Credit: Visit Philly

Philadelphia has a lot going for it when it comes to being a Manhattanite. It’s a city that is quicker to get to than most (90 minutes via Amtrak), has a great culinary, fashion and LGBTQ scene, and mimics a lot of what NYC has to offer and then some. Why are we not visiting this iconic city more? Here’s why you should.

The city of Philly is one that I’ve visited many times and have enjoyed thoroughly every single time I go. Yes, they have delicious cheesesteaks and sure I might be obsessed with Wawa (elevated 7-11). But there’s so much more to this city that everyone should experience outside of my unnatural obsession with sandwiches.

Credit: Visit Philly

Let’s start with where you should stay while there. The Loews Philadelphia Hotel is key for so many reasons, one being location. It’s in the heart of Center City, one of the most thrilling areas of Philly that is filled with amazing foodie hotspots and iconic locations like The Hard Rock Cafe.

Credit: Loews Hotels

It’s one of the oldest locations in Philadelphia but sure as heck doesn’t look that way. Loews is a gigantic space with an entryway that is simply fun to look at. Check in and experience a night or two inside a space that has a relaxing environment, amenities galore (pool, gym, etc) and views of the city that are beyond breathtaking.

Quick plug!  Visit Philly has a wonderful Overnight Hotel Package with perks that include:

  • Hotel parking (up to a $100 value for a two-night stay)
  • Two general admission tickets (includes audio tour) to Eastern State Penitentiary (a $28 value)
  • $25 promotional card for Garces Group restaurants in Philadelphia
  • $10 credit toward Lyft rides for new and existing riders
  • One hour of complimentary ping-pong at SPiN Philadelphia (a $39 value)

You can read more about that here.

On the ground floor of the FMC Tower in University City, Walnut Street Café opens for cappuccino and homemade breakfast pastry at 7 a.m., continues through the day with Parker House rolls, a raw bar and refined dinners replete with sommelier.

Let’s continue the food conversation. Brunch is a staple in any major city, especially NYC and Philly. The weekend gatherings of sorts are what we all look forward to as many of us get together in a big group to discuss our lives among some tasty cocktails and hearty eats.

Philly has several of these places located throughout its incredible city. Bud & Marilyn’s is one that I stopped by years ago and was thrilled to experience as it was in the heart of the gayborhood. Their brunch offerings include almond-coconut-chocolate French toast, shareable pecan cinnamon rolls and Nashville hot chicken biscuit sandwiches. Yum!

Bank & Bourbon, located on the ground floor of Loews Philadelphia, provides an intimate setting with scrumptious and shareable bites offered throughout the day. Brunch is no exception, as they offer a buffet of applewood-smoked bacon, shrimp cocktail, ricotta toast, cage-free scrambled eggs and artisan cheese and charcuterie spreads.

Café Ynez, on the border of Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze, serves a Mexico City-inspired menu all-day, beginning at 8 a.m. On the menu: fruta fresca, egg-topped enchiladas and carnitas cemitas—a pulled pork torta with guacamole.

Other brunch options in Philly that are worth seeing include Dutch Eating Place (real-deal Pennsylvania scratch-made pancakes, French toast and egg platters), Mixto (Cuban/Colombian hotspot offering Argentinean steak and eggs, frittata Colombiana and tostadas rancheras and more) and The Victoria Freehouse (everything from Indian influences to a proper British breakfast). More here.

Philadelphia really is a gem of a city to visit. It’s one that I look forward to going back to in the near future especially with the warmer weather finally arriving. Don’t just take my word for it.

For more information, click here.