The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival attracts thousands of people from across the region, with a festival filled to the brim with delicious food, great drinks, live music, fashion, shopping and much more. (Credits: bottom right photo by J. Smith for GPTMC, all other photos by E. Mencher for GPTMC)
One of the entire year’s most anticipated festivals, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, is back this Saturday, May 19, with brand new restaurants, celebrity meet-and-greets, a live Starr chef cook-off, fashion, dessert tent, music on two stages and more.
As all-around awesome as it is, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is just one of a solid 10+ major spring events happening this weekend, so you’ll want to refer to our guide to the fest, below, to make sure you’ll be able to fit it all in!
The festival closes down Walnut Street from Broad to 19th, packing the sidewalks with food vendors, boutique booths, stages and more. There’s something to do every inch of the way.
And back by popular demand will be the 18th Street “outdoor cafe” featuring extra tables and chairs set up outside Rouge, Devon and Parc on 18th between Locust and Walnut Streets. So you can grab a bite and drink and take a load off while you people-watch and enjoy the great spring weather.
Check out a block-by-block rundown of which vendors will be situated where, at the bottom of this post.
A solid 40 restaurants in the Rittenhouse Square area will be setting up along Walnut dishing up samples for a song. The Starr restaurant enclave is on the 18th Street block of Walnut, with eight restos representing plus a new dessert tent.
Insider tip: get to the fest early; many (read: most) of the restaurant booths are so popular, they’ve been know to run out of their dishes by 3 p.m.
A few food highlights to look out for:
• Oyster House: $15 lobster rolls (normally $26 at the restaurant, and they will be the same portion size!)
• Square 1682: Braised Pressed Pork Confit in Steamed Bao Buns, with Vietnamese Caramel and Spicy Pickled Vegetables
• Shake Shack: unfortunately no Shackburgers yet, but you can cool down with fresh frozen custard
• Smith & Wollensky: wash down your filet platter with free Cintron
• Di Bruno Bros.: Cherry Pepper Poppers, Mini Muffaletta Sliders, three types of Grilled Cheese and Risotto Rice Pudding with First of the Season Strawberry Compote
Much more, below.
• Alma de Cuba: pulled pork sandwich, mojitos, sangria
• Barclay Prime: Kobe beef sliders, watermelon juleps
• Butcher and Singer: crab cake sandwich, peach bourbon iced tea, beer
• The Dandelion: roast beef slider, cranberry soda, lemonade soda
• El Rey: chicken or pork tacos, Mexican coke & apple soda, watermelon agua fresca
• Continental: cheesesteak egg rolls, three types of popsicles
• Parc: hot dogs, French hoagies, Orangina, beer, Kir Royale
• Il Pittore: Sicilian meatballs
• Starr Dessert Tent: Alma de Cuba guava bars and Mexican chocolate brownies; Butcher and Singer peanut butter cookies; The Dandelion Chocolate Bouchons; Parc macarons; Il Pittore Pine Nut Brittle and Sambuca Pine Nut Biscotti; and Wild Blueberry, Georgia Peach and Lemon Snow Cones.
Some of the booths, as detailed above, sell drinks, but there are also tasting areas for Peroni wines and Captain Morgan black spiced rum.
Enjoy all-day live music from Norma Michaels Entertainment as you shop the spring fashion booths from Rittenhouse Row’s most chic boutiques. There will be great sales in honor of the festival, like Joan Shepp’s John Wind “Charm Bar,” 10% of sales of which will benefit Linda Creed Breast Cancer.
Plus, stop by the Infiniti Lounge to engage with a luxurious lineup of cars and with one of Philadelphia’s most popular chefs, Kevin Sbraga, former Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef/Owner of Sbraga, who will be available for a meet & greet.
And there will be culinary demonstrations by Starr Restaurant chefs, a cook-off judged by Foobooz editors and mini-workshops by mixologists on how to make Starr’s most delicious cocktails.
Finally, the Center City District children’s area will feature free family activities including face-painting and balloon giveaways.
It’s an absolutely knockout festival for one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, with throngs of festival-goers taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a great spring day in Rittenhouse Square. Be there.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
When: Saturday, May 19, noon-5 p.m.
Where: Along Walnut Street between 19th and Broad Streets
More info: www.rittenhouserow.org
Here’s a rundown of what booths will be where at the festival, going east to west from Broad Street to 19th Street:
1400 Block: from Broad toward 15th Street
• 10 Arts
• American Laser Skincare
• Center City District
• Corner Bakery Cafe
• Duke and Winston
• Festival Food Management
• KYW Newsradio
• Le Pain Quotidien
• Master Jay Moves
• McCormick & Schmick’s
• Morton’s Steakhouse
• New York Times
• Nicole Miller Philadelphia
• Peter Nero and The Philly Pops/Encore Series
• Philadelphia Orchestra
• Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
• XIX at the Bellevue
1500 Block: from 15th Street toward 16th Street
• 500 Degrees
• Beneficial Bank
• Butcher and Singer
• Carolyn Diamond
• Krispy Kreme
• Oyster House
• Philadelphia Magazine
• Senator Larry Farnese
• Stella & Dot
• Alma de Cuba
• Bella Turka
1600 Block: from 16th Street toward 17th Street
• Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
• Enzo Custom Clothiers
• Happy Rooster
• Helium Comedy Club
• Infiniti Lounge
• ING Direct Cafe
• Joan Shepp
• Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board – Fine Wine and Good Spirits
• Right Steps Preschool and Child Care Center
• Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center
• Snyman Chiropractic Center
• South Moon Under
• Square 1682
• Sweat Fitness
• Town Home
1700 Block: from 17th Street toward 18th Street
• Adolf Biecker
• Arcadia Boutique
• Cichetteria 19
• Di Bruno Bros.
• Heads & Tails Beauty Boutique
• Knit Wit
• Le Castagne
• Marathon Grill
• Michael Garden CITYSPACE
• Pure Fare
• Salon Vanity by Edmondo Blando
• Shake Shack
• Tavern 17
• TD Bank
• The Children’s Boutique
• The Prime Rib
1800 Block: from 18th Street toward 19th Street
• Alma de Cuba
• Barclay Prime
• Butcher and Singer
• Continental Midtown
• El Rey
• Il Pittore
• Starr Dessert Tent
• The Dandelion
On 18th Street
• A. Kitchen
• Devon Seafood Grill
• Friends of Rittenhouse Square
• Smith & Wollensky/Cintron
• VIP Hospitality Lounge