NFT Travel Guides: Traveling into Beautiful Philadelphia

Ed Forteau's picture

One of our travel guides partners, Not For Tourists, has several unique offerings for travelers on their website this week. Check out the following highlights from their Philadelphia correspondents this week...

Always Good & Cheap  By:  Allison Lowrey

The Irish Pol

When you're racking your brain for an affordable spot to grab drinks with friends, Old City almost certainly does not spring to mind. That's why Irish Pol is such a gem--you get a convenient location, ultra affordable food and drink prices, a wall of draught beers to choose from (literally!), and a crowd that's smart enough to realize that $10 for one beer does not a wise investment make. Not quite a dive bar, but not a snooty gastro pub, either, the atmosphere at Irish Pol is just what you need to take the edge off a FUBAR week at the office. Unlike most Old City spots, you won't find heavy techno beats or dancers who take themselves too seriously. Instead, you'll find $1 hot dogs during Flyers games, a popcorn machine, and a beer suggestion box. Not to mention, you can't beat the ambience. Jagermeister bottles have been transformed into light fixtures and provide the perfect mood lighting for kicking back and drinking up. Whether we're in a recession or living large, Irish Pol is the kind of bar where you want to--and can afford to--become a regular.

Oh Hoppy Day By:  Abby Baker

Triumph Brewing Company

Upon first walking into Triumph, you'll smell something funny. Don't fret--you're not in the middle of the country inhaling fertilizer. Actually, what you're smelling is hops. At Triumph, they brew their own beer and that means it's two things: Strong and good. Grab a glass of Honey Wheat if you like it light, or perhaps you're feeling festive and are in the mood for some Pumpkin Ale. Happy hour here boasts some excellent drink specials, but do be forewarned--shots here, unlike their beer, are weak and overpriced. Stick to the beer and, if it's available, the cozy green couch in the back. After a long work week, who needs anything more?

Valentine's Day Miracle By:  Allison Lowrey

El Camino Real

Aimlessly wandering the gusty streets of Northern Liberties on Valentine's Day sans reservation, we thought maybe we'd screwed the pooch. Bar Ferdinand all but laughed in our faces when we asked if we'd be able to get a table at some point that evening. Fine, we said. Whatever. And we turned on our heels and marched right into El Camino Real, which was flat out packed. However, our group of four was seated in less than five minutes--it was a Valentine's miracle! Given the overabundance of Mexican eateries in Philly, everyone at our table opted to try out El Camino Real's Texan fare. I went for the BBQ seitan sandwich and I'm still not sure which was more overwhelming: the size of the sandwich's Texas Toast or the dragon-breath-spiciness of the sauce. Overall, the food and atmosphere were laid back and fun. And the margaritas were just what the doctor ordered to wash all the comfort food--like fried pickle chips--down.

Take A Chance By:  Allison Lowrey

Termini Brothers Bakery

Winter is the season to overindulge! Maybe you hunker down all February to play some excessively-competitive Scrabble with the family. Or perhaps your neighbor is hosting a booze-fueled open house to warm everyone up. Whatever the case, you don't want to show up empty-handed. Money tight? Don't despair. You can always buy that special relative/neighbor/coworker/friend those silver-plated monkey salt and pepper shakers next year. This year, stand apart from the rest of the crowd who arrived bearing a generic bottle of vino. Show up with a platter of Termini Brothers cookies and canolis, sit back, and enjoy watching the baked goods fly off the tray. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the taste of a Termini treat is worth a million. Made fresh and with natural ingredients, even people who say they don't like sweets will have a tough time refraining. If you're Grinching it up and avoiding all things festive this winter, go buy yourself a box of Termini cookies, put on your roomiest sweat pants, and park it on the couch for a few hours. Mmmmmm.

Service So Bad, It's Great By:  Emily Callaghan


Comically bad service--who doesn't enjoy a little every once in a while? If you're a person who finds joy in the absurd, I cannot strongly enough recommend Ajia, a Japanese Fusion BYOB. On any weeknight, you're bound to be one of 3 groups/couples; the place seems to run at 10% capacity. And be prepared to be shocked, offended, and perhaps surprised at the service. The only waitress is notorious and apathetic: She will clear your eating partner's plate without a word before you're done, neglect you in dire thirst and bark, 'READY?' three times before you indeed are ready to order. But the food is delightful and pretty cheap. The Salmon Teriyaki comes out smokin' hot and will leave you wanting to order a second plate, if not out of hunger, of yearning for more of the taste. The waitress will deliver the check far too soon, but feel free to sit for another hour and down that bottle, or box, of wine…it's open late. The sushi is top-notch, the music--a random mix of smooth R&B and Asian, and the amusement of careless and cold service--priceless. 

Check out their website  - they have free downloadable guides, maps, gear, and of course, the travel guide books. Not to mention, they are pretty funny people. I am always laughing when I visit their site, or read their newsletter.


They also have sections of their guidebooks available for download at only $1.50.


Not For Tourists has offered a coupon for Wandering Educators - please use the coupon code: WE for a 10% discount.



To visit Not for Tourists, please see: