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North America > United States of America > Mid-Atlantic > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia Region > Philadelphia > Philadelphia/South

South Philly

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South Philly is a district of Philadelphia.

South Philadelphia district, highlighted on map of Philadelphia County. Click for larger image

Understand[edit]

Famous for its Italian heritage and for being featured in the 1970s movie Rocky, South Philly is home to FDR Park and most of Philadelphia's major professional sports teams - including the Philadelphia Flyers (ice hockey), Sixers (basketball), Eagles (football), Phillies (baseball), and Soul (arena football league). (The city's MLS team, Philadelphia Union, plays in the suburb of Chester). You want a cheese steak? South Philly's where it's at! Recently, South Philly has become home to many Asian and Mexican immigrants. It also includes Ninth St Market (aka Italian Market) and East Passyunk St (roughly 11th and Passyunk SE to Broad St and Snyder, also known as Passyunk Square) which is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants. Its upper boundary is South Street. Arguably the center of nightlife and urban activity in Philadelphia, South Street encompasses almost every kind of urban attitude you'd expect in a major city. Tattoo parlors, cheese steak joints, local designer clothing stores, restaurants, music venues, and local cafes line South Street from Penn's Landing up to about 10th street. Some of the most famous include Jim's cheese steaks, Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo parlor, and the Famous 4th Street Deli. Every night it seems as if there is a street festival going on here.

Society Hill-Queen Village is one of Philadelphia's oldest neighborhoods, site of Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church. Walking around Queen Village will give you a taste of what Ben Franklin might have experienced in Philly when he was alive, as well as give you a peek at Philly's old European roots.

Get in[edit]

South Philly is considered to begin at South Street and below. SEPTA has many bus routes and subway stops to connect you to where you need to go.

See[edit]

Map of Philadelphia/South

  • Society Hill. A posh residential area south of Old City. Other than the stately row-houses and gleaming condominiums, there are some quality drinking and dining establishments, two of the artsy Ritz movie theaters, and a seasonally open market.
  • Bella Vista. A traditionally Italian neighborhood just south of Washington Square, is home to the famous Italian Market, and to an increasing number of restaurants of various ethnicities. Many people in their 20s and 30s have moved into this neighborhood, and it is a popular destination for shopping, food, and drink, all within easy walking distance of South Street.
  • South West Center City. This new vibrant area of the city extends south of South St. and west of Broad St. to the Schuykill River. Much of the movie "The Sixth Sense" was filmed in this location.
  • Queen Village. Another vibrant area extending roughly from Lombard St. to Washington Ave. between Tenth Street and the Delaware river. It was named after Sweden's Queen Christina
  • 1 Franklin D. Roosevelt Park. Located at the bottom of South Philadelphia and rather off-the-beaten-track for visitors (for now), this large park somewhat resembles the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. (although less monumental for sure). It is hoped that in the coming decade, the newly re-developing Naval Business Center will become a major new business, residential, and tourist hub, which will perhaps draw more visitors to this hidden treasure. Spend a lazy afternoon stroll and watch a nice sunset in the Jeffersonian-esque marble gazebo. Also features a good skate park. The American Swedish Historical museum [dead link], founded in 1938, is also in the park. The park is known as "The Lakes" to the locals. It offers many activities such as fishing, bird watching, tennis, baseball and rugby. There is also a skate park underneath the bridge that runs throughout the park. Located within FDR is Bellaire Manor.
  • 2 Walt Whitman Bridge. A long-span suspension bridge connecting South Philly to New Jersey across the Delaware River. Regardless if you are an architecture person or not, the span is something that you can't miss. There is no pedestrian access on the bridge as it carries an Interstate Highway, but views from the water and from the shore are still very beautiful.
Lincoln Financial Field
Walt Whitman Bridge

Do[edit]

