Stephen Starr’s Best of Philly

Plus: Lists from Shane Victorino, Joan Shepp, Inga Saffron and more


Best Philly discovery: Smith playground in Fairmount Park.

Best block: Delancey between 3rd and 4th.

Best concert ever seen in Philly: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Tower Theater.

Best food trend of 2011: Aimee Olexy and Talula’s Garden.

Best sandwich: The turkey sandwich at Top of the Hill Cafe [in Chestnut Hill].

Best hairstylist: Whoever can see me in five minutes.

Best Shore town: Stone Harbor.

Best Phillie: Chase.

Best place to take out-of-towners: Reading Terminal Market.

Best Philly legend: Mario Lanza.



Best Philly discovery: The Secret Cinema.

Best Philly song: Susan Werner’s “Shackamaxon Street.”

Best Philly movie: Nathaniel Kahn’s My Architect.

Best new building: The Piazza at Schmidts.

Best old building: PSFS.

Best snack: Tomato pie fresh out of the oven at Sarcone’s bakery.

Best Shore town: Cape May.

Best Phillie: Roy Halladay, for his record.

Best thing to happen here in 2011: The park on Race Street Pier.

Best thing in local media that isn’t written by Inga Saffron: I’ll get in trouble for this one—the Daily News editorials.

Best suburban town: Doylestown.

Best city neighborhood: For the next 15 minutes, East Passyunk.

Best place to take out-of-towners: Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden on South Street.

Best thing we have to look forward to in Philly: The possibility of a neighborhood emerging on the Central Delaware.

Best Philadelphia icon: The view of the Boathouse Row lights as the train pulls into 30th Street Station—even though they’ve lost their old twinkle.



Best restaurant: BlueFin.

Best athlete who’s not a Phillie: Michael Vick.

Best Philly discovery: Tastykakes.

Best block in the city: Pattison Avenue and Citizens Bank Way.

Best Philly song: “Eye of the Tiger.”

Best sandwich: A Geno’s cheesesteak.

Best place to take out-of-towners: The Liberty Bell.

Best Philly legend: Julius Erving. •

Best Philly movie: Rocky.

Best place to shop: Saks Fifth Avenue.

Best place to watch a game: Citizens Bank Park.

Best place for a date: Don’t know … married.

Best Shore town: Margate.



Best Philly discovery: Electricity. What would we do without it?

Best place for a party: Franklin Hall at the Franklin Institute.

Best Philly song: “Summertime” by Will Smith.

Best after-hours spot: Zee Bar.

Best snack: Sweet Ending frozen yogurt.

Best event: Ball on the Square.

Best Shore town: Margate.

Best athlete: Shane Victorino.

Best restaurant: Buddakan. It’s an oldie, but still my favorite.

Best new restaurant: Serafina … and it could not be more convenient for me.

Best place to drink a glass of wine: Rouge.

Best thing to happen here in 2011: PIFA.

Best thing we have to look forward to in Philly: A Red October.

Best date spot: Barclay Prime.

Best place to dance: Table 31 on Thursday nights. My girlfriends and I call it “Dance Party Night”!



Best Philly discovery: Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity right here in our city.

Best restaurant: Wow! There are so many, but a one close one [to my shop] is Zama. And Little Pete’s.

Best suburb: I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.

Best tailor: That’s a no-brainer. Irina Sigal.

Best shop that’s not Joan Shepp: The Paper Source. We love to buy our birthday cards and ribbon there.

Best place to take out-of-towners: All of the historic sites, especially the Constitution Center.

Best snack: A Philly pretzel, water ice … and of course, anything Tastykake.

Best park: There are two that I love: Rittenhouse Square and Franklin Square, for the carousel ride.

Best Philly movie: How can I narrow that down to just one? I would have to say Mannequin and Philadelphia.

Best Philly song: “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men and “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John.

Best Philly icon: Ed Rendell.

Best Shore town: When I go to the seashore, I love to visit my sister in Margate.

Best thing to happen to Philly in 2011: Small and large businesses supporting relief for Japan and Alex’s Lemonade. As we supported these two charities—with the help of the Philadelphia community—we were able to raise a lot of money. Helping others is key!