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Old City’s Restaurant Renaissance

zentoImage via Zento Facebook Page

About 10 years ago Old City was synonymous with nightlife.  Any and all guests at nearby hotels where intuitively ushered by concierges to an area of the city embellished with cobblestone streets and historical markers at just about every fifteen feet.

Places such as Cuba Libre, Five Spot, Moda, and Glam attracted athletes, socialites and young Philadelphians looking for a piece of the action.  For years nightclub establishments closed and opened almost like a revolving door as new trends and music formats altered the landscape.

However, something happened after a while.  Nightclubs closed but instead of a newer hipper version popping up in the same locations, the doors remained closed.  The crowds began shifting their attention and business to many of the emerging Center City and Rittenhouse venues.   In short Old City began to be “Old News”.

But something happened in recent years.  Entrepreneurs began investing in buildings that once entertained nightlife goers. Instead of hiring DJs, promoters, and bottle service girls, they are now employing top-notch chefs, hostesses, and waiters.  Old City is now experiencing a Restaurant Renaissance.

Restaurateur Jose Garces saw the shift and has set out to revitalize the historic Book Binders.  Along Chestnut St. you’ll find vibrant and hip places such as Zento which serves up some of the best sushi in town.  Right down the street discover the eccentric Lucha Cartel and their awesomely good Mexican Cuisine.  Not to mention old favorites such as highly regarded Pasitano Coast and Buddakan.

Old City has become a food bizarre that showcases some of the best and brightest Chefs in Philadelphia.  With a large non-chain restaurant presence this pocket of the city that once was the heartbeat of nightlife now has its pulse on the Philadelphia food scene.  This is a food loving town, and Old City is a foodie’s paradise.

On a budget but still want to get in on the action? Here are three listings under $350K


102-22 Church St. #404
With exposed brick this place has tons of character

501 Vine Unit 3-MLS-2

501 Vine St. #6
Who wouldn’t want to create meals in this gorgeous kitchen

301 Race Unit 207-MLS-9

301 Race St. #207
With tons of space and prime location this priced to move


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