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Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhood Guide


Art, Shopping, Dining, Culture & More In Philadelphia’s Historic Northwestern Neighborhoods Travel news 3

PHILADELPHIA, PA--Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia, seven to 14 miles from Philadelphia City Hall. Each enclave has a distinctive style representing its communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, the region’s public transportation system.

Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, once served as a summer vacation spot for those who wanted to escape the heat of lower-lying parts of the city. Today, the village-like neighborhood includes historic and modern mansions tucked behind the pubs, restaurants, cafes and many—too many to list here—antique shops, art galleries and eclectic boutiques of Belgian-blocked Germantown Avenue. Here’s a sampling of what there’s to find on the Hill.

Germantown Avenue is the shopping and dining hub for Philadelphia’s tony Chestnut Hill neighborhood, located on the northwest edge of the city.   — Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia


  • Baker Street Bread – Since 1992, artisan breads, rolls and other delights have been the mainstay of this retail and wholesale bakery, whose café serves breakfast and lunches: eggs, salads and sandwiches. 8009 Germantown Avenue, (267) 336-7410,
  • Barry’s Buns – At the Market at the Fareway, Barry’s offers made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls, liege waffles and six flavors of sticky buns, including walnut, walnut raisin and apple crumb. Butter and crumb cakes and stroopwafel round out the small but delicious menu. 8221 Germantown Avenue, (267) 521-2867,
  • Biryani Bowl – Off the beaten path in a standalone brick building, this dine-in or takeout spot spices up Chestnut Hill with arguably some of the best and most affordable Indian cuisine in the city. Highlights include samosas, chicken tikka masala and biryani rice bowls with meat or tofu. 219 E. Willow Grove Avenue, (215) 967-1159,
  • Breakfast Boutiques – Locals get their day started at two Germantown Avenue spots, serving classic breakfast options, plus fried chicken and waffles and vegan items. There are lunch options too. 8630 Germantown Avenue, (215) 621-7796; 6833 Germantown Avenue, (267) 437-2884
  • Bredenbeck’s Bakery & Ice Cream Parlor Established in 1889 and in Chestnut Hill for more than 35 years, this charming shop scores big with locals who adore its cakes, cupcakes, pies and ice cream. Throughout the year, Bredenbeck’s lets customers get in on the action through gingerbread-making workshops. 8126 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-7374,
  • Cake RestaurantThis conservatory-based bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves sweet and savory French-influenced fare for breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch. Guests can ease the wait for salmon Niçoise salads, turkey tartines and croque monsieurs with a treat from the pastry case. 8501 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-6887,
  • Chestnut Hill Brewing Company – At the flagship of the Market at the Fareway, Hillers enjoy a variety of craft beers and tasty traditional and specialty pizzas in a beautifully designed, open-air seating area outfitted with a ping-pong table and plants and newly opened taproom. 8221 & 8231 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-0300,
  • Chestnut Hill Coffee Company Something’s always brewing at this upscale espresso bar. Whatever blend it is, those lucky beans have been roasted in-house, allowing for the optimal java shot. 8620 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-8600,
  • Chestnut Hill Farmers Market – Outdoors on Saturdays year-round (9 a.m.-1 p.m. May to Thanksgiving, 10 a.m.-noon December through April), one of the city’s oldest continuous farmers markets features up to 10 local farmers and food artisans. Winston Road & Germantown Avenue, (215) 733-9599,
  • CinCin – Serving cuisine described as “Chinese kissed by French,” this Chestnut Hill fixture has been the go-to for families and couples for the past 20-some years. What they order: moo shu pork, General Tso’s chicken or a more adventurous fish special. 7838 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-8800,
  • El Poquito – Hillers fill the indoor booths and outdoor courtyard of this fun and contemporary cantina and tequila bar. Most popular on the menu: fresh-juice margaritas and spicy fish tacos. Taco Tuesdays bring crowds for tacos and drink specials. 8201 Germantown Avenue, (267) 766-5372,
  • Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – With several rotating beers brewed in-house, a high-capacity space and more than 85 items on the menu, there is always plenty of goodness to choose from at Iron Hill, a locally based chain of brewpubs. It’s no wonder the seats are filled by the open windows on warm days, where patrons feast on mussels and burgers while people-watching and enjoying a cold one. 8400 Germantown Avenue, (215) 948-5600,
  • Market at the Fareway A smaller version of Center City’s famed Reading Terminal Market, this year-round indoor market stands behind the Chestnut Hill Hotel. More than a dozen stalls offer produce, meats and fish, loads of prepared foods—hummus, sushi, Tibetan dumplings, chocolates and other fresh foods. 8221 Germantown Avenue, (570) 726-7030,
  • McNally’s Tavern Home of the iconic, salami-topped cheesesteak sandwich known as the Schmitter®, this circa 1921 pub is the go-to spot for both sandwiches and homemade soups, along with delicious chocolate, vanilla and coconut cakes. 8634 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-9736,
  • Mermaid Inn – Rhythm, blues, jazz, rock and poetry are on the menu at the corner of Mermaid Lane and Germantown Avenue, home of a funky and eclectic well-kept secret among folks who find meaning in music. Despite its name, this place is a tavern and live performance venue, not a spot to spend the night. 7673 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-9797,
  • Mica Guests are in for a treat at this elegant and modern American BYOB with a seasonal menu that changes daily and is available a la carte or as a six-course tasting. An intimate outdoor patio provides an ideal setting to dine in warm weather. 8609 Germantown Avenue, (267) 335-3912,
  • The Night Kitchen This green-certified cafe and bakery features baked good and light lunch items, specialty cakes and wedding cakes. The staff recycles via rain harvesting and composting. 7725 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-9235,
  • Paris Bistro & Jazz Café – What neighborhood doesn’t require its own sparkling Left Bank brasserie to serve a seasonally changing, French-influenced menu. Belowground, Paris’ cafe seats 52 people for live jazz. 8229 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-6200,
  • Tavern on the Hill – When a shopping or sightseeing trip to the neighborhood comes to an end and a pint or two is required, this cozy spot delivers. It’s also a great place to order comforting pub fare, particularly its popular roast beef sandwich. 8636 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-9948,
  • Weavers Way Co-op: Chestnut Hill This beloved co-op market offers all-natural groceries, local and organic meat and produce, an expanded bulk section, a large prepared foods section and a discount for members. Also in Mt. Airy (see below) and Ambler. 8424 Germantown Avenue, (215) 843-2350,


