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The Bistros, Bars, Shops & Scene Of Side-By-Side South Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Bella Vista & Queen Village Neighborhood Guide

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Once considered working-class suburbs, the tree-lined South Philadelphia neighborhoods of Queen Village and Bella Vista have spent the past decade establishing themselves as some of the city’s most stable and vibrant places to live, work, dine and shop. Small, historic townhouses and a mix of new and well-established businesses make up these side-by-side neighborhoods. Residents both new and old are passionate about maintaining pocket parks and patronizing independent merchants and restaurants. The districts’ busiest byways include the open-air South 9th Street Italian Market and the mini neighborhood of west-to-east-running South Street, which has a separate guide).

Directly south of Old City and Society Hill, Queen Village consists of the blocks between Front and
6th Streets and Lombard Street to Washington Avenue. Just south of Washington West, Bella Vista, a traditionally Italian neighborhood that’s now ethnically mixed, includes 6th to 11th Streets and also stretches from South Street to Washington Avenue.

QUEEN VILLAGE:
Those coming from Center City can walk (about 25 minutes from City Hall), take a cab or car-share verice, rent an Indego bike or hop on SEPTA’s #12 bus at Broad and Locust Streets, which runs southeast toward 3rd and Pine Streets, just a block north of Queen Village. One standout neighborhood destination is Fabric Rowalong South Fourth Street between South and Christian streets. The stretch is now home to both third-generation fabric vendors and a new generation of boutiques and businesses.

Restaurants & Bars:

  • Alyan’s – The staff doles out casual Middle Eastern fare at this cozy South Street spot, which has a petite, sunny greenhouse-inspired dining room. Best known for hearty, inexpensive falafel sandwiches, Alyan’s also features shish kabobs and stuffed grape leaves. 603 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-3553
  • Ambra – Marina de Oliveira and Chris D’Ambro, owners of two-doors-up Southwark, own and operate this 16-seat modern Italian bistro. Ambra is known for its prix-fixe four-course dinners. Its owners, however, are known for the roles they played at Flora’s Field Kitchen in San José del Cabo, the eminent farm-to-table restaurant. 705 S. 4th Street, (267) 858-9232, ambraphilly.com
  • Bainbridge Street Barrel House – This handsome seven-days-a-week hangout credits craft beer with its existence (with 25 brews on tap, 180-plus bottled options, plus wine and classic cocktails) and counts fish and chips, the classic Barrel House burger, French toast burger and hearty mains among its staples. 625-627 S. 6th Street, (267) 324-3553, barrelhousephilly.com
  • BeerLOVE – The selection of 600 bottled beers and eight drafts have turned this beer and cider boutique into a Queen Village favorite. But it’s the samplings and tastings (including snacks, sandwiches and gluten-free options) that have made it a popular hangout. 714 S. 4th Street,
    (267) 930-7859, beerlovephilly.com
  • Bistrot La Minette – This twinkling, just-like-Paris brasserie is as French as it gets. Chef-owner Peter Woolsey’s mustard-braised rabbit, escargots and tarte Tatin are uniformly authentic and delicious. 623 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-8000, bistrotlaminette.com
  • Catahoula – Cajun fare—crawfish bisque, barbecue shrimp, jambalaya and that mighty red gumbo—in a barroom atmosphere make this Queen Village spot feel like a neighborhood joint in New Orleans. Weekend brunch comes in the form of shrimp and grits, po’ boys and hush puppies. 775 S. Front Street, (215) 271-9300, catahoulaphilly.com
  • Cry Baby Pasta and Wine – A collaboration between two Philadelphia restaurant couples, Bridget Foy and Paul Rodriguez of Bridget Foy’s and Carla Goncalves and David Gilberg of the former Kuo Zee Doo, this newly minted Italian spot matches classic and new school Italian plates with a pasta-friendly wine list. 627 S. 3rd Street, (267) 543-3076, crybabypasta.com
  • Dmitri’s – One of Queen Village’s first bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spots, this first-come, first-served, cash-only Greek seafoodery still packs them into its tiny, tiled dining room. Dmitri’s is known for its grilled octopus, shrimp pil pil and baba ghanoush. The restaurant has a second location in Northern Liberties. 795 S. 3rd Street, (215) 625-0556, dmitrisrestaurant.com
  • El Rancho Viejo – Tacos, burritos and tortas are all excellent here, but the real draw to this mom-and-pop Mexican eatery is the meat. Chargrilled steaks topped with mole, whole roasted chickens and lamb slow cooked on a spit come with salsas and fresh tortillas. 942 S. 5th Street, (215) 644-8735
  • Famous 4th Street Delicatessen – For nearly a century, this classic Jewish deli has occupied its corner spot. Today, Famous is known for mammoth portions: huge omelets, baseball-sized matzoh balls and Frisbee-esque black-and-white cookies. On Election Day, it’s a popular spot for politicians and politicos to hobnob and chow down. 700 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-3274, famous4thstreetdelicatessen.com
  • Fiore Fine Foods – New York chefs Justine McNeil and Ed Crochet headed south to open their own all-day Italian restaurant and cafe. Daytime fare focuses on frittatas, pastries and sweet and savory toasts; a soon-to debut dinner menu features delicate, handmade pastas.
    757 S. Front Street, (215) 339-0509, fiore-finefoods.com
  • For Pete’s Sake Pub – Philly is known for simple, awesome neighborhood taprooms like this venue, where Guinness and Kenzinger are always on draft, and pierogi, sweet potato fries and well-above-average burgers are the menu’s backbone. 900 S. Front Street, (215) 462-2230, forpetessakepub.com
  • Gnocchi – A cash-only BYOB pioneer, this homey Italian spot still feels like a best-kept secret, even after decades. The celebratory atmosphere lends itself to small or large groups but is also perfect for couples, and the chicken parmesan, Caesar salad, lamb shanks, tiramisu and namesake pasta are reliably delicious. 613 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 592-8300
  • Golden Triangle – While there might be Thai classics on the menu at this unassuming Queen Village favorite, the real draw here are plates from Burma and Malaysia. Fried chicken wings wrapped in screw pine leaves and Malay pancakes with curry dipping sauces especially stand out. 610 S. 5th Street, (267) 930-7990, goldentrianglephilly.com
  • Humpty’s Dumplings – “You name it, we’ve fried it” is the motto at this international house of dumplings. The menu of deep-fried delights changes on a daily basis, but greatest hits—broccoli and cheddar, honey chipotle chicken and cheesesteak dumplings—are always around. 705 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 515-3250, humptysdumplings.com
  • Hungry Pigeon – Three squares a day, morning through late night, make this unassumingly chic, first-come, first-served Fabric Row restaurant a hit. The kitchen has perfected both basics (chicken soup, banana bread sticky buns, morning pastry) and less familiar dishes (socca with labne and brussels sprouts carbonara), with counter service by day and communal table service come evening. 743 S. 4th Street, (215) 278-2736, hungrypigeon.com
  • Lucky’s Last Chance – In its original outpost in Manayunk, this bar-restaurant became known for its burger topped with peanut butter, American cheese and bacon, served with a side of grape jelly. Same is true here, along with craft beer, hot dogs and more delicious (and, at times, odd) burgers. 848 S. 2nd Street, (267) 519-2080, luckyslastchance.com
  • M2O Burgers & Salads – Customized burgers and salads, ordered by touchscreen, are the draw at this sunny lunch spot just off of South Street. Milkshakes, smoothies, fries and onion rings round out the choose-your-own-adventure menu. 701 S. 5th Street, (267) 930-8388, m2oburgers.com
  • Mustard Greens – This local favorite for contemporary Chinese cuisine has a minimalist environment and simple menu that focuses on fresh selections such as steamed tilapia with ginger and scallions. As the name suggests, sautéed mustard greens are always available.
    622 S. 2nd Street, (215) 627-0833, mustardgreensphilly.com
  • Neighborhood Ramen – Transitioning from pop-up to mural-clad brick-and-mortar, this small and mighty ramen operation takes its stocks seriously. These slow-simmered bases make for serious bowls of shio, shoyu and tonkotsu ramen—with noodles so fresh, takeout is not available. 617 S. 3rd Street, neighborhoodramen.com
  • New Wave Café – This longstanding neighborhood sports bar was among the first Philly pubs to realize its patrons wanted great food with great drinks. To that end, the New Wave offers beer specials during local games and warm goat cheese salads, short-rib grilled cheese and lump crab-topped fries all day and night and, come springtime, a corner’s worth of sidewalk tables. 784 S. 3rd Street, (215) 922-8484, newwavecafe.com
  • Ngon Ngon – This Vietnamese BYOB pho specialist serves fragrant bowls of noodle soup, banh mi, rice platters and traditional drinks, including limeade and jackfruit smoothies. 615 S. 3rd Street, ngonngonrestaurant.com
  • Plaza Garibaldi –Vuela ala vida, sopes, huaraches and barbacoa and tripe tacos are among the traditional dishes served at this festive sit-down restaurant and bar known for its tequila selection. 935 Washington Avenue, (215) 922-2370, plazagaribaldiphiladelphia.com
  • Royal Sushi & Izakaya – Chef Jesse Ito’s hip, dimly lit, highly acclaimed take on authentic Japanese pub dining is known for its sake, sashimi and maki, along with traditional to edgy kushiyaki and yakitori. A chef’s counter omakase (tasting menu) is available in the tranquil back room by hard-to-score reservation. 780 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9002, royalsushiandizakaya.com
  • Sakana – Billing itself as Philadelphia’s first affordable omakase option, this BYOB offers three tasting menus: 10 or 12 courses of chef-selected nigiri or sashimi, or 21 courses of imported fish, daily specials and dessert. 616 S. 2nd Street, (215) 922-2149, phillysakana.com
  • Southwark – A burnished mahogany bar greets patrons at this romantic bistro. The couple-owned spot—he’s the chef; she’s the manager—features refined seasonal fare (chicken liver mousse with pear compote and Concord grape; braised lamb pappardelle), along with a late-night menu and curated libations. 701 S. 4thStreet, (267) 930-8538, southwarkrestaurant.com
  • Square Pie – This small, simple BYOB offers Brooklyn-style small-batch pizzas, topped with house-cured meats, that are great for takeout. For eating in: a handful of classic Italian appetizers (salami, arancini), pastas (puttanesca, marinara) and sides (meatballs, garlic bread). 801 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 238-0615, squarepiephilly.com

