South Philly Spotlight: South Street

Start exploring South Philadelphia at South Street, known for its diverse, urban feel and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re in the mood to shop, eat, or just appreciate the exciting atmosphere, there’s something that everyone can enjoy.

Start your day at Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen, the tasty Jewish deli known for its huge portion sizes and delicious, freshly cut meats. Since 1923, the deli has served satisfied customers with breakfast, sandwiches, salads, smoked fish, dinner entrees, and desserts. Their specialty: huge hot pastrami sandwiches or breakfast sandwiches overflowing with tons of meat.

Next, head over to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a museum with walls covered in mosaics by award-winning mosaic mural artist Isaiah Zagar. At Magic Gardens, you can sign up for a tour, see an exhibition, or just walk through on your own. You will see fully mosaicked gallery spaces, sculptures, and different types of tiles. This unique, creative type of art can’t be found at any other site in Philly, and taking photos is encouraged!

If you’re into music, check out Repo Records, the underground music sanctuary that has been a huge part of South Street’s culture for the past decade. Repo specializes in buying and selling new and used metal, punk, indie, hip-hop, classic rock, jazz, R&B and soul CDs, cassettes, and LPs.

For a quick lunch, stop by Lorenzo and Sons, the legendary pizza shop known for having arguably the best pizza in the entire city. Cash-only and no indoor seating, Lorenzo & Sons will only serve you an oversized plain slice of pizza, but it’ll be the best plain slice you’ve had. Or try Jim’s Steaks, the delicious cheesesteak shop that opened in 1939 on South Street, now with three other Philadelphia locations. You’ll always see a long line outside of the original location on South Street, but the tasty, hot cheesesteaks made to your liking are well worth the wait.

If you’re interested in art, check out B Square Gallery, opened by local artist Heather Bryson in 2000. Bryson showcases unique handmade jewelry, functional art, paintings, and other types of art by talented local artists, including herself. Philadelphia is full of many skilled artists, and the ones that frequent South Street are no exception.

Once nighttime hits, go see a show at Theatre of Living Arts. The TLA dates back to the late 90s as an art house movie theater, and was converted into a concert hall, movie theater, and theater over the years. Now, the TLA is a mid-sized concert venue known for its great acoustics. The standing-room-only venue offers shows nearly every day, whether it be local or national music acts, and concerts of all genres.

For a late dinner, head over to Brauhaus Schmitz, Philly’s best authentic German bier hall and restaurant. Opened in 2009 by German-born food expert Douglas Hager, the restaurant strives to give Philadelphians a real taste of all the delicious food and beer Germany has to offer. The menu offers ethnic schnitzel and sausage, soups and salads, entrees and appetizers.

To end your eventful day on South Street, check out the hilarious Society Hill Playhouse, specializing in comedy acts for people who “hate theater.” This century-old playhouse is located right off of South Street and hosts local and national stand-up comedy acts, along with other entertaining shows. They offer a cabaret on the first floor that seats 99 people and a main stage on the second floor that seats over 200, making this historic building the perfect spot to pick a show, bring a big group, and laugh all night.

South Street has so much to offer, and visitors of all ages can enjoy these delectable restaurants and small eateries, unique galleries and music shops, hilarious and entertaining shows and much more.