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Releases: Expanded View

Jan 31 2017

What's In The Northern Liberties Neighborhood?

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops And More

Once considered an 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, Northern Liberties enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make the area accessible and thriving: Liberties Walk and The Schmidt’s Commons.

The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders (depends who you ask, of course) are Girard Avenue to the north, Callowhill Street to the south, 6th Street to the west and the Delaware River to the east. To get from Center City to Northern Liberties, people can hop in a cab or take “the El”—SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line, called “the El” because it rides above ground (or elevated) when it’s outside of the main downtown area—from any of the Market Street stations to Spring Garden Station.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Food & Drink:

  • Abbaye – Living up to the neighborhood standard, the Abbaye boasts a fine draft and bottled beer list to satisfy the thirsty locals. Any menu with house-made mac and cheese is sure to be a good one, and the local ingredients add another reason to love it. 637 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-6711,
  • Apricotstone – Cooking up recipes she learned from her mother while growing up in Syria, chef Fimy Ishkhanian helms this Mediterranean eatery. Vegans find plenty of options here, thanks to traditional dishes such as falafel, Israeli salad and stuffed grape leaves, while meat eaters dine on chicken, beef and lamb kebab. 1040 N. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6596,
  • Baan Thai – This warm, inviting BYOB serves traditional Thai fare along with inventive dishes including Angel Wings (deep-fried boneless chicken wings stuffed with ground chicken and Thai spices). Regulars know to save room for sweet sticky rice and Thai iced tea. 1030 N. American Street, (215) 238-1219,
  • Bardot – This dimly lit neighborhood bar pours 12 rotating craft beers on draft and seasonal specialty cocktails. Dishes include mussels, lamb burgers, wild mushroom risotto and a selection of wings. 447 Poplar Street, (267) 639-4761,
  • The Blind Pig – More than 60 canned beers and eight rotating selections on tap bring the beer crowd to this gastropub. Menu items including the Thanksgiving Ball® (a full Thanksgiving meal in a ball), oyster sandwich, poutine and veggie spaetzle tempt everyone else. 702 N. 2nd Street, (267) 639-4565,
  • Bourbon & Branch – The downstairs section is dedicated to innovative pub food such as oxtail fries with cilantro chimichurri or beer-brined chicken wings with a choice of three sauces and seasonings. The second-floor bar and stage hosts performances of all kinds, from reggae to burlesque to comedy open-mic nights. More than 50 whiskeys, 16 draft beers and an extensive cocktail list round out the draws. 705 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-0660,
    Cantina Dos Segundos – Like its East Passyunk Avenue sibling, Cantina Los Caballitos, the second Cantina features creative Mexican fare such as vegan “beef” tacos and slow-roasted goat, along with flights of tequila, 12 different margaritas (think prickly pear, blood orange and guava) and a fiesta-like atmosphere. The brunch crew can get it here seven days a week. 931 N. 2nd Street, (215) 629-0500,
  • Circles Contemporary Thai Cuisine – Unlike its South Philly counterpart, this Northern Liberties restaurant features an ever-changing menu of progressive Thai dishes. Bangkok-born chef Alex Boonphaya incorporates authentic flavors with varying degrees of heat—from mild to Thai hot and everything in between. 812 N. 2nd Street, (267) 687-1309,
  • Crabby Cafe & Sports Bar – This ideal spot to catch a game boasts 30-plus draft beers and an eclectic Cajun-Vietnamese menu. Diners choose from specialties including Cajun fries, pho and a variety of seafood boils while cheering on their team. 1050 N. 2nd Street, (215) 574-9700,
  • Dmitri’s – The Northern Liberties location of this local Greek restaurant (the original is in Queen Village) sports a BYOB policy and serves classic Greek dishes, including lamb, kabob, grilled octopus and spinach pie. The food tastes like it’s straight from Mount Olympus, but when perched at an outdoor table, diners enjoy the Philly neighborhood vibe. 944 N. 2nd Street, (215) 592-4550,