Cafes & Bakeries:

  • Kawaii Kitty Cafe – Two kinds of adorable align at this cat adoption cafe. Potential cat parents can make appointments for time with perspective kitties—and sip sprinkles- and whipped cream-topped Unicorn hot chocolate. 759 S. 4th Street, (215) 372-7763, kawaiikittycafe.com
  • Ox Coffee – Sustainably grown and processed organic beans go into each carefully steamed latte at this artsy, purposeless unplugged (no Wi-Fi) cafe. Locals love their granola bars, croissants and biscotti. 616 S. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2531, oxcoffee.com
  • Philadelphia Java Company – This corner outpost serves La Colombe coffee and great little salads and sandwiches. Outdoor seating makes it dog-friendly. 852 S. 2nd Street, (215) 339-8248
  • Red Hook Coffee & Tea – This comfy, cash-only coffee shop serves fair-trade, organic coffee and tea, along with sandwiches, soups, egg concoctions and vegan and gluten-free options. Red Hook also hosts small art openings. 765 S. 4th Street, (215) 923-0178
  • Shot Tower Coffee – Named for the still extant structure a few blocks away, this third wave cafe brews its Counter Culture beans in (pour-over) Kalita Waves and a primo Fetco machine. 542 Christian Street, (267) 886-8049

Shops:

  • Bicycle Revolutions – With more than 10 years in the game, this independent, personalized bike shop prides itself on welcoming everyone from pro cyclists to those just off training wheels, while offering reasonable prices. 756 S. 4th Street, (215) 629-2453, bicyclerevolutions.com
  • Brickbat Books – Rare, first-edition poetry tomes and brand-new graphic novels populate the wooden shelves of this Fabric Row shop. With creaky floors and a quiet atmosphere, it’s a great spot to discover a fondness for Edward Gorey or to rediscover that once-obsessed-over children’s book. 709 S. 4th Street, (215) 592-1207, brickbatbooks.blogspot.com
  • Bus Stop Boutique – Brit-born American Elena Brennan curates the shoe collections, including her own line, Element, at this fun and funky Fabric Row shop. Among the fab women’s and men’s footwear designers are the familiar—Coclico, Jeffrey Campbell, F-Troupe—and the less so—Dkode, P Monjo and Nicole. 727 S. 4th Street, (215) 627-2357, busstopboutique.com
  • The Cactus Collective – This vintage-plus-handcraft shop has a modern hippy vibe, with well-priced dresses, separates, accessories and jewelry. 739 S. 4th Street, (267) 908-4178, @CactusCollectivePhilly
  • Head House Books – Biographies, travel, fiction, young adult, cooking and self-help books make this shop a bibliophile paradise. Special features include a mini play-and-read space for kids, author readings and book signings. 619 S. 2nd Street, (215) 923-9525, headhousebooks.com
  • Little Moon + Arrow – This offshoot of Moon + Arrow (below) has an identical handmade-plus-eco-friendly mission, from toys to apothecary, just for a younger set. 729 S. 4th Street, (267) 457-5403, littlemoonandarrow.com
  • Moon + Arrow – This boutique takes an eco-chic approach to clothing, accessories and homewares. Vintage combines with artisan-made to take the form of totes, wooden bowls, apothecary finds, pottery, a budding baby section and the owner’s line of crystal pendants and brass earrings. 754 S. 4th Street, (215) 469-1448, moonandarrow.com
  • Nostalgia – The dress-up closet kids often wish for, this by-appointment-only, minority- and woman-owned-and-operated shop stocks serious wool suits, frilly house-made Earl Salko frocks and a full complement of vintage trimmings. 704 S. 5th Street, nostalgiaphilly.wixsite.com
  • Philly AIDS Thrift – Cooler than the average charity secondhand store, this chock-full self-proclaimed “department store” sells gently used everything at very low prices for a very good cause. Neighbors who stop by to drop off donations often can’t help but pick up a few things on their way out. 710 S. 5th Street, (215) 922-3186, phillyaidsthrift.com
  • Professor Ouch’s Bizarre Bazaar and Odditorium – This repository of kitsch caters to shoppers in the market for Mexican wrestling masks, vintage action figures, Tiki dolls and more miscellany. 720 S. 5th Street, (215) 668-0195, bizarrebazaarphilly.com
  • Rare Co. Vintage – Jeremy Olsen grew his shelter shop from a flea market business, carefully choosing and arranging each Balinese sculpture, retro sign and Deco lamp in this fairly priced, always stocked, never overcrowded gem of a shop. 410 Fitzwater Street, rarecovintage.com
  • Steel Pony – Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin fans love this boutique, specializing in flowing, tie-dyed, pieced-together women’s fashions—the sort that have graced stages for decades. 758 S. 4th Street, (215) 467-6065, steelpony.com
  • Tucker’s Digs – Vintage home decor, art and kitchen wares make this shop the place to find retro interior design touches, while throwback jewelry and sunglasses satisfy accessory aficionados. 611 S. 4th Street, (267) 858-4355, @tuckersdigs
  • Urban Princess Boutique – As fun as its name sounds, this women-owned shop showcases the work of more than 40 fashion-forward makers and creators of cute clothes, along with the ultimate in girlfriend gifts: botanical soaps, handmade jewelry, wine accessories, handbags, cards and more. 620 S. 4th Street, (267) 909-8317, urbanprincessboutique.com
  • Yowie – Designer Shannon Maldonado makes sure every independently made piece in her gallery-esque shop feels like the work of art that it is. Her rule applies to her limited-edition stock of Ashley Hardy mugs, Doucement throw pillows and Cold Picnic bath mats. 716 S. 4th Street, shopyowie.com

Salons, Tattoos & Piercings:

  • Fabriq Spa – Holistic beauty and health specialists staff this cozy, earthy day spa. Known for their gentle yet effective facials, this spot also features a full complement of traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture. 728 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-3235, fabriqspa.com
  • Infinite Body Piercing – Staying true to nearby South Street’s counterculture roots, this sterile shop is home to skilled piercers. The array of jewelry suits all types of piercings and personalities. 626 S. 4th Street, (215) 923-7335, infinitebody.com
  • Juju Salon & Organics – For everything from a Zen haircut to an organic manicure, this eco-chic neighborhood salon practices sustainability and healthy living, bringing out its clients’ beauty, naturally. 713 S. 4th Street, (215) 238-6080, jujusalon.com
  • No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo – In Hawaiian, na ka oi means “the very best.” Those seeking a style change can wave aloha to their old looks and embrace tattoos and piercings administered by friendly staff and frequent guest artists. 610 S. 4th Street, (267) 321-0357, nokaoitikitattoo.com

Mixed Bag:

  • Essene Market – For more than 40 years, this grocer has been supplying fresh tofu, organic produce and all manner of all-natural victuals. Today, Essene is especially beloved for its yummy vegan baked goods. 719 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-1146
  • Sweettooth – Like a penny candy shop gone modern, this corner spot stocks more than 250 sorts of sweets, including old-fashioned cream-filled licorice and nearly healthful craisins, all sold by the pound. 630 S. 4th Street, (215) 923-8800
  • Visionary Art Gallery – Dedicated to representing the works of artists dealing in spiritual and mystical themes, this newcomer to the gallery scene sets itself apart with an LED-lit floor and lively monthly openings featuring local DJs. 764 S. 4th Street, (267) 886-8606

BELLA VISTA:
Bella Vista is a 25-minute walk from City Hall. From Broad and Chestnut Streets, SEPTA passengers can hop the #9, 21 or 42 buses to 8th and Chestnut Streets, then transfer to the southbound #47 bus to stop between Fitzwater Street and Washington Avenue, near the South 9th Street Italian Market. Those who prefer the underground route can take the Broad Street Line subway south to the Lombard-South Station and walk a few blocks east to get to the neighborhood entry point at 11th Street.

