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Philadelphia City Guide

City Guide: Philadelphia | A Cup of Jo


Philadelphia City Guide

Philadelphia native and Yowie retailer proprietor Shannon Maldonado can promote you on visiting her metropolis in a matter of moments. “Philly is a hidden gem,” she says. “Now we have now excellent consuming locations, a dwell music scene, and some of probably the most beautiful historic construction on the planet.” Proper right here, for our city guide series, she shares her favorite spots…

Shannon Maldonado Philadelphia City Guide

Shannon Maldonado: I was born and raised in South Philadelphia. My favorite issue about dwelling proper right here is the sense of neighborhood. I inform everyone that Philly is a small metropolis dressed up as a metropolis. You presumably can’t go anyplace with out working into any person! As soon as I used to be a toddler, that small neighborhood feeling is what drove me away, nevertheless as an grownup, it’s what launched me once more.


Philly City Guide

Shannon’s favorite matcha at Res Ipsa café

Definitely considered one of my favorite places in all of Philly is effectively Res Ipsa in Rittenhouse Sq.. By day, Res Ipsa is a quiet café — the savory egg sandwich paired with iced matcha is my non-public favorite. At night time time, it modifications to a bustling restaurant serving handmade pasta and totally different unforgettable dishes. On the ground, it seems to be like fancier than it is, nevertheless the employees is SO fairly and makes the experience actually really feel warmth and accessible. Michael, the top chef, just about chases you out the door with desserts. It’s BYOB, so seize your favorite bottle of Grüner or Pinot on the way in which through which! And within the occasion you’re visiting on a weekend, don’t neglect to make a reservation.

K’Far — a model new café from James Beard Award winner Camille Cogswell (moreover behind our beloved Israeli restaurant Zahav) — is a welcome addition to the Rittenhouse area. As shortly as you open the door, you’re met with cotton-candy colored decor and the sweet, welcoming waitstaff. Observe the scents to look out unimaginable baked objects, like Jerusalem bagels and chocolate rugelach. Get there early, as there’s usually a line out the door. Say hey to Yasmin, the general supervisor, for me!

Philadelphia City Guide

The scene at Mission Taqueria

In case you’re throughout the mood for a pleasant time, check out the colorful, plant-filled Mission Taqueria in Coronary heart Metropolis. I wish to suggest the empanadas, along with each little factor on their cocktail menu — their drinks are dangerously delicious. It’s moreover home to Taco Lab, a collaborative month-to-month event the place cooks create one-of-a-kind menus, and Art at Mission, a rotating showcase of assorted native experience.

On a sunny nook throughout the Bella Vista neighborhood, you’ll uncover Ricci’s Hoagies, a family operated Italian sandwich retailer that’s been slinging delicious hoagies since 1920. A chalkboard lists simple objects like “Turkey”, “Italian” or “Cheese.” Order the basics, then switch to the side in order so as to add your toppings: no muss, no fuss, nevertheless so delicious. I’m not a cheesesteak specific individual (sorry, Philadelphia!), nevertheless I’d say a great hoagie on light bread, a bag of salty chips and seltzer water is a ought to. Their turkey is sliced so skinny, it hits the bread like a fluffy cloud. There’s nowhere to take a seat down contained within the retailer, so take your sandwich to the considered one of many many shut by parks.


Philly City Guide

Rittenhouse Sq. Park

To me, Rittenhouse Square Park (and additional significantly 18th between Walnut and Locust) is means and away in all probability probably the most romantic pocket in Philadelphia. I grew up hanging at this park, and now as an grownup it’s nonetheless a spot I return every week, even when it’s to take a seat down and reply emails. Rittenhouse Sq. is one amongst our oldest parks, and likewise one of many very important numerous: you’ll see ALL of the people of Philadelphia proper right here, an actual cross a part of the city at large. I like sitting open air at shut by Joe Coffee and people watching, or grabbing a glass of wine at Parc, a beloved French bistro all through from the park. For a second, you get a method of Paris in Philadelphia, and it’s magical.

The realm spherical Rittenhouse Sq. could be home to Philadelphia’s largest shopping district, with retailers large and small, along with many consuming locations, so it’s an vital place to spend time exploring on foot.

On a breezy morning, it is potential you will catch my sister and me on a stretch of Schuylkill River Trail, the place we’ll typically take weights to do workouts throughout the park. It manages to be every quiet and lively with people strolling their canines, jogging, utilizing bikes and commuting to work. The trail has beautiful views of the city and parkway, and they also’re setting up it out more and more yearly. On the weekends, it’s home to many picnics, gatherings and households exploring the city. It’s possible you’ll as effectively check out an exhibit on the shut by Philadelphia Museum of Art after which head proper right here afterward for barely stroll.


