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TRAVEL TO PHILLY: Rittenhouse Square Neighborhood Guide

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Shops, Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Lounges, Galleries, Parks & More In Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse

Long considered one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city, Rittenhouse Square is known for its quiet, residential streets, bustling dining and shopping scenes and busy business life. The neighborhood buzzes with activity year-round.

The neighborhood gets its name from the one-square-block park between 18th and Rittenhouse and Walnut and Locust streets. The historic green space is bordered by apartment buildings, home to festivals, farmers’ markets and fairs, and popular among sunbathers, readers, families, artists, picnickers and dogs. This part of the city is also home to major corridors of upscale national chain boutiques and stores, notably, along Walnut and Chestnut streets between Broad and 20th streets.

Rittenhouse is bound by Broad Street — also known as the Avenue of the Arts— to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, Market Street and Logan Squareto the north, and Lombard Street and the Graduate Hospital neighborhood to the south. It’s easily accessible for out-of-towners: Two train stations, Suburban Station and Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, are a short walk or ride away.

Upscale Dining:

  • a.kitchen – This understated, modern restaurant inside AKA Rittenhouse Square opens daily for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. An unfussy yet spectacular seasonal menu pairs with a selection of 300 natural wines, cocktails and craft beers — the stock and trade of the attached a.bar,which also specializes in oysters, charcuterie and snacks. Kitchen, 135 S. 18th Street, (215) 825-7030; bar, 1737 Walnut Street, (215) 825-7035, akitchenandbar.com
  • Abe Fisher Taking inspiration from Old-World Jewish cooking, chef Yehuda Sichel puts a contemporary twist on classics, whipping up pastrami with Montreal-smoked short ribs, veal schnitzel tacos and chicken liver mousse. Diners can watch the magic happen in the open kitchen at this intimate, dinner-only spot. 1623 Sansom Street, (215) 867-0088, abefisherphilly.com
  • Alma de Cuba Guests enjoy savory dishes with a Latin flair before topping off the meal with a chocolate Cuban cigar. Attentive service and knockout décor make this a highlight on Stephen Starr’s lengthy Philly resume. 1623 Walnut Street, (215) 988-1799, almadecubarestaurant.com
  • Barclay Prime – Comfy velvet banquettes, crystal chandeliers and a well-dressed crowd create an upscale atmosphere at this handsome steak stalwart. Barclay lives up to the buzz, with the finest meat and delicious handcrafted cocktails. 237 S. 18th Street, (215) 732-7560, barclayprime.com
  • Butcher and Singer – Old Hollywood (and an old bank) sets the stage at Stephen Starr’s Rittenhouse steakhouse. Diners order steaks and chops with sides a la carte, and repeat guests know to save room for after-dinner favorites such as New York-style cheesecake, Key lime pie and baked Alaska. 1500 Walnut Street, (215) 732-4444, butcherandsinger.com
  • Condesa – On the ground floor of the Pod Philly hotel, the culinary creatives from Suraya, the equally chic Lebanese destination in Fishtown, take on Mexican cuisine over lunch and dinner. The menu includes haute tacos made with heirloom masa — lamb adobado (spiced lamb neck), pescado frito(tempura hake), suadero chilango (brisket and tongue) — raw surf clam, goat birria and corn husk-roasted striped bass. 1830 Ludlow Street, (267) 930-5600, condesaphilly.com
  • Friday Saturday Sunday – A beloved, bi-level, dinner-only neighborhood spot serves new American dishes and craft cocktails that look almost too good to enjoy — almost. An adaptable menu pleases those seeking either proper three-course meals or merely drinks and small plates. 261 S. 21st Street, (215) 546-4232, fridaysaturdaysunday.com
  • Giuseppe & Sons – Inspired by generations of cooking and culture, husband-and-wife team Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari bring a fresh twist to Italian-American classics. The ground floor houses a casual luncheonette with table and counter seating; the basement level is a sprawling and elegant lounge, filled with cozy nooks, plush booths and sunken corners. 1523 Sansom Street, (215) 399-9199, giuseppesons.com
  • Harp & Crown – Restaurateur Michael Schulson’s handsome venture next-door feels convivial and timeless. Featured here: charcuterie, small plates and seasonal fare — and a two-lane bowling alley tucked in the basement called Elbow Lane (reservations required for groups of nine or more; based on availability, smaller parties can walk in). 1525 Sansom Street, (215) 330-2800, harpcrown.com
  • Lacroix at The Rittenhouse – Along with an extensive wine list and elegant décor, the progressive, international menu makes this dining room a gem. Guests seated by the windows enjoy views of Rittenhouse Square. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 2nd floor, (215) 790-2533, lacroixrestaurant.com
  • The Love – Restaurateurs Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr teamed up for this bright and sophisticated restaurant and bar. The American menu features fresh, seasonal food, as well as the most important ingredient: love. 130 S. 18th Street, (215) 433-1555, theloverestaurant.com
  • Oyster House – Owner Sam Mink continues his father’s mission of serving fresh seafood at reasonable prices. He presents classic dishes with modern flavors and uses local ingredients whenever possible. The happy hour menu of buck-a-shuck oysters, $3 beer and a $5 cocktail always draws a crowd. 1516 Sansom Street, (215) 567-7683, oysterhousephilly.com
  • Parc Diners may feel as though they’ve gone transatlantic while sitting at this Parisian-inspired bistro. From tables across from Rittenhouse Square, patrons view the park foot traffic while noshing on the house-made breads, onion soup, shrimp salad, classic omelets and mussels in white wine. 227 S. 18th Street, (215) 545-2262, parc-restaurant.com
  • R2L – Views that span 40 miles create a grand atmosphere to Daniel Stern’s bar and restaurant, an ultra-modern dining room serving American cuisine 500 feet above Center City. (The website lists nightly sunset times, for prime timing.) Two Liberty Place, 50 S. 16th Street, 37th floor, (215) 564-5337, r2lrestaurant.com
  • Rouge – Tucked among tough dining competition, this see-and-be-seen mainstay serves classic cocktails, simple dishes and sidewalk seating that’s perfect for day-to-night people peeping. 205 S. 18th Street, (215) 732-6622, rouge98.com
 
  • Spice Finch Chefs Jennifer Carroll and Billy Riddle serve an inventive mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors in the form of build-your-own meals. Diners can choose from small plates like broccoli tabbouleh, spinach and cheese kichi (a savory Greek pie), chili chicken kebab, or larger sharing portions. The shakshuka, with spiced tomatoes, peppers, nigella and three baked eggs, is a crowd-pleaser. 220 S. 17th Street, (215) 309-2238, spicefinchphilly.com
  • Tequila’s Restaurant Since 1986, restaurateur David Suro has put a high-end twist on traditional Mexican cuisine within the confines of a stately mansion. A massive tequila-forward cocktail menu featuring creative drinks like the Roses Margarita, made with petal-infused tequila, lime, St. Germain and rose petals. 1602 Locust Street, (215) 546-0181, tequilasphilly.com
  • Tinto – Chef Jose Garces’ intimate Spanish wine bar and restaurant is known for its pintxos, the variety of tapas found in Spain’s Basque region. 114 S. 20th Street, (215) 665-9150, philadelphia.tintorestaurant.com
  • Townsend – Chef-owner Tod Wentz relocated his refined, French, evening-only gastropub from South Philly to Rittenhouse, and a menu that stars foie gras mousse, escargot bordelaise and red wine-braised veal. 2121 Walnut Street, (267) 639-3203, townsendphl.com
  • Vernick Food & Drink – In a spare, elegant yet casual, space, James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Vernick creates pristine raw seafood and revelatory small and large dinnertime sharing plates. In 2019, Vernick expanded next door with Vernick Wine, a wine shop by day and private dining space by evening. Restaurant, 2031 Walnut Street, (267) 639-6644; Wine, 2029 Walnut Street, (267) 951-2962, vernickphilly.com
  • Via Locusta – Prolific restaurateurs Nina Tinari and Michael Schulson combined forces with chef Jeff Michaud, known for Italian cuisine, on an elegant and spare dinner-only dining room serving pristine handmade pastas, delicate small plates (scallop crudo, chicory salad) and artisanal cocktails. 1723 Locust Street, (215) 642-0020, vialocusta.com

Bring-Your-Own-Bottle (BYOB) Spots:

  • Audrey Claire Large windows, an open kitchen and outdoor seating — not to mention stellar Mediterranean and American fare—add to the cool, casual ambiance at this beloved corner BYOB, which now accepts reservations any night it’s open. 276 S. 20th Street, (215) 731-1222, audreyclaire.com
  • Melograno – Chef Gianluca Demontis prepares Italian specialties such as pappardelle, risotto and several fish dishes at this elevated trattoria and BYOB. 2012 Sansom Street, (215) 875-8116, melogranophilly.com
  • Res Ipsa Cafe – This small, unassuming space belies the impressive nature of the all-day cafe, serving casual breakfasts featuring ReAnimator Coffee and house-made English muffins; simple lunches of fried green tomato sandwiches and mozzarella calzones; and, Wednesday through Monday, note-perfect Sicilian dinner specialties. 2218 Walnut Street, (267) 519-0329, resipsaphilly.com

Casual Dining:

