The tastes of Coney Island come to Philly

HughE Dillon

Coney Island might be a bit of a drive, but now you can sink your teeth into the taste of the iconic NYC location right here in Philadelphia.

Coney Shack recently opened last weekend in West Philly, and although the space might be smaller in size, the flavors from this new eatery are incredibly big, and the hot dogs are just the start.

HughE Dillon

According to a release, award-winning chef and partner Lawrence Mach has teamed up with Michael Tang of SET NoLibs to bring the first of several Coney Shack locations to Philadelphia. This is Coney Shack’s very first location outside of the New York City region. The menu features street food that brings together American and Mexican favorites – with an Asian twist using recipes, flavor profiles and secrets from his family that they brought with them when they moved to America from Vietnam.

“I am so proud to bring Coney Shack to the amazing food scene in Philadelphia,” said Mach in a statement. “It has been a long journey to get here from a food cart in Coney Island, to being selected to serve in Times Square, to staying in business during the pandemic, to now opening up and expanding into a whole new city. Every day I wake up and feel blessed to be able to do what I love and follow my passion for cooking.”

The best way to break this new concept down is from start to finish. Walking up, you notice Coney Shack’s mascot from blocks away, and when you walk in, you feel the effort that was made to turn the venue in the heart of a hustling bustling city into a seaside space with Coney Island features (think a “tiki bar” and old black and white vintage photos of the Island.) But, it’s not an ode to Coney, it also has that Asian and Mexican twist that follows along with the food.

While looking at the menu, there are standouts that immediately catch your eye: Like the Mach Dog (with Vietnamese caramelized pork, crispy onion strings, Mex cheese melt, sweet chili spicy mayo, scallion and toasted sesame), the Calamari Dog (made with crispy 5 spice calamari, pickled red onions, lemongrass aioli, cilantro, sweet chili spicy mayo & charred scallion in oil), burrito bowls with an assortment of toppings, fish tacos, grilled elotes and more.

HughE Dillon

The hot dogs are the main attraction though, and they are worth the tickets (or, in this case, dollars.) What pairs perfectly with them and the rest of the menu are the drinks, which are sold at that tiki bar mentioned earlier. The options range from a Peach Palmer, Acai Lemonade, Refreshing Cucumber Mint and more, with the option to add some more spirit to them in the form of a shot. In all, the menu spans four gourmet hot dogs (with the option to make your own), wings, tacos, bowls, fries and more.

“When you think of Coney Island, you think of so many fun, bold and rich foods and flavors. It was a melting pot for variety and diversity in the cuisine – with everything from a mixture of Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Totonno’s Pizza, ice cream, seafood, tacos, fried foods, boardwalk fries and everything in between. I opened there because I felt welcome and I saw the joy there,” continues Mach. “I also wanted to celebrate my favorite dishes and the atmosphere – but do it in my own special and personal way. I am excited to bring those flavors, that inspiration and that joy to all the foodies in Philadelphia.”

HughE Dillon

In total, the experience is well worth a trip to West Philly, the flavors cross state lines and even country lines for a universally pleasing experience.

For more information on Coney Shack, located at 38th and Chestnut streets, visit eatconeyshack.com

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