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A First Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Food Glorious Food...

South 9th Street Italian Market - Dating back to the 1880s, the South 9th Street Italian Market is the nation's oldest, continuous outdoor market. The iconic curb stands line South 9th Street, showcasing fresh fruit and vegetables from fourth- and fifth-generation merchants. While Italian immigrants originally dominated this shopping district, many of today's vendors hail from all parts of the world. S. 9th Street between Wharton & Fitzwater Streets. italianmarketphilly.org

Soft Pretzels - Always delicious, the Philly soft pretzel is a staple of any local's diet. These chewy, salty treats buck the traditional pretzel shape and instead take the form of a figure eight. Often enjoyed with yellow mustard, Philly soft pretzels are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between and are commonly purchased from street vendors.

BYOBs - Short for "bring your own bottle," BYOB restaurants pack the city's culinary landscape. Customers are invited to provide their own alcohol to accompany their meals at these eateries, which range from high-end establishments to local neighborhood haunts.

Philly Cheesesteaks - The Philly cheesesteak is inarguably the city's most famous food. These savory sandwiches consist of chopped (or thinly sliced) steak and a choice of cheeses and/or fried onions on a hoagie roll. Those in the know know to order their cheesesteak with two words only: cheese selection (provolone, American or Whiz) and "wit" or "without" onions. The debate about which local spot cooks up the best sandwich may never end, but for an iconic Philly experience, locals visit the corner of South 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, where rivals Geno's Steaks and Pat's King of Steaks feed the masses. Geno's, 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com; Pat's, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 468-1546, patskingofsteaks.com

Reading Terminal Market - This indoor foodie paradise is a one-stop shop for everything from local produce and meats to artisanal cheeses and desserts. The public space also provides open seating where customers can enjoy meals from more than 30 restaurants. While the market is open seven days a week, the Amish vendors, a huge draw for visitors and locals, sell their goods Tuesday through Saturday. 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org


Events And Places To Interest You...

PHS Philadelphia Flower Show - Every March, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show transforms the Pennsylvania Convention Center into an awe-inspiring landscape of plants and floral design. The largest flower show in the United States, the PHS production dates back more than 186 years. Over the course of nine days, gardening enthusiasts enjoy flower-arranging competitions, demonstrations, special events and a massive indoor marketplace. theflowershow.com

Mummers Parade - A beloved Philadelphia New Year's Day tradition, the Mummers Parade is best described as the city's version of Mardi Gras. The oldest folk parade in the country, some say that the festivities can be traced back to 400 B.C. The first city-sanctioned Mummers Parade took place on January 1, 1901. Clubs throughout the city work on their costumes and routines all year long and compete for prizes in categories, including the String Band Division, Fancy Brigades, Comics and Wenches. mummers.com


Visit The Love Park

A favorite destination for tourists and locals alike, John F. Kennedy Plaza gets its famed nickname "LOVE Park" due to its famous sculpture. Located near City Hall, LOVE Park serves as the grand entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The plaza, designed by famed City Planner Edmond Bacon, father of actor Kevin Bacon, was originally constructed over an underground parking garage in 1965. The plaza expanded in 1969 with the addition of beautifully curved granite steps and a majestic fountain. three tiny heartsAside from photo opportunities, LOVE Park also features the Fairmount Park Welcome Center and Gift Shop and is a favorite spot to grab a bite to eat from some of the city's top food trucks.


For more information...

For more information: On Greater Philadelphia's official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages.

For another 15 Philadelphia tips from a Journeywoman point of view, click here.

 

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