Yowie Philadelphia

Shannon’s retailer, YOWIE

In case you come to Philly, I hope you’ll make it to YOWIE. Our Queen Village retailer carries artists’ works from near and far, along with ceramics, books and graphic tees. The shop is positioned on a historic block of Philadelphia that was our garment district. As soon as I used to be a toddler, I used to purchase proper right here for material with my mom, and I like that the neighborhood has a combination of earlier and new. YOWIE could be very curated — it has white partitions and a white floor, and people sometimes ask if it’s a gallery. Nevertheless when you stroll in, I’m usually the nice face to greet you and talk about your head off, and likewise you’ll uncover it’s fully welcoming and welcoming and accessible! Quite a lot of prospects wind up hanging out throughout the retailer and easily talking about well-liked tradition, info, or irrespective of is on their ideas. I want to suppose it’s better than solely a spot to purchase, it’s a spot to connect.

Philly City Guide

Lapstone & Hammer

With Lapstone & Hammer, locals Brian Nadav and Kate Rohe created hands-down in all probability probably the most beautiful sneaker retailer in Philadelphia. The enticing, bi-level space has nods to its paintings deco earlier; whereas wanting, it is potential you will find yourself taking many images of the within. Moreover they carry frequently garments staples and hard-to-find labels in sportswear, streetwear and jewelry.


Philly City Guide

The Deacon Resort

I’m admittedly biased, as The Deacon was an inside design problem I labored on, nevertheless I promise you, it’s seemingly one of the crucial unique stays you presumably can have in Philadelphia — or anyplace! Housed inside a 1906 Watson & Huckel designed church, The Deacon is a boutique resort and event space. It was designed to be a spot to gather, honoring the church’s distinctive ethos of neighborhood. There are eight resort rooms, each designed to really feel and seem completely totally different. My favorite is mattress room amount seven, which has in all probability probably the most insane pure light and a finding out nook, with quite a few paintings books, along with some I donated from my non-public assortment! And like the entire rooms, it has an beautiful stained glass window correct above the mattress. It’s the form of place the place you uncover one factor completely totally different every time you go to.

With three locations in Philadelphia, ROOST apartment hotels are a snug reprieve. Instead of standard resort rooms, ROOST’s areas are nearer to residences, each furnished with a full-size kitchen. I just like the idea of selecting up an space cookbook from Dizengoff, an Israeli-style hummus spot, and attempting a dish or two. Moreover they’ve walk-in rainfall showers and a coffee program, (along with beans, a grinder, and a Chemex coffeemaker correct in your room) with neighbors La Colombe, which acquired its start shut by.

Philly City Guide

A room on the Lokal Resort

Lokal is Philadelphia’s first invisible service resort — which means there’s no concierge. Each factor is self-serve, you merely buzz in alongside together with your non-public code, and stroll up! Each room has a kitchenette stocked with native teas, and an unlimited booklet with choices of points to do. The experience feels very intimate and cozy. Their first location is in Old City, one amongst Philadelphia’s most beautiful neighborhoods and a quick stroll from all of our historic actions similar to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. In case you need staying in a further bustling area of metropolis, they’ve a model new location in Fishtown, an up-and-coming, eclectic neighborhood with tons of bars, consuming locations and music spots.


Philadelphia is a small and walkable metropolis, so pack comfortable footwear and don’t be afraid to find on foot. That’s my favorite resolution to see the city, as a result of it’s the best method to perceive the construction and smaller particulars it is potential you will miss in a car. However, it’s moreover easy to get spherical by bike or cab. I wish to suggest visiting in early fall, when the leaves are altering nevertheless it’s not too chilly however, or in spring, when there are tons of cherry blossoms. (They seem unimaginable when in bloom, and since the timber shed the petals, Philly’s abundance of cute alleyways are littered in pink.) At any time of 12 months, Philly is the proper place to go for a shorter getaway, on account of you presumably can see somewhat lots in only some days.

Thanks lots, Shannon! We’re capable of’t wait to go to. In case you’ve been to Philly or dwell there, what else would you add?

P.S. More city guides, and 14 great reader tips on travel.

(Res Ipsa, Lapstone & Hammer and Mission Taqueria images by Marc Williams. Okay’Far photograph courtesy of Okay’Far. Lokal Resort and Deacon Resort images by Heidi’s Bridge. YOWIE photograph by A. Rickets for Visit Philadelphia. Deacon Resort room inside photograph by Jillian Guyette. Philly skyline photograph by Bradley Maule.)


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