Philadelphia Neighborhood Guide

Philadelphia is one of America’s hippest cities, and each of its neighborhoods has its own distinct flavor and flair.

You can see it in the pride and unique character of each of them, and you can see it in the sheer quantity.

By some counts, there are more than 160 distinct neighborhoods within city limits.

philadelphia penn campus love sign

In this guide, we’ve stuck to the most popular and provided insights into their unique characteristics.

Each neighborhood entry includes average rent prices and some local hotspots to help you with relocating to Philly.

Jump to a specific neighborhood using the menu below, or scroll through for the full list.

Alright, let’s go.

Neighborhoods of Philadelphia
















Bella Vista

Home to the iconic Italian Market, Bella Vista remains the epitome of sizable Philadelphia’s Italian-American population, as you might expect from the first neighborhood in the city settled by Italian immigrants many years ago. Today, though, the neighborhood is as rife with taquerias and pho spots as it is with ristorantes.

As a result, it’s one of the city’s finest dining hubs, with great options for food and drink on just about every block, from haute cuisine to holes in the wall.

Average Rent:

Bella-Vista-Rent

Happening Spots:

Sabrina’s
Paesano’s
Prima Pizza
Termini Brothers
Ba Le Bakery

East Passyunk

East Passyunk is a neighborhood that separates long-time Philadelphians from newcomers (those in the know pronounce it “Pa-shunk” with that nasally Mid-Atlantic “ah” sound), but it also unites them. The old school neighborhood has seen a resurgence of late, with hip new restaurants and bars popping up along the commercial corridor amid the traditional haunts.

Even with the renaissance and cheesesteak landmarks Geno’s and Pat’s that draw tourists from all over, East Passyunk has a homey, neighborhood feel.

Average Rent:

East-Passyunk-Rent

Happening Spots:

Laurel
The POPE
Marra’s
Cantina Los Cabalitos
Bing Bing Dim Sum

Fairmount

The Fairmount area is at the heart of many of Philadelphia’s world class museums.

This family-friendly neighborhood in the shadow of a looming old state penitentiary retains a tranquil feel even along its bar-heavy main drag, close enough to the action that it doesn’t feel remote but isolated enough to never feel overwhelming.

Average Rent:

Fairmount-Rent

Happening Spots:

Eastern State Penitentiary
Barnes Foundation
Era Bar
Jack’s Firehouse
Pizzeria Vetri

Fishtown

While many neighborhoods celebrate their rich histories, Fishtown fixes more on its future. No Philadelphia neighborhood has transformed in recent years the way Fishtown has.

In addition to being the home of some of the city’s most interesting new shops and restaurants, it is a hub of the city’s creative scene, brimming with music venues, galleries and studios.

Average Rent:

Northern-Liberties-Fishtown-Rent

Happening Spots:

Johnny Brenda’s
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
Yard’s Brewing Co.
Sancho Pistola’s
Rocket Cat

Graduate Hospital

Graduate Hospital is packed with bars of all kinds, especially along the dense South St. corridor. It’s also highly walkable, making the rich nightlife that much more accessible.

There are plenty of pubs and restaurants, but the areas layout is also very conducive to festivals, block parties and other outdoor gatherings, which are plentiful during warmer months.

Average Rent:

Graduate-Hospital-Rent

Happening Spots:

Honey’s
Magpie Artisan Pie Bakery & Boutique
Ultimo Coffee
Pub & Kitchen
Devil’s Pocket Food and Spirits

Market East

Parking is tough in this downtown neighborhood, but Market Street and adjacent streets are busy with foot traffic, too.

With the Convention Center and historical attractions, out-of-towners are plentiful here, but there are plenty of spots for locals to wine and dine, and its central location makes lots of other great neighborhoods accessible.

Average Rent:

Chinatown-Market-East-Old-City-Society-Hill-Rent

Happening Spots:

Reading Terminal Market
Nan Zhou Noodle House
Indeblue
Hop Sing Laundromat
Yakitori Boy

Northern Liberties

With thriving nightlife and an artsy aesthetic, No Libs is what Old City was a decade or two ago and where Fishtown is heading soon.

With its old factories and warehouses reconstituted into residential and commercial spaces, the one-time industrial neighborhood has evolved quickly into a cultural destination and a hot place to live.