  • The Druid’s Keep – Locals love this place for its great beer selection and dog-friendly policy. Perfect for sports enthusiasts, “The Keep” projects most Philadelphia games on a wall in the backyard. 149 Brown Street, (215) 413-0455
  • El Camino Real – Texas or Mexico? Seitan or sirloin? Local brew or Dos Equis? The menu options seem endless at El Camino Real, which splits allegiances as both a barbecue post and border bar. 1040 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-1110,
  • The Foodery – A stalwart for discerning drinkers, The Foodery packs its refrigerators with 800 bottled craft beer varieties from around the world. Patrons snag candies and sandwiches along with their six packs. 837 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-6077,
  • Green Eggs Café – Enter yet another South Philly eatery that opened up shop north of Spring Garden Street. Green Street serves eco-conscious and delicious dishes for breakfast and lunch. Can’t-miss menu items include red velvet pancakes and the Kitchen Sink (eggs scrambled with cheese, potatoes, peppers and onions and topped with a biscuit and pork sausage gravy). 719 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-3447,
  • Gunners Run – This dive bar is named for the natural creek that originally bordered the neighborhood. Outdoor tables provide great views for catching a game or a movie on The Schmidt’s Commons’ big screen. 1001 N. 2nd Street, (267) 273-1144
  • Heritage – From the crew behind hotspots Time, Vintage and Garage, this modern-rustic eatery offers a New American menu of refined—and frequently changing—dishes. Guests love the nightly live jazz shows, inventive cocktails and extensive selection of spirits. 914 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-7500,
  • Honey’s Sit ’N Eat – Each plate served at this home-style, Southern-Jewish BYOB is globally delicious. Latkes nestle grits, and challah French toast hugs drop biscuits with sausage gravy. The orange juice is squeezed fresh—perfect on its own or mixed with champagne for brunch. 800 N. 4th Street, (215) 925-1150,
  • Jaxon – It’s a family affair at Jaxon, sporting an interior design by the owner’s wife, artwork from his brother-in-law and the name of his young son. The idea here: Food should be enjoyed with the people you love. The new American chalkboard menu features local ingredients as much as possible, and sidewalk seating expands the small BYOB’s capacity, much to the delight of loyal patrons. 701 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2621,
  • Jerry’s Bar – This gorgeously rehabbed corner bar puts the “gastro” in gastropub. The dinner menu features handmade specialties including pierogi, gnocchi and a variety of desserts alongside classic bar food such as wings, burgers and house-blended meatballs. The sticky buns are the stars of the Sunday brunch. 129 W. Laurel Street, (267) 273-1632,
  • Las Cazuelas – Those hungry for south-of-the-border fare can satisfy a craving for mole, sopes, tamales and mixed-to-order margaritas at this authentic Mexican BYOB, where Saturday and Sunday brunch goes for the spice. Tip: Go all-out la vida Mexico by bringing a bottle of tequila. 426 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 351-9144,
  • North 3rd – This moody neighborhood eatery keeps the crowds coming with its casual bar classics—Asian-style Buffalo wings, potato pierogi, veggie spring rolls and one juicy burger. Also on the menu: solid drink offerings that come in the form of blood-orange margaritas, Stoli dolis and an extensive beer list. 801 N. 3rd Street, (215) 413-3666,
  • Not Just Pizza – The name pretty much sums it up: pizza, plus hoagies, cheesesteaks, appetizers, salads and more pizza-joint fare. Guests take advantage of the daily specials and, when weather permits, the outdoor seating along Liberties Walk. 1030 N. American Street, (215) 928-9280,
  • Paesano’s – The options at this sandwich shop are decidedly new school; the Piccatta, for example, features a fried chicken breast on deep-fried bread with prosciutto, sharp provolone and lemon caper butter. Not surprising to local fans, Paesano’s namesake sandwich beat Bobby Flay’s brisket grinder on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” 148 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 886-9556,
