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CNB Business News: What's In The Neighborhood? Fishtown And The River Wards

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Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond—collectively known as the River Wards—are some of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. New restaurants, bars, music venues, art galleries and residents are quickly transforming the makeup of these formerly working-class sections along the Delaware River. In case people want to spend leisure time at home with friends and family, has nice option you can consider buying and keep in your backyard.


Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar (DiPinto Guitars), drink craft beer while playing Skee-Ball (Garage North), eat stellar Yugoslavian food (Jovan’s Place), sample site-made craft whiskeys (New Liberty Distillery) and visit the world’s only pizza museum (Pizza Brain).


Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor serves as home base for many of the city’s rising artists, and both residents and tourists can take in new gallery offerings every First Friday along the avenue and its environs. From Fishtown, development and expansion has spread to the rest of the River Wards, bringing new energy.

As with many neighborhoods in Philly, the River Wards’ borders are subject to debate. General boundaries: Fishtown begins at the Delaware River on the east. To the west, it’s separated from Olde Kensington by Front Street. From Fishtown, Kensington picks up around Norris Street to the north, and Port Richmond is a bit north of that. There’s also East Kensington and Olde Richmond, depending whom you ask. The River Wards begin 2 miles north of Old City and 2.5 miles northeast of City Hall.

From Center City, the River Wards are easily accessed via cab or car share, by biking or taking SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line to the Girard or Berks stations. Those in the Fairmount section of the city can take the restored trolley system that runs on Girard Avenue. Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Casual Dining:

