Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Feb 12 2016

What's In The Pennsport & East Passyunk Neighborhoods?

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shops, Salons, Parks & Recreation In South Philadelphia's Pennsport & East Passyunk Avenue Neighborhoods

For decades, 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, especially on the food front, with many new restaurants opening and gaining enormous acclaim from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine and Eater, an influential online outlet that put East Passyunk eateries in nine of the top 10 spots on the winter 2016 edition of its Eater 38 list of essential Philadelphia’s restaurants.

Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced pashunk by those in the know) find eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Mexican and Japanese 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.

Here’s a look at the people and places making these neighborhoods worth a visit:

PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE NEIGHBORHOODS GREAT:

  • Nancy Trachtenberg – This longtime restaurant server and bartender was a South Philly pioneer when she opened her first corner coffee shop, Binna’s Café, at 8th and Wharton Streets in 2004. Four years later, the single mom debuted B2 at East Passyunk Avenue and Dickinson Street. In 2015, she opened Benna’s West, a couple blocks away on South Broad Street in the emergent Newbold neighborhood. Though each coffee shop is unique, they all offer classic to creative drinks, great sandwiches and hip, artsy vibes. (267) 334-9204, nancytrachtenberg@gmail.com
  • Francis Cratil Cretarola – The Le Virtù and Brigantessa co-owner used his degrees in history and creative writing and his Florence- and Rome-based Italian studies to establish authentic Abruzzi dining at the base of East Passyunk Avenue in 2007. He and co-owner and wife Cathy Lee have lived in East Passyunk since 1996 and have made it their business to connect Le Virtù’s cuisine to that of their neighbors with Italian roots. In 2014, the couple joined chef Joe Cicala in debuting Brigantessa, featuring pastas, pizzas and other dishes from Southern Italy. (215) 300-8291, levirtuphila@gmail.com
  • Sara Villari – An architect by degree, Villari is better known for her silk-screen designs, sold in her East Passyunk design-minded gift shop Occasionette. A longtime supporter and onetime resident of South Philly, she relocated her studio to the neighborhood in 2010 and opened her destination shop, stocking artisan-made items, fabulous cards and gift wrap, a few years later. (215) 465-1704, sara@occaasionette.com
  • Albert Stumm – Editor and creator of the blog Passyunk Post, Stumm saw his sideline project garner its 500,000th hit in 2015. The neighborhood resident and Associated Press desk editor and reporter runs a team that covers breaking neighborhood news, heavy on South Philadelphia’s housing market, restaurants and retail happenings. (267) 974-9556, punk@passyunkpost.com
  • Bob Logue – If it weren’t for this guy, Philly would be without the now famous Federal Donuts. The Pennsport resident, who owns Center City’s two Bodhi Coffees, spotted an old Pennsport pizza parlor and pulled in partners Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov to create the first of the city’s five-and-growing doughnut-and-fried chicken sensations. A native of the city’s Frankford section, Logue, a father of twin girls, moved to Pennsport in 2004 in order to become part of “the neighborhood that time forgot.” (215) 605-5360, bobby@bohdicoffeephila.com

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
  • Bing Bing Dim Sum – Turnip cakes, soup dumplings and mushroom-stuffed bao buns are among the hot items on this popular small-plates eatery’s menu, where inventive Asian cocktails come by the glass or pitcher, and the walls are covered in original cartoons. (215) 279-7702, bingbingdimsum.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 cheeses) 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
  • 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 the musical dining room and crave-worthy pizzas, sandwiches and beer in 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. Additional locations in Center City and Ardmore. 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. 1231-1233 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 278-2429, garagephilly.com
  • Gennaro’s Tomato Pies – Owned by Mike Giammarino, who also owns Lombardi’s in New York City’s Little Italy, this Passyunk Square newcomer channels 1950s Italian-American kitsch with tiled floors, neon signs and old photos, and delivers some of the neighborhood’s most straightforward and delicious pizzas, including to-die-for pesto and classic whole-milk mozzarella red pie. 1533 S. 11th Street, (215) 463-5070
  • 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 both 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 bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot 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, izumiphilly.com
  • LaurelTop Chef season 11 winner Nick Elmi helms this pint-sized BYOB, where he’s known for his painstakingly inventive 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 rustic atmosphere, and the seasonal menu melds local produce and house-made salumi with artisanal delicacies like honey and sheep’s milk cheeses. 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, owned by Chef 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 lime- and mint-dressed grilled octopus 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-by-day, sit-down-by-evening operation recently inspired two newer locations, one in Queen Village and another in Rittenhouse. All-day specialties begin with chorizo-and-egg sandwiches and cappuccinos, end with beet-cured salmon and wine cocktails, with gourmet sandwiches and salads in between. 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 Philadelphia 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. Warm, knowledgeable staff enhances the dining experience. 1915 Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-3870, trescaliniphiladelphia.com
  • South Philly Barbacoa – When a food truck became this brick-and-mortar operation, lovers of authentic Mexican lamb tacos rejoiced. Petite and vibrant, the business belongs to Chef Cristina Martinez, who recently began grinding her own masa for her tortillas. 1703 S. 11th Street, (215) 694-3767
  • Stargazy – Competing for one of this English foodery’s three tables has become somewhat of a friendly sport among fans of braised lamb shank curry pies, Cornish pasties, jellied or stewed eels and sausage rolls. It’s not uncommon for chef-owner Sam Jacobsen to post photos of himself holding a “sold out” sign. 1838 E. Passyunk Avenue
  • 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. And the sidewalk bar attracts warm-weather fans. 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 venison. An elegant yet gently wielded wine list matches the menu. 1623 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 639-3203, townsendrestaurant.com
  • Triangle Tavern – The folks behind Cantina Los Caballitos revived a much-loved local watering hole after it lay unoccupied for years. Their remedy: bar food (meatball and roast beef sandwiches, fries), plus traditional Italian-American dishes (fried calamari, eggplant parmesan) with a healthy dose of vegetarian items and beer in-between. 1338 S. 10th Street, (215) 800-1992, triangletavernphilly.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 coffee (including Vietnamese iced) 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 coffee (in-house only) 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, open spring through fall, 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 a place they have to brag about. 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 shop opened, bringing video rentals—and more—back. What to expect: 1,600 films available for rent, ReAnimator coffee, homemade brownies, vegan doughnuts 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
  • 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 bourbon vanilla—with passersby. 1611 E. Passyunk Avenue, (917) 751-7044, vanilyabakery.com

