The 11 Spookiest Haunted Houses and Ghost Tours in Philly

Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary

Photo courtesy of Terror Behind the Walls

We sent a brave group of writers out into the night to see what the haunted attractions in and around Philly are all about. They came back with twisted tales of knife-wielding psychos, bodies being bludgeoned by chainsaws and clowns so scary they’d make Stephen King cry — all so you’d know what you’re getting into before making the trek. To lighten the mood, they ranked each one on a scale of 1 to 5 emojis, with five being the scariest. Happy haunted-housing! Read more »

The Philadelphian’s Guide to the Most Epic Fall Ever

fall guide 2

We’re not trying to step on anybody’s summer-kissed suntanned toes or anything, but if we had to pick, we’d argue that fall is the very best season in Philadelphia. Think about it: the changing leaves; crisp, humidity-free air; apple and pumpkin everything; and sweaters — oh, the sweaters for days.

Still not convinced? How about this: Our massive, gargantuan guide to 103 ways to have the best fall ever. From places to walk or run that are awash in gorgeous foliage to pumpkin-laced beauty treatments that are good enough to eat to warm seasonal cocktails that’ll help ward off the chill, we’re pretty confident we can win you over to Team Fall, in 3, 2, 1 … Read more »

10 Ways to Have the Best Eagles Tailgate Ever

Eagles Tailgating

1. Laying down a strong foundation for a day of drinking and jeering is vital, but first you should decide how ambitious you want to be. The most hassle-free solution? Legendary Eagles chef de tailgate (yes, that’s a real thing) Cav’s Catering to cater your gig. He runs buffet-style parties of his own over in the Jetro lot (see #4 below) so it’s simple for him to give your group a private set-up on site.  Read more »

Philadelphia Magazine Responds to the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Announces Diversity Initiatives

In the wake of the recent controversy over Philadelphia magazine’s October 2015 cover and the lack of diversity of its staff, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists issued a statement last Friday afternoon calling on editor Tom McGrath to resign (third item).

This morning, McGrath sent the following letter to PABJ’s president stating his intention to remain in his post to oversee the implementation of a series of immediate and long-term diversity initiatives the company is announcing today. Read more »

How to Find the Best Philadelphia School for Your Child

Photography by Christopher Leaman

Photography by Christopher Leaman

The move to the ’burbs used to be almost automatic for Philadelphians with means — families of all races picked up and left the city when their kids were old enough for school, and they did it without much handwringing.

But something’s changed. Philadelphia parents aren’t so eager to quit on a city that’s bigger, better and more vibrant than it’s been in decades. And they’re not at all convinced that what’s best for the kids is a big backyard and often homogenous classrooms. For them, picking a school is about much more than standardized test scores; it’s about finding a place that fits their family’s expectations, values and lifestyle. Read more »

The Saint’s and Sinner’s Guide to the Pope in Philly

Credits from left: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella; iStock by Getty Images; iStock/Thinkstock;; Evan Habeeb/Getty Images; Claudia Gavin; J. Fusco for GPTMC

Credits from left: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella; iStock by Getty Images; iStock/Thinkstock;; Evan Habeeb/Getty Images; Claudia Gavin; J. Fusco for GPTMC

The Saint’s Guide to the Pope’s Visit

By Nicole Scott

Visit a shrine. Escape the crowds by making your way to the shrines of Saint Katharine Drexel (in Bensalem), Our Lady of Czestochowa (in Doylestown) and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (in Germantown). Looking to stay closer to the action? Visit the shrines of St. John Neumann (Northern Liberties) and St. Rita of Cascia (Point Breeze). Worship, take a tour, or simply enjoy the beauty and peace of these tranquil settings.

Engage. At the World Meeting of Families, internationally renowned speakers will hold discussions on the world’s most pressing family-related topics — making blended clans work, the concerns of the urban family, the role of women in the Church and the family — from the 22nd to the 25th at the Convention Center. Register online until the 15th ( and on-site after that.

Get your mystic on. In 1694, the German monk and mystic Johannes Kelpius emigrated to Philadelphia and settled with his group of followers in the valley of the Wissahickon Creek. Today, find the “Cave of Kelpius” — a stone structure tucked into the area where these hermits lived while awaiting the end of the world (which Kelpius preached would be in 1694) — by entering the Wissahickon via Hermit Lane in Roxborough.

Take a tour. Philadelphia Trolley Works will be hosting a number of religious-themed tours around the city during the Pope’s visit, like the two-hour “Religious Evening Walking Tour,” which gets you up-close and personal with Philadelphia’s important places of worship and religious sites while you learn about their histories.

Help the needy. Project HOME and the World Meeting of Families have set up “The Francis Fund” in honor of the Pope’s visit. All the money raised will go directly to local organizations that combat hunger, homelessness, poverty and human trafficking in the Philadelphia and Camden areas — capitalizing on the Pope’s visibility to make concrete changes locally. Donate by going to

Learn. On the 25th, head to St. Joe’s University to hear Argentine rabbi Abraham Skorka — Pope Francis’s longtime friend — commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (which called for friendly relations between Catholics and Jews).

Soak in some culture (and church history). Many cultural institutions, including the Franklin Institute, the Rosenbach, the National Constitution Center, the Mütter Museum and Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, will offer religious programming. Our favorite: “Vatican Splendors” at the Franklin Institute, which will include historical artifacts that have never before left the Holy See.

