Philadelphia Travel Guide
If you follow us on any of our social media, you know that we were recently in Philadelphia for a little #10KWorkVacay! We went to perform at and participate in the inaugural Respect: Women’s Podcast Festival - which we will tell you about more below - and while we were there decided to take in the sights and food of Philly! Read ahead for our recommendations on what to do with a few days in “The City of Brotherly Love”!
We dumped our bags and went to explore the neighborhood we were staying in - graduate hospital! It’s located in the southwest enter city area and had charming streets and loads of options for our hungry selves!
Our first stop was to Spread Bagelry, where we devoured our selection of white fish salad with tomato on a plain bagel, seasonal berry cream cheese on a chocolate chip bagel, and the surprising standout, butter and amish jam on a sesame bagel. I believe that is the record for most times the word “bagel” has been used in a sentence, but I digress.
Still not satiated after our trifecta of bagels and smear, we walked over to La Colombe for a little pick-me-up. We ordered oat milk cortados, a group favorite, and some drip coffee. Now their drip coffee is good, but the real reason to get it is the adorable mugs they come in. But that’s not all. After we placed our order we noticed they have Oat Milk lattes on draft. ON DRAFT. If you’ve been around 10K Dollar Day for any length of time at all really, you know of our love of oat milk. It will come as no surprise then that we got back in line to order one! You’ll have to check out our Philly recap video to see our reactions to this delectable delight! Oh and you can now buy La Colombe’s draft lattes on Amazon, so you best believe that will be our “souvenir”!
We had a big evening planned for ourselves, so a little freshen up at our Airbnb was in order. This three story loft apartment on a tiny side street was picturesque to say the least. In addition to the host being friendly and super easy to communicate with, the space had us contemplating putting in an offer on the place and moving in! The backyard was the immediate first draw, but the living area was also beautifully designed and incredibly comfortable! The kitchen was adorable, historical, and useful (we spent a lot of time on our computers at the table and counter!). Also there was a huge basement with a gorgeous stone wall feature, which we decided made the perfect backdrop for a video episode…so stay tuned for a future monthly youtube companion episode.
For anyone who has been with us from the beginning, or has gone back and listened to earlier episodes, you know Lulu visited Philadelphia in her imaginary 10K day in our episode “Truffled Cheese Whiz!”. There is one luxury “activity” that Lulu wanted to do from her imaginary day IN REAL LIFE. You know when in Philadelphia, you get a cheesesteak, right? Jim’s South Street at 4th and south is your classic go-to neighborhood cheesesteak, Geno’s was recommended to us by everyone, you can even find a vegan version at HipCityVeg.
We headed for something just the teensiest bit more upscale. We went in to Barclay Prime for the luxurious ambiance and a fun happy hour with some friends and 10K Dollar Baes. We shared a scrumptious cheese plate, oysters, and happily imbibed in wine and some delicious cocktails, specifically their “Crony” and “Return to the Spritz”.
That was all well and wonderful, but time for the main event. We are here for their Philly cheesesteak. Their $120 cheesesteak. Yes, you read that right!
Was it delicious? Absolutely! Was it even more delicious because we split it between five people so the cost per person was lower? Most definitely! But not just friendlier for your wallet, the splitting of this magnificent monstrosity is necessary. It is large and in charge, and so flavorful and rich, everyone had had their fill with a fifth of the sandwich. Part of the incredible taste is due to the “truffled cheese whiz”, which is so very 10K, making something commonplace luxurious! You can watch our recap video to hear our incredible server Mat describe the dish and all its components! Oh, and it does come with a split of Gaston Chiquet Champagne, so cheers to this meal!
We take a little breather to stretch our legs - and our stomachs! - and take a walk around Rittenhouse Square Park, a beautiful park in the middle of loads of great restaurants, bars and hotels. Specifically, we stumble upon The Rittenhouse, where Lulu stayed in her imaginary 10K Day in our third ever episode - “Truffled Cheese Whiz!”
If you are looking for a picturesque spot with walkability and views to die for, this may just be your hotel! We took a quick look around and fell in love with the hotel’s Library Bar.
By the way has anyone else noticed that hotel bars have become AWESOME?!
Next stop was vegan/vegetarian restaurant Vedge, recommended to us by a meat-and-potatoes friend, so we knew we had to try it out! Located in a charming old house, this restaurant had a gorgeous bar at the front, an open kitchen, and homey but vibrant dining nooks. WIth one very ecstatic vegetarian at the table, we ordered several of plates off the dinner menu that are meant to be shared. We nearly literally licked every plate clean, it was hard to pick a favorite! And with the help of some delicious cocktails (we see you Cava Cake cocktail!), we waxed poetic the entire evening about every single dish. The golden beet borscht amuse-bouche was scrumptious, the shaved Brussels sprouts were surprisingly flavorful, and the fennel aioli with the garden crudites was a hit even with the anti-fennel members of the group. The overwhelming favorite was the pea leaves dish, however the Ssamjang tofu and the charred elote were also big hits! No clue how we fit all of this and still had room for dessert, but our server Anna made some great recommendations, so we happily indulged in the peach melba pavlova and the Mexican chocolate ganache with sweet corn ice cream. Seriously, these desserts. We will definitely be returning to Vedge next visit!