  • Alimentari – The upstairs of Di Brunos Bros market has become a lunchtime through dinner destination unto itself, with a cheese-forward menu of delicious pizza by the slice, excellently rich sandwiches, a mozzarella bar, salads and approachable Italian wines. 1730 Chestnut Street, 2nd floor, (267) 764-5143, dibruno.com/alimentari
  • Almaz Cafe – This Ethiopian cafe offers breakfast and lunch and is known for its doro wot (Ethiopian chicken stew), wrap sandwiches and great coffee. Customers can people-watch from the spacious loft area. 140 S. 20th Street, (215) 557-0108, almazcafe.com
  • Bar Bombón The aesthetic may be inspired by Old San Juan, but the all-vegan menu is thoroughly modern. Patrons enjoy Latin American food with a twist along with margaritas available by the glass or pitcher. 133 S. 18th Street, (267) 606-6612, barbombon.com
  • Butcher Bar – From the owners of eateries Valanni, Mercato and Varga Bar comes a meat-focused menu tempting carnivores with Sloppy Joe poutine, house-made sausage, four kinds of meatballs and smoked wild boar ribs, along with 16 beers and six wines on tap, and a whiskey-based cocktail selection. 2034 Chestnut Street, (215) 563-MEAT, butcherbarphilly.com
  • Gran Caffè L’Aquila Constructed in Italy and transported to Philadelphia, this cafe, bar and restaurant stays open morning to night, serving pastries, panini, 24 flavors of International Gelato Champion Stefano Biasini’s artisanal gelato, a notable list of wines and house-roasted coffee. The downstairs stand-up bar lends authenticity; the upstairs has a full-service restaurant, gelato lab, wine tastings and Italian language lessons. 1716 Chestnut Street,(215) 568-5600, grancafeelaquila.com
  • The Continental Mid-town A spirited energy fills the three levels of this fun restaurant and bar, known for its big salads, Szechuan shoestring fries and cheesesteak eggrolls. The partially enclosed rooftop lounge, which stays open year-round and draws a young, fashionable crowd. 1801 Chestnut Street, (215) 567-1800, continentalmidtown.com
  • DanDan – A blend of Taiwanese and Sichuan food takes the stage at this bi-level bistro. Balcony seats are the best in the house and the namesake specialty dan dan noodles are not to be missed. 126 S. 16th Street, (215) 800-1165, dandanrestaurant.com
  • The Dandelion Modeled after traditional gastropubs in Britain, this cozy, charming and handsome Stephen Starr eatery invites Anglophiles to imbibe cask-stored pints and dine on delicious Welsh rarebit, shepherd’s pie or sticky toffee pudding. And what would a British restaurant be without afternoon tea? 124 S. 18th Street, (215) 558-2500, thedandelionpub.com
  • El Rey – Set in an old diner, Stephen Starr’s Mexican spot serves home-style brunch, lunch, dinner and Mexican sodas and margaritas anytime, and hosts a popular happy hour. Tucked behind El Rey, the Ranstead Room channels a speakeasy; it’s dimly lit, with expert mixologists. Restaurant, 2013 Chestnut Street, (215) 563-3330; bar, 2013 Ranstead Street, (215) 563-3330, elreyrestaurant.com
K’Far – A pretty Israeli cafe comes from Israeli culinary specialist Michael Solomonov and James Beard Award-winning chef Camille Cogswell. Breakfast through lunch, customers line up to order pistachio sticky buns, chocolate babka, Jerusalem bagels, Kubaneh toasts, Tunisians salads; dinner is a sit-down operation with a hearty Middle Eastern menu of pomegranate-harissa chicken, t-bit (an Iraqi beef and vegetable casserole) and chraime (Moroccan cod stew). 110 S. 19th Street, (267) 800-7200, kfarcafe.com
  • Harper’s Garden This plant-dappled, indoor-outdoor dining spot on a busy block has a seasonal menu of shareable plates, great wine, specialty cocktails and beer from a 30-line draft system. 31 S. 18th Street, (267) 886-8552, harpersgardenphilly.com
  • Mission Taqueria – Atop the Oyster House, this sunny taqueria remixes Mexican classics, resulting in green juice margaritas, braised lamb tacos with nopale relish and mixto ceviche with crispy plantains, and coconut leche de tigre. 1516 Sansom Street, 2nd floor, (215) 383-1200, missiontaqueria.com
  • Pizzeria Vetri Crowds head to this pizza shop for wood-fired Neapolitan-style pies and seasonal items in salads, small bites and house specialty pies like the savory Rotolo pizza and Nutella dessert pizza, stuffed with marshmallows. 1615 Chancellor Street, (215) 763-3760, pizzeriavetri.com
  • Stock Rittenhouse – Steaming Southeast Asian soups, banh mi and spicy salads are up for grabs at this petite noodle joint from chef Tyler Akin. Customers order at the counter for lunch and enjoy full table service after 5 p.m.; a gluten-free and vegan friendly menu lets customer add protein to customize their dish. 1935 Chestnut Street, (215) 988-9480, stockphilly.com
  • Village Whiskey – Chef Jose Garces put a handsome stamp on the corner bar by offering 100 varieties of whiskey, bourbon, rye and scotch alongside sparkling wines and American craft beer. and a menu of awesome burgers, salads and snacks. 118 S. 20th Street, (215) 665-1088, philadelphia.villagewhiskey.com

Fast Casual:

  • Dizengoff With just 25 seats, this hummusiya draws a line out its door during prime eating hours. Those in the know wait for light, Israeli-style hummus; just-baked pita; seasonally changing meat and vegetable toppings; and a full bar. 1625 Sansom Street, (215) 867-8181, dizengoffphilly.com
  • El Merkury – Pop-up shop turned brick-and-mortar eatery specializes in Mayan cuisine and churros. Corn, chocolate, chili and beans go into popular dishes such as maize-based flatbread pupusas, available con carne or vegetarian. 2104 Chestnut Street, (267) 457-5952, elmerkury.com
  • Federal Donuts People come here for one thing: deep-fried joy. It’s delivered in the form of Korean-style chicken, with a variety of rubs and glazes and available in sandwich form, and hot fresh or fancy doughnuts in constantly changing flavors like cinnamon brown sugar, blueberry pancake, strawberry lavender and chocolate éclair — and coffee, of course. 1632 Sansom Street, (215) 665-1101, federaldonuts.com
  • Goldie This all-vegan, kosher and oh-so-good walkup by Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov serves three things: falafel (in a pita or a salad), shawarma-spiced French fries and tehina shakes. The lunchtime line is worth the wait. 1526 Sansom Street, (267) 239-0777, goldiefalfel.com
  • HipCityVeg In a city best known for its cheesesteak, this eat-in (but mostly takeout) spot welcomes eaters for quick bites, including fabulous faux cheesesteaks and great sweet potato fries. 127 S. 18th Street, (215) 278-7605, hipcityveg.com
  • Honeygrow – At this busy spot, a kiosk ordering system, flavorful smoothies and freshly prepared salads and stir-fry draw Center City crowds for lunch and dinner. Newcomers should be sure to sample the Honeybar, where they can choose from a variety of local honeys, fruit and toppings to make a delicious, healthy snack. 110 S. 16th Street, (215) 279-7724, honeygrow.com
  • Mac Mart – Originally a mac and cheese truck, this now-stationary spot serves all kinds of delicious toppings (Buffalo chicken, jumbo lump crabmeat, crunchy fried onions, crispy bacon) atop the childhood favorite. 104 S. 18th Street, (215) 444-6144, macmartcart.com
  • Nom Nom Ramen These are not dorm-room noodles. Authentic Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen bowls come filled with mushrooms, bamboo, kelp, pickled ginger or soft-boiled eggs, among other ingredients. 20 S. 18th Street, (215) 988-0898, nomnomramen.com
  • Poi Dog Borne out of a popular food truck, this specialist in Hawaiian fare mixed in Filipino, Japanese and Portuguese The counter operation serves Ahi poke, pulled pork and cabbage, Spam musubi (Spam and rice wrapped in nori) and andagi (deep-fried dough). 100½ S. 21st Street, (215) 279-7015, poidogphilly.com
  • P.S. & Co. – The menu changes seasonally based on the availability of organic ingredients at this stylishly rustic, 100% organic, plant-based, gluten-free, kosher parve walkup restaurant, known for cold-pressed juices and shockingly delicious desserts. 1706 Locust Street, (215) 985-1706, puresweets.com
  • Revolution Taco – This storefront taqueria serves eclectic tacos (smoked pork pastor; smoked mushroom vegan; roast duck with scallion pancake shell), burritos and house-made empanadas. 2015 Walnut Street, (267) 639-5681, therevolutiontaco.com
  • Steve’s Prince of Steaks – With a prime location, Northeast Philly-born Steve’s offers convenience in addition to its delectable sandwiches. Cheesesteaks, hoagies, burgers and fries satisfy diners looking for a Philly-centric meal. 41 S. 16th Street, (215) 972-6090, stevesprinceofsteakscom
  • V Street The couple behind nationally acclaimed Vedge keep hungry (and thirsty) vegans happy with global street food, such as Peruvian fries and Korean fried tempeh tacos, and creative cocktails at this sleek, relaxed Rittenhouse bar. Even non-vegans love it here. 126 S. 19th Street, (215) 278-7943, vstreetfood.com

Cafes & Confections:

  • La Colombe – Daniel Boulud is one of the chefs who favors the beans from this elegant European-style but Philly-born cafe, which serves its roasts in Fima Deruta pottery. Coffee drinkers who want to bring the brewed goodness home can pick up the first-of-its-kind Draft Latte, with patented technology that produces a frothy cold latte in a can, or the For Haiti blend, which supports an organization that teaches Haitian farmers to become sustainable coffee producers. 130 S. 19th Street, (215) 563-0860; 1414 S. Penn Square, (215) 977-7770, lacolombe.com
  • Lil’ Pop Shop – This homemade popsicle shop serves creamy and non-dairy treats with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients. Garden mint chocolate chunk and basil lemonade have been known to grace the menu, as do coffee and baked goods. (During winter holidays, pies take over the space.) 229 S. 20th Street, 215-309-5822, lilpopshop.com
  • Metropolitan Bakery and Cafe This Philadelphia institution doles out wonderful breads, spreads, scones and sweets, along with grab-and-go artisan cheeses, produce and sandwiches. Patrons at the adjacent, sit-down cafe can enjoy pizzas, salads, sandwiches, croissants, quiche and coffee. 262 & 264 S. 19th Street, (215) 545-6655, metropolitanbakery.com
  • Miel Patisserie Gourmet cakes, sophisticated pastry and handcrafted, artisan chocolates line the cases at this tempting shop. Patrons can munch on a hot or cold sandwich or sip an espresso while trying to choose their treat. 204 S. 17th Street, (215) 731-9191, mielpatisserie.com
  • Rival Bros. Coffee – Rival Bros’ roasts go into the expertly crafted coffee drinks at this delightful cafe, one of a handful of city locations. 1528 Spruce Street, rivalbros.com
  • Spread Bagelry – This rapidly expanding Montreal-style bagel shop bakes its goods in a wood-fired oven. They’re topped with homemade seasonal spreads, such as spring onion scallion cream cheese, freshly ground peanut butter, Amish cream cheese, or stuffed as sandwiches. The flagship at 24th and Walnut streets has an in-house brewery; a new location is in the works at 106 S. 16th Street. 262 S. 20th Street, (215) 545-0626; 2401 Walnut Street, (267) 692-2435, spreadybagelry.com
  • Swiss Haus Bakery Century-old European recipes have kept this establishment going for 90 years. Customers come for custom cakes for every occasion, pastries and cookies. 35 S. 19th Street, (215) 563-0759, swisshausbakery.com
  • Ultimo – A local innovator in the craft coffee movement, Ultimo lures java fiends with drinks made from Philly-roasted beans. Bold, citrusy pour-overs go great with a treat or pastry from Dottie’s Donuts or Four Worlds Bakery. 238 S. 20th Street, (267) 804-7972, ultimocoffee.com

Other Culinary Concepts:

  • COOK Philadelphia’s hardest reservation to score isn’t at a swanky restaurant; it’s COOK, a collaborative kitchen-classroom that accommodates 16 guests per class. Celebrated and up-and-coming chefs impart their foodie know-how, demoing doughnuts, knife skills, mixology, homemade pizza and so much more deliciousness. The best part: Guests eat the lesson. 253 20th Street, (215) 735-COOK, audreyclairecook.com
  • Di Bruno Bros. Renowned for its selection of cheeses and meats, this locally owned gourmet market also offers sandwiches, prepared foods made daily and wonderful cappuccino and pastries. 1730 Chestnut Street, (215) 665-9220, dibruno.com

Bars/Entertainment:

  • 1 Tippling Place – Bargoers who can find this hidden gem — there’s no sign outside — give it rave reviews. Comfortable, living room-style seating areas create an ambiance that’s the perfect mix of casual and upscale. 2006 Chestnut Street, 1tpl.com
  • Blume – Splashed with magenta and turquoise artwork, hanging with dozens of plants, upholstered in bronze tones, this botanical cocktail spot combines Victorian and contemporary aesthetics with an international menu of crowd-pleasers. 1500 Locust Street, (267) 761-5582, blumehilly.com
  • The Franklin Bar Mortgage & Investment Company A subterranean speakeasy serves artisanal cocktails in a handsome basement setting. Upstairs, Encima offers an edgy interior for agave-based cocktails with a focus on mezcal and homemade tamale 112 S. 18th Street, (267) 467-3277; thefranklinbar.com
  • The GOAT ­– Named after the Rittenhouse Square sculpture — not an NFL player — this late-afternoon to late-night beer and cocktail destination from beloved bar owner Ferguson “Fergie” Carey offers creative comfort food such as honey hot crispy chicken sandwiches, short rib poutine, vegan bulgogi and Reuben hamburgers. 1907 Sansom Street, thegoatphilly.com
  • Monk’s Café – This Philadelphia beer institution pours only the finest in crafts. Novices shouldn’t be intimidated — the helpful bartenders can help to decipher the thick “Beer Bible” and suggest the perfect dish to complement the brew. Regulars swear by the burgers, mussels and frites — all served until 1 a.m. nightly. 264 S. 16th Street, (215) 545-7005, monkscafe.com
  • SPiN Philadelphia – The main attraction at this large, mural-clad social club/bar/restaurant: 16 Olympic-sized ping pong tables that can be reserved in advance or upon arrival — and a tempting bathtub of ping pong balls. Players and spectators also enjoy DJ-spun music, creative cocktails and shareable bar fare. 211 S. 15th Street, (267) 463-4850, wearespin.com
  • Stir Lounge – The music pumping inside this LGBTQ bar is audible from the outside, enticing passersby to come in and partake in the fun. Friendly bartenders and even friendlier pours accompany the jams. 1705 Chancellor Street, (215) 732-2700, stirphilly.com
  • Tria Rittenhouse – Since 2004, this casual, intimate wine bar has prided itself on well-described vino, boutique beers and snacks (and sandwiches and salads), served lunch through dinner. 123 S. 18th Street, (215) 972-TRIA, triaphilly.com
 

 

  • Tria Taproom – This reimagined neighborhood bar doesn’t have a bottle in the building. Instead, it serves 40 craft beers, fine wines and hand-batched cocktails from a draft, best accompanied by the wood-grilled flatbreads. 2005 Walnut Street, (215) 557-TAPS, triaphilly.com
  • Twenty Manning Grill This sleekly modern neighborhood spot offers a sophisticated yet laid-back atmosphere and a menu of refined traditional American cuisine. Tip: Bar guests vie for the couch seats by the front windows. 261 S. 20th Street, (215) 731-0900, twentymanning.com
  • Vesper Sporting Club – Once a swanky supper club, Vesper has reinvented itself as a modern sports bar and nightclub, complete with more than 40 HD TV screens, bottle service and weekend DJ dance parties. There’s also an underground bar, accessible by dialing the rotary phone in the entrance. 223 S. Sydenham Street, (267) 603-2468, vespersportingclub.com

Music, Stage & Film:

  • Adrienne Theater – Tucked onto a narrow, quiet block, the home of several arts companies hosts comedy and improv at Philly Improv Theater, kid-driven MacGuffin Theatre & Film Company and short-form improv group Comedy Sportz. 2030 Sansom Street, phillyimprovtheater.com, macguffintf.com, phitcomedy.com
  • Chris’ Jazz Cafe This spot hosts live jazz six nights a week (closed Sunday) and hosts 500 shows every year with local, national and international musicians. A full dinner menu accompanies the great music. 1421 Sansom Street, (215) 568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com
  • Curtis Institute of Music Founded in 1924, Curtis educates and trains a highly selective group of young musicians for professional careers as artists. While only the best and most talented are accepted into the school, anyone can enjoy the free or very affordable performances that are at the heart of the school’s learn-by-doing approach. 1726 Locust Street, (215) 893-5252, curtis.edu
  • The Drake – On the first level of the historic Drake building, two recently renovated theaters serve as home to InterAct Theatre Company and resident companies Azuka, Inis Nua, PlayPenn and Simpatico Theatre. 302 S. Hicks Street, azukatheatre.org, inisnuatheatre.org, interacttheatre.org, simpaticotheatre.org
  • First Unitarian Church While most churches have a choir that performs at Sunday services, this one hosts rock concerts. R5 Productions, which also books shows for Union Transfer and Boot & Saddle, sets the calendar for this hot (literally) music heaven. 2125 Chestnut Street, (215) 821-7575, r5productions.com
  • Helium Comedy Club Standup comedians get their laughs Tuesday through Sunday nights at this intimate venue, which serves drinks, snacks and desserts. Funny folk take advantage of the weekly open-mic night on Tuesdays, along with standup, improv and sketch classes. 2031 Sansom Street, (215) 496-9001, heliumcomedy.com
  • PFS Roxy Theater The Philadelphia Film Society runs the two-screen Roxy Theater, housed in two row houses. It offers educational programs on films and filmmakers, popular shows, independent movies, including daytime screenings for baby-toting grown-ups and a popular BYOB night. 2023 Sansom Street, (267) 639-9508, filmadelphia.org/roxy-theater
  • Philadelphia Film Center – The performing space formerly known as the Prince Theater currently screens movies using the only 4K Laser Projector in Center City. It’s also the longtime base of the Philadelphia Film Society’s annual Philadelphia Film Festival. 1412 Chestnut Street, (215) 422-4580, princetheater.org
  • Plays & Players Theatre One of the oldest continuously running theaters in the United States, opened as The Little Theatre in 1912. Its location on a quiet, residential street adds to its charm — as do the comedic antics of theater troupe 1812 Productions, whose annual holiday romp, “This Is the Week That Is… ,” has been a Philly favorite for more than a decade. Upstairs, Skinner Studio offers additional programming and access to Quig’s Pub. 1714 Delancey Place, (215) 735-0630, playsandplayers.org

