South Philadelphia has become a local cultural phenomenon. Buzzing with family-owned restaurants and shops—not to mention the Italian Market—this primarily residential “neighborhood” (actually composed of several neighborhoods, including Queen Village and Passyunk) is a must-visit for Philadelphia’s college students.
The popular South Philly street Passyunk Avenue is pronounced “Pash-unk Av-a-new.”
Many areas in South Philly offer free street parking. Just in case, bring cash for meters.
South Philly is accessible by public transit.
Preparation for the popular Mummers Parade takes place on Second Street in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia.
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fans: Paddy’s Pub is set in South Philly.
On a Budget
|John’s Water Ice $
701 Christian St.
|You can’t live in Philly without partaking in the city’s “wooder” ice craze. Get the old-fashioned, authentic stuff at this spot’s walk-up window. There are four staple flavors offered: cherry, lemon, chocolate, and pineapple. For those that prefer ice cream, try a cup of strawberry, butter pecan, chocolate, or vanilla—or go crazy and combine the two (a.k.a. a “gelati”). Go ahead, we dare you.|
|Molly’s Café & Bookstore $
1010 S. Ninth St.
|With a wide selection of classics, from Dostoevsky to Joyce, the classic book lover is bound to squeal over the selections. For those that prefer more modern releases, don’t worry–Molly’s has your literary tastes covered, as well. Just don’t stop by on Monday or Tuesday when the store is closed.|
1917 E. Passyunk Ave.
|Who said eating healthy had to be expensive? This South Philly spot offers a wide selection of delicious meals, like Thai chicken or smoked salmon—all ringing in at under 500 calories! With a juice bar and a coffee bar, all your thirsts are guaranteed to be quenched. Too busy with homework to take the trip? Never fear; Fuel offers pick-up or delivery. Happy snacking!|
|Black & Brew $
1523 E. Passyunk Ave.
|This coffee spot opens daily at 7 a.m., making it the perfect stop for your morning jolt. With an extensive breakfast menu, including omelets and pancakes—not to mention salads and wraps for lunch—this corner coffee shop will have just enough on the menu to fuel those brain cells. Indoor and outdoor seating, a quiet atmosphere, and free internet access makes this spot exceptional for getting work done.|
|Gleaner’s Cafe Gallery $
917 S. Ninth St.
|A cozy independent coffee shop, Gleaner’s is tucked away within the Italian Market. The place is perfect for a study session, offering free Wi-Fi, indoor and outdoor seating and, of course, food and caffeine. Try one of the mouth-watering cupcakes; with several flavors, you’ll find it hard to choose just one. Make sure to have money on hand; Gleaner’s only takes cash.|
|Dickinson Square Park (free)
1600 E. Moyamensing Ave.
|The well-maintained and peaceful Dickinson Square Park is filled with plenty of spots to camp out on a warm day and get some much-needed studying done.|
|Italian Market $
S. Ninth Street
|If you’re looking for a South Philly staple, look no further than the oldest outdoor market in the United States. It consists of rows of vendors lining the sidewalks. From jewelry to water ice to fresh eggs, you’re bound to find something of interest at one of its dozens of shops. The market is open daily from 9 a.m.—except on Mondays, when it is closed.|
|Paul and Frances Giordano’s Fruit and Produce $$
1040 S. 9th St.
|Cooking an unforgettable meal is all about your ingredients. If you want fresh veggies or meats, this Italian Market staple will be your best friend when it comes to cooking authentically and on the cheap.|
Arts & Culture
|RKO Video and
South Philly Comics $$
1621 E. Passyunk Ave.
|Whether you’re a comic book connoisseur or dabble in reading graphic novels, check out this decent-sized selection of comic books, t-shirts, and videos. The best part: if what you’re looking for is not there, the staff is more than willing to order merchandise. And if you become a subscriber, you can save some money on your purchases!|
|Nice Things Handmade $$
1731 E. Passyunk Ave.
|Support local artists by visiting a boutique and gallery that features artwork, clothing, jewelry and more. The staff is friendly, and the selections are incredibly well-made. Find unique gifts for friends, family or yourself!|
|Samuel S. Fleisher
Art Memorial $$
719 Catharine St.
|Offering two galleries and several exhibits throughout the year, there’s a number of ways to teach and promote art to those interested in learning at Fleisher. There are various workshops offered, including ceramics, drawing, photography, painting and more. Some are even low cost, where you are only responsible for a small lab fee.|
Historical Museum $
1900 Pattison Ave.
|There’s more to Sweden than meatballs. Uncover the history, traditions and contributions of this culture at our nation’s oldest Swedish museum.|
|Rim Café $
1172 S. Ninth St.
|If there is one thing that sets this café apart from other coffee shops in the city, it’s this: the Volcano. This specialty drink is thick, hot dark chocolate, with whip cream that foams over the rim of your cup. It’s as entertaining as it is delicious. Rim Café is open late, and Rene, the owner, is simply delightful, making sure that each order is served up just right.|
|Di Bruno Brothers $$
930 S. Ninth St.
|This is, undoubtedly, the best place to go for authentic, fresh Italian cheeses. Family-owned and operated, this shop’s wafting scents will instantly transport you to Italy. Buy freshly-baked bread, or take home some roasted coffee for an upcoming all-nighter. With a laundry list of selections, from oils and vinegars to pastas and sauces, Di Bruno Brothers sells all the ingredients for a delicious, homemade meal.|
on Passyunk $$$
1737 E. Passyunk Ave.
|Get your motor running with the top brand names in scooters! This shop offers a fun alternate form of transportation around campus. Already have a scooter? Then you must need some accessories! This shop has you covered, with helmets, covers and more.|
|Tony Luke’s $
39 E. Oregon Ave.
|Sabrina’s Café $$
610 Christian St.
|Favors & Flavors $$
1827 E. Passyunk
1500 E. Passyunk Ave.
|Ralph’s Italian Restaurant $$
760 S. Ninth St.