Releases: Expanded View
What's In The East Passyunk & Pennsport Neighborhoods?
Restaurants, Shops, Bars & Coffee Shops 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 Passyunk stretches from Washington Avenue in the north to McKean Street in the south, plus a few blocks east and west of the street.
Just a few steps east is Pennsport, a neighborhood bordered by the Delaware River to the east, 4th Street to the west, Washington Avenue to the north and Snyder Avenue to the south, though the borders are subject to debate. An area home to Mummers’ clubhouses (note: Be there on New Year’s Day) and historically blue-collar families, Pennsport is experiencing the beginnings of its own revitalization, complete with a healthy lineup of new bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at visitphilly.com/neighborhoods.
EAST PASSYUNK AVENUE:
Those coming from Center City can walk (30 minutes from City Hall), take a cab or hop on the subway. For the underground option, people take the Broad Street Line, which runs north and south along Broad Street, south to the Tasker/Morris or Snyder stations, depending on the destination. Bus devotees can take the Route 23 option, which rides south on 12th Street and crosses Passyunk Avenue.
Eat & Drink:
- Adobe Cafe – This Southwest-style, vegetarian-friendly abode features house-made sangria, generous happy hour specials and karaoke every Saturday night. Sports enthusiasts practically get a front-row seat to the game from any spot at the U-shaped bar. 1919 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-2243, adobecafephilly.com
- Birra – Somewhere between a gastropub and pizza parlor is Birra, serving an assortment of thin-crust pizza (including the head-turning mac-and-cheese pizza), panini (try the grilled cheese) and antipasti, as well as an impressive list of craft beers. Plenty of sidewalk seating adds to the modest table count and provides a view of the avenue. 1700 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 324-3127, birraphilly.com
- Brigantessa – Napoletana wood-fired pizza are chef Joe Cicala’s precise specialty at this two-floor eatery. The Gianni Acunto oven has earned a rep as the best in the world, and the “Regina” pie made with Burrata and piennolo tomatoes permanently alter diners’ views of the casual fare. 1520 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 318-7341, brigantessaphila.com
- Cantina Los Caballitos – Much like its younger sibling, Cantina Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties, the original Cantina cooks up modern twists on Mexican dishes, such as vegan fajitas and mahi mahi tacos—fare that washes down perfectly with a tequila flight or specialty margarita. In warmer months, the outdoor patio draws a huge crowd. 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550, cantinaloscaballitos.com
- Chiarella’s Ristorante – Situated steps from Passyunk Avenue’s Singing Fountain, this family-owned South Philly mainstay—with roots on a Jersey Shore boardwalk—specializes in classic Italian fare with wallet-friendly prices. Locals bring their own bottles and dine outside in the warmer months. 1602 S. 11th Street, (215) 334-6404, chiarellasristorante.com
- Dante Espresso – Shrimp and grits might be one of the last dishes you’d expect in an Italian-American stronghold, but they join red velvet pancakes and chicken and waffles on this rib-sticking, breakfast-through-dinner menu. 1615 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 273-0661, dantecafephilly.com
- Fond – Diners relax and indulge in New American cuisine—and a view of the Singing Fountain—at this stalwart bistro, focusing on inventive flavors and eye-catching presentations. Those who save room are rewarded with decadent desserts and French-press coffee. 1537 S. 11th Street, (215) 551-5000, fondphilly.com
- Fountain Porter – The 20 craft brews on tap are best enjoyed at the wooden indoor picnic tables at this corner bar, especially when paired with the simple meat and cheese plates—or $5 cheeseburger—on the concise menu. The beer list changes weekly, so patrons can count on reasons to come back often. 1601 S. 10th Street, fountainporter.com
- FrancoLuigi’s Pizzeria/High Note Café – People visit the High Note Café for a side of live opera or piano with their house-made gnocchi. Owner Franco Borda (also known as “The Singing Chef”) will have it no other way. The family-owned restaurant serves up authentic Italian cuisine in their musical dining room and crave-worthy pizzas and sandwiches from the attached FrancoLuigi’s Pizzeria. 1549 S. 13th Street, (215) 755-8903 (High Note), (215) 755-8900 (FrancoLuigi’s), francoluigis.com
- Fuel – West Coast influence shines through the menu at this health-conscious cafe, where all the fresh options—from smoothies to panini—come in under 500 calories. Healthy brunchers indulge in protein-packed fare such as the frittata made with organic eggs. 1917 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-3835 (FUEL), fuelphilly.com
- Garage – Canned craft beers, pinball and skee ball make this former auto repair shop-turned-watering hole a pretty cool hangout. Then again, the rotating roster of chefs working the bar’s in-house food truck draws food-loving patrons too. 1231 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 278-2429, garagephilly.com
