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Philadelphia Guide

City Guide
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One of the wonderful things about Philadelphia is how easy it is to get there from both Washington, D.C. and New York. It’s a quick train or bus ride away to explore a gem of a city full of American history, modern art, and a blossoming culinary scene. Check out our picks for where to stay, eat, and play in Philly!

To Stay:

Warwick Hotel

Located just around the corner from Rittenhouse Square, the Warwick Hotel is super close to the park and is a short walk to the many fun restaurants and bars in Center City. The original hotel opened in 1926, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now the Warwick combines English Renaissance architecture with contemporary decor. Our room was spacious and comfortable. 220 S 17th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

Hotel Monaco

We absolutely loved the Hotel Monaco in the Old City. You can’t beat the location, as the hotel is right alongside the Historic District, which houses Independence Hall, the  Liberty Bell, and pretty much every other important building in American Revolutionary history.  433 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pa.

To Brunch:

Federal Donuts

Forget the cheesesteak, the real star of the Philly dining scene is the doughnut. Federal Doughnuts is well known for it’s inventive dough and fried chicken. We devoured a strawberry lavender and a rich crispy Nutella. Be sure to get up early to get your sugar fix, as people will line up for these babies. Multiple locations.

a kitchen + bar

This Rittenhouse Square restaurant is the place for locals to be seen. The menu is a departure from your usual brunch fare, but some risks pay off.  Read our brunch review here135 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Parc

Step into a little slice of Paris at Stephen Starr’s award-winning bistro, Parc. Snag a seat on the sidewalk or in the windows for people watching in Rittenhouse Square while you nosh on traditional French fare. On a sunny day, this is one of our favorite spots to sit brunch cocktails and catch up with the girls. Read our brunch review here. 227 S 18th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

Parc Brunch in Philly

Talula’s Garden

Get up early to beat the lines at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, then walk through Washington Square Park to Talula’s Garden for brunch. This garden oasis has a romantic patio and cheery country farm home interior. This American farm-to-table menu will surprise and delight you with inventive twists on some of your favorite brunch classics. Read our brunch review here. 210 W Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pa.

Talula's Garden in Philly

Chapter House Café and Gallery

Need a place to work, relax or take a breather? Head to Chapter House, a charming coffeeshop with a hippie vibe. We would spend hours on our laptops sitting on the stools in the window, which is adorned with strings of lights and potted plants, while the café plays funky, relaxed music and the uber hip baristas call out orders. It’s an awesome neighborhood spot. 620 S 9th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

To Dine:

Barbuzzo

This Mediterranean joint came highly recommended to me by several friends. With its dim lighting, modern rustic aesthetic, and expensive wine list, Barbuzzo is a romantic date spot. We enjoyed a great cheese board, homemade gnocchi and hanger steak with potatoes and asparagus. Be sure to order dessert — the salted caramel budino is divine. 110 S 13th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

Sampan

This trendy restaurant elevates Asian street flavors with ingenuity. We cozied up in this dimly lit spot and savored the most incredible pork bao buns with shallot and mint. Don’t miss the Brussels sprouts or General Tso’s dumplings either. 124 S 13th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

High Street on Market

We loved this charming, rustic, and cozy restaurant, with perfect lighting for date night. During day the restaurant, which is owned by the folks behind Fork, serves sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. We went with the tasting menu, a sampling of eight different seasonal, artisanal plates. Each dish was delightful and unique. 308 Market St, Philadelphia, Pa.

FARMiCiA

This unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant is focused on local, seasonal ingredients and great cocktails. It’s a great spot for a date or drinks with the girls. We loved the seasonal soups and salads, the fresh entrees, and the delicious cocktails. Have a bourbon and bubbly for us, will you? 15 S 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Scoop DeVille

Everyone needs a little dessert. Stop into this very pink ice cream shop for custom blends. Choose from tons of toppings and mix-in options to make a sweet creation of your very own. 1315 Walnut St, Philadelphia, Pa.

