My trip to Philly was short and mostly work-filled. I was lucky enough to be part of BlogHouse, a yearly travel blogging workshop, which was hosted by Visit Philly among other sponsors. These lovely folks provided several sponsored experiences and just enough of a taste to ensure that Philly is my new favorite American city.


Not all of the listings below were sponsored, but all are my own opinion since this is my blog. 🙂


Where I Ate:

Philadelphia Blackbird PizzeriaBlackbird Pizzeria 4 out of 5 stars Vegan Paradise
Sandwich and a lemonade – 14USD
507 S 6th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147

I was able to try two veggie cheesesteaks in Philly and this one was not only superior but also dreamy. Simple atmosphere, come here for the food. Every day, if you can. Gah.


M Restaurant 5 out of 5 stars Excellent for Foodies
Three courses and a cocktail for one – 60USD
231 S 8th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106

Occupying the courtyard and part of the ground floor of the Morris House Hotel, this cozy new American restaurant had so many delicious offerings I had a terrible time deciding. After agonizing for at least twenty minutes, rosemary infused gin drink in hand, I settled on roasted asparagus with feta and pomegranate, creamy polenta and seared scallops.


Philadelphia 2nd Story Brewing Company2nd Story Brewing Company 4 out of 5 stars Check it out
117 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106

I tried several micro-brewed beers here and they were great. I didn’t get to eat much beyond a cheese plate, so I can’t comment on the food, but a cruise of the menu suggests a step up from typical pub fare. The atmosphere is lively and fun. Plus it’s in a fantastic colonial neighborhood.


Philadelphia Independence Beer GardenIndependence Beer Garden 4 out of 5 stars Recommended
Snacks, tacos and a beer – 25USD
100 S Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-7100

I loved the food here. Okay fine, I ate too many pickle chips, but I chased them with the kale salad so I think they cancel each other out, right? I enjoyed the fresh mahi mahi tacos and the veggie focaccia sandwich. They had a really large selection of beers on tap and in bottle. The space is large, providing both an outdoor beer garden and a covered area.


Philadelphia View from Sofitel RooftopLiberté Lounge at the Sofitel 4 out of 5 stars Drop by for a cocktail
120 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 569-8300

We had a cocktail hour sponsored by this lovely hotel. The drinks were great, the cheeseboard was great, but I found the risotto a little too creamy (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that either). My favorite part by far about this location was the sustainable rooftop garden. Chef Luke took us on a tour of his thriving herb garden and beehive which he uses daily in his creations.


Philadelphia Cleavers vegetarian cheesesteakCleavers 3 out of 5 stars Good for late-night
Sandwich and fries wit whiz – 15USD
108 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

This was the second place I tried the vegetarian cheesesteak during my Philadelphia trip. This one is made with shaved, marinated Portobello mushrooms. The mushrooms had a great flavor, but as the main ingredient, there was probably more than a pound there, which got monotonous, especially in light of the fact that there were no onions or peppers. I wasn’t a fan of the lettuce and tomato, either. The sweet potato waffle fries with cheez whiz on the other hand – YUM! Though truthfully I can only eat about 1/8 of a serving, so plan on sharing if you get ‘em.



Where I Stayed:

Morris House Hotel PhiladelphiaMorris House Hotel 4 out of 5 stars Loved it
225 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This boutique hotel is near Washington Square Park and within walking distance to Liberty Bell Center. It was a perfect mix of the colonial history the city is built on and the modern comforts of a small, independent luxury hotel. The hotel has a B&B feel, which adds to the coziness.


Sonesta Hotel PhiladelphiaSonesta 3 out of 5 stars
1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 USA

This city hotel recently underwent a huge renovation. Rooms are chicly updated and of a good size with updated amenities. Some of the staff are excellent and kind, working to ensure that our stay was enjoyable. Not everyone at this hotel seems to be on the same page with the type of service they are aiming to provide, but the management is quick to engage if needed.


What I did:

Old City 5 out of 5 stars

I got a small taste of this neighborhood when the board of tourism, Visit Philly, whisked us away from work and on a tour past Ben Franklin’s house and into the Old City district. On our drive, glass skyscrapers reflected colonial landmarks off of their mirrored sides in a stunning mix of old and new until we were in the Old City District, standing in front of Revolutionary-era buildings that Betsy Ross must’ve walked by on her way to the general store to buy more thread.


This part of town, lined with micro-breweries, theatres, galleries and restaurants all wearing the facades built during the birth of our nation was a fantastic slice of Americana and one of my favorite parts of the city. While I only got to explore Chestnut Street – there is so much more to this area and one that I will definitely go straight to when I return.


Spruce Street Harbor Park 5 out of 5 stars

This pop-up park on the Delaware River waterfront is relaxing during the day, lined with hammocks and Adirondack chairs; and vibrant and beautiful at night. Glowing lights and picnic tables fill the food-truck lined park, while the outdoor space provides an expansive place to visit with friends.


Historic Philly President's HouseHistoric Philly 5 out of 5 stars

Lovingly preserved or restored, the birthplace of so much of our nation’s history shines in Philadelphia. Walking through Independence Mall for the first time was a wonder, so many things I had read about or seen in my schoolbooks leapt to life in front of my eyes.


Highlights of this area include the Liberty Bell Center and the excavated foundations of the “President’s House,” a once three-and-a-half story brick home occupied by George Washington and then John Adams. I have to say that I was thoroughly charmed by the storytelling benches around the mall manned by bell-wielding docents vividly recounting moments in time in the actual areas that the history happened.


Read more: Why I Was So Wrong About Philadelphia

What are your favorite places in Philadelphia?


Travel Pinterest - Clever Dever Wherever


Philadelphia Recommendations | Where to eat Vegan Cheesesteak

Vegetarian Eats Philadelphia | Philadelphia Recommendations | Where to eat Vegan Cheesesteak














Travel Pinterest - Clever Dever Wherever

Philadelphia Recommendations | Where to eat Vegan Cheesesteak


Read More About Philadelphia

Looking for a way to get out into the world again but now sure where to go? In this video I’m going to share with you how to find your destination LOVE match for your next vacation.

“Philly? Why would I ever want to go to Philly?” Until now, characters I knew to be from there shaped my narrow-minded impression of Philly. Rocky, a boxer; a second boxer friend that was really from Pittsburgh that I lumped in with Philadelphia, and a guy named Ron who helped himself to the snacks in my pantry...

About the Author

Hi. I’m Juliana Dever and according to science I have some sort of "exploration" gene. Embracing this compulsion, I spend a lot of time hurtling around the planet in metal tubes experiencing other cultures and writing humorous essays about it. Enjoy.


  1. Mark Jaggers / at /Reply

    One of my favorite places in Philly has been Sabrina’s Cafe –

    Great food and many options for vegetarians.

  2. Sarah / at /Reply

    I’ve not yet been to Philly but to be your new fav American city it must really have something! Love the way you rank and review everything ?

    • Thank you Sarah. It was such a surprise to me how much I enjoyed it, Philly is really something!

  3. Now I’m craving a Cleavers cheesesteak again…:) Great seeing you in Philly!

  4. Gerry / at /Reply

    That insight’s perfect for what I need. Thanks!

  5. Michael / at /Reply

    I visited Philadelphia for two reasons some years ago. First, I was curious to see the place where the founding fathers of the US signed the Declaration of Independence. Second, (and I do not know if this was the more important reason), I wanted to run up the steps where Rocky Balboa did!

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