If you didn’t know already, the Mike McCann Team absolutely loves Philadelphia! We want you to love this city just as much as we do so we are highlighting some of our favorite local hot spots in each neighborhood to help you thoroughly enjoy everything Philly has to offer. No matter how long you’ve lived here, whether you just re-located or have been a resident for decades, there’s always more to explore and uncover in Philadelphia’s endless supply of hidden treasures. Our featured neighborhood today is Washington Square West!
With something for everyone, it is very easy to fall in love with the historic charm of Center City’s Washington Square West neighborhood. With Washington Square Park as its cornerstone, the neighborhood offers fascinating attractions, a variety of dining options and an overall feeling of class, comfort and adventure. Don’t believe us? Just try taking a drive down one of the tree lined streets or walking through one of the quaint, cobblestone alleys without being taken in by the urban beauty and masterful architecture. Just try it!
Washington Square is filled with history!
The picturesque landscape of Washington Square Park has enough history packed into it to fill several textbooks, all outlined by plaques and monuments scattered throughout the park. Make sure you visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and stop by the nearby Curtis Center to view Maxfield Parrish’s breathtaking mosaic, The Dream Garden.
After you get your fill of relaxing in the park, take a walk a few blocks up to 8th and Pine St. for some historic sightseeing at Pennsylvania Hospital. Not only is this building gorgeous but it is actually the very first hospital ever to exist in the United States. Whether you just want to take a peek or you are interested in a full blown tour, we definitely recommend that you take time to view the nation’s oldest surgical amphitheater which once operated with no electricity, dependent on natural light from the skylight above. This landmark offers the perfect combination of fun and education!
There’s amazing coffee!
If you know anything about Mike McCann and his Five Star Team, you will know that we run on extremely high doses of caffeine and when it comes to quality coffee, we do not compromise. Luckily, it seems like you can’t throw a rock in the Washington Square West Neighborhood without hitting one of the many independent coffee shops. (We really wouldn’t suggest throwing rocks at them though.) Each coffee shop is equipped with its own sense of personality, featuring unique atmospheres and signature drinks. For some high powered coffee in a spacious environment perfect for taking a break while you refuel, we suggest Bodhi Coffee on 10th street (between Spruce and Locust). If you are in the mood for some particularly delicious jet fuel, brewed in an almost scientific manner, head over to the Greenstreet Coffee Co. at the corner of 11th and Spruce Streets. Don’t limit your consumption to these locations though, we also recommend you experience the story book themed dining room at Cake and the Beanstalk or the curl up with a good book coziness of Good Karma Café.
Enjoy restaurants galore!
It is no secret that Philly has a lot to offer when it comes to dining out and Washington Square West is no exception. From quick-stop pizza shops to high-class fine dining, WSW has just about anything you could ask for. Here are some of our favorites!
If you are looking for an amazing lunch spot with menu options that will knock your socks off, Talula’s Daily should be your first choice. The walls and counters of Talula’s Daily are lined with tons of mouthwatering meal options from pre-made sandwiches and salads to home-style hot meals. They even offer an impressive marketplace with tons of snacks and desserts to take away. The only downside of Talula’s is that if you stop for lunch you may leave too stuffed to go on with the rest of your day.
For lunch, dinner or after work drinks, Varga Bar is definitely one of Washington Square’s best bar-restaurant combinations. With a beer menu that goes on for days, adorably named cocktails and a menu that goes far beyond what could be considered bar foodyou will definitely want to make Varga Bar one of your go-to spots. You can soak in the weather and dine outside or take in a game and chill at the bar, day or night, Varga Bar is definitely the place to be.
Want to treat the vegan or vegetarian in your life to a special night? Look no further than the all-vegan dining at Vedge. This fairly recent installation to the Washington Square area has taken Philadelphia by storm. It has received constant press and praise since opening, as the owners of Vedge have truly turned vegan cuisine into an art form and offered it in an atmosphere that is pure class. Like all fine dining, Vedge does come with a price tag, but do not let that deter you from getting one of the best meals in Philadelphia. While you are there do not forget to pick up Vedge’s cookbook so that you can bring some of their phenomenal vegetable inspired dishes home.
It’s a perfect place for shopping!
If you are someone who loves to shop as much as we do, Washington Square West offers some options that provide a break from the mundane malls and big box stores. Historic Antiques Row offers hours of non-stop shopping and opportunities to find the perfect piece that your home has been missing. While you are browsing the numerous antiques stores along Pine St. (9th to Broad St.), make sure you stop in some of the art galleries and boutique shops along the way. We recommend SOTA (Spirit of the Artist) and Blendo.
There’s fabulous nightlife!
Although we spend our evenings studying the newest developments in real estate here at the Mike McCann team, we are told that WSW has a pretty hip nightlife. If you are a college student or 20 something with a taste for German beer then Bru at 13th and Chestnut is for you. Craving tequila and nachos? Try El Vez on 13th Street for a festive environment and tasty margaritas. If you are not in the mood to get too wild and crazy but still want a pleasant night out on the town, head over to Walnut Street Theatre to take in some history, culture and entertainment.
Come on Down!
Well, you’ve heard why we love Washington Square West so much, now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments or on Facebook why YOU love Washington Square West. We can’t wait to hear from you!