Fishtown, Philly: The Ultimate Guide
Find the epicenter for art, culture, food, and music in Fishtown, Philly
If you’re thinking of moving to the City of Brotherly Love, native Philadelphians will tell you to check out Fishtown, Philly. This spot has grown into a cool area for young professionals and creative minds who are looking for a hip Philadelphia neighborhood to call home. With a thriving art and music scene and incredible restaurants and bars, Fishtown is truly the place to be if you want to experience what’s new and exciting. Our coliving spaces in Philadelphia are incredible and a great way to experience Fishtown.
To help you get better acquainted with this hot part of town, you can explore this guide to Fishtown, Philly. You’ll learn a little bit about the history of the area before getting a quick lesson on where to eat, drink, and play.
First things first, how did Fishtown get its name?
Fishtown is a unique name, to say the least. If you’re wondering how the neighborhood got its name, you aren’t alone. Many people are scratching their heads and asking, “Why is Fishtown called Fishtown?” Out of all of the Philadelphia neighborhoods, Fishtown is one of the oddest names.
It turns out that the name honors the working-class neighborhood’s history as the epicenter for the commercial shad-fishing industry. In case you’re wondering, a shad is a type of valuable sport fish. Today, the Fishtown Philly area is known for much more than fishing.
What is Fishtown like and is it a good place to live?
If you love one-of-a-kind communities that feature creative and eclectic charm, then Fishtown is an excellent place to call home. Although traditionally home to the working class, this South Philadelphia neighborhood has emerged as an incubator for young creative minds to turn their bright ideas into new realities.
As more young artists and musicians moved into the area, Philadelphia’s Fishtown began welcoming new bars, restaurants, galleries, studios, and music venues. Best of all, the newcomers collaborated with the area’s longtime Fishtown residents to help the neighborhood evolve.
As for its look and feel, Fishtown, Philly is a unique exception to the rest of the city’s urban design. You can find narrow streets lined with modest row houses and independent businesses. Ask the Fishtown residents and they’ll tell you that this colorful area extends from North of Girard Avenue and South of Lehigh Avenue. The neighborhood is also bordered by Front Street to the East and the Delaware River to the West.
When it comes to getting to the Fishtown neighborhood, there are plenty of public transit options. For example, the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line stops on Girard Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown. You can also get to the area by bus, by car, and by using the Route 15 trolley.
Is Fishtown, Philadelphia safe?
Safety is obviously important when you’re selecting a place to live or visit. After all, it’s hard to enjoy and explore a trendy area if you don’t feel safe going out there at night. However, Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood doesn’t have that problem.
Named as one of the best Philly neighborhoods for young professionals, Fishtown also has the distinction of being one of the safest in the city. In fact, it has been named one of the top 10 safest Philadelphia neighborhoods, thanks to its low number of violent, property, and total crimes per person.
Fishtown (like many other cities) was in the news this summer though. While protesters demanded an end to police brutality, there was some looting and a few vigilantes appeared with baseball bats. However, longtime residents know that this isn’t the norm in the area.
What are some of the best restaurants and bars in Fishtown, Philly?
Fishtown brings a lot to South Philly dining with well-reviewed restaurants that leave patrons coming back for more. The neighborhood also enhances the Philadelphia bar scene by offering establishments with delicious drinks and fun times.
If you love large portions of incredible, home-cooked Italian food, you should make your way to Murph’s Bar at 202 East Girard Avenue. The most popular dishes at the establishment include offerings like the Lobster Ravioli, the Fried Burrata, the Seafood Manicotti, and the Black Truffle Pasta. If you’re looking for a sweet treat for dessert (assuming you’re not full after your meal), the Cannoli from Murph’s Bar is not to be missed. Not only is the food delicious and available in generous portion sizes, but it’s also affordable.
Do a slice of pizza and a craft beer sound perfect? If so, you’ll want to stop by Pizzeria Beddia at 1313 North Lee Street. Simplicity and deliciousness are the best words to describe this restaurant. The menu offers four varieties of pizza, a handful of small plates, and soft-serve ice cream. While Pizzeria Beddia may not offer tons of items, it truly wows with the ones it does, as fresh and wholesome ingredients take center stage. If you’d like to enjoy a beverage with your pie, feel free to check out the bar and order a beer, cocktail, or wine.
Have you heard of Philadelphia style bagels and been wanting to try one? You can do just that in Fishtown, Philly. Philly Style Bagels started as a pop up out of Pizzeria Beddia in 2016, and it has since grown and moved to 1451 East Columbia Avenue to serve the city’s unique style of bagel. So, what is a Philly style bagel? These bready beauties are slowly fermented in small batches, hand-rolled and boiled before baking. But that’s not all. The baker boils each delicious bagel in a mixture of beer and water to create a unique malty sweetness that you won’t find anywhere else. Young professionals love to head over to this bagel joint after a long day at work.
Coffee fans will love visiting the flagship location for La Colombe at 1335 Frankford Avenue. The establishment makes its home in an enormous Fishtown warehouse that has been transformed into a restaurant, bakery, and bar. The space has been roasting and serving traditional European coffee since its birth in 1994. This South Philly location also offers a tasting room, roasting facility, and seating where you can enjoy happy hour specials, coffee, and meals any time of the day.
What are some fun things to do in the Fishtown neighborhood?
You’ll find there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy in Fishtown, Philly. From a peaceful and historic park to awesome venues to see performers from the area’s thriving indie rock scene, the neighborhood offers a little something for everyone.
If you live for live music, Johnny Brenda’s is the place for you. Located at 1201 Frankford Avenue (or the intersection of Frankford and Girard avenues), this space is a winning combination of a gastropub and a fully restored live music venue that can seat up to 250 people. This location is all about hometown pride. The menu features locally grown produce and craft beers from the region’s best breweries, while the live musical acts are among some of the top rockers in the Philadelphia area. This music venue offers shows five nights a week in a two-story space with a handmade balcony that overlooks the main stage.
Another great place in Fishtown, Philly is The Fillmore Philadelphia on 29 East Allen Street. A former metal factory that is over 120 years old, the space is basically three venues in one. There’s the main room that can host 2,500 people who want to enjoy live music and a smaller space called The Foundry that can hold 450 concert-goers who want to see up-and-coming local and touring artists and bands. The space also features a bar and lounge called Ajax Hall that offers food and drink selections that can please a variety of tastes.
For a taste of the arts, you can stop by the Crane Arts building at 1400 North American Street. What was once a plumbing warehouse has been transformed into an oasis for the creative community. This amazing space focuses on contemporary art, and it features art openings, poetry readings, and musical events. Crane Arts is also home to work studios and art galleries, and it serves as the home base for several arts organizations in the area. In nearby Philly neighborhoods, you can also visit cool Philadelphia art museums for an additional look at interesting art exhibits.
Nature and history come together at Penn Treaty Park. Local legend says that Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed a peace treaty with the Lenape tribe in this area in 1683. In 1894, the City of Brotherly Love officially opened this park to the public. Today, you can find a statue of William Penn when you come for a picnic or walk your dog. The waterfront park also features special events, including a celebration for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
You can make your home in Fishtown, Philly to enjoy everything the city has to offer
Art, community, food, and music come together beautifully in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. And because the area is so welcoming, the residents are always happy to invite new neighbors into the mix.
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