1632 Sansom St., Rittenhouse
Yes, the donuts at this teeny spot are exceptional (flavors rotate and the cinnamon brown sugar is a good introduction to what they do here), but many would argue that the main draw is the fried chicken. Instead of a biscuit, chicken platters—customize yours with a choice of seasonings and glazes—come with a honey donut on the side. Get here on the early side, the fresh-baked stuff tends to go crazy-fast and plan on eating yours on-the-go as seating as limited.
Art in the Age
116 N. 3rd St., Old City
You don’t have to be a mixology enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of this cocktail-and-bar-centric shop, but if you are, welcome to mecca. The shelves are beautifully merchandised with bottles of booze (both classic and indie), every alcohol-related book imaginable, obscure mixers, garnishes, and a dizzying selection of bar tools—plus, you’ll find incredibly knowledgeable staff to show you how to put it all to good use. Not a DIY-er? The space plays host to lots of tastings and booze-related events, so make sure to inquire about the social calendar.
47 N. 2nd St., Old City
Doing vintage in a way that feels fresh and current is no easy feat, and the folks behind this local-adored shop do it exceptionally well. The secret is in the mix of new and old: pre-loved Levi’s, concert tees, and leathers marched alongside Cuttalossa-designed linens, candles, and giftables. Make sure to check in regarding events as the owners constantly host music- and art-themed events.
Shop Sixty Five
128 S. 17th St., Rittenhouse
It’s really no surprise that this relatively new Rittenhouse boutique (undeniably one of the best places to shop in the city) is helmed by former fashion editor. There's Current/Elliott denim, Helmut Lang knits, Dannijo jewelry, and so much more are as wearable as they are on-trend, meaning, you can see exactly where your loot will fit within an existing wardrobe before you bring it home. With its elaborate fireplace, antique furnishings, and gleaming hardwood floors, the layout is more akin to a cool friend’s apartment than a retail space.
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.
276 S. 20th St., Rittenhouse
Out of context, this teeny bistro looks like it was plucked right off a quiet European side street—and the same can be said of the Mediterranean menu (note the seasonal specials written out on a chalkboard): grilled baby octopus, watermelon with feta cheese, and really well done fish, like the potato-crusted ahi. Diners are responsible for their own wine pairings (BYOB).
300 E. Girard Ave., Fishtown
This happy, sun-soaked spot is ideal for a chill meal—whether you’re looking for a quickie pastry-and-coffee breakfast, a healthy-ish salad for lunch, or a place to post up for an early happy hour. Some menu highlights: The Girard breakfast sandwich (grilled avo, egg, and cheese), the chicken sandwich, and the vegan (!!!) biscuits and gravy. Their local-adored BYOB policy is also worth mentioning.
210 W. Washington Sq., Society Hill
While there’s plenty of indoor seating, as its name suggests, the place to be is in the garden—twinkling lights and pockets of lush greenery throughout. The only thing more whimsical than the setting is the farm-to-table menu, from deviled eggs three ways for brunch (topped with pickled beets, fresh crab, and bacon) to sustainably sourced salmon tabbouleh for dinner. Also important: the wine and cheese selection is arguably the best in the city.
1623 E. Passyunk Ave., East Passyunk
Helmed by chef Townsend Wentz, a reservation at this modern-French restaurant is worthy of a special occasion. It’s set up inside a residential-looking townhouse, which makes for an atmosphere that’s simultaneously unintimidating and elegant. You can order a la carte, though we suggest going all out with the five-course tasting menu. Even if you’re not looking for a sit-down meal, stop by for a drink—the bar here is impeccably stocked with a cocktail list to match.
261 S. 20th St., Rittenhouse
This is one of those fail-proof neighborhood spots where you’re guaranteed a great meal on date night—or any night when you simply don’t feel like cooking. You can go simple with a perfectly prepped burger, or go light with a veggie stir-fry, and for dessert the berry cobbler is bomb.
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