When every table you pass in a cute little BYO on a teeny main street in suburbia features diners ignoring the cheese tray and attacking plates of grilled octopus ... well, you know it must be some swell octopus. And it is. 258 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460, majolicarestaurant.com/.
Soft, chewy gluten-free loaves, rolls, focaccia, baguettes and bagels that don't taste anything like a brick—yes, it's a GF-eater's dream come true. 1024 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, taffets.com/.
You can be underwire-free! Local maker Maddie Flanigan’s comfy, sexy, stretchy-yet-supportive Barrett bralettes fit up to a 48.5-inch bust and come with matching panties. madalynne.com.
Why wait a few weeks for some Etsy vendor in Moscow to make your monogrammed totes when Robyn Platoni can etch, embroider and foil-stamp her adorable goods in just a few days? 241 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Shopchickphilly.com.
It's unexpected (weathered Louis Vuitton luggage, vintage Hermés ties — on Girard?), unassuming (owner Erik Honesty knows everything about the history of menswear, but he's never snobby or pushy), and, when it comes to selection and style, unparalleled. 703 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123, culturedcouturegallery.com/.
What, you can't get into Pine Valley? Who cares? This highly rated nearby course was built around a sand quarry, which provides epic views, challenging holes and a unique topography. 2626 Fries Mill Road, Williamstown, NJ 08094, scotlandrun.com/.
Yes, cheese on an Asian menu seems odd, until you learn that chef Patrick Feury is like a Chester County cheese ambassador. He works directly with farmers and ages some of the offerings himself. 1091 East Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312, tastenectar.com/.
Jose Pistola's is about as down-to-earth as it gets, with good drink specials ($15 happy-hour marg pitchers), craft brews, a kitchen that's open until 1 a.m., live music, and a come-as-you-are attitude. 263 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, josepistolas.com/.
If Anthropologie and Martha Stewart got together and had babies, and those babies were flowers, they would look like the arrangements coming out of the charming Queen Village studio of this new talent. 510 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, sullivanowen.com/.
Though all the love these days goes to gourmet pies with imported toppings, Charlie's is an archetype for the kind of place we hope never vanishes the classic American neighborhood shop serving crisp, sweet slices. 107 West Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA 19401, pizzacharlies.com/.
Some swear by the exotically topped brick-oven beauties at Frank Maimone's Rustica, in NoLibs (cheesesteak pizza?), but the classic red adorned with Claudio's mozzarella and a naturally sweet tomato sauce is hard to beat. 903 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, rusticaphilly.com/.
Dinner and a movie is so 2019. Instead, drop $65 to rent out this independent bookstore in Kensington for 90 minutes. They provide a playlist curated to your tastes, loads of books to browse through, a candlelit table, and even some beer or wine. You bring a picnic basket and the old amore. 2644 Coral Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, theheadandthehand.com.
This West Philly microcinema was scheduled to debut earlier this year, screening real college-film-class types of works that only true movie nerds would love. But then coronavirus happened, so they shifted into a virtual format until they can open their doors. Hopefully in early 2021. cinespeak.org/.
Longtime Main Line skin-care guru Elizabeth Cardarelli finally comes to the city with a glam full-service medspa that serves up micro-needling, laser hair removal, Botox, Cardarelli’s signature peels, and all other manner of skin-perfecting treatments. 2212 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, averygraham.com.
Pastels, plants, and a butterfly mural that was meant for selfies. If you were born in the ’90s, you’ve probably been here. If you haven’t, get your grandkids to set you up on Snapchat and come see what the fuss is about. 1500 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, blumephilly.com.