Younger fans might know them best as Jimmy Fallon's band, but to old-school hip-hop fans, you just know them as The Roots. This summer, you can catch them live — sans their Late Night pal — at The Roots Picnic. In its sixth year, this one-day festival — held at Festival Pier — will also feature performances from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Trinidad Jame$, The Gaslamp Killer, Solange, Naughty by Nature (!), and many more. Oh, and the aforementioned hosts. It's going down on June 1; prepare accordingly.
Where better to spend your Cinco de Mayo than a place named after Mexico's national liquor*? Tequila's isn't a shots-and-Tecate kind of place, though — instead, it's one of the best Mexican restaurants around. Led by chef David Suro, this upscale eatery serves up authentic Mexican cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and plenty of chihuahua cheese. And as you'd expect, they also offer an excellent selection of tequilas, mezcal, and, of course, margaritas.
*We're not really sure if it's their national liquor — or if national liquors even exist — but if they did, Mexico's would so be tequila.
The mall is a great place to go for variety, but it just can't compete with a great standalone store for ambiance. Take Boyd's Philadelphia for example. Men have been buying their clothes there since 1938, and it's easy to see why. Stretched across four floors — and with three of them offing men's gear — the store offers everything from fine suiting to casual sportswear, as well as a revered selection of shoes. If you've got some extra time to kill, be sure to visit the cafe for a bite, or just to grab a drink.
Craft breweries abound in and around the City of Brotherly Love, but if you're in the mood for something a bit less... domestic, head to Monk's Cafe. This Rittenhouse Square drinkery offers roughly 20 brews on tap, with the vast majority sourced form locations outside the country, and an exhaustive bottle selection with a focus on Belgians. Monk's also serves a food menu, the meat of which is made up of mussels, burgers, and sandwiches, but you're totally forgiven for skipping dinner (or lunch) so you have more room left over for suds.
Season 3 might wrap things up at the end of March, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for Season 4 to get your undead fix. Scheduled for April 21, The Walking Dead Escape is set in the Wells Fargo Center, and is your chance to be one of the survivors in a 35-50 minute experience that sees your group try to escape the undead as you take on an obstacle course that includes an evacuation zone, a highway, a hospital, and a prison, as well as a head-to-head gladiator tournament. Or, if you're feeling evil, become one of the walkers, receive some makeup, and roam the course for 2.5 hours doing your best to recruit some survivors to your team. Either way, it's sure to be an experience you won't soon forget — much like the season finale. Oh, and don't worry if you're based on the West Coast — there's another one scheduled for San Diego later this summer.
You don't need to be a vegan to appreciate Vedge — but it certainly doesn't hurt. Opened by a husband and wife team of chefs and located in the historic Tiger Building, this elegant restaurant serves up a globally-inspired menu of animal-free dishes that rival anything at carnivore-focused spots. The cocktail menu is equally innovative, with many drinks using house-made syrups and bitters, and is joined by an impressive list of craft wines and beers. Oh, and be sure to look up, lest you miss the whimsical spoon chandelier.
What better place to open a modern speakeasy than a spot that was the front for the largest alcohol ring in the US during Prohibition? The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is that place, transporting its guests back to the pre-Prohibition age when bartenders were artists and cocktails were something to be savored instead of slammed during happy hour. All the drinks at this themed drinkery are made with the finest spirits, fresh juices, and the utmost attention from the bartender — just don't expect to order up a beer or anything with vodka, as you won't find either in stock. [Scouted by Ryan]
Looking for a barber shop with character? Will one that's been in business since 1922 do the trick? Ralph's Barber Shop is a family-owned and -run business, offering two full floors of workstations. Sports fans will be delighted to find HD televisions for watching the game, sports memorabilia on the walls, and even authentic seats from Veteran's Stadium in the waiting room. Amazingly, though, that's not the most impressive piece of history on display — that title goes to the the portable barber chair that the owner's granddad used when cutting General George S. Patton's hair.
Enjoy some modern Mexican cuisine in a modern setting at Distrito. Located in University City, this stop is open for lunch and dinner, with a menu focused on Mexico City cuisine and small plates, accompanied by an extensive tequila list. The food isn't the only attraction, though — spread across the two floors are a bar/lounge, a live entertainment area, a Mexican taxi dining booth, and a wall that's completely covered in Lucha Libre masks. [Scouted by James]
Most of the time entering a store because of a shiny storefront is a bad idea — but with Ubiq, we just couldn't help it. This upscale shop offers a huge range of hard-to-find, limited release sneakers, as well as sportswear, all in an upscale atmosphere. And while that's all well and good, it's the first floor and its rap video-like atmosphere that will draw you in. Can't make it over to Walnut? There's a second location in the Gallery Mall.
With a name like that, you'd expect the City Tap House to have a pretty decent beer selection. And you'd be right. Boasting roughly 50 taps, this University City establishment offers a good mix of imports and domestics, microbrews and big-name beers, all listed with the price, pour size, and ABV percentage. The food menu is also decent, going beyond the basic stuff from the deep fryer. If you live in the area, keep an eye out for tap takeover events for your chance to taste some off-the-beaten-path beers. [Scouted by James]
Where do '76ers head when it's time for a fine cigar? If they're smart, they end up at Holt's Cigar Company. The city's biggest and oldest cigar store, this inviting shop offers a huge array of cigars and accessories, as well as a smoking lounge for those who can't wait until they make it home to sample their purchase. The staff is ready to help with suggestions, or to find you a glass — Holt's is BYOB friendly.