When you’re in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, the ideal restaurant experience is one that involves the least amount of actual human contact. Which is why Porcos — a literal hole in a wall out of which come some of the city’s best porchetta sandwiches — is the perfect vision of our restaurant scene’s current moment. This takeaway window on Washington Avenue (which shares space and a menu with Small Oven Pastry Shop) was up and running before the virus hit, but present circumstances have made it invaluable. 2204 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146, smallovenpastryshop.com.
Len Davidson has been finding and restoring neon signs since the 1970s, and his massive collection finally has a proper and permanent home. You’ll find original neon from places like Pat’s King of Steaks, the Horn & Hardart’s 30th Street Station shop (talk about a throwback!), McGillin’s Olde Ale House and Levis Hot Dogs. 1800 North American Street unit E, Philadelphia, PA 19122, neonmuseumofphiladelphia.com.
Govberg’s new location—marble bar, glass chandelier, entire rooms for Patek Philippe and Rolex—wouldn’t seem out of place on Madison Avenue. But with plans to host events aimed at teaching the watch-curious what they’re missing out on—owner Danny Govberg calls it “edu-tainment”; we call it not-so-sneaky customer-base building—the shop won’t judge if you’re just there to browse its collection of five- and six-figure timepieces. 1529 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, govbergwatches.com.
Regular classes are only offered in the 'burbs. They require daily 10-minute one-on-one lessons for six straight weeks. And starting at $110 a week, they certainly aren't cheap. But the endgame to all of this? Babies as young as six months learn to flip themselves from facedown to face-up in the water, even in shoes and diapers — results that aren't just remarkable, but are quite literally life-saving. (Lessons offered in various locations in the suburbs.) infantswim.com.
After recruiting a gaggle of tasters to dig into all the new quick-serve pizza shops that have opened around town (you know, those Chipotle-style, assembled-just-for-you spots), the results were unanimous. Snap is fresh, well-priced, has a sweet crust and will travel back to your desk (or car) really well. 4 Station Road, Ardmore, PA 19003, .
Despite being less than two years old, Tova du Plessis’s shop is a throwback to a time when bakeries felt personal—when you actually interacted with the person twisting your babka with chocolate; when chocolate chip cookies still tasted homemade; when you were encouraged to grab a seat, settle in and eat your toast on-site. 1437 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147, essenbakery.com.
If you're the type who won't give up your trainers for anyone, pluck any pair of sneakers off the wall displays at Ubiq and you'll still look pulled together. This Walnut Street cult shop sells more than new-release Jordans and Yeezys: There are subdued retro New Balances, eco-friendly Vans and reflective suede Onitsuka Tigers. 1509 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, ubiqlife.com.
With a client roster that includes Jim Gardner, Jim Kenney, the Eagles, and just about everyone in town who has to appear in a suit on camera, the Sciolis' little East Passyunk shop is a veritable clubhouse of the Philly elite. The Sciolis are known for masterful alterations and bespoke Italian wool suits, but it's also worth dropping in just to hear Pat say, "Take it eaaaaz!" 1744 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, .
There's now a reason to shop at Urban Outfitters past the age of 25: In the KOP location, you'll find the company's new fitness brand, which has taken Urban's splashy aesthetic and translated it into gymwear (floral yoga pants, tie-dye sports bras, graphic-printed tech shirts) for a look infinitely cooler than your boring black leggings. King of Prussia Mall, 640 West Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA 19406, urbanoutfitters.com.
Maybe it doesn't make so much sense to splurge on that one-season wonder. (Leather crop tops, anyone?) Enter Nich, a wildly inexpensive boutique where you can find of-the-moment tanks, dresses, skirts, shoes and jewelry for well under $50. Score of the century? The table full of fun and quirky $10 sunglasses. 29 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19382, shopnich.com.
You can peruse Joanna Bengoa’s delicate ready-to-wear diamond necklaces, engagement bands and stud earrings on her web shop. But the jeweler can also utterly transform your dusty old heirlooms that have been lying untouched in the bottom of your drawer for a decade. Bengoa, who has a degree in gemology, will work with you to design a new one-of-a-kind piece that feels contemporary, fresh, and totally personal. nishiny.com.
Stop by Veronica Beard to buy one of the brand’s beloved blazers to throw over your new summer dress. Those structured Dickey jackets have been a staple of King of Prussia department-store collections and Main Line closets since the label launched in NYC in 2010. But the new shop’s edit focuses on VB wardrobe heroes — all in one place. For summer, that means delicate knit tops, slinky silk dresses, linen blazers galore, and wooden heels courtesy of a collab with Dr. Scholl’s. 47 St. Georges Road, Ardmore, PA 19003, veronicabeard.com.
It’s right there in the name: All That Jazz Sound & Security. This Lancaster Ave shop has spent its entire existence keeping Philadelphians’ trunks thumping and vehicles secure, but the electronic expertise here has kept pace with the trends, too, with remote starters, backup and dashboard cameras, LED lighting, whatever. While these might seem like bells and whistles — hey, they do custom horns, too — adding undercarriage lighting to your motorcycle is an increasingly popular way to stay safe on your bike. 4977 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, allthatjazzphilly.com.
There aren’t many places that are just 90 minutes away and that offer exhilarating white-water rafting excursions, adventurous-sounding (but actually quite easy) mountain-bike journeys down a gorge (the key word being down), scenic rides on a historic train, and a cute Main-Street-America shopping district with bars, restaurants, and eclectic boutiques and indie bookstores. Come to think of it: There’s only one!
This Philly-based brand creates hair products specifically for women with natural hair that are packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like avocado, shea butter and essential oils — and each product is so fresh, it has to be refrigerated. Shop online, or join NaturAll’s club and get your favorite products delivered to you each month. naturallclub.com.