Northern Liberties is an up-and-coming arts district in Philadelphia with an exciting night life scene. The neighborhood offers a host of artistic eateries and the authentic music venues. For those spending time in Northern Liberties, here are the spots you must check out.
Explore Northern Liberties’ rich collection of public art, which includes officially sanctioned projects by Mural Arts Philadelphia and less formal street art from local artists. Among the neighborhood’s murals is Bell’s Pond on the Bell Floor Covering Company (1050 N. 2nd St.) shows koi in a pond and Through Cracks in Pavement (717 N. 5th St.), which features medicinal plants and flowers and healing bark, leaves and roots. Not to be missed is the rotating series of murals at 2nd and Poplar Streets, which have depicted a large bison, soaring eagle, portrait of Benjamin Franklin, and other funky designs in its many iterations.
A mural of famed author Edgar Allan Poe stands opposite to the only remaining one of his Philadelphia homes at 7th and Spring Garden streets. Explore the historic site managed by National Park Service and discover the basement similar to the one described in Poe’s “The Black Cat”, which was penned while he was living in the home.
Shop from the locally owned businesses that line N. 2nd Street, such as Art Star Gallery and Boutique, which offers unique items by local and national artists. A few blocks away, Trunc sells handcrafted goods including art, clothing, jewelry, and apothecary items. Freedom Apothecary is a Black- and Brown-owned wellness boutique for women with a wide variety of skin and body care products. Pick up quirky gifts, candles, and uniquely-Philadelphia souvenirs at Swag Boutique. Tea connoisseurs will be delighted with the collection of loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and accessories at the Random Tea Room on N. 4th Street.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local shops are operating online only with curbside pick-up. Be sure to check the store’s website for more information and to place an order.
Relax in the spacious Liberty Lands park before bowling a few frames with friends at hip bowling alley North Bowl while enjoying their popular menu of tater tot-centric dishes. Catch live music at Ortlieb’s, The Fire, or Italian-inspired restaurant, Heritage.
Cover photo: Freedom Apothecary. Photo by K. Kennedy.