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A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia
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
Veg Out: Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home
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,
What's In The East Passyunk & Pennsport Neighborhoods?
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...
What's In The Fishtown Neighborhood?
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 Fishtown 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 Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves...
What's In The Northern Liberties Neighborhood?
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...
What's In The Callowhill Neighborhood?
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....
What's In The Bella Vista And Queen Village Neighborhoods?
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...
What's In The Old City Neighborhood?
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...
Cozy Up To Winter Dining In Philadelphia
The coldest cold front can’t quell the fires burning in Philadelphia’s newest kitchens, churning out exciting and inventive new flavors this winter. Some of the latest additions include an ’80s-themed bistro from a Top Chef (Juniper Commons); a vegan bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot (Flora); a French rotisserie (Petit Rôti); and a spate of quirky restaurant mash-ups. Here are just a few great reasons to check out Philly dining this winter:
Notable New Entrées:
- After making a name for himself on the Jersey Shore, Chef Luke Palladino presents his first Philly venture with the eponymous Palladino’s
Calling All Francophiles: Just Say "Oui" To Philadelphia
When the Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting exhibition opens on June 24, 2015 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the only American venue for the show), Philadelphia will continue its ongoing love affair with all things French. The summer blockbuster, which runs through September 13, 2015, showcases approximately 95 works by impressionist masters the influential Parisian art dealer championed, including Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, Degas and Manet. From there, visitors in town for the show can explore the region’s many French cultural, gastronomic, architectural and fashion influences, starting with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, planned and designed...
What's In The Fairmount and Spring Garden Neighborhoods?
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...
What's In The Market East Neighborhood?
Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the streets.
Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut...
What's In The Washington Square West Neighborhood?
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 restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs, along with many restaurants...
What's In The Graduate Hospital 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.
Restaurants & Bars:
- Bob & Barbara’s Lounge – The Philly Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of
Fall-ing In Love With Philly Dining
With autumn comes falling temperatures, changing leaves and, in Philadelphia, a harvest of new restaurants. In the coming months, diners can enjoy French fare at the FringeArts building, Vietnamese-Italian hoagies, Japanese barbecue and hummus like no other. Here are just some of the new flavors around town this fall:
- Israeli food takes the plate at Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook’s hummusiya Dizengoff. The Center City West quick stop focuses on rotating hummus variations (with ground lamb; with tomato pepper salad and Sephardic slow-cooked egg) served in platters of fresh-baked pita, salads and Israeli-style pickles. 1625 Sansom Street,
What's On South Street?
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)...
African Fare Awakens Philadelphia's Palate
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.
Philly Restaurants Shine This Summer
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
What's Trending In Philadelphia's Dining Scene In 2014?
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
Five Of Philadelphia's Top Chefs Weigh In On City's Dining Scene
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