To Drink:

Sip-n-Glo Juicery

I was absolutely charmed by this juice joint, with a bright atmosphere, utterly delicious juices, and a friendly staff. Try a cleansing cold pressed juice after a long night of imbibing, or grab a fresh smoothie to fuel your full day of sightseeing. 932 South Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Graffiti Bar

Wiggle your way down a narrow alley to this small bar nestled behind Sampan. A young crowd, Kanye and Outkast blasting over the stereo, and a wall covered in street art give Graffiti Bar very cool, Wynwood-esque vibes. Order a “Chapter 2”  and nosh on bites from the kitchen at Sampan. 124 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA.

Tiki

We were drawn into Tiki by the communal window table and the ‘90s jazz streak cups. It’s got all your classic frozen drinks, including a killer frosé and margaritas, plus more inventive island-inspired concoctions. The “#trashy” menu items and rooftop make it popular with bachelorette parties. 102 S 13th St, Philadelphia, Pa..

To Do:

One Liberty Observation Deck

Sure it’s a little touristy, but you can’t beat paying just $14 (that’s like one cocktail by NYC standards) for 360 panorama views of the city. It’s a self-guided tour but there are plenty of friendly staff there ready to school you on Philadelphia’s architecture and history. Go just before sunset for truly spectacular photos.1650 Market St #5700, Philadelphia, Pa.

Reading Terminal Market

Everything you need to make a meal can be found under this one roof. From fresh foods and specialty products to kitchenware and souvenirs, Reading Terminal Market is full of sights and smells. Even if you just want something to snack on, it’s worth wandering the aisles of the busy market to see the variety of vendors. 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, Pa.

Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Historic District

Simply take a stroll through history—no need to hire a guide—in the Old City. We loved the old, cobblestone parks filled with history, statues and signage to tell the story of the American Revolution. It made us feel pretty patriotic. 526 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

This stunning building is worth a visit in itself—or a run up the steps from the movie Rocky. There’s an impressive collection of artwork for the aficionado in all of us. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, Pa.

The National Museum of American Jewish History

You can see all sorts of cool American historical pieces—like Einstein’s pipe and Spielberg’s first camera, at this museum. 1001 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, Pa.

Fairmount Park’s Lemon Hill

It’s an actual hill and features fantastic views of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Grab a basket from Reading Terminal Market then head here for lovely picnics overlooking the Schuylkill River. 3200 Sedgley Drive, Philadelphia, Pa.

To Shop:

Skirt

Get the royal treatment from the stylists at Skirt. They’ll help you curate a wardrobe that’s edgy yet classic with duds from some of our favorite designers like Milly, The Lady & The Sailor, and Elizabeth and James. 212 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Third Street Habit

Acclaimed by Lucky Magazine, Travel + Leisure, CNN, People Magazine and The New York Times, this long-enduring women’s clothing and accessory boutique has all of the designer cred you can find in Old City, with brands like AG Jeans, Current/Elliot, Isabel Marant, J Brand, James Perse, MOTHER, Splendid, and others. 153 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Kimberly Boutique

The small, bright boutique carries a great selection of printed tops, denim, and fun going-out dresses. It’s feminine, fashionable, and well-appointed. 123 S 16th Street #1, Philadelphia, Pa.

Charlie’s Jeans

An award-winning favorite for men and women, Charlie’s is quite large with a huge selection but still has that charming boutique-feel. The shop carries brands like Bailey44, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand, Joe’s Jeans, Michael Stars, Sebastian McCall, and Splendid. 1735 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

Bitches tip: While Philly is quite walkable, getting from Reading Terminal to the art museum is much easier on the bus. Getting around on the Plash is a great option if you’re trying to hit all the museums and tourist spots. Five dollars gets you an all-day pass so you can hop on and off as much as you like.

Thanks to Visit Philly for their recommendations!

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