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April 18, 2017

Escape the feeling of being a local by visiting these gems

A major new museum opening is the best excuse to play tourist for the day

Food & Drink Tourism
Carroll - Elfreth's Alley in Old City Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Elfreth's Alley.

There’s no better time than now to visit Old City: The must-see Museum of the American Revolution opens this week, and spring weather has finally, truly arrived. Make a day of it by bookending your museum trip with stops at these neighborhood restaurants and shops.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Museum of the American Revolution.

2nd Story Brewing Co.

Museum curator Mark Turdo had a hand in developing a new historically inspired beer at this Old City brewpub. “Drinker’s Table” features brown malt, flaked oats, and some smoked malt in the grist. It’s named after the Drinkers, a prominent local Quaker family who were known to brew their own beer.

117 Chestnut St.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A horse-drawn carriage on Arch Street near the Betsy Ross House.

Café Olé

Shakshuka, this Israeli coffee shop’s specialty, makes for excellent sightseeing fuel. The standard here is three-eggs poached in seasoned tomato sauce. “The Moroccan” adds grilled chicken and olives, while a vegan version swaps eggs for tofu. Traditionalists have their choice of the usual bagels, omelets, and a slew of to-go sandwiches and wraps.

147 N. 3rd St.


Crowd-pleasing Neapolitan pizzas, pastas and salads await at this Italian restaurant just across the street from the museum. In honor of her new neighbor, owner Stepanie Reitano added a Revolutionary rum raisin flavor to the case of made-fresh gelatos. “Martha Washington’s Great Cake” is studded with brandy-macerated currants and tastes similar to zabaione. It’s also available on a rotating basis at Capogiro locations around the city.

223 Chestnut St.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Pera Sgroppino cocktail at Capofitto.

The Clay Studio

At this hub for local ceramic artists, the “Think Inside the Box” exhibit showcases a wide variety of intricate sculptures that each fit inside a 4-inch cube. The mini works are for sale, as are the rows of mugs lining one wall. A sign encourages shoppers to handle them to find just the right one: “The perfect mug takes time to select.”

137-139 N. 2nd St.

Cross Keys Café at the Museum of the American Revolution

Colonial specials like Philadelphia Snapper Soup and Tun Tavern Bread Pudding are on the menu at the museum’s ground floor café—no museum ticket required. Take in the view of Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States from tables on the outdoor terrace along 3rd Street.

101 S. 3rd St.

Franklin Fountain & Shane Confectionery

There’s no better place to satisfy a sweet tooth in Philadelphia than the 100 block of Market St. Brothers Eric and Ryan Berley have introduced a few Revolution-themed ice cream flavors at Franklin Fountain (also available in the museum gift shop): Washington Vanilla, Jefferson Chocolate, and Crème de Lafayette (French vanilla with raspberry and blueberry compote). At Shane Confectionery, look for treats like the Christopher Ludwick Gingerbread Cookies, Benjamin Jackson Chocolate Bar and Thomas Jefferson’s Chocolate Nightcap (seasonal). Also look for Eric and Ryan's goodies here

110 & 116 Market St.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Franklin Fountain.

High Street on Market

Count on this food critics’ darling for standout breakfast sandwiches and pastries, inventive dinner entrées, and everything in between. Reservations are not accepted for breakfast or lunch—a bonus for those of us who aren’t big on planning ahead. (Note: The restaurant is closed from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily.)

308 Market St.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Grilled Eggplant Sandwich from High Street on Market.

La Peg

This converted former pump house and home of Fringe Arts is beautiful on the inside, but on a warm night, the place to be is in the beer garden with a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Look for the outdoor “dinner and a movie” series to make a comeback this summer.

140 N. Columbus Blvd.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

La Peg Restaurant at the intersection of Race Street and Columbus Boulevard.

Menagerie Coffee

All savvy tourists build coffee breaks into their daylong treks. Good coffee, warm service, and a friendly vibe check all the boxes at this Old City café. Attention kids at heart: The current featured beverage “Liquid Luck” marries espresso and cereal milk and comes with a spoonful of Lucky Charms marshmallows on the side.

18 S. 3rd St.

People Prints 3D

How about your very own action figure for the ultimate in bizarre souvenirs? Walk-ins are welcome at this 3D print shop where 100 cameras take 200 photos and capture your body from every angle to create a mini-me, delivered to your doorstep within a couple of weeks.

20 S. 3rd St.

Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

PhillyVoice staff writer, Sinead Cummings, left and photographer, Thom Carroll pose with their 3-dimensional portraits from People Portraits 3D.

Philadelphia Independents

What this gift shop lacks in tacky tchotchkes, it more than makes up for in beautiful and quirky home goods and jewelry. From gorgeous cutting boards to adorable crochet cacti, everything in the store is eminently giftable and crafted by local makers.

35 N. 3rd St.


It’s easy to while away a whole day browsing chic boutiques in Old City. High-end indie labels, a section of reasonably priced vintage finds, and delicate, handpicked jewelry are among the reasons to put this 3rd street shop, co-owned by designers Mary Clark and Megan Murphy, on your list.

37 N. 3rd St.