  • Poke Bowl – Fans of the Hawaiian dish poke build their own bowls by selecting a base, a seafood protein, seasonings, toppings and sauce. Those who prefer pre-designed dishes can choose one of the house specialties, such as the Sweet & Spicy Trio, with tuna, salmon, octopus, seaweed, scallions, salt, furikake, sesame, unagi, shoyu, radish, ginger, mango and wasabi cream. Tip: The beautiful flower on top is edible. 958 N. 2nd Street, (267) 319-9943,
  • Pura Vida – Its name comes from a Costa Rican saying that translates to “pure life.” The homey food at this bare-bones, pan-Latin BYOB is indeed life-affirming: corn patties stuffed with pickled vegetables, chorizo tacos and ginger chicken soup. The staff even mixes mojitos and sangria for patrons who bring their own spirits. 527 Fairmount Avenue, (215) 922-6433
  • Rustica – Guests enjoy thin-crust specialty pies such as The Mighty Brussels (Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions) and Ryan’s Reuben (corned beef, Swiss cheese, caraway seed, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and pickles). Lovers of simple pizza can order the more traditional options, or create their own vision. Also on the menu: sandwiches, calzones, wings and salads. 903 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-1393,
  • Seiko Japanese Restaurant – The guests at this sushi BYOB follow up a Bento box with a dish of fried green-tea ice cream drizzled in chocolate. Bright red counters, shiny copper fixtures and molded plastic chairs lend a futuristic vibe. 604 N. 2nd Street, (215) 413-1606,
  • Silk City – It’s one-third diner, one-third club and one-third beer garden. Silk City’s American fare with flair has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Renowned DJs and live acts, along with local talent, perform in the connected lounge most nights of the week. 435 Spring Garden Street, (215) 592-8838,
  • Spuntino Pizza – The menu here includes salads, sandwiches and small plates, but the main attraction is the Neapolitan-style pizza baked in a wood-fired brick oven. The more than 20 varieties include the Gamberi, with shrimp, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil; the Formaggio, with Gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone and rosemary; and the Cavolfiore, with roasted cauliflower, garlic and fresh mozzarella. 701 N. 2nd Street, (267) 930-8486,
  • Standard Tap – A gastropub stalwart for more than 15 years, this draft-only pub highlights Philly-area brews among its daily rotation of 23 beers. The kitchen sources its ingredients from the surrounding region, and area environmentalists have even given the bar a green thumbs-up for its eco-friendly habits. 901 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-0630,
  • Samwich by Suppa – Philadelphians love their sandwiches, and the kitchen here doesn’t disappoint. Sides such as chile-lime popcorn, chili and tater tots almost outshine the fried chicken, meatloaf, chickpea salad and lamb meatball sandwiches. Almost.
    1040 N. American Street, (215) 644-9324,
  • Tiffin – Many Philadelphians swear by the food at Tiffin’s multiple locations in and around the city, and the Northern Liberties spot is no exception. Run by a Wharton MBA, Tiffin prides itself on carefully curated dishes such as the Malai Kofta and butter chicken. 710 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 922-1297,
  • Token – This Schmidt’s Commons grab-and-go spot satisfies savory and sweet cravings with its Korean specialties, such as build-your-own rice and noodle bowls, steamed bao buns and wings, and freshly made American baked goods. Guests can also pick up milkshakes, coffee, espresso drinks and beer. 1050 N. Hancock Street, (215) 858-2288,
  • Trios Pizzeria & Trattoria – Locals rave about the thin-crust square pizzas here. Not in the mood for pizza? The pastas, salads, burgers and Italian entrees are sure to please just about anyone. Tip: Save room for the tiramisu. 342 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 627-1000,
  • Wahlburgers – No, Mark Walberg doesn’t make regular appearances here like he did for the A&E reality series. But that doesn’t stop people from enjoying the burgers, sandwiches, salads and sides. Draft and bottle beer and adult frappes and floats round out the good vibrations. 1033 N. 2nd Street, (215) 278-8989,

