Our Guide To The Food, Drink, Fashion And Family-Friendly Festivities Of The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Taking Over Six Blocks Of Walnut Street, This Saturday, May 18

The ever-popular Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is set to fill Walnut Street with food, vendors, music and fun this Saturday, May 18.(Photos by E. Mencher for GPTMC)

The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, one of Philadelphia’s most-anticipated and best-attended festivals of the year, returns this Saturday, May 18 from noon to 5 p.m.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the daylong fest, which takes over Walnut Street from Broad to 19th streets and showcases the neighborhood’s finest food, fashions and live entertainment.

Come hungry, as dining and drinking are the main attractions. More than 40 restaurants will set up shop along the sidewalks of Walnut Street to serve up samples of spring fare. Beyond the eats, there’s also lots of live music, free wine tastings and more.

Read on for our complete guide to the annual Walnut Street extravaganza.

The Layout

Spanning six blocks of Walnut Street, the festival brings street closures from Broad to 19th streets, and to 18th street from Sansom to Locust streets.

Count on every foot of Walnut to be filled with festival fun, and look for restaurants on 18th street to overflow from sidewalks with additional outdoor tables and service on 18th south of Walnut from Devon, Rouge and Parc, plus seating on 18th north of Walnut from a. kitchen, a.bar and Smith & Wollensky.

And for a complete block-by-block lineup to plan your day, see below.

The Food and Drink

Graze along Walnut Street with options from more than 40 Rittenhouse-area restaurants and bars. Look for a.kitchen to serve a delicious miso-glazed octopus, Vernick Food and Drink to dish a spread of marinated meat and veggie skewers and Rouge to serve a decadent Kobe beef hot dog.

Also look for fare from restaurants including: 500 Degrees, a. Bar, Alfa, Applebees, Ben and Jerry’s, Capogiro Gelato, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse, Corner Bakery Café, The Corner Foodery, Devon Seafood Grill, Di Bruno Bros., Happy Rooster, Hip City Veg, Honeygrow, Lacroix, Le Bec Fin, Marathon Grill, Oyster House, The Prime Rib, Pub and Kitchen, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Rotisseur, Rouge, Sbraga, Schlesinger’s, Shake Shack, Smith and Wollensky, Square 1682, Tavern 17, Termini Brothers Bakery, Underdogs, Vernick, Village Whiskey, Wok and XIX.

For wine, beer and cocktails, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will pour tastes of 20 Chairman’s Selection wines with a concierge and onsite store, plus Peroni beer, Rex Goliath wines, Cintron and festive cocktails will flow.

With eight Starr Restaurants in the neighborhood, it’s fitting for the group to host its own festivities within the main event. Sample food, drink and desserts from Alma de Cuba, Barclay Prime, Butcher and Singer, Continental Mid-town, The Dandelion, El Rey, Il Pittore and Parc on the 1800 block of Walnut.

Huge crowds flock to Walnut Street for the annual Rittenhouse block party. (Photo by E. Mencher for GPTMC)

The Fashion

In addition to its fine dining opportunities, Rittenhouse houses serious shopping spots. During the festival, seek out alfresco outposts of Joan Shepp, South Moon Under, Knit Wit, Town Home, Kembrel, Hope Chest, Born Yesterday, Heads and Tails, Duke and Winston, The Children’s Boutique, Tumi, The Shops at the Bellevue and others.

The Entertainment

But don’t stop with eating, drinking and shopping. A terrific range of entertainment lasts all day for both wee ones and adults. Live music will rock all afternoon from the stage at Sydenham Street between 15th and 16th streets.

On the 1500 block, the Infiniti Lounge hosts author and culinary personality Hope Cohen of Fast, Fresh + Simple, who will be onsite with samples of one of her recipes.

On the 1700 block, check out the Whisper Outdoor Lounge with its DJ and specialty cocktails from G Lounge, Whisper and The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., and snacks from the Corner Foodery.

On 18th street between Walnut and Sansom, bring the kids to the Center City District craft pavilion to get hands-on with make-and-take crafts and create a mock radio newscast with KYW Newsradio. Family-friendly activities are sponsored by such cultural organizations as the Arden Theatre Company, Please Touch Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Historic Philadelphia, Philadelphia Art Alliance, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Walnut Street Theatre and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.

Finally, check out the Starr Culinary Demonstration Stage at 19th and Walnut, with entertainment from balloon twister and storyteller Allyn Gordon.

Also, Starr Restaurants gives back to Philabundance this year. Bring a non-perishable food items or a monetary donation (10 cans, $10, or both) for Philabundance and to enter a raffle to win one of three dinner and/or getaway prizes. Check out the Starr Smallwares Sidewalk Sale, too, to purchase discounted china, glassware and accessories from Starr Restaurants with the proceeds benefitting Philabundance.

Be sure to follow Uwishunu on Twitter and Instagram for throughout the day for more.

And for the complete block-by-block lineup, see below!

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
When: Saturday, May 18, noon-5 p.m.
Where: Walnut Street between 19th and Broad Streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.rittenhouserow.org

1400 Block
A Taste of the Bellevue
European Wax Center
Philadelphia Orchestra
Dunkin Donuts giveaways
Duke and Winston
500 Degrees
Corner Bakery Café
Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Kings Hawaiin giveaways
J Laxson
American Laser Skincare
The Body Klinic

1500 Block
Butcher and Singer
Fast Fresh + Simple by Hope Cohen
Music Stage by Norma Michaels Entertainment
Sun Myst Tanning
Roxy Theater
Oyster House
Qdoba Mexican Grill
Termini Brothers Bakery
Beneficial Bank
Senator Larry Farnese
City Space
Le Bec Fin
Be Well Philly
Peroni Beer Tasting
Infiniti Lounge: with Hope Cohen

1600 Block
Happy Rooster
Rittenhouse Womens Wellness Center
Adolf Biecker
Helium Comedy Club
Square 1682
Town Home
Joan Shepp
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board-Fine Wine and Good Spirits: Tasting
Capital One 360 Café
Capital One 360 Café
Alma de Cuba
Keller Williams Realty
Pub and Kitchen
Rex Goliath Wine Tasting
South Moon Under
Sony Electronics
The Market and Shops at Comcast Center
Body Cycle Studio
Capogiro Gelato

1700 Block
The Prime Rib
The Children’s Boutique
DiBruno Bros.
Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse
The Corner Foodery
Whisper: G: Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
Village Whiskey
Marathon Grill
TD Bank
a. Bar
Knit Wit
Pure Barre
Shake Shack
Heads and Tails
Hope Chest
Hip City Veg
The Prime Rib
Tavern 17
Radisson Blu

1800 Block
Alma de Cuba
Barclay Prime
Butcher and Singer
Continental Mid-town
The Dandelion
El Rey
Il Pittore
Starr Sweets
Culinary Demonstration Stage
Cocktail tasting Tent
Starr Smallwares Sidewalk Sale for Philadbundance

18th Street South of Walnut
VIP Tent

18th Street North of Walnut
A. Kitchen
Born Yesterday
Rittenhouse Square Flower Market
Arden Theatre Company
Please Touch Museum
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Koru Yogurt giveaways
Historic Philadelphia Inc.
Philadelphia Art Alliance
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Walnut Street Theatre
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops
Friends of Rittenhouse Square
Center City District
KYW Kidcasting
Ben and Jerry’s truck
Smith and Wollensky-Cintron


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