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Aug 11 2016

Graduate Hospital

What's In The Neighborhood

Graduate Hospital goes by many names (Center City South, South of South, G-Ho), which is fitting for a neighborhood that draws its personality from the people inside it: young transplants, born-and-raised neighbors, hip urban professionals, craft beer crowds and more. In recent years, the area stretching from Lombard Street to Washington Avenue and from Broad Street to Gray’s Ferry Avenue has accumulated a healthy dose of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and markets that reflect the area’s residential and cool vibe.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has picked this ’hood for its summertime PHS Pop Up Garden three years in a row. The seasonal South Street destination draws neighbors, people from across the city and out-of-towners with its beautiful landscaping, flowing craft beers and the fun, laid-back vibe that perfectly matches Graduate Hospital.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Restaurants & Bars:

  • Aprons Soul Food – Aprons keeps ’em coming all day long with delectable Southern dishes. Think chicken and waffles for breakfast; fried tilapia, turkey meatloaf and baked macaroni and cheese for lunch or dinner; and peach cobbler that’s worth saving room for (or wrapping up for later). 2617 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 560-8837
  • Bob & Barbara’s Lounge – The Citywide Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $3.50—may have originated at Bob & Barbara’s, but it’s only a part of what makes the place so fun. Thursdays bring the drag show, Friday and Saturday nights are all about jazz and Sunday karaoke ends the weekend. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511,
  • The Cambridge – This gastropub showcases an impressive menu, from the short rib mac and cheese with fontina and sharp cheddar to the 24-hour-brined, hand-ground Porker Burger. Nearly 25 craft beers on tap, Fleet Street wines and original cocktails mean there’s something to quench everyone’s thirst. 1508 South Street, (267) 455-0647,
  • Devil’s Pocket Food & Spirits – The brunch and dinner menus include well-loved staples, such as cheeseburgers, mac and cheese and the turkey potpie. Local craft beer selections in can and draft form go with every meal. 2425 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 735-2202,
  • Doobie’s – Many Philly bars and restaurants have great beer selections, but Doobie’s sets itself apart with its killer jukebox, vegan food and board games. Dogs love the outdoor seating and treat dispenser. 2201 Lombard Street, (215) 546-0316
  • Founding Fathers – Founding Fathers does the grown-up sports bar. Daily specials complement its menu of sandwiches, flatbreads and wings, and the draft beer lineup stars some of Philly’s most loved local breweries, such as Yards and Victory. Wednesday night Quizzo is a mid-week highlight. 1612 South Street, (267) 519-0253,
  • Grace Tavern – Beer lovers rave about this haunt, founded by the minds behind brew haven Monk’s Café. Patrons who don’t sample the varied food selection—fresh oyster po’ boy, spinach and feta sausage sandwich and blackened green beans—are missing out. 2229 Grays Ferry Avenue (23rd & South Streets), (215) 893-9580,
  • Jet Wine Bar – An archaeologist and an engineer walk into a bar… Owners Jill Weber (archaeologist) and Evan Malone (engineer) opened Jet Wine Bar for both wine connoisseurs and novices. Vino from around the globe pairs with a revolving menu of small plates of meats, cheeses and sandwiches. Happy hour pleases palates every day, and on Tuesdays, patrons build their own flights of wine for just $10, or sip half-glasses for half-price. 1525 South Street, (215) 735-1116,
  • Los Camaradas – The friendly Mexican restaurant/bar enjoys a loyal following with fantastic tacos (tip: get the veggie), more than 50 100% agave tequilas and mezcals and a neighborly atmosphere. From the outdoor tables, people take in the sights and sounds of Julian Abele Park while sipping their Mexican or Philadelphian beer. 918 S. 22nd Street, (215) 309-3727,
  • My Thai – This lovingly decorated eatery has everything people expect of a pad Thai restaurant: big portions, budget-friendly prices, neighborly service and—be careful—very spicy dishes. 2200 South Street, (215) 985-1878
  • Pub & Kitchen – Dishing out restaurant-quality fare, Pub & Kitchen has established itself as a must-visit for gastropub enthusiasts thanks to raved-about burgers and a must-try brunch. A short but discerning draft list and three TVs—one hidden behind the bar that comes out for big games—bring in a loyal bar crowd. 1946 Lombard Street, (215) 545-0350,
  • Rex 1516 – Grilled pimento cheese, crawfish potpie, pan-fried fish, fried chicken. It’s clear that Rex 1516 draws inspiration from the South. Open every day for dinner and for brunch on the weekends (shrimp and grits, bananas foster French toast), the 35-seater welcomes the hungry crowd, along with those craving a craft beer, cocktail or whiskey. 1516 South Street, (267) 319-1366,
  • The Sidecar Bar & Grille – The bartenders at this two-floor gastropub pour from a large and constantly evolving beer list. On the weekends, brunch means quiche du jour and Bloody Marys starting at 9 a.m. Warm weather brings a handful of coveted outdoor tables. 2201 Christian Street, (215) 732-3429,
  • SouthGate Philly – This corner bar elevates its menu by serving Korean-American food (read: Korean fried chicken) alongside its craft beer and healthy whiskey selections. Seasoned chef David Feola, an alumnus of Philly’s Vernick Food & Drink and New York’s Jean-Georges, heads the kitchen. 1801 Lombard Street, (215) 560-8443,
  • Ten Stone – Resembling an English pub, this bar and restaurant serves light fare that pairs perfectly with imported beers and domestic microbrews. After eating, diners can stick around to watch a game or play pool or darts. The few outdoor tables welcome warm-weather gathering. 2063 South Street, (215) 735-9939,
  • Tio Flores – From the food and beverage experts behind Hawthornes Biercafe and The Cambridge, Tio Flores sates Mexican cravings with four flavors of guacamole and a slew of taco options. Flavorful margaritas, an impressive beer list and a weekday happy hour keep the seats filled at this colorful South Street spot. 1600 South Street, (267) 687-2220,


