On the to-do list this week: The July fourth holiday is over, which means summer is now in full swing. Lean into the season: Check out a shop for water ice, visit a rooftop bar, or hop into one of the city’s public pools.
What’s on my personal to-do list: I’m going to see Black Widow at the PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard.
We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.
The best water ice in Philly by Jillian Wilson
Dairy farms, creameries, and cheesemakers worth a drive near Philly by Alexandra Jones
10 wineries near Philly that are worth a day trip by Nick Vadala
Where to eat (and drink) in the Poconos by Nick Vadala
Best vegan ice cream in Philly by Grace Dickinson
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: Inquirer.com/askus
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
Latinx Craft Fair 🛍️ (Shopping / in-person / free / outdoors) In an effort to bring more visibility to Latino artists and crafts makers, Fleisher Art Memorial and Casa de Venezuela Philadelphia put together a market-style arts and crafts fair at Cherry Street Pier. Find handmade jewelry, straw hats, colorful embroidery, upcycled clothing, art in clay, beauty products, books, and more from 20 artists representing Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. (Free, July 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 121 N. Columbus Blvd.)
Sweet pancakes, crepes, scallion pancakes, and arepas are just four of the pancake styles in our guide to the city’s best. With pancakes ranging from rounds topped with whipped cream to tangy, dinner-ready pancakes, there are — seemingly — infinite pancake possibilities. Here are a few of our favorite Philly pancakes:
Café La Maude: Red velvet pancakes with mascarpone cheese and apple pie banana pancakes tinged green with Spirulina are among the vibrant stacks on Café La Maude’s menu. Chef and owner Nathalie Richan believes that great pancakes are a work of art. “They should be colorful and pretty like a bouquet of flowers,” says Richan, “I like to make my food bloom.” Not only are these pancakes aesthetically pleasing, they have just the right amount of sweetness. “You won’t need syrup with these pancakes,” says Richan. 📍 816 N. Fourth St., 🌐 cafelamaude.com, 📷 @cafelamaude
Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill: Though crepes are known for their French origins, the thin pancakes are a legacy of France’s rule in many of the countries they colonized, including Lebanon. At the West Philly Lebanese bakery, Manakeesh, the crepes come stuffed with a wide variety of sweet and savory fillings. The curry chicken crepes and the avocado and black bean crepes are savory options that are perfect for lunch or dinner; the banana split crepe served with Nutella, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream is like a full-blown sundae dessert. 📍 4420 Walnut St., 🌐 manakeeshcafe.com, 📷 @manakeeshcafe
EMei: The chewy, mildly fragrant scallion pancakes are a welcome break between heat-building bites of spicy dan dan noodles and Chongqing spicy chicken at EMei. “The unique taste of EMei’s scallion pancake is because our chef mixes two different flours together instead of the one all-purpose flour,” says owner Dan Tsao. Chef Master Zhao has been making the scallion pancakes at EMei for a decade, perfecting the art of developing thin layers of varying textures ranging from lightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Be sure to try it with the sauce, a secret blend of tangy and sweet aromas that complement the scallion pancake’s subtle pungency. 📍 915 Arch St., 🌐 emeiphilly.com, 📷 @emeirestaurant
» READ MORE: The best pancakes in Philly, from sweet to savory
Happy hour plans? We’ve got ’em. Check out our rooftop bar guide, which has 13 spots for sky-high drinks and eats, ranging from a rooftop in Chester County to rooftops in the heart of Philly. Here are some of my favorites. See you there?
Irwin’s: Irwin’s is now home to chef Michael Ferreri of shuttered Res Ipsa, who brings his signature dishes (eggplant gnocchi, agrodolce chicken) to the Bok Building space. This southern-facing sibling to Bok Bar has an eighth-floor deck complete with hanging lights and views of South Philly below Snyder. Enter at Eighth and Mifflin Street and take the elevator to the top floor. 📍800 Mifflin St., 8th floor, 🌐 irwinsupstairs.com, 📷 @irwinsupstairs
El Techo: There’s a retractable roof at Rittenhouse’s sky-high taqueria and Mexican bar El Techo, which means rooftop dining and drinking are always a possibility no matter the weather. Tequilas and mezcals are menu cornerstones, and margaritas, fruity cocktails, beers, and wine round out the drink menu. For food, there’s tacos, a seasonal ceviche, chips and salsa, guacamole, and a selection of fun popsicles in flavors like flan. The sprawling space is at the top of the Motto by Hilton hotel. 📍 1830 Ludlow St., 🌐 condesaphilly.com, 📷 @eltechophilly
Mas Mexicali Cantina: The large rooftop at West Chester’s Mas Mexicali Cantina is first-come, first-served, and is known to be a popular hangout on nice days. Arrive early, and preferably with a small group, to avoid a wait for a rooftop seat. Up on the roof, the restaurant’s menu of tacos, burritos, nachos, and margaritas is available. 📍102 E. Market St., West Chester, 🌐 masmexicali.com, 📷 @masmexicalicantina
» READ MORE: The best rooftop bars in Philly
Now that marijuana has been legalized and decriminalized in New Jersey, what does that mean if you’re spending time at the shore? While Gov. Phil Murphy said that the state’s “broken and indefensible marijuana laws are no more,” there’s still a ways to go before New Jersey residents and Shore-goers alike can use marijuana openly.
In a word, no. New Jersey’s New Jersey’s marijuana laws don’t allow public use of marijuana — whether you’re smoking or vaporizing it. And municipalities are free to pass their own marijuana rules. Many Shore towns have already banned the public use of marijuana at the beach or boardwalk, specifically, including Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Wildwood Crest, and Seaside Heights.
» READ MORE: What to know about smoking weed at the Shore.