You’ll encounter dozens of independently owned businesses – many selling locally made goods – while exploring Fishtown. On Frankford Avenue, Jinxed sells interesting antiques ranging from signage and art to furniture and other home décor. Shop for fashionable women’s styles, jewelry, candles, apothecary items, and more at TOILE or Vestige. Black-owned Harriett’s Bookshop along Girard Avenue sells literature that celebrates female writers, activists and artists. TIP: Clothes and shoes are tax-free in Philadelphia!
Fishtown is also home to an ever-increasing collection of murals and unsanctioned street art. Wheat pastes, stickers, yarn-bombs, and other forms of street art created by local artists are common to see when strolling Fishtown’s streets. More “official” art is also on view, including the Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze mural by Steve ‘ESPO’ Powers, which was used as album art by Philadelphia musician Kurt Vile. Cats welcome visitors to Fishtown via a mural painted along Frankford Avenue, as seen in AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere television series. Snap a photo in front of one of the Front Street Walls – a collection of nine murals, many painted by local artists. A three-story pigeon mural welcomes those who walk just a few blocks further north along Front Street.
Take a stroll outside around Penn Treaty Park, a community green space along the Delaware River where William Penn reportedly signed a treaty with the Lenape tribe in 1683. The park connects with the Delaware River Trail and presents beautiful views of the river and Benjamin Franklin Bridge. If you’re feeling lucky, head to Rivers Casino, which features an impressive collection of slots and table games, as well as a 5,700-square-foot sportsbook for sports betting. For more games, check out Barcade, which features dozens of classic arcade games that can be played while you enjoy tacos, nachos, beer, and cocktails. Next to Barcade is Fabrika, a dinner theater that spans two floors, features three bars and hosts nightly performances including circus and cabaret acts, live music and more.
Located at the corner of Frankford and Girard avenues, beloved gastropub Johnny Brenda’s is largely credited for Fishtown’s revival thanks to the opening of its upstairs music venue in 2006. The landmark bar regularly hosts independent local musicians as well as nationally touring artists in the intimate, two-tier concert hall. The multi-faceted Fillmore, located in a former metal factory, welcomes larger national and international touring acts on the main stage and up-and-coming local artists at the smaller Foundry club. Across the street is the club-style venue, The Barbary, which hosts DJs, local bands, and dance parties. TIP: If you’re in the mood for comedy, catch a stand-up routine at Punch Line Philly, located next to the Fillmore.
Cover photo: Fabrika. Photo by Afrik Armando.