- Geno’s Steaks – People line up around the block for Philly’s iconic sandwich at this neon-lit cheesesteak shop, which famously shares an intersection with rival Pat’s King of Steaks. At both 24/7 joints (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas only), locals know the ordering lingo: specify the cheese (provolone, American or Whiz) and “wit” or without onions. 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com
- Green Eggs Cafe – The Passyunk-area outpost of this brunch spot serves whopping portions of breakfast and lunch favorites to a full house every day of the week. Loyal patrons love its eco-friendly sensibilities, local produce (including herbs right from the roof) and menu for everyone (meat-eaters and vegans). 1306 Dickinson Street, (215) 226-3447 (EGGS), greeneggscafe.com
- Izumi – The owners of nearby restaurant Paradiso created South Philly’s answer to posh sushi spots. The Japanese BYOB looks out to the Singing Fountain, where diners can eat in the warmer months. Though the extensive menu pleases all sushi lovers, the inventive small plates, such as rock shrimp tempura, impress adventurous diners. 1601 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-1222
- Laurel – Top Chef season 11 winner Nick Elmi helms this pint-sized BYOB, where he’s justly known for his painstakingly inventive, manageably petite menu of French-inspired local fare, including a seasonal version of the ricotta gnudi as seen on TV. 1617 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-8299, restaurantlaurel.com
- Le Virtù – An impressive wine list complements the authentic Abruzzese cuisine prepared in an open kitchen. An intimate dining room and outdoor patio complete the warm and rustic atmosphere, and the seasonal menu melds local produce and house-made salumi with artisanal delicacies like honey and sheep’s milk cheeses imported from Italy’s Abruzzi region. 1927 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-5626, levirtu.com
- Lucky 13 Pub – The staff serves New American cuisine alongside local draft beers at this tiny, rock-themed bar, featuring a jam-packed jukebox, a DJ night and weekend brunch. Nachos, Cincinnati-spiced chili, creative sandwiches and even vegan and vegetarian fare pack the menu. 1820 S. 13th Street, (215) 336-8467, lucky13pubphilly.com
- Marra’s Cucina Italiana – A South Philly mainstay, Marra’s has been cranking out Italian-American favorites (thin-crust brick-oven pizzas and homemade pastas) for more than 80 years. Hungry diners can opt for the Sunset Menu, which includes a traditional main dish with soup or salad. Three no-frills dining rooms add to the old-school vibe. 1734 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 463-9249, marrasone.com
- Mr. Martino’s Trattoria – It’s open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only, which only enhances the appeal of this cozy BYOB—a Passyunk mainstay. The homey atmosphere (more like someone’s home than a restaurant) and friendly staff (including Mr. Martino himself) almost outshine the delicious Italian food. Almost. 1646 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-0663
- Noord Eetcafe – Philadelphia’s first upscale Dutch-Nordic bistro arrived on the avenue in 2013. Chef-owner Joncarl Lachman creates elegant, candlelit, home-style dinners starring smoked fish, barley breads and bitterballen (fried pork meatballs), with a view of the Singing Fountain. 1046 Tasker Street, (267) 909-9704, noordphilly.com
- Palladino’s – The avenue’s Southern gateway diner got a sleek makeover when eminent Jersey chef Luke Palladino took the reins. His menu reads like an American tour through Italy, from roasted duck sausage and grapes to Tuscan Porterhouse steaks. 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 928-4339, lukepalladino.com
- Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar – At this contemporary and comfortable Italian spot, a lively bar and an open kitchen provide the entertainment, and the rooftop garden provides (some of) the ingredients. Fluffy house-made gnocchi and other light Mediterranean dishes keep locals coming back for more. 1627 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-2066, paradisophilly.com
- Pat’s King of Steaks – At this iconic landmark, serving up authentic Philly cheesesteaks all day and night, patrons order their cheesesteaks at a window and chow down at the outdoor tables. Though the chopped steak sandwiches are the main draw, the menu at Pat’s also includes roast pork, hot dogs and fish cakes. 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546, patskingofsteaks.com
- Plenty – A cafe and then some, this order-at-the-counter operation recently inspired two newer locations, one in Queen Village and another in Rittenhouse. Customers order chorizo breakfast sandwiches, pulled pork panini or seasonal salads and eat at a wooden table or to take their food to-go. 1710 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 909-8033, plentyphiladelphia.com
- Pollyodd – Pennsylvania’s liquor laws allow for sales of premises-made spirits, and up-and-coming limoncello and liqueur distillery Naoj & Mot set up shop here, where drinkers seek hostess gifts and after-dinner samples. 1908 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-1161, pollyodd.com
