Rittenhouse Square is one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest neighborhoods. But back in the 1700s, the area was grazing land for livestock. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that homes started to go up and people started to move in. Today, celebrities and sports stars call Rittenhouse home, as do luxury shops and some of the city’s best restaurants. Anchoring it all, leafy Rittenhouse Square, one of city founder William Penn’s original green spaces, offers respite from the hustle and bustle. Here’s how to get the most out of this lovely enclave.
Where to Eat
The sidewalk tables at this Stephen Starr spot exude Parisian cafe society, making it popular for people-watching and digging into French classics. 227 S. 18th St., 215.545.2262
At this casual spot, plant gurus Kate Jacoby and Richard Landau apply the talents they honed at renowned Vedge to global street food. 126 S. 19th St., 215.278.7943
One of the city’s best restaurants, James Beard Award winner Greg Vernick’s convivial spot is cozy and serves soul-satisfying dishes. 2031 Walnut St., 267.639.6644
Where to Shop
This shopper’s paradise o ers a wide array of retail treasures. Charming Joseph Fox carries bestsellers and small-press faves; fun-loving Omoi Zakka stocks on-trend gifts; glam Skirt trades in women’s looks for the fashion-forward.
This longtime family-owned charmer carries bestsellers and small-press faves. 1724 Sansom St., 215.563.4184
With two locations, this adorable boutique pays homage to Japanese gift shops and carries stationery, decor and more. 1608 Pine St., 215.545.0963; 41 S. 3rd St., 215.454.6910
Knowledgeable stylists curate fashion-forward looks with the latest pieces from brands including Veronica Beard, Mara Hoffman and Max Mara. 212 S. 17th St., 215.309.8419
What to See
This off-the-beaten track repository of medical history preserves specimens and instruments from the 19th century. 19 S. 22nd St., 215.560.8564
Literary collections here include the manuscript of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and first editions displayed in an elegant 1860s townhouse. 2008-2010 Delancey Place, 215.732.1600
Where to Play
At this sky-high perch, visitors survey the scene—and all of Philly—with views from Center City to South Philly and beyond 1650 Market St., 215.561.3325
Day and night, this neighborhood buzzes with activity. At the center of it all, Rittenhouse Square makes a peaceful oasis for a midday stroll or a quick browse through popup markets. 1800 Walnut St., 215.683.3600