(Written by a local)The city of Philadelphia, in my opinion, is vastly underrated. It’s more manageable than New York, warmer than Boston, has more character than D.C., and is very different from L.A. Love for Philadelphia is something that one is born into. I’ve visited this city my whole life.. I grew up rooting for the Phillies and Eagles and going to the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
I now live in West Philadelphia, a very different area than the Northeast, where my mom grew up. There’s so many different sides to this city, which is why Philadelphia is so unique. Drexel University students are very different from Temple students. The campuses are in the same city, but the difference a few miles can make is astounding- in all the best ways.
Below are my favorite spots within the city limits.
Maggiano’s Little Italy– ordered Prince Edward Island Steamed Mussels and Chicken Parm. I give the mussels 10/10 (the white wine sauce was amazing) and the Chicken 9/10. I rate the atmosphere 8.5/10. It’s very crowded and the space is enormous, but the tables are far enough apart that hearing conversation isn’t a problem.
Dim Sum Garden– 10/10. Pork Soup Dumplings are my all-time favorite. The service is great and the atmosphere is warm. The experience of this place is unreal, and I proudly wear my dumpling sweatshirt (Dim Sum merch) in support.
Las Cazuelas– I ordered the shrimp tacos- 8/10. Their best deal is that customers can bring their own tequila and they’ll make you (amazing) margaritas, with a variety of flavor choices.
Copabanana– Great for happy hour. The margarita menu is deceivingly pricey. In actuality “one” margarita is three- they give you the shaker. The flavor menu is endless, but warning! The drinks are strong yet sugary. For that reason, I rate it 8/10.
Chinatown– GREAT FOOD. LITERALLY ANYWHERE. Fun place to shop for unique items without ringing up a huge bill.
Blue Cross River Rink– Ice rink by winter- roller skating in the summer. The rink is bigger and less crowded than the center-city rink. There’s local restaurant pop-ups and the overlook of the river makes you forget you’re in busy Philadelphia.
Schuylkill River Trail– This trail goes from West PHL to center city. There’s scenic pedestrian bridges and dog parks, making it an extremely popular destination to exercise or to travel through the city. Towards the end of the trail, it gets less populated (by Boathouse Row) and I strongly advise exploring during the daylight.
Any notable recommendations I missed? Drop it in the comments below.