- Pub On Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.) – A focus on microbrews and a jukebox stuffed with early rock—hardcore and everything else—make this cavern-like tavern a hipster haven. The inclusive menu, ranging from the P.O.P.E.’s namesake burger (topped with a juicy fried tomato) to vegetarian specialties like the seitan cheesesteak, complements the extensive 80-bottle and 14-tap beer list. 1501 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-5125, pubonpassyunkeast.com
- Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar – This 75-year-old corner pub has become beloved among a new generation of a-shot-and-a-beer night owls, who ironically belt Bon Jovi tunes on karaoke Fridays. 1200 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 365-1169, thehappybirthdaybar.com
- Ristorante Tre Scalini – This family-owned, bi-level BYOB serves authentic Molise dishes such as the traditional zuppa di pesce, as well as the exotic saffron gnocchi or wild boar. Warm, knowledgeable staff enhances the dining experience. 1915 Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-3870, trescaliniphiladelphia.com
- Stateside – As the name suggests, this bar pours American-made craft beers, wines and spirits, with a focus on whiskeys and bourbons. The tempting dinner menu features mainly small plates that use locally sourced products. 1536 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-2500, statesidephilly.com
- Stogie Joe’s Tavern – A casual Italian-American bar menu (mussels and linguine, square pizza) defines this South Philly joint. The garage door-enclosed dining area offers open-air seating in the warmer months and a fireplace when the weather gets cool. 1801-1803 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 463-3030, stogiejoestavern.net
- Townsend – Classic French cuisine is chef/owner Townsend Wentz’s unabashed specialty, so this is the spot to indulge in foie gras, rabbit, escargot or cockles. An elegant yet gently wielded wine list matches the menu. 1623 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 639-3203, townsendrestaurant.com
- Will BYOB – Chef/Owner Will Christopher Kearse wows his guests with modern, French-inspired dishes served in a small, beautifully appointed BYOB restaurant. Kearse is known for his meticulous and creative plate presentation. 1911 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-7683, willbyob.com
Sweets & Treats:
- Artisan Boulanger Patissier – This longtime well-kept secret serves up some of the crustiest baguettes and most decadent chocolate (and pistachio!) croissants in town, plus strong and delicate French pastries that attract a line on weekend mornings. 1218 Mifflin Street, (215) 271-4688
- B2 – Like its nearby big sister Benna’s, this local coffee shop features fresh juices, loose teas, pastries and a simple sandwich selection, along with free Wi-Fi and monthly rotating work from local artists on the walls. Vegans delight in the soy soft serve. 1500 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-5520
- Black N Brew – Smoothies, coffees and sweets complement a full, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch menu at this cozy and family-friendly Passyunk staple, easily recognized by the mosaic art that covers the cafe. Happy hour means dollar cups of joe (in-house) from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. 1523 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 639-6070, blackbrew.net
- Capogiro Gelato Artisans – The Passyunk location of this Philly-based gelateria empire serves Italian cafe classics—from the rich, inventive gelato made with locally grown ingredients to the expertly crafted espresso. In warmer months, patrons take advantage of outdoor seating in the quiet and quaint backyard patio. 1625 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 462-3790, capogirogelato.com
- Chhaya – The locals wish they could keep this cafe a secret, but the waffles, brunch and daily baked treats make it too good—they have to brag about it. The organic, fair-trade, small-batch coffee alone makes it worth the trip, even from Center City. Chhaya regularly hosts art shows during the neighborhood’s Second Saturday celebrations. 1819 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1000, chhayacafe.com
- Cinemug – A few years after the last of Philly’s bricks-and-mortar movie rental shops closed, this shops’ manager opened his own. What to expect: 1,600 films available for rent, ReAnimator coffee, snacks and sandwiches and blackout curtains for screening nights. 1607 S. Broad Street, (267) 314-5936, cinemug.coffee
- Green Aisle Grocery – This tiny market stocks its shelves with high-quality cooking must-haves, local produce and packaged signature eats from local restaurants and bakers. The shop also offers its own line of house-made products, including preserves, pickles, chutneys and nut butters. 1618 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1411, greenaislegrocery.com
- Mancuso’s Cheese Shop – Thriving since the avenue’s original heyday, this classic Italian fromaggio maker and vendor has catered to its Abruzze-born neighbors. Lucio Mancuso’s house-made scamorze (like mozzarella) can’t be beat, nor can his pricing on imported pasta, olives, olive oil and canned tomatoes. 1902 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-1817
