How to Show Off Philly to Your Holiday Visitors: Part 2

The Cousin You See Once a Year

Passyunk: You don’t see each other often, and you wouldn’t run in the same social circles, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get along. You watch the same Netflix series and don’t have to explain what HQ Trivia is (no Uncle Gary, it’s an app, not a place), so when they’re in town, you like to spend some quality time connecting over your quirkier interests. Passyunk has the right mix of fashionable, trendy, and old school to see an eclectic offering of all things Philly while enjoying high quality bars and restaurants.

  • East Passyunk Ave– Take a nice stroll along the avenue filled with shops like South Philly Stained Glass, Nice Things Handmade, or Mancuso’s Cheese Shop. You’ll find an eclectic mix, but don’t expect to find too many chain stores around these parts.
  • Green Aisle Grocery– Stop in here to browse locally sourced products and glass-filled jars of organic spices. You might not know how to cook, but every journey starts with a single step.
  • Humpty’s Dumplings– Snacks on snacks on snacks. You haven’t had dumplings like these before. Originally a food truck specialty, the team behind Humpty’s have set up shop serving up their locally famous dumplings. We won’t judge how many you eat.
  • Birra– Grab a slice of artisan thin crust pizza fresh out of their old-school brick oven. It’s not your every-day pizza and it goes hand-in-hand with a great selection of craft beers from around the world.
  • Victor Café– For something a bit more substantial, try and snag a seat at this traditional Italian restaurant with a twist. Famously featured in Rocky, it’s the only restaurant in Philly where the waiters and waitresses serenade diners with operatic arias.
  • Miracle on 13th Street– You know that neighbor that goes overboard on their holiday lights? Well apparently they rounded them all up and moved them onto this two block stretch of Philadelphia. Making for one of the best visual holiday displays in the city, drive or walk the block and check out the extravagant decorations.

Your Conservative In-Laws

Fairmount: They’re the nicest people in the world and they always come bearing gifts. But coming from a small town, they’re very set in their ways. They enjoy the simple things in life and aren’t interested in all the flashiness that Philly brings. While Fairmount has plenty to brag about (don’t worry, you’re flashy!), we’ve collected some of the best ways to explore the neighborhood as if you’ve lived here for years.

  • Shofuso Japanese House and Garden– If you’re brave enough to get out in the cold, explore Fairmount Park for all that it has to offer. While the gardens are closed for the winter, you can check out this little piece of Japan right here in Philly.
  • Museums What better way to be cooped up inside than to spend it amongst some of the most famous artistic collections in the world. With a wide variety of museum options, there’s sure to be one (or 10) that suit everyone’s interests.
  • The Book Corner– A personal favorite, here you can find a great selection of used books on the cheap, including a few gems dating back a few hundred years.
  • Neighborhood Potters– Fitting with the rich cultural environment of Fairmount, this neighborhood retail store showcases handmade, functional pottery that will give your home a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
  • Umai Umai– Widely argued as the best sushi restaurant in the city, this byob has a wide selection of specialty rolls created by one of the top chefs in the city. *Check availability due to scheduled restaurant renovations*
  • Pizza Gutt– Check the Instagram account of this popular pizza chef for the menu and get there early, because with only 25 pizzas available to walk-in customers, you better claim your spot now.

The Younger Sibling Back From College

Center City: What happened to the innocent young child who used to carry around a teddy bear? Now all you hear are stories of frat parties and how epic college is bro! You haven’t seen him wear sleeves on a shirt in the past 3 years and now that he’s finally legal, he’s ready to take the city by storm. He may be in top form, but you’re a wily vet who can still keep up with the best of them. Head into Center City for our drink fueled itinerary- not for the faint livered!

  • Federal Donuts– You’ll probably get an early start, so do it up right. Check your diet at the door and dive into these heavenly treats with a rotating menu of specialties. Already lunch time? You can also grab a fried chicken sandwich.
  • Milkboy Opening at 7am with a full drink and food menu, this restaurant, bar, café, and live-music venue is ready to go as soon as you are.
  • EL Rey– Philly all-star Stephen Starr’s ‘Mexican dive’ serves up some of the tastiest tacos in the city. Aim for happy hour and nab those tacos for just a buck. And not forgetting the mission, you can wash those down with a wide selection of margaritas. Cheers! **Insider tip- Find your way into the Ranstead Room, one of Philly’s best hidden bars
  • Fergie’s Pub-The always reliable Irish pub. Hopefully you’ll be lucky and catch a traditional Irish music jam session right in the middle of the bar.
  • Shibe Sports– When they go back to college, they have to rep Philly sports the right way. This sports apparel shop not only showcases the best teams in professional sports, they’ll also have you standing out from the crowd at your next tailgate.
  • Harp and Crowne– With 4 chandeliers, vintage wallpaper, and comfy leather chairs, it’s a great way to head into the evening in what is simply a very cool bar. For those who know how to plan ahead, there’s also a two-lane, reservations-only, bowling alley below the main room.
  • Tinsel– You’ve heard of Philly’s infamous pop-up gardens over the summer. But in true holiday fashion, you’ll want to check out this Christmas-themed pop-up. It comes complete with themed cocktails and drafts….and cookies.
  • Wawa– Yea, we know this isn’t exactly a secret or hidden gem. We just love Wawa, ok? Is that a crime? Plus, if you’ve been drinking all day, any local will tell you this is your last stop before heading home.

Enjoy your time with family and friends and we hope you’ll get out and enjoy all that the city has to offer. And if you need a local tour guide, Zeeno is always here to help.

Happy Holidays!

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