By Michael Kaplan
Visit Philadelphia for its urban sophistication, exploding culinary scene, and manageable scale. Stroll Rittenhouse Square
, the epitome of good city living that surrounds a cozy namesake park. Visit the Barnes Foundation’s
buzzworthy locale (2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway; 215/278-7000)—a 93,000-square-foot building with gardens, galleries, and 2,500 art objects—and the Rodin Museum
(2154 Benjamin Franklin Parkway; 215/763-8100). As the sun sets, catch an outdoor concert at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
(5201 Parkside Avenue; 215/546-7900).
A flower-filled oasis in the city, Talula’s Garden
(210 W. Washington Square; 215/592-7787) specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. Mediterranean cuisine by way of Israel is on offer at rustic Zahav
(237 Saint James Place; 215/625-8800). The Dandelion
(124 S. 18th Street; 215/558-2500) bills itself as a gastropub, but it feels more like a British men’s club.
(118 S. 20th Street; 215/665-1088) lives up to its name, with flights of obscure Scotch, bourbon, and rye—plus duck-fat fries and the best burger in town. Don’t mind the dark alley that leads to The Ranstead Room
(2013 Ranstead Street; 215/563-3330). The faux-speakeasy’s lighting is dim, the music’s jazzy, and the expertly mixed tequila honeysuckles are out of sight. Tria Café
(123 S. 18th Street; 215/972-8742), a narrow wine bar with a sociable crowd of after-work imbibers, pours 50 wines by the glass, with nearly as many beers on draft.
Being well dressed in Philly means shopping at Boyds
(1818 Chestnut Street; 215/564-9000), an old-school jewel box housing a thoughtfully selected collection of designer clothing in a turn-of-the-century building. Between fittings, check out the sushi bar and art gallery. More Than Old
(144-146 N. Third Street; 215/922-0246) is a go-to spot for lovers of Mad Men-era cocktail shakers, martini glasses, and art deco ice buckets. A few doors down, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
(116 N. 3rd Street; 215/922-2600) specializes in clothing, art books, and locally produced leather goods. Ask for a sample of the owner’s latest project: liquors made from recipes popular just before the start of Prohibition.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, July 2012.
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