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Living in Fishtown: Philadelphia City Guide

Fishtown is nestled in the lower northeast of Philadelphia, to the west of the Delaware River. According to Hidden City Philadelphia, the neighborhood got its name from the Kensington’s shad fisheries along the river that employed the working-class families who were living in Fishtown back in the day. Today, with a budding artistic community and a host of nightlife and dining options, the neighborhood has a reputation for being one of the hippest in Philadelphia.

The Market

Travel through Fishtown, and you’ll find ample evidence of the area’s evolution. According to Hidden City, Fishtown has a higher percentage of housing units built before the 1939 than any other neighborhood in Philadelphia. Around 37 of those properties are designated as historic places, but mixed in with the old buildings and landmarks is a fair amount of new construction. Three-story and four-story row houses and duplexes have popped up throughout the neighborhood in place of vacant lots, small gardens and old, decaying warehouses, according to another Hidden City report.

As the look of Fishtown has changed, so has the price of housing. The average sales price in the neighborhood is $254,954, or about $213 per square foot. Sellers are hoping to get more for their properties than buyers are willing to give, though, as the average sale price ends up $7,478 less than the listed price. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ 2017 State of the City report notes that housing prices in Fishtown have shot up by 64 percent between in 2010 and 2016.

Coffee at La Colombe

Photo Source: Flickr

The Lifestyle

If you love food, you’ll love living in Fishtown. In 2016, Vogue declared that this neighborhood has the best places for eating and drinking in all of Philadelphia. Local coffee roaster La Colombe has its flagship location in Fishtown complete with a roastery and a distillery for coffee-infused rum. The coffee shop is huge and has plenty of seating, but watch out for long lines on the weekend and there isn’t free Wi-Fi.

Other establishments of note in Fishtown include Pizza Brain, a pizzeria that also holds the Guiness Book of World Records title for housing the largest collection of pizza-themed items, as well as German-style beer gardens Frankford Hall and Mulherin’s Sons, which serve Italian fare in a renovated whiskey bottling facility.

Although food is big in Fishtown, there’s more to the neighborhood than eating and drinking. The Fishtown RiverCity Festival takes place in the fall of every year and is sponsored by the Fishtown Neighbors Association. The festival aims to raise money for local organizations and bring residents of the area together to mix and mingle. It’s held at Penn Treaty Park, the large green space on the southeastern edge of the neighborhood.

Given that the revitalization of Fishtown started with artists, it’s not much of a surprise that there are several art galleries and performance spaces throughout the neighborhood. On the first Friday of each month, art galleries stay open late along Frankford Avenue, while other local businesses offer special deals and live music.

Girard station stop market frankford el

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Getting Around Town

In addition to great spots for food, beverage and entertainment, Fishtown has the all the amenities you need for comfortable living. Transportation to, from and within the neighborhood is a breeze. I-95 cuts right through the area, making it easy to get into and out of the city by car.

If you prefer public transit, Septa’s Market-Frankford Elevated Line has several stops in Fishtown, and the 15 trolley also travels through the neighborhood, along Girard.

When you need to get groceries, you can stop into the Acme, which is technically in Northern Liberties but just a few blocks west of the boundaries of Fishtown. A large, premium-collection Fine Wine and Good Spirits store is in the same shopping center.

Fishtown provides the hustle and bustle of city life but also offers the quiet of a residential area. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, take a look at the listings on Owners.com to see what Fishtown has to offer you.

Feature Image: Flickr

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.


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