Going to Philadelphia? Then ditch the guidebook and follow these famous locals as they show you the City of Brotherly Love their way.
Head coach of women's basketball at Temple University, former USA Women's National Team member, and former WNBA star
"One of the spots I love most in Philly is Tangerine, down in Old City. The ambience is very cool - it's got a pretty hip lounge area, and the dining room is nice. I almost never get to eat there, though, because of my schedule. But [when I do], Tangerine has me covered. They have an amazing arugula salad, and they're happy to make it to go for me. If you're always on the move like I am, this is your place."
Sports columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News
"I love places where you can sit at the bar and have an early dinner and just hang out, and Amici Noi invites it. The Italian menu is simple and excellent; the soups are homemade. When you're wandering around Old City on a cold Saturday afternoon, just checking out the world and absorbing Philly's history, this is the perfect pit stop."
Head coach of men's basketball at Saint Joseph's University
"Make a stop at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The structure was modeled after the Lombard Church of Saint Charles in Rome, and it dates back to 1846. It's absolutely stunning - one of Philadelphia's true treasures. Go there and find yourself refreshed by its beauty."
News reporter, NBC 10 News
"Reservations at the trendy restaurants are hard to come by, so here's an insider tip … the City of Brotherly Love is the unofficial capital for BYOB (bring your own bottle) restaurants, [where] the food is unique and imaginative and reservations usually aren't required. Grab your favorite wine and snag a table at one of the quaint neighborhood establishments, like Mercato, Pumpkin, or Matyson. Instead of being surrounded by tourists, you'll be among locals. Welcome."
Ralph Archbold (as Benjamin Franklin)
The city's most famous Benjamin Franklin impersonator; featured on the Food Network, on the History Channel, and in Time magazine
"My favorite place is one where locals and travelers go to have a great dinner at noon or supper in the evening. It's the only Colonial restaurant in Philly: the City Tavern. Things there haven't changed much since my day, which is why I like it. Tell the proprietor, Walter Staib, that Ben sent you. … If you want a really special breakfast, go to the Italian Market area and find Sabrina's Café, near Ninth and Christian. Bring a good appetite, and be prepared to be awed."
Tom Burgoyne (self-described as "the Phanatic's best friend")
Phillie Phanatic, official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team
"Obviously, the Phanatic loves Phillies baseball at Citizens Bank Park. If you're there, visit the Phanatic Attic. It's a spot dedicated solely to him. There's a huge statue of the Phanatic there - he has a big ego. What a lot of people don't realize, though, is that the Phanatic is a rare species of bird from the Galápagos Islands. So he loves to unwind at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 340 acres of privately held land that butts up against the Schuylkill River. You can go on nature walks and see all sorts of wildlife [there]."
Editor of Philadelphia magazine
"My favorite thing to do in Philly is to go to Stephen Starr's chichi steak house, Barclay Prime. But instead of hitting the high-priced dining room, I head to the bar, where I order a couple (or more) drinks and the following reasonably priced items: Kobe beef sliders, tater tots, and Nueske bacon, which has a strong maple-syrup flavor. I sit there and … luxuriate in actually feeling my arteries harden as I chew."
Owner of Fork restaurant and author of the cookbook from an American Bistro
"For any foodie, or for anyone into home design, really, you must stop in and shop at Foster's Homeware in Old City. They have an absolutely amazing selection of cookware and housewares. And if you just want to see part of the city, head over to the Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park. It's one of the most beautiful settings in Philadelphia."
Assistant dean of wine studies at Manhattan's French Culinary Institute (she commutes) and "Philly' s highest-profile sommelier," according to Philadelphia magazine
"For a glass of wine, a place that's sort of been forgotten because it's been open so long is Ristorante Panorama. Philadelphians take it for granted a little bit. I just love it. It's tucked away down this street, and it has this air of exclusivity to it - like you'd only know where to find it if someone told you about it first. The wine program is exceptional. They have more than 150 wines by the glass. You can taste it, have half a glass, a full glass - whatever you want. … For beer lovers, Monk's Café would be the equivalent. It isn't just one of the best beer bars in Philly; it's one of the best in the country. It's an epic Belgian beer bar, and it has amazing food too. It has a library selection of the world's specialty beers. It really pushes the envelope, and it dragged Philly into the international beer scene."
Global traveler that you are, you surely have favorite places in all the cities you visit. Why not share them with others? Send us an e-mail with your picks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
236 market street
237 south 18th street
cathedral basilica of saints peter and paul
1723 race street
citizens bank park (home of the phillies and the phanatic)
one citizens bank way
the city tavern
138 south second street at walnut street
399 market street
japanese house and garden (closed until may 1)
west fairmount park
north horticultural drive and montgomery avenue
37 south 19th street
16th and spruce streets
1216 spruce street
the mission grill
1835 arch street
2 logan square (between arch and cherry streets)
1713 south street
front and market streets, in penn’s view hotel
910 christian street
the schuylkill center for environmental education
8480 hagy’s mill road
232 market street