  • Antique Gallery – On a street filled with quirky antique shops, this one stands out for its discerning selection of jewelry, art pottery and glass. The daily sidewalk sale attracts lovers of costume jewelry, including clip earrings, at bargain prices. 8523 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-1700,
  • Artisans on the Avenue – This shop stocks its shelves with clothing from small U.S. and international designers, jewelry, accessories from around the world and gifts that are just right. 8440 Germantown Avenue, (215) 381-0582,
  • Bohemian Pink – This gem caters to women and girls of all ages with clothing, accessories, hats, headbands, bags and gifts in all colors, not just pink. 8638 Germantown Avenue, (215) 432-0382
  • Caleb Meyer – Fine handcrafted jewelry, designed and forged on premises, combines with American glass, pottery and wood to furnish the stock-and-trade of this elegant gallery of American crafts. 8520 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-9250,
  • El Quetzal – Part of the neighborhood since 1963, this great spot sells quirky gifts, lovely pottery and funky-chic clothing and accessories, all at affordable prices. 8427 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-6588,
  • Hideaway Music – This shop promises and delivers on its slogan, “better living through vinyl.” Original LPs from classic and contemporary rock to jazz and blues, along with turntables and releases by today’s artists (also available on CD), draw music lovers from all over. 8612 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-4434,
  • Host Interiors This designer-owned shelter showroom specializes in bench-made, U.S.-produced furniture, plus rugs, lighting and home accessories. 7908 Germantown Avenue, (215) 967-1196,
  • Isabella Sparrow – Ethereal yet rustic vintage-y home goods, many made of repurposed farmhouse finds, soothe the soul and update the house to give a comforting country edge to city homes. 8511 Germantown Avenue, (717) 327-7285,
  • Mango – Born of a 1980s Boho beach business, this women’s clothing boutique approaches all-age fashions from a colorful, casual bent, with a style philosophy that clothes should be comfortable and stylish. 8442 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-9299,
  • Quelque Chose – This Lilly Pulitzer-packed shop, known for its vast boat tote selection, is vibrant proof that acolytes of The Preppy Handbook—along with more modern fashionistas—still patronize the Hill. 8437 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-6022,
  • Robertson’s Florist – One of the city’s elder florists outdoes itself arrangement after arrangement, offering all manner of flowers, but also elegant home accessories, especially during the holidays. 8501 Germantown Avenue, (800) 242-6002,
  • Noble Goods On point women’s clothing is the point of this casually trendy boutique, formerly known as Roots Inc. Moussy, 6397, Arch The, Doffer Boys and Hope and Stand are among the labels. 8436 Germantown Avenue, (267) 385-575,
  • Rebel Yoga – This all-in-one spot sells yoga gear, offers yoga classes and serves matcha lattes all under one roof. 8020 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-YOGA,
  • Serendipity – Beachy and preppy are the prominent themes at this shop (with locations at the Jersey Shore and in Doylestown as well) offering gifts and apparel for men, women and kids. 8506 Germantown Avenue, (267) 368-5002,
  • Style Camp – This mother-daughter shop specializes in easy, on-trend styles. Chic jersey dresses, French scarves, cozy sweaters and locally made jewelry are among the must-haves for laid-back fashion plates. 9 W. Highland Avenue, (215) 242-3108,
  • Style by Blain – This menswear store specializes in classic footwear by Alden, Paraboot and Gaziano & Girling, custom suits and shirts. 8433 Germantown Avenue, (215) 753-2465, @stylebyblain
  • Tailored Home – This shop carries curated lines of fine china and glass, home accessories and custom furniture. There are a wedding registry and interior design services too. 8528 Germantown Avenue, (267) 297-6502,
  • TC Unlimited – Keia Chesson’s fashion vision was born online and found a brick-and-mortar home stocked with trendy looks, a touch of bling and statement pieces like Michelle Obama magazine print handbags and accessories. 8113 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-1456,
  • Villavillekula – In a children’s shop named after Pippi Longstocking’s home, owner Beth Milley stocks fanciful, mostly handmade clothing and accessories for wee ones.
    8419 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-0200,
  • Windfall GalleryThis spot is a great source for handmade and fair-trade jewelry, folk art, glass art and more from 250+ artists around the world. 7944 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-6303,

