If you show up at 7 p.m. without reservations, you’re most likely SOL. (The crowds have been coming since the 1960s for the cheap cocktails, small-town service and baked clams.) But we’ve got a secret: The Broadway Bar & Grille, across the street, has the same owner and serves the full Clam Tavern menu. 339 East Broadway Avenue, Clifton Heights, PA 19018, clamtavern.net.
Philly brides have long known about this Polish-born talent—heck, Taylor Swift bestie Britany Maack employed her for her Reading wedding. But you don’t actually have to be walking down the aisle to get Ambrozy’s help. Pop into her airy studio before a big night out, have her come to your place for special-occasion prep, or sign up for one of her product-and-technique-instructive makeup classes to learn her tricks yourself. 1118 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, aleksandraambrozy.com/.
Why? That’s the question that comes to mind when you learn former pro runner Phil Clark moved his gym_—and all its fancy equipment handpicked for serious athletes—from the Piazza’s shiny Rialto building to a dingy, unassuming strip mall on Spring Garden. But once you walk into the light-filled space—complete with a lengthy turf runway you’d think impossible for a city gym—it all makes sense. 533 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, phillytrainingstation.com/.
It’s true: The best bagels in the city don’t come from a bagel shop. Baker Bonnie Sarana Noll makes a limited batch fresh each morning at her cozy dessert cafe, and they’ve got those New York qualities (chewy on the inside, crisp and bubbly on the outside) that we could never quite replicate in Philly – until now. 1611 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148, vanilyabakery.com/.
There’s a reason Philly’s top fitness instructors flood these studios. Well, two reasons: First, the staffers know athletes’ bodies better than anyone else in town, which means they can loosen muscles and target trigger points with alarming precision. And second, the $250 annual membership – which can score you up to 50 percent off services – makes it much easier on the wallet to keep coming back. 4368 Cresson Street, b, Philadelphia, PA 19127, philamassages.com/.
Top Chef alum Jennifer Zavala will come to your house and cook a delicious medical-grade-marijuana-infused meal for you and your friends, something she does regularly for those who are sick. The food is delicious, and Zavala – of illegal South Philly tamale-truck fame (Google it) – is as entertaining as the drugs themselves. Email for more info.
As an authorized Apple dealer, Bundy -- in business for nearly a century -- does vigorous in-house testing on the rehabbed iPads it gets from a reliable source, and each purchase comes with a free 90-day warranty. But the "open box" items, which have only been used for demo or floor-model purposes, are the real steal: On a recent trip, we spotted a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2014 priced $400 below nearly identical newer models. 1809 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, bundycomputer.com/.
The stylists at this edgy Cedar Park salon cut hair while it's dry, which allows them to follow your mane's natural shape, lets you check out the new 'do in real time, and gets you in and out in 30 minutes. These knockout styles also come at a remarkably affordable price: about $25 per cut. 4922 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143, talkingheadzhairsalon.com/main.html.
Chef Joey Baldinos love letter to jumped-up classic Italian is a wonder on many levels. The food is brilliant (particularly the antipasti, with flavors so vivid it should come with a passport stamp). The service is smooth; the Sicilian focus is smart. But whats most amazing is that in a city so dedicated to Italian food, you occasionally have to go across the bridge to find it done this well. 618 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08107, zeppolirestaurant.com.
We were so busy admiring Whipped Bakeshop's pretty little cupcakes in luscious flavors like lemon curd and banana chocolate chip peanut butter that we almost didn't notice the Fishtown bakery's younger, more modern child, the cakecup. It's confectionery genius, really, and thrifty, too: Leftover cake trimmings (mmm, burnt edges) come naked or blasted with icing, ganache or whipped cream, in a grande-size plastic cup. Retail hours on Saturdays only. 636 Belgrade Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, whippedbakeshop.com/.
Biscotti with just the right texture, crunch and flavor are hard to come by. Demand that they be gluten-free, and the task seemed nigh impossible—until we found the assortment here, which were so good that even the gluten lovers in the office couldn't stop eating. Our other favorite: the delicious mint-iced chocolate brownies, which are moist and rich and left us licking our lips. 921 Penllyn-Blue Bell Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, thelittlebakeryinbluebell.com/.
There’s nothing more Philly than a couple of punk kids rolling around town with a cart full of cacti, just like rag-and-bone men of yore. The Cactus Cart pops up on weekends at varying corners of South Philly, and the offerings are just what you need to spruce up your space: vibrant, spiky succulents planted in retro sugar cannisters and old beer cans. Plus, the cacti come in all shapes and sizes to fit on any windowsill or bookshelf. instagram.com/cactuscart2020.
Yes, Carolyn is sweet and patient and comes with a bag of tricks for the kids, but no one would get into family photography who wasn’t and didn’t. It’s really her work that makes her so sought-after—photos that capture casual, authentic moments in cool city settings (historic alleys, old park steps). Worth every penny. Carolynclementphotography.com.
There’s something about rustic French cooking that’s just so comforting. It could be the simplicity in a cuisine built on rigid rules and regulations. Or maybe it’s the sense of calm that comes from recipes perfected across generations. And in the hands of chef Martin Gagne, in this 300-year-old farmhouse/24-seat prix-fixe BYOB, you taste all of that and more. 1470 Old Ridge Road, Coventryville, PA 19465, martinskitchen.com/wp/cuisine-du-marche/.
The cutest footwear we've ever seen comes from Mason Dixon, a collection of kids' booties and derby shoes by Fishtown's Heather Holiday. Hand-cut leather laces, hand-sewn soles, whimsical color pairings and adorable styles make you wish she made them in adult sizes. (Wish granted: She finally does.) Philadelphia, PA mason-dixon-made.myshopify.com/.