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Dating in Philadelphia: A Guide for Philadelphia Singles

Philadelphia is the home of the Liberty Bell, William Penn and Benjamin Franklin. It’s where the first reading of the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the Constitution took place. And it’s also a happening date spot.

1) Where to Live?

This city of 135 square miles is generally divided into area neighborhoods, many of which enjoy a strong tradition of ethnicity. You can choose the culture or language that suits your taste, from Asian, Latino, Greek or Italian to Polish or West Indian dating. But in terms of living and dating, it is hard to beat the downtown area of Center City. Also, Philadelphia is attracting a lot of foreigners and transplants from New York City, many of them to this part of town, which makes the nightlife and cultural scenes even more dynamic. If you don’t mind commuting, however, you might choose to live around the Delaware or Schuylkill Rivers.

2) Working in Philadelphia

After years of declining population, Philadelphia is projected to grow by almost 5 percent over the next few years, so there will soon be plenty of jobs and opportunities for mingling. The fields of education, transportation and business are very strong, as are the health and government sectors; meanwhile, technology is attracting a lot of youthful employees. It may be best to try to live close to your work, but Philly has an excellent transportation system and great interstate highways, and SEPTA, PHLASH and PATCO get you around very nicely for a modest fee. Parking is a hassle, so public transportation may be the way to go, even on dates.

3) Cost Comparison

In comparison to some similar-sized cities, Philadelphia may be slightly more expensive. But compared to other major American cities in both the East and West, it is a bargain. Housing and entertainment both cost 37 percent less than in New York City. Modest downtown living and a thriving nightlife are appealing.

4) Good City for Singles

Forbes magazine ranked Philadelphia 12th among the top 40 cities for singles. Women outnumber men by a considerable margin, so it is a great hunting ground for the masculine gender, while the gentler sex has to work a little harder to stand out from the competition.

5) Get to know your City

There are many things to do on a date in Philly that don’t cost you a week’s salary.

• Take a guided tour through historic Philadelphia ($17.50). See Chestnut Hill, then take in the Old City neighborhood.

• Check your calendar for these famous events, such as the Philadelphia International Auto Show, the Philadelphia Film Festival, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

• Climb the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that Rocky used for training, then go in and enjoy the artwork.

• Check out the medical phenomena on display at the Mutter Museum.

• Not only is the Philadelphia Zoo one of the nation’s best, you can also take a fabulous hot air balloon ride.

• You and your date can’t live and play in Philadelphia without seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall!

6) College/University Events

Philadelphia is well known for its higher education system. There are about 15 major institutions near the city and another half dozen or so in surrounding areas. This affords you and your date some great opportunities to take in many different cultural and sporting events. Again, these activities are generally modestly priced. A dinner near campus and a play make for a full evening.

7) Sports Fanatics

Not only does Philadelphia have the Eagles, the Phillies and the 76ers, it also has two lacrosse teams, two soccer teams and two ice hockey teams, as well as a rugby team, a tennis team, and an arena football team. Regardless of the sport, Philly Phans are bonkers for their teams. Ladies, how better to impress your guy (remember, the women are outnumbered!) than by taking him to a sporting event? Lacrosse and soccer offer both indoor and outdoor options, so you can choose your venue depending on the weather. Surprise him: Buy the tickets and invite him to go with you!

8) Some Dining Experiences

Here are a few favorites that vary in menu and fare, but are sure to make for an entertaining evening.

• Dalessandro’s or Pat’s. For the best cheesesteaks in town.

• Sitar India. Zagat rated; Choice Awards winner; unbelievably cheap snacks. Unique yet modest and casual, with warm atmosphere.

• Rib Ranch. Superb spareribs and baby-back ribs. “All you can eat” on Wednesdays. Inexpensive and casual.

• Nan. Thai/French. Different, carefully prepared dishes and excellent service at middle-of-the road prices. BYOB and casual.

• Moshulu. On a 100-year-old ship that is over 300 feet long, with special ambiance and a wide selection of food and wines. Entrees are $22–$32; attire falls somewhere between casual and dressed up.

• The Prime Rib (also in D.C. and Baltimore). Listed among the top five romantic restaurants in the United States. Superior and expensive. Gentlemen need ties. 9) Nightlife Let’s get ready to really do the town! Here are a few bars and nightclubs that couples love in Philly.

• Fluid Nightclub. Quality DJ who knows how to lay it down. Cheap, strong drinks and a rockin’ youngish crowd.

• Club Flow. Multilevel dance floor in a massive building, hosting a wide variety of music. Most patrons are in their 20s and 30s.

• 105 Social. Trendy hangout with best-priced happy hour in town.

• McGillin’s Olde Ale House. Opened in 1860, this is a taste of old Philadelphia, with Texas Hold ’Em on certain nights.

• Dirty Frank’s Bar. Not the cleanest (hence its name), but acceptable. Cheap pitchers of beer and trivia night.

• Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus. Go on Tuesday nights to hear great musicians. Better on the inside than it looks.

• Bamboo Lounge. DJ with varied music to please all ages. Good cocktail selection, and waiters are all decked out.

• Drinker’s Pub. College-aged and 20s, mostly, with $2 draft and $3 mixed drinks.

• Locust Bar. Middle-aged crowd and excellent selection of draft beer. 10) One location does it If you and your date don’t want to seek out fun places all over town, just spend an afternoon and evening in Center City. One-stop dating!

What are your top tips for dating in Philadelphia?

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