Father’s Day in Philly: A Local Gift Guide for Your Foodie Dad

Well, here we are in June, and Father’s Day is just a couple of short weeks away. It’s time to start contemplating how to show your old man how much you love him and how you appreciate all the crap he’s put up with from you over the last few decades.

Dad’s are easy to buy for. We like anything, really. But this year, instead of a goofy card and a Blu-ray of some flick he wanted to see last year, I’m thinking you can do a little better. Put a little thought into it, man! Or better yet, let me do your thinking for you! I’ve put together a short (but mighty) list of gifts your dad is sure to dig, especially if he’s a foodie. And he doesn’t necessarily have to be the “stand on a chair with his phone in the middle of the restaurant to get the perfect Insta-food picture” kind of foodie (we can’t all be that cool), to enjoy these gifts.

Trust me, he’ll love these….

1. Treat Dad to Brunch (Obviously)

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Taking Mom to brunch on Mother’s Day is HUGE. But hey, guess what…we Dad’s love brunch too! Maybe even more! Dear old Dad has forked out the cash for probably hundreds of dine out meals during your lifetime, so what better way to say “Thanks, Dad” than to treat him to one of the hottest brunch spots in Philly? The Hungry Pigeon in the Queens Village neighborhood is tearing it up with one of the best breakfast sandwiches anywhere right now, and their kimchi Breakfast Bowl is to die for; How about a Dutch Baby pancake filled with smoked sausage or sweetened with sugar and fruit? You can get that at The Dutch in Pennsport; Or maybe a ginger-citrus-cured salmon benedict served atop scallion pancakes at Susanna Foo’s SuGa restaurant in Center City? Speaking of benedicts, you could let Dad try the Low Country benedict at The Little Lion in Old City, which is topped with things like crawfish and spinach, or their delicious Red Velvet French Toast. These fine eateries and many, many more are serving awesome brunch menus every weekend. I guarantee that Dad’s heart, and his belly, would be muy satisfied.

2. Take Dad on a Philly Food Tour

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Help Dad explore new eateries or a new area of the city with a food tour! There are many tours that run in and around the Philly area, most of which require a ticket and a reservation, so be sure to click the links to check out websites for upcoming tour dates , prices, etc. Chew Philly Food Tours offers probably the most “touristy” one with their “Authentic Philly” tour which focuses on classic Philly foods like cheesesteaks, tomato pie, soft pretzels and more. They’ve also got a Chestnut Hill walking tour for the more adventurous eater. There’s also the unofficial “Philly Cheesesteak Tour” which samples FIVE different steaks at some of Philly’s most well-known shops like Jim’s, Pat’s, Geno’s and more! VisitPhilly.com also has some great self-plan/self-drive tours mapped out for anything from finding the best roast pork sandwiches in the city to a restaurant tour along East Passyunk Avenue, also called Philly’s “Restaurant Row”. Looking to explore the South Jersey culinary landscape? On the Town Food Tours is one company that offers a taste of what is available in our neighboring state. They have four unique tours that will allow you to explore the foods of Haddonfield, Collingswood, Mount Holly and Bordentown.

3. Take a stroll through Reading Terminal Market 

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You and I already love Philly’s historic food hall, so why not introduce Dad to Reading Terminal Market? Make a day of it. Walk the aisles and stop at as many food stalls as he wants to try. Get him a donut from Beiler’s; a double scoop at Bassett’s Ice Cream; buy him a book to get his creative juices flowing at the Cookbook Stall; have a full, stick-to-your-ribs Amish meal at Dutch Eating Place, or any of the dozens of awesome eats at this fat guy’s paradise.

4. Di Bruno Bros. Gift Boxes

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Ok, Dad’s LOVE meat. Di Bruno Bros. knows this well. That’s why they’ve created two special Father’s Day gift crates full of the finest meats, exquisite cheeses and hand-selected specialty foods that will have Dad’s taste buds dancing for joy. The Papa Robusto is a bold gift crate with rustic Soppressata, spicy Cheddar, and a host of BBQ must-have’s. The Papa Bello is a little something for the big guy…namely a standout Gruyere, Tishbi Onion Cabernet Preserves and more! Both look incredible. Pre-order your box today!

5. Buy him a bag or two of locally roasted coffee

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We are truly lucky that we live in a city with so much good coffee available to us. Philly, and the surrounding area, is home to many of the best coffee roasters in the country, and I’m willing to bet that if your Dad is anything like mine and has to have his standard 3 cups of java every morning, this would make his day terrific. I know I absolutely LOVE grinding and enjoying fresh beans (many roasters sell ground coffee, too) from a local roast shop or retail space. La Colombe, Rival Bros, Reanimator Coffee, Elixr Coffee Roasters, Philly Fair Trade Roasters, Brandywine Coffee Roasters and many others are available for take home consumption. A bag or two should last him a while, so in the words of cousin Eddie Griswald, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving”.

6. There’s nothing like a box of waffles

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I recently had a chance to try a sampler box of Waffatopia’s liege waffles (you can check out my review here) and these things are crazy insane delicious! Waffatopia sells 6-8 different flavors of their Belgian-style, pearl sugar waffles stuffed with everything from chocolate to maple bacon. These waffles are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a hand-held snack! They’re a local company located in Conshohocken, and a quick visit to their website can harvest a special delivery right to Dad’s front door in a matter of just a couple of days. It’s the perfect gift for a Dad who might live too far away for you to spend time with on his special day, but you still want to let him know you’re thinking of him.

7. Give him the Righteous Felon experience

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Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel is a local company making some of the finest jerky I believe I’ve ever tasted. A friend of mine brought some back from the Tough Mudder event this year, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Trust me, if Dad loves jerky, he will LOVE Righteous Felon. They make their product using beef from the Mid-Atlantic’s premier Black Angus producer, Roseda Black Angus Farm near Coatesville, PA. Flavors range from the mild Baby Blues Sweet Kick BBQ to the hellacious Halo Diablo.

So, there it is. Like I said…it’s just a short list, but hopefully I’ve inspired you to think outside of the (necktie) box a little bit when it comes to gifting for your pops this year. I mean, after all…he deserves it right?

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