Gifts for the foodie


It’s no secret Philly is famous for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and Tastykakes, but the City of Brotherly Love has so much more to offer food lovers. Looking for a creative, tasty hostess gift?  I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorite Philly treats.

1.  Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates // Handmade in Philadelphia

2.  The Famous Fourth Street Cookie Company // Award-winning cookies from Philly’s iconic Reading Terminal Market

3.  La Colombe Pure Black Coffee // Premium coffee, sourced globally, produced locally

4.  Di Bruno Bros. Sicilian Olive Oil // A taste of Italy from Philly’s gourmet guru’s

5.  Art in the Age ROOT Organic Liqueur // Inspired by root tea from the 1700’s, it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before


Spruce Street Harbor Park is a must-see!

Spruce Street Harbor Park, Philly’s newest pop-up park along the Delaware River Front is the ideal summer oasis.  Located at the Penn’s Landing Marina along Columbus Blvd (next to the Hyatt), the park offers a boardwalk, urban beach, floating restaurant/bar, lily pad garden, hammock lounge, games for the kiddos and more.  Open daily from 11 am-1 am through August 31, it’s a summer must-see.  We checked it out over the weekend, and while the temperatures soared into the high 80’s, I was more than content sipping my Yards Saison lounging in the shade, taking it all in.


The Blue Anchor, a floating, pop-up restaurant, managed by the Garces Group, offers a selection of burgers, a salad, fries, desserts and cocktails.  The food is just okay, definitely not up to par with typical Garces fare.  It’s certainly not the highlight of the experience, but will hit the spot, paired with one of the many Yards varieties available on draft next door at the beer station.  Side note: adding to the charm of the maritime history of the park, all of the concession stands are converted shipping containers.

Image via Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Kudos to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation for a job well done!  While we still have a lot to aspire to – to reach the grandeur of pop-up parks and events that our big brother 90 miles to the north puts on, it’s a step in the right direction for the Delaware River Waterfront and Philadelphians everywhere!

World’s Largest Outdoor Art Gallery

(Photo by David Graham)

Planning a trip to Philadelphia this summer?  Put down the cheesesteak and step away from the Liberty Bell.  Save some time to see  some of the hidden gems that await you in the City of Brotherly Love.   Started in 1984, the Mural Arts Program began as a way to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city.  Fast forward 30 years and the Mural Arts Program has overseen the creation of over 3,800 pieces of art painted on sides of buildings. 2,000 are still viewable by the public, making this collection the “World’s Largest Outdoor Art Gallery.”

(Photo by Jack Ramsdale)

Support the city-wide initiative and the mission that “art ignites change” by purchasing a ticket to one of many tours offered.  Experience these magnificent masterpieces by trolley, on foot, or on the unique Love Letter Train Tour where you can “view 50 romantic murals from the elevated train line and platforms on this one-of-a-kind subway tour.”

(Photo by Adam Wallacavage)

(Photo by Tom Crane)

Tribute to Frank Guarrera
(Photo by Jack Ramsdale)

As they say around here, “you’re gonna love the arts in Philadelphia.”

Date night

Philadelphia boasts numerous offbeat indoor/outdoor events and activities all spring/summer long.  With so much going on in this city, you’d think it would be easy to plan the perfect date.  Just the other day I Googled “date ideas in Philadelphia” and I have to say I was pretty underwhelmed with the results.  Some of the search results were just plain lame, while others on the opposite end of the spectrum, seemed like grand affairs.  As a general rule, I believe a good date involves food/drinks/fun (and not necessarily in that order).  Here are 5 date ideas that involve just the right amount of planning – not too lame and not too over-the-top.  Oh, and did I mention these ideas are friendly on the wallet as well (bonus)!

1.  Cheesesteaks & Garage

If you live in this city, contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually eat cheesesteaks on a regular basis.  Spend your evening in South Philly at two of Passyunk’s finest – Pat’s King of Steaks and Garage.  Pick up a “wiz wit” and head over to Garage where they happily allow you to BYO cheesesteak.  Garage has a great beer list, loud music and skee ball and a pool table.  That’s right, they have skee ball, enough said.

Pat’s King of Steaks // 1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
Garage // 1231 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia

2.  BYOB & Beers

Modo Mio is a casual, regional Italian BYOB offering up the Turista menu, 4 courses for just $35.  After dinner, head down the street to Frankford Hall and grab a few German brews while you lounge in their outdoor beer garden.

Modo Mio // 161 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia
Frankford Hall // 1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia

3.  Cook/La Cucina at the Market

Cook by Audrey Claire and La Cucina at the Market offer cooking demos and dinner to eager Philadelphia phoodies.  Both are on the pricier side and can be difficult to secure as they tend to sell out super fast.  This date requires more advance notice than the others but are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Cook //  253 S 20th St, Philadelphia
La Cucina at the Market  // Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia

4.  Dim Sum & Karaoke

In Chinatown you’ll find 2 hot spots perfect for a group date.  First, BYO to Dim Sum Garden and indulge in loads of freshly made dumplings.  Side note: Do not miss their signature soup dumplings…nom, nom!  After dinner, and presumably a few drinks, you’ll be ready to belt out some tunes at Yakitori Boy.  If you make advance reservations, you can affordably reserve a private karaoke room for 6 guests and showcase your best Celine Dion!

Dim Sum Garden // 1020 Race St, Philadelphia
Yakitori Boy //  211 N 11th St, Philadelphia

5.  Mini Golf & Radicchio


Head over to Franklin Square in Old City and battle it out on the mini golf course.  A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right?   Afterwards, head a few blocks north to Radicchio Cafe, a cozy BYOB that serves up a mean grilled calamari salad (pictured).

Franklin Square Mini Golf // N 6th & Race St, Philadelphia
Radicchio Cafe // 402 Wood St, Philadelphia (4th & Vine)

What’s your favorite date night in Philly?