A Philadelphia Native’s Guide to the City of Brotherly Love

Taken on the Ben Franklin Bridge

I have been wanting to write this post for over a year, so I’m super excited to share it with you guys! I grew up in the Philly ‘burbs, but found myself venturing into the city often. Between family functions in South Philly and exploring the rest of the city as much as possible, Philadelphia has always been a source of pride for me. Now, I’m going on three years of living in Society Hill, which is a quaint and historic Center City neighborhood. I love Philadelphia now more than ever.

When I travel, I use various sources, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, to help me plan my trips. My favorite sources, however, are guides that I find on blogs through Pinterest. I particularly love guides written by locals and find their tips to be invaluable. So, being that I’m so passionate about Philadelphia, I decided to create a guide of my own.

First and foremost, Philadelphia has an incredible (and perhaps, underrated) food scene. I’ve traveled to many cities in the U.S., and few are rivals for Philadelphia when it comes to food. While dining out is one of my favorite things to do, I am still eating my way through this city since my list of places to try is ever-growing. As such, I will be the first to admit that the lists that I’ve compiled are not all-inclusive. Instead, I only included restaurants and bars that I have tried and absolutely loved. Although, I must admit that I have never heard anything negative about Laurel and Vetri.

Further, I omitted quintessential “Philly things,” like trying cheesesteaks at Pat’s and/or Geno’s. While I wholeheartedly agree that you should try at least one Philly cheesesteak while you’re visiting, I encourage you to opt for Jim’s or Tony Luke’s. I also omitted the obvious, such as visiting the Liberty Bell and City Hall. Although they are totally worth checking out, I’m sure they’re listed in just about every Philadelphia guide book out there.

As a Philadelphia native, my hope is to provide you with information that guide books might not, making your stay unique and unforgettable. If I’m lucky, you’ll even realize why Philadelphians have so much pride for their city. If you have any questions, ask away!

Best Brunch/Lunch/Casual Spots

  • Green Eggs Café
  • Cheu Noodle Bar
  • Wedge + Fig
  • Federal Donuts
  • Bud + Marilyn’s
  • Dizengoff
  • Buena Onda
  • Hawthorne’s Biercafé
  • V-Street
  • Nomad Pizza
  • Tria Café
Taken at Nomad Pizza

Best Dinner Spots

  • Talula’s Garden
  • Barbuzzo
  • Pumpkin (BYOB)
  • Amada
  • Vernick
  • High Street on Market
  • Zahav
  • Double Knot
  • Zama
  • Vedge
  • Little Fish (BYOB)
  • Kanella
Taken at Zahav

Best Drink Spots

  • Continental Midtown
  • Charlie Was a Sinner
  • Time (live jazz!)
  • Independence Beer Garden (seasonal)
  • The Dandelion
  • Frankford Hall
  • Heritage (live jazz!)
  • Monk’s Café
  • Hop Sing Laundromat
  • Franky Bradley’s
  • The Good King Tavern
Taken at Heritage

Best Things to Do

Antiquing with Danny boy 😁

A post shared by Lauren Novak | Phila, PA (@l_novak) on

Taken at the Philadelphia Flea Market

3 thoughts on “A Philadelphia Native’s Guide to the City of Brotherly Love

  1. Dan says:

    We def need to get Back to antiquing!! And I would recommend anyone planning to visit the good ol’ city of brotherly love to pick this post over any other philly travel guide👌🏻 it touches on the GREAT spots not just the popular!

  2. Julie says:

    Great job listing some fun happenings and delicious places to eat! Question, is your list of restaurants in any type of order or is it random?
    It would be fun to come down on a nice day and ride bikes on Kelly Drive. I would also like to try Zahav at some point. These are just a couple of many things I’d like to do! Oh, and the flea market for sure.

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