Best of Philly- From a Fashion Girl's Perspective
photo credit for main header: scott frederick photography
The "Best of Philly" list by Philadelphia Magazine comes out yearly, and everyone I know immediately checks what made the cut.. me included. Despite where anyone with a relation to Philly lives, this list seems to matter. I was living in Santa Monica, and saving the restaurants I needed to go to on my next trip back, legit FOMO. Philly ALWAYS has this ridiculous sense of community that haunts you, and makes you feel so involved. It is a thing I never realized was so true until I lived in NYC, and LA.
Having said that, as a true Philadelphian, sometimes I see the list and am outraged/amped/butthurt/potentially violent that my faves did or didn't make the cut. Part of me thinks those places should stay underground so I can continue to enjoy them, but the unselfish part feels like they should get more recognition. So here ya go; my gems in the city I have called home on and off for 12 years...
Best Cocktail- "The Astronaut" at the Continental. I'm not a drinker, but when I do, I want vodka or tequila, minimal alcohol taste, and insta-worthy. This is it. Throwback to Tang (that orange stuff from childhood) lines the rim of a martini glass, and the drink is a beautiful orange color with a spicy orange taste. I like to enjoy it on their roof deck while riding the toy horses they have that are ironically orange.
Continental Midtown Roof Top Bar | Photo via Google Images
Favorite Bar - Hop Sing Laundromat. Period. Nothing else in this city can compete for vibe, and illusion. You MUST follow the rules, figure out where it is, and put away your phones. Plus, it's in Chinatown, which is heaven to me.
But first, TEA - for all of you like me that just don't vibe with coffee. Tea-Do is it! Literally tea and bubble tea heaven on Earth. Saying I frequent this place would an understatement. I am a major fan, and love hanging out here. It is basically a bubble tea club, that is jam packed until about 2am. Perfect for the non-drinking crowd, and anyone who LOVES techno + Jenga!!! For the summer season, I get a Watermelon bubble tea (100% all natural), with regular bubbles.
Best Asian- Obviously, I have some identity issues, or was an Asian in a past life.. I don't fuck around with Asian food. Hands down, best in the city is Ting Wong. The atmosphere is absolutely nothing to write about, especially as a vegetarian. But this place is the SHIT! It is not only the best Asian, but one of the BEST restaurants in Philly. Not greasy, truly authentic Hong Kong cuisine. Get a pan-fried noodle dish.
Me at Ting Wong bursting with excitement in Nov 2016.
Best Indian - I get asked this a lot because of my history/travels to India. For take-out, or casual dining, Ekta in Northern Liberties is best. Their Malai Kofta might as well be out of India, pair it with their Garlic Naan. For an all around perfect experience, Inde Blue is key. This place is so good that for over 5 years prior to them having a location in Philly, i DROVE over the bridge to fucking NJ ::::eyes roll::: because I loved this place so much. Everything here is good, and it is also a great place for people who are not so into Indian food to feel comfortable ordering.
Place to Party, Hard - Voyeur Nightclub. If you wanna rage late night til 4, have 3-4 options for music to dance to, and never be bothered by disgusting men hitting on you.. go here. I've seen some of the best DJ's come through this place. It's a gay club, FYI. If you aren't cool with that, then get off my page.
One of my besties + I at Voyeur in Aug 2015.
Music Venue - The Mann Center. It is so beautifully done in terms of design and sound. The lawn section is also super fun, and has a great view of the skyline. I wish it was always summer time :)
Me + the crew at STS9 at the Mann Center in Sept 2013.
Best Tour - Ok so this seems weird as a resident, but Philly is our country's first city, with the most history of ANY place in USA, so I swear that when people come to visit, or you want to do something different, it's actually a super fun way to spend time. If you're new to Philly, and want to see the goods, and learn the basics, I recommend the "Philly by Night" Big Bus Tour. It's a quick 60-90 mins. If you want to have fun... then get yourself on a segway NOW. I have 0 shame, so it works out for me.
Best Masseuse - I have health issues that sometimes require me to get a massage to ease joint pain. I have tried pretty much every place in the city, several times. I do not like spa-like massages, so if you're looking for that, do not take my recommendations here. For Thai massage or anything that requires a medical know-how, Kevin Starboard is a LIFESAVER GOD SEND, and has learned his techniques all over the world including Asia. He is now available at Judy Moon.
Favorite Yoga Studio - Plain & simple, Amrita Yoga & Wellness. Best teachers I've ever had, best studio I've ever been to (not just in Philly), and best class offerings.
Best Boutique - I am probably going to get a lot of shit for this one, considering my line is in three boutiques in Philly and this is NOT one of them. Downerss Boutique in Fishtown opened last year, and it's exactly what the neighborhood needs more of. A quick stop, a concise merchandise assortment, and a great price tag. If you want a step up from Zara but the same vibe, go here. The store is so LA vibe, clean and full of sunshine. The owner is a doll. I've got some of my favorite pieces here.
Jumpsuit from Downerss Boutique | Photo in Silverlake, California by Allen Daniel
Best Retail Store - Intermix. This is my go-to in Philly, and online. Perfect for evening-wear, denim, shoes, and apparel.
Glass + Other Heady Things - The Funny Monk Emporium. If you don't know what I am referring to here, then this probably isn't for you.. If so, head to Manayunk (it's worth it), ask for Arnold or Alex and tell them Lady Fieg$ sent you.
Spray Tan - I know what you're thinking.. I do have beautiful skin! LOL, but when I wanna feel like I just got back from vacation, get rid of tan lines I have for a wedding, or just feel like shit and want to look better, I admittedly LOVE a good ORGANIC spray-tan. No you will not be orange, no it will not get on your clothes (after your first shower), no it doesn't smell bad. Adrienne at Baked Tanning mixes the formula to be a few shades darker than your natural skin, and it's always perfect.
Hope you have enjoyed my list + actually put it to use! PLZ PLZ PLZ comment below if you do try any of my picks + let me know what you think! Share with your Philly friends, lets get the conversation going :)