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Philly 101: The How-Tos For Navigating Philadelphia
Every year, 41 million travelers get to know Philadelphia’s layout, customs, food and dialect during their visits. First-timers may wonder: What’s the best way to get around (walk); why do so many restaurants refuse to serve alcohol (BYOBs); where are all the bagels (pretzels for breakfast); is that Ben Franklin on the top of that building (no); and is wooder ice really that big of a deal (yes)?
The reasons to visit the country’s first World Heritage City have been well-covered in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure and Rolling Stone—and that’s just the recent...
Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home
There’s no doubt that Americans are increasingly health conscious. Current studies, including the Vegetarian Resource Group’s Harris Poll, suggest that there are now some eight million vegetarians in the United States and one million vegans. Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose, from upscale white tablecloth restaurants offering inventive vegetable creations to casual spots serving raw foods. There’s also plenty of great gluten-free goodies.
Here are some health-minded eateries 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
What's In The Society Hill Neighborhood?
With its cobblestone streets and original 18th- and 19th-century buildings 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 people to resist the appeal of walking the same streets the nation’s founders once did.
Following an era when the neighborhood was home to a number of luminaries—Samuel Powel, the first mayor of the city after independence was declared, future first...
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, Historic Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood 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, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife. Especially popular are First...
New Restaurants Blossom In Philly This Spring
The spring season’s in full bloom, and so is the Philadelphia region’s restaurant scene, offering a spate of just-opened eateries that promise to refresh diners’ palates. Among the additions are a Dutch and Pennsylvania German mash-up brunch destination (The Dutch), a second coming for a Queen Village favorite (Southwark) and a cheesesteak-ery for every eater (Cleavers).
The following are just some of the latest and greatest reasons to start making reservations:
Bella Vista/Queen Village/Pennsport:
- Northern Europe meets Pennsylvania German cuisine at The Dutch, a collaboration between chefs Lee Styer (Fond) and Joncarl Lachman
Recap And Refuel: Philly's Dining Scene Caters To Discerning (And Famished) Night Owls
As Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to grow, the city’s bistros, gastropubs, brasseries, eateries, diners and fast-food spots are growing by…hours. By law in Philly, last call at the bar happens at 2 a.m. Last call for food, however, is anywhere from 11 p.m. to never. Check out this list of the hottest, coolest and coziest spots to nibble, nosh, gobble and dine well into the early-morning hours.
Until Midnight On Weekends:
- Edamame dumplings and chocolate-filled bento boxes are available until midnight at Buddakan, restaurateur Stephen Starr’s ever popular, always glamorous Old City shrine to modern Asian fare. 325 Chestnut
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 Society...
Philly Eats (& Drinks) With A View
With the opening of the brand-new Assembly Rooftop Lounge at the Logan Hotel and the expected opening of SkyGarten atop one of Center City’s tallest buildings, Philadelphia’s skyward hospitality has reached new heights. While sleek Assembly offers soaring, stunning views eight stories across the Ben Franklin Parkway, SkyGarten promises German and craft beer 51 stories up. Assembly and SkyGarten join a growing roster of the region’s restaurants and bars that deliver up-in-the-atmospheric drama along with delicious eats and drinks. Here are some of Philly’s best places to scope the view:
- Lined with windows, the dramatic dining room
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 Schmidts Commons.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders (depends...
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 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 as...
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 Pennsport & East Passyunk Neighborhoods?
For decades, 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, especially on the food front, with many new restaurants opening and gaining enormous acclaim from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine and Eater, an influential online outlet that put East Passyunk eateries in nine of the top 10 spots on the winter 2016 edition of its Eater 38 list of essential Philadelphia’s restaurants.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find...
25 Philadelphia Dates For Under $25
Love doesn’t always wait for payday to roll around, and that’s okay because Philadelphia has lots of ways to woo a loved one on Valentine’s Day—or any day, really—without dipping deeply into the bank account. Couples can settle in for a free afternoon hang at Winterfest, ignite a spark while enjoying a glowing sunset and happy hour-priced drinks at R2L, catch up-and-coming stars during a concert at the Curtis Institute of Music or pay a few bucks for a game of ten-pins at North Bowl. Here are 25 fun finds for daters that ring up at $25 or less:
Cozy Up To Philly's New Restaurants This Winter
There’s nothing like a new restaurant to chase away the winter doldrums, and Philadelphia boasts a wonderfully fresh lineup of eateries to explore this season. From the new Italian bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot from celebrated chef Townsend Wentz (A Mano) to a newfangled diner on Jewelers’ Row (Craftsman Row Saloon) to a hipster hoagie joint (Martha), there is no shortage of must-adds for the dining to-do list. Here are just a few of the exciting additions sure to lure diners out of the cold:
Northern Liberties, Fishtown & Kensington:
- Kensington’s Martha brims with new ideas. The expansive bar features a
What's In The Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mt. Airy Neighborhoods?
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 shops and renowned eateries, most along cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, continue to make it a cool place to visit.
- Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor – Open since 1889, this charming shop scores big with locals who adore its cakes, cupcakes, pies and, of course, ice cream. Throughout the
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 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 forged its personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated along 13th Street, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with restaurants and bars catering to an LGBT-friendly clientele, along with rainbow crosswalks...
What's In The Rittenhouse Square Neighborhood?
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. The neighborhood buzzes with activity all year long.
The one-square-block park that gives the neighborhood its name is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists...
New Restaurants & Inventive Menus In Philadelphia's Gayborhood & Beyond
Philadelphia’s dining scene continues to draw national accolades for its quality and variety, from innovative gastropubs to inviting wine bars to new twists on Italian and other ethnic cuisines. Everyone is welcome at the table, whether the restaurants are located in the heart of the Gayborhood in Center City or one of its adjacent up-and-coming neighborhoods. Here are some of the city’s newest spots that are popular with the LGBT community:
- Bud & Marilyn’s, a retro-inspired restaurant-bar, is the latest hotspot from business and life partners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. Inspired by Turney’s restaurateur grandparents, the restaurant
Philadelphia's Newest Restaurants Are Crisp, Cool & Fresh
Bright leaves and shorter days bring a new cornucopia of eating options in Philadelphia. From a highly anticipated vegan bar with Latin fare (Bar Bombón) to a North African bistro (Neuf) to a Montreal-style gastropub (Coeur), Philly’s restaurant scene keeps embracing new ideas, while some familiar favorites get an update for the season. Here’s a look at some of the big restaurant openings this fall:
Notable New Entrées:
- Building on a successful run in Villanova, Avenue Kitchen brings its laid-back American eats and chic industrial setting to Glen Mills. The new installment shares the same menu: salmon burgers on