Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 21 2015

What's In The Graduate Hospital Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops, Boutiques & Parks 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.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has picked this ’hood for its summertime PHS Pop Up Garden two years in a row. The seasonal South Street destination draws neighbors, people from across the city and out-of-towners with its beautiful landscaping, flowing craft beers and the fun, laid-back vibe that perfectly matches Graduate Hospital.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Restaurants & Bars:

  • Bob & Barbara’s Lounge – The Philly Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $3.50—may have originated at Bob & Barbara’s, but it’s only a part of what makes the place so fun. Thursdays bring the drag show, Friday and Saturday nights are all about jazz and Sunday karaoke ends the weekend. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511,
  • The Cambridge – This gastropub showcases an impressive menu, from the short rib mac and cheese with fontina and sharp cheddar to the 24-hour brined hand-ground Porker Burger. Nearly 25 craft beers on tap, Fleet Street wines and original cocktails mean there’s something to quench everyone’s thirst. 1508 South Street, (267) 455-0647,
  • Devil’s Pocket Food & Spirits – The brunch and dinner menus include well-loved staples, such as cheeseburgers, mac and cheese and the turkey potpie. Local craft beer selections in can and draft form go with every meal. 2425 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 735-2202,
  • Doobies – Many Philly bars and restaurants have great beer selections, but Doobie’s sets itself apart with its killer jukebox, vegan food and board games. 2201 Lombard Street, (215) 546-0316
  • Founding Fathers Sports Bar & Grill – Founding Fathers does the grown-up sports bar. Daily specials complement its menu of sandwiches, flatbreads and wings, and the draft beer lineup stars some of Philly’s most loved local breweries, such as Yards and Victory. Wednesday night Quizzo is a mid-week highlight. 1612 South Street, (267) 519-0253,
  • Grace Tavern – Beer lovers rave about this haunt, founded by the minds behind brew havens Monk’s Café and Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant. Patrons who don’t sample the varied food selection—fresh oyster po-boy, spinach and feta sausage sandwich and blackened green beans—are missing out. 2229 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 893-9580,
  • Jet Wine Bar – Wine connoisseurs feel right at home at Jet Wine Bar, which features vino from around the globe along with a revolving menu of small plates of meats, cheeses and sandwiches. On Tuesdays, patrons can build their own flights of wine for just $10, or a sip half-glasses for half-price. 1525 South Street, (215) 735-1116,
  • Los Camaradas – The friendly Mexican restaurant/bar quickly built a loyal following with fantastic tacos (tip: get the veggie), more than 50 100% agave tequilas and meczcals and a neighborly atmosphere. 918 S. 22nd Street, (215) 309-3727,
  • Meritage – Meritage features a modern American menu dotted with signature dishes, small plates and gluten-free and vegan selections. An intimate bar and a wine list praised by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast round out the scene. 500 S. 20th Street, (215) 985-1922,
  • My Thai – This lovingly decorated eatery has everything people expect of a pad Thai restaurant: big portions, budget-friendly prices, friendly service and—be careful—very spicy dishes. 2200 South Street, (215) 985-1878
  • Pub & Kitchen – Dishing out restaurant-quality fare, Pub & Kitchen has established itself as a must-visit for gastropub enthusiasts thanks to raved-about burgers and a must-try brunch. A short but discerning draft list and three TVs—one hidden behind the bar that comes out for big games—bring in a loyal bar crowd. 1946 Lombard Street, (215) 545-0350,
  • Rex 1516 – Jambalaya, crawfish potpie, pan-fried grouper, fried chicken. It’s clear that Rex 1516 draws inspiration from the South. Open every day for dinner and for brunch on the weekends (shrimp and grits, bananas foster French toast), the 35-seater welcomes the hungry crowd, along with those thirsty for a craft beer or cocktail. 1516 South Street, (267) 319-1366,
  • Robert’s Twi-Lite Lounge – With friendly service, friendlier clientele, soul food and a stocked jukebox, the Twi-Lite Lounge challenges the neighborhood bar stereotype. No phone number or website keeps it an area secret. 700 S. 20th Street
  • The Sidecar Bar & Grille – The bartenders at this two-floor gastropub pour from a large and constantly evolving beer list. On the weekends, brunch means quiche du jour and Bloody Marys. Warm weather brings a handful of coveted outdoor tables. 2201 Christian Street, (215) 732-3429,
  • SouthGate Philly – This corner bar elevates its menu by serving Korean-American food (read: Korean fried chicken) alongside its craft beer and healthy whiskey selections. Seasoned chef Clara Park, an alumna of Philly’s Osteria and New York’s Momofuku Ko and Chopped winner, heads the kitchen. 1801 Lombard Street, (215) 560-8464,
  • Ten Stone – Resembling an English pub, this bar and restaurant serves light fare that pairs perfectly with imported beers and domestic microbrews. After eating, diners can stick around to watch a game or play pool or darts. The few outdoor tables welcome warm-weather gathering. 2063 South Street, (215) 735-9939,