  • 1 Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St (between 3rd and 4th Sts), +1 215 922-1011. The TLA is a small, more intimate concert venue that often features a good mix of national acts and local musicians.
  • 2 Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. Summer: Su-Th 11AM-6PM (5PM in the winter), F Sa 11AM-8PM. Mosaic art gallery located on South Street created by artist Isaiah Zagar. A truly unique experience in which he can view the statues, hand made tiles, mirrors, etc made by the artist. Tours are available. $7 adults, $5 students and seniors, $3 children 6-12, free under 5.
  • The Legendary Dobbs, 304 South St, +1 215-501-7288. Historic rock bar that opened in 1974 under the name JC Dobbs and was host to many acts prior to hitting the big time. Such acts included Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and more. After closing down, it was reopened as the Legendary Dobbs and features most nights on both its first and second floor. Concerts include local and small touring act. Range from free to about $15.

Professional sports[edit]

Citizens Bank Field
  • 3 Citizens Bank Field. Home to the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2008 World Series Champions.
  • 4 Wells Fargo Center. Current home of the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) and the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL). Also host to numerous concerts and other events throughout the year.
  • 5 Lincoln Financial Field (The Linc), 1020 Pattison Ave. Current home of the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) and the Temple Owls football team (NCAA). Also the host to numerous concerts and other events throughout the year such as the Army-Navy football game.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 The Italian Market. Heading south from 9th and Christian, this market is always worth a visit. Like an old European market, the sidewalks are lined with stands selling cheap produce, hundred-year-old butcher shops, spice shops and Italian and Mexican delis. Combining the hustle and bustle of a market atmosphere with friendly merchants and high-quality products, the Italian Market is both a local and national attraction. Italian Market (Q6092834) on Wikidata Italian Market, Philadelphia on Wikipedia
  • 2 South Street. Between 9th and Front Streets, holds a plethora of bargain stores and unique boutiques with a distinct urban Philadelphia flair. Retro Vintage, Guacamole and Condom Kingdom are among the most popular stores amidst a large amount of restaurants and bars.
  • 3 Fabric Row (along 4th Street from Bainbridge to Catharine). Popular with locals and visitors seeking unique fabrics.
  • Bicycle Therapy, 2211 South St. Considered the place to go for everything on two wheels.
  • Mia's Boutique, 1748 E Passyunk Ave. Voted countless time for the city's best selection of evening wear.
  • 4 Claudio's Specialty Foods, 924-26 S 9th St (at Hall St), +1 215 627-1873. Daily 9AM-5:30PM. This is actually two storefronts. One is a specialty foods shop with Italian and some Spanish goods but the second, smaller storefront is a "mozzarella factory." They produce mozzarella daily and it's among the best mozzarellas in the US. For foodies, it's a must stop, especially if you're already at the Ninth Street Market.

Eat[edit]

South Philly has quite a few Italian restaurants plus diners and many places to eat. The block of South St. between Front St. and 6th St houses several good eateries worth checking out.

  • 1 Cups and Chairs Tea Cafe, 701-03 S 5th St (at Monroe St/Passyunk Ave), +1 215 238-8832. Opened in 2010, this bright and cozy shop offers a great alternative to the large chains. The friendly proprietor, Kylie, is from Taiwan and is knowledgeable about the over 60 teas offered from around the world. Cookies, paninis, and other light snacks are available. Try the green tea cup cakes.
  • Old Original Nick's Roast Beef, 2149 S 20th St (at Jackson), +1 215 463-4114. 11AM-1AM daily. Opened in 1938, this South Philly staple offers delicious juicy tender roast beef sandwiches and their signature gravy fries to go along with the sandwich. Great place to hangout and watch games. $10.
  • Celebre Pizzeria, 1536 Packer Ave, +1 215 467-3255. Daily 11AM-11PM. Opened in the 1960, Celebre Pizzeria has been serving up some delicious pizzas for thousands of Philadelphians to enjoy. Its one block away from the stadiums, and is a must before heading to a sporting event. Cash only.
  • 2 Oregon Diner, 302 W Oregon Ave (at 3rd St), +1 215 462-5566. 24 hours daily. The Oregon Diner has been family owned and operated since 1992. The chef prepares daily soups & specials along with monthly specials to accompany an already vast menu. The pastry chef also has an enormous bakery display including cookies, pastries, pies and cakes that are baked daily on premises.
  • Brunic's, 2000 S 17th St (at McKean St), +1 215 755-7645. M-F 5:30AM-2:30PM, Sa 5:30AM-2PM, Su 8AM-noon. Brunic's is a gem. A great little place for breakfast or lunch. The service is attentive, the food arrives hot. A real family feel. Homemade comfort food, great soups during the week! A staple in the South Philly area. $5-10.
  • Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, 700 S 4th St, +1 215 922-3274. 8AM-9PM daily. Since 1923, this corner delicatessen has been a Philadelphia tradition. Over the course of the decades, numerous celebrities and international personalities have dined at Famous. A number of films have even included the Famous Deli in their movies most notably, Philadelphia (1993) and In Her Shoes (2005). $11-30.