The open-air South 9th Street Italian Market, established by newly arrived Italian-Americans in the late 19th century, spans Christian to Federal Streets and claims to be the nation’s oldest outdoor market. One of the locations “Rocky” famously ran is home to vendors of produce, meat, seafood and cheese, taquerias, tortilla shops, BYOBs and cafes. (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org

Restaurants & Bars:

  • 12 Steps Down – A dozen stairs below ground, this drinkers’ pub inhabits the northern tip of the Italian Market. Ten beers on tap—all priced $4-$9—and a rock-stocked jukebox aim to please patrons on all types of budgets. 831 Christian Street, (215) 238-0379, 12stepsdown.com
  • Acadia – Nola staples like po’ boys, gumbo and jambalaya are joined by Viet-Cajun seafood boils at this little piece of The Big Easy in Bella Vista. Weekends here mean decadent daytime brunches and live music in the evening. 824 S. 8th Street, (215) 922-7200, acadiaphilly.com
  • Al Zaytouna – This Italian Market Mediterranean BYOB and take-out spot has earned neighbors’ acclaim for the falafel, chicken gyros, seafood and kofta kabobs. 906 Christian Street, (215) 574-5040, alzaytounaphilly.com
  • Angelina’s – The family behind Pine Street’s now-shuttered Girasole operate this pared-down BYOB with Italian-American soul. A simple menu invites diners to enjoy carpaccio and salads before moving onto carbonara, Bolognese and beef braciola. 743 S. 8th Street, (215) 922-1349, angelinasbyob.com
  • Angelo’s Pizzeria – Relocating to the South 9th Street Italian Market from Handdonfield, New Jersey, Angelo’s slings crisp-crusted round and square pies alongside hoagies and salads in the former Sarcone’s sandwich spot. 736 S. 9th Street
  • Bar One – The family behind Ralph’s, the nation’s oldest Italian restaurant, run this much newer spot across the street, where they specialize in craft cocktails, brunch and Italian-American bar fare. 767 S. 9th Street, (267) 534-2944, baronephilly.com
  • Beau Monde – Sweet and savory Breton crepes star at this charming, Beaux Arts-style bistro. After dinner and dessert, guests often head upstairs to elegant L’Etage for live cabaret or dancing. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Bibou – Charlotte and Pierre Calmels—she runs the dining room; he, an alum of Philly’s Le Bec-Fin and New York’s Daniel, the kitchen—helm this French BYOB near the Italian Market. The bistro’s loyal following ensures all 32 seats for fixed-price dinners are booked weeks in advance. 1009 S. 8th Street, (215) 965-8290, biboubyob.com
  • Blue Corn – The Sandoval family upped the Mexican food ante with their refined cocktails, atmosphere and preparations: huitlacoche quesadillas, Puerto Vallarta tacos, with much fare served in signature blue corn tortillas, made with blue corn meal from the family’s hometown of San Mateo Ozolco, in Puebla, Mexico. 940 S. 9th Street, (215) 925-1010
  • Cafe Diem – It’s easy to find a good bowl of pho in Philly, but those looking for something bolder seek out this breakfast- and lunch-only café for bun bo hue. The salty, sour and spicy Vietnamese soup is the go-to order here with thick rice noodles, bone-in cuts of meat, served with piles of bright herbs and crunchy bean sprouts. 1031 S. 8th Street, (215) 923-8347
  • Cucina Forte – This homey Italian BYOB is best known for chef-owner Maria Forte’s amazing ricotta gnocchi, pillow pasta that The Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant critic Craig La Ban referred to as “weightless wonders of the dumpling world.” After those doughy delights, regulars recommend any of the day’s specials. 768 S. 8th Street, (215) 238-0778, cucinaforte.com
  • Dante & Luigi’s – One of the city’s oldest trattorias celebrates Italian-American cuisine with homemade lasagna, hearty veal chops and other traditional treats slathered in famous “red gravy” (South Philly-speak for marinara). 762 S. 10th Street, (215) 922-9501, danteandluigis.com
  • The Dive Bar – This casual hangout offers a vast beer selection—from cans of Schlitz to local microbrews—a rock-filled jukebox, inexpensive pool tables and friendly barkeeps. But it’s this pub’s exemption from the citywide smoking ban (the first floor is smoke-free) that makes it earn its name. 947 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-5505
  • El Bocado – Mexican restaurants pop up on many blocks of this part of the city, but this corner focuses on the flavors of El Salvador and Honduras. Hand-formed pupusas come stuffed with cheese and chicharrones, and Honduran fried chicken is plated with green plantains, roasted tomato sauce and a sprinkle of salty cheese. 1005 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 758-2390
  • Fitzwater Cafe – Transformed from a vintage gas station, this quaint satellite to the Saloon is a Bella Vista go-to for breakfast and lunch. Patrons fill cafe tables and a bar for airy French toast, crunchy-topped banana muffins and roast pork sandwiches. 728 S. 7th Street, (215) 629-0428
  • George’s Sandwich Shop – A favorite of both Italian Market regulars and visiting foodies, George’s sandwiches go beyond cheesesteaks and meatballs, with offerings of ground or barbecue veal and tripe, served with long hot peppers. 900 S. 9th Street, (215) 592-8363
