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Warning! This wiki is not complete. Please read through the thread for more info.

Attractions
Franklin Institute
Please Touch Museum
National Constitution Center
US Mint
Adventure Aquarium (just across the river in Camden, NJ)
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA (about 45 minutes south-west of the city)
Eastern State Penitentiary
National Museum of American Jewish History
Philadelphia Zoo
Ride the Ducks (duck tour)
Independence Seaport Museum
Smith Playground
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Liberty Bell (plus a bunch of other historical sites nearby)
Independence Hall
Trolley tour bus

For discounts on admission, consider the Philadelphia Pass or the Philadelphia City Pass (if your visiting enough attractions), or buy the Entertainment book for the coupons. If you order it online, you should be able to print out all of the coupons you need immediately.

Hotels
The Ritz-Carlton located near City Center was originally a Bank and worth a visit.
Sheraton Society Hill is near the Liberty Bell area and the River. (probably the best place to stay for shabbos)
the Westin is by Rittenhouse Sq and City Center is North of City Hall area closer to Museum Row.
The Westin on 17th & Liberty. has some Old World charm to it
Sheraton City Center - was fine. clean, neat, pool and fitness but nothing special
Le Meridian across from city hall
Hyatt at the Bellevue on Walnut and Broad st.
Hyatt Penn's Landing
Homewood Suites City Avenue

Westin a plain hotel over the River in Mt Laurel , NJ
Aloft - Mt Laurel. (Aloft is  not your typical hotel. Very young crowd. Relaxed staff. Place is nice and new).

Restaurants

Center City:
Burger.org - 1901 Chesnut Street CLOSED
Mama's Vegetarian
Center City Soft Pretzel Co. - unusual hours

University City:
Kosher Dining at the University of Pennsylvania - check hours/dates, only open during academic year

Lower Merion (20-25 min from center city, but up to 45 in traffic):
Shalom Pizzeria
Citron and Rose - more upscale. Make reservations in advance. Closed but recently reopened (as of May 17, 2017)
The Dairy - very nice dairy restaurant.

Star of David Kosher grill- 942 Montgomery Ave, Narberth, PA 19072. Cheaper option for meat, Chinese, sushi
Nana's kitchen in the JCC-Address: 45 Haverford Rd, Wynnewood, PA 19096 Phone:(703) 586-3103- Call before, but usually open in the daytime with seating. Don't have to be a member to attend. Excellent dairy food options and very reasonably priced.

Northeast (35 min from downtown):
Holy Land Grill-permanently closed
Espresso Cafe

Cherry Grill in Cherry Hill, NJ is just across the Delaware River (via Ben Franklin Bridge.). Fairly classy ambience, better than decent food. 3/5 stars. Hechsher by the O-K and the Cherry K Vaad Hakashruth.

This is a pretty good list of the generally accepted kosher restaurants in Philly.
This is the website for the generally accepted community hechsher: http://www.keystone-k.info/

Shuls
www.phillyshul.com (actually 2 shuls which they alternate between). Run by a very nice chabad rabbi.
Sephardi shul (www.mikvehisrael.org)
Mekor Habracha

Lower Merion (15 min drive from downtown):
Lower Merion Synagogue
Young Israel of the Main Line
Philadelphia Community Kollel - next door to Citron and Rose

Northeast (35 min drive from downtown):
Congregation Ahavas Torah
« Last edited by davidmal on June 14, 2017, 04:03:41 PM »

Author Topic: Philadelphia Master Thread  (Read 39888 times)

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2013, 08:00:36 AM »
Seems like conservative hashgachas are prevalent in the area then.

Offline Yossi.

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2013, 06:30:18 PM »
I have an upcoming stay at the Hotel Monaco and the front desk manager recommended Hamifgash as a good nearby kosher restaurant that she personally visited. Any views here?
I ate there this past sunday. Decent food. The restaurant looks terrible. Don't go with any high expectations. Hotel is a at a great location. You can walk from the hotel to Hamifgash

Offline damaxer91

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2013, 07:52:17 PM »
There is a new restaurant that just opened called Citron & Rose. Supposed to be fantastic

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2013, 10:06:04 PM »
I ate there this past sunday. Decent food. The restaurant looks terrible. Don't go with any high expectations. Hotel is a at a great location. You can walk from the hotel to Hamifgash
Thanks! Seems like the hotel is a close walk from the Megabus stop at Independence Hall (for New York service, the bus appears to stop there in both directions). Where did you stay?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 10:09:10 PM by eliteflyer »

Offline Yossi.

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2013, 10:11:21 PM »
You stayed at Hotel Monaco? How was your experience?
No I stayed at the hyatt. A few minutes away. But hotel monaco looked really nice and is right accross the street from independence hall and liberty bell. They opened a bar/lounge on the rooftop of the hotel a few months ago which is apparently very nice. I didn't have a chance to see it and the line in the evening to get up there is insane but maybe they facilitate for hotel guests...