  • Andy’s Chicken – Crispy, crackling Korean fried chicken served with a variety of sauces—that’s the star at this no-frills takeout spot. Chef Andy Choi’s take on Korean classics such as bulgogi, kimchi and pork fried rice round out the menu. Regulars know to call ahead to reserve their chicken for dinner. 2001 Memphis Street, (215) 291-0700,
  • Bait & Switch – This seafood eatery and bar lends a nautical, New England-y vibe to Port Richmond. Patrons eating both inside and on the patio can order the popular “Bait Bucket”—Old Bay fries and cheese curds topped with New England clam chowder in…well, a bait bucket. 2537 E. Somerset Street, (267) 639-5041,
  • Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen – This 50-seat, retro-American restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner with a dose of contemporary Southern soul. Alongside new takes on traditional dishes—kale burger, fried egg BLT—15 taps showcase a variety of American craft, German and Belgian beers. 2370 E. Norris Street, (215) 423-5400,
  • Cheu Noodle Bar – Taking after its sister restaurants in Washington Square West and East Passyunk (called Bing Bing Dim Sum), the Fishtown Cheu upholds the traditions of serving interesting takes on Asian dishes and not taking itself very seriously. Buns, dumplings and noodles come in a variety of forms, and the snacks and drinks make it a popular happy hour and nighttime spot. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269,
  • Cook and Shaker – Cook and Shaker is festooned with reclaimed wood and exposed brick. On offer: local beers, seasonal artisanal cocktails and locally sourced snacks, including fried Buffalo Brussels sprouts, tater tots, pierogi and grilled kielbasa. 2301 Albert Street, (215) 426-2665,
  • Eatalia – This affordable northern Italian bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot offers classics such as caprese salad and veal piccata, along with homemade desserts made fresh daily. Guests who’d rather rekindle the spark at home—or in their hotel room—can opt for takeout. 2723 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 423-6911,
  • Ekta Indian Cuisine – Vegetarians and meat eaters alike find a lot to love at this Indian BYOB. Kadai chicken, lamb saagwala and homemade cottage cheese cubes with spinach (saag aur paneer) dot an expansive menu, and naan lovers, take heart: Ekta serves 16 different types, all cooked in a charcoal-fired tandoor oven. 250 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 426-2277,
  • Front Street Cafe – So much more than a cafe, this versatile space opens at 7 a.m., offering coffee and fresh juices to neighbors on their commute. The full-service restaurant serves healthy and sustainable breakfast, lunch and dinner with vegan and gluten-free options, while the bar draws happy hour crowds with cocktail specials. In warmer months, the patio, garden and outdoor bar turn into an urban oasis. 1253 N. Front Street, (215) 513-3073,
  • Gaul & Co. – Leave it to Port Richmond, Philadelphia to deliver a kielbasa cheesesteak—the “Wit or Witowski.” The Polish take on the city’s iconic sandwich isn’t just hype; it’s just as tasty as the bar’s other dishes, such as its many takes on fries. 3133 Gaul Street, (215) 423-7878,
  • Girard – This chic BYOB bruncherie serves breakfast and lunch all day. Dishes such as avocado toast and the daily $5 early-morning breakfast special have regulars and first-timers saying “oui oui,” and Elixir coffee, teas, fresh-squeezed OJ and pastries are available at the grab-and-go coffee bar. 300 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 457-2486,
  • Good Spoon – Soup lovers rejoiced when this Philly wholesaler expanded to a cafe stocked with a rotating selection of four soups, sandwiches, salads and sides, all made with local, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. Fans know to check Instagram for the daily menu changes and extra treats like cookies, pastries and fresh juices that pop up throughout the week. 1401 N. Front Street, (267) 239-5787,
  • Heffe – With the motto, “tacos that don’t suck,” Heffe’s confidence in its menu more than makes up for what it lacks in space. Guests order creative tacos, burritos and quesadillas from the walk-up window and dine outside at the red picnic tables, where heat lamps keep them warm all year round. 1431 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-2309,
  • Interstate Draft House – At the bar, restaurant and outdoor patio of this Southwest-style locale, people chow on alligator and beef chili, grilled seitan tips and burgers topped with applewood bacon and mac and cheese, and they wash it all down with refreshing brews. Tuesday nights rival the weekends here, thanks to $1 tacos and $4 select draft beers. 1235 E. Palmer Street, (267) 455-0045,
  • Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop – The staff at this cheesesteak spot have been slinging the classic sandwich since 1949 at its mom-and-pop shop in Northeast Philadelphia. The Fishtown location stays true to tradition, serving the 68-year-old recipe with beef or chicken and alongside milkshakes, ice cream sodas and egg creams. 1 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 423-5637,
  • Johnny’s Hots – Fans swear by this workaday breakfast-and-lunch joint. The simple menu relies on classics—and one unusual combination; there are egg sandwiches, hot dogs, cheesesteaks and “surf and turf,” hot dog and fish cake sandwiches. 1234 N. Delaware Avenue, (215) 423-2280
  • Jovan’s Place – This family-operated neighborhood hang feels more like someone’s living room than a restaurant, serving authentic Yugoslavian cooking, right down to the chicken noodle soup. With ingredients picked up fresh daily, Jovan’s schnitzel, mom’s hand-rolled stuffed cabbage and dad’s bean soup always deliver. 2327 E. York Street, (215) 634-3330,
  • Kostas – A laid-back atmosphere, three pool tables and classic Greek food keep customers happy, while friendly bartenders and weekly drink specials keep them coming back. 15 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 639-2417,
  • Lil’ Lina’s Slices & Scoops – It’s right in the name. People come here for pizza: Trenton-style thin-crust and “Augustus Gloop,” topped with Nutella, graham cracker crumble, marshmallows and chocolate jimmies. The shop’s $4 “Milkshake Mondays” make the first weekday a little more bearable. 2513 Tulip Street, (215) 309-3342,
  • Little Baby’s Ice Cream – Specializing in handmade, super-premium ice cream created with locally sourced ingredients, Little Baby’s has earned a major fan base in the city and beyond. The dazzling flavors, ranging from balsamic banana and cardamom caramel to non-dairy flavors such as earl gray Sriracha, taste as interesting and delicious as they sound. 2311 Frankford Avenue, (267) 687-8567,
  • Mad Rex – The post-apocalyptic theme isn’t just for movies and books anymore. Mad Rex brings it to the food world through dark décor, a virtual reality lounge and a “Survivor’s Menu” of meats guests cook at table over hot black rocks. 1000 Frankford Avenue, (267) 773-7566,
  • Medusa – In a former meatpacking warehouse turned BYOB, the Villico family serves wood-fired pizza, baked pasta, calzones, sandwiches, salads and pizza fritta, a deep-fried turnover. Espresso and desserts such as Nutella-stuffed pizzas and Sicilian cannoli finish the meal. 2327 Gaul Street, (215) 644-8383,
  • Mercer Café – Port Richmond locals often find themselves at Mercer for breakfast and lunch—and for good reason. The a.m. favorites include mascarpone French toast and a variety of pancakes, while midday brings salads, burgers and a long list of sandwiches, such as the BLT, cheesesteak and roast port sandwich. 2619 E. Westmoreland Street, (215) 426-2153,
  • Mugshot Diner – At this 5,000-square-foot corner eatery, vibrant colors and glowing neon set a retro tone that combines kitsch with style. Crowds frequent Mugshot for a wide selection of dishes, from filling breakfasts such as banana-stuffed French toast and creamed chipped beef to classic diner fare including the Reuben sandwich and Mediterranean chicken wrap. 2424 E. York Street, (215) 426-2424,
  • Pizza Brain – Luckily for pizza fans, this Fishtown pizzeria doubles as the world’s first—and largest, according to Guinness—pizza museum, complete with pizza-related vinyl records and pizza-bearing action figures, from Homer Simpson to Spider-Man. With pie names like “Forbes Waggensense” and “Felix Huppert,’ the brick-oven pies are as quirky as their home. 2313 Frankford Avenue, (215) 291-2965,
  • Pizzeria Beddia – Anointed “the best pizza in America” by Bon Appétit, Joe Beddia’s cash-only pizzeria serves a tiny menu of 16” pies, and when they’re sold out for the day, latecomers are out of luck. Regulars know to look for Beddia’s announcements of new ingredients, menu changes and the rare appearance of freshly baked loaves of organic bread made from extra pizza dough on Twitter. 115 E. Girard Avenue,
  • Sancho Pistola’s – Younger sibling of Jose Pistola’s in Center City, Sancho Pistola’s serves dinner and weekend brunch. Patrons pile in for hip takes on Mexican classics, a raw seafood bar and a stellar beer selection. 19 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 324-3530,
  • Sketch Burger – Huge hamburgers—in seven griddled versions, one with bacon and a fried egg, and build-your-own and vegan options—are the draw here, as are skin-on fries, thick milkshakes and house-made desserts. Diners can use paper and crayons to draw their odes to Sketch, which get taped on the walls. 413 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 634-3466,
  • SliCE – The BYOB Fishtown outpost of this local pizzeria is dedicated to organic, natural and hormone-free ingredients. Guests opt for whole-wheat dough, gluten-free or vegan pies, to eat in the petite dining room, or takeout. 431 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-1555,
  • Soup Kitchen Café – Open seven days a week, Soup Kitchen Café draws a loyal following for its hearty food selection, including meatloaf, crab cakes and chocolate-chip cookies—all homemade. Adding to the community-oriented vibe, the spot also showcases a rotating display of local art. 2146 E. Susquehanna Avenue, (215) 427-1680,
  • Stock – Small and minimal, this spot takes its pho seriously, with two varieties available: chicken or vegan mushroom. Starters, including green papaya salad, and coconut chia seed pudding for dessert round out the small menu. 308 E. Girard Avenue,
  • Streetside – Inspired by Southeast Asian street food, this casual, hidden gem BYOB serves authentic food with a twist from its tiny menu. Diners can “pho it up” with hand-cut beef pho or indulge in the popular vermicelli bowl served with a choice of protein and two “crispy parcels,” also known as fried spring rolls. 165 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 737-9165,
  • Syrenka Luncheonette – Just like Krakow golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls), borsht, kielbasa, sauerkraut and potato soup, pancakes and pierogi are standard fare at this warm, casual, longtime operation, a staple in historically (and currently) Polish Port Richmond. 3173 Richmond Street, (215) 634-3954
  • Tacconelli’s – Port Richmond residents would have preferred to keep this one a secret, but no luck, thanks to the incredible pies at this BYOB. The vibe is decidedly “neighborhood”—cash-only and a limit of three toppings per pie—and people are encouraged to call ahead to reserve their dough. 2604 E Somerset Street, (215) 425-4983,
  • Taila’s Mediterranean Restaurant & Grille – Hand-rolled bagels boiled in real New York water—yes, really—bring the bagel and breakfast sandwich lovers to this mostly take-out spot. Deli sandwiches, fresh muffins, Mediterranean dishes and wings satisfy everyone else. 122 Girard Avenue, (215) 413-9737,
  • TartAreperia 18.64 – Just under the Girard Station entrance to the Market-Frankford Line (“the El”), an unassuming shop churns out traditional Venezuelan food. The highlight: fried cornmeal arepas stuffed with a variety of fillings. Twice-monthly salsa nights bring beginners and talented dancers to the space. 1204 N. Front Street, (215) 982-1150,
  • The Dinner House – If you’re in proudly Polish Port Richmond, the Dinner House is, well, where’s for dinner (and lunch). This simple little spot is known for the cuisine’s greatest hits, plus less known gems such as zurek (fermented rye soup), pyzy (dumplings), fried fish and goulash-stuffed potato pancakes. 2706 E. Allegheny Avenue, (267) 596-7727
  • Tierce –The team behind nearby BYOB restaurant Helm satisfy families before dinner with a changing but always just-right menu for breakfast, lunch and brunch. 2218 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-4367
  • Weckerly’s – Even before opening its brick-and-mortar home in Fishtown, Weckerly’s gained a loyal following for its French-style ice cream and ice cream sandwiches made with organic milk. Husband-and-wife owners Andy and Jen Satinsky keep the flavors simple and seasonal, preparing ice cream and sorbet with fruits and herbs they can get from local farms. At the shop, they scoop six rotating ice cream flavors, including a nondairy sorbet. 9 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 423-2000,

