A new corridor in old South Philadelphia
Era Atomica showcases one-of-a-kind, mid-century pieces, including furniture, lamps, art and kitchenware. Stacey Barthaletti, who found inspiration from purchasing a 1962 split-level ranch home just north of the city, fills her store with fun, colourful finds embracing the kitschier side of the 1950s and ‘60s.
South Philly Comics (1621 East Passyunk Avenue; 267-318-7855) is the spot for indie graphic novels and mainstream titles alike, and it is also one of the only neighbourhood comic stores in Philadelphia that offers a subscriber’s discount to regular customers.
Fabric Horse specializes in unique, utilitarian urban essentials rooted in bicycle culture. Navigating Philadelphia’s neighbourhoods by bike is an incredibly popular and efficient endeavour, and Carrie Collins’ U-Lock Holster is the perfect way to store your bike lock on the move. Her bags, utility belts, accessories and clothing are all handmade using sustainable, recycled materials.
Where to eat
Green Aisle Grocery offers hormone-free, locally produced meat, eggs and dairy and fresh produce from small, local farmers throughout the Delaware Valley. There is also a mix of premium packaged goods from elite coffee roasters like Stumptown, ReAnimator and Blue Bottle, artisan chocolates from Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers, and it is the only place where you can take home the amazing hummus produced at Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighbourhood, run by award-winning chef Michael Solomonov.
Black N Brew serves local La Colombe coffee, refreshing smoothies, hearty breakfast and lunch plates and features plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
Fond is a small BYOB (bring your own beer or wine) from two alums of Philadelphia’s legendary haute cuisine showpiece Le Bec-Fin, who have adapted their classic techniques to a bistro setting. Berkshire Pork Belly is the star here, and pastry chef Jesse Prawlucki’s signature desserts have been so popular she recently opened Belle Cakery.
Le Virtù delivers its heralded mix of regional classics in a warm dining room filled with long, rustic wood tables suitable for a big, Italian family dinner. Outside, a sunny patio beneath a large mural is the perfect spot for dining al fresco in the warmer months. No meal here is complete without Centerbe, a rare Abruzzo liqueur offered as a “digestive”.
Where to drink
Stogie Joe’s Passyunk Tavern (1801 East Passyunk Avenue; 215-463-303), located in a former auto-repair garage, is a classic neighbourhood bar right down to the old-school $5 shot-and-a-beer special and live music every Sunday and Monday night. All are truly welcome here as Joe’s has played host to a number of QOTA happy hours and is one of the sponsor bars for the City of Brotherly Love Softball League, Philadelphia’s popular gay and lesbian softball league.
The Pub On Passyunk East, better known as “The P O P E ”, is a church for the worship of craft beer. Fourteen rotating drafts offer American standouts, including excellent options from local craft brewers like Sly Fox Brewery, Yards Brewing, and the Philadelphia Brewing Company.
Cantina Los Caballitos gets its name from the narrow shot glass traditionally used to drink tequila, and this is the place to expand your tequila knowledge while doing a bit of people watching. The kitchen offers up delicious Mexican street food classics until 1 am, because nothing settles the stomach after a flight of Mezcals quite like an onion-and-cilantro-topped pork carnitas taco, accompanied by sour cream and fresh pico de gallo.