On the to-do list this week: After being stuck at home for more than a year, it’s time (if you’re vaccinated) to go out and stay out late. We have some cool wine bars you can visit for a late-night drink, and a guide to the best spots for late-night eats in Philly. I’m talking kitchens that are open for 10 p.m.-and-after cravings.
What’s on my personal to-do list: I am going to spend some time at the Navy Yard, which is my number one place in the city for a long walk. And then I’m going to chill out at brunch, probably at Cafe Lift.
We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.
13 pick-your-own farms near Philly worth a day trip by Nick Vadala
How to wear face masks in hot weather by Nick Vadala
You should probably replace some of your fabric face masks by Grace Dickinson
Where to cool off in a Philadelphia heat wave by Bethany Ao
9 ways to enjoy ‘National Ice Cream Month’ all summer long by Carolyn Desalu
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: Inquirer.com/askus
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
BlackStar Film Festival 🎬 (Film / virtual and in-person / multiday) The BlackStar Film Festival returns for its tenth year of screenings and events that celebrate the traditions of the African diaspora and the culture of communities of color worldwide. Throughout the festival, tune into films by BIPOC makers, take part in live panel discussions, outdoor dance parties, workshops, and more. Events are largely virtual with some in-person events taking place throughout the week. The festival ends with a full day of screenings at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. ($5 to $125, Aug. 4-8, blackstarfest.org)
Most Philly bars close at 2 a.m., but that doesn’t mean their kitchens are open until then, too. It can sometimes be hard to find a sit-down meal after 10 p.m. in Philly, but we have a guide to the best late-night eats in Philly, ranging from vegan fare to tacos and Ethiopian food to burgers. So, where can you go for a good, sit-down dinner when the clock strikes midnight? See my picks below and see here for the full late-night dining guide.
Center City pick: Charlie was a sinner. While this 13th Street spot is known as a vegan cocktail bar, it also has a full menu of bar snacks and large plates available daily until 11 p.m. Food includes potato croquettes, a classic “beef” burger, and roasted cauliflower steak. 📍131 S. 13th St., 📞267-758-5372, 🌐 charliewasasinner.com, 📷 @charlie_was, 🕐 Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun., noon-2 a.m., kitchen open until 11 p.m. daily
West Philly pick: Kabobeesh. The last order is taken at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday and at 10:30 p.m. on Monday at University City Pakistani restaurant Kabobeesh. The food menu centers on kababs and curries that all come with rice and naan. The menu is fully halal. 📍 4201 Chestnut St., 📞 215-222-8081, 🌐 kabobeesh.com, 📷 @kabobeesh, 🕐 Mon., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-1 a.m., kitchen open on until 10:30 p.m. Mon. and 12:30 a.m. Tue.-Sun.
Fishtown pick: Sancho Pistola’s. Every day of the week, the kitchen at Sancho Pistola’s slings tacos, nachos, and other Mexican-inspired eats until 1 a.m. Tacos are the focus here and come stuffed with everything, including Brussels sprouts, spicy pork, salmon, and chicken tinga. There are also burritos, salads, soups, and more. 📍 19 W. Girard Ave., 📞 267-324-3530, 🌐 pistolaslife.com, 📷 @sancho_pistolas, 🕐 Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Sun., 11 a.m.-2 a.m., kitchen open daily until 1 a.m.
» READ MORE: The best late-night eats in Philly
Know this 😷
As of Thursday, July 22, health officials in Philly announced that they “strongly recommend” that everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, wear masks in indoor public places. On Tuesday, July 27 the CDC made the same request to certain parts of the country, and yesterday, July 28, the state of New Jersey echoed this call.
Meaning, it’s time to put your masks back on if you plan on spending time in an indoor, public space.
This new guidance is a result of the highly contagious delta variant, which is driving up COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated people, including in children who are too young to be vaccinated.
Yeah, we’re with you — we were so ready to be on the other side of the pandemic — but it’s better to be safe and keep taking precautions so more people don’t get sick.
Wear a mask when possible indoors, even if you’re vaccinated.
Encourage people to get the vaccine.
Watch the number of new cases (you can do this at Inquirer.com/coronavirus).
Some good-ish news? Currently, there is a small uptick in first-dose vaccine shots in PA and NJ, along with other parts of the country.
While the exact state of origin is controversial, many claim that whoopie pies were created by the Amish in Pennsylvania who made them to use up extra cake batter. What is a whoopie pie? Well, first off: they’re delicious. They are two rounds of moist cake that are sandwiched with cream and come in flavors like chocolate, pumpkin, red velvet, and more. Kae Lani Palmisano delved into the history and shared bakeries in the area where you can find the delicious treat:
Flying Monkey Bakery: Whoopie pies are one of Flying Monkey Bakery’s signature pastries, and they go beyond the classic chocolate and cream with flavors like English toffee, banana, and mint. Owner and pastry chef Elizabeth Halen was born and raised in New Hampshire where she says her mom made incredible whoopie pies. “My brother and I would often request chocolate whoopie pies for our birthdays instead of cake,” says Halen. According to Halen, a great whoopie pie is moist but sturdy with a filling that doesn’t go overboard with the sweetness. “The secret to our filling is fresh butter and just the right amount of salt,” says Halen. Customer favorites include the classic chocolate, red velvet, pumpkin, and chocolate peanut butter. 📍Reading Terminal Market, 1136 Arch St., 🌐 flyingmonkeyphilly.com, 📷 @flyingmonkeyphilly
Whipped Bakeshop: Whipped Bakeshop has fed many celebs, including Jimmy Fallon, Hoda Kotb, and Philly’s own Questlove. And their Funfetti whoopie pie is a star all its own. The buttercream filling is sugary sweet and decorated with sprinkles, but the real standout is the cake, which is so thick, the dessert is more like a globe than its usual UFO-disk shape. Whipped Bakeshop is currently open by appointment only, but you can order whoopie pies and other desserts online for pick up. 📍636 Belgrade St., 🌐 whippedbakeshop.com, 📷 @whippedbakeshop
Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe: A trip to Lancaster is not complete without stocking up on Pennsylvania Dutch classics like wet-bottom shoofly pie, apple fritters, and whoopie pies. Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe still uses Grandma Smucker’s (owner John Smucker’s grandma) recipes to create decadently sweet whoopie pies, with a jumbo size option in case you want to share with a friend. If you’re a fan of pumpkin-flavored delights, you don’t have to wait until the fall: Their pumpkin whoopie pie is available year round. Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe also offers red velvet, chocolate, and peanut butter whoopie pies. For a cool summertime treat, order the Big Whoop, an ice cream sundae made with a whoopie pie and a scoop of handcrafted whoopie pie fudge swirl ice cream topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. 📍2715 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA, 🌐 bird-in-hand.com/bakery, 📷 @birdinhandbakeshop
» READ MORE: Best whoopie pies in the Philly region
Here’s something that caught our eye from a Philly-area Instagram account that I think is worth sharing:
This fun way to wine taste at Franklin Hill Vineyards. The vineyard offers tastings via cool-looking test tubes at all four winery locations — in Bangor, Easton, Bethlehem, and Stroudsburg — all of which are an easy day trip or weekend trip from the Philly area.
Cheers to that and see you there! 🍷