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What's In The Market East Neighborhood?
Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops, Art & Culture In Philadelphia's Market East Neighborhood
Steps away from the most historic square mile in America, the Market East neighborhood serves as a gateway to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. Originally known as High Street, what is now called Market Street is a busy boulevard, particularly during the daytime as shoppers, workers and visitors fill the streets.
Bordered by Old City to the east, Chinatown to the north and Washington Square West to the south and dominated by Philadelphia’s elaborately embellished City Hall, the Market East neighborhood is largely commercial with boundaries that stretch roughly from 7th to 15th Streets and Chestnut to Vine Streets. Unlike other neighborhoods in Center City, the neighborhood has little residential development, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t activity.
Several museums and galleries are located in the neighborhood, along with the always-packed Reading Terminal Market, where visitors can feast on delicacies from Philadelphia and around the world. And with the city’s two newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, located in a former department store, visitors might just rub elbows with a Pulitzer Prize winner. In recent years, a number of owner-operated, independent shops and restaurants have cropped up, adding a distinctly local flavor to several national chains that serve the area.
Market East is a transportation hub for SEPTA’s Regional Rail Lines—with service to the suburbs and Philadelphia International Airport—and the Market-Frankford Line (“the El” to locals), a subway/elevated line that travels east and west, making stops at 8th, 11th and 13th streets along Market. Various SEPTA and New Jersey transit buses traverse the numbered streets between 8th and Broad streets and along Arch, Market and Chestnut streets.
Restaurants, Cafes & Bars:
- Aqua Malaysian & Thai Restaurant – The chefs at Aqua like to play around with traditional South East Asian cuisine and add different flavors and combinations to their Thai and Malaysian dishes. Gluten-free diners can also select from a wide range of menu items. 705 Chestnut Street, (215) 928-2838, aquamalaysianthai.com
- Brü Craft & Wurst – The atmosphere is lively at this German bierhall and American gastropub where the food menu has a Bavarian accent and patrons can select a brew from any of 33 taps or order one of six drafts using an iPad. 1318 Chestnut Street, (215) 800-1079, bruphilly.com
- The Capital Grille – In a city that knows its steakhouses, The Capital Grille serves up filets with the best of them. The scene: a sleek crowd in business attire, helpful service and an impressive wine list. 1338 Chestnut Street, (215) 545-9588, thecapitalgrille.com
- Di Bruno Brothers – The latest branch of the family-owned market has come a long way from its Italian Market roots. Shelves laden with specialty cheeses, meats, homemade prepared foods and hard-to-find imported items thrill hungry shoppers and home chefs with high-quality choices. 834 Chestnut Street, (267) 519-3115, dibruno.com
- Fogo de Chão® – This authentic Brazilian Steakhouse began more than 35 years ago in Brazil and features fire-roasted meats carved tableside by gaucho chefs, gourmet salads and sides and an award-winning wine list. 1337 Chestnut Street, (215) 636-9700, fogodechao.com
- Field House Sports Bar – Close to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this super-sized pub serves up American fare and all major sporting events on multiple TV screens with four different sound zones. Crowds gather for NCAA games, arcade games and live music on Saturday nights, as well as the 40 local beers on tap. 1150 Filbert Street, (215) 629-1520, fieldhousephilly.com
- Hard Rock Cafe – A giant rotating guitar marks the spot where music lovers gather to enjoy casual eats surrounded by iconic memorabilia. 1113-31 Market Street, (215) 238-1000, hardrock.com/philadelphia
- Jones – It’s déjà vu all over again at Stephen Starr’s retro dining spot where cozy comfort food is served amid Brady Bunch-inspired, 60s-style décor. Menu highlights include fried chicken and waffles, Thanksgiving dinner, meatloaf, chicken potpie and Duncan Hines chocolate layer cake, served with a glass of cold milk. Weekend brunch rounds out the temptations here. 700 Chestnut Street, (215) 223-5663, jones-restaurant.com
- Las Vegas Lounge – A diverse crowd, two pool tables and laid-back atmosphere make the Las Vegas Lounge a neighborhood bar. A simple food menu, 20-ounce domestic and craft beer selections and stiff drinks welcome guests. Drink specials and late-night happy hours keep the bar buzzing all night long. 704 Chestnut Street, (215) 592-9533, lasvegaslounge.com
- Lucky Strike Bowling – Twenty-four lanes, 10 billiard tables, two ping-pong tables, a shuffleboard table, 17 large wide-screen projectors, 14 plasma TVs, The NFL Sunday Ticket, a fireplace and a yummy comfort food menu make this place a seven-days-a-week hotspot. 1336 Chestnut Street, (215) 545-2471, bowlluckystrike.com
- MilkBoy Philly – Bringing the hipster vibe to Center City, MilkBoy treats music fans to a food and drink menu that’s as creative as its line-up of up-and-coming and below-the-radar bands. Largely fashioned from reclaimed materials, the eco-aware, bi-level spot amuses visitors with three funky can crushers for recycling and live performances almost every night of the week. 1100 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-MILK, milkboyphilly.com
- Morimoto – In his flagship restaurant, Iron Chef Morimoto offers a unique a la carte menu using traditional Japanese ingredients prepared with modern cooking techniques. Diners looking for an even more special experience enjoy an omakase meal—a multi-course dining experience custom designed for them. 723 Chestnmoriut Street, (215) 413-9070, motorestaurant.com
- Old Nelson Gourmet Food Company – Two Market East locations make it easy to grab a specialty sandwich, panini or soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the go. 701 Chestnut Street, (215) 627-7090; 35 S. 13th Street, (215) 569-1719, oldnelsonfood.com
- Philly Cupcake – The pastry artists at this colorful jewel box of a shop turn out yummy cupcakes that almost look too good to eat. Also on the menu: pastries, brownies, cookies, chocolates and even treats for Fido. 1132 Chestnut Street, (215) 625-4888, phillycupcake.com
- Reading Terminal Market – Since 1892, the historic Reading Terminal Market has been the go-to place for professional and home cooks who want farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses, herbs and other treats. Here more than 80 merchants sell everything from apples to Amish baked goods. Tours are available, and special events and festivals take place often. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org
- Rosa Blanca – Celebrity chef Jose Garces is at it again, this time with a stylized retro-Cuban diner serving breakfast all day. Diners can also enjoy updated traditional Cuban dishes accompanied by everything from mojitos to milkshakes. 707 Chestnut Street, rosablancadiner.com
- Spice 28 – Spice 28’s chefs please palates with their flavorful fusion approach to Szechuan, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai and other Asian delicacies and signature cocktails.
