On the to-do list this week: It’s National Cheeseburger Day, which, we gotta admit, doesn’t really sounds like a real holiday. But it would be wrong not to celebrate it anyway. We have a freshly updated guide to the best burgers in town to eat right now. And since you’re going out anyway, our list of great weekend happy hours will probably come in handy, too.
We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.
2021 Oktoberfest guide to the Philly area by Jillian Wilson and Nick Vadala
These Philadelphia restaurants have the most beautiful streeteries by Kae Lani Palmisano
Best places to pick apples near Philly by Nick Vadala
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: Inquirer.com/askus
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
Arts Launch 2021 🎼 (Arts / in-person / free) Avenue of the Arts kicks off its return to in-person events this weekend. Stop by the Kimmel Center for a day of live performances from over 50 regional performing arts groups including BalletX, Philadanco, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and more. Masks are required, and you have to show proof of full vaccination at the time of entry. Children under the age of 12 will be required to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of the event. (Free, Sept. 18, 11a.m.-4p.m., 300 S. Broad St., kimmelculturalcampus.org)
What makes a burger the best is a matter of preference. You may like yours thick and juicy, thin and smash-style, filled with cheese, piled high with decadent toppings or just simple and pure on a bun. But we’re willing to bet that if you like burgers, something on this list is going to make you pretty hungry right now. We’ve updated our list of legendary Philly burgers in time for National Cheeseburger Day, but these babies are good year-round, and range in price from $3 to $26. Here are a few of our diligently researched picks:
Royal Boucherie. Price: $18. Royal Boucherie has its burger down. A six-ounce patty is sandwiched between a fluffy bun that’s spread with a bone marrow butter. Watercress and gruyere cheese round out the meal, along with a hefty helping of crispy fries. If that’s not enough for you, bacon is available to top it all off.📍 52 S. Second St., 🌐 royalboucherie.com, 📷 @royalboucherie
SpOt Gourmet Burgers. Price: $8-$10. As the name suggests, the burgers are the main draw here (though its cheesesteak is worth a visit, too). The 10-plus burgers are all available in their classic sirloin style, or as chicken or veggie burgers. Of particular note: The aptly named Umami burger, which comes with mushrooms, grilled onion, lettuce, pickled daikon, ssamjang (a spicy Korean paste), cucumber, and pickled daikon.📍 2821 W. Girard Ave., 🌐 spotburgers.com, 📷 @spotburgers
Charlie’s Hamburgers. Price: $3-$7. Charlie’s Hamburgers is a Delco throwback to elemental slider comfort that dates to 1935, and has long been a reluctant holdout to the “in” burger of now, whatever “in” might be at the time. Their old-school griddle powers result in greasy, beefy little patties, all stacked up in crumbly burgers tucked inside griddle-crisped buns. The Bunny, Charlie’s, and Peg special combos have transcended the shop’s 2019 move from Kedron Avenue and not lost one ounce of their charm.📍 237 E. MacDade Blvd., Folsom, 🌐 facebook.com/OriginalCharlies,
Fountain Porter. Price: $6. The ultimate bar burger can be found at East Passyunk’s Fountain Porter, which is served with house pickles and should be ordered with one of their many craft beers. For years, the burger was five bucks and while the price was recently raised to $6, it’s still a steal for one of the best burgers in the city.📍1601 S. 10th St., 🌐 fountainporter.com, 📷 @fountainporter, 🕑 Mon.-Fri., 2-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun, noon-10 p.m., 🚗 order take-out on website
Planning a bike ride, walk, or run along the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT)? Keep in mind that parts of the trail are still dealing with post-Hurricane Ida damage, leaving some sections of the area’s most popular running and cycling trail remain impassable due to the destruction. Here’s what you need to know about enjoying the Schuylkill River Trail now:
In Philadelphia, the SRT section that stretches through the city has mostly reopened, thanks to cleanup efforts by city workers, community organizations, and volunteers. Martin Luther King Drive (west of the Schuylkill River and on the opposite side of the SRT) is now fully open to pedestrians, too.
The Manayunk Canal towpath, a two-mile stretch of the SRT between Lock Street and Shawmont Avenue, remains closed for repairs.
In Montgomery County, all sections of the trail are closed. This includes from the Manayunk Towpath through Phoenixville and out to Pottstown. A reopening timeline has not been set.
When you need to get a test
Whether you’re traveling, going to a concert, or worried that you might have symptoms, there are a lot of reasons you may need to get a COVID-19 test right now. But navigating your options is sometimes confusing. There are PCR tests, antigen tests; some are free, and others are pricey; there are at-home kits. There’s a lot to navigate. We’ve got some tips for finding the right test for you:
If you are looking for a free test, there are a lot of options. Many pharmacies offer free tests, but it’s a good idea to book in advance, and check to see that they offer the kind of test you need. You may have to bring an insurance card if you have one, though you won’t have to pay anything for the test.
If you need a test for travel, make sure to check what kind of test you need. Some countries / destinations may only need an antigen test within a certain time period before you go; others may need a PCR test, which may need some turnaround time to get back your results. There is a paid testing site at the Philadelphia Airport (for travelers only), but some tests can get pricey: If you need a same-day PCR test, for example, it’s going to cost you $250 at the airport.
Fall officially kicks off next week. And alongside being pumpkin-spiced-everything season, it also has us excited about some Halloween vibes, and thinking in advance about the ghoulish and strange. So we’re taking some inspiration this week from the account @penn_gargoyles which reminds us all to look up, and see who’s looking down on us.
Happy spooky architecture-hunting, friends.