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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.
This week marks the unofficial start of summer and with it come plenty of events.
There’ll be a commissary’s worth of food trucks at an evening festival, inspiration (and cocktails) to be sought at a museum garden, and senses to be confounded on National Wine Day, not to mention new omakase in Center City and a fleet of breezy gelato flavors in Fishtown.
For those skipping shore traffic, this Memorial Day Monday also brings a Baja-inspired brunch and medieval mirth. Check out our picks below.
Northern Liberties Night Market
Head to the heart of Northern Liberties for an evening of live music, shopping, and plenty of food trucks.
Over 30 food and drink vendors will be on site for this outdoor affair, including neighborhood newcomer Mochinut, serving multi-flavored mochi donuts (3 for $13, 6 for $23) and rice corndogs with a range of “wrappings” like crispy ramen, potato, and hot Cheetos ($6-$9). 3 Rooosters will dish out chicken, lamb, and falafel rice bowls and garlic butter pita wraps, while those seeking a taste of the shore can head to Cousin’s Maine Lobster and Laughing Crab Catering.
On the sweeter side of things, look for plant-based goodies from Dr. Brownie’s, deep dish pies and classic cakes from Pound Cake Heaven, and playfully designed cookies and cupcakes from Madison K Cookies.
North 2nd Street between West Laurel and Fairmount | 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 25 | Pay as you go.
‘Un-Wined Your Mind’ in Old City
Challenge your perception of reality with a boozy boost at the Museum of Illusions. Visitors to the museum’s “illusionary tasting experience” on National Wine Day will get to sample a selection of six vintages (two whites, two reds, one rose, and one sparkling) while exploring an exhibition of optical illusions, holograms, stereograms, and a series of immersive rooms. A wine expert from event partners Wines ‘Til Sold Out will be on site to provide information on the available varieties.
401 Market Street | 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 25 | Tickets: $30 | +21
Launch of the Rodin Museum Garden Bar
Plenty of menu options to ponder at this seasonal pop-up at the Rodin Museum, home to the largest collection of the artist’s sculptures outside of Paris.
Marvel at master works like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell and reflect at the garden bar over a Red Rosé cocktail (gin, sorrel syrup, fever-tree elderflower tonic, $10), Paloma (tequila, fever-tree grapefruit soda, and lime, $10), or some local brews ($8).
Snack options from the Constellation Culinary Group range from smaller plates like plantain chips with harissa oil and chimichurri ($5) and a mezze platter of grape leaves, hummus, tomato salad, and pita ($8), to citrus-marinated shrimp with basil and red sorrel ($10), roasted turkey baguette with arugula, cucumber, and tomato dijonnaise ($12), and a tofu banh mi with sriracha aioli ($12). The garden is also dog friendly.
2151 Ben Franklin Pkwy. | 4 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday, May 26 through August 25 (weather permitting) | Free garden bar admission with pay-what-you wish museum entry
Cloud Cups opens at Pizza Brain
Settling in Fishtown just in time for summer, this gelateria serves up scoops as light as the name suggests, along with milkshakes, floats, and cloud-ninis — gelato embraced by a warm, fresh-baked pastry (all $8 each).
Pistachio, cookies and cream, limoncello, and lemon sorbetto are among the flavors currently available — from a seasonally rotating catalog of 90 varieties – with the banana pudding’s mild natural sweetness a standout. Vegan options include piña colada, passionfruit, and frosé, while the cereal-inspired flavors — Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, and Frosted Flakes — are uncanny recreations that might as well come with a screening of Saturday morning cartoons.
It’s all conveniently located inside Pizza Brain, for anyone looking to pregame their gelato with a couple of the “pizza museum”’s eclectic slices.
2311 Frankford Ave. | 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday | Single scoops $5, double scoops $8, flight (4 single scoops) $10
Steal of a deal at Kichi Omakase
Omakase for under $100 at this Center City nook, which opened earlier this month, courtesy of owners Jeremy Zhu and sushi chef Andy Chen. The 14-seat sushi bar offers a 15-course chef’s selection of generously cut premium fish in a gentle progression of flavor and texture.
Current highlights include Hokkaido scallop with charcoal topped with sea salt and lime juice, A5 wagyu with foie gras, otoro scattered with caviar, and king salmon with sprouted soy bean. Customers can also enhance their lineup with a selection from the chef’s specials for an added cost.
If you’re lucky, you’ll end up at one of the seats with an adorable cat-shaped chopstick holder.
112 S. 12th St. | 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday | Reservations recommended
Alice in Wonderland brunch at Positano Coast
This Old City spot themed after the Italian seaside continues its series of monthly “vibe” brunches this Sunday with an Alice in Wonderland theme.
Details have been sparse, so we’re not entirely sure what’s at the end of this rabbit hole, but Positano’s promises themed cocktails, food features, photo stations, and tunes “with a twist.”
The usual brunch menu is on offer, with appetizers like ricotta meatballs ($13), spicy calamari ($18), pea and meat ragu arancini ($12) and tuna tartare ($18). Entrees range from spinach omelet ($16) and mushroom flatbread ($19) to lobster skillet ($22) and chicken parmigiana ($25). Costumes are encouraged, but not required.
212 Walnut St. | 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday | Pay as you go
Philly Ren Faire
Good morrow! The Renaissance Faire returns to Fort Mifflin this weekend, and with it the chance to feast like a king.
Manila Street Treats will be staking a claim in the 16th century with Filipino egg rolls (6 for $10), BBQ chicken and java rice, and adobo fries with garlic aioli sauce ($15 each), while Mischievous Fish serves up clam strips, fish n’ chips, and pizza and vegan apple fritters ($8-$22). Doughnut Evolution will also be bringing a bounty of their densely filled, heavily layered goods to the festivities.
An underground (and supposedly haunted) room will house a fully stocked pub, where live performances are scheduled to take place. The faire also features archery, stage shows, ax and knife throwing contests, tarot card readings and historic site tours.
640 Hog Island Rd. | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 27-Monday, May 29, rain or shine | Daily admission: Adults $18, children 12-14 $13, children 6-9 $8
Bonus brunch at LMNO
Stephen Starr’s breezy Fishtown taqueria under the El will be extending its weekend brunch service to Monday in celebration of Memorial Day.
The Baja-inspired menu includes coal-roasted oysters ($21), birria benedict with Puerco beans and blue corn sope ($17), alongside a variety of nachos, tacos, and tostadas, with a strawberry-topped tres leches French toast ($16) for dessert.
On the cocktail list, Our Daily Veg ($15) provides a solid dose of mezcal, ancho reyes verde, green juice, lemon, and veggies, and It’s All Guava Baby ($14) brings a fruitier mix of tequila, Aperol, guava, strawberry, lime, and strawberry salt. Brunch service runs from 10:30 a.m. till 3 p.m. but DJ Craig Dash will be spinning records on-site till 4.
1749 N. Front St. | 4 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Badass Women Owned Food Tour
Organized by Beyond the Bell Tours, this two-mile walk celebrates the women behind some of the best food and drink on the local scene.
Sign up and stop by for tastings at six women-owned businesses including El Merkury, Hip City Vedge, Fox & Son, High Street, Sweet T’s Bakery and Snack Shop, capping the walk off with a beverage stop at Love City Brewing.
Departs from 210 W. Washington Sq. | 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday May 28 | Tickets: $80 (all inclusive)