There are so many reasons I love this little city of mine. I’ve called it one of the most under-rated cities in America, and I stand by that description. Philly is often overshadowed by neighboring NYC or Washington DC…but here’s the thing: nobody cares.
Local LOVE Philadelphia: Our Fave Small Businesses To Shop & Support
Philadelphia has its own unique personality, a rich diverse culture, and an ethos that’s one part brotherly love and one part, uh…let’s call it a brash self-confidence. Which is the nicest way I could think of to describe that whole, ‘F- you I am who I am’ thing Philly has going on (like this, haha).
And then, of course, there’s the FOOD.
To be honest, an entire guide to shopping and eating in Philadelphia is long overdue. But that’s not this article.
For now, I simply wanted to highlight a few of my favorite local haunts, the places I’m desperate to have stay in business (please please please), the places who have managed to figure out how to safely deliver (or ship) during this crazy coronavirus pandemic.
Favorite Philly Boutiques To Support During The Pandemic
Joseph Fox Bookshop – This is a such a special place. It’s the tiniest bookstore ever…which, in this case, happily means that it’s seriously well-edited. The kids’ section — no bigger than a closet (well, a suburban one, anyway) — has the most thoughtful selection of kids’ books I’ve ever found. When Raines was struggling to learn how to read (his ability to comprehend far outpaced his ability to read), the folks here took so much care to help him find a book he could read without being bored. He left feeling smart and valued, and I cannot thank them enough. Unfortunately, they’ve closed both their storefront and their online ordering, but they’ve just made gift cards available. I highly recommend a trip in person once this is all over. It really is one of my favorite stores in Philly.
Voloshin – This line is designed by Philadelphia local, Amy Voloshin, and hand-printed in India. Not only are Amy, her husband Leo (and their two kids) what my mom would call ‘good people’, but their lines are always both beautiful and eminently practical (Amy and I both wash and dry all of our Voloshin favorites). Some of my very favorite pieces — the ones I get alllll of the compliments on, the ones my friends and family steal from my closet — are by Amy Voloshin. My favorites from their current line (all available for safe shipping) include this white linen dress, the cloud-soft gauze Ella top (like a t-shirt but better), or this midi dress that would be comfortable (yet pretty) in any situation.
Printfresh – Another company started by Amy and Leo Voloshin. Printfresh originally started as a stationery company, but they’ve now started creating pajamas. True to form, Amy’s prints make my heart beat fast. These are the happiest pajamas I’ve EVER seen (and made from 100% cotton so they get softer with every wear). I have the Bagheera set, but you can see the whole line here (check out the Monkey Business set — so good).
NINOBrand – This line is designed by Bela Shehu, who, I am convinced, is the coolest person in Philadelphia. She’s the genius behind Philly’s Private School Events, originally hails from Albania, and also happens to be someone I turn to when feeling…stuck. There’s something about curling up in her “atelier” with a little whiskey, fashion, and Belu’s own unique brand of tough love (ha!) that I find both refreshing and inspiring. Like Bela, her pieces (all made in the US) have a modern aesthetic (often with unexpected details or cuts) but somehow feel…timeless. Bela has managed to work out a safe shipping process and — even better — is offering an exclusive discount of 50% off with code TME50. Good until 4/19. (My top 3 favorites on her site? This top (also in gray), this dress, and my favorite choker.
Dye It Pepper – I love finding out my friends have hidden talents. And Jac (one of the most stylishly dressed moms I know) has a big (random?) one: tie-dye. The girl has started a business tie-dying — check out her IG here — and my. mind. is. blown. I especially love the ‘Sacs by Jac‘ service where you fill a sack with your own clothes…send it back to Jackie and…voila. She ships your stuff back, tie-dyed to perfection. (There’s a little more involved — you get to choose the style of tie-dying, etc., but it’s seriously so easy. I have a video of the whole thing coming out soonish…)
MOMO’s Treehouse – Ugh, I love this place so hard it HURTS. It’s such a happy store, and one that — even Raines — has not yet aged out of. There is not a single birthday that goes by that doesn’t involve MOMO’s. If you live in Philly, online orders can be picked up at their storefront with no-contact delivery, or shipped anywhere. Additionally, they are offering ‘Boredom Buster’ packs that look seriously cool. Some are grouped by age, while others are by themes. The themes include solo play, logic games, family game night, etc., I just ordered ‘solo play’.
South Fellini – If we’re ever in need of some Philly jawn…this is the place.
My Favorite Philly Restaurants Delivering Takeout During the Pandemic
Trattoria Carina – Before the coronavirus hit, we were here…almost once a week? It’s the place we’ve gone to for birthdays, the place we’ve rolled in midweek (with kids) when we haven’t had time to grocery shop, it’s the place we’ve lingered over countless dinners with friends, it’s the first place we take our out-of-town family, and it’s the place we celebrated Gwen’s recent engagement! The staff knows my kids’ standing orders (and got them both addicted to caesar salads), and the food is both fresh and comforting. We’re so thrilled they’re still delivering. Not only is their full menu available on Caviar, but they’ve recently added fresh pasta & sauces (to cook at home) as well!! (I’m constantly craving the chicken milanese.) Follow on IG (@carinatrattoria) to get the latest.
V Street – One of the best places for happy hour in the city, V Street is 100% vegan street food. It’s sister restaurant, Vedge, happens to be one of the best restaurants in Philly, and the food (at either place) is amazing. While we obviously can’t pop in for happy hour, lunch delivery is available via Door Dash. Get the noodles or the ‘cheesesteak’. SO GOOD.
Rosy’s Taco Bar – Whenever we’re craving tacos, homemade salsas, and giant piles of nachos…ROSY’S. The wings and the churros are really good, too. (Ugh, now I’m getting hungry.) Someday, when this is all over, pop into Rosy’s for happy hour — the margaritas are…dangerously good. Delivery still available via Caviar or Grubhub. For the latest, follow their IG (@rosystacobar).
Cafe Lutecia – If this were a normal April weekend…you’re likely to find the four of us clustered around a little table at Cafe Lutecia. I cannot even begin to describe how happy this places makes all of us. It’s one of the most authentic French cafes we’ve found outside of France — but it’s the real kind, not the fancy macaroon kind. The kids are obsessed with the tomato bisque and grilled cheese, Mike always gets the sandwich special (comes with a fried egg on top), and if I’m not getting the quiche or the goat cheese omelette…I get the Alesia sandwich. Almost all of which are available for delivery right now. Call the day before to schedule the delivery (they’re delivering the food themselves), and check IG (@cafe_lutecia_)to see the daily specials. We just ordered ours for Saturday, and I cannot even begin to describe the level of excitement to have at least THIS part of our old life creep back into our…new normal.
Pumpkin – Truth be told, we haven’t yet tried Pumpkin. But so many of our friends have raved about this place, so it’s high on our list. (And the owner, who I happened to randomly meet, is hysterical.) The same friends that have been raving about Pumpkin just mentioned that they’re doing a special 3-course delivery (or takeout) option which sounds like a pretty perfect fun date-night at home. (I’d just feed the kids quesadillas and stick them in front of a screen, haha.)
I know I missed a TON of other places — would love if you guys shared your favorites below as well. Again, this isn’t a complete guide to Philly, just a few of my local favorites to support during this time of upheaval.