Philadelphia is not just a historical stopover anymore. It's a growing hub for startups, an emerging culinary center, and a great place to open a business.
We recently spent some time trekking around Philadelphia to find the coolest additions to the city that have opened or expanded in the last year (one of us is a Philly native).
Within the last year, the city has seen the opening of several new gastropubs, artisanal cocktail bars, and gourmet food trucks—all at very affordable prices. More startups are calling Philadelphia home too, attracted by the low cost of living and the city's low-key vibe.
The top 25 businesses that blew us away are listed here in alphabetical order.
What it is: Italian gastropub
Why it's cool: Alla Spina is the latest restaurant from Mark Vetri, one of Philadelphia's most successful restaurateurs and arguably one of the best Italian chefs in the country.
The North Broad gastropub has a selection of Italian beer on tap, including Negroni. It serves dishes like fried pig tails with fennel agrodolce and poutine with guinea hen leg bolognese and mozzarella curd.
American Sardine Bar
What it is: Neighborhood gastropub
Why it's cool: This Point Breeze gastropub, which has been open for about a year, features an authoritative list of beers and a constantly changing menu of casual, affordable food. Creative dishes, like the Pittsburgh cheesesteak sandwich, the local apples and ricotta sandwich, and the $2 sardine sandwich, take advantage of local produce.
What it is: An online wedding catalog that exclusively features bridesmaid dresses and accessories.
Why it's cool: A product of the fall 2012 Philadelphia DreamIt Ventures accelerator program, Brideside allows brides and wedding parties to peruse through wedding photos for inspiration, connect with other brides on forums, and shop for styles that they like.
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