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CNB BUSINESS NEWS: Fishtown & The River Wards Neighborhood Guide

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PHILADELPHIA, PA--Northeast of Center City, Philadelphia’s Fishtown, Business newsKensington 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.

Philadelphians have found new, innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with a local Lenape tribe in what’s now Penn Treaty Park.

The neighborhood is 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 Lebanese fare in a spectacular spot (Suraya), sample site-made craft whiskeys (New Liberty Distillery) and visit the world’s only pizza museum (Pizza Brain). Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor, home base for many of the city’s rising artists, hosts gallery openings on the First Friday of each month. 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 on whom you ask. The River Wards begin two 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 station. A restored trolley on Girard Avenue connects the neighborhoods to the city’s Fairmount section.

Casual Dining:

  • Andy’s Chicken – Crispy, crackling Korean fried chicken served with a variety of sauces stars at this popular, no-frills takeout spot. Chef Andy Choi’s Korean classics—bulgogi, kimchi and pork fried rice —round out the menu. 2001 Memphis Street, (215) 291-0700, andyschicken.com
  • Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen – This 50-seat, retro-American restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner with contemporary Southern soul. Alongside new takes on traditional dishes—tempeh Reuben, fried egg BLT—15 taps showcase a variety of American craft, German and Belgian beers and ciders. 2370 E. Norris Street, (215) 423-5400, cedarpointbarandkitchen.com
  • Cheu Noodle Bar – Taking after its sibling restaurants in Washington Square and East Passyunk, Fishtown’s Cheu serves dumplings and noodles in a variety of forms and snacks and drinks that make it a popular nighttime spot. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269, cheufishtown.com
  • Cook and Shaker Reclaimed wood and exposed brick provide a backdrop for local beers, seasonal artisanal cocktails and locally sourced snacks, including Buffalo-fried Brussels sprouts, tater tots, pierogi and grilled kielbasa. 2301 Albert Street, (215) 426-2665, cookandshaker.com
  • Da Wa – Authentic sushi and ramen are the main draw at this mom-and-pop bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot. The menu changes with the availability of fresh fish and seasonal ingredients, but the much-raved-about pork belly and duck bao buns are staples. 1204 N. Front Street, dawafishtown.com
  • Eatalia – This affordable BYOB prepares classic northern Italian fare: caprese salads, veal piccata and homemade tiramisu. It’s even open for lunch Monday through Friday. 2723 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 423-6911, eataliabyob.com
  • Ekta Indian Cuisine – Popular Indian BYOB serves Kadai chicken, lamb saagwala and homemade cottage cheese cubes with spinach (saag aur paneer) from an expansive menu. Naan lovers choose from 16 different types, baked in a charcoal-fired tandoor. 250 E. Girard Avenue,(215) 426-2277, ektaindianrestaurant.com
  • Fette Sau Brooklyn’s notable barbecue restaurant has a second location for its house-smoked, dry-rubbed meats from local farms; simple, 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, fettsauphilly.com
  • Front Street Cafe – This versatile spot opens at 7 a.m. to serve coffee and fresh juices to neighbors on their commute, then healthy, sustainable breakfasts, lunches and dinners with vegan and gluten-free options. At happy hour, the bar’s cocktail specials draw crowds; in warm weather, so do the patio, garden and outdoor bar. 1253 N. Front Street, (215) 513-3073, frontstreetcafe.net
  • Gaul & Co. – Leave it to Port Richmond 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, gaulandco.com
  • Good Spoon Soupery – This cafe stocks 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. 1400 N. Front Street, (267) 239-5787, goodspoonfoods.com
  • Green Eggs Cafe – This mini Philly brunch chain is famous for its decadent breakfast creations: cookie dough-stuffed French toast and breakfast egg rolls filled with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and cheddar. 2327 E. York Street, (215) 644-8383, greeneggscafe.com
  • Hajimaru Ramen – Hakata-style ramen (made with thin noodles and pork-bone broth) is the specialty of this Fishtown newcomer, although pork belly rice bowls, curry chicken katsu don, pork gyoza and Japanese soft drinks are worth a try too. 200 E. Girard Avenue, @hajimaruramen
  • 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 year-round. 1431 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-2309, heffetacos.com
  • 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 weekends here, thanks to $1 tacos and $4 select draft beers. 1235 E. Palmer Street,
    (267) 455-0045, interstatedrafthouse.com
  • Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop – The staff at this cheesesteak spot have been slinging the classic sandwich since 1949 in Northeast Philadelphia. The Fishtown location stays true to tradition, serving the 70-year-old recipe with beef or chicken, along with milkshakes, ice cream sodas and egg creams. 1 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 423-5637, joessteaks.com
