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Items Tagged: Alfresco Dining
Philadelphia’s residents and visitors are heading outdoors in huge numbers thanks to the activation of many under-utilized spaces in recent years. Lively urban parks, reimagined recreational landscapes and spirited pop-up gardens have taken over once-overlooked patches of land and water. These transformations have the city’s civic planners reclaiming inactive riverbanks, surplus lots and forlorn rail lines while stimulating a fun and festive sense of community pride.
Much of the action can be spotted in Center City and on Philadelphia’s two rivers: the quiet, beautiful Schuylkill to the west and the shipping waterway of the Delaware 30 blocks to the east....
Pet lovers are crazy about their animal companions and spend $61 billion a year in the U.S. on pet services and accouterments to prove it. For those who love to spoil their pet but hate to leave him behind while traveling, the Philadelphia region proves to be the “purr-fect” getaway. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and retail shops welcome visitors and their animals in all sections of the city and its suburbs. With canine-friendly parks to VIP (Very Important Pet) hotel programs, it’s easy to bring furry friends along for the ride. Here’s how:
- At the Four Seasons Hotel
Say it five times fast: Philly’s fallen for food trucks. From Temple University’s campus to South Philly, the beyond-fun dining craze has truly boomed. If a diner craves something, chances are he or she can find it on wheels: brick-oven soppressata pizza, green-tea macaroons, gourmet mac and cheese, Spam musubi, sweet-cream ice cream, pour-over coffee, along with staples such as soul food, cheesesteaks, crepes and falafel. Lunch seekers can find trucks all over the city, especially near universities, but they know to check Twitter before they make a trip. These trucks have wheels and often use them to feed new...
Nothing’s more satisfying than a plate of down-home eats, and thankfully, Philly’s dining scene is rich in catfish, jerk chicken and macaroni and cheese. Whether it’s a gourmet spin on turkey wings, a zesty bowl of jambalaya or a slice of sweet-potato pie, hearty goodness abounds at the region’s soul, southern, Cajun and Caribbean eateries. Here’s a look of some of the mouthwatering delights sure to make a visit to Philly a filling one:
Hot Buttered Soul:
- South Street’s Ms. Tootsie’s serves up irresistibly homey eats (crab mac and cheese balls, smothered pork and turkey chops and some of
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beers are king. The two newest additions to the city’s beer garden scene: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a beautiful oases along the Delaware River waterfront; and the Independence Beer Garden, a 20,000-square-foot space located across the street from the Liberty Bell.
To capitalize on the city’s growing beer-garden craze, VISIT PHILADELPHIA™ is launching the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series, a new Friday happy hour taking place over the course of 12 weeks at one of six beer gardens...
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries. Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for the Fishtown section of the city ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians there in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s...
Once considered working-class suburbs, the tree-lined South Philadelphia neighborhoods of Queen Village and Bella Vista have spent the past decade establishing themselves as some of the city’s most stable and vibrant places to live, work, dine and shop. Small, mostly historic townhouses and a mix of new and well-established businesses make up these side-by-side neighborhoods. Residents both new and old are passionate about maintaining pocket parks and patronizing independent merchants and restaurants. The districts’ busiest byways include the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the mini neighborhood of west-to-east-running South Street.
Directly south of Old City and...
For years, insiders have flocked to South Philadelphia’s East Passyunk Avenue for its restaurants, particularly its red-gravy Italian spots. The neighborhood surrounding the avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed revitalizations in recent years, creating a sort of renaissance for the thoroughfare itself. Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and sushi fare, as well as the amazing Italian eateries that first made this street famous—not to mention the two across-the-street cheesesteak rivals, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. Generally, the area known as East...
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. Corporate and municipal office buildings cover swaths of wide streets, creating the bustle of daily commerce. Luxury high-rises and modern and historic houses line leafy side streets. The museums that border the broad, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway add yet another dimension. Green spaces—including the square that gives the area its name—provide spots for relaxation, reflection and fun.
The center of the city government’s daily business, City Hall is a natural focal point. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The architectural equivalent of a wedding cake, the sprawling...
Long-considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. It’s a lifestyle. And since it’s home to a number of hotels, the neighborhood remains an out-of-towner favorite.
Along the Rittenhouse sidewalks—many of which boast seating for alfresco dining and drinking in the warm months—residents and visitors find high-end stores; locally owned boutiques; small galleries; theaters and entertainment; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds. With all this, the neighborhood buzzes with activity all year long.
