For the second installation of our neighborhood-by-neighborhood zip code picks, we’re sticking close to home: 19106 - i.e. City Paper's Old City HQ. Things have a tendency to get a little touristy in these parts, but these five will keep you well fed and far away from middling cheesesteaks and pizza.
1 Han Dynasty | This Sichuan destination has become a fast favorite with heat seekers about town. From garlicky chilled cucumbers and dan-dan noodles to crisp chunks of dry-pepper-style chicken, Taiwanese import Han Chiang gets the spicy-numbing notes of chiles and Sichuan peppercorns right. 108 Chestnut St., 215-922-1888, handynasty.net.
2 Franklin Fountain | Philadelphia’s ice-cream-making history is a many-splendored thing, and the folks at Franklin Fountain are doing their damnedest to preserve it. Dreamy-drippy sundaes are topped with generous piles of whipped cream, and hand-stirred sodas are poured from the fountain. 116 Market St., 215-627-1899, franklinfountain.com.
3 Fork: Etc. | Brought to you by the folks behind neighboring Fork, this eat-in/take-out breakfast and lunch spot’s seasonally rotating menu means options like muffalettas alongside cheeses and charcuterie with plenty of veg-centric salad options. Harried lunchers can grab and go, or you can linger over a glass of wine. 308 Market St., 215-625-9425, forkrestaurant.com.
4 Khyber Pass Pub | When this beloved venue made the jump from show space to Creole dining destination, grumbles were heard all over town. But after checking out their po’ boys, fried chicken and seemingly endless vegan options, tempers were quickly calmed. 56 S. Second St., 215-238-5888, khyberpasspub.com.
5 Morimoto | Unless you’re the proud owner of an AmEx black card, lunch is the way to go at Morimoto. Sushi and sashimi are devastatingly fresh; the service is spot-on; and the room — well, you should probably see it for yourself. Prices hover around half those at dinner. 723 Chestnut St., 215-413-9070, morimotorestaurant.com.