October 1, 2020 | , ,

A Mini-Guide to the Gayborhood

The Gayborhood is set in the heart of Washington Square West, Philly! An iconic LGBTQ community scene in the city, the Gayborhood is a neighborhood hotspot. Complete with shopping, dining along 13th Street, and everything in between, the Gayborhood has it all. The area is tucked into the Midtown Village neighborhood and spans Pine Street to Chestnut Street, as well as 11th Street to Broad Street!

Dining

The dining experience is central to the Gayborhood, as the space grew out of the popular restaurant Lolita in 2004. Local restauranteurs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran opened this Mexican eatery, which soon brought more restaurants to the area and launched the Gayborhood into its current glory.

Marcie and Valerie soon dreamed up other restaurants to expand the neighborhood dining experience. The couple opened Mediterranean-style Barbuzzo, along with the mid-century-inspired American eatery Bud and Marilyn’s.

Highly-acclaimed for its nightlife, the Gayborhood features places like Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar—a staple sports bar built for Philly’s queer community—and Toasted Walnut, a popular lesbian bar.

Looking for something sweet? Check out trans-owned bakery, Cake Life Bake Shop!

Shopping

Full of small businesses to support, there’s no shortage of shopping in the Gayborhood!

A highlight of the neighborhood is Philly Aids Thrift at Giovanni’s Room. Originally offering LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction works, Philly Aids Thrift has expanded its selection to music, art, comics, books, and more! It is also the oldest LGBTQ and feminist bookstore in the country! The thrift store has donated over two and a half million dollars to twenty-one AIDS agencies in the Greater Philadelphia area. Do good while shopping small!

In the market for locally-designed apparel? Naturally Queer has you covered! Owner Jourdan Porter designs apparel and merchandise for queer and trans people of color.

Philly is full of creatives! Be sure to explore The South Street Art Mart. Only intended to be a holiday pop-up shop in November 2018, this artist-run retail shop received overwhelming support and was able to stay open. The Art Mart features 100+ Philly-area artists and other creatives.

Things to Do

A hub for the LGBTQ social scene, the Gayborhood offers many community events and spaces.

During National Pride Month in June every year, thousands of people flock to Philly for the LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. The Parade is a march from the Gayborhood down Broad Street, culminating in a Festival at Penn’s Landing. Along the parade route, performers adorn the streets of the city. The Festival is full of dancing, food, and fun for everyone.

Another popular yearly fall event is Philadelphia OutFest, the world’s largest National Coming Out Day festival! Another popular October event is the Midtown Village Fall Festival, featuring live music, food, shopping, crafts, and more!

The William Way LGBT Community Center is a supportive space, offering social wellness programming. The William Way Center’s curator of LGBT Archives, Bob Skiba, created a tour of the Gayborhood called The Philadelphia LGBT Mapping Project.

Moves Philly is a collective for creative QTPOC to build community to share resources and connect with one another.

Stay up-to-date on the latest student events, deals, and ideas this semester.