NFT Philadelphia Rittenhouse / Logan Circle

Rittenhouse / Logan Circle

Essentials
Walnut Street is where the decadent shop and later eat at an array of look-at-me restaurants. Rittenhouse Square sits at the center of the universe, filled with crusty punks, moms, and rich old ladies who refuse to pick up their dog shit. Too crowded? Go take a look at the fountain in Logan Square.

Sundries/Entertainment
Although ridiculously cheap lager can be had at Oscar's, you'll appreciate Monk's expansive beer menu. Sure, the Ritz-Carlton Rotunda is the end-all-be-all of places to be seen, but fine cocktails are also crafted at Franklin Mortage & Investment Co. Meanwhile, See more.

>The Black Sheep will help you wind down in style.

The restaurant scene around Rittenhouse Square offers some of Philly's finest culinary experiences, but a sandwich from Good Dog is comparable in its own way. That said, Lacroix provides a fine French dining experience, guests and gawkers of the Four Seasons enjoy the all-encompassing luxury of Fountain, and the Stephen Starr's ritzy meat establishment Barclay Prime out-steaks the competition.

Walnut Street is Center City's main shopping artery. Much is upscale (Coach, Ubiq) but there are also a lot of affordable options (Urban Outfitters, Zara, H&M). And then there's the Apple Store, for all your iNeeds. For a change of pace, hit up Buffalo Exchange on Chestnut for hipster-approved used clothing.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Mural, Mural on the Wall

By Augustin Kendall
Illadelphia, Filthadelphia, City of Brotherly Love ... whatever Philly is to you, there's a mural for it somewhere. Amidst the spectacular three-story-high or building-long murals that ooze local culture, there are some off-kilter gems you won't find in the official tours. Augustin Kendall brings you an alternative mural tour that will not only satisfy your artistic appetite, but your thirst and sweet tooth cravings as well.
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The City of Brotherly Bargains

By Lisa Franklin
Philadelphia has the reputation of being a cheap city, but it’s still hard to find a bargain. Sure, we’re obese and wear long crewneck sweatshirts, but chi-chi restaurants and boutiques are rebranding our image and forcing out our ingrained frugality. Where to turn when we’re hankering for an inexpensive lunch or a used CD that’s rightfully cheaper than its shiny new twin sister? Gems, finds, and steals exist throughout our fair city. The destinations below will ensure that, at the end of the day, we can enjoy a soft pretzel and a 6-pack of Yuengling without a gaping hole in our collective pocket...
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Things That Make You Go Om

By Allison Lowrey
Balance your chakras, shake your maracas; it's time to do some yoga! Allison Lowrey, a skeptical city slicker, had her doubts about the healing power of Downward Facing Dog. But all that would change... when she took a class. Are you ready for an Indian-originated mental and physical discpline that leaves you exalted, sweat-sopped and begging for more?

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Lovers and Skaters

By Blythe Davenport
Are they but one and the same? Blythe (as the name suggests) knows a thing or two about love in the time of tightened skating restrictions.

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Black Lung Special

By Caren Beilin
Philly is the last hip city in this generally po-dunk America where you can smoke inside public places. Before the inevitable smoking ban takes effect, celebrate some of Philly's hottest spots to light up and fill your lungs with a black lung special.
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Dive Right In