Cheesesteaks[edit]

Pat's King of Steaks
Geno's Steaks

The most famous Philly cheesesteak shops are in South Philly. Nearly all of these have been mentioned in travel guides and on national television, so large crowds of tourists are a common sight, and you should expect to wait in long lines, particularly on weekends. As these are all take-out windows, there are no indoor seating available, but some have outdoor seating.

  • 3 Pat's King of Steaks, where 9th Street crosses Wharton and Passyunk Ave, +1 215 468-1546. Daily 24 hours. Located at the south end of the Italian Market, Pat's was credited with the invention of the original Philly cheesesteak in the 1930s. No indoor seating, but there are tables outside and a park across the street, where people will hang out to eat their steaks. $7-$10. Pat's King of Steaks (Q7143177) on Wikidata Pat's King of Steaks on Wikipedia
  • 4 Geno's Steaks, 1219 S 9th St (at Passyunk Ave, across from Pat's), +1 215 389-0659. Daily 24 hours. Opened in 1966, Geno's is kitty-corner from rival cheesesteak shop Pat's and has even larger, more garish signs to advertise its location. Founder Joey Vento also used the store to air his personal views, such as his support for police; there is a small dedication to Officer Daniel Faulkner (murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1981) and display cases of police badges from all over the United States. Notably, there was a window sign stating "This is America - When ordering, speak English" which has sparked controversy for being discriminatory to immigrants and tourists. Like Pat's, there are some outdoor tables available. $8-$10. Geno's Steaks (Q5533401) on Wikidata Geno's Steaks on Wikipedia
  • Jim's Steaks, 400 South St, +1 215 928-1911. M-Th 10AM-1AM, F Sa 10AM-3AM, Su 11AM-10PM. After Pat's and Geno's earned national recognition and fame by being featured on television shows, locals have sworn that it doesn't matter if they were overrun by tourists because Jim's had better cheesesteaks anyway. Of course, now everyone has heard this, and Jim's will have long lines around the corner. $7-10. Jim's Steaks (Q15844915) on Wikidata Jim's Steaks on Wikipedia
  • 5 Tony Luke's Old Philly Style Sandwiches, 39 E Oregon Ave, +1 215 551-5725. M-Th 6AM-midnight, F Sa 6AM-2AM, Su closed. Located under the shadow of I-95, Tony Luke's is popular with locals, and more difficult to get to for tourists without cars. Unlike Pat's, Geno's or Jim's, Tony Luke's offers a much wider variety of cheesesteak types, as well as burgers. Outdoor seating only. $7-10.
  • 6 John's Roast Pork, 14 East Snyder Avenue, +1 215 463-1951. M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-7PM, Su closed. Not far from Tony Luke's is John's, with a similar menu. The name refers to the Philadelphia roast pork sandwich, derived from the Italian porchetta, served with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe (rapini); however, John's is also well noted for its cheesesteaks. Outdoor seating only. $7-10. John's Roast Pork (Q19881013) on Wikidata John's Roast Pork on Wikipedia
  • Ishkabibble's. Since 1979, Ishkabibble's has been serving cheesesteaks, chicken cheesesteaks, hoagies, fries & more plus a lemonade/grape juice fusion drink called "The Gremlin." Now with two locations.
  • 7 Ishkabibble's I, 337 South St (between 3rd and 4th Sts), +1 215-423-4337. Su-Th 9AM–11PM, F Sa 9AM–3AM. The original location, with window service only.
  • 8 Ishkabibble's II, 517 South St (at Randolph, between 5th and 6th Sts), +1 215-922-0494. Su-Th 9AM–11PM, F Sa 9AM–3AM. Dining room service available

