Shopping here is like taking a crash course in Philly’s design scene. Owner Ethan Nguyen will alert you to colorful local finds like Alexandra Damiano silk slip dresses, Tesoro handcrafted leather bags, and West Oak Design lightweight linen shifts. Then, once you’ve outfitted your closet, he’ll point you across the street to his new home-goods store, Weekend, to do the same for the rest of your house. 1540 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, mconceptshop.com.
Make your pad Arch Di-worthy without the commitment of a full-service designer with the à la carte e-design option from these Philly up-and-comers. Barette Widell and Christina Boschetti will create a mood board and layout based on your room’s specs (rates start at $1,100) and choose the right products to bring both to life, for an end result that’s more inspired than those seen-that-everywhere looks. widellboschetti.com.
Twenty-plus years ago, Edwin Peake gave his college side hustle–landscaping on the Main Line–a real go. Today, his team of experts designs, installs and maintains the stunning green spaces at fancy private schools and modest homes alike. Services Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks and Montgomery counties. edwinsgloriousgardens.com.
Though mostly known for its burgers and beer, Johnny Brenda’s is actually doing some of the best cheffy vegetables in the city–marinated snap peas on a bed of homemade ricotta, and grilled local asparagus with slivers of cured salmon 1201 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125, johnnybrendas.com.
Bars with food trucks inside. Bars with strict dress codes. Bars with 18-ingredient cocktails that take 15 minutes to make. Blah, blah, blah. When it comes time to watch the big game–or any game, for that matter–the only place I want to be is at any of the dozen or so area locations of Chickie’s & Pete’s. You and your too-cool friends can roll your eyes at my vulgar plebeianism, but while you’re at your tin-ceilinged, Edison-bulbed speakeasy, I’ll be sitting happily amidst an ungodly number of huge TVs with sound, drinking cheap beers and scarfing down crack-like Crabfries. If you come to your senses and decide to meet me for the next game, don’t ask the waitress if she has that $14 single-cask goat-tears-infused craft beer, or you might get stomped. – Victor Fiorillo chickiesandpetes.com.
Trudeau isn’t the only thing Canada got right: Inspired by Cake Life co-owner Nima Etemadi’s Vancouver roots, this specialty from our neighbors to the north is a chocolatey coconut biscuit on the bottom, vanilla bean custard in the middle, thick ganache on top, and totally delicious throughout. 1306 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125, cakelifebakeshop.com.
Start with a fluffy egg frittata topped with fresh asiago and herbed long hot spread, mounted on a house-made English muffin. Pay $2 more to add breakfast sausage spiced with fennel and cardamom. 2218 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, resipsaphilly.com.
Tacos in pizza form, served with lime wedges and salsa: The Mexican pies at this no-frills South Philly restaurant are everything you want to eat when it’s 1 a.m. and you have all sorts of liquor in you. 2413 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, ordertortasandpizzaelsabordemitierra.com.
There’s something extremely satisfying about drinking liquor distilled in Atlantic City. Something about A.C.’s days as the anti-Prohibition capital of America and its penchant for booze in general makes it just feel… right. And it doesn’t hurt that the rum makes for a very good daiquiri. 807 Baltic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, littlewaterdistillery.com.
A beautiful, plant-filled, twinkly-lit oasis in the middle of a very drab block of the city. The food is far better than it needs to be, and the drinks are designed to be consumed five at a time. Find a good nook and stay a while. 31 South 18th street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, harpersgardenphilly.com.
The only things that could get us out of bed and exercising at 9 a.m. on the weekend? Fresh FedNuts and coffee, both of which are served after a three-mile loop through the city. The group meets at Philadelphia Runner on the first Saturday of every month. 1601 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, philadelphiarunner.com.
Yes, it’s obvious. And yes, you have to dodge hordes of hyperactive children and hawkers slinging overpriced Gatorade. But the best place for an alfresco sweat session in this city will always be the Art Museum steps, 72 tiny limestone mountains that will kill your calves and tone your butt. At the bottom, you roll your eyes at the selfie-taking out-of-towners. On the way up, you curse the goddamn class trips blocking your ascent. But once you’ve made it, you turn around – legs aching, lungs burning – and look back over the city and feel like you’ve conquered it. And that will never not be a rush. So go practice yoga on some fancy rooftop, or do your Pilates in the park. As for me, I’ll be running the Art Museum steps with the tourists. See you at the top. – Gina Tomaine
It sounds like an infomercial – for only $9.99 a month, you can have all this! – but in this case, it’s legit. For less than a sandwich at Di Bruno’s, you can have access to marble locker rooms, cardio theaters, sprint tracks and ... oh, what the hell. We’ve been doing this for 45 years. Just take our word for it. 50 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477, theedgefitnessclubs.com.
Each Friday, the city’s buttoned-up institution lets loose with extended hours (it’s open till 8:45 p.m.), cocktails, tapas, live music, and access to the galleries. Go, so that you don’t feel as guilty about spending the rest of the weekend binge-watching Netflix on your couch. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130, philamuseum.org.
They’ve been putting on city-worthy productions in the western suburbs for 45 years, and this season is totally inspired, with disaster drama The Children (a 2018 Tony nominee), gut-wrenching Mary Jane, and an adaptation of the 1999 Oscar-winning movie Shakespeare in Love. 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355, peopleslight.org.