It’s something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives as Philly sports fans: you walk back to your car after an Eagles/Phillies/Sixers/Flyers game ends, and then you sit - sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for an hour and a half. Because unlike literally every other city in the US, where they know that building three separate stadiums next to each other probably isn’t the best idea, we’ve done it again and again. What we end up with is a bunch of parking lots all emptying out onto the same street, and about five police officers who have absolutely no idea what to do about it.
Instead of banging your head on your steering wheel while you watch the incompetence ensue, or illegally driving over curbs and between trees, here are 10 places you can walk to and get good food (or at least a decent drink) until the area returns to being the ghost town it usually is.
Usually after a game, you head straight to XFinity Live, and then spend the next 25 minutes working your way through a human jungle gym just to wait another 10 minutes in line for a $12 can of beer. We’re not saying that’s worse than waiting in traffic, but it’s not not worse than waiting in traffic. Next time, walk another few hundred steps to Nickel’s Tavern. It’s the diviest South Philly dive bar, and the exact place you should spend a couple of hours drinking $4 beers and eating a $5 appetizer sampler while you wait for 60,000 people to exit the area.
Philly sports fans aren’t known for being the most proper or nice people in the world, so suggesting a place that serves nice pasta and $16 cocktails might seem a little mismatched from what just happened between the guy next to you and a Giants fan. But that’s exactly why you need Bar Amis. The muted colors, string lights, and generally calm feeling will bring you back from thinking that yelling at a four-year-old is okay, even though he is the one who started it.
Last time you tried to get out of the Wells Fargo Center parking lot, it took so long that you witnessed about 20 people drive their SUVs over a curb and down a grass hill in front of a cop car just to get out. You would have joined in, but you’re pretty sure your 1999 sedan would have screamed “HELL no” and died right there on the spot. Instead of giving Deborah (your car, obviously) a panic attack, leave her be and head to SOMO SoPhi. It’s a huge American spot that’s open until midnight every night, and has two separate levels of outdoor seating for when the weather isn’t miserable.
Not only is Oregon Diner open 24/7, but it also has a full bar, and is a cool five-minute walk from the garbage fire that’s occurring in the parking lot where you left your car. So while the cops take care of that whole scene, you can be three martinis and two pancakes deep in a ripped leather booth. There’s about a 60% chance your car will still be in one piece and drivable when you and your poor designated driver return.
You’ve probably been to DiNic’s in Reading Terminal Market, but they also have a small outpost in South Philly where you can get the same overstuffed roast pork sandwiches. It’s just a counter with a few small patio tables, but walking to and from will get you back to your car just in time to miss the shouting match between two people with their entire torsos out of their car’s sunroofs.
You brought your friends who are visiting from Boston to an Eagles game, and even though you warned them of the possibilities, they insisted on wearing their matching Brady jerseys. So now they’re covered in soda from a random flying cup, and you’re torn between apologizing for your fellow fans and saying “I told you so.” Go with the former and make it up to them by taking them to a cheesesteak spot that’s way better than Pat’s or Geno’s. It’s a short walk from the parking lot madness, and after a few bites they might take back swearing off the city forever.
Popi’s looks like one of those big event spaces you see on the side of the highway in New Jersey - the ones that people rent out for a retirement party or a tacky prom. And that’s exactly why we like it. It has two floors of tables with white tablecloths and carpeting that was installed in the ’80s, and the food is classic, red sauce Italian. It will definitely do the trick after a game where your only options were cotton candy and microwave pizza.
A bunch of fans seem to have forgotten that we don’t live in biblical times and are throwing rocks at someone who isn’t wearing a Phillies jersey. He’s not even wearing Mets merch - he’s just not wearing red and blue, and that’s offended a large group of people who have now blocked off an entire parking lot entrance. Instead of sitting and waiting for someone to break it up, feel free to abandon your car in its place in line and head to Pho Ha Saigon for a calming bowl of pho or vermicelli noodles. Almost everything here is $10 or less and comes out within five minutes, so you’ll be able to get back to your car before anyone has even moved.
You went through two hot dogs and a bucket of chicken fingers during the game, but now you need something sweet, and it just can’t wait until you’re home in what will probably be about two hours, even though you only live a couple miles up 95. Thank all that is good in the world, Philly’s best bakery is a 10-minute walk away and they’re one of the only bakeries that stays open until 9pm. That means you’ll be able to get a box of cannolis after any mid-day game or a 7 o’clock Flyers game that was so depressing the entire stadium left after the second period.
One thing you would assume they’d nail at the stadiums is hoagies. You can get child-sized (like literally the size of a three-year-old child) buckets of fries and "ice cream from the future,” but it’s basically impossible to find a vendor that does a good Italian hoagie. While we petition the Philadelphia Stadium Board to open a decent sandwich shop in at least one of the arenas, save your appetite and head to Pastificio after the game. It’s mostly a market, but they have a deli counter that makes a really good Italian hoagie, as well as a bunch of other sandwiches.