Museums, Attractions & Galleries:

  • The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) – Dedicated to supporting artists throughout the region, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists provides career support, exhibition opportunities and education for visual artists. The public is welcome — free of charge — to enjoy exhibitions, citywide festivals and behind-the-scenes art tours. 237 S. 18th Street, 3rd Floor, (215) 546-7775, cfeva.org

The famed skull collection is one draw of the Mutter Museum.   — Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

  • Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia It’s been said that “You ain’t seen nuthin’ ’til you’ve seen the giant colon” at this historic medical and medical oddities museum. Truth be told, however, really, visitors sure see something when they see the “Soap Lady,” view the Hyrtl Skull Collection, immerse themselves in other disturbingly informative medical artifacts — or even just ogle a tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland or slides of Albert Einstein’s brain. 19 S. 22nd Street, (215) 560-8564, muttermuseum.org
  • One Liberty Observation Deck Even birds are envious of this place. An entertaining video plays as the elevator zips visitors up to the 57th floor of One Liberty Place, where wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows reveal panoramic views. Interactive kiosks zoom in on Philadelphia landmarks and exhibits offer interesting history, architecture and art tidbits that help form the fabric of Philadelphia. 1650 Market Street, 57th floor, (215) 561-3325, phillyfromthetop.com
  • The Print Center – Free and open to the public, this gallery, founded in 1915, was a pioneer in its dedication to the appreciation of prints. Today, the vibrant nonprofit encourages the growth and understanding of photography and printmaking as important contemporary arts via exhibits, public programs, publications, education and a gallery shop with contemporary prints, photographs and other printed objects by artists from all over the world. 1614 Latimer Street, (215) 735-6090, printcenter.org
  • Philadelphia Art Alliance at UArts Across the street from Rittenhouse Square, the circa 1915 Wetherill Mansion is now the provenance of the University of the Arts, whose interdisciplinary goal is to promote and to develop makers, performers and other artists. Exhibits here aim to reflect a fluid approach to the arts while encouraging exploration and conversation. 251 S. 18th Street, (215) 545-4302, uarts.edu/artalliance
  • The Rosenbach Inside a stately row home, this museum houses an impressive collection of art, antiques, rare archives and literary treasures. Among them: the only surviving copy of Ben Franklin’s first Poor Richard’s Almanack, James Joyce’s manuscript for Ulysses, Bram Stoker’s notes and outlines for Dracula and more than 100 personal letters from George Washington. 2008-2010 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600, rosenbach.org

Shops:

  • Bella Turka – Midtown Village’s global jeweler Koray Avci fills his second shop with home accents and personal accessories, including some fabulous handmade scarves—with many pieces by Philadelphia and other American designers — to its irresistible repertoire. 1700 Sansom Street, (215) 560-8731, bellaturka.com
  • Benjamin Lovell Shoes – Benjamin Lovell proves that fashionable shoes don’t have to hurt. Famously comfortable brands, including Dansko, On-Running, Naot and Pikolinos, line the shelves. 1728 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-4655, blshoes.com
  • Blue Sole Shoes – This fine Italian men’s footwear specialist stocks designs by Magnanni, John Richmond, Jo Ghost and Tateossian, along with socks and accessories. 1805 Chestnut Street, (215) 496-9224, bluesoleshoes.com
  • Born Yesterday – This boutique stocks designer clothing and toys for fashionable babies, tots and kids up to size 12 for girls and size 10 for boys. There are even Philadelphia-themed onesies and T-shirts (custom Rocky, the Eagles). 1901 Walnut Street, (215) 568-6556, bornyesterdaykids.com
  • Boyds Philadelphia – For four generations, Boyds has been dressing Philadelphians in the best of the best. Guests receive royal treatment from the attentive staff, including valet parking and a few dozen tailors, while browsing clothing and accessories by big names like Ermenegildo Zegna and Alexander McQueen. 1818 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-9000, boydsphila.com
  • Commonwealth Proper Founded in 2008 as a shirt maker, this company has expanded to design and makes all aspects of a man’s wardrobe: custom suits, blazers, pants, accessories and overcoats. There’s personal styling too. 1839 Chestnut Street, (267) 319-1741, commonwealthproper.com
  • Egan Rittenhouse – Inside the elegant Rittenhouse hotel, Kate Egan brings her impeccable taste to a pristine gift stock of Lostine candleholders, Alex Stadler sketches (both local products), elegant glassware, men’s grooming products, children’s toys and a full-service floral studio. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, (215) 433-1632, eganrittenhouse.com
  • Head Start Shoes For nearly 40 years, this shop has been a Philly go-to, specializing in pristine Italian boots and shoes for women. 126 S. 17th Street, (215) 567-3247, head-start-shoes.shoplightspeed.com
  • Jacques Ferber Luxurious furs and shearlings, Herno and Creenstone, Loro Piana cashmere, Italian leather down from AFG, alpaca coats and fur accessories look right at home in this revamped historic space. 1708 Walnut Street, 2nd floor, (215) 735-4173, jacquesferber.com
  • Joan Shepp Joan Shepp has been a Philadelphia fashion powerhouse since 1971. Named by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the country’s style leaders, she and daughter Ellen stock their 9,000-square-foot store with designer womenswear from Maison Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons and Balenciaga, along with local designers. 1811 Chestnut Street, (215) 735-2666, joanshepp.com
  • Joseph Fox Bookshop – Opened in 1951, this independent walkup has survived mega-stores, online retailers and electronic readers thanks to its obsession with its customers and its loyalty to the written word. The knowledgeable staff helps guests find their next great read in the store, or they order it for next-day delivery. 1724 Sansom Street, (215) 563-4184, foxbookshop.com
  • LAGOS – This fine jewelry shop offers enduring jewelry created in Philadelphia by founder and master jeweler Steven Lagos. 1735 Walnut Street, (215) 567-0770, lagos.com
  • NINObrand Open by appointment only, this chic atelier and showroom showcases the talents of Philadelphia designer Bela Shehu. The style-savvy come here for runway-ready casual and evening looks like asymmetrical dresses, timeless tops and bottoms and a hand-crafted collection of modern jewelry. 333 S. 20th Street, (267) 761-9388, ninobrand.com
 