- Ms. Goody Cupcake – South Philly’s take on Magnolia Café serves Technicolor confections, including about a dozen clever takes on the cupcake, classic chocolate chips, sky-high cakes and extra-sweet truffles. 1838 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 334-2253
- Termini Brothers Bakery – All eyes are on the classic Italian pastries such as cannoli and sfogliatelle at the flagship location of this family-owned pastry shop, founded in the 1920s. Like they have for generations, loyal customers stop in for treats, tasty samples and sweet, zero-calorie whiffs. 1523 S. 8th Street, (215) 334-1816, termini.com
- Vanilya – Chef Bonnie Sarana Noll is best known for her special occasion cakes, but does share individual servings of tiramisu, chocolate mousse and cheesecakes, all made with her favorite flavoring, bourbon vanilla, with passersby. 1611 E. Passyunk Avenue, (917) 751-7044, vanilyabakery.com
- Addiction Boutique – Sweet, chic and buzzed-about Mob Wife (from VH1’s hit series) Alicia DiMichele owns this fun, walk-in-closet-like shop. The faux leather skirts and fitted crop-tops won’t break the bank, but they will turn heads. 1713 S. 12th Street, (267) 273-1768, addictionboutique.com
- Amelie’s Bark Shop – Handmade, eco-friendly cat and dog treats, accessories, essentials and toys (organic catnip in crocheted mice) fill this petite boutique, best known for the owner’s peanut butter and carob cupcakes and doughnuts—for dogs. 1544 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 758-6151, barkshopbakery.com
- Baum’s Dancewear – Tights, tutu and tiara selections are unrivaled at this circa 1887 supplier to ballerinas. Shoppers test out slippers and tap and toe shoes on a miniature dance floor, complete with a mirror and bar. 1805 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 923-2244, baumsdancewear.com
- Beautiful World Syndicate – Record collectors rejoice at this no-frills South Philly music hub, which peddles everything from punk to jazz. The selection changes constantly, so returning customers always find new musical treats. 1619 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 467-0401
- The Bottle Shop – Warning: Jaws drop instantly upon entering The Bottle Shop, where 600 American and imported craft beers line the coolers. Suds lovers can buy single bottles, mix and match a six-pack to get 10% off and grab a brew-appropriate snack. Monthly events range from beer tastings to Quizzo. 1837 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-5551, bottleshopbeer.com
- Cloth – When the influx of young families to the neighborhood demanded a spot for eco-friendly baby goods, this sweet store answered the call with infant slings, organic nursing pillows, chic diaper bags, all-natural bath products, a cloth diaper service and parents-to-be classes. 1605 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-1575, shopatcloth.com
- Doggie Style – With multiple locations in the Philadelphia area, Doggie Style welcomes pet owners who love to pamper. In addition to carrying gourmet treats, natural foods and pet supplies, the shop offers grooming and training. Rescue dogs for adoption in the window woo passersby. 1700 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-5200, doggiestylepets.com
- Era Atomica – Midcentury modern furnishings that actually hail from the midcentury constantly move from the two busy floors of this neat and uncrowded vintage store, a great spot for both big items (beds, sofas) and small (cocktail accessories, knickknacks). 1835 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-2345, era-atomica.com
- Fabric Horse – Messenger bags and U-lock holsters are de rigueur in this part of town, and this studio. Here, bikers and others snatch up freshly made versions, plus backpacks, utility belts, totes and more. 1737 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 995-1026, fabrichorse.com
- Frame Fatale – Every refurbished row house requires proper displays for its vintage prints and flea-marketed art, and this funky, budget-minded framer is the place to score the perfect glitter, antique or understated casing for such treasures. 1813 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-0904, framefatale.com
- HOME – Pretty minimalism is the ethos at this interior designer-owned shelter shop, where floral Rifle stationery mingles with shiny vintage dishes, and subtle candles perch alongside perfectly modern seating. 1815 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-1180, homephilly.wordpress.com
- Metro Men’s Clothing – Even men who claim to hate shopping like this store. It could be that the owner is likely to offer visitors a beer when they walk in. Or it’s the brands: Ben Sherman, Fred Perry and Scotch & Soda. 1600 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 324-5172, metromensclothing.com
- Mia’s – This dress shop goes from formal to fancy, catering to women in need of black-tie and prom attire or a knockout Saturday night statement. Hint: Big discounts on designer duds line the sale racks. 1748 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-2913
- Nice Things Handmade – It’s one part boutique, one part gallery. Artists both local and not provide the ceramics, jewelry, clothing, prints and accessories. During art openings every Second Saturday of the month, guests enjoy refreshments and meet some of the artists.
