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Apr 22, 2010 10:53 PM

Choosing an apartment based on food

Hi, I'm a Tokyo chowsquirrel moving to Philadelphia in August and I need to pick a neighborhood.

I'm heading to law school at Temple after 4 years in Tokyo and I want a location with good grocery stores and local restaurants.

Is there a section of city most conducive to food shopping? or will anywhere work?

If anyone knows of a Japanese market, that'd be great as well as I'm going to have some severe cravings.

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  1. I wish I could help you re neighborhoods and apartments, but for a taste of home, there is only one restaurant that won't disappoint: Matt Ito's Fuji in Haddonfield, N. J. Not commuting distance--save for when you want to impress friends, one of whom has a car.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bashful3

      Actually, you can take Patco from Center City to very nearly their doorstep, and I think the ride is actually quicker than the drive, if my memory serves. If I consider time spent trying to find parking, it may be quicker than the drive to many Philly neighborhoods (possibly smallish exaggeration there).

    2. My suggestion: someplace between the Italian market (9th and Washington area) and the Superfresh and Whole Paycheck at 10th and south.
      There might not be much right in that area, but you're btwn those two for shopping (including, IIRC, an Asian (but not necessarily Japanese) market down on Washington, near the restaurants at Passyunk, not too far from Queens Village, and walking distance from anything in center city (if you don't mind walking). Meanwhile, you're not too far from the Broad St. Line, which will take you right to Temple.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bob Loblaw

        Second this, I think it's exactly right, and I think that is a great neighborhood for getting to know the city.

        1. re: barryg

          It's worth mentioning that the name of this neighborhood is Bella Vista. Will probably help when you're looking for apartments! Lots of 20- and 30-somethings in this hood, too.

        2. re: Bob Loblaw

          I agree, you'll want to be located close-ish to the area around 10th and South St. That's near the north end of the Italian Market, and the most convenient and best variety of grocery shopping can be found within a few blocks: the two grocery stores Bob mentioned at 10th and South, and the Italian Market to the south. The Reading Terminal Market (RTM) is 7 blocks north and 1 block west of the Whole Foods, just under a mile on foot. Between those three locations you can get just about anything. I can't speak on Japanese markets but our Chinatown is just east of the RTM.

          Access to the Broad Street subway line is more important for restaurants and getting to Temple, grocery shopping via subway is a pain because most of the subway stops involve lots of stairs. You could get a granny cart though. But again, if you're around 10th and South, you can walk to most of the city's best restaurants.

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. Maido (in Narberth, which is a suburb) is the only Japanese grocery I know of in the Philly area. There's a free shuttle bus on weekends that leaves from center city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: anago

              Good call on Maido! I just checked their website and it looks great.

            2. Living in Loft District, three blocks from Chinatown and 4 blocks from Reading Terminal Market. North of Vine by a block or so, The loft district is in that area from Broad east to 9th or so. You get great bang for your buck there. Also 2-3 miles closer to Temple, either by car or nearby subway stop.