At this point you are probably wondering if all we do is eat, and while there were some work sessions in between, we did eat A LOT while visiting Philadelphia. The food scene here is so good, we didn’t want to miss anything!
But we did halt our intake of food to walk over to the Old City area to visit some of the historic sites. We went to Independence Hall, but we were too late to get walk up tickets (they run out fast, especially during the summer)! It’s still cool to see the outside, but if you want to take it all in, either plan to get there early at opening at 8:30 am - one person can get up to 10 tickets - or the second option is to reserve tickets for a specific time slot online. We did get to see the Liberty Bell, and the semi-open-air museum surrounding it is incredibly informative, so allow yourself time to meander around and learn a thing or two! The Museum of the American Revolution, the Betsy Ross House, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the National Constitution Center are all a block or two away, and are on our list for next time!
This sightseeing pass gives you discounts to many of the above incredible sights Philadelphia has to see!
It’s a quick walk from the Old City area to Reading Terminal Market, one of America’s oldest and largest public markets, open since 1893. We had a blast walking around the market, sampling all sorts of food, everything from a vegan corndog to pierogis to banana pudding. And there may have been a chocolate covered banana tasting, but you’ll have to watch our recap video for that! We particularly liked Fox & Son gourmet corndogs, Sweet Nina’s banana pudding, Mueller Chocolate Co., and Bee Natural Candles and products. It’s a great place to try a whole bunch of different foods, shop crafts and other unique goods, and people watch, of course! Seriously, check out the video!
Who doesn’t love Italian food? We reeeaallly love it here at 10K Dollar Day, so were very excited for a recommendation to try Giuseppe & Sons. Italian wines, Italian beer, and a negroni in hand, we obsessed over the menu, having great difficulty not ordering everything. We got a mix of sides, pastas, and pesce dishes. The burrata, octopus, broccoli rabe, Caesar salad, pasta pomodoro, gnocchi pomodoro, and cioppino stew, were some of the favorites. We didn’t stop at food, we had a load of drinks and desserts coming too. The tiramisu was unreal, as was the Sgroppino and the Chamomile Grappa. It was a great night, to be sure.
This really has been like a food tour, as our next stop was for brunch at K’far. Per their website, “K’far” means "village" in Hebrew, and the hip spot’s cuisine and ambience are inspired by the food, energy and warmth of Israeli bakeries. Ummm, yes please. We wait in line for a short while, but it moves along quickly! You have to get there earlier then we did for their pastries (we were really hoping for a pistachio sticky bun), but even without our meal was absolutely delicious! We had bagels, smoked trout toast, and yemenite lattes, their coffee beverage enhanced with cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. Yes, the millennial brunch staple avocado toast was had as well, and its simple palate was expertly executed! We enjoyed every bite sitting out on the patio next to families, couples and groups of hungover friends. Ahhh, the perfect brunch. Definitely check this spot out!
This next stop is more than a quick drink, its more of an experience, one we are all very excited about! If you happen to find yourself at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, find a seat in the lobby bar area, and ask your server for tokens…for the champagne vending machine! Yes, you read those words correctly, you are not in a dream. For $25, you receive a gold token that gets you a split of Moët & Chandon champagne - or rosé champagne if you are so inclined - from a vending machine around the corner. We got two and shared between 5 people. We could have squeezed in a sixth person into that sharing of two bottles, though of course having one all to yourself would be nice too!
We didn’t just brunch once in Philly, we brunched TWICE. We are so excited to have found Sarvida, a Filipino restaurant that has a brilliant brunch! This is a BYOB restaurant, so make sure you have your champagne chilled and ready, they’ll have juice waiting for you! Luckily for us we had a seasoned guide, Lulu’s mom, to explain to us how to eat the dishes, how to hold our utensils, and the like. If you find yourself in the Fishtown area, make your way here the very next chance you get, and while their entire menu looks scrumptious, we can not stress enough how great the brunch is! We had the Tortang Talong which is an egpplant omelette, and the Ube stuffed french toast. Ube is a purple sweet potato, we learned, and in this dish serves as a not-too-sweet-but-plenty-flavorful complement to the maple syrup coated bread. We closed out our meal with a tapioca style dessert and the impressive halo halo. It means “mix mix”, which is exactly what you do this magically colored layered concoction, before devouring and falling into a sugar coma, of course.
Now for the reason we went to Philadelphia in the first place. We are so proud to have been a part of the inaugural Respect: Women’s Podcast Festival. The weekend of meet-ups and live podcast shows was held at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, a unique and ample space, with greeeeatt coffee! We had such a fun time performing and got to meet some incredible women who are also doing their thing in the world of podcasting. Toya Haynes of The First Time I Heard put on a great show and was so much fun to get to know! We were also enthralled with Lori L. Tharps (producer Ash was unashamedly fan-girling) of My American MeltingPot. We will be releasing a video of our live performance at Respect soon, so stay tuned to our Live Show Youtube playlist!
We loved our time in Philly, and can’t wait to go back! We packed quite a lot into our three-and-a-half days there, and if we hadn’t already created our own food tour of sorts, we would have done this prohibition pub crawl or this cheesesteaks and history tour. There is just so much to see and do in this incredibly vibrant city! Feel free to connect with us on any of the channels below, and tell us about your Philly experiences!
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