Fine Dining:

  • Fette Sau – Brooklyn’s notable barbecue restaurant opened its second location in Philadelphia. All the characteristics that made the New York outpost a hit are accounted for: dry-rubbed, well-prepared meats from local farms that are smoked in-house; simple and elegant side dishes; communal seating on wooden picnic tables; nine beers and a cider on tap and 100+ North American bourbons and whiskeys. 1208 Frankford Avenue, (215) 391-4888,
  • Helm – The chalkboard menu showcases the evening’s dishes, all of which are made with local ingredients and fresh flavors. Guests often opt to share an assortment of items, and they kick back with the bottles of wine they brought as the kitchen works to create an enjoyable, relaxing meal. 1303 N. 5th Street, (215) 309-2211,
  • Kensington Quarters – This bi-level restaurant is known for incredible dishes, a welcoming bar, knowledgeable staff and the wine list. Kensington’s kitchen doesn’t waste animal parts (a common practice in the restaurant industry); its popular culinary classes teach about homemade pasta, butchering and more. 1310 Frankford Avenue, (267) 314-5086,
  • Root – Wine may be the star here, but the various versions of gin and tonics, traditional cocktails with new spins, craft bottled beer and Italian-Spanish-American menu of small and large plates are not far behind. In the warmer seasons, the front floor-to-ceiling windows open up, and seating spills onto the sidewalk. 1206 Frankford Avenue, (215) 515-3452,
  • Smooth ’N’ Pops – The handcrafted, artisanal treats here perfectly satisfy those in need of a refreshing or sweet snack. The smoothies are dairy-free, and the popsicles are gluten-free and mostly dairy-free, and many of the natural ingredients come from the nearby Philadelphia area. 315 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 457-2583,
  • Suraya – Named after two of the owners’ grandmother, the 12,000-square-foot Lebanese market/all-day cafe/restaurant/bar strives for a family vibe and good food, not to mention an Instagram-worthy look. The menu includes manoushe (flatbread), salads, sandwiches and house-made pastries. In the warmer months, the garden patio invites guests to bring the good times outdoors. 1528 Frankford Avenue, (215) 302-1900,
  • Wm. Mulherin’s Sons – Inside this beautifully restored building—a 19th-century whiskey blending and bottling facility—everything is just right: dark wood ambiance, well-stocked bar, attentive staff and, most notably, the food. Melt-in-your-mouth pastas, wood-fired pizzas and expertly prepared meat and seafood dishes wow everyone who walks in the door for dinner and weekend brunch. 1355 N. Front Street, (215) 291-1355,