Delis and fast food[edit]

  • Chickie's (10th & Federal Sts.)
  • Dmitri's (4th & Catherine Sts.)
  • John's Roast Pork (Snyder & Weccacoe Sts)
  • Penrose Diner (20th & Penrose Ave.)

Fine dining[edit]

  • Champps Restaurant (Snyder and Delaware Aves) (American Cuisine)
  • Johnny Chang's Asian Restaurant (2601 S. Broad St.) (Asian Cuisine)
  • L'Angolo Ristorante (1415 W. Porter St.) (Italian Cuisine)
  • Mamma Maria, 1637 E Passyunk Ave. Fantastico. Just like sitting down at a table in the owners town of Valle San Giovanni in Abruzzo, Italy.
  • Marra's, 1734 E Passyunk Ave, +1 215 463-9249. A cozy, family-owned Italian restaurant featuring pizza in the heart of South Philly's Italian district.
  • Popi's Italian Restataurant (3120 S. 20th St.) (Italian cuisine)
  • Franco & Luigi's Pizzeria (13th & Tasker Sts.) (Italian cuisine)

Desserts[edit]

  • Italiano's Water Ice (12th & Shunk Sts.)
  • Termini Brothers Pasties (8th & Dickinson Sts.)
  • Pop's Water Ice (Oregon and Juniper St.)
  • John's Water Ice (7th and Christian St)
  • Isgro Pastries, 1009 Christian St, +1 215-923-3092.
  • Rim Cafe (9th and Federal St)
  • Belle Cakery (1437 E Passyunk Ave)
  • Capogiro (1625 E Passyunk Ave)

Drink[edit]

  • Benny the Bum's, 7th & Packer Ave. Great bar atmosphere with a diverse crowd.
  • Bob & Barbara's, 1509 South St, +1 215 545-4511. Classic dive bar atmosphere with PBR paraphernalia plastered on every imaginable surface—take a guess at what their drink of choice is. Known for its weekly drag show on Thursday nights (a must-see) but has added other events like a live band on weekends, ping-pong night, and Quizzo.
  • Chickie's and Pete's Cafe, 1526 E Packer Ave. A great place for every event. Huge TVs are always showing games around the country, but you can also get the privacy of a booth. If you feel like picking on the food there you can't go wrong with their world famous crab fries.
  • Doc's Union Pub, 2nd & Mifflin Sts. A classic Irish pub with classic Irish characters.
  • Rally Coffee, 701 S. 7th St., +1 215 9253657, . Sa Su 8AM - 5PM, M-F 7AM - 6PM. A partner with Pennsylvania based brands to serve local coffee and snacks. Also a community-based rental venue and coworking space.
  • Royal Tavern, 937 E Passyunk Ave, +1 215 389-6694. Tavern with upscale (but reasonably priced) bar food. Plenty of vegetarian options. Popular with hipsters.
  • 1 Grace Tavern, 2229 Grays Ferry Ave (at South St), +1 215 893-9580. Daily 11:30AM-2AM. A local favorite watering hole, with a great selection of different draft beers that get rotated regularly and at affordable prices. They also make some of the best burgers for the price in Philly, which come with a helping of fries and a delicious bourbon mayonnaise sauce imported from Monk's, another local pub from the same owner. $5-15.

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through South Philadelphia
Northwest PhiladelphiaCenter City West/Center City East  N SEPTA Broad Street icon.png S  END


This district travel guide to South is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.