Average Rent:

Northern-Liberties-Fishtown-Rent

Happening Spots:

North Bowl
Standard Tap
Morgan’s Pier
El Camino
Random Tea Room

Old City

The cobblestone streets and historical sites make Old City feel old, but its many boutiques and galleries
make it feel mature.

The restaurant and bar scene make it a worthwhile destination every night of the week, but the lively art scene makes this neighborhood a standout on First Fridays.

Average Rent:

Chinatown-Market-East-Old-City-Society-Hill-Rent

Happening Spots:

Han Dynasty
National Mechanics
Franklin Fountain
Amada
The Khyber

Pennsport

Though new restaurants and bars keep popping up, Pennsport remains a mostly residential neighborhood. It’s also one of the most diverse areas in a fairly diverse city, with row homes inhabited by longtime Philly families and new immigrants from around the world.

As a result, it lacks the options for going out that other neighborhoods boast, but the rich cultural fabric can make it feel just as lively.

Average Rent:

Queen-Village-Pennsport-Rent

Happening Spots:

Federal Chicken and Donuts
Industry Bar
Grindcore House
Shank’s Original
Khmer Kitchen

Powelton Village

A bit removed from the action, Powelton makes up for its remoteness with its lush greenery and distinct architecture.

It’s a decidedly residential neighborhood with an almost suburban feel and a strong sense of community, but there are plenty of great low-key hangouts, too.

Average Rent:

Powelton-Village-Rent

Happening Spots:

Drexel Park
Spencer ETA Burger
LAVA
Green Line Cafe
International House

Queen Village

Queen Village is one of Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhoods, and it contains generations of accumulated charms in its narrow streets.

The brick buildings and leafy trees give it a timelessly cozy feel, but you can also step onto East South Street, still one of the liveliest stretches in the city.

Average Rent:

Queen-Village-Pennsport-Rent

Happening Spots:

Jim’s Steaks
Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
Philly AIDS Thrift
Tattooed Mom
Mostly Books

Rittenhouse Square

With its chichi reputation and elegant green space in the middle of the city, it’s no wonder Rittenhouse Square is such an expensive area. But even if the rent prices make living there seem like an impossible dream, it’s a worthwhile destination, especially for the outdoor dining options when it’s warm out.

Plus, sitting in the park doesn’t cost a dime.

Average Rent:

Rittenhouse-Square-Rent

Happening Spots:

Premium Steap
Hip City Vedge
Parc
First Unitarian Church
Monk’s Cafe

Society Hill

Society Hill has a decidedly retro vibe, which complements the handful of shops and restaurants that dot its historic streets.

The cobblestones can be hard on your shock absorbers, but it’s a great place for a stroll.

Average Rent:

Chinatown-Market-East-Old-City-Society-Hill-Rent

Happening Spots:

Zahav
The Twisted Tail
Blackbird Pizzeria
Xochitl
Milkboy

Spruce Hill

Spruce Hill is one of Philadelphia’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods, and its food scene is all the proof you need. Whatever cuisine you’re craving, you can find an authentic spot somewhere.

Even as the University City student population has stretched westward into Spruce Hill, the population remains family-oriented. Centerpiece Clark Park is great all year round but stands out in the winter for its sled-friendly hills.

Average Rent:

Spruce-Hill-Rent

Happening Spots:

Clark Park
Green Line Cafe
Wah-Gi-Wah
Kilimanjaro
The Rotunda

University City

University City gets its name from the schools there—the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University—and the amenities cater to the student-heavy population. Penn’s and Drexel’s campuses give the neighborhood a predictably collegial atmosphere, and the peripheral elements benefit from the abundance of culture and innovation the schools stimulate.

University City is rife with the sorts of late night hangouts and cheap eats—its a food truck hub throughout the year—that students thrive on, but it’s got plenty of high-end restaurants and art galleries as well.

Average Rent:

University-City-Rent

Happening Spots:

Distrito
Pod
Wishbone
World Cafe Live
White Dog Cafe

Washington Square West

Situated on and around one of the most tranquil green spaces in the city, Washington Square West includes many of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants and the heart of its vibrant Gayborhood.

The neighborhood is also a shopping destination, featuring the famed Jeweler’s Row and Antique Row and a wide variety of boutiques and stores.

Average Rent:

Washington-Square-West-Rent

Happening Spots:

Talula’s Garden
Barbuzzo
El Vez
Mercato
Voyeur

Now that you’ve found a neighborhood, check out our list of 40 thing to do in Philly!