Bars & Gastropubs:

  • Barcade – Combine a sizable craft beer list with more than 50 25-cent classic arcade games, and the result is Barcade. Based on locations in Brooklyn and Jersey City, the bar-arcade combo also offers a generous menu and outdoor space—for those who can tear themselves away from Tetris and Donkey Kong. 1114 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-4400,
  • Bonk’s Bar – What to expect at this Port Richmond stalwart: the popular crabs, seafood and American fare and a solid and approachable draft list. Don’t expect: frills. 3467 Richmond Street, (215) 426-2348,
  • Bottle Bar East – With a 16-tap bar, 700 cans and bottles, dartboard, foosball table, local art installations and a menu of grilled cheese, tacos, burgers, sandwiches and the like, this craft beer haven entices both Fishtowners and visitors. It doubles as a takeout retail shop, so patrons can fill up a growler or mix their own six-pack and take the party home. 1308 Frankford Avenue, (267) 909-8867,
  • Byrne’s Tavern – There are no fries at Byrne’s” There are, however, potato logs. Those thickly sliced delights, plus Byrne’s must-order wings and crabs have made this unassuming bar a neighborhood favorite since the 1970s. 3301 Richmond Street, (215) 423-3444,
  • The El Bar – Situated, as the name implies, under SEPTA’s Market-Frankford elevated rail line (or “the El”), this quasi-dive bar attracts a loyal following thanks to inexpensive beer and snacks, a pool table and live music on select nights. The enormous outdoor patio provides a perfect spot for enjoying a “Kensington Happy Meal”—a bar staple that includes two hot dogs, a bag of chips, a PBR and a toy—for $5. 1356 N. Front Street, (215) 634-6430
  • Fishtown Tavern – This corner pub sports a local feel. Neighbors and friends stop by for the bar food and selection of beers—from budget to pricey—and the handful of bike racks out front cater to the area’s cycling population. 1301 Frankford Avenue, (267) 687-8406,
  • Fishtown Social – Wine bars don’t have to be inaccessible: That’s the thinking behind Fishtown Social, where wine novices and connoisseurs alike feel at home as they order wine that’s organic, biodynamic, natural or sustainable from interesting regions, small producers and less-known and rare varietals. Also there are specialty cocktails, mostly local beers and a menu of small plates, snacks and a rotating selection of charcuterie, cheese—oh, and a bottle shop. 1525 Frankford Avenue,
  • Frankford Hall – Build a modern German beer garden, and they will come. This indoor/outdoor hotspot pours 18 draft beers, most of which patrons can order in half- and full-liter helpings, and 20 more in bottles, along with authentic German foods such as large pretzels and bratwurst, an open-air picnic-table seating, and ping pong and shuffleboard tables make for a memorable evening (or day) on the town. Three fire pits and heat lamps by every table keep patrons warm all year long. 1210 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-3338,
  • Garage North – Pool tables, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball, 400 beers (almost all in cans) and TVs throughout draw eager crowds to the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenues. Though it maintains a BYO food policy, Garage North also features a rotating lineup of guest chefs who take over the open kitchen. 100 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 515-3167,
  • Kraftwork – This industrial-sleek bar pours 25 draft beers from around the world, plus specialty cocktails and wines. Kraftwork keeps the food local, serving diverse selections that range from the dry-aged burger to Korean BBQ pork tacos. 541 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 739-1700,
  • Krakus Market – This half grocery, half cafe is the spot to go for Polish essentials in a historically Polish neighborhood, for food—smoked meats, hunter’s stew, white borsht, breads, candies, more—served fresh, frozen and to-go. 3150 Richmond Street, (215) 426-4336
  • Lloyd – Lloyd Coudriet, a retired science teacher from nearby Penn Treaty Middle School, heads his namesake whiskey-heavy bar in partnership with his son Scott. The menu features 150 rotating varieties of whiskey, an ever-changing list of signature and classic cocktails and a menu of tempting dishes to wash it all down (think long hot and chipotle pepper popcorn, chicken and waffle sliders, bourbon chili-glazed chicken wings and blackened catfish sandwich). 529 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-4600,
  • Loco Pez – Patrons at this Mexican gastropub swear by the 10 kinds of tacos (carne asada, seitan and spinach, chorizo and potato) offered as low-priced singles, encouraging eaters to try as many varieties as they can. Other stars include the monster helping of nachos, the crispy chicken sandwich with habanero aioli and 36 sipping tequilas. 2401 E. Norris Street, (267) 886-8061,
  • Martha – In Kensington, Martha takes the idea of a friendly, neighborhood bar and ramps up the hipness. Twenty-four bar taps dispense beer, wine, kombucha and cocktails, while a limited kitchen offers a pared down menu of vegetables, charcuterie, cheese plates and sandwiches, and the bocce court outside provides the perfect activity to work up an appetite. Adding to the vibe: a turntable, fireplace and patio. 2113 E. York Street, (215) 867-8881,
  • Memphis Taproom – An epic bottled beer list is just one highlight of this pub, which pours 20 craft beers and offers vegan-friendly brunch, lunch and dinner menus known for smoked coconut sandwich and the deep-fried pickles with horseradish. In warmer months, the beer garden and its accompanying canned-beer-and-dog truck draw outdoor (drinking) lovers. 2331 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 425-4460,
  • Murph’s Bar – The sign outside reads, “A comfortable place to be.” With $2 PBR drafts every day, an expansive craft beer list, live entertainment, and a solid menu (shrimp scampi pizza, baked eggplant patties) it’s tough to argue with that. 202 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-1847
  • Starboard Side Tavern – No ego, no credit cards. What else do you need besides a friendly bartender, a dartboard, TVs and flowing beer? That’s why this corner bar, tucked among residential rowhomes, wins over neighbors. 2500 E. Norris Street, (215) 634-1238

