Where to Find the Best Healthy Eats, Workouts, and Self-Care in Graduate Hospital

According to dietitian and Graduate Hospital resident Melissa Bailey of Two Hungry Work Wives.

Views of the Schuylkill River Trail from the South Street Bridge. Photograph via Flickr user Peter Miller.

Photograph courtesy of Melissa Bailey.

Philly has an insanely wonderful fitness scene, but the truth is, many of us tend to stick to our own neighborhoods — we’ve all got our favorite corner coffee shops, yoga studios, running trails, and more. That’s why we’re asking local fitness pros to give us a tour of their neighborhoods — and to spill all their secrets on the hidden gems they can’t quit.

Melissa Bailey, registered dietitian and co-founder of the local health blog Two Hungry Work Wives, has helped us navigate Philly’s food landmines — like Reading Terminal Market — as healthfully as possible. Bailey also happens to be a happy resident of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia — so happy, in fact, that she’s buying a home there, like, as we speak.

Fortunately for us, Bailey agreed to give us a tour of what her healthy life in Graduate Hospital looks like — from where she goes for tacos (crucial information for every neighborhood) to where to score the best cup of coffee and the best places to sweat. Read on for Bailey’s guide to all things health, fitness, and self-care in Graduate Hospital.

The Best Healthy Eats and Drinks in Graduate Hospital

Coffee shop: “Ultimo is located on a quiet corner at 22nd and Catharine Streets. The coffee is delicious — I usually go with black coffee — you seriously don’t need cream or sugar, even if you usually use it. I love that they have outdoor seating when the weather warms up. It has a cozy neighborhood vibe and everyone there is so friendly!”

Healthy breakfast spot: “Ants Pants is just delicious! On weekends you will usually find a line with a wait, but it’s worth it. I love that their vegetarian sweet potato hash is healthy and full of vegetables, yet still gives you that satisfying brunch feeling. Their specials are also amazing and you can’t go wrong with anything they offer. Service is quick and the meals are affordable. It’s great to have a place where you can get healthy, fresh eats, without emptying your wallet.”

Healthy lunch spot: “As with all of the other spots I recommended, I prefer smaller cafes and restaurants. Miles Table fits that profile. I choose their vegetable avocado wrap because I love avocados, cheese, and vegetables! Whenever I eat out, I try to have a vegetable or fruit on my plate for a well-balanced meal. I prefer wraps over traditional bread to help save carbs and also not fill up as quickly.”

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Healthy date night spot: “The environment at Tio Flores is vibrant and eclectic, which helps to keep the conversation and fun going on date night. Drinks are all delicious and they have various flavors of margaritas to choose from. Tio Flores has great happy hour specials on both food and drinks — you can basically have an entire dinner from the happy hour menu. The tacos come three to a serving and are packed with flavor; my favorite are the chicken gringa tacos. Overall, they [the tacos] are one of the healthier choices, especially if served on corn tortillas.”

Bar: “The Cambridge has a rustic vibe to it and in the warmer months they have a cute back patio open with tables to sit outside and enjoy a drink. They have tons of craft beer available, as well as wine and cocktails —the apple mule is delish. I’ve gone here for happy hour with my girlfriends, a date, and for dinner as well. While they have healthy options like salads and vegetarian dishes, I would opt for the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich instead. I mean, you only live once!”

Healthy takeout:  My favorite roll at Kei Sushi is the Fire Dragon roll, because I love avocado and I like things spicy — just be sure to ask for brown rice instead of white! I also get the spicy edamame (can you see the theme here?). Located right on South Street, this is super convenient for calling in your order before you leave the office (or gym!) and swinging by on your way home if you live in Grad Hospital. They don’t skimp on portion sizes and everything tastes really fresh. I love it for takeout, but also love that it’s a BYOB, which makes it another great date night spot, too.”

Grocery store for healthy foods: “None, but so excited for Sprouts to open!”

The Best Workouts and Self-Care in Graduate Hospital

Gym: “I use the gym at City Fitness South Street mainly for cardio and weight lifting on my own, in between days that I go to Barre3 Rittenhouse. The gym is my personal stress relief time, so I throw on some tunes and zone out. While I don’t take classes there, they do have a jam-packed schedule with all different classes to meet everyone’s needs. I also like that they have a dietitian on staff to help clients reach their desired goals in a healthy manner.”

Beauty treatment: “I love that you can schedule an appointment at South Street Nails for a manicure or pedicure, or just walk in with minimal wait time. They give an amazing massage with the pedicure (who knew your feet could hurt so much!), as well as a nice shoulder massage while your nails dry. Because I work in a hospital where I use hand sanitizer all the time, my manicures usually chip within a day or two. So far, they have lasted over five days when I get them done here, which is a miracle in itself!”

The Best Outdoor Activities in Graduate Hospital

Nearby running trail/route: “On the Schuylkill River Trail, I go from the South Street Bridge towards the Art Museum and back. I love the trail because the water and greenery help make you feel like you aren’t in the city anymore. Plus, if you get tired of running, you can easily sit down on a bench or the grass and just relax for bit. The city views from the South Street Bridge are unbeatable, which makes the end totally worth it!”

Annual festivals: “Bloktoberfest in the fall, which is full of craft beer, food and live music. Any reason to be outside with a drink and music is enough for me! I’ll admit that I am always a bit sad when summer ends, so I look for any reason to get outside before it gets too cold. Also, there are so many food trucks to choose from! The biggest bonus: it’s during the day, so I can continue my grandma status and still be in bed before 10 p.m.”

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