To reduce impact on the environment, it is important to support local businesses, restaurants and purveyors of responsible experiences. Some of these to add in any Philadelphia holiday itinerary are:
Caffeinate with care
La Colombe’s flagship Fishtown café is a community-focused coffee company that has a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, including direct sourcing and sustainable packaging. By visiting independent roasters and cafés such as Càphê Roasters in Kensington, the first and only Vietnamese specialty coffee roastery in the city, visitors also support sustainable and responsible tourism.
Stroll through Philadelphia’s distinct neighborhoods
Explore one of the most walkable downtowns in the USA on foot to explore the city’s multicultural communities. To learn more about the history of each neighborhood, join one of many different walking tours, including one that guides you through the mosaic-lined streets of South Philadelphia and into the Italian Market bustling with independent vendors representing a variety of global cuisines and cultures.
Bike your way through the city
Rent a bike from one of over 170 Indego bike share stations around the city and pedal through neighborhoods or along the Schuylkill River Trail, stopping for a choose-your-own open-air photo ops along the way.
Leave with only fond memories from Philadelphia’s parks
The preservation of natural resources is a priority for the city. It is home to over 10,000 acres of parks, squares, and recreation sites that has made the city’s urban park system as one of the world’s largest. This large assemblage of green spaces includes the 2,000+ acre Fairmount Park, which lines the banks of the Schuylkill River and features miles of biking, walking, and hiking trails, with scores of picnic-perfect lawns.
Refuel with plant-based plates
100% plant-based eateries owned by restaurateur Nicole Marquis, including HipCityVeg, Bar Bombón and Charlie Was a Sinner are perfect for those looking for vegan options. Other plant-based options include the vegan versions of breakfast staples served at the intimate South Philadelphia diner, The Tasty, or the falafel sandwiches, salads and tahini shakes at Goldie. Enjoy a more elevated dining experience at Vedge – ranked as one of Thrillist’s 33 Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in America featuring items made with fresh, locally sourced vegetables. For dessert, order 100% dairy-free soft serve from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream along 13th Street in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. To savor a vegan version of Philadelphia’s iconic cheesesteak, check out Campo’s Philly Cheesesteaks located in Old City, Philadelphia.
Sustainable shopping options that support local communities
Home to tax-free shopping on clothes and shoes, Philadelphia is a shopper’s delight, and choosing to buy from locally owned businesses helps support the city’s diverse communities. For every product sold, the Philadelphia-based apparel company removes one pound of trash from the earth’s waterways. Venture to Philadelphia’s Garden District, Chestnut Hill, where you will find over 30 independent boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and other independent green businesses. Other shopping hotspots filled with independent businesses include Old City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, and Manayunk.
Sip sustainable beer at craft breweries
Enjoy craft beer from Pennsylvania’s first Certified B Corporation brewery, Triple Bottom Brewing Company. Triple Bottom also sends spent grain from their brews to local composters and cows. Yards Brewing Company, along Spring Garden Street, is another sustainable brewery to visit. Philadelphia’s original craft brewery was also the first brewery in Pennsylvania to be 100% wind-powered, and now also features solar panels placed on the roof of their 70,000-square-foot brewery and taproom.
Enjoy a farm-to-table feast
Many local restaurants, such as Talula’s Garden near Washington Square, prioritize farm-to-table menus, sourcing responsibly from regional farms and purveyors to deliver unforgettable, only-in-Philadelphia meals. Restaurateur Ellen Yin was an early adopter of local and responsible sourcing for her restaurants, which include Fork and High Street Philly, and she also utilizes a bio-digester that transforms food scraps into potable water. One of the earliest restaurants to pursue a farm-to-table menu in Philadelphia was White Dog Café in University City. Here, enjoy seasonal menus with inside a cozy café setting with dog-themed décor. Another restaurant that feature farm-to-table menus is Martha, Vetri Cucina.