If you’re like most Penn students, outside of the occasional jaunt to Rittenhouse Square for Instagram photos and that one time you went to South Street to get an impulse tattoo, you probably haven’t taken the time this year to explore all that Philly has to offer. One neighborhood often overlooked by Penn students and Philly natives alike is Queen Village, which has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts in recent years with young people and new businesses flocking to the area.
Here’s your day planned in Queen Village:
9:00 a.m.: If you want a seat in one of the city’s trendiest and tastiest brunch spots adored by both locals and out–of–towners, get yourself to Hungry Pigeon right as they open at 9:00 a.m. They don’t take reservations, but it’s well worth the wait for their beautiful, freshly–baked pastries and relaxed vibes. While the menu changes often to incorporate seasonal ingredients, we recommend getting one of their heavenly banana bread sticky buns with avocado toast.
11:00 a.m.: To walk off the brunch and get in some retail therapy too, look no further than Fabric Row. There’s something for everyone in this stretch of independent shops on 4th Street, whether you’re in the mood for shoe shopping, picking up some fun pieces for your dorm, or getting a bike! Our favorites are Bus Stop Boutique for eclectic and stylish shoes, Yowie or Moon + Arrow for varied lifestyle picks like candles, stationary, pillows, clothes and more, or RareCo Vintage for antiques.
1:00 p.m.: Looking for a quick bite after shopping and would enjoy the company of a feline companion while doing so? Get yourself to Kawaii Kitty Café and sip on a pastel–colored milkshake while playing with some adorable cats. However, slots on the weekend are usually booked a week in advance, so make sure to get a reservation if you’re going during a popular time!
2:00 p.m.: Feeling cultured? Take a short walk over to Paradigm Gallery + Studio to look at some art and Brickbat Books for used and rare books. If you’re willing to walk a bit further and wait with what can sometimes be hordes of tourists, make your way over to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on 10th and South Streets for indoor galleries and an outdoor mosaic labyrinth by artist Isaiah Zagar, whose mosaic murals are a trademark of the Queen Village area.
6:00 p.m.: For dinner, there are tons of options in Queen Village and the South Street area. A neighborhood mainstay, Dmitri’s, serves Greek food that’s both fresh and affordable, and is located on 3rd and Catharine Streets. Keep in mind, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations or credit cards, so plan accordingly. Our favorites on the menu are the shrimp scampi and the orange almond cake. For a range of other casual dinner options in the area, look to Brauhaus Schmitz, MilkBoy, Alyan’s, and Lorenzo’s. Looking for a classy and pricey option? Go to Stephen Starr’s Serpico.
7:00 p.m. & Beyond: As the sun goes down, nocturnal South Street is truly the place to be. Catch a show at the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA), get a tattoo at Philadelphia Eddie’s, and enjoy the electric vibes of the area on a weekend night. Who knows—you might even spot Lil Uzi or Meek Mill, who regularly stop by.