Midtown Village is home to some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, offering everything from farm-to-table eats in a 30-seat BYOB to casual brunch fare to modern Italian at The Independent Hotel’s own Little Nonna’s. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert are never far away in our neighborhood, whether you’re wandering down Locust in search of a quick bite or settling in at Talula’s Garden for an upscale evening on the square.
Just because you won’t find a Philly Cheesesteak at Vedge doesn’t make it any less essential to the fabric of Philadelphia’s culinary scene. Vegetable-based but not lacking for decadence, Vedge’s menu includes delicacies like Fresh Hearts of Palm Vindaloo, Seared Black Kale and Crispy & Creamy Sunchokes. In addition to its showstopping array of entrees, Vedge offers a full cocktail list, each drink infused with creative floral and botanical additions. This must-visit vegetarian restaurant sits in an artfully designed space less than one block from The Independent Hotel.
Tucked away in a charming space on Locust Street, Little Nonna’s updates the classic flavors of South Philly Italian food with Midtown Village style to create a friendly neighborhood gathering spot. Created by Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, the pair responsible for standout local restaurants like Lolita, Grocery, and Barbuzzo, this Philadelphia italian restaurant is conveniently located at the Independent Hotel. Start your meal with a rich Italian Chianti or a bubbly San Pellegrino before moving on to Eggplant Parmigiana and Ricotta Cavatelli with duck sausage, taggiasca olive, rapini, pecorino and pear. Don’t forget dessert, whether you opt for a cup of local coffee from La Colombe, an after-dinner Amaro, or Little Nonna’s famed Hazelnut Cannoli.
This Philly favorite operates three locations, one of which is just steps away from The Independent Hotel. Green Eggs serves classic breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes daily, but isn’t afraid to mix it up with creative menu options like Quinoa Porridge, Red Velvet Pancakes and Short Rib Benedict. You can’t go wrong with the restaurant’s signature and most simple dish: Eggs Your Way with breakfast meat and fresh bread from local Le Bus Bakery.
Overseen by famed Philly restaurateur Stephen Starr, up-and-coming young chef Charles Parker, and farm-to-table luminary Aimee Olexy, Talula’s Garden takes New American cuisine to new heights in an art deco-style building on Washington Square. Brunch and dinner each offers a collection of sublime dishes, including Pan-Roasted Whole Porgy with heirloom radishes and shishito peppers, Brown Butter Glazed Potato Gnocchi, and Duck Pappardelle with wine-scented apricots.
Dining Around Town
Shopping in Philadelphia
Some of the premier shopping in Philadelphia is available within minutes of The Independent Hotel. Whether you’re strolling the tree-lined streets of Midtown Village in search of local flavor at one of the neighborhood’s tastefully curated boutiques or going all-out on Walnut Street, Philadelphia’s top retail destination, you’ll find everything you need — and more — in Center City.
Located on the north end of Midtown Village, Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates is a great place to pick up a sweet gift for a loved one or a tasty treat for yourself. The chocolate is made using locally and regionally sourced ingredients, including cream and butter from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and herbs and honey from nearby farms. Chef Marcie Blaine Turney, the co-operator of Little Nonna’s at The Independent Hotel, infuses her chocolate creations with bold, lively flavors like cardamom, fig, pumpkin spice, coffee and whiskey.
Walnut Street Shops
Stepping outside the borders of Midtown Village to the heart of Center City expands your retail horizons to include a vast array of stores, ranging from upscale to mass-market and everything in between. Walnut Street is to Philly what Fifth Avenue is to New York City: the best, brightest and biggest reside here. Spend an afternoon strolling Walnut Street and stop in at the Apple Store, Tiffany & Co., Holt’s Cigar Company, lululemon athletica, Anthropologie, and City Sports.
Just a few blocks away from Center City’s major retailers sits a decidedly different kind of store: Verde. A true local gem in Midtown Village, Verde specializes in women’s jewelry and accessories, along with a carefully curated selection of women’s clothing and home goods. Verde is a great place to stop during the holiday season — or any season — if you’re looking for a gift for a loved one — plus, it’s operated by Midtown Village luminary/restaurateur/chef/chocolatier Marcie Blaine Turney, who whips up fine Italian fare at Little Nonna’s at The Independent Hotel.
From jazz to hip-hop to indie rock, Philadelphia has served as an incubator for some of America’s most groundbreaking music. One of the best places to celebrate the living history of Philadelphia’s music scene is Rustic Music, a record store in Midtown Village. Pick up hard-to-find vintage vinyl, take a guitar on a brief test-drive, or just browse the racks at this classic piece of Philly’s cultural parchment.
Shopping Around Town
Arts & Culture Around Town
Once America’s most populous city, its one-time industrial center, and the nation’s temporary capital, Philadelphia is home to a wide variety of historical sights and attractions. Philadelphia landmarks trace the history of America alongside the history of the city — from its days as the capital of Pennsylvania Colony to its modern status as the country’s sixth-largest metropolitan area.
Explore the city’s parks, historic districts and museums to gain an appreciation of Philadelphia’s contributions to America — or just take a brief walk. You’re bound to find something old and learn something new.
Philly’s most famous attraction, the Liberty Bell, is housed here, along with Independence Hall, the Portrait Gallery, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and much more. Admission to see the Liberty Bell is free of charge, and other Independence National Historical Park attractions cost less than $5. If you plan on visiting historic Independence Hall — where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed — please plan on registering for a timed ticket ahead of time (tickets are free). Whether or not you step into any of the buildings onsite to see American history first-hand, we recommend walking the grounds. The architecture alone is enough to transport you back to America’s early days.
This is a can’t-miss Philadelphia landmark, in a nearly literal sense. Perched directly in the middle of Center City — where Broad Street meets Market Street — this mammoth building was once the tallest habitable building in the world (from 1901 to 1908). At 548 feet, Philadelphia City Hall has been stripped of that title many times over at this point, but it still stands as one of America’s finest architectural wonders. The majestic Second Empire-style building houses Philadelphia’s municipal offices and attracts the attention of onlookers from every angle.
Philadelphia’s ever-present charm gets taken up a notch on Antique Row, a historic section of Washington Square West that offers an array of antique shops, furniture stores, clothing boutiques, bookstores, craft shops and dining options. The district, anchored by Pine Street between Ninth and Broad streets, is worth a visit for its architectural grace and elegance as much as for the wares sold in its stores. Take an afternoon stroll along the tree-lined streets and take a trip back in time without leaving the middle of Philadelphia.
Offering 6.4 acres of relaxing respite and lush greenery in the heart of Philadelphia, Washington Square is one of five square parks originally included in the city’s grid. Washington Square lives on today as a piece of living history, serving not only as a place for residents and visitors to relax, but also as a piece of Independence National Historical Park.
We’ve already given you a list of some of Philly’s most famous movie appearances. But of course there are dozens of other films that have made Philadelphia a part of their story, and many of them feature food. If you want to see Philly through the cinematic lens and grab a bite to eat while you’re at it, check out some of the city’s restaurants that have been featured in...