Fairhill: Philly’s Best Kept Secret

NEWS FLASH: The Badlands have gone good.   Just North of Huntingdon Street, East of Kensington Avenue is a concrete jungle full of gems.  Enter Fairhill, a haven for foodies, Latin dance music lovers, tattoo addicts, families and artists.

This is Philly we’re talking about, so let’s start with food. Can you say sabrosa?  Saab-ro-sa.  It means delicious in Spanish.  How about rico, as in Puerto Rico.  It means rich.  Delicious, rich flavors are what you’ll find in Fairhill’s best known food joints.

Topping off the list is Freddy & Tony’s, a cozy, laid back neighborhood staple serving up authentic Puerto Rican dishes since 1980.

Whether you just want to grab a savory meat filled empanadita to go or sit down for a generous portion of roasted pork, whole red snapper, rice, beans and avocado, Freddy & Tony’s is sure to satisfy.

Other notable spots for an authentic Puerto Rican or Dominican meal are El Bohío and Vivaldi in El Centro de Oro and El Principe at Lehigh and Front.  Not crazy about Spanish food? (Rly tho.. have u even tried it?)  Olympia Restaurant just down the street from Freddy and Tony’s on Allegheny is THE family breakfast and brunch spot that won’t break your wallet.

If you want to sample a little Spanish flavor AND enjoy some night life, Isla Verde at Lehigh and American is the place to be.  This is theplace for Triple D: Dinner, Drinks and Dancing.   As reported on philly.com,

“The sleek spot turns into a hip lounge and nightspot with a DJ on Friday Nights and a live house band (guaguanco, mosambique or salsa) on Saturday nights”

Speaking of party time, where were you planning on getting your next custom party cake?  Delícia’s Bakery on 5th and Cambria makes creative, beautiful cakes for birthdays, baby showers, weddings and more.  Locals love Delícia’s for their comforting morning coffee, freshly baked bread and pastelitos.

Delicias Bakery Pastelillo in Fairhill Philadelphia

If you like to walk on the wilder side, just around the corner from Delícia’s is Inkadelphia Tattoo Studio, an award winning tattoo and piercing shop on Cambria at 5th Street.  Loved by loyal customers for beautiful artwork by Fax, Luis and Train and piercings by Pierce Queen, Inkadelphia has been featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine, Ink Magazine, and many others.  Walk-ins are always welcome at this reputable shop.

Inkadelphia in Fairhill Philadelphia

Maybe you’re more passionate about body sculpting than body modification.  Peter Watts Fitness Studio on N.5th Street has got your back.  Offering Zumba, strength training, martial arts and good old fashioned iron pumping for men and women alike, Peter Watts as been a Fairhill stronghold for almost 15 years, hosting fundraisers and giving back to the community.

Watts Fitness in Fairhill Philadelphia

If you’re looking for something sexy to wear on your next night out,  Jerry’s Fashions is full of affordable surprises.  Jerry’s also carries a gorgeous selection of ladies sweet sixteen, quinceanara and prom dresses, with loads of shoes and accessories to choose from.

Weekends are a great time to stop through one of Fairhill’s cultural community spaces.  To the west at Germantown Avenue, the Historic Fair Hill Burial Grounds is home to the resting places of abolitionist freedom fighters Lucretia Mott and Robert Purvis.  On Saturdays, volunteers host a farmers market from the neighbor tended community  vegetable garden.  Before you go, check out Taller Puertorriqueño brand new cultural center at 5th and Huntingdon.  Visit the Julia de Burgos gift shop and view one of the ongoing art exhibitions.  And, keep your eyes and ears open for weekend festivals in Fairhill Square Park where families can have fun together.