The owners of Jason’s say they’re like a grocery-store sushi counter except that they use fresh fish. That about sums up this quirky, tiny spot that’s so fast and polished, you’d think it was a chain. While it’s mostly takeout, we’ve seen some Main Line moms commandeer the few tables for girls’ nights out—prosecco in hand, of course. 40 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, PA 19003, jasonstoridasu.com.
French Creek State Park
The park—just an hour from City Hall—sits in the largest chunk of forest between New York and D.C. and has 35 miles of trails, two lakes for fishing and boating (rentals available), a vast swimming pool, and disc golf and orienteering courses. As for the sleeping arrangements, if pitching a tent is a bit too rustic, modern cabins and even some yurts are available to rent. 843 Park Road, Elverson, PA 19520, dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/frenchcreek.
Good Good Comedy Theatre
The tickets are cheap (rarely more than $10) and it’s BYOB (no pesky drink minimums), but those are only a few of the reasons Good Good is most definitely not your Uncle Mort’s laugh house. While some of Philly’s best stand-up comedians are featured, there’s also innovative programming like Weeding Out the Stoned, in which the audience tried to guess which performer wasn’t high. 215 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, goodgoodcomedy.com.
Goldthorp's back-to-the-basics approach shows you don't have to lace up your sneakers to improve your stride. Focusing on strengthening your weak spots—do you have rock-hard calves and a less-than-firm core?—he'll up your running game. And at the end of your next big race, you'll have the PR to prove it. fixyourrun.com.
Amrita Yoga & Wellness
Allow us to count the glorious ways of this Fishtown yoga mecca: skylights in every classroom. An in-studio waterfall. Gorgeous locker rooms with showers. Amrita also has a roster of some of the city's best instructors and up to nine classes every single day. (We happen to be obsessed with Emile Sorger's Infrared Hot Flow class, but honestly, you can't go wrong.) 1204 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, amritayogawellness.com.
Grace Wicks daughter of restaurateur and environmentalist Judy Wicks grew up in a household with a true love of nature. But that home was in West Philly with no backyard, so her family did all its gardening in pots and planters, a skill she's perfected as the owner of Center City landscaping company Graceful Gardens. Her roof decks, planters, window boxes and backyards are as artful and lush as any country courtyard. Ask her about her edible works she designed the chef's gardens for the Four Seasons. gracefulgardens.net.
Spot Gourmet Burgers, Steaks & Pork
Steve, Jim, Pat and Geno pretty much do one thing: steaks. But Josh Kim, from the confines of a food cart the size of a shoebox, whips up everything from burgers to lobster rolls. And yet his cheese-steak is still a cut above, thanks to slices of hand-cut sirloin that are seasoned well and layered with onions that have some bite. facebook.com/spotburgers.
Rittenhouse Sports Specialties
The running world is rife with high-tech gear, logos and marketing flash, but sometimes, don't you just want to focus on the basics of your feet hitting the pavement? That's why buying shoes (and browsing through a manageable selection of accessories like water bottles, and some shorts and tees) is so refreshing at this low-key shop, where the owner is a runner herself and totally gets it. 1729 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rittenhousesports.com.
Guys can get fitted actually fitted, like man-on-the-stool-with-a-shoehorn for new pairs of Nikes, Toms and Cole Haans. We didnt get the hard (read: annoying) sell after browsing, either. Our salesman encouraged us to weigh our options and order later online, where free shipping and returns are standard. King of Prussia and Cherry Hill malls, 00000, shop.nordstrom.com.
Funk meets hip-hop meets punk in this Philly octet composed of time-tested veterans of the local music scene, most prominently pimped-out-large-and-in-charge front man Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams, who leads his tight entourage through edgy, fierce horn stacks and beat breakdowns like James Brown on steroids. Buy the band's first full-length album, Addicted to Distraction, which came out earlier this year, or better yet, check out one of its energetic live performances. 00000, blacklandlord.com.
For years, New York and L.A. had Pinkberry and Red Mango and Yolato, while we had, well, Rita's custard. Then last summer came Phileo, the shiny green-and-pink fro-yo mecca on South Street, with 16 creamy and often tangy pay-by-the-ounce flavors, and a do-it-yourself toppings bar that houses everything from Cap'n Crunch and Oreo pieces to fresh-cut kiwi and mango. Take that, L.A. 416 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, .
It turns out that shad used to be hugely important to the Delaware River economy, a fact our quirky friends in Fishtown (where else?) exploit with their annual Alosa sapidissima-feteing festival at Penn Treaty Park. It's true that Lambertville has been doing a shad festival for decades, but the city's is cooler: We've got shad la Johnny Brenda's and some of the best bands around, lots of local crafts (love the bottle-cap cuff links!) and craft beers, and perhaps our favorite part valet bike parking. Penn Treaty Park, Delaware Avenue and Columbia Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownshadfest.net.
All Around This World
Parents rave about dad Jay Sand's internationally themed music classes, taught weekly from his West Philadelphia home. Kids eight and under are a captive audience for what one mom describes as Sand's "wonderful songs, great singing and guitar playing, ridiculous wit, crazy dance moves, and understanding of what it means to be a child." 00000, allaroundthisworld.com.
Treehouse Coffee Shop
Tongue-in-cheek Treehouse claims to grow all its produce and coffee and espresso beans on its roof and milk its own cows up there! It also includes this warning on its website: "Caution, we have lost a couple cows over the edge of the building. So heads up when you park out front." The most laid-back, kid-friendly, Bible-studying, guitar-picking mom-and-pop place to nurse a cuppa joe with some homemade pastry in the entire Philly 'burbs. 120 West Merchant Street, Audubon, NJ 08106, treehousecoffee.net.
Arch Enemy Arts
When the folks at this Old City space claim that their gallery is Philadelphias freshest new venue for the new contemporary art scene, theyre really not lying. The one-year-old gallery exhibits some wonderful works in genres from realism to figurative to pop surrealism, and the art is priced to sell. This month, check out the newest show, Semiotic Weapons, featuring works by 11 local artists. 109 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, archenemyarts.com.