March 6, 2018

Bella Vista & Queen Village Neighborhood Guide

Restaurants, Nightlife, Shops, Parks, Museums And More

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Appropriately named for the Italian phrase meaning “beautiful site,” Bella Vista is known for its quaint row homes and charming cafes. Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Mario Lanza Park in Queen Village provides a central meeting place for family, civic groups and dog lovers. Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Fashionistas find ahead-of-the-curve styles from Bus Stop Boutique, a Philadelphia owner-operated boutique. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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Well-kept homes that hearken back to Colonial times line Philadelphia’s oldest residential neighborhood, Queen Village. Photo by R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
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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, mostly 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.

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.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at

Those coming from Center City can walk (about 25 minutes from City Hall), take a cab, 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.

Restaurants & Bars:

  • Alyan’s – The staff doles out casual Middle Eastern fare at this cozy South Street spot, complete with a petite and sunny greenhouse-inspired dining room. Best known for hearty, inexpensive falafel sandwiches, Alyan’s also features favorites like 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,
  • 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,
  • 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 refuge too. 714 S. 4th Street, (267) 930-7859,
  • Bistrot La Minette – This twinkling, just-like-Paris brasserie is as authentically French as it gets in Philly. Chef-owner Peter Woolsey’s mustard-braised rabbit, escargots and tarte tatin are uniformly authentic and delicious. 623 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-8000,
  • 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,
  • Dmitri’s – One of Queen Village’s very 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 famous for its grilled octopus, shrimp pil pil and baba ganoush. The restaurant has a second location in Northern Liberties. 795 S. 3rd Street, (215) 625-0556,
  • Ela – Chef Jason Cichonski presides over this rustic American restaurant, known for jis diver scallop noodles (as featured on “Top Chef”), and through Wednesday, three courses go for $30; Sundays mean BYO-champagne brunch. 627 S. 3rd Street, |(267) 687-8512,
  • Famous 4th Street Delicatessen – For nearly a century, this classic Jewish deli has occupied its corner spot. Today, Famous is known for mammoth portions—from huge omelets to baseball-sized matzoh balls to Frisbee-esque black-and-white cookies. On Election Day, it’s a popular spot for politicians and politicos to gather and shake hands. 700 S. 4th Street, (215) 922-3274,
  • For Pete’s Sake Pub – Philly’s 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,
  • 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 and is the perfect spot for couples, while chicken parm, Caesar salads, lamb shanks, tiramisu and the namesake pasta are reliably delicious dishes. 613 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 592-8300
  • Hikaru – At the near-South Street outpost of Hikaru, Japanese platters share the menu with an extensive sushi list. To embrace the authentic experience, diners can reserve a faux chabudai, giving the illusion of a low, Japanese-style table, with a secret compartment for guests to dangle their legs. 607 S. 2nd Street, (215) 627-7110,
  • Hungry Pigeon – Three squares a day, morning through late night, made this unassumingly chic, first-come, first-served Fabric Row restaurant an instant hit. The kitchen has perfected both basics (chicken soup, banana bread, morning pastry) and less familiar dishes (smoky potato rosti topped with salmon roe; grass-fed liver with garlic lime aioli), with counter service by day and communal table service come evening. 743 S. 4th Street, (215) 278-2736,
  • 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,
  • 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—and 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Pad Thai Restaurant – Here, regional Thai dishes come in varying degrees of spiciness, and many can be altered to be vegetarian. To go for the whole experience, guests sip the signature Thai iced tea. 604 S. 2nd Street, (215) 592-1168
  • 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, where the bar is known for its tequila selection. 935 Washington Avenue, (215) 922-2370,
  • Royal Sushi & Izakaya – This hip, dimly lit 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 reservation. 780 S. 2nd Street, (267) 909-9002,
  • 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. 4th Street, (267) 930-8538,
  • 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,
  • Whetstone Tavern – This refined yet laid-back New American tavern specializes in comfort food and simply prepared dishes to go along with 15 draft beers and an extensive cocktail selection. 700 S. 5th Street, (267) 239-0906,

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,
  • Living Room Café – Coffees, espresso drinks, eggs, pastries and sandwiches galore set this sunny, quick-order shop apart from the average Starbucks with a locally sourced menu and gluten-free or vegan options. It’s a great place to grab a drink or linger over daily brunch. 701 S. 5th Street, (267) 930-8388
  • 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,
  • Philadelphia Java Company – This corner outpost serves Philadelphia’s own La Colombe coffee, along with great little salads and sandwiches. Outdoor seating makes it a dog-friendly spot too. 852 S. 2nd Street, (215) 339-8248
  • Plenty – Europe is full of day-to-night cafes like this one, where each morning begins with a stellar coffee program and ends with wine flights. In between: avocado toasts, kimchi deviled eggs and pastry. 705 S. 5th Street, (267) 758-6791,
  • 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
  • South Street Philly Bagel – Also known as “Hot Bagels,” this spot bakes an assortment of fresh, New York-style bagels daily. Patrons buy by the dozen or choose from an array of spreads, salads and fixings for a scrumptious sandwich. 613 S. 3rd Street, (215) 627-6277,


