Neighborhood Tour: Your Guide to Spending a Great Day in Graduate Hospital

If you've got a day to spend in the GradHo neighborhood, here's an itinerary to get you started.

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The PHS pop-up garden on 15th and South streets in Graduate Hospital / Photograph by Rob Cardillo, courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Graduate Hospital, named in the 1970s for — you guessed it — a hospital in the ’hood, is more charming than it sounds, though it’s often overshadowed (in a touristy sense, anyway) by ritzy neighbor Rittenhouse. But GradHo has its own draws.

For one thing? Legendary singer Marian Anderson grew up here; see her house at 762 South Martin Street. (It’s also a museum, though temporarily closed for repairs.) Shoot hoops nearby at Marian Anderson Rec Center’s public courts and enjoy the skyline views.

graduate hospital marian anderson

The Marian Anderson House in Grad Hospital / Photograph by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Meantime, Washington Avenue is home to Porco’s Porchetteria’s spicy porker sandwich, with fennel, long hots and pork crackling. Get one, then eat it in the pleasant little green space under the Keith Haring mural at 22nd and Ellsworth. Technically, you’re in Point Breeze there, but close enough.

Porco’s porchetta sandwich / Photograph courtesy of Porco’s

Other lures? The stretch of South Street west of Broad is well worth meandering, beginning with the Royal Theater, which was a movie house and gathering space for Black Philadelphia a century ago and is now Rex at the Royal, a glittering restaurant specializing in Lowcountry cuisine.

Dinner at Rex at the Royal / Photograph by Neal Santos

Beloved dive Bob & Barbara’s (and its weekly drag show) is another must; pair your $4 Citywide Special with a pierogi from Mom Mom’s next door.

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Bob & Barbara’s / Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

More highlights: the leafy summertime pop-up beer garden at 15th Street, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; ice cream from the Igloo (eat it in Grays Ferry Triangle, a cute little pocket park at Grays Ferry Avenue); and shopping at Workshop Underground (jewelry), Loop (knitting), M Concept (women’s boutique), nearby Indie Shelf (beauty) and more.

The Indie Shelf in Graduate Hospital. / Photograph courtesy of Sabeen Zia

>> Click here for more neighborhood bucket lists.

Published as “Your Hyperlocal Bucket List: Hitting the GradHo Hot Spots” in the July 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.