photo credit: Kerry McIntyre
High Street Philadelphia
If Philly were a high school, High Street Philly in Old City would be the senior class lounge. It’s warm and comfortable inside, and it feels like a home base for both tourists and people who have lived here for years. The only difference between High Street and your class lounge, other than the lack of student art hanging on the wall, is that everyone is here for the wide range of baked goods and seasonal American food.
High Street is first and foremost a bakery. This place makes some of the best bread in the city, and it’s featured in lots of their dishes - from a BEC on a poppy kaiser roll to a crispy, melty grilled cheese on fluffy roasted potato bread. On weekday mornings, walk in and you’ll see a counter covered in homemade pastries and huge chocolate chunk cookies. For lunch, the pastries are replaced with sourdough and focaccia, and the menu switches to a list of sandwiches, like an incredible duck cubano, and salads that will make you wish High Street catered all your company lunch meetings. At dinner, the lights dim and it turns into a good spot for dates, with shareable cheese plates, delicious bowls of seafood pasta, and a braised short rib gnocchi that makes us as happy as when we’re watching Timothee Chalamet on the red carpet.
photo credit: Kerry McIntyre
Since High Street On Market is open from 7am-10:30pm (with a two-hour break from 3-5pm), you can get a good meal here practically all day. You should know that if you come during lunch, you’ll likely see some tourists hiding out in between museum visits, but that’s what happens when you’re located just a few blocks away from Independence Hall.
Regardless, whether it’s on your way to work in the morning, for a long lunch with a cocktail or two, or with your partner for a Thursday night date - High Street is a place that’s easy to love. Just like the class lounge, and its defaced motivational posters.
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Starting at 7:30am, you’ll see a counter full of fresh bread and pastries as soon as you walk into High Street. The options change daily, with things like french crullers and chocolate dipped croissants, but you’ll want to get there before noon to make sure everything isn’t sold out.
Just your average bacon, egg, and cheese. Except it’s on a fluffy poppy seed kaiser roll, topped with crispy onions, and comes with a mini bottle of homemade hot sauce on the side. Ok, it’s not really your average bacon, egg, and cheese at all.
Spiced Beet Grain Bowl
Even if you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a meal at High Street, you should make it a priority to come here during a lunch break and pick up a grain bowl. They have a few varieties - this one has spiced beets, pickled onions, turmeric yogurt, and a poached egg - but they’re all delicious and much more filling than whatever you normally eat for lunch.
Pastrami On Rye
The pastrami is what makes this sandwich so incredible. It’s super tender, almost falling apart as you bite into the sandwich. That, plus the cabbage slaw/russian dressing/mustard combo makes it the best version of a deli sandwich you can get.
This is a plea for High Street On Market to bring back the duck cubano. It’s no longer on the menu, but we feel so strongly about it that we’re considering circulating a petition or standing outside with “FREE THE DUCK CUBANO” picket signs. Stay tuned.
Beets And Endive
This is a great way to start your dinner at High Street. It’s sweet, with a rosewater honey vinaigrette and blood orange pieces, but also savory from pistachio and bleu cheese crumbles.
The crab spaghetti is simultaneously light and rich, with Old Bay seasoning, a tomato-based sauce, and crunchy bread crumbs on top.