Located near Wissahickon Park and Cresheim Creeks, Chestnut Hill is known for its historic buildings, parks, and status as a 19th-century vacation spot where the wealthy who lived in Center City would go to escape the heat of the city. The neighborhood still has plenty of antique charm, filled with Victorian twins, cobblestone streets, and classic mansions, not to mention a ton of great shops, businesses, and restaurants too. From several great pubs to bakeries and fine-dining spots, here are great 5 places to check out in Philly’s Garden District.
Chestnut Hill Brewing Company
As a popular place to drive to after walking through Wissahickon Park, Chestnut Hill Brewing Company is the spot for wood-fired pizza in the area. Whether you’re sitting next to the fire pits on the large patio or under the rustic hanging lights inside, you can’t go wrong with their “Presto Bianca.” With creamy parmesan, mozzarella, pecorino Romano, and pine nut pesto melting into each bite, the pie has a perfect combination of nutty and tangy flavor.
Open for almost 100 years, McNally’s Tavern has long served classic sandwiches and cocktails to people in the neighborhood. Speaking of classics, nothing’s more iconic than our favorite, “The Schmitter” sandwich. The massive cheesesteak-like combination, with beef, fried onions, and cheese, is topped with grilled salami and a house-made Thousand Island-style special sauce. The sandwich is so popular that you can even grab one at Citizens Bank Park, but we suggest you eat yours at McNally’s where there’s a wider selection of beers and nearby parking doesn’t cost the price of a new Xbox.
Nothing says Garden District more than a restaurant in a Victorian greenhouse that’s attached to a flower shop. But the surrounding florals and natural lighting aren’t the biggest draws at Cake. They have tremendous breakfast and brunch items on their menu with one of our favorites being the garden frittata. It’s light and the creamy, sweet, and nutty smoked gouda adds an extra layer of flavor to each bite.
Chestnut Hill Grill
At Chestnut Hill Grill, you can dine either indoors or outside on their spacious covered porch. But whether you’re surrounded by paintings and flowers on their portion of the Fareway or inside, you should try their New Orleans catfish. The juicy and tender fish is flawlessly blackened and gets an extra peppery kick from the spicy cajun aioli.
El Poquito creates some of the most delicious Mexican in the area. It doesn’t matter if you’re dining in the courtyard or hitting up your delivery apps again, you can’t go wrong with their mole chicken enchiladas. The dish is smothered in a fiery and smokey mole sauce which is a nice contrast with the smooth crema that comes over the marinated chicken and peppers.