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2013, 10:56:44 PM »
Thanks! Seems like the hotel is a close walk from the Megabus stop at Independence Hall (for New York service, the bus appears to stop there in both directions). Where did you stay?
If you plan on taking Megabus you may want to look into the China bus. I took it IIRC for around $10 one way. It was a very nice bus.
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Offline eliteflyer

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2013, 11:22:26 PM »
If you plan on taking Megabus you may want to look into the China bus. I took it IIRC for around $10 one way. It was a very nice bus.
Thanks! I will look into that. Is this one of the bus companies you see in the news so often for having drivers working well past their limits and falling asleep at the wheel? We actually have free megabus tickets, but may wish to change to a better time.

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2013, 11:50:12 PM »
Thanks! I will look into that. Is this one of the bus companies you see in the news so often for having drivers working well past their limits and falling asleep at the wheel? We actually have free megabus tickets, but may wish to change to a better time.
I've heard rumors like that, but I had a very good experience on the Designer Limo bus. Each one is a separate company I think. Here is the website http://www.gotobus.com/new-york-to-philadelphia-bus/

It did leave me a bit away from where I was staying but the public transit was fairly straight forward. If megabus is right by your hotel that may be the best option just for the convenience.
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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2013, 02:42:17 PM »
Just spent a few days in Philadelphia with the family. Stayed at Sheraton Society Hill, which is probably the best place to stay for shabbos. The hotel is only 4 stories high, so none of the rooms are a difficult walk up. There is a nice indoor pool on the 4th floor for kids, and there is easy access in and out of the hotel through the stairs. Also props to the hotel for the Sabra Hummus Pretzel Cups (and snacks and drinks) in the 24hr Club Lounge. Hotel staff seems to have alot of shabbos guests and are happy to assist in any way. (I generally lock my valuables in the safe before shabbos, and leave the room door unlocked, when I leave the hotel on shabbos.) The shul - www.phillyshul.com (actually 2 shuls which they alternate between) is around a 12 minute walk through a very nice historic area, and is run by a very nice chabad rabbi. There is also a sephardi shul (www.mikvehisrael.org/)ound a 12 minute walk in a slightly different direction. The hotel, shuls and most of the area that you would want to walk around are within the Center City Eruv (www.centercityeruv.org), which seems to be pretty generally accepted, though I think Chabad tends to shy away from eruv use.  Although everyone online seems to say parking is a huge nightmare in Philly, I didnt' think it was that bad - Just read the signs, and pay for parking at the kiosks/munimeters. The hotel offers valet parking for $35/day, but we parked on the street in front of the hotel most of the time, and at much cheaper garage 2 blocks away over shabbos.

There are a lot of great attractions in Philly for kids/families, including the Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquairum in Camden (across the river) and Please Touch Museum. Also the Constitution Center and Liberty Bell (and many more places) on the history side.  But the attractions can be very expensive. Always try to avoid paying for parking in their lot/garage, there are  usually free or cheap alternatives on the street. For discounts on admission, consider the Philadelphia Pass or the Philadelphia City Pass (if your visiting enough attractions), or buy the Entertainment book for the coupons. If you order it online, you should be able to print out all of the coupons you need immediately.

In the Center City/Downtown area, there are two restaurants with the generally accepted hechsher. Mama's Vegiterian (great falafel, etc.) and Burgers.org (great burgers, etc.). Both are very small, so if it is a busy day/time, you may be waiting a while. There are also some pizza shops and meat restaurants in both the Northeast community area, and the Southwest community area. Each of those areas is about a 20-25 minute drive from the Center City. This is a pretty good list of the generally accepted kosher restaurants in Philly: http://www.jewishphilly.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/310343/jewish/Food.htm. It would be a good idea to call before you go, since there have been some restaurants closing, moving, etc. (For example, Burger.org is no longer open on South St, but the other location is open. There is also a new fancy meat restaurant called Citron and Rose in the Southwest area.) This is the website for the generally accepted community hechsher: http://www.keystone-k.info/

Offline yaakov s

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2013, 01:30:19 AM »
I have an upcoming stay at the Hotel Monaco and the front desk manager recommended Hamifgash as a good nearby kosher restaurant that she personally visited. Any views here?
How was the stay and where did you end up eating?

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2013, 03:31:24 PM »
How was the stay and where did you end up eating?
Stay was great. will post TR soon. We ended up bringing our own food which we kept in a fridge in the room.

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Best Philly Spg hotel is...
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2013, 07:25:36 PM »
What are 2 or 3 best choices for spg hotels in philly.
Good cheap ones, or good expensive ones.

