No Place Like NoLibs: Venture North to Philly’s funkiest new hotspot.
by andie davidson
HOW TO GET TO NOLIBS: It may seem like a trek out of the Penn bubble, but NoLibs is just a quick subway ride away. Take the Market-Frankford Line to Spring Garden (after 2nd St.). When you exit the subway, turn right (along Spring Garden St.), then right again almost immediately and head up 2nd St.—voila! Cost: $2.25 each way — or $1.80 per token in packs of two or more.
he jet set is heading north — to Northern Liberties, that is. A former manufacturing district, Northern Liberties (or NoLibs, as those in the know refer to it) has recently been adopted by an up-and-coming group of artists, hip restaurateurs and independent boutique owners. Located just north of Old City, the district was named one of the top hipster neighborhoods in the US by Forbes.com. Eclectic and walkable, it’s the perfect place to spend the day exploring.g.
Brown Betty Dessert Boutique (722 N. 2nd St.) www.brownbettydesserts.com These ladies know their sweets. It’s a three-generation tradition of sugary goodness — the mother-daughter team took their inspiration (and name) from baking-savvy grandmother Betty. This NoLibs bakery offers a selection of cookies, custom cakes and cupcakes with spunky names like “Hattie Don’t Play” (chocolate fudge cake) and “Alice’s Two Step” (almond pound cake). With mouth-watering cupcake concoctions such as red velvet and sweet potato pound cake with spiced vanilla buttercream, Betty’s is guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.
PYT (1050 N. Hancock St.) www.pytphilly.com It’s time to get serious about burgers. PYT (“pick your topping”) isn’t for the faint-hearted (or weak-stomached), but it lives up to its name — any burger topping you can dream up, they have probably tried. The funky burger bar offers a boisterous vibe and a menu of crazy creations and “adult shakes.” The burgers themselves range from the classic PYT to the gourmet Lobster and Crab to the just plain kooky “Doh! Nut” (beef, American cheese and chocolate-covered bacon on a glazed donut bun). Cafe La Maude (816 N. 4th St.) www.cafelamaude.com With its quaint patio tables and pressed tin ceiling, Café La Maude can easily be mistaken for a Parisian Bistro, or with its scrumptious baklava, a Lebanese café. La Maude serves up a variety of traditional café fare with French and Middle Eastern flair. Mouthwatering options ranging from omelettes and quiche to kebbe (grilled lamb and pine nut patties) and foul moudamas (marinated fava beans, tomatoes, parsley, scrambled eggs) will have you drooling. With a world-traveler menu and an intimate, homey vibe, Café La Maude serves up a delicious plate of charm and nosh. The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop (713 N. 4th St.) www.therandomtearoom.com À la Alice in Wonderland whimsy, The Random Tea Room is filled with all things eccentric and miscellaneous. The quaint tea nook boasts an impressive menu of teas and herbal infusions (including a chai tea latte legendary among locals), plus fresh-baked pastries. Monthly musical events keep the atmosphere festive, and a rotating art gallery displays work by local artists. With vintage and locally made knickknacks scattered throughout the shop, there’s plenty to spark the imagination as you sip your tea.
All images photographed by Sara-Paige Silvestro C’16.
58 THE WALK / SUMMER 2014