  • Ants Pants Cafe – This Australian-inspired cafe dishes out sumptuous brunch options every day, which means there’s always time to enjoy the collection of Aussie drinks and sweet potato fries. Neighbors covet the almost-secret back patio on those lovely 70-degree days. 2212 South Street, (215) 875-8002,
  • Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run BYOB serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly and healthy. Many dishes, including the Balkan’s salads and stews, use ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden. Not to be missed: the acclaimed stuffed cabbage rolls. 2237 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 545-1255,
  • Bistro La Baia – The familial service and the lobster ravioli are just two of the many reasons this cozy Italian BYOB has been a neighborhood mainstay for nearly 20 years. 1700 Lombard Street, (215) 546-0496,
  • Bistro SouthEast – The husband-and-wife team here want to share their memories of southeast Asia through meals that combine traditional and new dishes. The BYOB tempts diners with pho, chicken wings, spring rolls and seafood combos—and a family-friendly atmosphere. 1824 South Street, (267) 758-2838,
  • Cafe Ynez – Weekday patrons gather here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the weekends mainly belong to the brunch crew. The Mexican spot offers a rotating selection of drink mixers in carafes for those who bring their own bottle, plus Mexican coffee drinks and horchata. Repeat diners love the rotisserie chicken dinner entrees, tacos and fajitas. 2025 Washington Avenue, (215) 278-7579,
  • Entrée – This BYOB offers American dishes on a seasonal rotation, ensuring its patrons are treated to the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Those in the cocktail mood can add the spirit of their choice to the refreshing mixes. 1608 South Street, (215) 790-0330,
  • Honey’s Sit ’N Eat – The corner of 21st and South streets draws a large, hungry crowd waiting for weekend brunch. Honey’s diner-esque menu sports items such as country-fried steak and gravy and challah French toast sandwiching Lancaster County double-smoked ham and Swiss cheese and topped with two sunny eggs. Any day of the week, people can tote their own alcohol for breakfast/brunch, lunch or dinner. 2101 South Street, (215) 732-5130,
  • Jamaican Jerk Hut – With its spicy jerk chicken and generous portion sizes, this tiny Caribbean BYOB has become a classic Philly establishment. For three years running, the seasonal PHS Pop Up Garden next door has introduced the island dishes to the beer garden masses. 1436 South Street, (215) 545-8644,
  • Indian Restaurant – This BYOB delivers what its name promises. The staff is attentive; the menu is fresh, healthy and vegetarian-friendly; and the portions are perfect for leftovers.
    1634 South Street, (215) 964-9451,
  • Miles Table – Michael Lynch, a graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College and a Graduate Hospital resident, named his casual eatery after his son. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, simple and flavorful dishes (omelets with home fries and toast, avocado BLT and burgers of the beef, turkey and falafel variety) use local ingredients. 1620 South Street, (267) 318-7337,
  • Pumpkin – Local and seasonal ingredients play a major role in Pumpkin’s cuisine, so it’s no surprise that the menu of this small, relaxed New American establishment changes constantly—all without compromising value. 1713 South Street, (215) 545-4448,
  • Sawatdee – The neon green interior may be the first thing people notice about this cozy Thai BYOB, but it’s not the last. They come back to taste the mix of dishes and take advantage of the $10 three-course lunches. 543 S. 15th Street, (215) 790-1299,
  • So Crêpe – Inspired by the crêperies of France (where the owners hail from), this BYOB and coffee shop serves authentic sweet and savory crêpes made with fresh and simple ingredients and pours local La Colombe coffee. Many regulars double up, beginning with a dinner crêpe such as the So Smoked—smoked salmon, avocado, sour cream and chives—and finishing with a sweet crêpe smothered in homemade salted caramel sauce. 1506 South Street, (267) 761-9310,
  • Thai Square Restaurant – The Thailand-native owners ensure that the dishes here are true to their roots. Neighbors dine on dumplings, papaya salad, drunken noodle and pad thai in a comfortable setting. 2521 Christian Street, (215) 454-6683,
  • Ti Penso – This quaint South Street outpost offers new American fare with a twist. Patrons indulge in dinner dishes that perfectly combine sweet and savory local, fresh ingredients. Highlights of the vast menu: pierogi du jour, flavor-of-the-day mussels, Champagne caviar scallops and house-made desserts. 2108 South Street, (215) 735-4200,