  • Shakespeare & Co – Philadelphia has the first expansion location of this classic New York City bookstore. The handsome, wood-trimmed venue stocks 15,000 titles, features the Espresso Book Machine, which can print personalized books, journals, and millions of public domain publications — all in 10 minutes. The cafe serves treats, including La Colombe coffee and Metropolitan Bakery goods. 1632 Walnut Street, (215) 486-2106, shakeandco.com
  • Shop Sixty Five – One of Gwyenth Paltrow’s Goop picks for one of the undeniably best places to shop in Philadelphia, this boutique outfits its clients in luxury knitwear, designer denim and envy-inspiring handbags from progressive collections. 128 S. 17th Street, (267) 239-5488, shopsixtyfive.com
  • Skirt Trend-seekers can find contemporary, high-end womenswear in this sleek space. Expert in-store stylists guide shoppers through the racks of recognizable, high-end women’s lines. 212 S. 17th Street, (215) 309-8419, shop-skirt.com
  • Sophy Curson – Since 1929, Sophy Curson has been filling the closets of Philadelphia’s most distinguished women. In addition to colorful wool dresses, cocktail frocks and evening gowns, the shop carries European sportswear, jackets and trousers, daytime dresses (with sleeves) and cashmere sweaters. 122 S. 19th Street, (215) 567-4662, sophycurson.com
  • Ubiq – Three floors of kicks, clothes and art keep sneakerheads coming back to this store again and again. 1509 Walnut Street, (215) 988-0194, ubiqlife.com
  • Wayne Edwards Workshop – This father-and-son operation has been outfitting Philadelphia men since 1970. The atelier specializes in individualized clothing and an edited selection of sportswear. 1710 Sansom Street, 2nd floor, (267) 606-6691, wayneedwardsworkshop.com

Spas & Beauty:

  • Rescue Spa Philadelphia – Manicures, pedicures, massages, hair removal, makeovers and hair services are all on the menu, but the outstanding facials and skin treatments make Rescue a standout in the neighborhood — and the world. (The spa has a second location in New York City.) 1601 Walnut Street, 3rd floor (866) 772-2766, rescuespa.net
  • Ursula’s About Phace – Ursula Augustine opened her makeup studio to provide safe alternatives to harsh beauty treatments. In addition to makeup application, the salon offers her signature brow shaping. 1700 Sansom Street, Suite 201, (215) 557-1562, aboutphace201.com
  • Mi Cumbia Organica – The beauty treatments at this Colombian-inspired nail and waxing salon incorporate natural and organic ingredients like fresh coconut and mango. Patrons can enjoy Colombian coffee during services. 328 S. 17th Street, (215) 735-7980, micumbia.co

Parks & Outdoor Spaces:

  • Fitler Square – This charming half-acre park sits south and west of Rittenhouse Square and hosts neighborhood gatherings, including a holiday tree lighting, Easter egg hunt, Halloween party, a farmers’ market and seasonal fairs. 23rd & Pine streets, fitlersquare.org
  • Rittenhouse Square – The centerpiece of an upscale neighborhood, Rittenhouse Square is alive with locals and visitors amid greenery and colorful flowers. The historic park features walkways, sculptures, fountains and a reflecting pool. Craft fairs, art shows, farmers’ markets and events of all kinds shine a spotlight on the picturesque location all year. 18th & Walnut streets, friendsofrittenhouse.org

Pink blossoms bloom on trees in Rittenhouse Square in spring.

