Philadelphia is quietly becoming a fashion powerhouse--yes, you read that right. It's home to Urban Outfitters
, which means that a campus full of stylish people now live, work, and play in the City of Brotherly. So who else would we ask to give us their guide of the Pennsylvania spot than someone from their team? In particular, we had head web stylist Katherine Anderson give us a tour. "You can start a store or a bar or a gallery and [even] if you don't have a lot of money you can pull it off--which I think is super cool," she says of the city's creative vibe. "There's also this other element of weird dive bars and places that have been here forever and have been untouched by what's going on around them. It's a good mix of all that stuff." Here are her picks.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
Best Place To Start Your Morning
: Morning Glory
(735 South 10th Street)
"It's a diner with awesome, locally grown food. Kind of a Southern diner. It's a very local neighborhood vibe, with a mix of people who have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and also people who are young. It's not fancy or really rundown; it's in the middle. It makes me feel really cozy. They have really good biscuits, sausage, and home fries."
Best Place To End Your Night
: The basement at Voyeur
(1221 St. James Street)
"Everything in Philly closes at 2 am, so that place is really good because it's like an after-hours place. The basement is weird--the walls are super weird, tacky '80s looking. They have really good music on Friday nights. It's beer and cocktails in plastic cups, and it's a good place to be when you're ending your night."
Best Place To Eat A Philly Cheesesteak
: Reading Terminal Market
(12th and Arch Streets)
"Pretty much everywhere has cheesesteaks--like, every pizza shop has cheesesteaks--but the best one is in Reading Terminal Market. It's a little more modern for a cheesesteak place; it's still super fatty and greasy, but somehow eating it on a whole wheat roll makes me feel better."
Best Place To Get A Snack For $1
: Center City Pretzel Co.
(816 Washington Avenue)
"Soft pretzels are a really big thing in Philly. The cool thing about [this place] is you get six giant soft pretzels for a dollar. It's an insane deal! The hours are crazy--they open at midnight and they close at noon, so if you're out and you're coming home, it's the best place to go. The also have different dipping sauces. It's pretty sweet."
Best Place To Go Thrifting
(2601 South Front Street)
"There's really good thrift store shopping [in Philadelphia] because it's not super picked-over like New York. I always find some crazy kind of designer find for $5 or something. I got a Sonia Rykiel sweater there and really good vintage Ralph Lauren pieces."
Best Place To Pick Up Experimental House Music
: Molly's Books and Records
(1010 South 9th Street)
"They have really good, weird, rare finds. It's a quirky couple in their early forties who just live above the store and run it. They have everything from old jazz records to weird house music to amazing, rare Philip Glass albums. A mix of everything."
: Pizza Brain
(2313 Frankford Avenue)
"I think this place is really rad. It's decorated with pizza memorabilia and tchotchkes--it's the world's largest collection of pizza stuff. And it's amazing pizza. It's a couple of young guys and it's awesome and I would recommend it to anyone. It's so cool and wacky."
Best Place To People Watch
: The Urban Outfitters "Campus" (5000 South Broad Road)
"There's a lawn and a cafeteria and a coffee shop… you never really have to leave. There's even a gym here! It's awesome people-watching--endless inspiration, since everyone cares how they look and is kind of wacky. it's open to anyone to just hang out there."
Best Place To Go Shopping (That Isn't Urban Outfitters)
: Retrospect Vintage
(508 South Street)
"The best gem of Philly is Retrospect. It's a really awesome, weird little thrift store that's owned by Goodwill but it's their boutique. It's a one-off experimental store for them, I think. It's just really inexpensive, good vintage thrift store vibes and nothing is over $30. I've gotten a lot of really good '90s dresses, and they have a great selection of boots."
Best Place to Bring Philadelphia First-Timers
: Yakitori Boy
(211 North 11th Street)
"I'm really into doing karaoke, so this place in Chinatown is really funny. They have really good food specials every night--some nights it's $1 bbq skewers, or $2 sushi rolls--and then the second floor is the karaoke bar area. You can rent out a room, but you want to be at the bar, for sure, to be with all of these unassuming people who belt out Whitney Houston. Like, what? Who is this random person all by themselves? For me that's always the best time."
Ultimate Philadelphia Spot
: Market Street
"I love all of the weird historical stuff--Independence Hall, Ben Franklin's house, all these weird American Founding Father things in the middle of the city that you walk by every day. It's interesting to be in the middle of the city and be like, Oh wait, this building is three hundred years old. I just love that."