What neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived there? Fairmount, I’ve been there for five years. I love that it feels like a suburb of Philadelphia. It’s very family friendly, everyone knows everyone, and we all look out for each other. And Fairmount Ave is like our own little main street in a small town.
Where do you put up friends visiting town? Friends usually stay at my house.
Where is the best place to find your hometown’s signature dish? Pork and Broccoli Rabe sandwich at Tony Luke’s (39 E. Oregon Ave.; 215-551-5725; tonylukes.com) or cheesesteak at Pat's (1237 E. Passyunk Ave.; 215-468-1546; patskingofsteaks.com).
What is your favorite restaurant to take visitors? Zahav... nothing like it! (237 St. James Pl.; 215-625-8800; zahavrestaurant.com).
Where can you find the best cocktails? Beer list? Wine list? Cocktails: Hop Sing Laundromat in Chinatown (1029 Race St.; hopsinglaundromat.com). Beer list: Monk’s Café in Rittenhouse (264 S. 16th St.; 215-545-7005; monkscafe.com), and of course, Vetri for the wine list. They all have something for everyone. You simply can’t walk in there and not find something you love (1312 Spruce St.; 215-732-3478; vetriristorante.com).
Where would you choose to splurge on a night out? Vetri... or Morimoto. Just sit at the sushi counter and let them slice fish for you (723 Chestnut St.; 215-413-9070; morimotorestaurant.com).
What is your go-to after-hours bar? I wish I knew!
What’s the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon in town? The Barnes Foundation is amazing (2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-278-7200; barnesfoundation.org), Franklin Institute (222 N. 20th St.; 215-448-1200; fi.edu), Rodin Museum (2154 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-763-8100; rodinmuseum.org), Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; philamuseum.org), Philadelphia Library (1901 Vine St.; 215-686-5322; freelibrary.org). Fairmount Park has great fields, the river is great to walk along, picnics. Please Touch Museum is also great, great playgrounds for kids (4231 Avenue of the Republic; 215-581-3181; pleasetouchmuseum.org).
What is your Sunday morning routine in your neighborhood? Pancake making, yoga, run around outside, back alley playing then cooking on the grill.
Where is the best brunch? Hank’s Place in Chadds Ford. I love going here because it’s the quintessential greasy spoon with grits, corned beef hash eggs perfectly cooked to your specifications etcetera (1625 Creek Rd.; 610-388-7061; hanks-place.net).
Where do you go for the perfect cup of coffee? La Colombe (the new flagship) in Fishtown (1335 Frankford Ave.; 267-479-1600; lacolombe.com).
What’s your favorite view in town (that tourists might not know about)? R2L without a doubt–the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. It looks out on the entire city. It’s really amazing (50 S. 16th St.; 215-564-5337; r2lrestaurant.com).
What’s your favorite path or trail to follow on a walk? I like to bike out to Valley Green, right along the Wissahickon river.
What are your favorite offbeat cultural attractions? All the museums are so special and centrally located. The Barnes, Franklin Institute, Art Museum...all amazing.
What’s your favorite shop or boutique? Love going antique shopping on Pine street. There are tons of great finds.
What’s the best-kept local secret? Cafe Lutecia (in Rittenhouse Square). They have the best lunch salads and sandwiches and the nicest people (2301 Lombard St.; 215-790-9557).
Image Credits: Corbis, Mike Regan, R2L
In our Hometown Guides series, we're seeking the best restaurants, bars, vistas, and things to do in a given place from the people who know best—the artists, designers, chefs, and store owners who live there. See more Hometown Guides »