  • The Good King Tavern – This convivial neighborhood restaurant serves French tavern fare inspired by owner Bernard Grigri’s Provençal roots. Always on the menu: duck of the day, socca, steak frites and a cheese board, along with progressive cocktails and “good, better, best” wines by the glass or pitcher. 614 S. 7th Street, (215) 625-3700, thegoodkingtavern.com
  • Guppy’s Good Times – A tipsy fish is the mascot of this multilevel bar and grill. The menu ranges from pub grub—chicken tenders, nachos—to over-the-top additions—doughnut burgers and breaded bacon balls with provolone cheese. 800 Fitzwater Street, (267) 273-0182, guppysgoodtimes.com
  • Hale & True Cider Co. – Offering its own ciders alongside beer, wine and cocktails, Hale & True serves snacks from the nearby Good King Tavern, a simple, light selection of cheeses, pickled veggies and spiced nuts. 613 S. 7th Street, (267) 639-4334, haleandtrue.com
  • Hawthorne’s Cafe – This cozy breakfast-through-dinner eatery and beer shop specializes in convenience, down to their beer delivery and 30 percent off all 12 and 16 ounce bottles and cans to go. 738 S. 11th Street, (215) 627-3012, hawthornecafe.com
  • Isot – A warmly lit dining room welcomes guest to pop a few BYO bottles and explore a menu of Turkish cuisine. Lamb manti come topped with tart yogurt; salad and bulgar pilaf accompany coal-grilled kabobs; flaky, nutty baklava end meals sweetly. 622 S. 6th Street, (267) 457-3622, restaurantisot.com
  • L’Etage – This elegant second-floor lounge (upstairs from restaurant Creperie Beau Monde) has a u-shaped bar, curtained booths and monthly drag shows. 624 S. 6th Street (entrance on Bainbridge Street), (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Le Viet – Contemporary atmosphere pairs with classic Vietnamese fare, plus some modern takes—bun-based sliders, for example—at this popular lunch and dinner spot. Another plus: A polished bar. 1019 S. 11th Street, (215) 463-1570, levietrestaurant.com
  • Little Fish – The menu changes with the fish market at this cozy, one-room, seafood-dominated BYOB. Catches of the day range from familiar (albacore, black cod) to the less so (hamachi, Shima-aji). 746 S. 6th Street, (267) 455-0172, littlefishbyob.com
  • Market on 9th – The third project from the family behind Ralph’s is a casual BYOB marrying classic Italian dishes with international influences. Lunches here can be a capocollo, egg and cheese sandwich or beet carpaccio, while dinners include chicken marsala and duck over cauliflower fried rice. 943 S. 9th Street, (267) 239-0156, marketonninth.com
  • Monsu – This corner Italian Market BYOB prides itself on its Sicilian roots. The brunch and dinner menus offer the mild (airy eggplant parm and ricotta gnocchi) to the slightly wild (braised snails with fava beans), with the option of a four-course turista menu. 901 Christian Street, (215) 440-0495, monsuphilly.com
  • Nomad Pizza – Born of a food truck (which was born of a $10,000 wood oven embedded in a vintage REO Speedwagon that’s available for catering), this simple, upscale pizzeria has a pies-first focus. Aficionados have fallen for the airy Neapolitan-style pizzas, normally preceded by crisp salads; washed down by hoppy ales, craft beers and Italian wines. 611 S. 7th Street, (215) 238-0900, nomadpizzaco.com
  • Ralph’s – America’s oldest Italian restaurant, this two-floor tribute to old-school Italian-American fare still packs in the crowds, more than a century after opening its doors. Loyal patrons go for the basics—sausage and peppers, mussels red or white—and usually go home with doggie bags. 760 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-6011, (215) 627-6011, ralphsrestaurant.com
  • Royal Tavern – The neighborhood’s steadfast gastropub serves up award-winning burgers, piled-high nachos, vegan Sloppy Joes and meatloaf sandwiches to go along with its vast beer offerings. Loud and always busy, the Royal’s a no-brainer for an easy night out. 937 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-6694, royaltavern.com
  • Sabrina’s Café – The original, vintage-feeling location of this locally owned daytime operation long ago distinguished itself with large portions and clever combos: stuffed French toast, stuffed peppers, poached eggs and big salads. 910 Christian Street, (215) 574-1599, sabrinascafe.com
  • Saloon – This polished, splurge-worthy Italian-American stalwart knows its way around a filet mignon, veal chop and lobster. Unlike many of its BYOB neighbors, the Saloon has a major wine list and a beautiful bar for sitting and sipping. 750 S. 7th Street, (215) 627-1811, saloonrestaurant.net
  • Sam’s Morning Glory – Bella Vista’s original brunch spot calls itself a “finer diner.” And, it’s true: The daytime-only spot turns the average omelet into a delish skillet frittata, bakes some serious biscuits and flips a heavenly flapjack, known there as a Glory Cake. 735 S. 10th Street, (215) 413-3999, themorningglorydiner.com
  • Santucci’s Pizza – Square, upside-down pizza (where the cheese hides under the sauce) is the signature of this casual eatery. Also on the menu: stromboli, hot wings and garlic-bread cheesesteaks. 901 S. 10th Street, (215) 825-5304, santuccispizza.com
  • Villa Di Roma – With red brick tiles outside and murals of old Italy inside, this reliable Italian Market old-timer is a charming tribute to the Philadelphians who call their tomato sauce “gravy.” The lengthy menu serves up the full roster of classics: spaghetti and meatballs, clams casino, veal, baked ziti and Chianti by the glass. 936 S. 9th Street, (215) 592-1295, villadiroma.com

