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Matthew Phillips

consumer and producer of technology and culture

Philadelphia Guide

Coffee & Tea

  • Green Line Cafe

    Though I remember my friend Sacha complaining about the espresso, he's Swiss so no surprises if he was being a snob there ;) Quiet, calm ambiance, quite pretty neighborhood, right across from Clark Park, good coffee & pastries. My neighborhood go-to coffeeshop.

Shopping

  • Di Bruno Bros.

    Moving to Philly after spending the better part of the previous decade in Paris posed an immediate worry: what to do about cheese ? Thanks to Di Bruno, I never actually had to ask that question. The staff is imminently knowledgeable and helpful, the selection not at all lacking, the prices fair.

Food

  • White Dog Cafe

    Great spot to grab lunch if you're in University City and don't want to be swamped by the student lunch crowd. Great food sourced from local ingredients with an often-changing menu and a super chill interior.

  • Caribou Cafe

    Best French restaurant I've ever eaten at outside of France. Lovely menu, amazingly low prices given the food quality, above-average selection of paired wines. Decor very similar to / reminiscent of an actual French bistro; a very effective cure to whatever homesickness I felt for France after moving to Philly.

Bars

  • Local 44

    With a bottle shop conveniently just right next door, this place is pretty excellent. The food is great, the beer selection interesting and varied, the ambiance just the right amount of dive-bar. Mostly a university/grad student crowd from UPenn nearby.

  • Fiume

    Hidden innocuously above an Ethiopian restaurant, this living-room-sized dive can get uncomfortably hot and crowded. However, when it's not wall-to-wall hipsters, it's a unique and chill place to meet up, preferably earlier on in the evening. Great selection at the bar, always interesting people floating about.

Adventures

  • Art, art, art

    I recommend simply tracing the path laid between the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. It's rare to find such a dense concentration of amazing art in such a small geographical space. Perfect for a day's long stroll.

  • Just Walk Around

    Philadelphia is one of the most walkable of America's east coast cities and architecturally one of the most pleasant. Rather than taking its (frankly subpar) public transit, I often would walk from University City across to the Delaware River, taking different paths further north or south depending on the vagaries of my mood. It's a great way to see and discover Philly, so honestly, just take a walk.

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