Summer in the City: The Philadelphia City Guide
Though our roots are in Japan, our home is in Philadelphia.
A city, at its best, is made up of places that feel ours, havens that offer shelter when we are lost, and hidden spots that continue to surprise us through the years. The spirit of discovery is alive in the city, in the spaces we claim when we try a new kind of tea or buy a new favorite book. This guide is our love letter to Philadelphia, a city where so many of us have claimed places that feel safe, familiar, and entirely ours- places that feel like home. From a tiny boutique in Callowhill to our concept store in Midtown Village, Philadelphia has welcomed us from the beginning and we, in turn, have explored it accordingly.
In the making of this city guide, we crowd-sourced suggestions from our entire team, narrowing them down into 26 spots that sum up what Philadelphia means to us. We’ve taken care to spotlight places that have a special place in the hearts of a member of our team, whether it’s our photographer’s favorite coffee shop or our community manager’s favorite outdoor market. Every spot is within a one-mile radius of the Rikumo concept store, and we've even included some of our personal recommendations like the best places for happy hour and menu items you can't miss.
We’re dispatching the City Guide at our concept store and at participating locations throughout the summer, a perfect time for visitors and locals to get outside and start exploring. These places have been discovered over years of exploring our home city, and there is still so much more to find. Here, a few places to get started.
709 S. 4th St. | Tues: 11am-7pm / Wed: 11am-5pm / Thurs-Sat: 11am-7pm / Sun: 12pm-5pm
With an amalgam of rare first editions and artist monographs, walking inside Brickbat Books feels like venturing into the personal library of the world’s most interesting dinner party host.
47 N 2nd St | Mon-Sat: 12pm-7pm / Sun: 12pm-5pm
With a modern selection of women's vintage (leather jackets, straw bags, Levi’s, etc.) and a rotating roster of artist pop-ups, this vintage mecca is an ode to the art of curation.
135 N. 3rd St. | Tues-Fri: 11am-5pm / Sat: 12pm-6pm / Sun: 12pm-5pm
This dreamy Old City shop carries hard-to-find Japanese designers alongside wispy, endlessly romantic garments. Owner Julia Okun’s eye for superior craftsmanship gives the sun-drenched shop the storied atmosphere of old-school ateliers. Read our interview with Julia here.
37 N. Third Street | Mon-Sat: 11am-7pm / Sun: 11am-5pm
Personal expression is the bread and butter of this beloved boutique, which stocks independent labels like Paloma Wool, Caron Callahan, and Twenty Seven Ceramics. A back room filled with vintage finds caters to those who aren’t interested in looking like everybody else.
716 S. 4th St. | Thurs-Sat: 12pm-7pm / Sun: 11am-5pm
Our Journal editor's favorite shop, this cheerful lifestyle shop stocks goods from Japanese artist Ken Kagami, candy-colored drinkware, and a diverse zine library.
1 Tippling Place
2006 Chestnut St. | Tues-Thurs: 5pm-1am / Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am / Sun: 5pm-1am
A homey, mid-century parlor bar serving complex cocktails without pretension. We recommend asking the bartenders to surprise you. If you like ginger cocktails, their version of a classic Penicillin is near-perfect.
Happy Hour- Tues-Fri: 5pm-7pm
120 13th St. | Cafe: Opens at 7am | Dinner: Mon-Tues: 5pm-10pm / Wed-Thurs: 5pm-11pm / Fri-Sat: 5pm-12pm / Sun: 5pm-9pm
Sushi, sake, and dumplings make Double Knot a stylish choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it’s the subterranean izakaya-style dining room, which serves yakitori grilled meats in the evening, that sets it apart from the rest. The lunch special (bahn-mi or rice and noodle bowls) is a great deal at less than $10.
Happy Hour- Mon-Sun: 4pm-7pm
320 Walnut St. | Tue: 8am-5pm / Wed-Thu: 8am-8:30pm / Fri: 8am-5pm / Sat-Sun: 9am-4:30pm
It’s not enough to describe Frieda as just a cafe, or a marketplace, or a community center. At its core, Frieda is a gathering place for all generations, a space where a millennial book club can enjoy afternoon tea next to a group of seniors playing a round of Mah Jongg.
1102 Chestnut St. | Mon-Sat: 11am-3pm, 4pm-9:30pm
Our favorite ramen in the city has a spicy kick, large portions, and a good selection of Japanese sodas. BYOB and cash only.
