1516 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
The Oyster House is rightfully known for its rotating menu of oysters and buck-a-shuck happy hour specials. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the other standout favorites is the snapper turtle soup. Priced at $7 a bowl, the hearty soup with a complex flavor is loaded with fresh snapping turtle meat, chopped celery and carrots, bits of hardboiled egg and a touch of clove. The traditional sherry is served on the side. Being an East Coast-style seafood spot, New England and Manhattan clam chowders are also available for $6.50.
700 S. 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
This corner Jewish-style deli has been serving massive sandwiches such as corned beef on rye with Russian dressing for over 90 years. But as temperatures dip, nothing hits the spot like a big bowl of soup. Split pea, mushroom barley and sweet and sour cabbage are all worth a try, but the matzo ball ($7.95) and chicken soups ($6.95) are the consistent favorites. Like everything else on the menu, you’ll likely have trouble finishing a heaping bowl yourself. So be prepared to share or bring home leftovers. To keep the whole family full and warm, order the “Famous Chicken Soup.” The menu says it feeds two to three people, so that really means three to five.
1310 Drury St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Its relaxed, homey atmosphere and menu of casual tavern food has made McGillin’s a Philadelphia favorite for over 150 years. Comfort food classics such as hot roast beef, shepherd’s pie and meatloaf are always popular cold-weather choices. If you visit between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you’ll get a free bowl of homemade soup with your lunch. Tomato florentine, beef barley, turkey rice and pumpkin mac and cheese soup are a few of the fall specialties.
308 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Located in Old City, High Street on Market serves New American cuisine with a rustic touch. While it might be a spinoff of Chef Eli Kulp’s popular Fork, the casual cafe has made a name for itself independently, earning praise in Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure and Bon Appetit appearing on “best new restaurant” lists in 2014. The in-house bakery starts the day early, making fresh bagels, pastries and artisanal breads that are sold on their own or used in other menu items. Visit during lunch (daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), and the bread is the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of homemade soup. The $8 spiced carrot soup with fried chickpeas is a great transitional dish for the fall season. With a drizzle of ginger yogurt, the soup feels light enough to remind you of summer, but the deep spices and rich carrot finish are just right for a cozy fall day.
700 S. 5th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Coming from the same team behind Philadelphia’s Brauhaus Schmitz and Wursthaus Schmitz, Whetstone Tavern opened in Queen Village in mid July. A welcoming restaurant and charcuterie bar that aspires to be the type of place that feels like you’re visiting a friend, the new spot serves upscale comfort food. The roasted corn soup has already emerged as a favorite and is a wonderful dish for the beginning of fall. The large $8 bowl features pureed roasted corn flavored with espelette pepper and tarragon and topped with toasted garlic croutons. The vegan-friendly dish will remain on the menu as long as fresh sweet corn is available this season. Other available soups include French onion and Philadelphia-style pepper pot soup.
Related: Top Hearty Soups In Philadelphia
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