Cafes & Bakeries:

  • Anthony’s Italian Coffee & Chocolate House – The Italian Market’s longtime refueling refuge offers panini, espresso drinks and house-made pizzelle and gelato, while Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin croon in the background. A few doors down, the cafe’s chocolate shop sends guests home sweetly. 903 & 905 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-2578, italiancoffeehouse.com
  • Chapterhouse Café & Gallery – A historic townhouse transformed into a cleanly modern venue for cutting-edge art shows and organic fair-trade coffee, tea, smoothies and pastries. Though Chapterhouse is big, its many tables are typically crowded with students and lingerers.
    620 S. 9th Street, (215) 238-2626, chapterhousecafe.wordpress.com
  • Function Coffee Labs – A solid lineup of expertly pulled espresso drinks and teas are joined by pastries from two of South Philly’s best bakeries, Essen and Machine Shop Boulangerie. Those looking to double or triple up on the caffeine can opt for tasting flights of espresso, cortado and hand-pours. 1001 S. 10th Street, (267) 606-6734, functioncoffeelabs.com
  • Gleaner’s Café – A Hershey’s Kiss accompanies every cappuccino, latte or plain ole Joe at this tiny, youthful hangout. Bagel sandwiches and vegan and gluten-free baked goods provide ample sustenance to balance out a customer’s caffeine buzz. 917 S. 9th Street, (215) 923-3205
  • Hip Hemp Cafe – The neighborhood CBD (cannabidiol) cafe offers edibles, oils, vape pens and flowers. Well-versed in the world of weed, owner George Matorano and staff happily guide clients though all things cannabis-related over hemp-infused coffee or tea. 607 S. 7th Street, (267) 758-6534, hiphempcafe.com
  • Isgro Pasticceria – More than a century ago, Gus Isgro’s family established this Italian Market-area pastry shop, found by following the unmistakably buttery aroma wafting down Christian Street. Customers swear by the pound cake, Italian cream and strawberry shortcakes, but filled-to-order cannoli are Isgro’s top sellers. 1009 Christian Street, (215) 923-3092, bestcannoli.com
  • John’s Water Ice – Since 1945, this warm-weather to-go spot has been transforming fruit, sugar and frozen water into water ice—known elsewhere as “Italian ice.” Loyal patrons choose from lemon, chocolate, cherry or pineapple and other fruit flavors of water ice; vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or other flavors of ice cream; or a combination of both—here, referred to as “gelato.” 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955, johnswaterice.com
  • Rally – This stylishly spare corner coffee shop combines the cafe experience with a workspace, meeting zone, event space and, in some measure, creative agency. 701 S. 7th Street, (215) 925-3657, heyrally.com
  • Sarcones’s Bakery – For nearly a century, the brick ovens of this family-owned bakery have been firing the seeded rolls that house the city’s favorite hoagies. But the sleeper hit here is tomato pie, squares of pizza dough topped with a tangy tomato sauce, best enjoyed at room temp. 758 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-0445, sarconesbakery.com
  • Taffets – Omer Taffets’ gluten-free bakery uses quinoa, teff and alternative grains to create boules, bagels, sandwich loaves and sweets. 1024 S. 9th Street, (215) 551-5511, taffets.com

