Intimidated by the pace-obsessed, -spandex-clad enthusiasts who populate some running clubs? This once-a-week group (Thursdays at 7 p.m.) is for you. The runs are short (usually three to five miles), the atmosphere is welcoming (all levels attend), and the post-workout refreshments (enjoyed at a different bar each week) are more than motivating. Starting point: 2346 East Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownbeerrunners.com.
So you can spend roughly $425 to drop some water weight on Gwyneth Paltrow's 21-day cleanse (mmm ... fiber powder) or you can hire Healthy Bites founder and registered dietician Katie Cavuto Boyle to remake your pantry, help plan meals, teach you new recipes, and offer small but life-altering insights into your eating habits. Hmm, tough call. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, healthybitesdelivery.com.
We were so busy admiring Whipped Bakeshop's pretty little cupcakes in luscious flavors like lemon curd and banana chocolate chip peanut butter that we almost didn't notice the Fishtown bakery's younger, more modern child, the cakecup. It's confectionery genius, really, and thrifty, too: Leftover cake trimmings (mmm, burnt edges) come naked or blasted with icing, ganache or whipped cream, in a grande-size plastic cup. Retail hours on Saturdays only. 636 Belgrade Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, whippedbakeshop.com.
So you dropped the amazing little contraption face-down on the sidewalk, did you? And you don't have insurance? And now the dude at the AT&T store is telling you a new one's going to set you back, um, $700? And you want to slit your wrists with the shards of broken glass? Go see Nan Yan, GM at this hole-in-the-wall South Philly shop, who'll slap a brand-new touchscreen on your crippled old phone for just $85. See, miracles do happen. 1635 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146, .
Okay, so not the sexiest category. But we all talk about being eco-friendly, and these folks are actually making it easy. For $15 a month, they provide you with a special receptacle, pick up all of your compostables weekly, and help make the world a better place. In the spring, theyll even return some mulch to you for your efforts. 1511 Latona Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, bennettcompost.com.
You won't find him on the Food Network or pressing the flesh in the dining room, but that doesn't mean Feury isn't a star. He just shines where it counts: on the plate. After making a splash nearly a decade ago at Striped Bass, Feury moved from project to project before landing at Old City's Fork in 2009. It's a match made in foodie heaven Feury's cooking up some of the city's best food and breathing new life into a beloved institution. Everybody wins. 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, forkrestaurant.com.
The room is decidedly lacking in the layers of scum and stick that adorn most venues of its kind, and the staff cares enough to stop and consider your natural color (did you walk in there already looking like a half-caf mocha, or like you sleep in a coffin?) before hosing you down with an even coat of color. They'll also insist that you stand flanked by gentle fans for a full five minutes they time it before sending you on your merry, sun-kissed way. 1044 West Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, metrotans.com.
Biscotti with just the right texture, crunch and flavor are hard to come by. Demand that they be gluten-free, and the task seemed nigh impossible—until we found the assortment here, which were so good that even the gluten lovers in the office couldn't stop eating. Our other favorite: the delicious mint-iced chocolate brownies, which are moist and rich and left us licking our lips. 921 Penllyn-Blue Bell Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, thelittlebakeryinbluebell.com.
Fast-casual joints are about as riveting as a half-flaccid traffic cone reserving a parking spot. But this Nigerian restaurant in Northern Liberties operates in its own lane, serving a menu of grilled and yaji-rubbed proteins heavy on peanuts, paprika and scorching cayenne. Customize a bowl for takeout (or sit inside with your laptop and some generously provided wi-fi) for what’s by far the best lunch you’ll eat all week. 400 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123, suyasuya.co.
With its whimsical wall installation made out of books and a cozy coffee-shop ambience (try a cortado), this new shop feels more like a work of fiction than a place that sells it. While the shop has a spiritual bent (it specializes in nonfiction focusing on history, faith and culture), it also houses new and used tomes from the likes of James Patterson and Robert Louis Stevenson. Proceeds benefit the Helping Hand Rescue Mission. 45 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, thestoryardmore.com.
Elisa Ludwig is an author and mom who, relatably, had no peace and quiet in which to write during lockdown. The hobby baker started Care Package Bakes to bring a little joy in the form of small-batch goodies like graham mallow blondies and brown-butter-glazed banana pudding bites. Ordering a box is an easy way to send some frazzled friend a little love — and proof that at least one good thing has sprung from the pandemic. Carepackagebakes.com.
Just when you thought change couldn’t come any faster in the city’s ever-evolving LGBTQIA community, PHL Pride Collective told everyone to hold their beer. After last year’s dismantling of the original (and arguably antiquated) Philly Pride Presents, this diverse group of community activists organized one of the most intersectional, inclusive and overall-badass Pride celebrations ever. Those trying to reimagine their problematic programming (looking at you, Mummers) should take notes from them ASAP. phlpridecollective.org.
Philly will get its first-ever board-game cafe when the delayed Thirsty Dice opens in Fairmount, hopefully sometime this fall. For now, the Thirsty Dice crew hosts monthly pop-ups at Fishtown’s Evil Genius brewery. (The next one’s on August 8th.) They bring the games, and they’ll sit with you and your friends to explain the rules ... and to referee when needed. Because when you’re drinking, who really wants to pull out the instructions? thirstydice.com.
Musicians love to play for other people, but once bars and music venues closed, that wasn’t exactly possible. Enter the Facebook group Delco Quarantine Open Mic, which quickly grew to more than 14,800 members — many from Delco, but plenty from other areas, too. The page hosts several shows a week and features some seriously talented people who might make you think about pulling that old guitar of yours out of the attic. facebook.com/groups/524677775121227.
There’s nothing more Philly than a couple of punk kids rolling around town with a cart full of cacti, just like rag-and-bone men of yore. The Cactus Cart pops up on weekends at varying corners of South Philly, and the offerings are just what you need to spruce up your space: vibrant, spiky succulents planted in retro sugar cannisters and old beer cans. Plus, the cacti come in all shapes and sizes to fit on any windowsill or bookshelf. instagram.com/cactuscart2020.