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Long known as the edgiest street in Philadelphia, South Street welcomes more than just hippies these days. Shoppers searching for a statement-making look, visitors hungry for a real Philly cheesesteak and music lovers who want to catch an up-and-coming band head to the storied boulevard. Ethnically diverse restaurants, bars that keep the party going long after dessert and galleries and performance spaces help make South Street the place where everyone meets. Over the past decade, the development of South Street’s east side has spread west of Broad Street, but the traditional definition of the district (depending on who you ask)...
The growing popularity of culinary and travel shows have inspired Americans to explore the countries of their ancestral heritage and the cultural traditions of their neighbors. Philadelphia and The Countryside™ adds to this global sense of community with a number of pan-African restaurants, enabling epicureans to use their plate as a passport to dine across the Diaspora. Here’s a look:
- A local institution, Abyssinia is a hit with vegetarians and the meat-eaters in their lives. Authentic Eritrean/Ethiopian preparations of lentils, beans, chicken, beef and lamb dishes wonderfully mix and match with the bar’s assortment of beers.
While Philadelphia offers a variety of authentic and top-notch attractions, exploring this vibrant city takes some planning—especially for first-time visitors. With so much to see, do and taste, it’s challenging for a novice to know where to begin. From the historic Liberty Bell to the deliciously indulgent cheesesteak, here’s a look at Philly 101:
- Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven years later, representatives from a dozen
Just when it seems like they’ve thought of everything, Philly chefs have gone and cooked up some brilliant new ideas. This summer brings a fresh batch of restaurants that exemplify the excitement and innovation of the regional dining scene. From a quick-service eatery specializing in sushi-esque burritos to a hearth-based bistro to the area’s first vegan bar to a completely gluten-free café, here’s a look at some of the newest additions:
Notable New Entrées:
- Passyunk Avenue adds another fine dining establishment to its files with Townsend Wentz’s eponymous bistro Townsend. The Lacroix-trained chef’s modern French sensibilities shine in dishes
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...
Over the past decade, the number of vegetarians in the U.S. has increased from about one in 100 to nearly one in 30, according to polls from the Vegetarian Resource Group and the Vegetarian Times. Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose—upscale white tablecloth restaurants dishing out inventive vegetable creations to casual spots serving up raw foods and gluten-free dishes. Here are some spots worth checking out:
- Vegetable lovers head to Bucks County, where Mike Jackson’s Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille turns out creative, big-portioned vegetarian food (no meat substitutes) in a cozy,
Weekends were made for brunching—chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and/or a Bloody Mary. No one knows this better than Philadelphians, who have a wide array of fantastic brunch options to choose from every Saturday and Sunday. Whether the craving is for a five-star buffet with caviar, a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails or fresh granola and locally grown berries, Philadelphia foodies have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon meal. Here’s a look at some of the region’s best brunch options:
Dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead, Callowhill is something in between these two extremes. The stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood attracts both young professionals who enjoy its high-end condos and close proximity to Center City and artists looking for affordable-yet-expansive studio and gallery spaces. It’s a formerly industrial neighborhood that charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries and the kind of hidden cultural gems that intrigue visitors and residents alike....
Once considered Philadelphia’s favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, the area enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make Northern Liberties an accessible and thriving area: Liberties Walk and The Piazza at Schmidts.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders...
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...
Just near the renowned institutions that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Fairmount and Spring Garden neighborhoods are often lumped together and dubbed the “Art Museum area,” but the personalities of these laid-back districts separate them from nearby Center City.
Fairmount easily stands on its own as a destination in Philadelphia. Despite its proximity to downtown, the residential neighborhood is considered a sort of urban suburb, thanks to the friendly residents and atmosphere. What to do here? Eat, drink and tour the former prison-turned-attraction. Wedged between the cultural powerhouses of the Parkway and the better-known Fairmount, Spring Garden distinguishes itself...
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings that line the streets from the Delaware River to 7th Street and Walnut to Lombard Streets, Philadelphia’s quaint Society Hill neighborhood remains as picture-perfect today as it was hundreds of years ago. Its proximity to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Independence Visitor Center make it hard for visitors and locals to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once strolled.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the...
The freshest new flavors in Philly’s restaurant scene in 2014? Market culture, replete with artisan goods, eat-in cafes and exclusive dinners at communal tables, for starters. In a town that owns Italian cooking, French cuisine resurges with more chefs turning to classic techniques and traditions. Jewish food in all of its international variations continues to be reinvented in exciting new ways. Meanwhile, the juice bar may well be the new coffee bar, and home-style desserts trump cupcakes. Here’s a look at some trends to watch in 2014:
Philadelphians love high-quality, high-end ingredients, and an emerging crop of
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,...
Philadelphia’s charms as an eating town are increasingly well known—and increasingly well documented in national newspapers and magazines such as Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ and many, many others. But it’s also a city that harbors a fair number of hidden delights, which is exactly what makes eating here so much fun. Here, five local food luminaries share where they like to go on their off-hours, what they snack on late at night, their favorite low-cost meals and why they love to cook and dine in Philly.
A certified Iron Chef who’s
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...
No visit to Philly is complete without a sampling of cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels, but beyond these iconic eats is a world of lesser-known culinary treasures. From the signature bloody beet “steak” at The Farm and the Fisherman and the plantain-crusted fish tacos at La Calaca Feliz to the twice-fried chicken at Resurrection Ale House and the butterscotch budino at Barbuzzo, flavor-seekers will find plenty to explore in the Philadelphia region. Here are 31 must-tries:
- Not many American cities can boast a Burmese restaurant, but Chinatown’s Rangoon has been going strong for 20 years with authentic homestyle fare
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