Shops:

  • Anastacia’s Antiques – Specializing in Victoriana, this 2,400-square-foot shop feels straight out of a movie set. Former art students stock their shop with elegant furnishings and intricate jewelry. 617 Bainbridge Street, (215) 928-9111, anastaciasantiques.com
  • Bario Neal Jewelry – Every chunky gold ring, every simple sterling stud, every delicate, one-of-a-kind engagement ring in the cases of this corner boutique is made on-premises. Artist-owners Anna Bario and Page Neal source materials ethically and offer wearable beauty for an array of budgets. 700 S. 6th Street, (215) 454-2164, bario-neal.com
  • Butchers Sew Shop – Home economics are alive and well at this new-school sewing shop. Crafters can sign up for classes ranging from sewing 101 to specialized lessons in lingerie making, embroidery and denim work. 800 S. 8th Street, (215) 309-1866, butcherssewshop.combutcherssewshop.com
  • Claudio Specialty Foods – A salad bar’s worth of olives, a half dozen cases of cheese and salumeria, and shelves of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dry pasta, canned tomatoes and other Italian specialties are for sale at this friendly, well-priced Italian Market store. Next door, Claudio’s makes and vends mozzarella. 924-926 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-1873, claudiofood.com
  • Di Bruno Brothers – Narrow and jam-packed, this circa 1939 gourmet shop draws lines out the door and down the street for its unparalleled selection of international formaggio, plus cured meats and many more gourmet groceries. The family has newer, more expansive locations near Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square, along with outposts in the Comcast Center and the Ardmore Farmers’ Market. 930 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-2876, dibruno.com
  • Fante’s Kitchen Shop – One of the country’s oldest kitchen supply stores is a multi-room storehouse of everything and anything for the home cook: freshly ground coffee beans (and the makers to brew them), essential to esoteric cake-making tools, top-of-the-line Le Creuset and Henckels Four Star—and gadgets galore. Fante’s often discounts items too. 1006 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-5557, fantes.com
  • Grassia’s Italian Market Spice Co. – Coming up on its 85th birthday, this family-run Italian Market stalwart is a one-stop shop for herbs and spices. Grassia’s specializes in hard-to-find seasonings like pequin pepper, sour salt and custom crab boils, and staff is happy to assist spice newbies. 949 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-8039, italianmarketspiceco.com
  • Good’s Vintage – Unexpected finds hide in every corner of this hip vintage wonderland. Mid-century modern accents share shelf space with aloha shirts, turquoise statement jewelry and retro barware. 1022 S. 9th Street, (267) 639-4744
  • Tortilleria San Roman – The aroma of sweet corn fills the room at this family-owned tortilla specialist. Fresh, still-warm chips come by the bag; green and red salsa and guacamole come by the tub. 951 S. 9th Street, (267) 507-9161, tortilleriasanroman.net

Art Galleries & Studios:

  • B Square Gallery – Showing the work of local artists, including pieces by gallery owner Heather Bryson, this by-appointment-only venue displays handmade mixed-media jewelry, functional art and imaginative paintings. 614 S. 9th Street, (215) 625-0692, bsquaregallery.com
  • The Expressive Hand – This decorate-your-own-pottery spot lets guests enliven ceramics with paint, fused glass and mosaics. Appealing to customers of all ages, the studio also organizes field trips for kids’ summer camps, adult BYOB birthday parties and corporate team events. Walk-ins welcome. 622 S. 9th Street, (267) 519-2626, expressivehand.com
  • Jed Williams Gallery – A Philadelphia artist owns and runs this intimate venue for up-and-coming local artists. Exhibitions have included works in 2D, sculpture and video, and the gallery involves the community through workshops, local music and fashion events, parties and trunk shows. 615 Bainbridge Street, (267) 970-5509, jedwilliamsgallery.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.com and 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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