Chestnut Hill

Though it’s within Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill feels more like a small town. After wandering its cobblestone streets and independent retailers, it’s easy to see why it was named a distinctive destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2010.

Photo © R. Kennedy for GPTMC

Insider Tips

SEPTA runs conveniently through this neighborhood. Take the Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail Line or the route 23 bus, which runs from Chestnut Hill to South Philly.

Locals use the hill as a geographic reference (e.g. “The bus stop is down the hill”). The main arterial is Germantown Avenue.

Advocates for independent retailers: Chestnut Hill is for you. The neighborhood boasts more local businesses than chains.

There are nine free lots for parking in Chestnut Hill, as well as meters along the streets.

On a Budget

Bredenbeck’s $
8126 Germantown Avenue
bredenbecks.com
215.247.7374
Head to this side-by-side ice cream parlor and bakery for all those sweet tooth cravings. Try an ice cream cupcake, a Michael’s Nutter Butter sundae or an ice cream parfait at the ice cream parlor. Then, go next door to select some goodies to take home: butter cake, fresh fruit tart or breakfast pastry.

 


Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market $
8229 Germantown Avenue
farmersmarketchestnuthill.com
570.726.7030
Open Thursday through Saturday, this mini-Reading Terminal Market is packed with delicious fare, including sushi, poultry, fresh produce, deli and bakery goods and Trinidadian and Mexican food. Be sure to stop by Jonathan’s Best, the gourmet grocery store attached to the market.

 


Roller’s Express-o $
8341 Germantown Avenue
rollersrestaurants.com
215.247.7715
How about a gourmet breakfast or lunch? Tasty options range from Irish oatmeal and breakfast quesadillas to milkshakes and key lime pie.

 

Study Spots

Chestnut Hill Coffee Company $
8620 Germantown Avenue
chestnuthillcoffee.com
215.242.8600
At this study-friendly coffee shop, you can take your coffee and delicious pastries to the alcove in the back or to the roomier second floor.

 

 

Outside Itch

Wissahickon Valley (free)
Valley Green Road
Perfect for geologists, environmentalists and those who simply love the outdoors, this 1,800-acre park includes Wissahickon Creek, trails and Forbidden Drive—great for runners, hikers and horseback riders. The Wissahickon Environmental Center hosts programs throughout the year; the Valley Green Inn serves brunch, lunch and dinner; and volunteer opportunities offer fun ways to give back to the environment.

 


Morris Arboretum $$
100 East Northwestern Avenue
morrisarboretum.org
215.247.5777
Morris Arboretum originated from Compton, the estate of siblings John and Lydia Morris at the end of the nineteenth century. Through the stewardship of the brother and sister, the estate became Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Open 361 days a year (excluding major holidays)!

 

 

Arts & Culture


The Stagecrafters $$
8130 Germantown Avenue
thestagecrafters.org
215.247.8881
Chestnut Hill’s local theater dates back to 1929 and was founded to “promote the advancement of knowledge and appreciation of drama in all its forms, and to encourage the writing and production of drama of a high literary and artistic standard by its members.” A normal season runs from September until June annually.
Hideaway Music $$
8612 Germantown Avenue
hideawaymusic.org
215.248.4434
Those who snub the digital age of music can beef up their collections at Hideaway Music, featuring new and used CDs, posters and vinyls. Beatles fans: Check out the Fab Four memorabilia, including international show posters.

 


Woodmere Art Museum
free (visits); $ (classes)
9201 Germantown Avenue
woodmereartmuseum.org
215.247.0476
Housed in a 19th-century Victorian building, this museum offers visitors the chance to experience art via its nine galleries, more than 2,000 pieces of artwork, classes, lectures and tours. Admission to the museum is free; classes require a fee and pre-registration.

 

Seriously


Killian’s Hardware $$
8450 Germantown Avenue
kilianhardware.com
215.247.0945
This store crams hundreds of items—gardening, plumbing and electrical tools—from floor to ceiling. The narrow aisles and packed shelves are easier to navigate with the help of a knowledgeable and friendly staff person, but wandering can lead to interesting discoveries!

 


Penzey’s Spices $$$
8528 Germantown Avenue
yelp.com
215.247.0770
Add some spice to your meals. This store has hundreds of bottles of seasonings, perfect for the cook or foodie in your life.

 

Don’t Miss


El Quetzal $$
8427 Germantown Avenue
el-quetzal.com
215.247.6588

 


Mango $$
8442 Germantown Avenue
yelp.com
215.248.9299

 


The Night Kitchen $$
7725 Germantown Avenue
nightkitchenbakery.com
215.248.9235

 


Cake $$
8501 Germantown Avenue
cakeofchestnuthill.com
215.247.6887

 


Weaver’s Way Co-Op $
8424 Germantown Avenue
weaversway.coop
215.843.2350