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Julie Davis

Julie\'s Philadelphia Blog

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The History Behind Philly's Most Iconic Foods, the Cheesesteak and Soft Pretzel

Saturday April 19, 2014

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Whether you climb aboard a double-decker bus or crawl into the back of a horse drawn carriage, there's no shortage of professional tours waiting to introduce tourists to the sights and sounds of Philadelphia.

Tour guides will no doubt narrate the history of the Liberty Bell and Art Museum along the way, but will they also tell you all there is to know about Philly's most famous foods? We're not so sure. That's why we took a little time this week to write about the origins of two of our city's edible icons, the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel. Read all about 'em, then surf on over to our roundup of Philly's six best soft pretzel bakeries.

Coffee and Playtime Merge at These Kid-Friendly Philly Cafes

Friday April 4, 2014

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Ask any parent--new or experienced--and they'll likely tell you that child-rearing and coffee go hand in hand. That said, it was only a matter of time before the play cafe concept took off among sleep-deprived moms and dads. Offering a safe indoor play area for little ones alongside a cafe area where caregivers can sip locally-roasted coffee and hook up to free Wi-Fi , play cafes have, unsurprisingly, earned a foothold in a relatively untapped market.

Curious to see what all the fuss is about? This roundup of Philly-area play cafes has the info you're looking for. You'll find a few indoor playgrounds on our list, too, should you prefer to keep your fun caffeine-free.

Here's Where You'll Find Philly's Best Vegan Cheesesteaks

Friday April 4, 2014

Vegan cheesesteak at HipCityVeg

We're not lacking in cheesesteak coverage here on About.com's Philadelphia site: We've tackled the proper procedure for cheesesteak ordering (don't ask for Swiss!), discussed the hallmarks of a perfect cheesesteak--even provided a recipe or two. However, there's one topic we've yet to delve into: the vegan cheesesteak. This meat- and dairy-free take on Philly's signature sandwich has been attempted by many Philadelphia eateries, but some do it better than others. Lucky for you, we've compiled this handy roundup of Philly's best, most beloved vegan cheesesteaks to take you above the fray. Sample them all, then report back to tell us which is your favorite.

Goodbye From Karrie Gavin

Tuesday April 30, 2013

It has been a pleasure writing about Philadelphia for About.com for the past few years, but my time here is coming to a close. I will miss seeing you here.

All the best!
Karrie

East Passyunk Avenue

Tuesday April 30, 2013

Until a few years ago, Pat's and Geno's were East Passyunk's most notable culinary offerings. There were still long-standing, classic and delicious Italian restaurants like Marra's, but there was a lack of variety and lots of empty store fronts. Now the adorable avenue is a major destination for dining and retail. In 2010 Passyunk Avenue was profiled in the travel section of the New York Times for it's cool cafe culture and hip boutiques. After the young art crowd helped established East Passyunk Avenue as an exciting place to be, culinary heavy weights followed suit. In May of 2013, East Passyunk Avenue was named one of the 10 Best Foodie Streets in America. They have it all: great cafes, cozy BYOBs, progressive gastropubs, specialty food markets and sophisticated fine-dining. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink on East Passyunk Avenue.

 

May Events

Thursday April 25, 2013

May is a busy, beautiful month in Philly. In addition to Mother's Day and Memorial Day, and all the brunches and barbecues that entails, there are some great festivals. Definitely don't miss South Street's "new signature event," the South Street Headhouse District Spring Festival. Lots of great things have been happening in that area and on May 4th you can sample them all at once. Enjoy food and cocktails from nearby by restaurants while the young ones hang out in the "kid zone" at this massive street festival. Read more about what May has in store here.

Outdoor Dining

Tuesday April 23, 2013

In Philly, Spring can be rather fleeting. The cold subsides, the sun comes out, everyone is ecstatic... for a moment. The next thing you know It's 100 degrees with suffocating humidity. Early Spring is the best time to take advantage of Philadelphia's increasingly awesome outdoor seating options. While any restaurant can throw some tables out on the side walk, the best outdoor seating combines ambiance with open air. These restaurants have thoughtfully designed patio seating that feels like taking a mini vacation. Read more here.

The Philadelphia Science Festival

Thursday April 18, 2013

The 10-day Philadelphia Science Festival begins Thursday, April 18. The festival, which is in it's 3rd year, is an interactive exploration of science, technology and engineering. The events take place throughout the city and includes anything from lectures and debates to carnivals and cocktail parties.  Science buff or not, this festival has plenty of fun and fascinating events for both children and adults. Here are my daily picks for Science Festival events.

 

Thrifting in Philadelphia

Saturday March 30, 2013

There was a time, long, long ago, when people shopped at secondhand stores purely out of necessity. Today secondhand shopping has been elevated into an art form, a number 1 rap song, and for some, an occupation. Vintage goods bought for pennies on the dollar can fetch hundreds onEbay or Etsy shops. Amassing a collection of go-to thrift stores, flea markets and whole sale vintage distributors can take years of practice and an intimate knowledge of the city. Here are some of the best secondhand shops I've found in Philadelphia, plus some tips to help you make the most of them.

April Events

Thursday March 28, 2013

There is just so much awesomeness this month. There are tons of Festivals each with countless quality events of their own. Philadelphia was recently voted amongst America's top cities for culture by Travel + Leisure Magazine and with this month's line up of events it's not hard to see why. Click here to see the best April has to offer.

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