Discover Something New at Home in Philadelphia

Posted Nov 20th 2013 11:00 AMUpdated Dec 20th 2013 10:56 AM

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Center city Philadelphia
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Philly is in the midst of a makeover, thanks to a residential real estate boom and influx of younger residents, empty-nesters and families with small children. Upscale apartment towers, office building conversions and contemporary row homes are rising in Center City and in burgeoning neighborhoods, like East Passyunk, Fishtown, the Loft District and University City. Amidst the swell of craft beer bars, fair-trade coffee shops and hipster boutiques, the city is still keeping it real.

New Restaurant: Talula's Daily

Talula's Daily is an all-day cafe on Washington Square that serves fresh scones, muffins and coffee in the morning, salads and sandwiches and hot entrees for lunch, and a set five-course "supper" for $50. The look of the place is shabby chic, courtesy of Philadelphia-based retailer Anthropologie, which provides the dishes, glassware and other accessories (and sells them there).

Newly Hip Hood: Fishtown

Fishtown continues to evolve into the one of the city's hippest nightlife destinations, with the intersection of Frankford and Girard avenues as its anchor. Here, you can grab a burger and see an indie rock band at Johnny Brenda's, chow down on dry-rub-style barbecue from Brooklyn transplant Fette Sau, throw back German beers around the fire pit at the indoor-outdoor Frankford Hall or sample the much buzzed-about pizza at Beddia, a tiny storefront with just two tables that locally sources all the ingredients for its thin-crust pies.

Word on the Street

In this sports-crazy town, locals are debating new restaurants and food trends with the same fevered pitch they discuss the city's teams. There's a constant buzz around the food scene, with restaurateurs and chefs like Jose Garces, power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran and "Top Chef" contestants Jason Cichonski and Nicholas Elmi getting boldface treatment and bloggers breathlessly chronicling every development. Before making dinner plans, catch up on the latest kitchen fires on Foobooz.com.

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A longtime Philly resident who has written for The Washington Post, USA TODAY and Gayot.com, Robert DiGiacomo makes it his personal business to steer tourists away from the overrated cheesesteak stands in favor of another classic sandwich, the Italian hoagie. He also admits to being overly fond of the city's bakeries, a habit he tries to counterbalance with long walks around town with the mighty Mabel, his chihuahua-mix puppy, by his side.

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