Books / Local Authors

Book Nook: Lost Restaurants of Philadelphia by Amy Strauss

Long before Philadelphia’s food scene was splashed on covers of Bon Appétit and local establishments garnered accolades like “America’s best restaurant,” culinary pioneers set the city’s restaurant industry ablaze.

Frenchman Georges Perrier brought the city the highest, most respected opulence, Le Bec-Fin, for forty years running. The ultimate seafood institute, Old Original Bookbinder’s, held the title of the world’s largest lobster tank and prepared impeccable oysters Rockefeller. Steven Poses changed the culinary game with Frog, which captivated palates with the infusion of international flavors. The nation’s very first automat, Horn & Hardart’s, consistently delivered near-perfect comfort food classics via vending machines.

Amy Strauss revisits celebrated spaces, unforgettable personalities and must-have recipes that made Philadelphia’s historic restaurants remembered for their delicious moments in time in her new book, Lost Restaurants of Philadelphia.

I received a copy of this book, and I loved it. If you’re interested in Philadelphia’s restaurant history and wish to learn about restaurants long gone in Philadelphia, which were popular and successful in their heyday, you will love this book, too. Some of these restaurants closed as recently as last decade but impacted the Philly dining scene; they deserve to be on a Philly Restaurant Hall of Fame if ever such a thing would exist! I won’t say much more because I think if you’re into restaurants in Philadelphia and dining in Philadelphia, you should pick up this book and learn all about why Philadelphia has always been a great restaurant town! The only part I didn’t like about the book is that I never got to experience some of these amazing restaurants from way back in the day.


Amy Strauss is a food marketer by day and a food writer by night. She’s the author of Pennsylvania Scrapple: A Delectable History (The History Press, 2017) and has clocked more than a decade of experience in food writing, advertising and content partnerships, including those with well-known brands Campbell’s Soup, Condé Nast, Wawa, Bon Appétit, Good Morning America and Open Table. She lives in Philadelphia and owns Herman’s Coffee with her husband, Mat Falco.

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