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Secrets of the City: Philly

Revealing all the untold stories of Philly. From all the best local spots to our love for a good parade, check out the stories that make the City of Brotherly Love unique!

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Old City Eats: Philadelphia’s Weekly Block-Party

What’s a “Block Party,” you ask? It’s simply the best way to get to know your neighbors and make new friends in Philadelphia! Think a backyard barbecue, moved to the middle of the street. Now make it a backyard barbeque with international cuisine, drinks, a DJ, and dancing. That’s right. In Philly, we block the traffic, load up the cooler, fire up the grill and the tunes, and party on the cobblestones!

Block parties of all sorts happen year round in most of Philly’s neighborhoods, but there’s one weekly summer celebration that you do not want to miss: Old City Eats! For the sixth year in a row, this weekly curbside celebration happens every Thursday in the summer through the end of August. Located at 2nd and Market Streets (across the street from where Philly Crawling’s Liberty Pub Crawl begins), Old City Eats offers a chance to eat, drink, sing, and dance with the friends you never knew you had in Philly!


a group of people standing in front of a crowd

Old City Eats Block Party / Photograph by Hugh E. Dillon

Each Thursday, Old City is blocked off from traffic and over twenty restaurants, bars, and eateries set up on the street to offer discounted small bites, plus beer and cocktail specials. Besides Philly’s favorite snacks and specialties, you’ll also find more exotic dishes to enjoy. Old City’s diverse dining scene will satisfy any craving and please any palate. There are Italian, Irish, Cuban, Mexican, Spanish, Cajun and Creole offerings, to name a few. In addition to good eats and drinks, Old City’s performing arts and creative venues also offer discounts on tickets to select locations and activities through the summer, including Arden Theatre Company, Christ Church Neighborhood House, and the Philadelphia Film Society.

Remember, street closures mean limited parking, so your best bets are to either walk, ride a bike, or hop on the Market-Frankford subway line to the 2nd Street station.

There are no tickets needed to attend this weekly block party and no admittance fee—you just show up and explore. Food and drink options are pay-as-you-go. You can pop into a coffee shop, bar or eatery and enjoy some live music indoors, sample some snacks as you stroll through the streets, or dip into a pub to people watch while you sip on a “city wide.”

Our recommendation? Check out the Old City Eats block party right after you experience Philly Crawling’s Liberty Pub Crawl from 4 – 6:15pm. Or you can take in Old City Eats before you jump on the Crawl that starts at 7pm. Either way, you’re guaranteed a fun and delicious time. Just remember to come hungry and thirsty. Oh, and be sure to wear your dancing shoes!

Written by Jenna, a local expert guide for Philly Crawling. A recent escapee from the corporate world, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with family. She’s a pet lover, self-proclaimed beer geek, travel enthusiast, and aspiring foodie. Join Jenna for history and beer on Philly Crawling’s Liberty Pub Crawl.

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