Shop Around:

  • 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
  • Analog Watch Co. – Minimalist, eco-friendly designs are the hallmark of this up-and-coming studio-shop, where Japanese quartz-movement watches are adorned with maple, teak, bamboo, white marble and off-cut lumber exteriors. 1214 Moore Street, (484) 808-5831, analogwatchco.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, grab brew-appropriate snacks and drink in or take out. Monthly events include beer tastings and Quizzo. 1616 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, cute clothes and shoes and parents-to-be and baby-and-me 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
  • Fabric Horse – Messenger bags and U-lock holsters are de rigueur in this part of town and in this studio. Here, bikers and others snatch up made-on-premises versions, plus backpacks, utility belts, totes and more. 1737 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 480-1934, fabrichorse.com
  • Frame Fatale – Every refurbished row house requires proper displays for its vintage prints and flea-marketed art, and this funky, budget-minded frame shop is the place to score the perfect glitter, antique or understated casing for such treasures. 1813 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-0904, framefatale.com
  • Jinxed – One of five locations in Philadelphia, this vintage furnishings and housewares shop offers velvet armchairs, Victorian photographs, old lockers and Deco art, plus the T-shirts that got the business started. 1835 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 551-2345, jinxedphiladelphia.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. 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 Villari (formerly Selepouchin), the founder and maker of 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
  • ReUp – Classic Air Jordans and throwback Adidas line the sleek shelves at this new and consignment sneaker (mostly basketball shoes) shop. Collectors can scoop up rare LeBron Zooms or get their Kevin Durants cleaned in-house. 1713 S. 12th Street, (267) 318-7493, reupphilly.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
  • Volta Market – Although best known for its owners line of beautifully packaged, handmade, all-natural soaps, this corner store also stocks herbal teas and elixirs, green home products, lovely mugs and more. 1439 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 500-5874, voltamarket.com

Lookin’ Good On The Avenue:

  • Fringe Salon – A welcoming spot for a trim, day-glo 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. In August of 2016, the salon plans to move to a larger space on the fourth floor of former vocational school Edward Bok at 1901 S. 9th Street. 1728 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 339-1778, fringesalononline.com
  • Meister’s Barbershop – It was only a matter of time until a rotating red-, white- and blue-striped pole graced Passyunk Avenue in true vintage style. Owner Rob Baumeister set up an old-fashioned business for cuts, beard trims and shaves with chairs from the 50s and fades for days. 1810 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 309-3169, meistersbarbershop.com
  • Miss Demeanor – A butcher shop became a women’s boutique when Julia Grassi moved in her stock of made-in-America frocks and fair-trade separates, displaying accessories on the old cutting table and hanging merchandise from meat hooks. 1739 E. Passyunk Avenue, missdemeanor.com
  • Mockingbird Salon – Modern cuts and colors, plus conditioning treatments, perms and blowouts in an Anthropologie-like atmosphere, make “the bird” a favorite of the neighborhood’s effortlessly on-point 20- and 30-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

PENNSPORT:
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
  • The Beer Peddlers – Smartly located next door to a Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits store, this huge brew emporium stocks craft to big-name beers and offers tastings and events. 1942 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 755-2337
  • 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, lemon meringue, black-and-white). 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 fill 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 through early dinnertime 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
  • Pennsport Beer Boutique – More than 500 varieties of beer fill the refrigerators and eight pour from the taps in this takeout or drink-in neighborhood spot, with indoor and outdoor seating. Dogs welcome to hang out in the latter. 242 Wharton Street, (215) 372-7424, pennsportbeerboutique.com
  • Pub on Wolf – This low-key workaday taproom has Pabst on draft for drinking, games for playing (pool and darts) and baskets of fries and Guinness chili for devouring. 2301 S. Front Street, (215) 271-1556, pubonwolf.com
  • Warmdaddy’s – Philly’s famed Bynum brothers preside over this popular nightspot, where patrons enjoy nightly live blues and Sunday jazz and Southern-infused soul food. 1400 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 462-2000, warmdaddys.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/Washington Avenue Pier – This 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. Columbus Boulevard at Washington Avenue, washingtonavenuegreen.com
  • Pier 68 – The latest of the Delaware River waterfront piers offers a half-acre of fishing space, wide benches and a tree canopy surrounded by native plants. Soon, the public space will connect via a pathway to the Washington Avenue Pier. 1751 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 629-3200, delawareriverwaterfront.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

Costumed Culture:

  • 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® 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.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

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