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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
The United States now has more breweries than at any time in its history, and Philadelphia-area entrepreneurs are helping to lead the way by opening even more breweries at a rapid pace. According to the Brewers Association, a craft beer industry trade group, the U.S. was home to only eight craft breweries in 1980, 537 in 1994 and more than 2,500 today. Regionally, craft brewers are opening locations in every county—from Victory Brewing in Kennett Square to Broken Goblet Brewery in Bristol—and more are working hard to secure licenses and locations before 2015. Here’s a look at more than a...
Long a pioneer in the environmental movement, Philadelphia is attracting increasing global attention for its efforts to establish itself as a leader in urban sustainability. Attractions, organizations and the Philadelphia itself hold prestigious designations—from the city receiving a major award from the Environmental Protection Agency to a world-renowned golf club utilizing used motor oil to heat its mechanic’s shop. Not to be outdone, the region’s service amenities and modes of transportation are also advancing the green revolution. In 2014, Philadelphia will unveil its new Bike Share program, giving people access to about 50 bike stations throughout Center City and parts...
The wave of coffee enthusiasm is clearly here to stay in Greater Philadelphia. The first Coffee & Tea Festival, to be held November 2-3 at the Philadelphia Expo Center, will celebrate local love for the mighty bean with exhibitions, tastings, classes and more. Of course, the region’s java scene has been percolating for years now: Cafes roast their own signature beans, baristas specialize in perfectly engineered espressos and coffeehouses use one-of-a-kind La Marzocco machines. From an Australian flat white to a Chemex-brewed cuppa, the possibilities for delicious caffeination are endless. Here are just a few area favorites:
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 are limited-run only spots: the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Garden, a beautifully landscaped lot that’s home to a beer shack serving local brews; and The Oval, the Eakins Oval-transformed oasis that turns into a beer garden and entertainment hotspot on Thursday nights in summer.
Here’s a look at the city’s beer gardens—all places where suds devotees can enjoy warm temps and laid-back vibes, along with...
Philadelphia has been recognized as the country’s best beer city by publications from Maxim to GQ, and every month brings news of the opening of a bar/restaurant that specializes in craft beer. Though Philly has held a prominent place in the hearts of Belgian brewers for many years, other international craft beer brewers are now finding ready audiences in the city of brotherly suds. Stalwarts like Monk’s Café and relative newcomers like Brauhaus Schmitz have established such tight relationships with foreign brewers that they import beers that no other American bars can access. Similarly, several revered American breweries—think Russian River,...
Southeastern Pennsylvania is continuing to emerge as a major force in the nation’s wine industry. As wineries usher in changes that promise to significantly enhance their visitors’ experiences, Pennsylvania wines as a whole are making steady gains in quality, quantity and recognition. The Commonwealth is the seventh-largest producer of wine in the country, and more than 160 wineries operate within its borders, marking more than a 500% increase over 30 years ago. In 2012 alone, Pennsylvania vintners won awards at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, The Jefferson Cup Invitational, International Eastern Wine Competition, Dallas Morning News Wine Competition and...
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 falafels. Lunch seekers can find trucks all over the city, especially near universities, but they know to check Twitter and Facebook before they make a trip. These trucks have wheels and often use them...
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,
Situated amidst richly fertile farmland and home to innovative urban growing projects, Philadelphia is a market-goer’s dream. The open-air stalls dotting the city and countryside—from the bustling energy of the indoor Reading Terminal Market to the gingham-clothed tables of the Phoenixville Market—collectively connect consumers to freshly grown and produced food every day of the week. With many now accepting electronic payments, Philly’s growing roster of markets has made eating fresh, local food a way of life for its residents. Here are just a few places to find seasonal goodies and support area farms:
- The only farmers’
One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, it was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold. Today, area craft breweries have reclaimed the region’s reputation by brewing some of the world’s best beer and earning the recognition as Maxim’s “favorite beer burg” and one of the “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” according to GQ, among other notable designations assigned by the national press. Visitors can tour the facilities, sample...
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
Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and even spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:
History Lessons By Day & Night:
- The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia – Visitors get an up-close look at history during this 75-minute walking tour to more than 20 sites. It runs daily from April
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
Philadelphia’s restaurants are poised to cook up a whole new menu of deliciousness in the coming year. With increased attention from national press and an influx of talent from other cities swooping in to join the scene, local eateries are becoming ever more cosmopolitan, seeking inspiration from influences as varied as Southern and Japanese cuisines while still maintaining the region’s rootsy culinary identity. Meanwhile, chefs are going deeper into DIY to make their own charcuterie and spirits and working to elevate vegan eating to the next level of sophistication. In all, these trends should make for a very tasty twelve...
Philly’s restaurants can fuel any power breakfast with high style and great flavor. In the mood for an organic smoothie? How about chipped beef? Maybe it’s a quiche Lorraine kind of morning? Here’s a look at some of the best bets around town for early meeting and eating:
- A mod restaurant at the base of the AKA Rittenhouse, a.kitchen serves a well-heeled morning workforce toasted bagels with smoked salmon, thick cut onion and tomato; homemade English muffins with country sausage and fried egg; Counter Culture Coffee; and pastries from local artisanal bake shop Au Fournil. Monday through
Donna Schorr, a young-at-heart Baby Boomer
Director of Communications
Yes, I take a train ride to the city every day, and at this age, I’m no expert on late night clubbing. But I’ve lived in or near Philly for decades (never mind how many), and I can tell you a lot about great things to see and do that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of my sentimental favorites:
- Rittenhouse Square: When I miss my dad, I visit his memorial bench in one of the most loved green spots in the city. Rittenhouse Square is the heart and soul
In Philadelphia and The Countryside®, more and more people—especially those with children—have developed an interest in understanding where their food comes from and finding ways to get involved in the local food scene. Whether they want to buy fresh food for their family, get a taste of new local flavors or teach their kids that milk comes from a cow not a carton, a growing number of visitors and locals are finding answers through agritourism—agricultural activities on or sponsored by farms.
Here’s a look at some of the region’s family-friendly offerings:
- Active Acres Farm, located just north
Among Philly eats, it doesn’t get much more iconic than the hoagie. The hefty sandwich of Italian origin (but now adopted by many cultures) has been an affordable lunch mainstay for the region’s residents and visitors for at least a century. And while the hoagie continues to evolve with new ingredients and modern interpretations, the classic version is as popular as ever. So what constitutes a traditional hoagie, and how did it rise to prominence? The following is a primer on all things hoagie.
What Is A Hoagie?:
Declared the “official sandwich of Philadelphia” by Mayor Ed Rendell in