  • Schuylkill Banks and Boardwalk, Schuylkill River Trail – This eight-mile stretch of riverbank and over-the-water concrete boardwalk provides an ideal setting for running, biking, skating or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll and a picnic. Right next to the water, this stretch also offers fishing, kayaking and boating. Entry points are at 25th and Locust streets, Walnut Street west of 24th Street, Chestnut Street west of 24th Street and South Street. schuylkillbanks.org

Hotels:

  • AKA Rittenhouse Square – Specializing in stays of a week or longer, this hotel residence balances the style and hospitality of an intimate boutique hotel with the comfort and elegance of a luxurious residence. The 12-story historic landmark features respectfully restored interiors with a contemporary vibe and 78 studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom suites with full kitchens. 135 S. 18th Street, (215) 825-7000, stayaka.com
  • The Dwight D. Feeling very much like an elegant private residence, this 11-room brownstone adjoins Belgian Monk’s Café, famous for a beer list its owner calls a “bible.” Pollock-esque artwork and vintage brasserie posters impart a contemporary air to traditional, luxurious décor. A Cottage Suite in a neighboring residence offers three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, den and rear garden. 256-258 S. 16th Street, (215) 772-1901, thedwightd.com
  • Fitler Club – Opened in 2019, an expansive private lifestyle club overlooking the Schuylkill River offers members and hotel guests access to cuisine by chef Marc Vetri, a stellar cocktail scene, intimate live performances, vast fitness center, private movie theater and posh games lounge, along with chic design and original modern art. Fourteen suites — nine queen and king rooms, three king lofts, a 860-square-foot master and the 1,095-square-foot Fitler — offer a modern aesthetic and midcentury flourishes such as rotary phones and classic alarm clocks. 24 S. 24th Street, (215) 575-9092, fitlerclub.com
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia – An overhead portrait of Benjamin Franklin greets guests at the entrance of this 230-room, LEED-certified, Art Deco property, known for its in-room spa services, daily wine hours, pet- and kid-friendliness and New American restaurant and bar, Square 1682. Hotel, 117 S. 17th Street, (215) 563-5006, hotelpalomar-philadelphia.com; restaurant, 121 S. 17th Street, (215) 563-5008, square1682.com
  • Pod Philly – The city’s first micro hotel houses 252 minimalist, 150- to 320-square-foot pods — bunk or queen rooms — with lively communal spaces and access to a nearby yoga studio and a co-working space. The hotel is also known for its dining: El Café for Stumptown coffee and Mexican pastries; Condesa (see above); and El Techo, a year-round rooftop bar with a retractable glass roof and great cocktail list. Hotel, 31 S. 19th Street, (267) 494-0440, thepodhotel.com
  • The Racquet Club of Philadelphia – An elite private club that dates to 1882 allows overnight guests to grace its hallowed, red-brick, Georgian Revival clubhouse. The club’s 13 guest rooms are traditional, featuring queen or king four-poster beds, access to the polished, old worldly 1889 Pub & Grill — and paid access to the property’s esteemed and historic indoor racquet sport courts. 215 S. 16th Street, (215) 735-1525, rcop.com
  • The Rittenhouse Overlooking the square, this luxury property feels as glamorous as its neighboring apartment buildings — and has the posh amenities to match. There’s an elegant by-reservation Mary Cassatt Tea Room, cozy Library Bar, renowned French restaurant Lacroix (see above) and the Philadelphia location of New York’s pasta pioneer, Hotel, 210 Rittenhouse Square, (215) 546-9000, rittenhousehotel.com; Scarpetta, (215) 558-4199, scarpettarestaurants.com/philadelphia

The sundeck of The Rittenhouse hotel on Rittenhouse Square.

  • ROOST Midtown – Built in the roaring 20s, the elegant Charles S.W. Packard Building houses the city’s first ROOST, stylish extended-stay accommodations with herringbone hardwood floors, midcentury-inspired furnishings and artwork, living plants, Apple TV and more home-y comforts in each studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and two-bedroom penthouse apartment — 28 in all. 111 S. 15th Street, (267) 737-9000, myroost.com
  • ROOST Rittenhouse Rittenhouse’s second ROOST occupies a turn-of-the-20th-century building among in-demand shops and restaurants. All of the above features — softly modern design, full kitchens, 24/7 service, international vintage and antique touches — grace each of the 27 rooms (studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom with den, two-bedroom and multi-bedroom penthouse apartment). 1831 Chestnut Street, (267) 469-0349, myroost.com
  • Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse – The classic French hotel offers simple, chic — French — elegance in the former Philadelphia Stock Exchange building. Among the 300 rooms are 67 luxury suites. Dining amenities include Southern French breakfast-through-dinner Chez Colette and Liberté, a modern lounge with handcrafted cocktails and French bites. 120 S. 17th Street, (215) 569-8300, sofitel-philadelphia.com
  • Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square – With 439 art-inspired rooms, Sonesta is large and comfortable, with amenities that include a rooftop pool (in season). Onsite dining and drinking options include stylish ArtBar, with craft cocktails, communal tables and an innovative display of original artwork curated by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and popular Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 1800 Market Street, (215) 561-7500, sonesta.com/philadelphia; Ruth’s Chris, (215) 790-1515, ruthschris.com
  • Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square – Opened in 1928, the Warwick is an English Renaissance 300-room property listed on the National Register of Historic Places — and a modern destination, from the lobby to the extra-large exercise center. Onsite dining is paramount: Spice Finch (see above); The Prime Rib, a swanky, business casual steakhouse known for its Manhattans; and Bluestone Lane, an Australian cafe with great flat whites and avocado toast. Hotel, 220 S. 17th Street, (215) 735-6000, warwickrittenhouse.com; steakhouse, 1701 Locust Street, (215) 772-1701, theprimerib.com; cafe, 1701 Locust Street, (718) 374-6858, bluestonelane.com
  • The Westin Philadelphia – Inside the landmark Liberty One building, this AAA, Four-Diamond hotel has a traditional look and famously comfortable beds. The spot welcomes families and pets, offers 24-hour access to fitness and a club-like dining, breakfast through dinner, at Winthorpe & Valentine. Hotel, 99 S. 17th Street, (215) 563-1600; restaurant, (215) 575-6930, marriott.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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