  • Ants Pants Cafe – This Australian-inspired cafe dishes out sumptuous brunch options every day, which means there’s always time to enjoy the collection of Aussie drinks and sweet potato fries. 2212 South Street, (215) 875-8002,
  • Balkan Express Restaurant – This family-run BYOB serves up Mediterranean fare that’s both wallet-friendly and healthy. Many dishes, including the Balkan’s salads and stews, use ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden. Not to be missed: the acclaimed stuffed cabbage rolls. 2237 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 545-1255,
  • Bistro La Baia – The familial service and the lobster ravioli are just two of the many reasons this cozy Italian BYOB has been a neighborhood mainstay for nearly 15 years. 1700 Lombard Street, (215) 546-0496,
  • Cafe Ynez – Weekday patrons gather here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the weekends mainly belong to the brunch crew. The Mexican spot offers a rotating selection of margaritas or sangrias in a carafe for those who bring their own tequila or wine, plus Mexican coffee drinks. Locals love the take-out rotisserie chicken dinner entrees—perfect to grab on the way home from the office. 2025 Washington Avenue, (215) 278-7579,
  • Entrée – This BYOB offers American dishes on a seasonal rotation, ensuring its patrons are treated to the freshest locally sourced ingredients. 1608 South Street, (215) 790-0330
  • Honey’s Sit ’N Eat – The corner of 21st and South streets draws a large, hungry crowd waiting for weekend brunch. Honey’s diner-esque menu sports items such as country-fried steak and gravy and challah French toast sandwiching Lancaster County double-smoked ham and Swiss cheese and topped with two sunny eggs. Any day of the week, people can tote their own alcohol for breakfast/brunch, lunch or dinner. 2101 South Street, (215) 732-5130,
  • Jamaican Jerk Hut – With its spicy jerk chicken, generous portion sizes and picnic-like outdoor seating in the warmer months, this small Caribbean BYOB has become a classic Philly establishment. Alfresco diners often enjoy a side of music with their evening meals. 1436 South Street, (215) 545-8644,
  • Indian Restaurant – This BYOB delivers what its name promises. The staff is attentive; the menu is fresh, healthy and vegetarian-friendly; and the portions are perfect for leftovers. 1634 South Street, (215) 964-9451,
  • Miles Table – Michael Lynch, a graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College and a Graduate Hospital resident, named his casual eatery after his son. Simple and flavorful dishes (omelets with homefries and toast, avocado BLT and burgers of the beef, turkey and falafel variety) use local ingredients. People can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in one of the 30 seats or at home when they take it to go. 1620 South Street, (267) 318-7337,
  • Pumpkin – Local and seasonal ingredients play a major role in Pumpkin’s cuisine, so it’s no surprise that the menu of this small, relaxed New American establishment changes constantly—all without compromising value. 1713 South Street, (215) 545-4448,
  • Sawatdee – The neon green interior may be the first thing people notice about this cozy Thai BYOB, but it’s not the last. They come back to taste the mix of dishes and take advantage of the $10 three-course lunches. 543 S. 15th Street, (215) 790-1299,
  • So Crêpe – Inspired by the crêperies of France (where the owners hail from), this BYOB serves authentic sweet and savory crêpes made with fresh and simple ingredients. Many regulars double up, beginning with a dinner crêpe such as the So Smoked—smoked salmon, avocado, sour cream and chives—and finishing with a sweet crêpe smothered in homemade salted caramel sauce. 1506 South Street, (267) 761-9310,
  • Ti Penso – This quaint South Street outpost offers American fare with a twist. Patrons indulge in dinner dishes that perfectly combine sweet and savory local, fresh ingredients. Highlights of the vast menu: pierogi du jour, flavor-of-the-day mussels and Champagne caviar scallops. 2108 South Street, (215) 735-4200,

