Sick of having to plan, shop for and cook freaking dinner? Also sick of takeout? Home Appétit delivers enough precooked meals to your doorstep at the start of the week to feed your family through the weekend. No meal kits with shrink-wrapped garlic and complicated instructions, no pizza boxes — just a fridge full of food that actually tastes good. homeappetitphilly.com.
True, you can get most anything couriered to your doorstep in 2016, but meal-delivery service Home Appétit is one of the real stars of Philly's convenience economy, both because the heat-and-eat meals are unusually fresh-tasting and delicious and because ordering is so gloriously flexible. From the city and select suburbs, you can order a week's meals whenever you want (no plan required), and food arrives after work hours, when you're actually home to collect it. homeappetitphilly.com.
Pomegranate Lamb at Zahav
If you're arriving as a party of two (with big appetites), you're going to want to ask for the pomegranate lamb, Michael Solomonov's ode to the jumped-up family dinners of the Middle East -- a dish so popular that he recently dedicated an entire month to offering it daily on the regular menu. 237 St. James Place, Philadelphia, PA 19106, zahavrestaurant.com.
We've been a fan of the 34-year-old Swarthmore grad since her debut with Pig Iron Theatre Company in 2001. She dazzled us in Pig Iron's Shut Eye (as the distressed sister of a man in a coma), The Lucia Joyce Cabaret (as a drum-playing mental patient) and the Obie-winning Hell Meets Henry Halfway (as the ice-queen protagonist). But the obviously versatile Sanford proved her independence from the charmed group last spring with her successful directorial debut, dance-theater piece Appetite, and we look forward to seeing more of her own work as well as her appearance next month in Pig Iron's Welcome to Yuba City at the Live Arts/Fringe Festival. 00000,
Joe Beddia at Pizzeria Beddia
We were lining up in Fishtown for his pies way before Bon Appétit named his pizza the best in America. But now the world knows, and with his new smash-hit cookbook, he’s been showing the rest of the country that guys from New York aren’t the only ones who know dough. 115 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, pizzeriabeddia.com.
You can spend hours searching for home-decor inspiration on HGTV or just 15 minutes in this adorable South Philly b-outique. Owned by husband-and-wife (and architect-and-interior-designer) duo Eric Heidel and Sary Em, it houses feminine accent pieces patterned geometric pillows, gilded ceramics, glossy Sputnik lights that give a ho-hum home a real OMG factor. Which, of course, is exactly what youre looking for. 1815 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, homephilly.wordpress.com.
Readers' Choice winner. 424 East Elm Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428, ouryogahome.com.
The Home Hero
Pete Rose (not that Pete Rose) started his business as a second career, because he really loves the work. So you get reliability, fair prices, expert craftsmanship, and a contractor whos actually responsive, even via email. Hes built his rep on things like creative baby-proofing, home theater installation, and the prettier parts of remodeling tile, lighting, fixtures and paint. Perfect for the jobs too big for you, but too small for impossible-to-nail-down G.C.s. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, thehomehero.com.
Men: Go here, tell gift-whisperer/owner Dana Bank what you did, and she'll find you the perfect thing to make it all better. Women: Go here, tell Dana all about your fabulous girlfriend, and she'll find you the perfect thing your fabulous girlfriend didn't even know she wanted. 1616 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, townhomeonline.com.
This breezy store feels like it could be in Provence: Pillows printed with the names of Shore towns are piled on weathered chairs the owner brings back from France; china plates are painted with watercolor crustaceans. It's a happy mash-up, filled with enough reclaimed furniture, quirky wall hangings and cool accessories to make any home feel like a vacation retreat. 233 East King Street, Suite 105, Malvern, PA 19355, uphomeltd.com.
Natalie Rettinger scours flea markets and estate sales to keep her shop flush with low-slung couches, teak consoles, oversize lamps and anything else Mad Men-worthy. And for a $50 fee, she'll deliver to almost anywhere in the region. 29 West Jasper Street, Media, PA 19063, reconsideredhome.com.
The Home Hero
Don't listen to your mother-in-law -- that gorgeous floating staircase, small balcony and Noguchi table can be kid-friendly. Just ask the legions of Center City moms who swear by Home Hero owner Peter Rose's bevy of inventive, non-permanent tricks. thehomehero.com.
In 2010, Ginger Kuczowicz, an accountant by trade, and Mark Swoboda, her bioengineer business partner, decided to make their own cleaning supplies, eschewing harsh chemicals for effective non-toxics like baking soda, vinegar, salt, grated soap and essential oils and then started offering housecleaning services with their products. You can also check out their new store, Soap Box, stocked with their products. 616 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, myholistichome.com.
Bespoke Home + Life
Once you’ve lived vicariously through the shop’s rotating seasonal themes (the Joshua tree iteration featured a stock-tank swimming pool), browse the terrariums, ferns and more peeping out from nearly every corner, indoors and out. Green thumbs, take note: Philodendrons with variegated leaves are so hot right now. 817 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108, bespokehomeandlife.com.
Nicki Dekunchak, Hands at Home
You choose: a quickie office chair massage, or a longer deep-tissue at home. Her expert hands will leave you looser and more relaxed than you've been in ages. Call or see website for appointment, 00000, handsathome.com.