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5 NYC females having a girls weekend in Philly - where to go?

Hi Everyone!

Five of my girlfriends and I are coming to Philly during a weekend in August. We're all from the NYC/Brooklyn area and are finally having a long overdue girls getaway. Most of us have not been to Philly in years, so are pretty excited to eat, drink and see the beautiful city.

We arrive Friday and are staying at the Hotel Monaco in City Center. For Friday, we're looking for a more casual place to eat and hang out, saving our "nicer" dinner for Saturday night.

For Saturday night, we want great food, cocktails and an atmosphere that's fun and lively for a group of 5 females in their early 30's. Preferably a place that would also have some lighter menu options as a choice.

Would also appreciate any input on where to grab cocktails and breakfast/brunch on Saturday.

Thank you!

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  1. Having abodes in both places, I think Philly competes very favorably in the vittles department with the Big A.

    If you're lucky enough to get a reservation at Vernick for your Saturday night, I think it fits all your requirements.
    As for Friday night, you might want to look into Branzino.

    Enjoy wonderful Philly and bon appetit

    2 Replies
    1. re: arepo

      When was the last time you were at Branzino? Seems like they are having problems, having hired then lost a big name chef, then getting raided by the IRS a month or two ago.

      1. re: barryg

        Ooo la la! That's what I get for not keeping up with a restaurant I have not dined in for a while.
        This is a good lesson learned.
        As Emily Litella would say, "Never Mind!".

    2. For Saturday dinner, consider Amada. It is a Spanish tapas restaurant, so that will give you a variety of lighter options and it is definitely a lively scene.

      It is 2 blocks away from your hotel.


      1. I (always!) recommend a visit to Tria on Sunday when they offer their Sunday School menu - a wine, a cheese and a beer that aren't on the normal menu at a discounted price. We have been there more times than I can count and have never been disappointed in the selections. They usually post the menu on Tuesdays for the upcoming Sunday. They also offer some good (light) food options and a decent wine list. www.triacafe.com

        If you are in the Rittenhouse area, you could check out a.bar. They do an oyster happy hour every day from 4pm - 6pm. They have a nice wine list and great cocktails as well. http://www.akitchenandbar.com/

        Hope you have a great time! We live in NJ and work in NYC, but bought an apartment in Philly so we could go there on the weekends. It's a great city with lots of fantastic restaurants and bars.

        1. Just thought of a couple more (both near your hotel)...

          Friday night casual...Khyber Pass Pub.


          For brunch, Cuba Libre. They offer unlimited small plates for $26 per person.


          1. For your brunch, definitely consider Farmicia. They have a brunch happy hour - no joke - half off all booze. And they have great brunching drinks - Sangria, bloodys, mimosas, etc. They do my favorite egg white omelets too. You can also reserve on Open Table - sometimes necessary for brunch (tho less so in the summer). Close to your hotel too, nice space.

            1. for Saturday breakfast/brunch, I recommend High Street on Market. They don't take reservations though.

              1. For Friday, consider Parc in Rittenhouse Square. This one I've been to recently and it still is doing great. Outdoor dining is a plus in this season.

                5 Replies
                1. re: arepo

                  +1!! Great bread basket and great people watching!

                  1. re: punkin712

                    Parc is a poor version of Bar Boulud .... food is really hit and miss. It is a lovely setting, especially if you are sitting outdoors. But we have lots of other great places to eat in Philadelphia.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      I've never had a "miss" at Parc. However, I have had some pretty bad service at Bar Boulud.

                      1. re: punkin712

                        I have heard people complain about the service at Bar Boulud, but I personally have never had a problem there and I have dined there probably a dozen times over the years. I usually sit at the communal table in the back, either by myself or with a small party. The food at Bar Boulud is head and shoulders better than anythign you will get at Parc. The house made terrine are to die for, the seasonal cold soups in the spring and summer just wonderful. And I dream about the Ile de Flotant for dessert. Parc does not come anywhere close to any of the dishes there.

                        1. re: cwdonald

                          Since the OP lives in NYC, she can certainly visit Bar Boulud when she's at home. I'm sure there are many restaurants in NYC that some would consider "head and shoulders better" than their counterparts in Philadelphia and vice versa. Sometimes it's about the whole package rather than what's better elsewhere. Having just returned from 2 weeks in the Canary Islands, I recall a few meals that were not any better than anything I could get here at home, but the setting was phenomenal.

                          I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree and let the OP choose for herself what's best for her and her friends.

                2. Thank you all SO much!! This is so helpful!

                  1. Positano Coast is not far from your hotel. It's a great place for cocktails and snacks.

                    1. I'd suggest you check out any/all of our fun pop up gardens for cocktails: Spruce St Harbor Park, Independence Beer Garden, and the South St PHS Garden. The menus are limited but the places are great!

                      1. Thank you so much! The group now went from 5 to 6, which complicates things just a bit. I'll definitely let you know where we end up eating!