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Elfreth's Alley, a historic alleyway from the early 1700s.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Old City

Elfreth's Alley, a historic alleyway from the early 1700s.
  • By Swabreen Bakr
  • Photos by Michelle Gustafson
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Old City
Philadelphia
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Most know Philadelphia’s Old City as the birthplace of United States independence — home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House. But there is another side of this neighborhood that’s brimming with art, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Extremely walkable, Old City is packed with locally owned places to duck into as you wander up and down North Second and Third streets from Market to Chestnut streets.

Meet Swabreen Bakr

Swabreen grew up in South America and settled in Philadelphia for college at Drexel University in 2002. She loves exploring cities both locally and internationally. She’s been writing about Philadelphia for about 10 years.

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mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Old City

High Street on Market
A restaurant and bakery serving American cuisine with a rustic edge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar is tiny, but it’s stocked with local spirits, beer and wines. If you’re going for lunch, order the pastrami on rye.
High Street on Market, 308 Market St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Arch Enemy Arts
Arch Enemy is a contemporary art gallery dedicated to exhibiting lowbrow, pop-surrealism, urban and macabre art.
Arch Enemy Arts, 109 Arch St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
The Clay Studio
The Clay Studio was founded in 1974 with the goal of offering students affordable studio space and equipment. Today it’s a gallery and store specializing in ceramic art by local claymakers, in addition to being a studio that holds classes and workshops.
The Clay Studio, 139 N. Second St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Royal Boucherie
From chef Nicholas Elmi, this brasserie serves up French-inspired cuisine, along with a raw bar. Ask to be seated in the garden on the second floor.
Royal Boucherie, 52 S. Second St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Khyber Pass Pub
Khyber Pass is dark and loud and has an amazing craft beer and brown-liquor selection. It also specializes in Southern, Creole and Cajun cuisines, with some vegan options.
Khyber Pass Pub, 56 S. Second St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
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Swabreen Bakr
Swabreen grew up in South America and settled in Philadelphia for college at Drexel University in 2002. She loves exploring cities both locally and internationally. She’s been writing about Philadelphia for about 10 years.
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Michelle Gustafson
Michelle is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Philadelphia. Originally from New Mexico, she loves Philadelphia’s bravado and salt-of-the-earth attitude. You may spot her at Little Nonna’s, where she gets closer and closer to eating the entire plate of spaghetti in one sitting.

CITY GUIDES