1731 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 455-0256
- N.R.S. Boutique – A refashioner of vintage wares since age 14, shop owner and designer Nicole Rae Styer embellishes every trouser, gown, bustier, camisole and clutch in her colorful outlet. 1822 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 339-0168
- Occasionette – Etsy darling Sara Selepouchin (founder and maker of fabulous, often Philly-inspired Girls Can Tell screen-printed goods) peddles her own wares, along with cards, jewelry, prints and party favors by her fabulously crafty friends, in this delightful studio-shop.
1825 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1704, occasionette.com
- Philadelphia Scooters – Even those not in the market love to test drive the modern two-wheel scooters at this South Philly shop, which also sells a nice selection of pre-owned scooters and accessories. Passionate and knowledgeable staff members have a knack for matching people with just the right ride. 1733 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 336-8255, philadelphiascooters.com
- South Philly Comics – Comic book enthusiasts celebrate this Passyunk outpost’s sweet locale, filled with all of the weekly titles, graphic novels and collectible figures they’ve come to expect. The petite shop often hosts occasional signings among the hundreds of neatly arranged books. 1840 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 318-7855, southphillycomics.com
- Urban Jungle – Catering to a growing population of gardening city folk, this rehabbed warehouse sells balcony-, roof deck- and window-friendly containers and plants and offers landscaping services to turn cement-covered courtyards—and even their walls—into mini-oases. 1526-1530 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 952-0811, urbanjunglephila.com
Lookin’ Good On The Avenue:
- Fringe Salon – A welcoming spot for a trim, new color or asymmetric bob, this funky salon hangs local art on the walls and houses the sweetest shop cat around. For regulars, upkeep like a bang trim between cuts is free, and Facebook fans are privy to exclusive weekly specials.1728 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 339-1778, fringesalononline.com
- Mockingbird Salon – Modern cuts and colors, plus straight-razor shaves, perms and blowouts in an Anthropologie-like atmosphere, make “the bird” a favorite of the neighborhood’s effortlessly on-point twenty- and thirty-somethings. 1822 S. 13th Street, (267) 639-2257, mockingbirdsalon.com
- Wake Up Yoga Studio – Clearing minds and strengthening bodies, the South Philly branch of this Vinyasa and Yin-style yoga spot offers uplifting classes for novices and yogis. Workshops (Mommy & Me, beginners’ classes) engage enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. 1839 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 235-1228, wakeupyoga.com
People coming from East Passyunk need only to hop on the #29 bus, which runs east along Morris Street. Of course, visitors can also hop in a cab for a short ride or opt to walk to the area.
