It's cool if you buy into the whole "Oh, there aren't any good restaurants in Chinatown, so why would I go there?" mentality. That means there are more seats open for us at this fantastic hole-in-the-wall (and more wonton soup and roast duck, too). 138 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, phillychinatown.com/tingwong.htm.
For 45 years, Oster has sold 17th-century instruments so expensive that he won’t even list some prices. If his luthiers are good enough to handle those masterpieces, you bet they’re good enough for your grandmother’s old fiddle. 507 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, Osterviolins.com.
Chicharron with crumbled kesong puti cheese goes best with a cold lager. Pancit is perfect with a crisp white, and the lechon pork belly pairs nicely with a fruity red. Good thing you can bring all three to this homey BYO in Fishtown, a spot that helped birth Philly’s Filipino food boom. 300 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, sarvidaphilly.com.
Malloy is a true talent — a server who always anticipates a table’s wants and needs, deals with difficult guests with aplomb, and acts like she owns the place (in the best way possible). She’s got the kind of swagger that keeps people coming back for reasons that have nothing to do with the food or drink. 800 Mifflin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, irwinsupstairs.com/.
Wharton School grad, twin dad and Philly resident Ted Iobst created a genius stroller that weighs 16 pounds, folds with one hand, is well-priced, and still looks cool. Wavering? Don’t; it comes with a 100-day trial run. hicolugo.com/.
Like walking into the pages of a Madeline, Paddington Bear or Winnie the Pooh book — or any other tome that’s European and ultra-sweet. What started as an online shop last spring is now a pop-up shop (open until January at least …) that’s shared with other local makers and artists. 122 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087, theblueberet.shop.
When the doors to the city shut last March, another kind of door opened: all the spaces going unused. Soon, the TLA and various churches became pop-up vaccination sites. Parking spaces morphed into outdoor cafes. Here’s hoping we soon have no more need for the former. The latter, on the other hand …
Unwilling to wait in line for some of the city’s best new bagels? Let us suggest this service, which on Fridays and Saturdays leaves Philly at three a.m. to collect New York bagels (and bialys, and schmear!) and delivers them right to your door. nybagelbutler.com/.
Draw to Action features original drawings from 30 Philly-based artists, with 100 percent of sales donated to local charities. So when you decide to avoid some grown-up responsibilities to go grab your box of Crayolas, you’re practically a philanthropist. instagram.com/drawtoaction.
This shop feels like the set of The Nutcracker, where items like heirloom rocking horses, model boats and life-size stuffed animals (some of which cost thousands of dollars) share space with sweet wooden puzzles, floppy teddies, and goods made by old-school crafters. 35 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, puccimanuli.com/.
AMDG shows up when they say they will, communication is easy and clear, and if there is anything you’re unhappy with—which is highly unlikely—they’ll come back out and deal with it. For work one of our editors needed done, AMDG also offered the lowest estimate by far; the end result, our colleague gushes, is impeccable. 2377 Haverford Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, TRUSTAMDG.COM.
There are plenty of things that aren't worth a second look (e.g., the lackluster shoe section), but do some digging and you'll find coveted brands (from the likes of Missoni and Armani to Vince, Theory and DVF) at prices worth the hunt. Bonus points for the luxury vintage shop-in-shop and the stellar athletic-wear department. 821 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, c21stores.com/Philly_.
Take 50 of the best area antique dealers, spread them out over four floors, and sprinkle in some quirky curiosities (a giant plastic dolphin from a 1950s carnival ride, for example), and you've got this sprawling Jersey stalwart. 28 North Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530, peoplesstore.net/.
The tofu-stuffed vegetarian bánh mi here is as packed as a 10-inch Wawa hoagie but light-years better. But the best part—besides Tunisan-born owner Jihed Chehimi, who makes hearty bowls, salads and sandwiches—is the free bottled water and fruit that comes with every order. 37th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104, .
This is where designers and stylists for brands like Free People come to score vintage inspiration. Ask nicely, and Malena might walk you around the corner to her new, semi-secret private showroom, packed with treasures (arranged by decade) that will make vintage hounds go weak in the knees. 101 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380, malenasboutique.com/.