Philly food is so much more than cheesesteaks. Let us show you.

Philly Fridays: Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars

I’ve known Marisa for a few years now, simply by virtue of running into her at food events or dinner at a mutual friend’s house.  And despite being a published author and having a blog that is 1,000 times more successful than mine will ever be, she has always been one of the nicest, sweetest people I’ve ever met in the food circle.  She’s always got a smile and is always willing to chat.  She also has a new book that just came out, the appropriately named Naturally Sweet, so be sure to check that out as well. And now, be sure to check out some of Marisa’s favorite food around Philly.

How long have you been part or drink of the food scene in Philadelphia, and what drew you to it?

I’ve been active in the Philly food scene for ten years now. It started with an online cooking show called Fork You that my husband and I used to make. I did a lot of local freelance food writing for a time and now participate in a few different ways. I write a blog called Food in Jars, make a podcast called Local Mouthful, and help organize the Philly Food Swap.

The thing I’ve always liked about the Philly food scene has been the fact that it is a welcoming community. We live in a city of food lovers who are happy to have newcomers join the fold.

What is your perfect day of Philly food – breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Breakfast at the Dutch Eating Place at Reading Terminal Market. It’s not fancy, but I love sitting at the counter and eating eggs, toast, and turkey bacon (if you’re still hungry after that, their apple dumplings are also good). After that, I’d make a circuit around the market, picking up essentials like eggs and produce from the Fair Food Farmstand, cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery, and meat from La Divisa.

For lunch, I’d wander up to Sakura Mandarin in Chinatown, for soup dumplings and spicy cucumber. So good!

There are so many good dinner options in Philly, but I think that after a day of eating out, I’d probably stay home for dinner and invite a few people over. I’d put some of my Reading Terminal Market groceries to good use and lay out some of the meat and cheese on a board (pairing them with a couple different homemade pickles and preserves), followed by a big salad and a roast chicken.

If you only had $10 to spend on a single food item in Philadelphia, what would you get?

If I only had $10 to spend, I’d hightail it to Pho 75 on Washington Avenue for a bowl. Their regular size bowl is less than seven bucks.

What would you consider your “local” – the place you visit most often?

My local place is Kaufman’s Deli on 19th Street. A big part of the reason it’s my regular destination is that it’s quite literally no more than 25 yards from the door of my apartment building. But they also make a delicious omelet and I love their salads. They’re big enough to share and make a good dinner on nights when I can’t bear to cook.

Where would you take an out-of-towner to get a true taste of Philadelphia?

Any time I am feeding out-of-towners, I take them to either Reading Terminal Market or the Italian Market (depending on their dietary preferences). RTM has a wider range of options, but the Italian Market is unlike anything else in this country.

What is your favorite food or drink event in Philly?

I love the Brewer’s Plate. It’s a great way to taste a range of foods from local restaurants while supporting a fantastic organization (Fair Food).

You can follow Marisa on Twitter at @foodinjars, on Facebook at, or at  All of her books are available on Amazon and wherever else awesome cookbooks are sold.

Send us an e-mail if you would like to be featured on Philly Fridays.


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This entry was posted on March 11, 2016 by in Philly Fridays and tagged , , , , .
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