The Best Workouts, Self-Care, and Healthy Food in Rittenhouse
Jessica Sullivan, a local fitness pro, shares her favorite spots for living well and healthy food in Rittenhouse.
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, healthy food, 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.
Here in Philadelphia, Rittenhouse is kind of the hub of, well, everything — especially when it comes to our lovely realm of health and fitness. Taking on the daunting challenge of sharing the best workouts and the healthy food in Rittenhouse is Jessica Sullivan, a local spin instructor at Revel Ride and personal trainer who has spent eight years living and working in the neighborhood.
Below, Sullivan shares her favorite spots in Rittenhouse for everything from a breakfast on-the-go to a good wax and even her favorite trainer in the area. Read on for Jessica Sullivan’s suggestions for a happy and healthy Rittenhouse experience!
The Best Healthy Food and Drinks in Rittenhouse
Coffee shop: “Nook on 21st and Ludlow Streets is great. I drink black coffee, hot or cold, depending on the season (or my mood?), but sometimes when I feel wild I want a dairy-free espresso drink and these guys have a macadamia nut latte! It’s delicious. I am not a calorie-counter and I don’t think Nook is either, so I can’t tell you the exact nutrition on it but there is nothing but macadamia milk and espresso in there.”
Healthy breakfast spot: “If I am grabbing breakfast and have 10 minutes to sit down, I head directly to The Bakeshop on 20th. Their avocado toast is incredible, and if you are vegan you can do avocado toast without cheese or the eggs and it’s still excellent. However, if you want a fried egg and feta cheese on it, I recommend hot sauce as well. It’s my absolute favorite breakfast.”
Healthy brunch spot: “If I have time to truly brunch on a weekend, I go to P.S. and Co. When you’re trying to be vegan and occasionally fail, it’s a huge relief to walk into a restaurant where you can order anything at all. It is a BYO so you can bring champagne or wine. I love their breakfast burrito. If I want something lighter, I go for their tofu scramble and mushroom bacon.”
Healthy lunch spot: “Pure Fare is my go-to when I’m on the go. Sometimes, I’ll grab kale chips if I just need a little crunch, other times, I’ll pick up a vegan taco salad (yum) and ask for extra dressing — which is vegan but a little creamy and tastes cilantro-y. I’m not even a peanut butter fan, but if I’m so busy that I don’t have time for lunch (which is basically every day) I often run in and grab their peanut butter energy balls. It’s a few bites of fat and protein, so when I’m back-to-back with clients it curbs my hunger for hours. I also like their coffee on the side (surprise, surprise).”
Healthy date night spot: “Zama is probably my favorite. Their Brussels sprouts are out-of-this-world amazing. I am not afraid to order sides as mains, so I usually get Brussels sprouts, sautéed mushrooms (probably like the ones you’d get at a steakhouse and for the record, I can eat happily as a vegan at any steakhouse, promise) and the veggie rainbow roll. There is also a Kennett Square roll with zero fish in it — just mushrooms. Clearly, I love mushrooms.”
Bar: “My newest love, Rogues Gallery. I have been dragging my friends here all summer for Brussels sprouts (sans bacon, which they don’t mind doing it at all) and buffalo cauliflower that I crave almost every night. Each time I walk by Rogue, I consider popping in for that cauliflower. And they just added seitan wings to the menu with a side of — drumroll here — vegan ranch dressing! Listen, I don’t know the exact ingredients in the buffalo sauce or the ranch, but I know that it’s mostly veggies, no animal byproducts, and that’s enough for me to call it healthy. Especially because we’re talking about a bar here. Plus, they pair wonderfully with a vodka-soda, or three.”
Healthy takeout: “The Yucatan Chopped salad at Wiz Kid! It’s my favorite takeout. It’s a huge salad that’s filling all on it’s own. When I’m feeling incredible lazy I have it delivered.”
Grocery store for healthy foods: “I do a lot of Trader Joe’s because it’s inexpensive and very close to my home. I live alone (well, my pet bunny Kevin Buns probably eats almost as many greens as I do in a day), so I don’t really mind if the produce only lasts a few days. Every week, I get three types of kale (honestly, mostly for Kevin), lettuce, apples, bananas, berries, bananas, and then adventure into things like black bean pasta (DO IT!) and meat-less meatballs (eh, maybe don’t do it).”
The Best Workouts in Rittenhouse
Workout class: “Donna Storm at Sweat Fitness. She’s my favorite fitness instructor; her energy is beautiful and inviting. She is intelligent and her workouts are interesting — old school and safe with great current music and a constant ‘Let’s go girls!’ accompanied by the most sincere smile you’ve ever seen a trainer wear.”
The Best Self-Care in Rittenhouse
Beauty treatment: “I found this hole-in-the-wall for waxing, MyLynn Day Spa on Sansom Street near 21st. I went for a wax and returned for facials, massages, basically everything. It’s great! One woman owns it, MyLynn, and she does most of the services herself. She’s lovely. Her partner gives great massages and the prices are not insane. I also love Kathy at Balance Chiropractic on 20th Street near Sansom, but she is busy!”
Place you go for self-care: “Spin. I will take any spin class, at any gym. It’s my happy place. My quads are eternally sore, but I don’t usually even go for the workout. I just like to be in a dark room with people who are all working on themselves. I thrive on the energy and vulnerability. We are all there working together, harder than we would because of the person next to us.”
The Best Outdoor Activities in Rittenhouse
Nearby running trail: “I usually do the Schuylkill River Trail. I only live a few blocks from it and I like that there are at least some hills.”
Park: “This summer, I am pool-less for the first time in three years! I loved having a building with a pool — I think the sunshine is good for my soul. Some girlfriends and I have taken to laying out, reading, and chatting on the Schuylkill Banks. I don’t venture to the Wissahickon as often as I’d like, but every time I go I am reminded that I don’t get out of the city enough. All of that green really hits your heart and soul!”
Annual events: “Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is one of my favorites! It’s always in mid-May and local businesses flock to the streets with specials and discounts. I love when 18th and Walnut close and everyone is mulling about, tasting new foods and drinks. Most Rittenhouse fitness studios set up booths and offer massive discounts for locals. If you can hit all of the fitness booths, you’ll definitely walk away with some free or discounted sweat-sessions in the near future! For an out-of-the-neighborhood event, I would have to call out Made in America, which I attend every year. I like to drink Strawberitas to my heart’s desire and dance to countless Philly artists who are beyond proud to represent their city on those stages around the Parkway.”
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