Strictly Food:

  • The Baker’s Jar – Featuring baked goods such as tres leches, banana cake and mud cups (chocolate pudding mixed with chocolate cake), this sweet shop serves each treat in its own mason jar. The packaging and the taste make them the perfect choice for party favors, dessert tables or a simple afternoon indulgence. 625 S. 16th Street, (267) 519-0609,
  • Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant – For a different take on Philly’s signature food, patrons order Govinda’s raved-about vegetarian Philly chicken cheesesteak, complete with soy chicken and rainbow peppers grilled in olive oil. For after-meal treats without the guilt, vegan desserts include the brownie cheesecake and butter pecan ice cream. 1400 South Street, (215) 985-9303
  • The Igloo – People come here for some seriously interesting (and healthy) takes on yogurts, sorbets and gelatos. The yogurts (flavors such as Tahitian vanilla, Greek with 15 grams of protein and mango) are house-made, as is the non-fat strawberry sorbet. Some options come straight from Italy—including the delectable salted caramel gelato. 2223 Grays Ferry Avenue, (267) 858-4290,
  • Kermit’s Bake Shoppe – Imagine if a bakery and a pizzeria had a baby. That’s Kermit’s. Cases of baked goods (salted caramel sticky bun, lemon ricotta blueberry muffin, red velvet crumb cake) are offered alongside gourmet pizzas and “hot pockets.” The menu also caters to gluten-free guests. 2204 Washington Avenue, (267) 639-4267,
  • Lazaro’s Pizzeria & Grill – Dishing out monstrous single slices and pizza pies that range from 14 to 26 inches, Lazaro’s does thin-crust pizza right. The other menu options, including two-foot cheesesteaks, are worth a taste too. 1743 South Street, (215) 545-2775,
  • Magpie – Specializing in seasonal sweet and savory pies, Magpie’s menu changes four times a year—ensuring only the freshest fruits and vegetables are used. Best known for its decadent dessert pies (butterscotch bourbon), the artisan pie boutique also does dinner pies right. 1622 South Street, (267) 519-2904,
  • Phoebe’s Bar-B-Q – BBQ lovers can indulge in Oklahoma-style barbecue food without hopping on a plane. For almost 20 years, Graduate Hospital residents have flocked to the take-out spot for ribs, sandwiches, candied yams and mac and cheese. 2214 South Street, (215) 546-4811,
  • The Quick Fixx – This delivery joint dishes out chef-inspired cuisine at take-out prices. Bargain hunters indulge in the 10 Spot Lunch—meals that cost a grand total of $10 (and most include a side salad or fries and a beverage). Menu favorites include the gnocchi lasagna and the flatbread pizzas. 1511 South Street, (267) 273-1066,
  • Randazzo’s Pizzeria – A dozen thin-crust gourmet pizzas are just the beginning at this neighborhood pizzeria, which serves cheesesteaks, burgers, wings, wraps, salads, pasta and even milkshakes. 1826 South Street, (215) 546-1566

Cafes & Markets:

