Fantastic couple of days in Philadelphia exploring the scene with Mindy Elgart of Bespoke Scout.
It’s an especially cool city to reconnoiter on foot. Beautiful historic buildings, interesting architecture, great restaurants and a vibrant street art scene.
Here are my top 5 recommendations:
1. Fishtown/Kensington Area
This is totally my vibe – very Brooklyn-esque (more Bushwick than Cobble Hill).
Three main streets to explore: Frankford Avenue, N. American Street and Front Street
Just on those 3 streets you’ll run into lots of cool restaurants and bars, street art/sculpture and 2 of the most amazing interior décor stores (more on those below):
- Wm. Mulherin’s Sons (1355 N. Front Street)
- La Colombe Torrefaction (1335 Frankford Ave)
- Cake Life Bake Shop (1306 Frankford Ave)
- Kensington Quarters (1310 Frankford Ave)
- Snap Kitchen (1325 Frankford Ave)
- Bahdeebahdu (1522 N. American St)
- Provenance (1801 N. American St)
Read on below for recommendations 2-5.
2. Magic Gardens (1020 South Street)
Amazing visionary mosaic environment covering a total of 3 city blocks. An extraordinary lifetime of work by Isaiah Zagar. He’s created over 100 mosaic building fronts – most on that South Street corridor. Super impressed by this guy’s obsession and passion for this kind of art.
3. FOODIE AWESOMENESS: 3 not-to-be-missed spots
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons (1355 N. Front Street)
Chef Chris Painter serves Urban Wood-Fired Italian in the painstakingly preserved Fishtown icon of the early 20th Century Mulherin whiskey business. Extremely difficult to get a reservation but one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in a while.
Helm (1303 N. 5th Street)
New American dishes made with local ingredients. Love this place, delicious food, great staff – not as refined or finished as Wm. Mulherin’s Sons but very similar ethos.
La Colombe Torrefaction (1335 Frankford)
This is one GORGEOUS spot. It’s the flagship cafe and roastery for La Colombe and if I lived here, you would find me here all the time. I love everything about this place from the cups and saucers they use to the Coffee Lab to the phenomenal ESPO mural.
4. Interiors/ Décor: Two spots not to be missed if you’re interested in interior design, art, and architecture.
Bahdeebahdu (1522 N. American Street)
Bahdeebahdu is a working studio for design and the development of art, sculpture, furnishings and one-off products for specific projects.
Provenance (1801 N. American Street)
High-end, beautifully curated architectural salvage and reclaimed materials in a fabulous 20,000 sq. ft. space.
5. Rittenhouse Square > Fitler Square > Schuykill River Walk
This is another amazing walk. The colonial houses – many from the 1700’s are just beautiful.