Philadelphia Food and Fun

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Philly Fun

Music, meals, and new museums in the City of Brotherly Love.


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.
Village Whiskey (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 CafĂ© (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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