Philly me!
August 1, 2016 11:26 PM   Subscribe

In Philadelphia all day tomorrow. Help me figure out where to set up shop (and also maybe buy a cool backpack?)

I'm staying in Graduate Hospital tonight. Tomorrow, I'm free til 5ish, when I head to PHL for a flight.

I would like to find a nice coffee spot (or two) where I can knock some work out tomorrow. Have heavyish suitcase, but am happy to take an uber to some nearbyish neighborhood (10 min in whatever direction, maybe?) Bonuses: good lunch spots; indie shops. I would like to buy a backpack (~lifestyle~ as opposed to camping or whatever) and a place like Ps & Qs seems great--or other similar options. Easy to head to airport around 5--public transit fine, but the fewer trip segments the better.

No time for Classic Philadelphia Whatever, just need work space, snax, and a lil shopping!
posted by listen, lady to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Best coffee shops near Grad Hospital, and among the best in the city, are Ultimo (22nd south of South, Catherine maybe?) and Rival Bros (Lombard west of 22nd, maybe close to 24th).
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 11:31 PM on August 1, 2016

Best answer: Since you mention Ps and Qs, here's how I'd do your day tomorrow.

Take an Uber/Lyft to 6th and South street. Camp out for the morning at The Bean. Have a piece of their pumpkin bread along with your morning beverage. Check out Ps and Qs. If you have long enough to check out other shops, try Wooden Shoe at 7th and South (lefty political books and art, may or may not be open), or Philly AIDS thrift at 5th and Bainbridge (best thrift store in the city as far as I'm concerned. Do some people watching; that end of South Street gets a great mix of tourists, suburban teens on their own in the city for the first time, and locals just going about their day.

For lunch, consider pizza at Blackbird at 6th and Lombard. Yes it's vegan, do not be put off by the prospect of vegan cheese, everything there is amazing. Tattooed Mom's at 5th and South has good solid bar food. European Republic, around 6th and South, has the best fries, especially if you get them straight out of the fryer. (Their sandwiches are ok, but the fries are the real draw.)

If you're looking for a change of coffee scenery after that you could try for Shot Tower at 5th and Christian, but honestly I'd just stay around the Bean all day.

Good luck!
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:50 PM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The only thing I'd change about AP's itinerary is to go to Red Hook Cafe for working/coffee/food. Great coffee, amazing food, even better service!

Full disclosure: Mr jshort and I lived near there for many years. We rarely went more than a few days between visits. Tell Kelsey and Chloe that Jo sent you!
posted by jshort at 6:59 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Red Hook is at 4th & Fulton, btw.
posted by jshort at 7:06 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Keep in mind south street is... ugh... not calm and very trashy. Moreso than it has been in past years. I would be much more concerned about having a suitcase stolen than in other parts of the city.

You could stay in grad hop and easily walk into center city for some lunch. or uber it to east passyunk where there are many places to eat.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:13 AM on August 2, 2016

Generally, in Philly, a place where you can buy a hip lifestyle backpack is a place where you can find a hip coffeeshop/eatery that will let you hang out for a couple hours to shop.

So IMO, it comes down to what kind of backpack or shopping you'd like and/or what hip neighborhood you'd like to hang out in.

  • Passyunk: Philly messenger bag legends at Fabric Horse, Chhaya and Black N'Brew for coffee shop working. Bonus: pies at Stargazy Pies (no really EAT THEM), and the best French pastries in town from Artisan Boulanger.

  • Old City: Specialist fancy bags at specialist boutiques on 2nd Street, particularly Art in the Age and United by Blue. Working at Old City Coffee. Lunch at Wedge and Fig. Bonus: Tarte. Cash only, and the lady who runs the window is an UTTER TERMAGANT, but is a good enough baker to make up for it. termagant, but the pastries are out of this world, particularly the single-person tarts. And cakes. And cookies. And if you like fudgey brownies, this is the best in town.

  • No-Libs: ReLoad Bags, which have the local flavor of Fabric Horse, but are more funky/pop/fun. Working at Higher Grounds or One Shot. Lunch at Cafe Chimosa and Honey's Sit and Eat. Bonus: for a break, wander into City Planter to goggle at their beautiful double-height atrium and beautiful plants, and/or Brown Betty cupcakes. My favorite is the Aunt Eva Says.

    Passyunk is about 10 minutes by cab/Uber/Lyft from GradHospital; Old City and No Libs are about 20 minutes. Old City and NoLibs are easily accessible by subway, but given the stairs involved and your suitcase and the wretched state of public transit elevators/escalators in Philly, cab/Uber/Lyft may be a better option.

    All areas are about 30-40 minutes away from PHL by cab, but it may be hard to catch one on the street in Passyunk and NoLibs.

  • posted by joyceanmachine at 9:04 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

    Response by poster: JShort & Action Populated, thank you! Great picks, a nice walk, A CAT CAFE
    posted by listen, lady at 10:21 AM on August 2, 2016

    Response by poster: Keep in mind south street is... ugh... not calm and very trashy. Moreso than it has been in past years. I would be much more concerned about having a suitcase stolen than in other parts of the city.

    I had a nice walk & saw a lot of neat stuff!!
    posted by listen, lady at 10:37 AM on August 2, 2016

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