Eat & Drink:
- 2nd Street Brewhouse – There’s no surer sign of an increasingly popular Philly neighborhood than its second or third craft beer bar. This one features dozens of local and international bottles and a top-notch kitchen known for pulled pork and bacon mac and cheese. 1700 S. 2nd Street, (267) 687-7964, 2ndstreetbrewhouse.com
- Caffe Valentino – Smells of authentic Pugliese cuisine waft through this homey, bi-level BYOB. The warm atmosphere complements comfort dishes such as classic chicken parmesan and white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta and lemon zest. Outdoor seating tempts passersby in warmer months. Wharton & Moyamensing Streets, (215) 336-3033, caffevalentino.com
- Federal Donuts – People come here for one thing: deep-fried joy. It comes in the form of Korean-style chicken, with a variety of rubs and glazes, and doughnuts in constantly changing flavors (strawberry lavender, grapefruit brûlée, blueberry mascarpone). Rival Bros coffee rounds out the delicacies at this triple-threat. 1219 S. 2nd Street, (267) 687-8258, federaldonuts.com
- Gooey Looie’s – Seriously stuffed hoagies and cheesesteaks await in an unassuming, no-frills shop within the gated Pennsport Mall. Gigantic creations with enough deli meat and cheese to cover many more normal-sized sandwiches have kept locals full and content for years. 231 McClellan Street, (215) 334-7668
- Grindcore House – This all-vegan, metal music-themed coffee house delivers fair-trade coffee and an extensive cafe menu in a laid-back setting with a tight community vibe. Friendly baristas who know customers by name, a case stocked with locally made treats and free Wi-Fi are icing on the (vegan) cake. 1515 S. 4th Street, (215) 839-3333, grindcorehouse.com
- The Industry Bar – With 12 taps, one beer engine, an adventurous menu and a 20% discount for restaurant industry workers, The Industry Bar has established itself as a Pennsport hotspot. Late Sunday nights, the kitchen prepares a special “staff meal:” hearty, simple fare priced just right. 1401 E. Moyamensing Avenue, (215) 271-9500, theindustrybar.com
- John’s Roast Pork – This shack-sized sandwich shop has occupied the same corner (at Weccacoe and Snyder) since 1930. Open for breakfast and lunch and closed on Sundays, the out-of-the-way spot is an attraction unto itself, thanks to its stellar rep for roast pork and cheesesteaks. 14 E. Snyder Avenue, (215) 463-1951, johnsroastpork.com
- Mekong River – This upscale version of South Philly’s bare-bones pho joints offers the dishes familiar to fans of Vietnamese fare (rice vermicelli, papaya salad, broken rice, family platters) in a slightly fancier atmosphere. Bonus: outdoor seating. 1120-1124 S. Front Street, (215) 467-6100, mekongriverphilly.com
- Moonshine – This popular watering hole answers the call for microbrews, gnocchi, loaded fries, clever cocktails and boozy brunches. 1825 E. Moyamensing Avenue, (267) 639-9720, moonshinephilly.com
Parks & Recreation:
- Dickinson Square Park – Basketball courts, swings, a jungle gym and three acres of trees and green space define this park. In the warmer months, residents come here for picnic lunches—easy, thanks to the availability of delicious food in the area—and a seasonal farmers’ market. Between Moyamensing Avenue & 4th Street and Tasker & Morris Streets, dickinsonsquare.org
- Herron Playground and Spray Park – One of a growing number of modern public splash zones, this summertime spot offers sprinklers galore—an inviting sight for the toddler-on-up set who want to play and cool off. Playground equipment and a basketball court make getting hot fun, too. 2nd & Reed Streets
- Jefferson Square Park – This classic 19th-century strolling park sat outside of Philadelphia’s boundaries when it was established. Because of its proximity to ports and saloons, it later would be used by the Union Army as an encampment site. Today, people enjoy the relaxing green space and fun events, such as movie screenings and concerts. Between 3rd & 4th Streets and Washington Avenue & Federal Street, jeffersonsquarepark.org
- Pier 53 – This newly renovated finger pier once served as Philadelphia’s Ellis Island—and the nation’s first Navy Yard. Today, an elevated boardwalk stretches across rehabilitated wetlands, and a 55-foot-tall “land buoy” provides a perch where visitors take in the view. Soon, the pier will become the northern anchor to a river trail that stretches along the Delaware River to Pier 63. Columbus Boulevard at Washington Avenue, washingtonavenuegreen.com
- Rizzo Rink – Hockey is a way of life for the regulars at Rizzo Rink, but casual skaters are welcome to don their blades and round the ice for public hours, Wednesday through Sunday from November to March. 1001 S. Front Street, (215) 685-1593, rizzorink.com
- Sacks Playground – Just across 4th Street from Jefferson Square Park, Sacks Playground satisfies the neighborhood’s active crew with a pool, baseball fields and basketball courts.
Between 4th & 5th Streets and Washington Avenue & Federal Street
- Mummers Museum – Philadelphia’s most iconic event takes place every New Year’s Day, but the sparkling, sequined fun comes to life all year long inside this building. Guests can strut from costume to costume throughout the museum and pick up a keepsake of the folk parade at the gift shop. The museum is located on “Two Street,” just north of a number of Mummers’ clubhouses. 1100 S. 2nd Street, (215) 336-3050, mummersmuseum.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
- Donna Schorr, (215) 599-0782
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...
Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & The Supernatural
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 historic sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall during this 75-minute walking tour. It
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 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 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 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 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...
Philly Tourism Office Staff Picks
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
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,