  • Johnny’s Hots – Fans swear by this popular breakfast-and-lunch joint. The simple menu relies on classics and one unusual combination: egg sandwiches, hot dogs, cheesesteaks and “surf and turf,” hot dog-and-fish cake sandwiches. 1234 N. Delaware Avenue, (215) 423-2280
  • 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, kostasfishtown.com
  • Little Baby’s Ice Cream – Local ingredients go into homemade super-premium ice cream—with a major fan base. Offbeat flavors include balsamic banana, cardamom caramel and non-dairy Earl Grey Sriracha. 2311 Frankford Avenue, (267) 687-8567, littlebabysicecream.com
  • Mad Rex – A post-apocalyptic theme means Mad Rex has dark décor, a virtual reality lounge and a Survivor’s Menu of meats prepared at the table on hot black rocks. 1000 Frankford Avenue, (267) 773-7566, themadrex.com
  • Mercer Café – Port Richmond locals often find themselves at Mercer for breakfast and lunch—and for good reason. Morning favorites include mascarpone French toast and a variety of pancakes; midday brings salads, burgers and a long list of sandwiches: BLTs, cheesesteaks and roast pork. 2619 E. Westmoreland Street, (215) 426-2153, mercercafephilly.com
  • Nemi – Nemi’s menu follows the traditional flavors of Mexico complete with house-made tortillas, salsas, guacamole and ceviche. A full tequila and mezcal bar add to the authenticity. 2636 Ann Street, (267) 519-0713, nemirestaurant.com
  • Nunu New Japanese izakaya has a similar vibe to Cheu, its sibling restaurant next door. Cuisine approaches Asian flavors with unconventional ingredient choices, such as Filipino kare-kare fries with Japanese curry gravy. 1414 Frankford Avenue, (215) 278-2804, nunuphilly.com
  • Over Easy Breakfast Club – Brunch is served Friday through Sunday at a simple, sunny Fishtown destination with a French Laundry-pedigreed chef. The signature “dinosaur egg” comes encased in avocado and wrapped in bacon. The menu also includes crab melts, burgers and shareable monkey bread. 2302 E. Norris Street, (518) 369-6759, overeasybreakfastclub.com
  • Pizza Brain – 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 Hupert,’ the brick-oven pies are also quirky. 2313 Frankford Avenue, (215) 291-2965, pizzabrain.org
  • Poe’s Sandwich Joint Sandwiches are the main event at this tiny takeout. Standouts include the Mikey Mo, with sausage, peppers and sharp provolone; and the vegan Guru with hummus, veggies and tapenade. For dessert: funnel-cake fries. 1429 Marlborough Street, (215) 201-5836
  • Sancho Pistola’s – Younger sibling of Jose Pistola’s in Center City, Sancho Pistola’s serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Patrons pile in for hip takes on Mexican classics, a raw seafood bar and a stellar beer menu. 19 W. Girard Avenue, (267) 324-3530, sanchopistolas.com
  • Sketch Burger Huge hamburgers and sandwiches—like the Cyclops burger topped with bacon and a fried egg, and the Dr. Pepper pulled pork sandwich with chipotle mayo—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, sketch-burger.com
  • 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, slicepa.com
  • Soup Kitchen Café Open seven days a week, Soup Kitchen Café draws a loyal following for its hearty foods: meatloaf, crab cakes and chocolate-chip cookies. Adding to the community vibe, the spot displays local art. 2146 E. Susquehanna Avenue, (215) 427-1680, soupkitchencafe.com
  • Stock – Small and minimalist, Stock takes pho seriously, with two varieties available: chicken or vegan mushroom. Green papaya salad, coconut chia seed pudding round out the tight menu.
    308 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-5307, stock-philly.squarespace.com
  • Streetside – Inspired by Southeast Asian street food, this casual, hidden BYOB gem serves authentic food with a twist. Diners can “soup 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, streetsideshop.com
  • Syrenka Luncheonette – Just like in 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 the Polish enclave of Port Richmond. 3173 Richmond Street, (215) 634-3954, kamilaflorczak.wixsite.com/syrenka
  • 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 spot. The vibe is decidedly neighborhood: cash-only and a limit of three toppings per pie, and guests are encouraged to call ahead to reserve dough. 2604 E. Somerset Street, (215) 425-4983, tacconellispizzeria.com
  • 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 takeout spot. Deli sandwiches, fresh muffins, Mediterranean dishes and wings satisfy everyone else. 122 Girard Avenue, (215) 413-9737, taliasgrille.com
  • The Dinner House – In proudly Polish Port Richmond, the Dinner House is, well, where it’s at for dinner (and lunch). This simple spot is known for the cuisine’s greatest hits, plus lesser-known gems such as zurek (fermented rye soup), pyzy (dumplings), fried fish and goulash-stuffed potato pancakes. 2706 E. Allegheny Avenue, (267) 596-7727
  • Vientiane Bistro – West Philly’s famed Vientiane Café takes on a second location in East Kensington. Like the original, the bistro serves Laotian fare: rice porridge with crispy tofu and grilled lemongrass sausages. 2537 Kensington Avenue, (267) 703-8199, vientiane-café.com
  • Weckerly’s – Husband-and-wife Andy and Jen Satinsky use organic milk and fruits and herbs from local farms to make French-style ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and nondairy sorbet. On offer: a rotation of six flavors. 9 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 423-2000, weckerlys.com

Fine Dining:

  • Aether – The team behind Mistral in King of Prussia and Elements in Princeton bring a romantic atmosphere—think champagne bottle light fixtures—to their newest location. On the menu: seafood towers, whole branzino, shellfish saffron risotto and lobster rolls.
    1832 Frankford Avenue, (267) 875-1832, aetherfishtown.com
  • Cadence Three chefs from High Street Market joined forces to open this sleek, modern BYOB focusing on serving the best regional ingredients a la carte and as part of a four-course tasting menu. 161 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 419-7537, cadencerestaurant.com
  • Helm – This popular BYOB’s chalkboard menu displays the evening’s dishes, all of which are made with local ingredients and fresh flavors. 1303 N. 5th Street, (215) 309-2211, helmphilly.com
  • 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 classes teach about homemade pasta, butchering and more. 1310 Frankford Avenue, (267) 314-5086, kensingtonquarters.com
  • Sarvida Chef Lou Boquila brings traditional Filipino flavors to modern dishes to his second BYOB. Dinner may include binagoongan made with pig tails, green mango and shrimp paste; Sunday brunch means silog, the traditional side of garlic-fried rice and a fried egg. 300 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 273-1234, sarvidaphilly.com
  • 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, surayaphilly.com
  • Mulherin’s Sons – A restored 19th-century whiskey blending and bottling facility offers a dark wood ambiance, well-stocked bar, attentive staff and, most notably, elegant Italian fare. Melt-in-your-mouth pastas, wood-fired pizzas and meat and seafood dishes wow diners during dinner and weekend brunch. 1355 N. Front Street, (215) 291-1355, wmmulherinssons.com