By Margaret Battistelli
Ah, the dives. Those little urban retreats where you can get a beer for a buck and your chicks for free. They're dirty and funky and more fun than you should be allowed to have for that little money. Web Contributor Meg Battistelli explores four of her favorite Philly dive bars.
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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
First, the disappointing news: This is not an exhibition about what the members of the different castes wore in Huxley's novel. It is, however, an opportunity to see original early 1900s dresses from Drexel's massive costume collection. Specially selected to go with PIFA's early 1900s Parisian theme, these dresses represent a decade when, according to PIFA, "the muted colors and the hourglass silhouettes of the late nineteenth century were abandoned in favor of short skirts, bright 'fauvist' colors and a slim uncorseted body." And not only do you get to see gorgeous dresses (for free!), but this exhibition is also notable because the costume collection is normally one of those by-appointment-only jawns. For PIFA, however, Drexel has put several dresses on display in their Leonard Pearlstein Gallery. Pop a soma and go.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Okay, so PIFA's definition of "late night" is definitely "late night for people who need to go to relieve their babysitters"--the entertainment ends at midnight. But these free weekend evenings at the Kimmel Center do feature a nice selection of DJs and bands, including an apparent battle of sorts on April 30 that pits the raucous West Philadelphia Orchestra against a similar band from Chicago, Mucca Pazza. There’s a cash bar, too, in case you want to get sauced under that crazy fake Eiffel Tower. Or, better yet, see the entertainment, and then head to Bob & Barbara's, or the Tritone, or McGlinchey's...anywhere, really, after midnight. Assuming you don't have to get back for the babysitter.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia is a city of many street fairs. Events that boast bands, food, and vendors pop up all over as the weather gets warm. But PIFA is managing to put pretty much everything except Fourth of July on the Parkway to shame. On April 30, they're bringing food, yes. And vendors. And music, sure--but this street fair is headlined by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Oh, and that's not to mention the public garden, trampoline show, and giant ferris wheel that are rolling onto Broad Street. Hear all that, other street fests? You need to step up your game.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Are you ready for some festival-on-festival action? Because The Perfect Flower, a performance that combines dance with "steel motion sculptures" to illustrate "survival in the natural world" is part of both PIFA and the Philadelphia Science Festival (hey, we have a science festival!). And this isn't just some pretend-you're-a-flower-in-elementary-school dancing; the choreography was developed in collaboration with researchers from the California Academy of Sciences. The Perfect Flower has two performances on April 25, and entry is free with admission to the Academy of Natural Sciences, which you should go to if you haven't been recently anyway. (Hello, dioramas and dinosaurs!)



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
One of the best things about PIFA is the amount of free content the festival has rolled out. And it's not just outdoor concerts and a couple of food samples--fairly standard free-event fare--but in some cases, full theater performances. The no-cost PIFA New Play Festival (running 4/20-4/23) features two one-acts created with PIFA's turn-of-the-century Parisian theme in mind. The winning selections are described as "experimental one-act plays that border on the grotesque," which is a description I love with all the darkness in my heart. Wait, I think I love this description of one of the plays even more: "a woman and man role-playing as Marilyn Monroe and Groucho Marx engage in various acts of carnal lust." Uh, bring the kids.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
There was a time when "French food" was pretty much synonymous with "the best food." And even though other cuisines have crept in and come to be held in as high regard, French food is still some of the most delicious, succulent, and expertly prepared stuff you can find in Philadelphia. But what if you want to eat French cuisine from France? Well, during PIFA, you can get about as close as you can without a plane ticket, as several local restaurants have paired up with guest French chefs in a sort of culinary buddy system. Bistrot La Minette, for example, has a four-course $40 prix-fixe menu created with Chef Joseph Viola, winner of the Un des Meilleurs Ouvier de France award. You'll have to forgive me for this one, but I have to say it: escar-go-go-go make some reservations.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
I love it when people perform live soundtracks for silent films, which is why I love that one of PIFA's events is just that. At the Kimmel Center on April 29, you can check out Le Voyage dans la Lune (a 1902 French film that the Smashing Pumpkins's “Tonight Tonight” video was based on) and Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. Music is courtesy of Martha Graham Cracker and "the kids of Independent Rock," which I assume is an organization that teaches music to children and not just a group of random kids birthed from alternative musicians. Although, I suppose, those things do not need to be mutually exclusive.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
There is the circus as many of us think of it: Garish clowns that terrify as many children as they amuse, sad elephants plodding along wearing tiny hats, mangy caged lions shuddering at whip cracks. But then, then there are the circus arts. This is where the true tradition and magic of the circus lives, with acrobats, jugglers, and other supremely talented physical performers. And lucky for us, the circus arts are a primary part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, featuring everything from international acrobatic troupes to the opportunity to try your own hand at the trapeze at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. It's like all the best of the circus, with no sad elephants in sight.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Parlez-vous Francais? If you don't, you can...at least a little. And I'm not talking about the crap you can pick up from commercials and the like (although repeating "c'est si bon" and "merde" makes for oh-so-interesting conversation). As part of PIFA, Alliance Francais is offering free ten-minute French lessons every day at the Kimmel Center at 5 pm, each centered around a particular topic. They won't make you fluent (I *think* – maybe the teachers really are that good). But they should at least give you the tools to be a better pick-up artist, improve the way you pronounce your order at Bistro La Minette, or realize how poorly I've used commonly known French in this write-up. C'est magnifique.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Sponsored Post: Free alcohol is a rare thing. Sure, you might be at an open-bar wedding--after you bought the newly minted couple a wedding gift. Or maybe, just maybe you get a free drink out of a bar by signing up for its mailing list (side note: Go to the Raven Lounge). And yes, a good First Friday romp can get you plenty buzzed. But can you imagine free wine available four days a week for almost a month? Mon Dieu! That's what's happening soon, though, as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The Wine & Spirits stores are sponsoring free French wine tastings Thursdays through Sundays, April 9 until May 1 at the Kimmel Center. And if you do try something you like, the bottles will be available for sale on-site--you certainly can't say that about First Friday. Stay tuned for updates on other interesting events as Not For Tourists explores the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts through May 1, with PIFA's support.



