Eat Like an Insider: Chris Younge of The Little Lion

Chris Younge is the owner of The Little Lion in Old City. | Provided

If you’re a fan of big, hearty mind-blowing meals, then you’re probably already familiar with The Little Lion in Old City, which is known for staple items like their red velvet french toast and buttermilk fried chicken. Owner Chris Younge is a big fan of Philly’s food scene overall, however, and chatted with us about his favorite places to eat around the city when he’s not at The Little Lion. He was even hesitant to reveal one of this picks out of fear that it would become too popular.

Best late night meal?
Midtown Diner (28 S. 18th St.). It’s open 24 hours a day and has the perfect combination of quick food and surly service.

Best meal under $10?
The Pho at Huong Tram (1601 Washington Ave.) is amazing and cheap ($4.50 for the non- meat version).  It’s the perfect follow-up hangover cure, and pairs nicely the morning after a late night visit to Midtown Diner.

Best hidden foodie gem?
Vegan Commissary (1429 Wolf St.). This place will make you forget that you’re eating healthy — they have a great meal plan available also if you don’t feel like cooking.

Best place to dine alone?
Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse (1823 Sansom St.) has a solid and approachable pub menu, friendly staff and fun environment.  They’re never boring, and they’ve always got every game on.

Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Han Dynasty (123 Chestnut St.)  I always send people from out of town to Han Dynasty — it’s great for large groups and they always execute amazing food. Eating Dan Dan noodles is basically a religious experience.

Go-to date spot hands down?
I take all my dates (all with my wife of course) to Sotto (151 S. 24th St.).  I almost lied and made up an answer to this question because I don’t want the hordes of readers to descend upon this mecca of Italian deliciousness and ruin it.  Rigatoni Delitzi (seafood in a blush sauce) is my go to.  The space is intimate and the staff is amazing — it’s always the same guys and they make you feel like royalty, and always remember you.

Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Mad Rex (1000 Frankford Ave.) and the post-apocalypse theme takes this for the win. Nothing beats grabbing food, drink and virtual reality while being surrounded by zombie inspired garb, an airplane through the ceiling and the amazing weapon displays. They have great food and the visual bonanza is definitely ‘gram worthy.

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