Best of Philly

Best Bookstore

2020 Best Way to Support the Cause: Philly’s Independent Black-Owned Bookshops

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

At Marc Lamont Hill’s Germantown bookstore, you’ll find a well-curated assortment of timely reads as well as classics, plus a cozy hangout space equipped with a coffee bar and eatery. Read More »

5445 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 215-403-7058 | Website

2020 Best Way to Support the Cause: Philly’s Independent Black-Owned Bookshops

Hakim’s Bookstore & Gift Shop

The city’s oldest Black-owned bookstore is still going strong, selling new and old African American-focused literature — from biography and history to children’s books. Read More »

210 South 52nd Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-474-9495 | Website

2020 Best Way to Support the Cause: Philly’s Independent Black-Owned Bookshops

Black and Nobel

Described as “more than a bookstore,” Black and Nobel goes beyond its book collection (which features children’s and health and wellness reads) to skin and hair products, educational DVDs, and superfood supplements. Read More »

411 South Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-965-1559 | Website

2020 Best Way to Support the Cause: Philly’s Independent Black-Owned Bookshops

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Looking for something for the kids? Or to reminisce over your own comic-book days? Amalgam owner Ariell Johnson became the East Coast’s first Black female comic bookstore owner in 2015 when she opened her shop, now a nationally regarded treasure. Read More »

2578 Frankford Avenue, Phiadelphia, PA | 215-427-3300 | Website

2020 Best Way to Support the Cause: Philly’s Independent Black-Owned Bookshops

Harriett’s Bookshop

Bibliophiles flocked to this eclectic bookstore when it opened earlier this year, then again this summer when owner and activist Jeannine A. Cook began handing out books on the street to educate folks during police brutality protests. Read More »

258 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 267- 241-2617 | Website

2019 Best Local Bookstore

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Mirroring memories of his uncle’s house, owner/writer Marc Lamont Hill offers comfortable seating, strong coffee, author talks, and the books that he deems worthy. (Think: thought-provoking political reads, black lit, and only the good best-sellers.) Read More »

5445 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 215-403-7058 | Website

2019 Best Actually Decent Deal at the Airport

Read & Return Program at Heritage Books

You can get a 50 percent refund on the paperback you picked up by returning it to this bookstore (or any of the other 850-plus Paradies Lagardère-owned airport shops throughout North America) within six months of purchase. Terminal B/C Connector. Read More »

| 215-525-1071 | Website

2019 Best Fun in a Bookstore

The Espresso Book Machine at Shakespeare & Co.

This steampunk-esque contraption can print and bind almost any book in existence — or your very own creation — in mere minutes. Read More »

1632 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-486-2106 | Website

2018 Best Shop for Cool-Spotting


The space is modest (a converted garage), the hours are odd (noon to 6 p.m. on weekends), and the selection is narrow (it’s all contemporary art books and indie ’zines). But this bookshop is a rising player in the local cultural scene, curating community reading lists, hosting exhibits and events, and generally acting as a gathering spot for the city’s most creative intellectuals. And those books? You’d be hard pressed to find them anywhere else. Read More »

31 East Columbia Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 267-702-0123 | Website

2018 Best Reason to Ditch Your Kindle

Baldwin’s Book Barn

This place has the location (an 1822 dairy barn built by a local Quaker family), volume (almost 300,000 books for sale), and quirky, creaky charm (it’s a Hobbit-like warren of rooms and corridors), but on top of that, it also has first editions from Hemingway and a $1,400 leather-bound set of Jane Austen tomes. Read More »

865 Lenape Road, West Chester, PA | 610-696-0816 | Website

2017 Best Independent Bookstore

Head House Books

This bibliophile paradise has earned its well-deserved hype: It boasts near-weekly author events, offers on-point book recommendations, and hosts ongoing writer workshops. The tightly edited collection of gifts is top-notch, too. Read More »

619 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-923-9525 | Website

2017 Best Place to Find Pretentious Art Magazines

Avril 50

Around since the ’80s, this hole-in-the-wall purveyor of avant-garde art magazines, exotic cigars and loose tobacco was cool long before studied hipsters infiltrated the ’hood. Read More »

3406 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-222-6108 | Website

2016 Best Shop for Coffee-Table Books

Brickbat Books

Patrick Richardson Graham stocks an eclectic collection of rare and unusual art books at his Fabric Row brick-and-mortar. Recent finds include a hardcover of Annie Leibovitz at Work signed by the famed photographer herself as well a crop of first editions — all of which deserve valuable coffee-table real estate. Read More »

709 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-592-1207 | Website

2016 Best Indie Bookstore

Wellington Square Bookshop

Wedged in a generic shopping center, Wellington ticks off all our literary essentials: a coffee bar; squishy wingbacks; sympatico shopkeeps; used, new and rare books. (A signed first edition isn't out of the question.) It also hosts book clubs and regular writing workshops. Read More »

549 Wellington Square, Exton, PA | 610-458-1144 | Website

2011 Best Bookstore

Farley’s Bookshop

There's no Starbucks at Farley's, just maze-like aisles, shelves teeming with books, and quiet corners for reading. It'll remind you why you loved books before they came with lattes. Read More »

44 South Main Street, New Hope, PA | 215-862-2452 | Website