Appreciate art. A series of paintings at St. Augustine Church in Old City was just certified by the Philadelphia Historical Commission, and they’re believed to be the oldest frescoes in any religious building in the U.S. And Eastern State Penitentiary will offer visitors unlimited access to the newly restored murals in its Catholic Chaplain’s Office.

Credits from left: Stacey Emenecker; Maxi Failla/AFP/Getty Images; Stacey Emenecker; Philadelphia Trolley Works; iStock/Thinkstock; © Cittá Del Vaticano

Credits from left: Stacey Emenecker; Maxi Failla/AFP/Getty Images; Stacey Emenecker; Philadelphia Trolley Works; iStock/Thinkstock; © Cittá Del Vaticano

The Sinner’s Guide to the Pope’s Visit (Featuring All Seven Deadly Sins)

By Malcolm Burnley

Wrath: Satanic Rock Band Ghost at Union Transfer. The guitarists and drummer are called Nameless Ghouls. The lead singer wears skull makeup and dons an anti-pope miter with an upside-down black cross. And the band’s pious song titles include “Depth of Satan’s Eyes.” Is there better company with whom to spurn the Pope? 9/29

Envy: NFL Week 3 Action: Eagles at Jets. Yes, your brother-in-law is watching the game live at the Meadowlands while you’re stuck in a sea of holy rollers on the Parkway. Solution? Wireless earbuds and NFL Sunday Ticket mobile, baby. Now, there’s a holy covenant. 9/27

Pride: Pope-tinis at McGillin’s. The Midtown Village bar is celebrating the fact that Francis used to be a nightclub bouncer. With limited-edition drink specials like the Pope-tini and Vatican Citywides (Peroni with a shot of “holy water”), McGillin’s may be the drinking mecca of the Pope’s visit. Plus, the bar will be decked out with Vatican flags and a cardboard cutout of Francis for photo ops. 9/22–9/27

Sloth: Last Day of Spruce Street Harbor Park. Been waiting for a hammock all summer? Consider Sunday the 27th your best (and last) chance to nab one. While a million-plus gather for outdoor Mass, be an armchair theologian at SSHP with a summer cocktail in hand; enjoy the first fall breeze on this pop-up’s last day of the season. 9/27

Gluttony: Argentine Cuisine at Gavin’s Café. Flock to the only Argentine joint in Center City to gorge on a special menu featuring traditional fare. Get potbelly-stuffed on celestially sweet medialunas (crescent rolls) and alfajores (cookie sandwiches). Then see how many beef empanadas with chimichurri sauce you can fit in your mouth.

Lust: “Pope Beer Week” at Pub on Passyunk East. Confess it: You love another pope; you always have. He’s the one who lives three doors down from Sweat Fitness, whose home offers 15 drafts on tap and serves you brunch all weekend. (Try the Trinity platter and the Pope Burger.) For the entire week, P.O.P.E. will be featuring beers from local breweries made in honor of Francis. Plus, there’ll be a “Last Supper” with beer from Founders Brewing Co. on Sunday.

Greed: Finally Do What You’ve Always Wanted. It’s yours, all yours, all 140 square miles that isn’t called the Parkway and Schuylkill. Everyone and his mother will be there on Sunday, so for once, you might be able to enjoy a stroll through town without goofy hipsters on skateboards and blind-eyed tourist nuisances. Hell, go prancing naked through the Wissahickon.

Originally published in the September 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

A Look Back at Friday Saturday Sunday’s First Review

fri-sat-sun-940With the final days of Friday Saturday Sunday under owners Jamie and Weaver Lilley coming up quickly. We reached into the Philadelphia magazine archives to find the 42-year old restaurant’s first review.

The review is by restaurant critic Jim Quinn, who in the October 1973 issue of the magazine reviewed Friday Saturday Sunday and Thursday Too (as it was known) as well as Astral Plane and Frog, two other restaurants that history shows were part of what we now refer to as, Philadelphia’s first restaurant renaissance. Even in its earliest days, it was clear that these restaurants were something special. 

Waiter, There’s a Long Hair in My Vichyssoise »

Best Pho, Ramen, Pasta and Other Noodles in Philly

Pho Ha | Photo by Claudia Gavin

Pho Ha | Photo by Claudia Gavin

So many noodles in so many forms. From Asian to Italian, from quick lunches, to luxurious dinners, here are the best noodle dishes in Philadelphia, culled from Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly issue.

Best Pho in Philadelphia

Pho Ha
Pho is super-abundant in Philly these days, but Pho Ha’s aromatic broths and oily chili paste lift it to the top ranks. 610 Washington Avenue, East Passyunk, 215-599-0264.
Read more »

Beau Biden at 19: A Look Back

Beau Biden from Philadelphia magazine’s April 1988 feature “Second Generation,” with Rena Potok, left, and Deserie Blavat. Photograph © 1988 Jim Graham

Beau Biden from Philadelphia magazine’s April 1988 feature “Second Generation,” with Rena Potok, left, and Deserie Blavat. Photograph © 1988 Jim Graham

For Philadelphia magazine’s April 1988 issue, then-staff writer Lisa DePaulo brought together 15 sons and daughters of Philly’s famous — among them Dr. J’s son Cheo, Georges Perrier’s daughter Genevieve, and Wilson Goode Jr. — for a story headlined “Second Generation.”

Even in this group of young men and women who would in many cases become notables in their own right, Beau Biden — then a 19-year-old freshman at Penn who had already been through the early tragedy of his mother’s death and the excitement and ultimate disappointment of his father’s first presidential bid — stood out, DePaulo says: Read more »

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