Posted By:  Augustin Kendall
Photo:  Augustin Kendall

VIP Food & Produce
Gourmet, maybe not. Groceries, definitely. I reroute my travels through this neighborhood to go here if I am in need of a snack. Finding snacks is easy, you say? It is not, when you're in a business district and corner stores, if they exist, close early. Or when you're supremely picky and demanding, like I am. There's a buffet the length of the store on one side, even a seating area in the back. They sell beer (six packs only, not much in the way of singles) as well as other drinks, and have produce I'd even consider buying. VIP isn't a deli, and it isn't a Whole Foods-level market (both of those exist within a couple blocks of VIP). It is a place to eat a decent meal, buy mint sauce, apple cider vinegar, Vitamin Water, non-domestic candy, Daifuku (mochi with red bean paste filling), fancy or regular potato chips, seaweed ...you get the idea. Citi Marketplace, a couple doors down, looks nicer from the outside. Don't be fooled.



Posted By:  jaimie KREMS
Photo:  jaimie KREMS

Cafe L'Aube
Neighborhood francophiles rejoice! Let mother Paris keep her snails, mimes and moustaches; we've got Café L’Aube, and we're good with that. Transplants to the city--South Street in particular--chef-owner Jean-Luc Fanny and wife are serving coffee smoother and easier to down than their homeland's military. (Bam! History joke!) After all, it comes from their own L'Aube Torrefaction. But extolling these French just for their coffee is like praising your favorite Italian restaurant for the linens and forgetting the cannoli. The crowd pleasers, in this case, are the suite of sweet and savory crepes as well as the croque monsieur and company. Perfectly crispy bacon and egg, with a side of chocolate croissant? It's enough to make a lesser lady go all Sacrebleu!



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Buttercream Cupcake Truck
Ira Glass is convincing on many fronts. But does anybody else remember when he gave a big yawn to the cupcake trend in an interview in BUST? (Side note: I can't find a copy of the interview right now--can you? I need to remember those carefree days of early '08.) Moreover, in the interview, Glass claimed that BUST's readers would agree: cupcake trend = over. Well darn it, Mr. Glass, it's a year-and-a-half on, and I still don't agree. Maybe there are too many cupcakes in your Magnolia Bakery, Sex-and-the-City New York, but down here, our cupcake build up has been like good molasses: slow and sweet. Sure, we might finally be reaching our saturation point of cupcake shops, but I am still enjoying them. And the cupcake shop I'm loving the most right now? Buttercream Cupcake truck. The great thing about the truck's treats is they aren't an exercise in excess. Rather, they're normal-sized, with dollops of not overly sweet frosting in the center. The bad news? The truck moves regularly, and it's usually only in a given spot for a couple of hours at a time. Maybe it's just trying to avoid Ira.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Sweet Ending
Fall is not the time to eat frozen yogurt. And because I have great timing, I'd like to tell you about a place I recommend not eating frozen yogurt at: Sweet Ending. Yet another Pinkberry knock off, Sweet Ending serves up pour-your-own tart frozen yogurt in a clean-yet-cutsey shop near Rittenhouse. The yogurt is meh--not terrible, but not as good as other establishments doing the same thing, like Phileo. Sweet Ending's plain is great, the strawberry fakey, and the green tea wholly unpleasant (if you're ready to call foul, know that this is from someone who is a fan of green-tea frozen treats and knows what this not-for-everyone flavor is supposed to taste like). But here's some great news: not only is fall not the best time for frozen yogurt, winter isn't either, so you have six whole months before you even think about getting accidentally temped by this place.