  • Café Lutecia – Neighbors and visitors choose this quaint, French-inspired nook for its substantial soup-and-sandwich combo, pleasant staff, sizable cups of coffee and coveted sidewalk tables. 2301 Lombard Street, (215) 790-9557
  • Green Aisle Grocery – People shopping for the essentials (bread and milk) or looking for something a little more luxurious (Mast Bros. chocolate bars, Dizengoff hummus, Stumptown Coffee) can find what they need a this tiny grocery. With dedication to eating consciously, Green Aisle stocks its shelves with fresh produce from local farmers, dairy from grass-fed cows and its own brand of pickles, jams and nut butters. 2241 Grays Ferry Ave, (215) 465-1411,
  • La.Va Cafe – This comfortable venue serves Israeli-style treats along with pastries and coffees. Regulars rely on the La Colombe coffee and the burekas, which look a lot like Amish soft pretzels Philadelphians know so well. 2100 South Street, (215) 545-1508,
  • The Little Café on Fitz – The Little Café embodies tradition of welcoming neighborhood vibes and quality coffee and food. The seasonal menu lists breakfast pastries, bagels, sandwiches and Green Street Coffee. 2001 Fitzwater Street, (267) 758-6409
  • Little Spoon Café – Little Spoon caters to breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack patrons. In addition to plates such as blueberry lemon oatmeal, duck confit salad and breakfast burrito, the extensive coffee list makes it the perfect spot to stop. In-the-know neighbors ask for a relaxing patio seat. 1500 South Street, (267) 587-6559,
  • Nam Son Bakery – Fans of Vietnamese cuisine come to this unassuming take-out spot for what many loyal customers claim to be one the best banh mi productions in town—perfect for a modern urban picnic. The secret: house-made bread. 1601 Washington Avenue, (215) 545-3888
  • OCF Coffee House – This community-centric coffee shop, owned and operated by neighborhood real estate agency OCF Realty, strives to use the best and highest-quality ingredients. Some of its star menu items: Anodyne Coffee from an independent roaster in Milwaukee, Premium Steap loose leaf teas and seasonal lunch options prepared daily at its flagship location in the Fairmount neighborhood. 1745 South Street, (215) 454-2196,
  • Rival Bros. Coffee Bar – Offering drip coffee and a variety of espresso beverages, Rival Bros. brews quality java using its own beans, which are roasted daily at its roastery in the Frankford section of the city. The storefront features collaborations with High Street on Market—pastries and fresh breads—as well as whole leaf loose teas from Philadelphia House of Tea. The shop offers limited seating inside and out. 2400 Lombard Street,
  • Ultimo – True coffee drinkers know there’s coffee, and then there’s coffee. Ultimo specializes in the latter. Pouring Counter Culture (after all, it’s located just underneath Counter Culture’s Philadelphia Training Center) and occasional guest roasters, the shop satisfies with hand-poured coffee and espresso drinks prepared in the highest quality machines with milk from nearby Lancaster County. The free Wi-Fi is a bonus. 2149 Catharine Street, (215) 545-3565,


  • Bicycle Therapy – If bikes needed therapy, the staff here would be serviceable shrinks. After more than 20 years in the neighborhood, the store and repair shop has built an impeccable reputation among cycling enthusiasts and casual peddlers. 2211 South Street, (215) 735-7849,
  • Doggie Style – One of several locations in the city and surrounding area, Doggie Style packs its shelves with pet basics and pampering indulgences, and it offers store-to-door delivery. Bonus: That dog in the window can be rescued for a small fee. 2101 South Street, (267) 687-8051,
  • Fireside Camp Supply – Focusing on American-made products, Fireside encourages urbanites to get outdoors with a stock of cool, design-minded (but practical!) camping necessities. The rental service attracts those who simply want to dabble in the outdoor life, and the knowledgeable staff can help newbies plan their trek. 2207 South Street, (267) 928-2757,
  • Loop – A one-stop shop for all-things yarn, Loop began as an online store before expanding to a South Street retail shop. Patrons looking to hone their hand-knitting craft can join a group class or sign up for a private lesson. 1914 South Street, (215) 893-9939,
  • The Philly Pack – Dog owners in need of advice can turn to The Philly Pack. Not only does the staff bring years of experience to its leash-training and social-conditioning sessions, but the store also offers high-quality food and treats. 2315 Grays Ferry Avenue, (215) 279-7240,

Parks & Public Spaces:

  • Catharine Park – This pocket park includes a small playground for the little ones and nearby benches for parents. It stands as a reminder of what neighbors can do when they band together—they raised funds to build up the park in a formerly run-down space. 22nd & Catharine Streets
  • Grays Ferry Triangles Plaza – Surrounded by local businesses such as Grace Tavern and The Igloo, this pedestrian plaza attracts neighbors looking for a spot to read, chat or simply enjoy the fresh air. The space hosts a variety of events throughout the summer, including a summer concert series that features a different band and food truck each week. 23rd & South Streets
  • Julian Abele Park – Named after the man who helped design the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the park welcomes picnickers, dog walkers and people who just want to hang out. A seasonal farmers’ market draws local-food devotees every Friday afternoon in the summer and fall. 22nd & Carpenter Streets, (215) 683-3679,
  • Schuylkill Boardwalk – This over-the-water trail extends the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge in Graduate Hospital. The 2,000-foot-long boardwalk is 15 feet wide and about 50 feet out from shore at its furthest point. Overlooks and benches offer spots to relax and take in the city view, and solar-powered overhead lights mean pedestrians, runners and bikers can use the boardwalk all times of day. Entry points are located along the South Street Bridge and at 25th and Locust streets.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® 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, and, 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.

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