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Favorite places for 1

I planned to come from Chicago to a conference next weekend and just found out the conference was cancelled. I had a non-refundable air ticket so I decided just go anyway and enjoy the time away by myself. I'm staying downtown but willing to venture out within reason.

So where's a place that's happening but not too packed where I (a 33 year old city-living mom who used to be cool not all that long ago) can sit at the bar enjoying elevated food, craft beers or boutique wines in an interesting neighborhood?

Would love all suggestions as I've never been to Phily before-- also any recommendations for what to do on Saturday morning!

Thanks!

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  1. How many meals will you be here for?

    In Center City, I'd sit at the bar at Vedge for dinner, it's one of the city's best restaurants, the bar area is very nice, you can order the full menu there, and it's something unique to Philly. You should also pop in to a Capogiro for gelato at some point, there's one at 13th and Sansom (close to Vedge but I'd recommend getting dessert at Vedge), and one at 20th and Sansom. I like the flavors at the 20th St. location more. Avoid the Capogiro "scoop shop" on East Passyunk Ave.

    Almost every good restaurant in Philly that serves alchohol will have some decent beers on draft, Philly is a great beer town. Boutique wines, not so much. All wine sold in the state is sold by the state's cartel, the PA Liquor Control Board. There are definitely places in the city that have excellent wine lists but not like you're used to.

    If cocktails interest you at all, I'd recommend checking out Hop Sing Laundromat, it's near the convention center.

    1. I'd like to recommend the French BYOB bistro Bibou. A cozy space with great ambiance. Fantastic food. Very nice owner/host team. Take with you your favorite wine and settle down for a joyful meal.

      For Saturday morning, the Barnes Foundation opens at 9 AM. It's a must see.

      Hope you have fun during your stay in Philadelphia. It's a place I love and am proud to call home.

      2 Replies
      1. re: borntolovefood

        Bibou is great but it's booked next weekend (even the counter seats).

        1. re: Buckethead

          Keep trying. And follow them on Twitter. They often post mid-day when a table becomes available. The best.

      2. It's not Center City but a very short cab ride away would be South Philly Tap Room. Great craft beer selection and interesting and delicious food. Memphis Taproom is just as good for both as well. If there are certain beers you're interested in trying check out Phillytapfinder.com and guide yourself that way as well. Enjoy.

        1. All good recs so far. I'd add Zahav too, they have a bar area and an interesting list of Israeli and other mid-east wines. The food is fantastic, you could do dinner or just snacks as the menu is small plates.

          For beer, Buckethead is right that it's harder to find bars without good beers than those with. But even given that Khyber Pass Pub has one of the best tap and bottle lists in the city, and very good Cajun-style bar food to go with it. It's in Old City so easy to get to.

          The bar at Tria (two locations downtown) is worth a visit too, they have a small but well curated list of wine and beer, plus pretty decent small plates and very good desserts.

          Besides the Barnes, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is also a must see for anyone interested in art.

          1. In addition to the great recs already provided, I would also add Parc in Rittenhouse. Great neighborhood for people watching, nice big bustling bar, good French bistro food and a decent French wine list. There are always lots of solo diners at their huge bar.