Philly: What's In the Callowhill Neighborhood

 What's In the Callowhill Neighborhood

What's In the Callowhill Neighborhood

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Dubbed the “Loft District” by real estate developers and “The Eraser ’Hood” by locals referencing the once-dark landscape that inspired former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead, Callowhill is something in between these two extremes. The stylish-yet-still-transforming neighborhood attracts both young professionals who enjoy its high-end condos and proximity to Center City and artists looking for affordable-yet-expansive studio and gallery spaces.


It’s a formerly industrial neighborhood that charms with a rich stock of large, urban buildings, remnants of cobblestone streets, edgy rock clubs, emerging galleries, and the kind of hidden cultural gems that intrigue visitors and residents alike.

Just north of Center City, Callowhill’s boundaries are often debated, but most agree that it runs from
8th to Broad Streets, spanning Spring Garden and Vine Streets and running along Chinatown's northern border. Bisecting the neighborhood are the distinct elevated train tracks of the dormant Reading Railroad. Many residents hope to turn into a park in the vein of New York City’s High Line, promising further development and creative activity in this burgeoning neighborhood.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries, and maps are available at

Eats & Drinks:

  • Bufad – Callowhill power couple Mike and Jeniphur Pasquarello, of nearby Café Lift and Prohibition Taproom, recently celebrated the third anniversary of their third culinary foray. This 30-seat Neapolitan-style pizzeria serves up seven specialty pies and plenty of smaller plates in a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) setting. 1240 Spring Garden Street, (215) 238-9311,
  • Café Lift – One of the earliest eateries to capitalize on Callowhill’s boom, Café Lift is an urbane brunch and lunch spot in an airy post-industrial space. The menu includes panini, frittatas, and crespelle, including the irresistible Nutty Monkey with bananas and Nutella. 428 N. 13th Street, (215) 922-3031,
  • The Institute – The main subject matter this institute studies is beer, and a 16-tap draft list offers a wide-ranging selection. The corner bar, featuring two floors of private booths with their own TVs, also serves up quirky meals such as burgers with shredded pork, pepper-jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, and bacon; tater tots with chipotle pulled pork; and mac and cheese with roasted garlic alfredo, mixed cheeses, and butter-crumb topping. 549 N. 12th Street, (215) 787-0888,
  • Llama Tooth – This eclectic bistro’s mural-clad outdoor patio featuring a Tiki bar with tropical drinks and a huge menu of bottled microbrews caters to the pre-club crowds. In contrast, the unpretentious menu (barbecue pork mac and cheese, pulled pork tacos, and veggie burgers) boasts an everyman appeal. 1033 Spring Garden Street, (267) 639-4582,
  • Prohibition Taproom – The owners of Café Lift branched out into the gastropub scene with their rehabbed taproom, outfitted with retro-funky black leather barstools, filament bulb lighting fixtures, and a killer jukebox. The menu includes a solid tap list of domestic microbrews and a rotating bottle selection, along with earthy eats from the rotating seasonal menu. 501 N. 13th Street, (215) 238-1818,
  • Sazon – Venezuelan cuisine comes alive at this homey BYOB spot. Hearty platters of steak, rice, and beans; grilled tofu; and arepas stuffed with cheese draw dedicated fans made up of gluten-free eaters and vegetarians. 941 Spring Garden Street, (215) 763-2500,

Culture, Shops & Galleries:

  • Asian Arts Initiative – This community?  Based arts center engages people to create art that explores Asian-Americans' diverse experiences, addresses social context, and positively impacts the community. The organization offers a full calendar of events, including exhibitions, public performances, and out-of-school youth programs, and more. 1219 Vine Street, (215) 557-0455,
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site – The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart writer lived in Philadelphia for six years, including one year at this now-historic site. Visitors can tour the house, learn about Poe’s life and work, observe his early editions and letters and even listen to music inspired by the famed 19th-century author. Hours vary seasonally. 532 N. 7th Street, (215) 597-8780,
  • Grizzly – This small exhibition space is run by practicing artists who curate an engaging series of exhibitions and alternative events and actively promote artists who take risks. 319 N. 11th Street, 2nd floor,
  • Khmer Art Gallery – The first Cambodian art gallery in the city, Khmer displays and sells contemporary art that draws from traditional practices. The collection includes painting, sculpture, textiles, pottery, and more. 319 N. 11th Street, (215) 922-5600,
  • Marginal Utility – Showcasing locally and internationally recognized emerging and established artists, Marginal Utility shares a building with Vox Populi, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and Grizzly Grizzly. A similarly fresh, contemporary aesthetic is at play here and works on canvas, paper, and new media. 319 N. 11th Street, 2nd floor,
  • Mio Culture – This housewares shop focuses on sustainable, green design. Mio Culture’s collection includes customizable furniture, paper wall coverings, recycled cardboard room dividers, wool felt lighting, and other stylish goods. 511 N. 13th Street, (888) 563-3916,
  • PhilaMOCA – The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art is a gallery space and performance venue located in a former showroom for mausoleums and tombstones. The curators’ sense of humor comes out in selecting film, music, performance, and visual art events, such as an annual David Lynch-themed art show and retrospectives of public access television programs. 531 N. 12th Street, (267) 519-9651,
  • Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia – In a few short years, this edgy artist-run space with a distinctly urban vibe has made its mark on the local art scene (there are also branches in New York and Los Angeles). Works on view represent both local and national artists.
    319A N. 11th Street, 2nd floor, Suite 2H, (484) 469-0319,
  • Vox Populi – A collectively run gallery founded in 1988, Vox Populi comprises a rotating membership of artists of various genres, representing the challenging and experimental edge of contemporary art. The Callowhill space hosts monthly exhibitions, gallery talks, performances, lectures, and other programming. 319 N. 11th Street, 3rd floor, (215) 238-1236,

Nightclubs & Entertainment:

  • Electric Factory – One of the larger venues in Philadelphia, this music hall draws local and national acts that attract crowds to the 2,600-person capacity venue. The standing room at stage level is typically all-ages, while a balcony with unbeatable views and a full bar accommodates the 21+ crowd. Past headliners include Kraftwerk, Miley Cyrus, and Faith No More. 421 N. 7th Street, (215) 627-1332,
  • The Trestle Inn – A blend of 1960s- and 70s-inspired drink, music, and entertainment pleases a diverse crowd every Wednesday through Saturday. Famous for reintroducing the Classic Whiskey Sour to Philadelphia, The Trestle Inn’s drink menu features 18 craft cocktails, 70+ domestic and international whiskies, and 13 rotating craft beers on tap. On various nights, patrons can enjoy go-go dancers, DJs, complimentary whiskey tastings, karaoke, craft beer, tap takeovers, and more. 339 N. 11th Street, (267) 239-0290,
  • Underground Arts – Tucked into the burgeoning Callowhill neighborhood, this multi-use performance venue caters to an artistic and creative crowd. The genres of live music run the spectrum, which is one of Underground Art’s greatest assets. 1200 Callowhill Street,
  • Union Transfer – Local and touring indie, punk, hardcore, and hip-hop acts take to the acoustically awesome stage at this ultra-spacious venue, a scalable capacity room that can hold from 500-1,200 people depending on the stage configuration. Each concert finishes with a post-show happy hour. 1026 Spring Garden Street, (215) 232-2100,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay, and the number of things they do in five-county area.

Latest Posts

Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.

Sponsered Ads

Follow PhillyBite:

Follow Our Socials Below