For the first time since 1948, the Democratic Convention is back in Philadelphia — the birthplace of American democracy. Check out our nation’s first capital city with Yelp’s guide to Philly!
Long days and a crowded itinerary leave little time for sussing out where to go for food, drinks, and fun in a new city. We’ve planned ahead and done the hard work for you with this handy pocket guide. Pull up these businesses on the Yelp app and go straight for the good stuff!
Remember, this is America, so the cuisine is as varied as the people! Enjoy the food of our forefathers at Stargazy, the British pie shop that churns out delicious savory pies over mashed potatoes with parsley liquor, sausage rolls and traditional British desserts. If you don’t feel like paying homage to the country that created our need for democracy, try the roast pork sandwich at John’s Roast Pork. Sure, you may think the Philly cheesesteak is the city’s local sandwich, but this sleeper hit starring sliced pork, garlicky broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a seeded bun might just make you change your step (although maybe not your vote).
If you’re in the mood for food that makes you feel like you’re vacationing abroad without actually leaving the city, head to Kanella South. You’ll be swimming in the Mediterranean in your heart at this Greek spot, where ordering all the starters to share as a group is key. For Asian eats, try Khmer Kitchen, a place locals consistently describe as authentic Cambodian cuisine at wallet-friendly prices. Don’t forget to BYOB!
Whether or not the bars are open past 2am this year, you’re gonna want a drink at this Convention. For a fancy time, check out one of Philly’s most talked-about hidden gems, Hop Sing Laundromat. Take note of the strict policies: no sneakers, no cameras. Don’t feel like dressing up? Get the classic dive bar experience at Bob & Barbara’s on South Street. Order the Citywide Special — a shot of Jim Beam and can of PBR for just $3. Check the website for special events!
A quick car ride to Kensington will land you at one of the newest bars in Philadelphia, Martha. Everything on the menu is sourced locally, right down to the liquor in the cocktails. Bonus: Martha boasts some of the tastiest hoagies around. That’s right — hoagies. Closer to center city, look for craft beer, wine, and delicious cocktails at neighborhood favorite, Pub & Kitchen. Grab a table ahead of time with Yelp Reservations. And if you want some cheap eats to go with your brews, Fountain Porter is a South Philly bar that’s a local hit for its draft selection and famous $5 burger. Bring friends or enjoy the people watching as a party of one.
Fun and Relaxation:
The Convention shouldn’t be all work and no play — especially when there are so many great things to do in Philly. Enjoy the river views while stretched out in a hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park. The pop-up park is open all summer from 11am–11pm (1am on weekends) and features pop-up provisions from celebrated Philly restaurants. For a quiet spot to reflect on all you’ve heard and discussed, Race Street Pier is your spot. It’s a beautiful park stretching over the Delaware, complete with scenic views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and Philadelphia waterfront.
When current politics are done for the day, check out ancient ones at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in University City. Home to more than one million objects, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx, the museum is nothing short of awe-inspiring. And if it’s time to escape the Convention for a bit, place your head firmly in the clouds by heading up 51 stories to SkyGarten. You’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of Philadelphia from all angles.
We hope you enjoy this guide to Philly. Remember: It’s not hard to live like a local with the Yelp mobile app in your pocket!