Strictly Food:

  • The Baker’s Jar – Featuring baked goods such as tres leches, banana cake and mud cups (chocolate pudding and gummy worms mixed with chocolate cake), this sweet shop serves each treat in its own mason jar. The packaging and the taste make them the perfect choice for party favors, dessert tables or a simple afternoon indulgence. 625 S. 16th Street, (267) 519-0609,
  • Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant – For a different take on Philly’s signature food, patrons order Govinda’s raved-about vegetarian Philly chicken cheesesteak, complete with soy chicken and grilled rainbow peppers. For after-meal treats without the guilt, vegan desserts include brownie cheesecake and butter pecan ice cream. 1400 South Street, (215) 545-5452,
  • The Igloo – People come here for some seriously interesting (and even some healthy) takes on cold treats. The yogurts and nonfat strawberry sorbet are house-made. Also on the menu: vanilla and chocolate custard, water ice, gelato pops (made fresh daily), espresso and salted caramel shakes, affogatos and salted caramel gelato that comes straight from Italy. On Fridays in warmer months, patrons take their treats outside and enjoy family-friendly movies. 2223 Grays Ferry Avenue, (267) 858-4290,
  • Kermit’s Bake Shoppe – Imagine if a bakery and a pizzeria had a baby. That’s Kermit’s. Cases of baked goods (salted caramel sticky bun, blueberry lemon muffin, red velvet cupcake) are offered alongside gourmet pizzas and “hot pockets.” The menu also offers gluten-free options. 2204 Washington Avenue, (267) 639-4267,
  • Lazaro’s Pizzeria & Grill – Dishing out monstrous single slices and pizza pies that range from 14 to 26 inches, Lazaro’s does thin-crust pizza right. The other menu options, including two-foot cheesesteaks, are worth a taste too. 1743 South Street, (215) 545-2775,
  • Magpie – Specializing in seasonal sweet and savory pies, Magpie changes its menu four times a year—ensuring only the freshest fruits and vegetables are used. Best known for its decadent dessert pies (get the butterscotch bourbon), the artisan spot also does savory potpies right—and even offers pie-making classes for DIYers. 1622 South Street, (267) 519-2904,
  • Phoebe’s Bar-B-Q – BBQ lovers can indulge in Oklahoma-style barbecue food without hopping on a plane. For more than 20 years, Graduate Hospital residents have flocked to the take-out spot for ribs, sandwiches, candied yams and mac and cheese. 2214 South Street, (215) 546-4811,
  • The Quick Fixx – This delivery joint dishes out chef-inspired cuisine at take-out prices. Bargain hunters indulge in the 10 Spot Lunch—meals that cost a grand total of $10 (and most include a side salad or fries and a beverage). Menu favorites include the gnocchi lasagna and the flatbread pizzas. 1511 South Street, (267) 273-1066,
  • Randazzo’s Pizzeria – A dozen thin-crust gourmet pizzas are just the beginning at this neighborhood pizzeria, which serves cheesesteaks, burgers, wings, wraps, salads, pasta and even milkshakes. 1826 South Street, (215) 546-1566,

Cafes & Markets:

