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Tessa Thompson’s Philadelphia

The star of this year’s sequel to the critically acclaimed Creed, TESSA THOMPSON shows us around the film’s iconic backdrop: the historic city of Philly


For a chic stay

“The AKA is in Rittenhouse, right across the street from the park in Rittenhouse Square. They have beautiful, well-appointed rooms. You can get a suite there and then head downstairs to its great restaurant called A.Kitchen. It’s just a lovely place to stay.”

AKA is renowned for its elegant, spacious rooms and suites

For a night cap

“Philadelphia has a lot of leftover Prohibition law, but at A.Kitchen you can buy a bottle there and you can take it to go – they have one of the biggest natural wine lists in the country. Also their bar, A.Bar, which is next door, has really great cocktails.”

For a cool shopping spot

“There’s a really great store called Yowie in a fun part of Philly called Queen Village, which sells books, homeware, cool ceramics and graphic tees made by Philadelphia- and New York-based graphic artists. There’s another store called Moon + Arrow that made me feel at home as a Californian because you can buy palo santo and sage smudges and little copper bowls, and it’s also connected to a beautiful vintage store. Vagabond is another good store in Old City; go there, then walk around the area and see the Liberty Bell.”

For a taste of Philly history

“Aside from the famous Rocky Steps, I love the Italian Market. There’s lots of delicious food: you walk past amazing cheese shops that draw you in with their incredible smells, and there are two warring cheesesteak places, Pat’s and Geno’s, that are across from each other, and that’s fun to just see. South Street is really cool; it feels like Melrose in LA, and there’s a very famous cheesesteak place there too, Ishkabibble’s. It’s a slice of real Philly. I’m partial to Max’s in north Philly, which is where we shot the cheesesteak scene in Creed, but I also like V Street, which sells a vegan cheesesteak.”

For downtown dining

“I have a lot of favorite places, but my biggest discovery was a Burmese restaurant place called Rangoon. Having now learned more about Burmese food, I think it serves some of the best Burmese food in the country. They have this incredible thing called thousand-layer bread and a fish festival soup and stuffed Inlay fish. Everything is incredible there.”

For alfresco fun

“Rittenhouse Square is a beautiful green space in Center City, and it’s very festive when the weather is good. There are people out dancing and playing music and there are a bunch of really beautiful little restaurants surrounding it. Oddly, when the weather is good, I think Philadelphia feels kind of like Paris in the sense that people love to be outside eating and drinking for long hours. Right across the street from Rittenhouse there’s a row of restaurants, including Parc and Devon, that feel Parisian-esque, where you can have oysters and glasses of wine.”

Thompson loves French bistro Parc in Rittenhouse for oysters and wine

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