Establishment neighborhood
Rooster Soup Co.
1526 Sansom St., Rittenhouse
From the same people behind Zahav and Federal Donuts, Rooster is an amazing diner that uses the leftover chicken bones from Federal to create the broth base for their soups. With a menu that's both Southern- and Jewish-bent, you'll find everything from grits to biscuits and sausage gravy to matzo ball soup. The best part? 100 percent of the proceeds go to support the Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative, which serves meals to Philadelphians in need.
Federal Donuts
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.
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.
1831 Chestnut St., Rittenhouse
While it’s not exactly a hotel, Roost in Rittenhouse (there’s also a Midtown location) is where you want to post up when staying in town on a weekly or monthly basis. The one- and two-bedroom apartments come beautifully furnished with all the creature comforts—tricked out kitchens, on-site laundry, (real!) houseplants, and, brilliantly, Apple TV. The Roost team can also set you up with groceries, temporary gym memberships, and a 24-hourse concierge to meet pretty much every need and fancy. Best part: pets and kids are more than welcome.
Pizzeria Vetri
1615 Chancellor St., Rittenhouse
The dough here is so delicious that you can easily make a meal of the crusts alone—or order a Rotolo as an appetizer. The Napoletano-style pies cover all the toppings bases—margherita, porchetta, even a tuna—though after eating your way through the city, one of the salads, which are excellent (we like the arugula), is a lighter option. For dessert, the Nutella/marshmallow pizza is a big hit with the littles and so is the soft serve. The space is cozy, so you can watch the pies go in and out of the massive wood-fired oven from pretty much anywhere.
2031 Walnut St., Rittenhouse
Chef-owner Gregory Vernick’s namesake Rittenhouse Square restaurant is one of those spots that gets name-checked every time someone talks about the booming dining scene in Philly. And while it has topped many “best-of” lists in the last few years, we can say with certainty it’s worth all the hype. (There’s an entire corner of the menu dedicated to beautifully plated toasts—need we say more?) There are plates big (grilled black sea bass with spicy broccoli and saffron) and small (Maryland crab on toast), plus simple wood-fired Amish chicken and a fish of the day. The back dining room has the best views of the open kitchen, but the bar is just as nice if you can’t snag a reservation.