Coffee Shops & Bakeries:

  • Coffee House Too – Quality java is the priority here. Enthusiasts sip the brewed goodness that comes from fair-trade Dallis Brothers Coffee beans, grown 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level. The breakfast and lunch eats are just as impressive—and effective, if ordering the “hangover hoagie.” 2514 E. York Street, (267) 324-5888,
  • Franny Lou’s Porch – It’s about more than the $1 coffee. People come here from morning through late afternoon to support local and organic culinary practices, engage in community activism, connect to neighbors and enjoy menu items such as the “pro-love” (turkey sausage and egg sandwich). 2400 Coral Street, (215) 739-2357,
  • Hinge Cafe – The family-friendly vibe, Green Street Coffee Roasters coffee and dishes such as cinnamon bun pancakes, challah French toast and chicken parmesan soup have made this a Port Richmond favorite. Guests can bring their own bottles to turn any breakfast, brunch or lunch outing into a celebration. 2652 E. Somerset Street, (215) 425-6614,
  • La Colombe – The flagship for the specialty coffee roasting company fills a giant Fishtown warehouse that serves as a restaurant, bakery and cupping lab. Guests choose from the beverage menu of traditional blends, single-origin coffee or the revolutionary Draft Latte, a texturized true iced latte served on tap or in a can. 1335 Frankford Avenue, (267) 479-1600,
  • Kopi Latte – People first come here for the Old City coffee concoctions, the variety of tea drinks and the satisfying breakfast and lunch options that are mostly healthy, vegetarian or vegan. They come back because of the unpretentious, relaxed vibe and the friendly staff. 530 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 551-1530,
  • Milkcrate Cafe – Combine a quality cafe with a record store—that’s Milkcrate Cafe. Guests peruse new and used vinyl while they sip La Colombe, Le Bus pastries and the dozen menu options with musically inspired names, such as “bagella Fitzgerald” and “Ike & Tina tuna.” 400 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 909-8348,
  • Philly Style Bagels – This tiny corner takeout joint bakes bagels in small batches the Philly way: pre-boiled in a mixture of water and beer for an extra malty flavor that draws lines of hungry breakfast-seekers on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Traditionalists argue the bagels need nothing more than butter or a schmear of cream cheese, but the BLT with avocado is a favorite sandwich among the lunch crowd, and Bon Appétit dubbed the classic lox sandwich the “Best New Sandwich in America.” 1451 E. Columbia Avenue,
  • ReAnimator Coffee – The River Wards enjoys two locations of ReAnimator, both featuring rotating single-origin coffees and blends. At the industrial flagship/roastery/cafe and at the cafe-only spot, the exceptional coffee, friendly staff and skilled baristas draw raves. Flagship, 310 W. Master Street, (267) 758-6264; cafe, 1523 E. Susquehanna Avenue, (215) 425-5805,
  • River Wards Cafe – It’s no wonder people make this Port Richmond coffee shop their regular spot. It features ReAnimator coffee drinks, Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels, locally made pastries, Wif-Fi and a garage-door window that retracts for pleasant weather. 3118 Richmond Street, (215) 423-3118,
  • Steap and Grind – Steap and Grind touts itself as the first Philly outlet for Gimme! Coffee. This eat-in coffee-and-tea cafe offers an inviting atmosphere and Wi-Fi, plus coffee and tea wares and loose teas to brew at home. 1619 Frankford Avenue, (267) 858-4427,

Breweries & Distilleries:

  • Evil Genius Beer Company – In a 6,000-square-foot, 19th-century former carriage house, this brewery produces and pours its beers with names such as Stacy’s Mom and I’ll Have What She’s Having. Games, a pet-friendly beer garden and a basic menu including charcuterie, cheese, nachos and sandwiches round out the Evil experience. 1727 Front Street, (215) 425-6820,
  • Federal Distilling Room – With a full bar, this tasting room caters to all types of drinkers Thursdays through Sundays. To get the true Federal Distilling experience, visitors must try a cocktail made with the flagship Stateside Vodka. Those interested in the activity inside the distillery, separated from the bar by a glass wall, can take a tour. 1700 N. Hancock Street,
  • Fermentery Form – Down an unassuming alley, behind a green-lit door, drinkers in small tasting room sample funky beers that have been brewed in oak barrels (some of which held wine at one point); made with yeast grown by the brewers; and created with a re-fermentation process that produces carbonation. 1700 N. Palethorp Street, (267) 518-3676,
  • Fishtown Brewpub – The brewery uses local ingredients whenever possible for its small-batch beers, which are served alongside beers from other breweries, wine, cocktails and comfort food. Those who want to take home the brewpub tastes can purchase a to-go crowler (32-ouce can). 1101 Frankford Avenue, (215) 990-1396,
  • New Liberty Distillery – People come here Friday evenings to enjoy the tasting room and on Saturday and Sunday for tours, which include tastings. The distillery produces whiskey, bourbon, rye and vodka for its three brands—New Liberty, Maryland Heritage Series and Kinsey. 1431 Cadwallader Street, (800) 996-0595,
  • Philadelphia Brewing Company – Housed in a restored 19th-century brewing facility in East Kensington, PBC has been supplying its year-round handcrafted ales and limited-run microbrews to the city and beyond since 2007. Every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., people pile in for guided tours and a generous number of beer samples. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (215) 427-2739,
  • Rowhouse Spirits – Owner Dean Browne proudly distills and bottles all his products on-site at his East Kensington “limited distillery.” Thursday through Saturday, customers stop by to purchase the available products, tour the 1,200-square-foot space and enjoy a tasting. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (267) 825-7332,
  • Saint Benjamin Brewing Company – Named for local (and international) hero Ben Franklin, this Kensington brewhouse and tasting room offers tours on Saturday afternoons though patrons can order beers and food every day but Monday. Classic styles and newer creations flow within the facility, which was once the carriage house and stables of a 19th-century brewery. 1710 N. 5th Street,


  • Cake Life Bake Shop – This isn’t your typical wedding cake shop—though Cake Life regularly whips up Instagram-worthy masterpieces. Those not in the market for nuptial desserts come here for sweet and savory pastries (cake slices, croissants, brownies, breakfast hand pies, sausage rolls), Rival Bros. coffee and espresso drinks. 1306 Frankford Avenue, (215) 278-2580,
  • Castellino’s – This corner Italian market offers a curated selection of grocery items (oils, pastas), along with sandwiches, cheeses and pastries. Kids who attend the elementary school across the street often stop in with their parents and caregivers on the way home to get a snack and last-minute dinner items. 1255 E. Palmer Street, (215) 416-1187,
  • Czerw’s – This decades-loved, Polish family-run operation specializes in all manner of applewood-smoked kielbasa, plus house-made pierogi and the sweets and breads to go with. 3370 Tilton Street, (215) 423-1707,
  • Greensgrow Farms – This nationally recognized non-profit urban farm is a go-to spot for local food devotees and gardeners. It’s home to a farm-share program, food access and educational programs, a farm stand and a garden center where visitors shop for plants, sample greens grown onsite and say hello to Milkshake, the pig. 2501 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 427-2780,

Music & Nightlife:

  • The Barbary – This 200-person music venue presents the latest in rising local and touring indie music, plus DJ dance parties, karaoke nights and comedy shows. Artists who have performed here include Spank Rock, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Ting Tings, Pink Skull and Paint It Black. 951 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-7400,
  • The Fillmore Philadelphia – In a rehabbed former factory outfitted with giant chandeliers, exposed brick, a merchandise stand in a VW bus and the giant, photo-worthy “LIVE” sign at the entrance, The Fillmore matches its cool space with fantastic music. A 2,500-person main stage brings in national acts, and the more intimate 450-person Foundry space attracts DJs and local talent. 29 E. Allen Street, (215) 309-0150,
  • Johnny Brenda’s – Show-goers take in great views (and a bit of a break) on the balcony at Johnny Brenda’s, a 250-person venue that plays host to touring indie music acts year-round. The three bars—downstairs in the restaurant/bar, upstairs on the concert floor and on the balcony—pour all draft, all local beers. The menu changes daily depending on what the kitchen can get from local farmers. 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684,
  • Kung Fu Necktie – Think low lighting, inexpensive beer and one of the best-sounding small rooms in the city. Concert early birds can shoot some pool before music performances and DJ events on the first floor (150-person capacity) or the second floor (more intimate 70-person capacity). 1250 N. Front Street, (215) 291-4919,
  • Punch Line Philly – This 300-seat comedy club, Live Nation’s first outside California, encourages patrons to come early and stay after the shows to enjoy the bar, restaurant and outdoor patio. Still, the stand-up comedians are the main draw—think Dave Chappelle, Jay Pharaoh, Bill Bellamy, Marlon Wayans and Nikki Glaser. 33 E. Laurel Street, (215) 606-6555,
  • Revolutions – This 52,000-square-foot, two-floor venue houses 26 bowling lanes, arcade games, a full-service restaurant and the Flair Bar, where bottle-flipping bartenders mix over-the-top cocktails. Bowlers don’t have to worry about missing the big game thanks to the huge TVs above the lanes. 1009 Canal Street, (267) 348-0544,
  • SugarHouse Casino – Located just off the Delaware River, Philadelphia’s first casino houses an array of tables, slot machines, the Fishtown Hops beer garden, plus restaurants, special events and great views of the Delaware River waterfront and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. 1001 N. Delaware Avenue, (877) 477-3715,