248 S. 11th St. | Mon-Fri: 7am-3pm / Sat-Sun: 8am-3pm
Inspired by the Italian hoagie shops, Jewish delis, and Greek diners of old-school Philadelphia, Middle Child serves lunch break favorites with a side of humor.
1516 Sansom St. | Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-11pm / Fri: 11:30am-12am / Sat: 11:00am-12am / Sun: 11:00am-10pm
Neon lights bring a happy glow into this stylish taqueria, which serves a rainbow of margaritas for the happy hour crowd. Plan your visits accordingly: taco Tuesday patrons receive a free house margarita with any taco order, while Sunday mornings are best spent nursing a breakfast burrito. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri: 5pm-7pm
2218 Walnut St. | Cafe: Mon-Fri: 7am-5:30pm / Sat-Sun 8am-10:30pm / Dinner: Wed-Sun 5:30pm-10:30pm
From the founders of Reanimator Coffee and Stock, Res Ipsa (Latin for “it speaks for itself”) serves artfully arranged Italian plates in a casual BYO cafe setting.
Vernick Food & Drink
2031 Walnut St. | Dinner- Tues-Sun: 5pm-11:00pm / Bar- Tues-Sun: 4:30pm-1:00am
James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Vernick’s experimental twists on comfort food relays a modest but ambitious vision of new American cooking.
Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery
629 9th St. | Mon-Sun: 7am-10pm
Multiple spacious rooms, a cozy atmosphere, and late closing hours make Chapterhouse an ideal place to read after work. The chai latte, with its spicy kick, is an office favorite.
18 S. 3rd St. | Mon-Fri: 7am-7pm / Sat-Sun: 8am-7pm
Our favorite coffee shop in Old City serves delicious coffee, house-made breads, and, on occasion, market day canele. The modern, mellow atmosphere that settles in the afternoon makes it the perfect spot to write a paper or relax with a pot of tea.
Ray's Cafe & Tea House
141 N. 9th St. | Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm / Fri: 8am-8pm / Sat: 11:30am-8:00pm
This unassuming Chinatown cafe serves a complex siphon-brewed house coffee, along with cold brew and Japanese charcoal-roasted coffee. There is a full Chinese and Taiwanese lunch box and dinner menu for days when caffeine doesn’t offer enough fuel.
Win Win Coffee Bar
931 Spring Garden St. | Wed-Thurs: 4pm-12am / Fri-Sat: 4pm-2am / Sun: 4pm - 12am
This collectively-owned coffee shop transforms into a bar and dance floor when the sun goes down. The back kitchen houses Pizza Gutt, whose cult-favorite pies sell out in minutes. We suggest reserving your pie in advance via Instagram at @pizza_gutt.
Happy Hour- Wed-Thurs: 5pm-7pm
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway | Tues-Sun: 11am-5pm
An avid chemist and art collector, Dr. Albert Barnes amassed one of the most important private art collections of the 20th century. His passion for impressionism lives on in his eponymous foundation, which boasts rare works from the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Giorgio de Chirico, and Edgar Degas.
The Italian Market
1100th block of S. 9th St. | Tues-Sat: 8am-5pm / Sun: 8am-3pm
This beloved outdoor food market personifies the colorful spirit of South Philadelphia. A hot-off-the-oven pretzel from Center City Pretzel Co. is a perfect midnight snack.
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St. | Mon-Sun: 8am-6pm
One of the oldest indoor farmers’ markets in America, Reading Terminal has been open since 1892. No visit is complete without a reuben from Hershel's East Side Deli or a shake from Bassett’s, though we suggest stopping in during the afternoon to avoid the lunch rush.
PHS Pop Up Garden
Check here for a rotating list of locations | Mon-Thurs: 5pm-10pm / Fri-Sat: 2pm-12am / Sun: 12pm-10pm
A collection of green oasis built in revitalized empty lots, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's seasonal pop-ups are the perfect location for an outdoor afternoon drink.
The Rail Park
1284-1200 Noble St. | 7am-10pm
Philadelphia’s answer to New York’s High Line, this recently unveiled elevated park covers three miles of previously abandoned rail lines.
Washington Square West Park
210 W. Washington Square | Open 24 hrs.
Our park bench of choice to watch the world pass by.
If, city guide in tow, you've already exhausted all your options for things to do, don't worry! We've thrown in even more recommendations on our digital map, available below. You can also download the guide on your phone for easy exploring on the go. Happy travels.
WORDS BY MAGALI ROMAN