  • Café Lutecia – Neighbors and visitors choose this quaint, French-inspired nook for its substantial soup-and-sandwich combo, pleasant staff, sizable cups of coffee and coveted sidewalk tables. 2301 Lombard Street, (215) 790-9557
  • Green Aisle Grocery – People shopping for the essentials (bread and milk) or looking for something a little more luxurious (Mast Bros. chocolate bars, Dizengoff hummus, Stumptown Coffee) can find what they need at this boutique grocery. Dedicated to conscious sustenance, Green Aisle stocks its shelves with fresh produce from local farmers, dairy from grass-fed cows and its own brand of pickles, preserves and nut butters. 2241 Grays Ferry Avenue, (267) 687-2398,
  • La.Va Cafe – This comfortable venue serves Israeli-style treats along with pastries and coffees. Regulars rely on the La Colombe coffee and the burekas, which look a lot like Amish soft pretzels Philadelphians know so well. 2100 South Street, (215) 545-1508,
  • Little Spoon Café – Little Spoon caters to breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack patrons, as well as a loyal and sizable brunch crowd. Blueberry lemon oatmeal, breakfast burritos and an extensive coffee list makes it the perfect spot to stop. In-the-know neighbors ask for a relaxing patio seat. 1500 South Street, (267) 587-6559,
  • Nam Son Bakery – Fans of Vietnamese cuisine come to this unassuming take-out spot for what many loyal customers claim to be one the best banh mi productions in town—perfect for a modern urban picnic. The secret: house-made bread. 1601 Washington Avenue, (215) 545-3888
  • OCF Coffee House – This community-centric coffee shop, owned and operated by neighborhood real estate agency OCF Realty, strives to use high-quality, local ingredients. Some of its star menu items: Square One coffee from Lancaster, Premium Steap loose-leaf teas and seasonal lunch options prepared daily at its flagship location in the Fairmount neighborhood. 1745 South Street, (215) 454-2196,
  • Rival Bros. Coffee Bar – Offering drip coffee and a variety of espresso beverages, Rival Bros. brews quality java using its own beans, which are roasted daily at its roastery in the Frankford section of the city. The storefront features collaborations with High Street on Market—pastries and fresh breads—as well as whole leaf loose teas from Philadelphia House of Tea. The shop offers limited seating inside and out. 2400 Lombard Street,
  • Ultimo – True coffee drinkers know there’s coffee, and then there’s coffee. Ultimo specializes in the latter. Pouring mostly house-roasted blends, the shop satisfies with hand-poured coffee and espresso drinks prepared in the highest quality machines with milk from nearby Lancaster County. The free Wi-Fi is a bonus. Fun fact: It’s located just underneath Counter Culture’s Philadelphia Training Center. 2149 Catharine Street, (215) 545-3565,


  • Bicycle Therapy – If bikes needed therapy, the staff here would be serviceable shrinks. After 25 years in the neighborhood, the store and repair shop has built an impeccable reputation among cycling enthusiasts and casual peddlers. 2211 South Street, (215) 735-7849,
  • Doggie Style – One of several locations in the city and surrounding area, Doggie Style packs its shelves with pet basics and pampering indulgences for dogs, cats, birds, fish and reptiles, and it offers store-to-door delivery. Bonus: That dog in the window can be rescued for a small fee. 2101 South Street, (267) 687-8051,
  • Loop – A one-stop shop for all-things yarn, Loop began as an online store before expanding to a South Street retail shop. Patrons looking to hone their hand-knitting craft can join a group class or sign up for a private lesson. 1914 South Street, (215) 893-9939,
  • Maark Concept – This bright and modern space houses a curated offering of clothing from independent labels, including those of the Philly-based co-founders. Jewelry, accessories and a small selection of vintage designer items complete the shopping experience. 1540 South Street, (215) 839-9154,
  • The Philly Pack – Dog owners in need of advice can turn to The Philly Pack. Not only does the staff bring years of experience to its leash-training and social-conditioning sessions, but the store also offers high-quality food and treats. 2315 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 279-7240,
  • Workshop Underground – Need a gift? This is the place. Jewelry, accessories, art and home décor wow shoppers and anyone lucky enough to open a present from the thoughtful collection, managed by owner Ruben Luna, former head of product design and merchandising at Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prices range from $10 to tens of thousands of dollars. 1544 South Street, (215) 987-3534,

Parks & Public Spaces:

  • Catharine Park – This pocket park includes a small playground for the little ones and nearby benches for parents. It stands as a reminder of what neighbors can do when they band together—they raised funds to build up the park in a formerly run-down space. 22nd & Catharine Streets,
  • Grays Ferry Triangles Plaza – Surrounded by local businesses such as Grace Tavern and The Igloo, this pedestrian plaza attracts neighbors looking for a spot to read, chat or simply enjoy the fresh air. The space hosts a variety of events throughout the summer, including a summer concert series that features a different band and food truck each week. 23rd & South Streets,
  • Julian Abele Park – Named after the man who helped design the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the park welcomes picnickers, dog walkers and people who just want to hang out. The Jamz at Julian Music Series entertains on Wednesdays in the summer. 22nd & Carpenter Streets, (215) 683-3679,
  • Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk – This over-the-water trail extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge in Graduate Hospital. The 2,000-foot-long boardwalk is 15 feet wide and about 50 feet out from shore at its furthest point. Overlooks and benches offer spots to relax and take in the city view, and solar-powered overhead lights mean pedestrians, runners and bikers can use the boardwalk all times of day. Entry points are located along the South Street Bridge and at 25th and Locust streets.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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