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  • What to Do in Old City

    Published: May 31, 2019

    By: Frances Ellison

    • Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

    As you stroll through its quiet, historic streets, you may not realize how many cool events and unique spots for food, drinks and culture are waiting to make you fall in love with Old City.


    Much more than the neighborhood that used to be called home by the likes of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and more, Old City is a beautiful and eclectic mix of Philly history and new, bustling innovation.


    Read on for our top picks and fan favorites in Old City. Are we missing anything? Let us know on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @Phillyfunguide!

    Arts & Culture Venues:

    Grab a hunk of clay and take it for a spin--literally. The Clay Studio is a great place to get familiar with the potter’s wheel, with plenty of introductory classes and social sculpting sessions for all ages. 

    Philadelphia is home to some world-class theaters, and the Arden is no exception. Whether you’re looking for serious Shakespeare or something more kid-friendly, this Old City staple has it all.

    This Old City gallery, the Center for Art in Wood, offers events and exhibitions with a focus on--you guessed it--wood. Stop in to see beautiful artworks and design pieces made from or in combination with natural materials. 

    • FringeArts
      140 N Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia PA 19106

    If you’re up for more experimental theater that really pushes the boundaries of the art form, check out the state-of-the-art FringeArts building right beside the Ben Franklin Bridge. And before the show, be sure to grab a meal at their accompanying restaurant, La Peg

    Thanks to seasonal pop-ups like Spruce Street Harbor Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, and the festivals at Penn’s Landing, the Delaware River Waterfront is one of the hottest newly revived sections of Old City for both locals and tourists. 

    NMAJH puts the story of Jewish Americans in the context of national history. You definitely don’t have to know what “gefilte” means to appreciate this beautiful museum, and if the terrace is open, we recommend making time to head all the way upstairs and check out the spectacular view of Independence Mall.

    Food & Drink: 

    Don’t even talk to us until we’ve had our Old City Coffee! This popular coffee shop is the perfect place to get caf’d up while you’re exploring the neighborhood, and you can even catch intimate music performances on Sunday afternoons. 

    Buffalo Billiards' western-themed bar is more than just a pool hall and a great place to grab a brew. They also have dive bar favorites like skeeball, fooseball, shuffleboard and darts! Make things interesting and bet your challengers: winner has to buy the next round. 

    • Zahav
      237 St. James Place Philadelphia PA

    Have the meal of a lifetime at this Zagat rated restaurant offering modern Israeli cuisine. Zahav proves that Middle Eastern food is more than just hummus (though there’s plenty of that on the menu, too), and offers delicious small plates for sharing. 

    • Amada
      217-219 Chestnut Street Philadelphia PA 19106

    Iron Chef Jose Garces made his restaurateur debut with the opening of Amada in 2005, and its menu of Spanish cuisine offers some of the finest meals in the neighborhood.

    Frances Ellison is the Assistant Manager of Digital Marketing for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and handles all things Phillyfunguide, including all digital content, social media and of course, the weekly Funsavers email. If you enjoy irreverently yelling into the void, read her portfolio. 

    Want to know when your favorite events are 1/2-price? Then sign up for our weekly Funsavers email!


    Check out our top picks for fun events & venues in South Philly!
    Check out these fun and hidden gems in Fairmount! (Photo Credit: Visit Philadelphia)


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