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, barcadephiladelphia.com
  • Bonk’s Bar – What to expect at this Port Richmond corner pub: crabs, seafood, American fare and a solid, approachable draft list. What not to expect: frills. 3467 Richmond Street, (215) 426-2348, bonksbar.com
  • Bottle Bar East A 16-tap bar, 700 cans and bottles, dartboard, foosball table, local art installations and a menu of grilled cheese, tacos, burgers and sandwiches make this place a go-to Fishtown spot. It doubles as a 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, bottlebareast.com
  • 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, byrnestavern.net
  • The El Bar – Situated under SEPTA’s Market-Frankford elevated rail line (“the El”), this quasi-dive has a loyal following thanks to inexpensive beer and snacks, a pool table and live music on select nights. A large outdoor patio provides a perfect spot for enjoying a Kensington Happy Meal: 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, fishtowntavern.com
  • Fishtown Social – 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 and a bottle shop. 1525 Frankford Avenue, fishtownsocial.com
  • Frankford Hall Build a modern German beer garden, and they will come. This indoor/outdoor hotspot offers 18 draft beers, most available in half- and full-liter helpings, and 20 more in bottles, along with large pretzels and bratwurst, an open-air picnic-table seating, and ping pong and shuffleboard tables. Three fire pits and heat lamps by every table keep patrons warm all year long. 1210 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-3338, frankfordhall.com
  • Garage Fishtown – Pool tables, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball, more than 400 canned beers 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, garagephilly.com
  • The International A casual, under-the-radar corner bar from the duo behind Johnny Brenda’s focuses on craft beer and cocktails made with local spirits. A menu of global bar snacks complements the drinks. 1624 N. Front Street
  • Kraftwork – This industrial-sleek bar pours 25 draft beers from around the world, specialty cocktails and wines while keeping food local yet diverse, including dry-aged burgers and Ahi tuna sandwiches. 541 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 739-1700, kraftworkbar.com
  • Lloyd Lloyd Coudriet, a retired science teacher from nearby Penn Treaty Middle School, heads his namesake whiskey bar in partnership with his son Scott. The menu features 150 rotating varieties of whiskey, signature and classic cocktails and a menu of long hot and chipotle pepper popcorn, chicken and waffle sliders, bourbon chili-glazed chicken wings, blackened catfish sandwiches and such. 529 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-4600, lloydwhiskeybar.com
  • Loco Pez – Mexican gastropub offers 10 kinds of tacos (carne asada, seitan and spinach, chorizo and potato) as low-priced singles, so eaters can try a variety. Other stars include monster nacho plates, crispy chicken sandwiches with habanero aioli and 36 sipping tequilas. 2401 E. Norris Street, (267) 886-8061, locopez.com
  • Martha – Kensington’s hip, ramped-up neighborhood bar has 24 taps for beer, wine, kombucha and cocktails and a pared-down menu of vegetables, charcuterie, cheese plates and sandwiches. A 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, marthakensington.com
  • Memphis Taproom – An epic bottled beer list is a highlight of this pub, which also pours 20 craft beers and offers vegan-friendly options at brunch, lunch and dinner, such as smoked coconut sandwiches and deep-fried pickles. In warmer months, there’s a beer garden and canned beer and hotdog truck. 2331 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 425-4460, memphistaproom.com
  • Murph’s Bar Murph’s is a delightful Fishtown anomaly, featuring $2 PBR drafts, an expansive craft beer list and an 18-seat dining room for Italian cuisine by chef Francesco Bellastelli, who takes yearly trips home to Puglia to come up with creations such as ricotta-pear fiocchi purse pasta in parmesan cream and black truffle tagliolini. 202 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 425-1847
  • Pineville Tavern Fishtown An offshoot of the historic Pineville Tavern in Bucks County features elevated pub food (signature fried chicken, ravioli), thoughtful cocktails and a Steinway grand piano. 2448 E. Huntingdon Street, (267) 534-5885, pinevillefishtown.com
  • R&D – Cocktails are the name of the game at this dark, 1950s-inspired bar. The menu is divided into Social Club cocktails (rusty nails) and Make Out Point drinks (sloe gin fizz)—best prepared at a tableside bar cart. 1206 Frankford Avenue, (215) 515-3452, rdphilly.com
  • Sergeant York – Cocktails named for Gritty and Nick Foles, local beer and cider on tap and hearty bar fare such as biscuit sandwiches, black bean burgers and fries make this Fishtown newcomer right at home. 2327 York Street, (215) 425-1424, @sgtyorkbar
  • 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
  • Sutton’s – Homey Kensington watering hole, as reimagined by Fergie’s bartender Niall Murphy, hews to a simple formula, serving draft beer, cocktails and straightforward bar food like fried pickles, burgers and wings. 1706 N. 5th Street, (267) 534-4151, suttonsphilly.com

Coffee Shops & Bakeries:

  • Cake Life Bake Shop – Not your typical wedding cake shop, Cake Life serves 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, cakelifebakeshop.com
  • 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, in the case of the “hangover hoagie.” 2514 E. York Street, (267) 324-5888, coffeehouseco.com
  • Flow State Coffee Bar – Pastry chef Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc, wife Liz Diamond-Manlusoc and pal Maggie Lee left Chicago for Kensington, where they founded a business combining exquisite gelati, espresso, pastry, sandwiches and creativity. One difference here: Tables can be reserved in advance. 2413 Frankford Avenue, (267) 702-0280, flowstatecoffeebar.com
  • 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 with neighbors and enjoy menu items such as the “pro-love” (turkey sausage and egg sandwich). 2400 Coral Street, (215) 739-2357, frannylousporch.org
  • Hinge Cafe – The family-friendly vibe, Green Street Coffee Roasters coffee, cinnamon bun pancakes, challah French toast and chicken parmesan soup have made this spot 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, hingecafe.com
  • 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, lacolombe.com
  • Lost Bread Co. – Artisan baker Alex Bois has established his bakery as the spot for burnt barley baguettes, beetroot rye and other ancient grain loaves. He also gives away his proprietary sourdough starter for DIY use. 1313 N. Howard Street, (215) 739-2904, lostbreadco.com
  • 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.
    530 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 551-1530, kopilatte.com
  • Milkcrate Cafe A cafe and a record store lets guests peruse new and used vinyl while enjoying La Colombe coffee, Le Bus pastries and menu options with music-inspired names: the Bagella Fitzgerald and Ike & Tina tuna. 400 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 909-8348, milkcratecafe.com
  • Philly Style Bagels – This tiny corner takeout bakes bagels in small batches the Philly way: boiled in a mixture of water and Yards ale. Traditionalists argue these 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. 1451 E. Columbia Avenue, phillystylebagels.com
  • Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop The self-proclaimed tiniest bakery in Philadelphia isn’t short on sweets. Named for one of the founders’ mothers, the shop churns out home-style desserts with retro flair. 1255 Marlborough Street, (215) 203-1980, ramonasusansbakeshop.com
  • ReAnimator Coffee – The River Wards enjoys two locations of ReAnimator; both feature rotating exceptional, single-origin coffees and blends. Both the industrial flagship/roastery/cafe and the cafe-only spot are known for skilled, friendly staff. Flagship, 310 W. Master Street, (267) 758-6264; cafe, 1523 E. Susquehanna Avenue, (215) 425-5805, ranimatorcoffee.com
  • River Wards Cafe – It’s no wonder people make this Port Richmond coffee shop their regular spot. It has ReAnimator coffee drinks, Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels, locally made pastries and a garage-door window that retracts. 3118 Richmond Street, (215) 423-3118, com
  • Smooth ’N’ Pops – The handcrafted, artisanal treats here perfectly satisfy those in need of a refreshing or sweet snack. The smoothies are dairy-free, the popsicles are gluten-free and mostly dairy-free and many of the natural ingredients come from nearby. 315 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 457-2583, smoothnpops.com
  • 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, coffee and tea wares and loose teas to brew at home. 1619 Frankford Avenue, (267) 858-4427, steapandgrind.com

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 of charcuterie, cheese, nachos and sandwiches round out the anything-but-evil experience. 1727 Front Street, (215) 425-6820, evilgeniusbeer.com
  • Federal Distilling Room – With a full bar, this tasting room caters to all types of drinkers Wednesdays through Sundays. To get the full experience, visitors try cocktails made with Federal’s 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, (215) 425-4200, statesidevodka.com
  • Fermentery Form – Down an unassuming alley, behind a green-lit door, drinkers in a 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, fermenteryform.com
  • 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, a 32-ouce can. 1101 Frankford Avenue, (215) 990-1396, fishtownbrewpub.com
  • 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, (267) 928-4650, newlibertydistillery.com
  • Philadelphia Brewing Company – A restored 19th-century brewing facility in East Kensington has been supplying 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 beer samples. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (215) 427-2739, philadelphiabrewing.com
  • Rowhouse Spirits – Owner Dean Browne proudly distills and bottles all his products on-site at what he calls his “limited distillery.” Thursday through Saturday, customers stop by East Kensington to purchase the available products, tour the 1,200-square-foot space and enjoy a tasting. 2440 Frankford Avenue, (267) 825-7332, rowhousespirits.us
  • Saint Benjamin Brewing Company – Named for arguably the city’s favorite Founding Father, 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, stbenjaminbrewing.com

Markets:

  • Castellino’s – This corner Italian grocery curates its oils, pastas, fresh fruit and veggies and offers sandwiches, cheeses and pastries. Kids and chaperones often stop by for afterschool snacks and supper supplies. 1255 E. Palmer Street, (215) 416-1187, castellinos.com
  • Czerw’s – This decades-loved, Polish family-run operation specializes in all manner of applewood-smoked kielbasa—made and smoked fresh daily—plus house-made pierogi and the sweets and breads to go with. Cash only. 3370 Tilton Street, (215) 423-1707, kielbasyboys.com
  • Greensgrow Farms This formidable non-profit farm is a go-to for local food devotees and gardeners. It’s also home to a farm-share program, food access and educational programs, a farm stand and a garden center. 2501 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 427-2780, greensgrow.org
  • Riverwards Produce Market – One of Philadelphia’s first fire houses is now home to a chef- and community-driven neighborhood market. Local and organic items take top billing, including produce from Lancaster County and meat and eggs from Primal Supply. 2200 E. Norris Street,(215) 678-4304, riverwardsproduce.com

Music & Nightlife:

  • The Barbary – This 200-person music venue presents rising local and touring indie acts, DJ dance parties, karaoke nights and comedy shows. Artists who have performed here include Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Ting Tings, Pink Skull and Paint It Black. 951 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-7400, barbarylive.com
  • The Fillmore Philadelphia – In a rehabbed factory outfitted with giant chandeliers, exposed brick and a merchandise stand in a VW bus, this Live Nation venue matches its cool space with cool music. A 2,500-person main stage brings in national acts; the 450-person Foundry attracts DJs and local talent. 29 E. Allen Street, (215) 309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com
  • Johnny Brenda’s Showgoers take in great views from the balcony at this 250-person venue that hosts touring indie music acts. 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 local purveyors. 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, (215) 739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
  • Kung Fu Necktie Low lighting, inexpensive beer and one of the best-sounding small rooms in the city attracts them early with pool (don’t understand). The 150-person capacity first floor hosts live music and DJs; the 70-person second floor hosts more intimate acts. 1250 N. Front Street, (215) 291-4919, kungfunecktie.com
  • Punch Line Philly – This 300-seat comedy club encourages patrons to come early and stay after the shows to enjoy the bar, restaurant and outdoor patio. Still, stand-up comedians are the main draw, past acts include Dave Chappelle, Jay Pharaoh, Bill Bellamy, Marlon Wayans and Nikki Glaser. 33 E. Laurel Street, (215) 606-6555, punchlinephilly.com
  • SugarHouse Casino On the Delaware River, Philadelphia’s first casino houses an array of tables, slot machines, the Fishtown Hops beer garden, plus restaurants, special events, concerts and great views of the river to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. 1001 N. Delaware Avenue, (877) 477-3715, sugarhousecasino.com

Performing & Visual Arts:

  • The Art Dept – A gallery, art supply and vintage store, The Art Dept has monthly exhibitions by emerging artists, hosts artist workshops, carries local, handcrafted products and art and fiber supplies and invites shoppers to express themselves by diving into the past. 1638 Berks Street,(215) 739-4146, artdeptphilly.com
  • 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, artmachineproductions.com
  • Black Vulture Gallery – Pulling double duty as a gallery and tattoo parlor, Black Vulture has staff artists 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, blackvulturegallery.com
  • Crane Arts – Contemporary art flourishes in a former plumbing warehouse bordering 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, cranearts.com
  • 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, littleberlin.org
  • 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, mascherdance.org
  • 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, philadelphiatangoschool.com
  • Space 2033 – This 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, facebook.com/space2033

Shops:

  • Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse – This self-described celebration of geek culture is the East Coast’s first comic book store owned by a Black woman, 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 and pastry to keep the fun going. 2578 Frankford Avenue, (215) 427-3300, amalgamphilly.com
  • At Home Modern – Interior designer and shop-owner Bobbie Tilkens-Fisher honed her talents sourcing objects for companies such as Anthropologie and J.Crew. Now, midcentury modern treasures, other vintages of furniture and modern art from the last 60 years decorate her showroom, housed in a former candy shop. 526 E. Girard Avenue, (267) 237-5413, athomemodern.com
  • 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., refurbished bikes and one-pound bags of Vermont Coffee Co. beans. 1321 N. Front Street, (215) 426-3474, fishtownbikesnbeans.com
  • 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, circlethrift.com
  • Craft Foundry Craft Foundry specializes in eco-friendly crafts and gifts: 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 by to learn basic bookbinding and silver or bronze clay jewelry-making. 701 Belgrade Street, (267) 977-8499, craftfoundry.com
  • 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, deliciousboutique.com
  • 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, Jack White, Elliot Easton and Los Straitjackets have all owned and played DiPintos. 407 E. Girard Avenue, (215) 427-7805, dipintoguitars.com
  • 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, downerss.com
  • Field – Cacti, succulents, air plants and other living greenery 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 – Full-service bike shop caters to urban cyclists with both custom and cargo bikes and accessories by brands such as Yuba, Xtracycle, Babboe, Gazelle, Linus, Pure Fix, Benno, Brompton, SE and Pure City. 1105 Frankford Avenue, (215) 425-4672, transportcycle.com
  • Fishtown Jewelers Dripping in diamonds and a friendly, neighborhood feel, this jewelry shop specializes in vintage pieces and impeccable service. Customers like the free cleanings and no-pressure sales staff. 1615 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-3277, fishtownjewelers.net
  • Franklin & Poe – Anti-fast fashion boutique sells items that transcend trends and will last years. 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, (215) 821-9402, franklinandpoe.com
  • Ham + Bone – Shop sells accessories, treats, food and toys for both pups and cats and offers a DIY dog-washing station. 1824 Frankford Avenue, (267) 773-7094, hambone.com
  • Jinxed – The Fishtown outpost of this vintage furniture and antique store stocks secondhand mirrors, rugs, lamps, armchairs, books, décor, more, for good prices. Fans follow on Instagram to scoop up the latest hauls. 1331 Frankford Avenue, (215) 800-1369, jinxedphiladelphia.com
  • lululemon: The Local Fishtown – One of just a few of lululemon’s “Local” concepts in the country, the Fishtown outpost of the yoga apparel chain blends community and retail with neighborhood-focused events, yoga classes and local art shows. 1424 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-4170, lululemon.com
  • Made and Maker – This small shop packs its racks and shelves with vintage clothing and accessories, works by local artists, housewares and jewelry made onsite. 2021 Frankford Avenue,(215) 990-0494, madeandmaker.com
  • Minnow Lane More than just a kids’ store, this warm, 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, minnowlane.com
  • Moderne Gallery – Art Deco antiques, Nakashima and Esherick originals, more precious 20th– century furniture, lighting and accessories moved from Old City to The Showrooms at 2220, a 10,000-square-foot restored former mill in Port Richmond owned by Kamelot Auction Company, which holds auctions there. 2220 E. Allegheny Avenue, (215) 923-8536, modernegallery.com
  • 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. 1524 Frankford Avenue, (215) 425-4389, philarecx.com
  • Toile Women’s clothing store and showroom features ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry and accessories by local designers, along with in-house alterations by owner and designer Bianca DePietro. 1333 Frankford Avenue, (267) 587-7221, shoptoile.com
  • Two Percent to Glory Named for the percentage of profits donated to Lakota Nation, this vintage shop sells pre-loved boots, bags and even books—all artfully displayed on furniture created by the owner. 2031 Frankford Avenue, (917) 348-4477, twopercenttoglory.com
  • 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, ulises.us
  • Urban Exchange Project – Name-brand secondhand and vintage clothing for men and women from the 1960s to today plus a selection of jewelry and sunglasses round out the selection at this expansive store. 2050 Frankford Avenue, (267) 297-5915, urbanexchangeproject.com
  • Vestige – Vintage and artisan-made clothing, textiles, housewares and accessories come together in this boho-chic shop. 2041 Frankford Avenue, (267) 457-3088, shop-vestige.com
  • Wild Mutation Records – Punk fans spend hours sifting through the new and used records, CDs, cassettes and music memorabilia at this genre specialist. But 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 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, BYOB parties for people of all ages—or just a Saturday night. 161 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, (267) 627-4653, keystoneminigolf.com
  • Palmer Park – People come to this small park to relax, 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: picnickers, dog walkers and families. Throughout the year, people from all over the city come for special events and festivals. Delaware Avenue & Beach Street, penntreatypark.org
  • 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 class, space permitting. 1241 N. Front Street, (267) 225-8434, playartsphilly.com
  • Urban Axes – This ax-throwing club is perfect for big groups and, believe it or not, makes a great date night too. (Tip: Reserve ahead.) Here, people basically play darts, but with axes. Competitors can bring their own food, beer and wine. 2019 E. Boston Street, (267) 585-AXES, urbanxes.com

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, visitphilly.comand uwishunu.com, 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.

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