Performing & Visual Arts:

  • Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse – This self-described celebration of geek culture also holds the distinction of the East Coast’s first comic book store with a Black female owner, Ariell R. Johnson. Along with comics, games and figurines, the shop presents Anime Wednesdays, Nerdy By Nature open-mic nights, author events, TV marathons and movie screenings—plus coffee to keep the fun going. 2578 Frankford Avenue, (215) 427-3300,
  • The Art Dept – Monthly exhibitions introduce emerging artists to the community, and this shop stocks boutique stocks local, handcrafted products and art and fiber supplies. Events and artist workshops continually engage people in new ways. 1638 E. Berks Street, (215) 739-4146,
  • Art Machine Productions – A shop, studio, gallery and tattoo parlor rolled into one, this 2,700-square-foot space provides plenty of working room for its popular roster of featured artists. 1345 Frankford Avenue, (267) 239-2724,
  • Black Vulture Gallery – Pulling double duty as a gallery and tattoo parlor, Black Vulture has staff artists who are game for ink requests ranging from the traditional to the out-there. Live music often accompanies the art shows, which have been titled “Lord of the Flies” and “Merry Hex-Mas.” 208 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 423-3666,
  • Crane Arts – Contemporary art flourishes at the Crane Arts building, a former plumbing warehouse on the edge of Fishtown and Kensington. In addition to housing a number of studios and arts organizations, the space also features events (InLiquid’s Art for the Cash Poor) and galleries (Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center). 1400 N. American Street, (215) 232-3203,
  • Little Berlin – This undefined exhibit space serves as the gallery for the artist-run collective of the same name. Each month, a member puts together a new show. Music and other fun events round out the offerings here. 2430 Coral Street,
  • Mascher Space Cooperative – An artist-run dance co-op since 2005, Mascher supplies a space for both artists and companies to develop their work, as well as a location for classes, workshops and informal performances. 155 Cecil B. Moore Avenue,
  • Philadelphia Argentine Tango School – Beginning to pro dancers learn the seductive art of tango at this studio, part of the Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor and home to group and private lessons, seminars, large events, festivals and performances from international tango stars. 2030 Frankford Avenue, (617) 291-3798,
  • Space 2033 – This true artistic catchall differs from its contemporaries in its focus on wellness and earth spirituality. Reiki classes, meditation workshops and seasonal celebrations fit comfortably into its schedule, alongside First Friday events and rotating local artist spotlights with poets, musicians, filmmakers and visual artists. 2033 Frankford Avenue,


