On the to-do list this week: Supply chain issues and shipping woes means its time to start holiday shopping. Our experts, ranging from our music critic to our food editors, shared their picks for the best holiday gifts (and event tickets) to buy this season. Why not start your shopping now? You can leisurely pop into some shops and do some online ordering before the chaos really begins.
On my personal to-do list: I’m heading to Delaware for a hike at Alapocas Run State Park.
We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.
The best cookies in Philadelphia by Michelle Reese
30+ community fridges in Philly you can use or help stock by Nick Vadala
Where to find Christmas tree farms and cut trees near Philadelphia by Jillian Wilson and Grace Dickinson
Where to find the best pies in Philadelphia by Kae Lani Palmisano
Here are the 11 best restaurants in Philly for solo dining by Alisha Miranda
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: Inquirer.com/askus
Fall weekend planner
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
🖼️ Craftivism After Dark (Art / in-person / community) Start the weekend with an after-dark look at the National Liberty Museum’s Craftivism: Activism Through Craft exhibit. Chat with educators and activists about the use of art as activism and meet other art enthusiasts. (Included in the price of museum admission, Nov. 12, 6-9 p.m., 321 Chestnut St., libertymuseum.org)
🎁 Start your holiday shopping
This year is not the year to wait until Christmas week to do your holiday shopping. Think back to last year’s holiday shipping stories — remember how many items were delayed for weeks? This year, especially, with supply chain issues affecting everything from running shoes to artificial Christmas trees, it’s super important that you have a holiday shopping plan, and better yet if that plan involves local Philly businesses instead of big-box stores like Amazon or Walmart.
Our experts, ranging from sports editors to food critics to fashion experts, handpicked items for this year’s ultimate Philly gift guide to help you do your shopping early and support Philly businesses (or Philly teams) while you’re at it. (No, I have not started my holiday shopping either.)
The Inquirer food team shared some suggestions for the home cook in your life. You can order them top-notch pantry items from places including Poi Dog, which sells its hot sauces for $8.50 to $15, Revolution Taco, which has hot sauces available from $7.99 to $9.99, or Franklin Fountain, where you can scoop up ice cream toppings for $3 to $9.
Our sports editors compiled a list of the best 2022 76ers and Flyers games to get tickets for this holiday season. On their list? The 76ers vs. Clippers game on Jan. 21 when Tobias Harris plays against his former team, which promises a roster with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in the fold. Also on the list? The Flyers vs. Edmonton on March 1 when Connor McDavid, the most electrifying hockey player on the planet, comes to Philadelphia for his once-a-year Philly game.
Our music critic shared his picks for the must-see concerts in Philly next year. All of his selections still have tickets available (not from resellers) so prices aren’t astronomical. He suggests gifting a music experience to the music fan in your life — memories last longer than things, right? He suggests scooping up tickets for Boyz II Men at the Met Philadelphia on Feb. 12, Tyler, the Creator at the Wells Fargo Center on March 6, Coldplay at Lincoln Financial Field on June 8, and more.
» READ MORE: Your ultimate Philly holiday gift guide.
Let’s just say it: Solo dining is an underrated activity. When you dine on your own, you don’t have to worry about splitting the check, your friend’s dietary restrictions, or compromising on where to go to eat. For some, dining solo can feel intimidating but it is most certainly not. It’s a favorite activity for many, made even more fun by knowledgable bartenders and waitstaff and other friendly solo diners nearby.
We have a guide to the best spots for solo dining in Philly — these are spots where you’ll get excellent food and drink suggestions and always have a cozy spot at the bar or at a dining room table. Here are a few of my favorites:
Pub & Kitchen. Stick to neighborhoody vibes with creative bar food and a bomb playlist at Pub & Kitchen in Fitler Square. Grab a seat at the bar and settle in for an evening of deeply satisfying dishes. Recent highlights include the romaine wedge salad and the perfectly greasy and thin double-patty smash burger with fries.📍 1946 Lombard St., 📞 215-545-0350, 🌐 thepubandkitchen.com, 📷 @pubandkitchen, 🕑 daily 4 p.m.-midnight
Veda. Savor happy hour deals from 5 to 7 p.m. daily at Center City West’s Indian street food restaurant, Veda. Come here early to nosh on rich, flavorful vegan and vegetarian meals. Snag a high-top next to the front window to make Chestnut Street’s passersby jealous as you tear into dishes full of Bengali, Chinese, and British flavors.📍 1920 Chestnut St., 📞 267-519-2001, 🌐 vedaphilly.com, 📷 @vedaphilly, 🕑 Sun.-Thu. 4:30-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4:30-10 p.m.
Bar Hygge. Fairmount’s Bar Hygge (pronounced “huu-guh”) takes comfort and space seriously. Chef Chris Reed’s locally sourced and seasonal charcuterie boards change often, while he adapts his menu to available ingredients, whipping up contemporary dishes from scratch and minimizing food waste wherever possible. 📍 1720 Fairmount Ave., 📞 215-765-2274, 🌐 barhygge.com, 📷 @bar_hygge, 🕑 Tue.-Sun. 4-10 p.m.
Saturday is Love Your Park fall service day, a citywide cleanup event taking place in parks and on city streets throughout the area. From 9 a.m. to noon, the Fishtown Neighbors Association hosts a neighborhood-wide cleanup event for residents and Fishtown visitors to take part in. Start your day at the Fishtown Rec Center where brooms and trash bags will be available on a first come, first served basis.
If you want to help clean up parts of town outside of Fishtown, here’s the full list of places hosting cleanup events this weekend.