Posted By:  Emily Callaghan
Photo:  Emily Callaghan

Noche
Happy hour: What's not to love? It's an excuse to get tipsy with friends or co-workers and scope out young professionals in their office best, while enjoying beverages nicely discounted. I am a huge fan of Noche's happy hour, which is a half-hour later than most, from 5:30 to 7:30 (that's pm people!). The atmosphere is laid back, somehow the Christmas lights arent tacky, and the view overlooking the corner of 19th & Chestnut is superb for people watching. Noche features $5 pitchers and $2 pints of classier-than-college beers (my favorite feature being Magic Hat #9 on Wednesdays) in addition to $4 dollar Finlandia drinks. And the best part: Tuesdays through Thursdays it's buy one get one free pizzas! (Or BOGO, as Payless would say). The BBQ Chicken pizza is, hands down, the best I've ever consumed, and the house Noche Pizza is a winner as well. The veggie pizza is a little too ricotta-y for my liking, but my roommates devoured it nonetheless. Nachos are $4 bucks, so you can have 2 pizzas, nachos and 2 pitchers for just over $20 bucks. Not bad. Throw in a jukebox tune or a round of pool and you're in business...whether you're in business attire or not.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

State Liquor Store
Nestled just above the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, the Philadelphia Distilling Company may physically be on the edge of the city, but with each new release, they find their way deeper into my heart. (Dear reader, don't tempt me to write a cheesier sentence than that.) First the PDC came out with Bluecoat Gin, that cobalt-bottled beauty, and now it's Penn 1681 Rye Vodka. I don't know about you and yours, but my vodka-sipping friends usually choose Svedka, which, yeah, is good for its cheap price. But look: while Penn 1681 might cost a little bit more than Svedka, it is a hell of a lot smoother and more delicious. Moreover, if you ever yap about buying local, it's time to put your dollars where your drink-hole is: Philadelphia Distilling is ensuring that drinking local in Philly doesn't just mean beer; you can hit the hard stuff too.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Jose Pistola's
I'm going to be bold and say something that so many people in this city, from politicians to PECO workers, do not have the balls to say: I am going to name what might be the best nachos in Philadelphia. It's a dangerous move on my part; we all know that the powerful nacho lobby might very well hunt me down for this. But, here goes: the best nachos I've had to date in Philadelphia were at Jose Pistola's. They were served on flour-tortilla chips, not corn, and had a nice balance of toppings. But, dear reader, I must warn you: do not get lulled into a false sense of comfort by these nachos! Although Jose Pistola's has a wonderful draught beer list to couple with the beautiful nachos, the bar is also filled with BOOBY TRAPS. For example: the guacamole is mediocre. Every taco I've tried has been mediocre. Look: I can only assume that these traps were set by the nacho lobby. But do not let this deter you! Venture boldly to Jose Pistolas, step over the laser-lines that crisscross the floor, and order the nachos and beer.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

Tria Fermentation School
So, you like beer. Congratulations, hop-lover. But do you really like beer? Do you like beer enough to know your ale from your pilsner? Can you spot the differences between stouts? Then you might have the stuff to become the 2009 Philly Beer Geek. The competition starts Monday night at Tria, where wannabe geeks will have to blind-taste six thirst-quenching-good Philly beers and identify the styles. But don't think that you win that and you win it all--there are two more rounds of delicious, delicious beer (one on March 5, one on March 12) until you can get crowned and enjoy "$1000 in beer-related prizes" (hopefully it's not just $1000 worth of cozies and openers). Tickets for the qualifying round are available on Tria's website, and you better snatch one up now if you want the ultimate chance to declare your geekiness and love of alcohol at the same time.



Posted By:  Meg Favreau
Photo:  Meg Favreau

The Market & Shops at Comcast Center
This sushi. Looks normal, right? Sure. But I tell you now, it is not. No, it came from the Rich People's Business Food Court. The Rich People's Business Food Court ("The Market at Comcast Center" if you want to be technical) is in the basement of the Comcast Center, and the first time I went there, I saw a man in a gray suit sitting alone EATING A LOBSTER. AT LUNCHTIME. Lunch lobster. Lunchobster. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you do not know food court until you know rich people's food court, with DiBruno's fancy cheeses, a farmer's market, and brick-oven pizzas. Of course, a lot of the food is silly expensive, but it's also hilarious. And, dammit, I have to say it again: lunchobster.



Posted By:  Abby Baker
Photo:  Abby Baker

Fado
If drunk girls swaying on bar stools and spilled beer on the floor is your idea of a good time, then by all means, check out Fado. Or, should I say, "Fadon't." Actually, this Irish Pub is an excellent pick on any weeknight. But during the weekend, it turns into an over-crowded frat party for people of all ages. Normally, I don't mind this because the music is fabulous. You can definitely get your groove on to some Bel Biv Divo, but just be careful that the drunk dude next to you doesn't spill his beer all over your sleeve--or vice versa. That is, if you are ever able to snag a beer from one of the two bartenders as you muddle your way through a crowd. So avoid the chaos at Fado on the weekends. You'd probably have better luck at the shady bar across the street.





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