  • Bikes-n-Beans – The one-stop bike shop tunes up and repairs mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, cruisers and more. Those in the market can purchase fixed-gear, single-speed and city commuter bikes from Tribe Bicycle Co., as well as refurbished bikes. Owner and mechanic JT is always on-site to offer suggestions, fit bikes and install accessories. The one-pound Vermont Coffee Co. bags for sale put the “beans” in Bikes-n-Beans. 1321 N. Front Street, (215) 426-3474,
  • Blend – Shoppers browse two cozy floors to find women’s clothing and accessories, plus small collections of men’s clothing, housewares and art. It’s a great spot to find original gifts. 1860 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-4700
  • Circle Thrift – Selling gently used clothes, housewares, toys, books and furniture, Circle Thrift delivers quality goods and a nice experience. The inventory constantly changes, drawing savvy deal-hunters back for repeat visits and shopping sprees. 2233 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-1222,
  • Craft Foundry – Craft Foundry specializes in eco-friendly crafts and gifts, such as artisan jewelry, journals, organic skin care, soy wax candles, organic tea and clothing—mostly made by locals. The space doubles as a greeting card workshop, and people also come to the shop to learn basic bookbinding and silver or bronze clay jewelry making. 701 Belgrade Street, (267) 977-8499,
  • Delicious Boutique – Shoppers step right up to this circus-inspired store, home to men’s and women’s clothes and an astounding collection of leather belts, pouches and accessories by independent designers from around the country. The space also hosts art openings, fundraisers and parties. 212 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 413-0375,
  • DiPinto Guitars – DiPinto Guitars began as a repair shop in 1995 before morphing into what it is today—a showroom for (sometimes bizarre) vintage guitars, as well as owner Chris DiPinto’s own creations. David Bowie, The White Stripes’ Jack White, The Cars’ Elliot Easton and the band Los Straitjackets have all owned and played DiPintos. 407 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 427-7805,
  • Downerss Boutique – Just about everything at this women’s shop is less than $100, making it the perfect spot to pick up a cool-girl outfit, complete with bag, jewelry and skincare. New, up-cycled and local designs line the racks. 2026 Frankford Avenue,
  • Field – Cacti, succulents, air plants and other living greenery in populate the counters, walls, shelves and floor at this bright shop. Original pottery holds the leafy and prickly goods, and textiles and other goods by local makers are scattered around the space. 2032 Frankford Avenue,
  • Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles – Offering city and cargo bikes and accessories, this full-service bike shop and showroom caters to urban cyclists. Featured brands include Yuba, Xtracycle, Babboe, Gazelle, Linus, Pure Fix, Benno, Brompton, SE and Pure City. Shoppers can also opt to have a bike custom-built by the shop’s owners. 1105 Frankford Avenue, (215) 425-4672,
  • Fishtown Jewelers – Dripping in diamonds and a friendly, neighborhood feel, this jewelry shop specializes in vintage pieces and impeccable service. Window shoppers are often lured in with free cleanings and a no-pressure sales staff. 1617 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-3277,
  • Franklin & Poe – The anti-fast fashion boutique, Franklin & Poe sells items that transcend trends and will last years, if not decades. All the men’s and women’s jeans, shirts, tees and shoes, plus accessories and personal care items, are made in the U.S.A. 1817 Frankford Avenue,
  • Ham & Bone – The DIY washing station brings dogs and their BFF owners who want to keep the sudsy, wet mess out of their house. Other highlights: accessories, treats, food and toys for pups and cats. 1824 Frankford Avenue, (267) 773-7094,
  • Jinxed – The Fishtown outpost of this local vintage furniture and antique store fills its space with secondhand mirrors, rugs, lamps, armchairs, books, decor and the like, all in excellent vintage condition. Fans know to follow Jinxed on Instagram to scoop up the latest hauls at incredible prices. 1331 Frankford Avenue, (215) 800-1369,
  • lululemon: The Local Fishtown – One of just a few of lululemon’s “Local” concepts in the country, the Fishtown location of the yoga apparel chain blends community and retail. People can participate in neighborhood-focused events, yoga classes and local art showcases. 1424 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-4170,
  • Made and Maker – This small shop packs its racks and shelves with vintage clothing and accessories, works by local artists, housewares and jewelry made on-site. The rotating selection means there are always new reasons to stop by. 2021 Frankford Avenue,
  • Minnow Lane – More than just a kids’ store, this, warm and charming storefront doubles as a gathering space for young families to participate in birthing, feeding and parenting classes and workshops and sells cute, natural, eco-friendly and socially conscious kid and baby gear, including toys and baby carriers. 2029 Frankford Avenue, (215) 291-1875,
  • Philadelphia Record Exchange – The record shop for Philly’s vinyl heads for three decades—one of the shop’s original partners is now the CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame—moved from South Street in 2013, and the legend lives on at the Frankford Avenue location. 1524 Frankford Avenue, (215) 425-4389,
  • Toile – This women’s clothing store and showroom features ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry and accessories by local designers. Toile’s atelier offers in-house custom alterations by owner and designer Bianca DePietro. 1333 Frankford Avenue, (267) 587-7221,
  • Two Percent to Glory – Named for the percentage of profits donated to Lakota Nation, this vintage shop sells high-quality vintage clothes and jewelry. Shoppers swoon over pre-loved boots, bags and even books, all of which are artfully displayed on furniture created by the owner. 2301 Frankford Avenue, (917) 348-4477,
  • Ulises – The city’s first indie arts bookshop—meaning, all books are works of art or independent art publications—is right at home in this artful neighborhood. Set in a rehabbed garage, the warm, spare space hosts art exhibitions, lectures and other gatherings. 31 E. Columbia Avenue,
  • Vestige – Vintage and artisan-made clothing, textiles, housewares and accessories come together in this boho-chic shop. 2041 Frankford Avenue, (267) 457-3088,
  • Wild Mutation Records – Punk fans spend hours sifting through the new and used records, CDs, cassettes and music memorabilia at this genre specialist. That’s not to say that those who prefer classic rock, soul, pop, jazz, country, metal, hip-hop, folk, blues and reggae won’t get caught up in the collection, too. 2223 Frankford Avenue, (215) 425-5066,

Parks & Recreation:

  • Keystone Mini-Golf & Arcade – It’s hard to not have fun at this 1950s Americana-themed 18-hole golf course, complete with old-school arcade games. The BYOB course is mostly indoors, while fire pits keep the outdoor holes toasty so putters can bring the party all year long, making it an ideal spot for family outings, parties for people of all ages—or just a Saturday night. 161 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, (267) 627-4653,
  • Palmer Park – People come to this small park to relax, enjoy a picnic and gather with friends and family. Just steps from Steap and Grind and Philly Style Bagels, it’s perfectly located when hunger or a caffeine craving strikes. Frankford Avenue & Palmer Street
  • Penn Treaty Park – According to legend, Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed his peace treaty with the local Lenape tribe under an elm tree just off the Delaware River in 1683. Though the tree fell in a storm in 1810, the city officially opened Penn Treaty Park on the surrounding land in 1894. Today, a statue of William Penn greets everyone who visits the riverside park—including picnickers, dog walkers and playground-loving families. Throughout the year, people from all over the city come for special events and festivals. Delaware Avenue & Beach Street,
  • PlayArts – Focusing on the family community in Fishtown, this 4,500-square-foot space offers developmentally appropriate play and art classes for children and a mezzanine with coffee and Wi-Fi for parents. Drop-ins can enjoy the membership-based facility by purchasing a day pass or attending a fun class, space permitting. 1241 N. Front Street, (267) 225-8434,
  • Urban Axes – This ax-throwing club is perfect for big groups and, believe it or not, makes a great date night too. (Tip: Make a reservation in advance.) Here, people pretty much play darts, but with axes, and competitors can bring their own food, beer and wine. 2019 E. Boston Street, (267) 585-AXES,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, 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.