One of the most underrated neighborhoods in all of Philadelphia, historic Bella Vista is nestled into southeast Center City. Known for its tree-lined streets and the wondrous open-air Italian Market, Bella Vista is a hotbed for family restaurants, bakeries, and local grocery stores tucked away just below Society Hill and Washington Square. Bella Vista, whose name literally translates to “beautiful view” in Italian, offers a refreshing blend of city-wide accessibility and open space for recreation and fun.
Its borders are defined by 11th Street to the West, 6th Street to the East, Bainbridge Street to the North and the bustling Washington Avenue to the south, making it a nicely even square on the map. Bella Vista’s location is perfect for commuting city-dwellers and those looking for an urban oasis in which to plant their roots. You’re no more than a quick ride or a nice walk from the bustle of Center City, yet still removed enough to feel a distinct sense of community in the neighborhood.
Getting to this residential neighborhood from all areas of the city is pretty easy! Hop off I-95 at the Washington Avenue exit, and you’re just a few minutes away from the heart of the neighborhood. If you’re on SEPTA, you can get off of the Broad Street Line at Lombard-South station and take the beautiful walk through the verdant streets of Hawthorne and Washington Square. Coming from Grays Ferry or West Philly? The 64 will take you from the Parkside Loop down through Walnut Hill and Cedar Park before crossing the bridge and cutting along Washington Avenue all the way down to Pier 70 at Front and Reed. Looking for street parking isn’t so bad, though hopefully you’ve been working on your parallel parking game.
Once you’re in Bella Vista, you’ll find an unrivaled expanse of local restaurants, cafes, and places to lounge and enjoy your time outside. You might even get the time to try both Pat’s and Geno’s (right there at 9th and Passyunk), or more importantly, Sam’s Morning Glory Diner, Blue Corn, or Fitzwater Cafe. And of course, biking is a breeze with the flat streets and wide lanes for bikers of all skill levels. While on your ride, you may be inclined to stop at one of Bella Vista’s numerous open air cafes and market stalls and quench your thirst or grab a bite. You really can’t go wrong here. Don’t believe us? Go see for yourself.