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.
Famed Magic Gardens artist Isaiah Zagar and wife Julia established this Latin American folk-art epicenter on South Street in 1968, covering its ceilings and walls with his signature mosaics. Despite being around for decades, the gallery today remains fresh and exciting, and its three floors contain a one-of-a-kind mix of decor — paintings from Guerrero, Mexico-based La Familia Lorenzo, painted glass pieces from Peru, carved wooden statues from Guatemala. Say hello to Julia at the front when you visit. 402 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, eyesgallery.com.
This season, the Mann debuted a brand-new seating option: onstage. That’s right. For select shows, the regular seats and lawn are closed off, and the audience sits right up there with the performers. There’s only one Downstage @ the Mann show left this season (sorry; you just missed Nigerian Afrobeat master Femi Kuti), but you can still get tickets for the Resistance Revival Chorus on October 7th. 5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, manncenter.org/downstage.
Show us a dude who says he's not obsessed with his dome's sprouts, and we'll show you a fibber. Hush co-owner Carlos Rogers understands. From his salon tucked in the back of Old City's Sweat gym, Rogers makes the most of man's sole groom-able God-given gift, working with volume and texture, face shape and style needs, gently breaking inconvenient truths about thinning tops, and sending fellows back into the cold, hard world with the best of all possible looks. 45 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, hushsalon.com.
Fourteen years ago, Agnew, an Ardmore native, started booking bands occasionally as a hobby. Now 32 and a Drexel dropout, he's the biggest independent promoter in the region, producing close to 300 shows a year via his company, R5 Productions, at venues like Johnny Brenda's and the First Unitarian Church, in warehouses and basements, and even at a private airport/pool/motel complex in South Jersey. "I have absolutely no musical ability," says Agnew. "That's why I started doing shows because I was frustrated I couldn't play." 00000,
Sometimes it takes a glamorous aesthetician who was born in Poland, trained in France, and then toiled in Manhattan to really get it. Five years after she opened Rescue, Danuta Mieloch remains peerless. Her space: spare yet luxurious, central yet secluded. Her products: splurge-y yet essential. (Show us a Philadelphienne who doesn't douse her face and dcolletage in Biologique's P-50 toner and we'll show you a poseur.) Her staff: in addition to her flawless self, prodigiously talented practitioners of beauty as religion Nives Riddles on makeup and brows, Tirzah Fowler and Erika Ianoale on facials and waxing, Anna Maria Hernandez on nails. Her Service and Help: a standard yet preeminent menu that includes the now-classic Bio-Lift and microdermabrasion, for plump and polish, respectively. Her reservations book: full. 255 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rescuerittenhousespa.com.
This trio of self-described “soul-stirring psychonauts” blends psychedelia and hard rock with an irreverent dose of Southern gospel inspiration and puts on a damn exciting show. stjamestheapostles.bandcamp.com.
It trumps Ocean Casino Resort on every level. Much better shows. Superior restaurants. And an always-fun crowd. 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, Hardrockhotels.com.
Jason Tell of Fairytell Productions is a one-man show who doesn't carry the flash (or the price tag) of bigger companies, but for that down-to-the-last-detail party, he's your guy. Call for consultation, 00000, .
While most concert venues in Atlantic City are overgrown, impersonal boxes of noise, the Borgata's 1,000-seat concert hall is decidedly more intimate, with lovely acoustics, and the perfect place to see your favorite artists up close and personal. This month: Supertramp's Roger Hodgson (8/18), K.D. Lang (8/24) and Cheap Trick (8/31). Also, look for semi-secret last-minute gigs, like the scintillating performance Fiona Apple gave earlier this year. One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, theborgata.com/entertain/entertainment-venues/the-music-box.
Don’t show up toting a bottle with a kangaroo on the label. The well-heeled clientele brings the good stuff; it’s what the excellent veal ravioli, braised duck with pappardelle and pan-seared smoked mozzarella deserve. 26 East Eagle Road, Havertown, PA 19083, langolo-west.com.
Koukouzeli makes the best gyro and souvlaki in Philly, hands down. The phyllo-wrapped deep-fried stuffed grape leaves? That’s just showing off. 1134 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, .
Third-party companies like Cloud 9 Living and Rusty Wallace Racing Experience show up with really fast cars — sometimes Ferraris, sometimes NASCAR — at this South Jersey racetrack. The cost varies, but expect to pay $498 for three laps in that Ferrari. 8000 Dividing Creek Road, Millville, NJ 08332, Njmp.com.
Christina Stoltz's philosophy on Pilates is that it should be fun—and it shows. Her classes, taught on the apparatus or mat (or both), incorporate props like hula hoops, jump ropes, glide boards and glow-in-the-dark poi balls. A DJ creates the studios custom playlists, so an excellent soundtrack is guaranteed. 1040 North American Street, suite 1001, Philadelphia, PA 19123, ploomephilly.com.
Chef Chip Roman has done more than just open a couple of restaurants Blackfish is extraordinary, and Mica shows great promise. What's more: he and Mica partner Jason Cichonski have brought culinary hope to the many diners living in areas overlooked by Starr, Garces, Vetri and Billy Penn. 8609 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, micarestaurant.com.