Native Highlight: Philly Grub Shares Her Top Places in Philadelphia

Native Highlight: Philly Grub

We had the pleasure of talking with Marilyn Johnson, the legend behind the top Philly Food blog - Philly Grub. Marilyn has her finger on the pulse of the Philly food scene and has for the last decade. This year, Philly Grub will celebrate their 10th anniversary! 👏👏👏

Check out a behind the scenes look at one of the most influential food bloggers in the Philly area!

The Inspiration Behind The Account

I love everything about food. I also love writing/blogging. I dabbled in food writing before starting Philly Grub. I authored two hyperlocal blogs in North Jersey that leaned heavily on restaurant reviews and openings/closings. Those blogs built a small following and readership and, as a result, I met a lot of great people. When I moved back to Philadelphia in 2008, I wanted to continue writing about food.


Marilyn went on to explain how she started Philly Grub with her close friend, Kate, as their creative outlet. After Kate left, Marilyn decided to keep the blog alive and had her mind set on becoming a place people could lean on for trusted information about the Philadelphia restaurant scene. 

Happy days for all of us foodies that she decided to move back to Philly in 2008 -  What would we do without her here?! Her love of the game is what keeps her going and why she has over 2,600 IG posts! 


What Marilyn Wants Our Readers To Know

I used to be a nightclub DJ for 15 years. Remember nightclubs? Ha! For 10 consecutive years, I was a resident DJ and co-promoter for a monthly dance party at Fluid Nightclub which was located (above The Latest Dish) in Queen Village before it closed in 2013. It was owned by Tony Shiro, currently of Jaxon in the Northern Liberties. I loved everything about DJing and promoting dance parties, but I retired from the nightlife biz in 2013. Since then, I’ve focused on Philly Grub as my primary creative outlet.

She's been in the Philly area for so long and it's very clear that she knows the ins and outs of the food & nightlife scene - a true #PhillyNative!

Why You Need To Follow @PhillyGrub Right This Second

Because I really do keep my finger on the pulse of the local food scene. I may not dine out as frequently as other foodies do, but I always know what’s going on. I don’t do it for pageviews, followers, or freebies. This is truly my passion. I am genuinely in love with Philadelphia and want to shine a positive spotlight on the city and surrounding areas (including the burbs and South Jersey). The food scene is just one reason #WhyILovePhilly. Philly Grub will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year – and its not going anywhere. Stay tuned for more!

We'll absolutely be tuned in during 2018! A year which Marilyn predicts may be a big one for Philly. "From Iron Chefs to Top Chefs, from bringing home James Beard Awards to being ranked 11th on Zagat’s Most Exciting Food Cities in America 2017, it’s a very exciting time to be a food lover in Philadelphia. I wouldn’t be surprised if we crack the Top 10 in 2018."

So where does @phillygrub recommend we go?! She gave us the inside scoop on a few of her favorite, but for more be sure to check out her site!

The Top Spots For Philly Grub

1) The Upstairs Bar - Franklin Bar

112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Pro Tip: 

The Upstairs Bar at The Franklin Bar is a tiki bar, the only one in Philadelphia right now. If you love tropical drinks & decor, this is the place for you!


2) White Dog Cafe - University City

3420 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 1910

Pro Tip:

This restaurant/bar has been around for 35 years so you know they're doing something right. Check out the newly expanded digs! 


3) Chinatown Square

1016-18 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 1910

Pro Tip 

Food Halls are all the rage these days and this one in Chinatown has a lot to offer. If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, start here.


4) Vedge

1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 1910

Pro Tip

Vegan or plant-based? No problem. In fact, Vedge is always on the top lists for veggie restaurants. You'll NEVER miss meat here.


Be sure to subscribe to @phillygrub's awesome email list where Marilyn will keep you informed of all Philly food happenings and download NativX to get more awesome tips from Natives!


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