fishtown has to offer. Not only do you get to explore Fishtown and eat some yummy food, but you also get some good exercise. You’ll walk approximately 2 miles and the tour takes about 2 hours or so. But it went by really fast! I highly recommend you check out this food tour of Fishtown. Food tours are currently offered on Saturdays and Sundays only. Learn more on the tour’s FAQ page here.
If you sign up for a tour, tell them Philly Grub sent you! 🙂
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Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.