Cool Cafes & Bakeries:

  • Bimini Juice Bar & Salad Bar – Only fresh fruits and vegetables make up the juices, and the smoothies take it up a notch with the additions of ice, non-fat Greek yogurt and natural sweeteners. Salads, wraps, snacks, coffee and tea round out the good-tasting and good-for-you offerings. 807 N. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6571,
  • Cafe Chismosa – This Latin-inspired cafe serves breakfast, brunch and lunch daily. The short rib quesadilla and tamales are popular among regulars, but the coconut latte is practically legendary. 900 N. 4th Street, (267) 273-1448,
  • Café La Maude – Neighbors tried to keep this French-Lebanese cafe a secret, and it’s no wonder. The local La Colombe coffee pairs perfectly with a buttery brioche or some baklava. Hungry for something more? The traditional Lebanese options include foul moudamas; house-made hummus topped with scrambled eggs, fava beans, tomatoes and za’tar; and their version of poulet roti (roast chicken), in sandwich form. 816 N. 4th Street, (267) 318-7869,
  • Higher Grounds Café – Green tea lattes, 16 loose leaf teas and coffees from the Americas, Indonesia and Ethiopia, along with late hours and free Wi-Fi, make this spot a popular choice for the caffeinated and decaffeinated set. Committed to the artists who make the Northern Liberties neighborhood a creative enclave, the cafe hosts acoustic performances, poetry readings and art exhibits. 631 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-3745,
  • Kaplan’s New Model Bakery – For more than 100 years, this bakery has supplied its neighbors with the best challah and rye breads in town. While there, customers add more to their order when tempted by the assortment of muffins, turnovers, bagels and other pastries. 901 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-5288,
  • One Shot Coffee – The One Shot brunch menu, which includes items such as breakfast sandwiches, egg dishes and tasty sides, changes seasonally, but it always earns high marks from coffeehouse dwellers and foodies. People can enjoy their selections at the downstairs tables or in the comfy library upstairs. 217 W. George Street, (215) 627-1620,
  • The Random Tea Room and Curiosity Shop – The international brews at this charming little cafe include 80 artisanal teas and house-blended herbal infusions. The tearoom also sells vintage and antique wares, medicinal herbs, gluten-free and vegan baked goods and Philly-made jewelry and crafts. 713 N. 4th Street, (267) 639-2442,
  • Soy Café – It’s in the name, so patrons know that fresh soymilk is always available for the organic coffee and tea drinks at this bistro, which offers a range of scrumptious menu options for both vegetarians and omnivores. The kitchen whips up smoothies, pastries, light sandwiches, soups and gourmet salads. 630 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-1003,

Eclectic Shops:

  • Architectural Antiques Exchange – Everything one would need to rehab a home can be found in this 30,000-square-foot warehouse—mantels, bars, doors, stained glass, lighting, old ironwork and antique mirrors. Pieces run the style gamut, including gothic, Colonial, French, English, Victorian, art nouveau and art deco, with some pieces even dating back as far as the late 1700s. 715 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-3669,
  • Art Star – The owners of this cute boutique celebrate American artists and crafters by selling their ceramics, jewelry, clothing and other handmade wares. The shop also hosts gallery shows and organizes the annual Mother’s Day weekend Art Star Craft Bazaar, which attracts visitors and exhibitors from around the country. 623 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-1557,
  • Chez Bow Wow – Because even Fido and Mittens deserve special treatment, this pet grooming salon gives dog and cat haircuts, trims nails and brushes teeth. The spa uses only environmentally safe products, so customers know they’re protecting the planet while pampering their pets. 707 N. 2nd Street, (215) 923-2992,
  • Chic Petique – Fashionable cats and dogs and their owners make up the clientele at this pet supply. They pick up healthy natural food and treats through the “apawthecary” services, as well as trendy collars, beds and accessories. 1030 N. 2nd Street, (267) 761-9434,
  • City Planter – Teardrop airiums, baby bonsais and mounted staghorn ferns are just the start of the ever-changing variety of plants and planters for the urban gardener. The friendly experts inside this warehouse-turned-plant-store help even beginners create their personal oases. 814 N. 4th Street, (215) 627-6169,
  • Creep Records – What started as a recording studio in a Downingtown, Pennsylvania basement morphed into this record store and smoke shop in The Schmidt’s Commons. Music lovers shop for new and used vinyl and stick around after hours for the occasional live show. The shop carries only American glass, most of which is made by local artists. 1050 N. Hancock Street, (267) 239-2037,
  • Exit Skateshop – Philadelphia’s skateboard community shops here for boards, footwear, apparel and accessories from brands including Vans, Anti-hero, Crooked, Girl, DC and Etnies. The bi-level shop also puts on art shows, film showings and live music performances. 825 N. 2nd Street, (215) 425-2450,
  • Gravy Studio & Gallery – This collaborative photography workspace and gallery hosts opening receptions on the first Friday of every month. Hours vary by the shows on display, plus off-hour appointments are available for those who want a private showing. 910 N. 2nd Street, (267) 825-7071,
  • Jinxed – One part vintage store, one part antique store, the Northern Liberties’ Jinxed specializes in furniture and housewares—especially rugs—from bygone eras. Regulars know to check back often, as the inventory constantly changes. 1050 N. Hancock Street, (215) 978-5469,
  • Once Worn Consignment – A refuge for those who want to unload great garments and those in the market for a fashionable bargain, this chill little shop carries nearly new and impeccably retro pieces. Think super-skinny snakeskin belts and flamboyantly colorful full-length skirts. Once Worn organizes and labels everything, so even those new to thrift shopping feel comfortable in this boutique. 906 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-1122,
  • Penn Herb Company – This flagship store represents the mission of the nearly 100-year-old, family-run company, which was founded by a naturopathic physician. It stocks a large selection of herbs, vitamins and natural remedies, as well as healthy food, in the 8,000-square-foot space. 601 N. 2nd Street, (215) 632-6100,
  • R.E.Load – Philadelphians pack fashionably with stylized bags, wallets and tees designed and manufactured on-site by the R.E.Load team. Messenger, backpack and travel bags sport various sizes, colors and features. 608 N. 2nd Street, (215) 625-2987,
  • Ritual Ritual – This jewelry and clothing boutique showcases a rotating cast of indie artists from around the world in addition to a stable of six in-house designers. The space doubles as the Ritual Ritual Arts Community Hub, offering creative classes and wellness workshops. 819 N. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6082,
  • Swag – Shoppers can find something for everyone on their lists at this whimsical gift shop that carries kitchenware, home decor, children’s toys and accessories for men and women. Popular items: Paddywax soy candles, handmade-in-the-U.S.A. jewelry and eco-friendly children's toys and accessories. 935 N. 2nd Street, (267) 888-7246,
  • Trophy Bikes – This bike shop provides customers with everything they need to keep their two wheels running smoothly, plus it stocks a fine selection of bikes and gear. Trophy Bikes also offers bike-fitting services and clinics on such topics as theft-proofing your ride. 712 N. 2nd Street, (215) 592-1234,

Up Late: Nightclubs & Entertainment:

