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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
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 who you ask) spans...
Fall brings a colorful slate of restaurant openings to Philadelphia. On the list are new locations for local quick spots Plenty and HipCityVeg, along with a contemporary reboot of Fork’s next door café and several Euro-centric bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spots. Here are just a few of the region’s autumnal additions, arriving just in time for turtleneck season:
- Long-running casual market-cafe Fork:etc. was recently reborn as High Street on Market, showcasing chef Eli Kulp’s creative cookery in the form of delicious pastries and breads and inventive salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches by day and contemporary American cuisine focused on
There’s no such thing as too much heat in Philly kitchens—in fact, summer brings a whole new lineup of edible inspirations. There’s the region’s first Jewish-Italian deli (The Avenue Delicatessen), a bring-your-own cheesesteak spot (Garage), several Mediterranean fast-casual eateries (Ango Grill, Hummus Grill and Zoe’s Kitchen) and vacation-inspired goodies such as lobster rolls (Luke’s Lobster) and popsicles (Lil Pop Shop). Here’s what’s hot and cool in Philly’s restaurant scene this summer:
- Bubbies and nonnas can eat in harmony at The Avenue Delicatessen in Lansdowne. The Italian-Jewish fusion fare includes
Philadelphia’s Latin flair extends well past the boundaries of Center City and the city’s traditional Hispanic neighborhood, El Centro de Oro. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, from 2000-2010, the Hispanic population grew 46% in Philadelphia, representing 12.3% of the city’s total population. Latin restaurants, galleries and attractions have grown with the trend, popping up in ethnically diverse neighborhoods—much to the delight to residents and visitors of all backgrounds. Here are some places that put the amor in the City of Brotherly Love’s neighborhoods.
For more about Philadelphia’s thriving Latino culture, follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter.
Fishtown & Nearby:
Tucked inside the larger Midtown Village neighborhood, The Gayborhood has always been known as an enclave for lively nightspots and excellent restaurants. Now, with a new wave of openings, including chi-chi taverns, a biergarten/wursthouse, a second location for a popular Indian restaurant and the latest from 13th Street powerhouse couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, the dining and drinking scene here tastes better than ever. Here’s a look at some of the newest spots in the area where locals and visitor can get their food and drink on:
- In August, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are
As the Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis exhibition opens on October 14, 2013 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—its only American showing—Philadelphia continues its longstanding love affair with all-things French. Visitors in town for the Léger exhibit, which runs through January 4, 2014, can marvel at approximately 160 works, including his iconic Cubist masterpiece The City, as well as pieces by other renowned artists like Mondrian, Cassandre and van Doesburg. Afterwards, Francophiles can turn their attention to the region’s many French cultural, gastronomic, architectural and fashion influences, including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, planned and designed by two Frenchmen...
Used to be, the culinary phenomenon synonymous with Philadelphia was a certain cheese-laden sandwich. And while cheesesteaks are as popular as ever, there’s a slightly higher brow—but similarly homegrown—dining tradition that is quintessentially Philadelphian: It’s the bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurant. The region’s BYOBs are typically cozy, family-run, laid-back and all about the food. Hungry diners can find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. At last count, Philly and its surrounding countryside had more than 300 BYOBs—and the scene continues to expand.
What Is A BYOB?:
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
Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still boasts charming cobblestoned 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 Ben 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...
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
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:
- Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly
Philly may be best known as the City of Brotherly Love, but sisters from Center City to New Hope have plenty of reasons to celebrate the LGBT-friendly nightlife scene. Women’s parties and exclusive nightclubs have put Philly on the map for lesbian life after dark. Here’s a look at where the girls eat, drink and party:
Bars & Nightclubs:
- Sisters – Philadelphia’s longtime lesbian nightclub attracts women of all ages Tuesday through Sunday with live entertainment, DJs, Thursday night karaoke and some of the best happy hour specials in the Gayborhood. The tri-level club features three bars, a restaurant
Long-considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. Along its 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; renowned museums; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds. And, of course, the one-block Rittenhouse Square is more popular with sunbathers, readers, families, artists and even dogs than city founder William Penn ever could have imagined. With a number of hotels also in the area, this neighborhood remains an out-of-towner favorite.
Restaurants, Bars &...
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...
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, shop—and generally hang out. 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 are the open-air Italian Market on South 9th Street and the west-to-east-running South Street, which needs its own neighborhood overview.
Philadelphia, aptly dubbed the City of Brotherly Love, caters to lovers looking to reenergize their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions and other swoon-worthy spots. Couples can make it a weekend—or longer—by booking special hotel packages, some of which are romantically themed, on visitphilly.com/hotels. One popular deal, the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package comes with two nights and free hotel parking.
Here are a few suggestions for embracing the region’s romantic side:
- After a day in the Chester County countryside, foodies favor the Birchrunville Store Café, a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot known for its contemporary French-Italian
Philadelphia welcomes 2013 with a host of new and notable restaurants and bars. The big trends this winter? Italian cuisine and pizza, cocktails and coffee, and existing restaurants updated with new looks and concepts. From neo-Southern cuisine in Conshohocken to a Fishtown pizzeria from a local expert—along with a slew of new openings coming this spring—Philly’s kitchens runneth over. Here’s a look at some of the exciting flavors worth sampling now:
Tasty New Openings:
- Zahav’s Michael Solomonov enters the Main Line dining scene with the upscale glatt kosher restaurant Citron and Rose, where the delicacies include mushroom knishes with
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...
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, vintage clothing stores, 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...