  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • The Cactus Collective – Born of a pop-up operation, 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 – The carefully selected collection of biographies, travel, fiction, young adult, cooking and self-help books makes this shop a bibliophile paradise, replete with literary suggestions for children, better-than-the-movie books, a mini play-and-read space in the back keeps kids entertained, author readings and signings. 619 S. 2nd Street, (215) 923-9525,
  • Little Moon + Arrow – This offshoot of Moon + Arrow (below) has an identical handmade-plus-eco-friendly mission, from toys to apothecary, just for smaller people. (267) 457-5403,
  • Moon + Arrow – This boutique takes an eco-chic approach to clothing, accessories and home wares. 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,
  • 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,
  • Professor Ouch’s Bizarre Bazaar and Odditorium – Shoppers in the market for Mexican wrestling masks, vintage action figures, Tiki dolls and more miscellany can dig for just that at this repository of kitsch. 720 S. 5th Street, (215) 668-0195,
  • 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,
  • Steel Pony – Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin style fans, eat your hearts out. This boutique specializes in flowing, tie-dyed, pieced-together women’s fashions, the sort that have graced stages for decades. 758 S. 4th Street, (215) 467-6065,
  • 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,
  • Yowie – In Shannon Maldonado’s gallery-esque shop, the former fashion designer-owner makes sure each piece is made independently and feels like the work of art that it is, a rule that applies to her limited-edition stock of Ashley Hardy mugs, Doucement throw pillows and Cold Picnic bathmats. 716 S. 4th Street,

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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo – In Hawaiian, na ka oi means “the very best,” and that’s exactly what patrons get at this Hawaiian oasis. 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, (215) 925-1766, (267) 321-0357,

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,
  • Fabric Row – Textile shoppers have made pilgrimages to Fabric Row, a thoroughfare of 4th Street between South and Christian Streets, for more than a century. Today it’s home to both third-generation fabric vendors and a new generation of boutiques and businesses.
  • 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

About a 25-minute walk from City Hall, Bella Vista is easily accessible. 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 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.

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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Beau Monde – The stars at this charming Queen Village Beaux Arts-style bistro are the sweet and savory Breton crepes. After dinner and dessert, guests can head upstairs to L’Etage for cabaret or dance music. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656,
  • Bibou – Charlotte and Chef 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 edgy 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,
  • 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, @BlueCornRestaurant
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Nina’s Trattoria – This under-the-radar 9th Street Italian Market (and Italian) BYOB is known for Sunday brunch and dinner menus of farm-to-table fare including homemade meatballs, goat cheese gnocchi, white pizza and gorgonzola burgers. 910 S. 9th Street, (215) 574-0990,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Villa Di Roma – With redbrick 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, to baked ziti and Chianti by the glass. 936 S. 9th Street, (215) 592-1295,

Cafes & Bakeries:

  • Anthony’s Italian Coffee & Chocolate House – The Italian Market’s longtime refueling refuge offers panini, espresso drinks and house-made pizzelles and gelato, while Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin croon in the background. A few doors down, the café’s chocolate shop sends guests home sweetly. 903 & 905 S. 9th Street, (215) 627-2578,
  • 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,
  • 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
  • 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,
  • 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 a “gelato.” 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Taffets – Omer Taffets’ gluten-free bakery uses users quinoa, teff and alternative grains to create boules, bagels, sandwich loaves and sweets. 1024 S. 9th Street, (215) 551-5511,


  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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 every possible maker 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 them too. 1006 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-5557,
  • 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
  • SoapBox – The fragrant outpost of a holistic home cleaning service, this prettily rustic retailer offers its own make of expected and less-so products for bath and home. Essential oils infuse nearly everything that’s for sale, from baby powder to scrubbing powder. 616 S. 6th Street, (215) 421-4050,
  • 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,

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,
  • The Expressive Hand – This decorate-your-own-pottery place 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,
  • 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. The gallery also involves the community through workshops, local music and fashion events, parties and trunk shows. 615 Bainbridge Street, (267) 970-5509,

Mixed Bag:

  • 9th Street Italian Market – Italian immigrants established this open-air market in the late 19th century. Officially spanning Christian to Federal Streets, the market is one of the locations “Rocky” famously ran and lays claim to being America’s oldest outdoor market, with produce, meat, seafood and cheese vendors sharing the sidewalk with taquerias, tortilla shops, BYOBs and cafes. It’s not uncommon for nearby restaurants, bakeries and stores beyond the market’s official boundaries to lay claim to being part of the market. (215) 278-2903,
  • Burke & Payne Barber Shop – High-and-tights are among the slick offerings at this retro men’s salon. Black-and-white tiled floors and exposed brick walls set the scene for fresh cuts. 734 S. 9th Street, (215) 922-0299,
  • Laurentius Salon – Next door to an old-school Italian sausage shop, the sleek, all-glass facade of stylist’s Laurentius Purnama’s home base is study in Bella Vista contrast. Along with the magazine cover-worthy cuts, colors and styles (Purnama’s styled everyone from Britney Spears to Beverly Johnson), the multi-level spot offers nail art. 815 Christian Street, (215) 238-0764,

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, and, 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.