Spring is almost upon us and we don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to get out and re-explore our favorite Philadelphia neighborhoods. What a better way to enjoy the great outdoors then with a walking tour of the Meredith School Catchment. Meredith School Catchment is not just a fabulous school, it’s a bright, vibrant, and family friendly neighborhood with a ton of conveniences. Let us show you by walking you along the grid east to west, south to north.
From a bird’s eye view, we’re starting at the lower right corner of the catchment map. That’s southeast.
As far east as you can go in Philly is the Delaware River, a great place to jog as the path continues to extend further north and south each year. Right now it goes all the way up to the Betsy Ross bridge. There are a ton of seasonal activities on the water front including Winter Fest, Festival Pier, free yoga in the summer, Swan Boats, Fireworks over the Ben Franklin Bridge on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve, Spruce Harbor Park and more.
Coming in from the river’s edge, you’ll pass For Pete’s Sake Pub notorious for Quizzo and a favorite among neighbors for generations.
At the corner of 2nd and Christian you’ll find a ton of conveniences. On this corner you’ll find The Palm Tree Market, which is one of the two best local corner store chains in Philly. You can get all the basics there, interesting ethnic products, organic stuff, and a plethora of gourmet goodies. Not every neighborhood has a mechanic, but Queen Village has Superior Auto. Philadelphia Java Company is a great coffee shop where local telecommuters enjoy working, drinking coffee and eating incredible snacks. Don’t miss the Labna, a yogurt spread on a puffy white bread with olives and oregano, or the Eggle, a scrumptious bagel sandwich with sliced hardboiled eggs and cheese.
Speaking of scrumptious, going north on Front St., 2nd and 3rd, you’ll find a ton of amazing restaurants serving all sorts of fare. A few doors north you’ll find Kennett Restaurant which made Philly’s 50 best restaurants in 2015.
Ahead there’s Dimitri’s on 3rd and Christian, which is a tiny BYOB famous for fresh grilled seafood. The neighborhood loves that it’s crowded and that you can wait for your table at The New Wave Café, the neighborhood haunt across the street where you can leave your spare key as long as you can identify it by the keychain.
As your traveling North on 3rd make a left on Catharine and you’re passing between two parks, dog-friendly Mario Lanza Park, and Weccacoe Playground which happens to have one lone tennis court. If you look through the park and beyond you’ll see the Settlement Music School offering training for children, teens and adults.
Head up Fabric Row, 4th St., and pass a ton of incredible fabric shops, a plethora of small business, at least 3 yoga studios and two small gyms. There are two fantastic bike shops Bicycle Revolutions and Community Bikes and Boards that will meet all your commuting needs. Lois A. Wig Boutique is where you can pick up a quick fix for a bad hair day. Don’t miss the Philly Home Girls’ favorite smoothie spot, Red Hook. Try their fig and honey smoothie. It’s divine.
Just before you reach South St. you’ll be pleased to find 2 of the best food institutions in Philly. Essene Market is the original whole foods. They specialize in gourmet health food and organic products. You can get everything you need here from groceries, cleaning products, pet supplies, take out and the beloved banana whip. With chocolate chips the banana whip is better than ice cream. Across the street you'll find Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, where if we found out that we had a week to live, we’d go straight there and eat everything out of the deli case. Since we have to preserve our heart health and waste line, we limit ourselves to the chicken noodle or matzo ball soup. Maybe we can have just a one slab of German chocolate cake.
Continue past Bainbridge toward South St and keep going up 4th Street. You’ll see Tattoo alley and the post office that Philadelphians collectively view as the most pleasant in the entire city, and that’s saying a lot! Don’t miss Jinxed just across the street. It’s the place in Philly to go for antiques at a steal.
Look to the right on Bainbridge and notice across the street is the Queen Village Animal Hospital. They treat Jeanne’s dachshund better than human doctors treat human patients. Next door you’ll see Optimal Fitness, open 24 hours a day and features a heated indoor pool.
Make a left on 5th St. You’ll pass the big gym Sweat Fitness. Next door is Philly Aids Thrift which is such a popular thrift store that it continues to expand. They have a huge home goods section. You could furnish your entire new house. When you find time you and your friends can all make the same painting one night at paintingwithatwist.com. Keep going and pass the Meredith School of course, and find the Lacquer Lounge, a lovely place to splurge on a special occasion manicure while drinking champagne.
Continue around the triangle and down Fitzwater. At the corner of 6th and Fitzwater is a glorious little BYOB called Little Fish.
Make a right onto 6th and you’ll run into one of the most French corners in Philly. You can have your crepes and eat them too at Creperie Beau Monde, which has the best dirty martini in Philly. Upstairs, L’etage is an upscale lounge providing nightlife and all sorts of themed events and cabaret style entertainment. Across the street you’ll find the most family friendly frou-frou French restaurant on earth, Bistrot La'Minette. We dine there with all our enfants favourite. While you’re feeling Parisian, take in the local art at Dupree Gallery. It’s directly catty-corner to Beau Monde. Dupree Gallery features rotating work by James Dupree, a famous local artist. He’s been collected worldwide and has permanent works at The Please Touch Museum and the PHL International Airport. Did we mention that Patti LaBelle is his biggest fan?
Make a left onto Bainbridge and find a slew of oddities and art galleries like the Jed Williams Show and Pageant Soloveev which features some of Philly’s most conceptual artists. One of our favorite places in Philly to gape at taxidermy, old signs, and jewelry from what seems like centuries ago is Anastacias Antiques.
Continue down Catharine to 9th. If you were to keep going, out of the catchment, in one block you’d hit Whole Foods, Starbucks and Acme, Philly’s brand of a big grocery store. Staying in the catchment, the corner of 9th and Bainbridge is an artsy little block. You’ll see Chapter House a quaint, local favorite coffee shop for telecommuters and spoken word artists. Up 9th there’s also B Square Gallery a little crafts spot featuring handmade jewelry and Expressive Hand, one of those fun spots that you and your girlfriends can spend an evening painting pottery.
Make a left on 9th down, toward Fitzwater, past Palumbo Playground where the community enjoys basketball and soccer. Continue around the park by making another left on Fitzwater. Pass Sarcone’s Deli where some of the best hoagie rolls in Philly come from. It’s secret, but you should know they make pizza on Fridays. Look down 9th and you’ll see the Italian Market where most of the original Rocky movie was filmed. The market is a few blocks long and starts, or ends depending on which way you’re traveling, with Ralph’s Italian Restaurant which reportedly has been open since 1900.
Keep walking on Fitzwater and you’ll see the quaint and adorable Cianfrani Park. When the weather is good you’ll find neighbors relaxing and reading on the park benches with their pets, albeit human or canine.
Make a right on 7th and you’ll hover around two Philly Greats; Fitzwater café, which is one of the only independently owned restaurants in Philly with a parking lots, and Saloon, an Italian Chop House with an interior that’s worth taking in.
If you continued down 7th outside of the catchment you’ll find John’s Water Ice, frequented by President Obama. If they have chocolate chip, order it. Instead, make a right on Catharine you’ll find Fleisher Art Memorial which hosts a slew of art shows, classes and exhibitions. It’s also a fantastic event space.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the walking tour and are ready to settle down in the Meredith School Catchment. Can’t wait to meet you out in the neighborhood. We’ll see you at the River and we can start the whole tour all over again! When you’re rested that is.