How to Spend a Day in Philadelphia, Finding Nourishment for Body and Soul

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 23, 2024 02:00 AMNews
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Aerial photo of Philadelphia
Aerial photo of Philadelphia. Source: unsplash

Philadelphia, often overshadowed by its East Coast neighbors, offers a vibrant food scene, mural-lined streets, and a rich cultural heritage. Here’s a perfect itinerary to experience the best of what the city has to offer in just one day.

8am: Breakfast at Reading Terminal Market

Start your day at Reading Terminal Market, where the early morning hustle is minimal. Slide into a booth at Down Home Diner for classic country-style breakfast or try El Merkury for Central American street food, like Salvadorian pupusas. Grab a coffee and a doughnut from Beiler’s Doughnuts, with over 50 unique toppings to choose from, for a sweet treat on the go.

10am: Go on a Mural Art Tour

Philadelphia, the mural capital of the world, boasts over 4,000 public artworks thanks to Mural Arts Philadelphia. Explore the 'Mural Mile' in Center City on a 90-minute tour. Highlights include Saligman’s Philadelphia Muses and pieces by Shepard Fairey and Amy Sherald, celebrated for their Obama portraits.

1pm: Browse and Snack at Yowie

Head to South Street and discover Yowie, a boutique hotel and lifestyle shop with a curated collection of work by independent artists and designers. Savor a seasonal salad and a rosemary orange espresso tonic at Yowie’s all-day cafe, Wim.

2pm: Race Through City History

Explore Philadelphia’s Old City, rich in National Historical Landmarks. Visit the Liberty Bell, stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest residential street, and then make your way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Don’t forget to recreate the famous scene from Rocky by running up the museum’s iconic steps.

4pm: Explore Fishtown

Fishtown, once the hub of Philadelphia’s fishing industry, is now a creative hotspot. Wander down Frankford Avenue, stopping for coffee at Persimmon and browsing the eclectic offerings at Jinxed, which features antiques and vintage finds. Continue to Downerss, a boutique selling women’s clothing and unique home decor items.

6pm: Drink Pennsylvania Wine

Stop by Mural City Cellars, an urban winery sourcing grapes within a 300-mile radius. Enjoy a wine tasting with a build-your-own cheese or charcuterie board. The winery’s labels, designed by local artists, add a creative touch to your experience. Try their whites, rosés, and sparkling wines like pét-nat.

8pm: Have Dinner at Laser Wolf

Secure a table at Laser Wolf, an Israeli-style skewer house in Fishtown. Enjoy meat and vegetable skewers cooked over charcoal, like shawarma-spiced cauliflower and royal trumpet mushroom shishlik. The open kitchen, large windows, and high ceilings create a lively atmosphere, complemented by unique cocktails like the rum punch Charred for Life.

10pm: Catch a Show at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

End your day with live jazz at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Center City, celebrating its 35th year. The intimate, wood-paneled venue has hosted legends like John Coltrane and Billie Holiday. Enjoy a nightcap, draft beers, and old-school spirits while listening to talented performers and soaking in the historic ambiance.

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