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.
Head to Franklin Square (historicphiladelphia.org/day/franklin-square) for a round of mini golf (about $30 for a family of four), a spin on the carousel (about $10 for a family of four), and some free-play (literally, free) on the playground and around the fountain. Warning: If your tykes are geocoding-savvy and figure out the Franklin Fountain (116 Market Street, 215-627-1899, franklinfountain.com) is nearby, you might go over budget. 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106, historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/what-to-see/.
There isn't a dance floor in the whole place, and drag-queen sightings are rare. But that's exactly what's so great about the bar formerly known as Uncles. (Well, that and the studly bartenders.) U Bar stands apart from other Gayborhood watering holes as a no-fuss, no-'tude, unpretentious spot to grab a strong drink or two and gab with friends. 1220 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, ubarphilly.com/.
Philly DJ legend King Britt and muralist Joshua Mays collab-ed on this experimental ode to Afro-futurism. To hear and see Philly’s first augmented-reality mural, just download an app, wave your phone, and watch as the colorful display comes to life on your screen. 53rd and Media streets in West Philly. Muralarts.org.
The only thing better than combing through 35,000 square feet of salvaged furniture, fixtures, and only-in-Philly finds (like wood from the chocolate factory that’s coming down at 21st and Washington)? Doing so on a Thursday evening, when this arch-salvage warehouse serves up free beer and bourbon. 2234 West Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, philadelphiasalvage.com/.
Unless you’re a celebrity, you probably don’t often have the chance to rub elbows with fashion’s in-crowd – think Yves Spinelli (founder of cool-girl jewelry line Spinelli Kilcollin) and Jonathan Simkhai (founder of the eponymous clothing line). Enter Joan Shepp, which throws must-attend parties featuring the designers behind some of your favorite brands. The best part? You don’t need to be an A-lister to get in. 1811 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, joanshepp.com/.
Three times a week, you can blow kisses to the littles before climbing the stairs to the wi-fi-and-coffee-equipped loft. You’ll get in some work (define work any way you want) while the kids are supervised and entertained in the giant play area. Register 24 hours in advance; the first hour is $18, and prices drop from there. 1241 North Front Street, Philadelphia , PA 19122, playartsphilly.com/.
We don’t normally give Best of Philly to the same business or organization twice in the same issue, but, well, when the Ritz at the Bourse closed in January 2020, film lovers shed a collective tear or 12. So we have high hopes now that the film-snobby Philadelphia Film Society has recently taken over the space, bringing the best of independent films back to the block. 400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, filmadelphia.org/.
Sande Friedman has bought and sold a lot of wine as the Di Bruno Bros. wine buyer. Now, in collaboration with some of her favorite wineries, Friedman helped create two new bottles — a barbera-zinfandel blend from La Clarine in California, and Rosé of Carmine, with WayVine Winery & Vineyard in Chester County — with stellar results. 1730 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, dibruno.com/9th-street-bottle-shop.
Moira Rubino understands that sometimes your schedule has you at its mercy. So she shows up at your door with her handy pop-up tent and organic golden-glow formula whenever you have a minute to get hosed down. Bring your friends: There are discounted group rates when she sprays a bunch of you at once. Service areas include the Main Line and select South Jersey towns; email@example.com 303 East Church Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, moiraanne.com/services.html.
Because sometimes all the people you know are busy or awful or both, there's DanDan. The menu features a long list of small plates, soups, noodles and vegetables that encourages grazing, and if you're looking to be left alone, the far-less-crowded upstairs dining room will give you space to enjoy your own company. Who knows? Maybe you'll meet some better friends while you're there. 126 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, dandanrestaurant.com/.
For decades, you had to rely on the waiters to recite what's available. Now they've finally gotten menus, but don't bother: We'll just tell you that you want linguine with the "primo" sauce (a combination of pork ragu and oil-and-garlic sauces), some baked clams, an antipasti salad, and a veal chop cooked on a real charcoal grill. Or, if it's Wednesday, ask for the whole veal breast special, something we can't even find in Philadelphia. 800 Kuser Road, Trenton, Trenton, NJ 08619, homestead1939.com/.
Chef Jeremy Nolen clearly put as much thought into what went on his kids' menu as he did his grown-up one. The result: a list of little-one favorites (burgers, mac and cheese) made from scratch with quality ingredients. We suggest nudging your kids to order pappardelle with butter and cheese — it's creamy and simple in the best of ways — while secretly hoping they don't finish the whole plate. 700 South 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, whetstonetavern.com.
Fried chicken junkies, if you’re looking to get your fix from different latitudes, you won’t want to miss this Big Island version, where the bird is dipped in sweet rice flour, doused in furikake seasoning, and topped with togarashi-yuzu mayo. Psst: It comes on the lunch plate with two scoops of rice, macaroni salad and pickled red cabbage. Yum. 102 South 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, poidogphilly.com.