The one-square-block park that gives the neighborhood its name is more popular with sunbathers,...
Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.
Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries and theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that also includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Running roughly from 7th to Broad Streets and Chestnut to South Streets, the buzzed-about ’hood is increasingly a go-to spot for trendy restaurants and owner-operated boutiques.
Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the
13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of popular restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs that adorn poles
Inspired by Philly Beer Week, kicking off today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled the newly created Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s beer scene. The findings are mouthwatering.
Question #1: What do you think makes Philly’s beer scene so impressive? (Select all that apply.)
- Beer-centric pubs & bars – 76%
- Quality breweries – 69%
- Beer gardens – 54%
- Philly Beer Week – 43%
- Bartenders who know their stuff – 37%
- Home-brewing scene – 19%
- Other – 7%
Question #2: What is your favorite place in Philadelphia to enjoy beer on a hot summer day?...
Spring in Philadelphia means more than baseball and cherry blossoms: It also means brand-new BYOBs, gastropubs, a biergarten, a raw bar, a noodle bar and the list goes on. Among the crowd of culinary creators are a number of second, third and beyond acts by some of the region’s hottest restaurateurs. And, as is appropriate in the warm weather, there’s news on the ice cream front too. Here’s what’s cooking in Philly this spring:
- Northern European cuisine, including smoked fish, smørrebrød, bitterballen and lots of beets, get their day in the sun thanks to Chef Joncarl Lachman’s
Every resident knows (and secretly loves) Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyric “In West Philadelphia, born and raised … ” Not obvious from the 1990s theme song is the dynamic culture that thrives inside the large area—due to historic characteristics, large educational and research institutions and new developments and residents.
Separated from Center City by the Schuylkill River, West Philadelphia resembles a microcosm of the city itself, with a number of smaller, distinct neighborhoods inside it. Many of its attractions and events—community gardens, Ethiopian restaurants, offbeat performances and the like—were created to benefit the people living in the...
Getting to the diverse and historic neighborhoods of Chestnut Hill, Germantown, Mt. Airy and West Oak Lane is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at septa.org before heading off to explore these vibrant enclaves in the northwest section of the city.
Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill was once a vacation spot for those who wanted to escape the summer heat of the lower-lying parts of the city. Today, the neighborhood’s eclectic
With spring about to spring, diners are eager to enjoy their meals alfresco, and fortunately, Philadelphia and The Countryside® is flourishing with plenty of green-minded eateries. Whether it’s dinner in an urban courtyard, brunch in an antique greenhouse or beer and pizza on a green roof, there’s an abundance of options for taking in the local flora. Here’s a look at just a few of the region’s restaurants that boast flower power:
- The enclosed veranda at The Brick Hotel’s Restaurant overlooks lush, well-tended flower gardens, which are a visual complement to the New American cuisine like line-caught salmon over saffron
When choosing a restaurant in Historic Philadelphia, the key word is choice. In fact, there are so many restaurants, cafes and bistros that discerning diners could eat out all 108 days of summer without ever hitting the same spot twice. Here are just a few places where diners can please their palates:
Asian & South Asian:
- Aqua – Those in the know order the special Thai iced tea or bring a favorite libation to this lively and brightly hued BYOB where the Thai and Malaysian cuisine brims with spice. 705 Chestnut Street, (215) 928-2838
- Buddakan – Under the watchful
Philadelphia and The Countryside® continues to build its reputation as a not-to-be-missed foodie town, and the city's diverse and multifaceted restaurant scene is doing its part to give discerning diners a taste of the world. It's in Philadelphia that authentic Burmese ginger salads, Brazilian barbecue and traditional Irish breakfasts are as accessible as Israeli eggplant sandwiches and Korean kimchi. The following is just a sampling of the region's global smorgasbord:
- The city's premminent French restaurant, Georges Perrier’s Le Bec-Fin is consistently lauded for its superior dining experience. These days the menu has a contemporary twist (Jonah crab
New On The Scene
There are plenty of newcomers to Philadelphia’s ever-growing restaurant scene. Here’s a look at some of the newest spots on the block:
- This season’s most anticipated opening, Jose Garce’s Chifa promises the intriguing crossover of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines found in Peru—and now at 7th and Chestnut Streets. Like Garces’ other local holdings Amada, Tinto and Distrito, the menu will focus on made-to share-portions. Dishes will include congee, pork belly buns with foie gras and plenty of daily changing options from a ceviche bar.
- Nola traditions continue to inspire local cooking. Restaurateur/chef John Mims, best