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Last weekend while visiting my family in Philadelphia I had the pleasure of spending time in the center South Philly on East Passyunk Avenue. This fast growing community was once known for its Italian-American heritage but has being undergoing a mayor transformation thanks to young newcomers settling in the avenue. These demanding new setters have inspired a renaissance consisting of trendy new businesses and restaurants. With more opening every year this small street has began a transformation that shows no signs of stopping.

The neighborhood and its commercial strip are a fantastic find that you need to experience in its totality. Here you will find anything your heart desires, from trendy stores to high-end boutiques, and small cafes to gourmet restaurants. Diverse restaurants will meet the expectations of even the most sophisticated food connoisseurs, and the cuisine ranges from Italian to Japanese dining, to Norwegian to Mexican.

The two restaurants owned by husband and wife chefs Lynn Rinaldi and Cory Baver exemplify the progress and transformation of East Passyunk. Paradiso was one of the first to open, about eight years ago, and  has the reputation of being one of the area’s most innovative and creative Italian restaurants. Their second restaurant, Izumi a Japanese with innovative creations is a real treat to the palette thanks to it extensive selection of fish dishes and their creative presentation. I had the pleasure of eating at Izumi and the sophisticated cuts of fish and ingenuity of the eclectic menu really took me by surprise.

As the locals will attest, there is no better way to end a long day of shopping and dinning at the East Passyunk corridor than by sampling one of the many gelatos at Capogiro (capogirogelato.com)

Whatever your taste preference, take a stroll along East Passyunk Avenue and get lost among its charming shops and restaurants and enjoy everything they have to offer.


Two examples of the versatile selections at Izumi are the Chu Toro/Fatty Tuna, perfect for Sashimi lovers, and the Rock Shrimp Tempura Roll with softshell crab and fish flakes—just delicious. If you want something really different I recommend Buta Kakuni, braised pork belly that’s cooked perfectly and served with congee rice and sweet soy sauce.

At Paradiso I liked the Duck Breast “Agrodolce”, with Polenta; the duck was cooked to perfection, and the agrodolce sauce was not the least bit overpowering. Another of my favorites is the Stuffed Veal Breast in Spinach with Pistachio and Tallegio Torte—both tender and juicy.


1601 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
T: 215.271.1222


1627 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
P. 215.271.2066

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Editor insider tip

Nipper's is the place to go, one of the few beach bars on Guana Cay. Fun party atmosphere and great food.  —Richard Thiel 

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Reader insider tip

At El Rodaballo you will find fresh seafood and authentic Caribbean cuisine. A gem in the center of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  —Juan Ortiz 


City in a Day: Old City, Philadelphia

Ben Franklin Old CityEnjoy a day discovering your favorite city, take a city bus, train, bike ride or even a stroll around the city.
Browse our city reviews to plan your itinerary with the help of our insider tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to shop.

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