Establishment neighborhood
La Colombe
1335 Frankford Ave., Fishtown
Todd Carmichael has coffee in his roots. Well before founding La Colombe in Philly, a boutique coffee company and café that has sparked a sort of coffee revolution, with its canned draft lattes and pure black varieties, he lived in Seattle where he worked at a café that later became Starbucks. The businessman and traveler partnered with JP Iberti to start La Colombe with the goal of bringing sustainable, good coffee to the masses. In Philly, you can sip their brews at their locations in Fishtown, Rittenhouse Square (their first brick-and-mortar shop), Dilworth Plaza, and Independence Mall. Not in the city? They’re also in Boston, NYC, Chicago, DC, and LA, as well as on the shelves at various health food stores.
Philly Style Bagels
1451 E. Columbia Ave., Fishtown
What’s a Philly-style bagel? According to bakers Collin Shapiro and Jonathon Zilber, it’s boiling the dough in beer-spiked water. The resulting bagel is crispy on the outside and pillow-y on the inside with a delicate malty flavor. For purists, have your sesame, poppy, garlic, onion, salt, everything, or plain bagel simply toasted with spread (smoked salmon is a favorite). For the adventurous, there are bagel sandwiches—from hummus and veggie to BLT.
Pizzeria Beddia
115 E. Girard Ave., Fishtown
With skimpy opening hours (Wednesday through Saturday, 5:30pm to 10:30pm, or until they sell out) and a strict 40-pies-a-day rule, it’s no surprise that Pizzeria Bedia is essentially a one-man show: owner and baker Joe Beddia painstakingly makes all the dough by hand. People tend to line up hours before opening to get their hands on what many consider to be some of the best pies in the country, which can make for a fun little adventure if you’ve got older-ish kids in tow.
Minnow Lane
2029 Frankford Ave., Fishtown
A beautiful, expertly curated one-stop shop for sustainability-conscious parents, this Fishtown boutique is an indispensible resource for non-toxic products, organic-cotton clothing, tried-and-true toys, strollers, and furniture, and so much more. Locals also come here for breastfeeding support groups, cloth diapering workshops, baby-care classes, and for help finding doulas, nannies, and specialists. Their consignment section is a goldmine of gently loved baby clothes, gear, and maternity wear—brilliant.
9 W. Girard Ave., Fishtown
If you had to describe an ice cream shop as “cute as a button” this would be it: Here, in a pocket of Fishtown, husband-and-wife duo Andy and Jen Satinsky lovingly churn out French-style ice cream one batch at a time. The organic cream comes from Seven Stars Farm in Chester County and the eggs from nearby Sandy Ridge—plus they’ll incorporate fresh and in-season ingredients, so no two batches are totally alike. This summer, standouts included blueberry breakfast (cinnamon toast oat ice cream plus blueberry swirl) and summer jam, a chocolate ice cream with marshmallow fluff. The ice cream sandwiches, like blueberry on a cardamom graham cracker are pretty epic, too.
Frankfort Hall
1210 Frankford Ave., Fishtown
Perfect for day drinking when it’s nice out, this German-style beer garden has everything you’d hope it would: ample outdoor seating in the form of picnic benches (and outdoor heaters, plus space inside, for when it’s chilly), some greenery, a lots of German beer served in steins, and really good giant pretzels. Their menu also includes schnitzel and six different types of sausages, among some other gems—plus, they’ve got classic games on deck like ping-pong and Jenga.
Root Resto & Wine Bar
1206 Frankford Ave., Fishtown
A newer tapas spot in Philly’s booming Fishtown neighborhood, Root serves up an American twist on Italian and Spanish small plates including black cavatelli and lamb chops with lemon and mint. But what we love most is the impressive cheese plate with local selections from Pennsylvania and Vermont and further variations from Spain. With its chic interiors and progressive cocktail list (go for the Fishtown Mule with rhubarb bitters and grapefruit juice), this is one of our favorite spots for a fun night out with friends. (Pro tip: They also have an excellent brunch.)
31 E. Columbia Ave., Fishtown
Named for the Mexican artist Ulises Carrión—who founded a groundbreaking space in Amsterdam in the '70s, dedicated to artists’ publications—this small, aspirational art-book store is just a few years old, and already something that feels like part of the fabric of the North Philly community. Filled with contemporary artists’ books and independent art publications, Ulises is also very much an exhibition space: They host events around quarterly themes; through October 1, Ulises presents “Migrations,” a meditation on how communities experience refuge and movement, explored through artists’ video, photography, and readings—plus screenings and lectures.