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2013, 03:54:36 PM »
My wife and I were both off for Monday MLK Day, and decided to take a quick trip down to Philadelphia. There are many choices for buses and trains straight into City Center, but we chose Megabus, because I found tickets for $0 during their December free seat giveaway. Otherwise, bus tickets between NY and Philadelphia appear to range between $12 and $20 each way. Also, the NYC megabus stops at Independence National Park (at Market and 5th) before terminating at 30th Street Station. This was very convenient for us, as we were staying just a short block away at the Hotel Monaco. (Though, on the way back, the bus was full and we were unable to find seats together as we got on at the 2nd stop)

The Hotel Monaco is part of the Kimpton chain of boutique hotels. Their loyalty program may be lacking in terms of ability to earn and redeem free nights, but their customer service is superb, particularly for "Inner Circle" members (earned after 15 stays). Even as a basic member (which is free to sign up for), you get free wifi and a $10 "raid the minibar credit." We checked in at 12, and our room was not quite ready yet. The front-desk manager was very friendly and assured me that she would call as soon as our "corner suite" was ready. (rumor has it that they regularly upgrade IC members to the best suite in the house.)

In the meantime, we went to Independence Park across the street to enjoy some sandwiches my wife had packed and walk along the mall which was most pleasant in the unseasonably warm January sunshine. We stopped into the National Museum of Jewish History ($12 per person), and went on one of their free docent lead tours at 2:30pm. They had an interesting new exhibit on the 5th floor about Jewish professors who escaped Nazi Germany and pioneered teaching in the segregated south. Overall, we enjoyed the layout of the museum and the colorful story it tells about our people's history in this country, from the founding right up to the modern era.
In retrospect, we probably should have taken advantage of the great weather and light Sunday traffic by borrowing the Monaco's free bicycles to peddle around the city, particularly because Monday ended up being a lot colder, and most museums (including the National Museum of Jewish History) were open and FREE on MLK Day.

The hotel called just before the 2:30 museum tour to let us know that our room was ready. Waiting for us in the suite was a welcome amenity which included a bottle of Glenfiddich and cupcakes and biscotti from Roz's kosher bakery. Perhaps they had been out for a while, but the baked goods were nothing to write home about, though we did appreciate the gesture and their effort to find kosher goodies for us. One of the staff at the hotel even suggested that we could get kosher in-room dining, as they were having their (first) kosher wedding that Sunday night. We didn't bother, as we had plenty of food with us from NY.

We really enjoyed the views from the room out towards the park, and relaxed while soaking n the oversize free-standing tub situated in the middle of a large walk-in-shower. (I liked being able to overflow the tub entirely without worrying about soaking the entire bathroom as is often the case with hotel tubs.) The large pink tome of Alice in Wonderland was a fun and quirky touch to the room and made for great bed-time stories.

On Monday morning I went to the Shachris minyan (at 8:15 on bank holidays) at the historic Mikve Israel synagogue a block away. Be sure to come on time as this sephardic shul gets things done fast! They were done in under 20 minutes on a Monday. Most of the 12 men in the room were visiting and it does not appear to have a steady membership anymore, at least for weekday minyanim.

We then wasted some time (and $25 cab fare)  going to a Bestbuy about 15 minutes from the hotel in hope of buying some amazon gift cards at 50% off, though that was not to be. My lesson learned is that vacations should not be squandered chasing after silly deals. At about noon, we headed over to Independence Hall for a tour of the building where our nation's constitution was signed. After checking out of the hotel at about 2, we spent the rest of the day at the National Constitution Center which had an excellent live presentation " The Story of We the People," which as a law student I thought summed up well everything I should have learned in high school civics and Con Law. The show left both my wife and me with goosebumps and was a great way to start off the museum tour. The museum was free for MLK Day.(normally $14.50 per person for adult admission, which I am not sure I would have paid).

We returned to the hotel at about 5, had a drink in the bar, and walked across the park for our bus ride back to NYC.

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #58 on: June 02, 2013, 10:49:41 PM »
Planning to go to Philly for July 4 & 5, then spend shabbos with friends.  Anyone have tips for a good hotel near the tourist areas? Best sites to see?

Thanks!

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Re: Philadelphia Master Thread
« Reply #59 on: June 02, 2013, 11:07:10 PM »
Planning to go to Philly for July 4 & 5, then spend shabbos with friends.  Anyone have tips for a good hotel near the tourist areas? Best sites to see?

Thanks!
Tourist area is downtown and there are quite a few nice hotels there. If you look back just a few posts you will find  milechazzer's detailed philly shabbos TR. Depending on which, if any hotel group you are looking for, you'll have a good many options walking distance from a few shuls.
I have stayed at the Le Meridian across from city hall and found it to be a wonderful hotel in a wonderful location (exactly a mi. from Mikva Israel-straight down Arch street) though you'll probably miss out on any views, as the hotel is surrounded by other buildings. (unless you don't mind walking 10 flights)
As for attractions, make sure not to miss Eastern State Penitentiary.
I found the Franklin Institute to be annoying because on top of the $16 admission, they nickel and dime you for every decent exhibit

For more info on shabbos at a hotel http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=29568.0

I personally did not like the food from Burgers.org.com (the burger was tasteless, the schnitzel was dry and the coleslaw was made when we ordered
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 11:10:35 PM by moko »