Field Guide: The 10 Best Shops in Old City


United by Blue, left, and Erdon, right. | Photos by Courtney Apple.

The Market Street divide is perhaps never so stark as in Old City. Head south and find a desert of fading bars and restaurants, but wander north and discover one of the best clusters of boutiques in the entire city.

Old City packs in some of the best shopping in the city. From indie boutiques to local designers to a hidden stash of specs, here are 10 reasons to make this your next shopping jaunt.

Click here for your Old City shopping guide!

Restaurant Review: The Gaslight

Chips with charred eggplant salsa | Photo by Courtney Apple

Chips with charred eggplant salsa | Photo by Courtney Apple

If you’re comfortable looking a bartender straight in the eye and asking for a Sex Panther, then girl, does Jason Cichonski have the bar for you.

That Granny Smith-and-cranberry cosmo isn’t the only cocktail on offer, of course. You could also order a Red Hot Mama (black cherry margarita) or a Mr. Muffin (gin and tonic with strawberry and sage) — though, as with the Pirate Hooker (red currant Bellini), propriety would seem to dictate tacking a “for my friend” onto such requests.

But then, hitting Old City for the propriety is like going to Thailand for the cheese.

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9 Things to Do This Week in Philly: Clue at the Franklin Institute, Rad Girls Quizzo, Night Market in Old City and More

We recommend doing each and every one of these things this week:

New Construction in Old City: Ben Franklin Views for Miles


Winter is dead. We’re all drinking outside now and wearing open-toed shoes and counting down until we get to this place so we can lay in hammocks adjacent to the Delaware and forget that snow ever happened.

The blush of spring is when bright, fresh places like this modern Old City townhome look especially appealing. Yes, the appeal of living in Philadelphia is often found in period details and cobblestone streets. But sometimes we just want a brand new bathtub.

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Where We’re Eating: Brunch at the Gaslight


Brunch is an all day affair on Sundays. But there is this burger, the best in Old City.

Brunch is typically the most fun meal of the week. Friends get together, tell stories of the weekend and, hopefully, laugh a lot. At the Gaslight, the new bar from Jason Cichonski, brunch is an especially good time, and on Sundays it’s an all-day affair, as he and sous-chef James Fujioka whip up eggs, waffles and sides of bacon even after night falls. It all manages to be satisfying without taking itself too seriously — which is a good thing, because who wants to think too hard on a Sunday? If birthday cake waffles are just a bit too silly, the ones stuffed with savory sausage and herb butter are worth ordering, if only for the smoked whiskey syrup that comes with them — provided that’s not too painful a reminder of your Saturday night. Another must-order: buttermilk fried chicken that can be served as a main course or as an inspired side. Refuse to get behind the late-night brunch? Then order the GSLT Burger. It’s the best burger in Old City. And like all those brunch plates, it’s a lot of fun, too.

The Gaslight [Foobooz]

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Sex Panther Obscures the Gaslight’s Potential

Adam Erace has some problems with the food at the Gaslight, but that’s nothing compared to what he had to say about the drinks. gaslight-cocktails-400

The Gaslight, the new bar/restaurant from Jason Cichonski, a chef whose reputation is built — fairly or unfairly — on equal parts scallop noodles and sex appeal. When he and Nick Elmi first encountered each other on the last season of Top Chef, Elmi looked at Cichonski’s pastel pink shorts and quipped, “You look like you just got off a yacht.”

I felt like I was on one at The Gaslight, that’s about how rocky the food was, but the cocktails were even weirder. This list appears to have been curated by a Cherry Hill bachelorette party, with confections bearing names like Pirate Hooker (a red currant Bellini, because who doesn’t want that at 9:30 p.m.?) and Hello Kitty, a martini whose fruity flavors (green tea, lychee, strawberry) make more sense together at Old City Frozen Yogurt down the street.

Tragically named cocktails aren’t the only missteps at The Gaslight [City Paper]
The Gaslight [Foobooz]

Streets Remain Closed After Old City Suit Corner Fire

suit-corner-’s Emily Babay notes that many streets in Old City remain closed after yesterday’s two-alarm blaze that destroyed the Suit Corner. Market is closed to cars between 2nd and 4th, and 3rd Street is closed between Chestnut and Arch. Pedestrians can still walk on those streets.

Meanwhile, the Inquirer‘s Alfred Lubrano, Aubrey Whelan, and Mark Fazlollah have a story on the “end of an era” at 3rd and Market.

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