  • The 700 – Good music, good beer and good times abound at this local favorite bi-level spot, which looks like a club built inside a house (because that’s what it is). DJs mix it up throughout the week, and there’s never a cover charge. 700 N. 2nd Street, (215) 413-3181,
  • Electric Factory – This celebrated music venue draws local and national acts that entertain audiences in the low thousands. Standing room at stage level is typically all-ages, while a balcony with unbeatable views and a full bar accommodates the 21+ crowd. Past headliners include Kraftwerk, Miley Cyrus and Faith No More. 421 N. 7th Street, (215) 627-1332,
  • The Fire – A small and unassuming venue with an eclectic lineup of artists on the rise—Tegan and Sara, My Chemical Romance, Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz have played here—The Fire houses a full-service recording studio to capture the live shows. The venue/bar also hosts the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival. 412 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 925-6200,
  • North Bowl – Seventeen bowling lanes, an old-school photo booth, arcade games and a billiards area make this throwback a perfect pick for spending time with family, friends or a date. Tater tots served seven different ways seal the deal. 909 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-BOWL,
  • Ortlieb’s – A former jazz-only haven, the revived Ortlieb’s features up-and-coming rock bands and DJs, plus comedy open-mic nights on Mondays and karaoke on Tuesdays. The food menu includes tacos, quesadillas, burritos, guacamole and other Mexican specialties. 847 N. 3rd Street, (267) 324-3348,
  • Ruba Club – This 103-year-old event space houses a vintage cabaret-bar downstairs—complete with a dance floor, small stage, pool table and old Russian murals—and a full theatrical stage upstairs. The Ruba presents entertainment and experiences that have kept locals coming back for decades. 416 Green Street, (215) 627-9831,

Mixed Bags:

  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site – The writer of The Raven and The Tell Tale Heart lived in Philadelphia for six years, including one year at this now-historic site. Visitors can tour the house, learn about Poe’s life and work, observe his early editions and letters and even listen to music inspired by the famed 19th-century author. Hours vary seasonally. 532 N. 7th Street, (215) 597-8780,
  • Liberties Walk – People strolling down the four blocks of this mixed-use space see kids riding bikes, owners walking their dogs and friends enjoying the outdoors. Along the way, they can pop into independently owned stores to pick up gifts (for someone else or themselves) and various eateries for a satisfying snack or unforgettable meal. Begins at 1040 N. American Street
  • Liberty Lands – Throughout two acres, visitors find community gardens, a stormwater-maintenance rain garden, two playgrounds, a performance stage and trees. In addition to being a great spot for a picnic (benches are scattered throughout), Liberty Lands park hosts Halloween rides, festivals, outdoor movies and charity events. 926 N. American Street, (215) 627-6562,
  • Monarch – People eat, drink and swim at Monarch. Daily brunch, dinner, nightlife and themed parties draw crowds to the restaurant and outdoor patio, complete with swings. When the warm weather hits, guests use day, monthly or seasonal passes to take a dip in the salt-water pool, surrounded by lounge chairs and cabanas. 1031 Germantown Avenue, (215) 309-3690,
  • The Schmidt’s Commons – Inspired by Rome’s famed gathering centers, the open-air Commons sits in the former plot of Schmidt’s Brewery, embracing the neighborhood’s industrial past and vibrant present all at once. Surrounded by artists’ studios, shops and restaurants, The Schmidt’s Commons is bursting with activity all year—festivals, concerts, farmers’ markets and the like. People BYO chair to catch games and movies on the 40-foot LED screen. 2nd Street & Germantown Avenue,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

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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What's In The Neighborhood?

Rittenhouse Square

Long considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square isn’t just an enviable address. It’s a lifestyle. Home to a number of hotels along with dozens of restaurants and shops, Rittenhouse serves as a point of pride for locals and a favorite among out-of-towners.

Along Rittenhouse’s busy sidewalks—many with seating for alfresco dining and drinking in the warm months—residents and visitors find high-end stores; locally owned boutiques; small galleries; bargain stores; theaters and entertainment; cafes; beer, wine and cocktail bars; and restaurants of all kinds, from petite BYOBs to crowd-pleasing chains. The neighborhood buzzes with activity all