1228 Chestnut Street, (215) 928-8880, spice28.com
- AIA Bookstore – There is a lot more than just books at the American Institute of Architects bookstore. Shoppers looking for interesting and unusual gifts, accessories, kitchen implements, toys and other items will find them here. 1218 Arch Street, (215) 569-3188, aiabookstore.com
- Cella Luxuria – Creating home designs that are stylish and sustainable is easy at Cella Luxuria, where much of their modern and industrial-influenced home furnishings are fashioned from reclaimed wood, steel, iron and other sustainable materials. 1214 Chestnut Street, (215) 923-0784, cellaluxuria.com
- Century 21 – The department store opened its first location outside the New York City area in fall 2014 in the space formerly occupied by Strawbridge’s. Two floors of fashion finds await shoppers looking for designer names at discounted prices. The store also stocks fragrances and home goods. 821 Market Street, (215) 952-2121, c21stores.com
- The Gallery at Market East – Located in the heart of Center City, The Gallery offers convenient shopping at a variety of popular stores, including the new Century 21 department store. 901 Market Street, (215) 625-4962, thegalleryphl.com
- I. Goldberg Army & Navy – For almost 100 years, I. Goldberg has been providing Philadelphians with durable outerwear, footwear and camping supplies. Also, as the name suggests, it’s a great place to purchase military surplus. 1300 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-9393, igoldberg.com
- Luxe Home – Homebodies looking for a pop of modern or contemporary style can select from three floors of furnishings, decorative accessories and lighting. Design services are available for a professional touch. 1308 Chestnut Street, (215) 732-2001, luxehomephiladelphia.com
- Macy’s – “Meet me at the Eagle” is a longstanding tradition among locals who gather in front of the iconic statue located in the Grand Court of Macy’s Center City. In addition to picking up the latest style trends, shoppers can marvel at the elaborate architecture and enjoy the daily concerts on the historic 28,500-pipe organ—the largest playable instrument in the world. 1300 Market Street, (215) 241-9000, visitmacysphiladelphia.com
- Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. – Heaven for sports fans, this Philly-born brand shop carries official reproductions of uniforms worn by professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey players, plus T-shirts, hats, outerwear and other goods. 1201 Chestnut Street (enter on 12th Street), (267) 273-7622, mitchellandness.com
- West Elm – Shoppers get that straight from a home-design magazine look for affordable prices at the local outpost of the contemporary furnishings retailer. 1330 Chestnut Street, (215) 731-0184, westelm.com
Architecture, Arts & Culture:
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) – With a diverse collection of fine and folk art, photographs, memorabilia and costumes, AAMP’s four galleries trace the experiences and contributions of African-Americans from the kingdoms of Africa to the present. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
- City Hall – The largest City Hall in the U.S. is also one of the most elaborate. Designed by architect John McArthur Jr. and featuring sculptor Alexander Milne Calder, the exterior is covered with sculpture representing the seasons and continents, as well as allegorical figures, heads and masks and topped by a 27-ton sculpture of William Penn. Its observation deck provides a panoramic view of the city, and tours lead visitors into some of the most lavishly decorated rooms in the city. Broad & Market Streets, Room 121, (215) 686-2840, phila.gov/virtualch
- Free Library of Philadelphia – Independence Branch – Folks drop by for book clubs, Thursday morning Toddler Storytime, special programs or just to peruse the stacks, which include a very large collection of Chinese language books and movies and the Barbara Gittings Gay/Lesbian Collection, the largest circulating public library LGBT collection east of San Francisco. 18 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-1633, freelibrary.org
- Mural Arts Program Tours – Art lovers can admire the world’s largest outdoor art gallery during a Mural Arts Tour. Trolley, walking and train tours are available. Tours depart from the Mural Arts at The Gallery kiosk, street level. 9th & Market Streets, 2nd level, (215) 925-3633, muralarts.org/tours
- Philadelphia Center for Architecture (CFA) – Founded in 2003, CFA conducts walking tours, exhibitions, talks, workshops, competitions, festivals and children’s programming to educate people about the role and value of good architecture, urban planning and design in everyday life. The organization’s signature event, DesignPhiladelphia, is the oldest design festival of its kind in the country. 1218 Arch Street, (215) 569-3186, philadelphiacfa.org
- Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent – The recently renovated museum is a treasure trove of Philadelphia’s past with several galleries highlighting more than 400 pieces from the 100,000-piece collection. The main gallery features the world’s largest, walkable map of Philadelphia. 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830, philadelphiahistory.org
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.
Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, www.visitphilly.com/ and uwishunu.com make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. 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
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