Showing With Style
If there was a collective shriek of horror from soon-to-be-moms when Manayunk's Belly closed in 2008, there was an equally loud sigh of relief when Chelsea Ivsin and Elizabeth Long, then-employees of the store, kept the lease and reopened last May all during their senior year at Philadelphia University. Their selection of flattering, easy-to-wear maternity clothes, handbag-pretty diaper bags and It strollers has us just as impressed as the story of how their shop came to be.
4321 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127, .
Kwi Restaurant and Noodle Bar at Caesars
After a long night of drinking, gambling and partying in our own Sin City, it's good to put good food in your belly. Lucky for you, Caesars' Asian noodle bar-which makes some of the best and most consistent Chinese food in the entire region, let alone Atlantic City-is open until 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 a.m. Fridays, and 6 a.m.(!) Saturdays. 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, caesarsac.com/restaurants/kwi-restaurant-and-noodle-bar.html.
Greening your home takes on a whole new meaning at this dusty shop where old doors, claw-foot tubs and antique tile are rescued from crumbling spaces and repurposed for modern pads. If owner Chris Stock doesn't have exactly what you need, he'll keep an eye out-and chances are he'll see it soon enough. 542 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119, philadelphiasalvage.com.
South Street Philly Bagel
You'll justify waiting in the steamy, cramped, un-air-conditioned quarters for these just-baked, crunchy-crusted, doughy rounds, which put other area bagel makers to shame. Health nuts can go oat or whole wheat, and there are powder-sugar-dusted French toast and chocolate chip varieties. But true bagelphiles simply order an everything smeared with the superb whipped cream cheese and then a plain to eat on the walk home. 613 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, southstphillybagel.com.
Primp & Play
It’s a genius concept: Mom gets a massage or facial while her little one is entertained with arts and crafts or mini beauty services like chocolate facials and glitter manis. Primp & Play is perfect for spa-day birthday parties, too — and no need to worry about stuffing goodie bags at 2 a.m., because your kid’s besties will make their own lotion, lip gloss or jewelry to take home. 1520 Locust Street, second floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102, primpandplay.com.
9th Street Bottle Shop
Buying wine (or any alcohol, really) in Pennsylvania is generally a pain in the butt. The Di Bruno Bros. Bottle Shop in the center of the Italian Market sweetens the deal with a curated selection at a range of price points, all of which can be opened and glugged across the street in DBB’s sunny piazza. Bring takeout from any of the surrounding restaurants, or grab some chips and tinned fish from Di Bruno’s shelves. 920 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, dibruno.com/9th-street-bottle-shop.
Càphê Roasters has everything you’d expect from a great coffee shop: caffeine, sun-soaked couches, strong wi-fi. But they also serve some of the best Vietnamese food in town, like fried chicken bánh mì and roasted tomato egg sandwiches. Not to mention coffee from barista and roaster Thu Pham that ranges from Viet drinks topped with sweet whipped egg custard to lattes inspired by Asian cereals. 3400 J Street, G1, Philadelphia, PA 19134, capheroasters.com.
True Blue Bakery
The simplest pie at this Australian shop in the western suburbs is treated like the national treasure it is — flaky-crusted and filled with delicious gravy, ground beef and onions — but True Blue only starts there. It would be unforgivable to leave without some pasties for lunch, a vanilla slice or Lamington cake for dessert, and a couple sausage rolls just to keep you going through the day. 324 Main Street, Royersford, PA 19468, truebluebakery.com.
Vittles Food Hall
Everybody Eats — started during the pandemic as a nonprofit by Black chefs focusing on local food security — debuted a food hall in 2022 that serves everything from seafood (try the snapper and grits at Perfect Catch) to diner-style comforts and soul food. They’re also using the space as a home base for job training, industry mentorship, and their community fridge project. 801 Sproul Street, Chester, PA 19013, instagram.com/vittlesfoodhall.
Kids’ clothes can often look so, well, childish. Tina Dixon Spence’s Buddha Babe appeals to style-conscious moms like NBC 10 meteorologist Brittney Shipp with deliciously soft baby essentials that pack plenty of personality, from the newly redesigned “Philly LOVE” theme to anything splashed with “Lil Jawn.” The store’s new sewing classes are some of the hottest tickets in town, with summer camp for kids and Sip and Sew sessions for parents quickly selling out. 7101 Emlen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119, buddhababe.com.
Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste
The Haitian-born, Fishtown-based women’s fashion designer — who stole the TV world’s most stylish hearts on Season 19 of Project Runway — produces gorgeously intricate, brilliantly colorful ready-to-wear and custom gowns, dresses and matching sets influenced by his former home. Don one for your next gala or wedding or simply for going to the grocery store — any way you wear it, you’ll demand attention. prajjeoscar.com.
Shopping here is like taking a crash course in Philly’s design scene. Owner Ethan Nguyen will alert you to colorful local finds like Alexandra Damiano silk slip dresses, Tesoro handcrafted leather bags, and West Oak Design lightweight linen shifts. Then, once you’ve outfitted your closet, he’ll point you across the street to his new home-goods store, Weekend, to do the same for the rest of your house. 1540 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, mconceptshop.com.
Design on Demand by Widell + Boschetti
Make your pad Arch Di-worthy without the commitment of a full-service designer with the à la carte e-design option from these Philly up-and-comers. Barette Widell and Christina Boschetti will create a mood board and layout based on your room’s specs (rates start at $1,100) and choose the right products to bring both to life, for an end result that’s more inspired than those seen-that-everywhere looks. widellboschetti.com.
Party Host Helpers
It’s your party, you can cry if you want to … or you can pay some good people to handle all the laborious stuff that you don’t want to do–setting tables, tending bar, cleaning up, checking coats. This Wayne-based company, now in 30 cities nationwide, is the key to making your next shindig actually enjoyable–for you. partyhosthelper.com.
Performance Meal Prep
All the menu items from no-commitment meal-delivery service Performance Meal Prep (sweet-and-sour meatballs, jerk chicken tacos, roasted veggies) are fresh, healthy and tasty. Which is precisely why plenty of local trainers–and even some Phillies players–have standing orders. Services Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties, plus South Jersey and Delaware. eatpmp.com.