Miles of secluded, gentle trails and lush foliage make up Valley Green, part of Philadelphia’s 9,200-acre Fairmount Park. With the soothing sounds of the Wissahickon Creek bubbling in the background, Valley Green’s rolling hills, shaded woodlands and natural landscapes provide a quiet refuge for walkers, hikers and bikers just minutes from Center City, Philadelphia.   — Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia


  • Morris Arboretum – Quaker siblings John and Lydia Morris purchased 92 rolling acres on the edge of Chestnut Hill in 1887, transforming a summer estate into a landscape dedicated to natural beauty and knowledge. The official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and part of the University of Pennsylvania, Morris Arboretum is a place for all ages to enjoy gardens, meadows, sculptures, ponds, trees, events and exhibits, including a biannual display of its great outdoor model railroad. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777,
  • Pastorius Park – Established in 1915 and maintained by the Fairmount Park Commission, this 16-acre park is breathtaking in all seasons. Visitors can walk their dogs among the old trees and around the pond in the center of the park, take the family for a picnic and enjoy concerts in the open-air amphitheater. W. Abington Avenue & Roanoke Street, gov
  • Wissahickon Valley Park – Nestled between Chestnut Hill, Roxborough, Mount Airy and Germantown, 1,800 wooded acres include the lovely Wissahickon Creek, 50 miles of hiking and walking trails. Valley Green Road, (215) 247-0417,
  • Woodmere Art Museum – An elegant stone mansion is now home to more than 8,000 works of art from the 19th century through present day that celebrate the art and artists of Philadelphia. Collection highlights include work by the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Arthur Carles, Violet Oakley and outdoor sculptures by Harry Bertoia, Robinson Fredenthal and Dina Wind. 9201 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-0476,


  • Chestnut Hill Hotel – Spending the night in this historic neighborhood has been possible on this site since 1772. The current 36-room hotel, whose rates include continental breakfast, was built in 1894. Three of the rooms have kitchenettes. There’s a lunch-to-late-night restaurant and bar, and the carriage house and stables out back now house the Market at the Fareway (see below). 8229 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-5905,

Germantown & Mount Airy (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
In addition to its elegant examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture, Mount Airy is known for its community of artists, independent bookstores, cozy coffee shops and green space. Just east of Mount Airy, one of the oldest settlements in Philadelphia, Germantown has a relaxed, backyard feel along with its significant historic resources.


  • Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange – This popular gastropub features a two-sided menu—vegan/vegetarian or carnivore—plus a deep tap list and seasonal cocktails. Wednesday raw bar specials, half-price burger Mondays and open mic Thursdays draw locals.
    7152 Germantown Avenue, (267) 766-2502,
  • Earth Bread + Brewery Emblematic of the Mount Airy ethos, this hangout pours onsite-brewed beers from four taps and rarely repeats a recipe. Seven more taps rotate mostly local brews; there’s also Pennsylvania wine on draught, house-made soda and kombucha—and great flatbread pizzas. 7136 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-6666,
  • Frosted Fox Cake Shop – Basic chocolate chip cookies and over-the-top layer cakes are the specialty of this couple-owned bakery, a monogrammed cupcake-lover’s Pinterest board come to life. 6511 Germantown Avenue, (267) 900-5453,
  • High Point Cafes – The popularity of the made-to-order crêpes and house-roasted coffee necessitated two West Mount Airy locations for this Bohemian bakery/coffee shop. 602 Carpenter Lane, (215) 849-5153; Allen Lane Station, 7210 Cresheim Road, (215) 248-1900,
  • Jansen – Chef David Jansen brings white tablecloth dining and New American fare to the historic Cresheim Cottage. Menu highlights include East and West Coast oysters, jumbo lump crab and avocado salad with sweet and sour sauce and seared Duroc pork chop with charred broccolini, whipped ricotta crostini and caramelized peaches. 7402 Germantown Avenue,
    (267) 335-5041,
  • The Juice Room – This sunny spot uses raw vegetables and fruit to create fresh juices, green smoothies, immune boosters, acai smoothies and more. Homemade soups are popular too. 7127 Germantown Avenue, (215) 248-1122,
  • K & J Caribbean American Diner – One large platter of jerk chicken with rice, peas and cabbage is enough food to keep one family’s taste buds tingling in spicy bliss from lunch through dinner at this no-frills Germantown Jamaican spot. 5603 Greene Street, (215) 849-0242
  • McMenamin’s Tavern Locals convene here in force to catch Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Sixers games, to eat what some consider the best wings in the city and to drink the local and international beers on tap. 7170 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-9920
  • Mi Puebla Restaurant & Bakery – The extensive menu at this laidback BYOB features salads, vegetarian dishes and fish, plus Mexican sodas and crave-worthy desserts.
    7157 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-1779
  • Mt. Airy Deli – For more than 24 years, they’ve been doing deli right. Accolades have followed for their hoagies, corned beef specials and signature salmon cheesesteak. 7200 Devon Street, (215) 242-9274,
  • Nonna’s Pizza Tavern – The two kinds of pies here are Detroit-style pan and New York-style round, but the ingredients emphasize the local. 7200 Germantown Avenue, (267) 385-5872
  • Tata Cafe – Coffee lovers are enjoying this relative newcomer to the neighborhood, embracing the welcoming space as a central meeting point to relax in armchairs and enjoy panini, pastries or a hot cup of Joe. 7201 Germantown Avenue, (215) 753-8282
  • Trattoria Moma – Chef and owner Bledar Istrefi offers his take on traditional and modern Italian cuisine at this intimate BYOB. Diners enjoy mozzarella di bufala, orechiette with homemade fennel chicken sausage and grilled branzino. 7131 Germantown Avenue,
    (267) 437-3838,
  • Tiffin – Locals bring their own beer or wine to this petite location of this small chain of impeccable Indian restaurants. Regulars swear by the chicken tikka masala, saag paneer and lamb biryani, although many opt for takeout or delivery. 7105 Emlen Street, (215) 242-3656,
  • Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books – CNN commentator and Temple professor Marc Lamont Hill created this thoughtful, heart-of-the-neighborhood hangout as: a bookstore with works for children and by ancient philosophers, a living room, a La Colombe coffee bar and a cozy restaurant. The spot takes its name from Lamont Hill’s favorite uncle, who nurtured his love of reading. 5445 Germantown Avenue, (215) 403-7058,
  • Valley Green Inn – Across a gravel path from Wissahickon Creek, this 19th-century hotel now serves as both resting and refreshment point for partakers in Fairmount Park and simple yet elegant venue for lunch, brunch and dinner, including on holidays. Valley Green Road at Wissahickon Road, (215) 247-1730,
  • Weavers Way Co-op: Mt. Airy The original of three co-ops opened its doors in 1973. Shoppers find a full-service natural grocer on the first floor and one of the largest bulk departments in the region upstairs; a separate store across the street houses personal care and pet care departments. Across the street, the pop-up Weavers Way Mercantile (542 Carpenter Lane) functions as an eclectic general store selling local crafts, vintage goods and plants. 559 Carpenter Lane, (215) 843-2350,

It's all in the name at Earth Bread + Brewery. The Mount Airy spot uses locally sourced ingredients for their delicious flatbreads and serves regional draughts along with their own house-brewed alts, smoked wheat ales and Belgian-style dubbels. The owners take _green living_ even further by decorating their brewpub with recycled furniture and eco-friendly materials.   — Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia


  • Big Blue Marble Bookstore This independent bookstore is full of diverse books for a diverse neighborhood. The shop hosts readings, book clubs, workshops and weekly author visits. 551 Carpenter Lane, (215) 844-1870,
  • BLACQSKIRT – Sheri Hall couldn’t find clothes to suit her body, so she made them herself, starting with a black skirt. Now she’s designing, brand-discovering and upcycling clothing for sizes small to 3X at shops in Mt. Airy and at the Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County. 7161 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-2873; 2300 Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, (215) 891-8101,
  • Majeki’s Stained Glass – Craftsman and restorer Mark Kidd, Sr. runs this circa 1990 studio and gallery, where work ranges from fanciful doors to artsy brooches. 7212 Germantown Avenue, (215) 242-1586,
  • The Nesting House – Families pop into the flagship outpost of a small chain of eco-conscious boutiques for babies and small children to score new and gently used clothing, toys, books and furniture—or to exchange the ones that their little ones have outgrown for cash or store credit. 606 Carpenter Lane, (215) 438-1600,
  • October Gallery: Main Art Gallery October’s gallerists have connected people to African American creative and visual expression since 1985. Every November, the annual Philadelphia International Art Expo presents an array of masks, sculptures and canvas works by artists from across the African Diaspora. 6353 Greene Street, (215) 352-3114,
  • Perfectly Flawless Boutique – More than just edgy jumpsuits, rompers, bodysuits and going-out wear, Crystal Jackson’s boutique doubles as a one-stop shop for beauty. Her airy, welcoming Germantown space also offers full makeup by aesthetician Sade Jennine. 5312 Germantown Avenue, (814) 232-0805,
  • Philly Electric Wheels This spot sells electric bikes, folding bikes and kits to convert regular bikes into electric ones. And for those who like to pedal old school, it also carries traditional bikes, sans motors. 7153 Sprague Street, (215) 821-9266,
  • Rothe Florists – Whether for a wedding, birthday or just because, this four-generation family- owned business has been creating beautiful floral arrangements for Philadelphians for more than a century. 7148 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-0832,

Arts & Attractions:

  • Allens Lane Art Center – A theater plus exhibition space, workshop, arts school and summer camp serves as a community go-to for all manner of creative discoveries. 601 W. Allens Lane, (215) 248-0546,
  • Awbury Arboretum – Horticulturalist William Saunders designed this 55-acre property as an English-style estate in 1852. It’s now a free public arboretum with meadows, wetlands, trails, birds and an agricultural village with goats, bees, a community garden, working farm and AdventureWoods, a natural-materials playground. 1 Awbury Road, (215) 849-2855,
  • Cliveden of the National Trust – This 18th-century mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is both an important Battle of Germantown site and a repository of history about northern plantations. Artifacts and tours help guests learn about slavery, from colonial through abolitionist times. 6401 Germantown Avenue, (215) 848-1777,
  • The Colored Girls Museum – The inimitable Vashti DuBois presides over (and lives in) this art-filled residence dedicated to the experiences, history and vitality of the “ordinary Black girl.” Open by appointment and on select Sundays, the house’s exhibit-filled rooms feel both sacred and homey. It’s an essential visit for all manner of art lovers. 4613 Newhall Street, (267) 630-4438,
  • Johnson House Historic Site – Though marked by musket and cannon balls from the Battle of Germantown, this stone home, also a National Historic Landmark, is best known as a rare, surviving station of the Underground Railroad. The house’s 19th-century Quaker owners were part of a network of protectors of Africans fleeing enslavement; tours detail the lives of the former residents, brave Underground Railroad memorialist William Still and other abolitionists. 6306 Germantown Avenue, (215) 438-1768,
  • Mt. Airy Art Garage – This community-driven, professionally run arts hub shows the diverse, can-do spirit of the neighborhood with mural projects, gatherings and exhibitions. 6622 Germantown Avenue, (267) 240-3302,
  • Wyck – This National Historic Landmark includes a house, garden and farm owned for nine generations (1690-1973) by the Quaker Wistar/Haines family. In 1777, during the Battle of Germantown, the house served as a field hospital for British troops. Today, the 2.5-acre estate remains vital to the neighborhood via horticulture, educational programs, a weekly farmers market and community festivals. Guided tours are held Thursday through Saturday, noon-4 p.m. 6026 Germantown Avenue, (215) 848-1690,

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