It'd be hyperbole to describe the dividing line between Philadelphia's Bella Vista and Queen Village as border-war fodder, so let's just call it what it is: confusing. While the city officially places Bella Vista—a "beautiful sight" to the Italian immigrants who founded it—between Sixth and 11th streets south of South Street and north of Washington Avenue, it also states that adjacent Queen Village, settled by the Swedes, can extend up to Eighth. Manifest-destiny fans like to stretch both nabes north; some residents go so far as to claim the opposing sides of single streets can be counted as one 'hood or the other. Who knows? What is set in stone in this charming, largely residential area: a appreciation of craft (peep all the shops, boutiques, and galleries) and a passion for food and drink, stoked by a mix of institutions and new kids.
Bella Vista and Queen Village's tidy, tree-lined streets contain some of Philly's most successful bars and restaurants, nailing tastes high, low, and in between. No matter what borders you adhere to, both neighborhoods provide are easy to slice through on foot, meaning you're never more than a few trudges away from a killer drink. Check out the slideshow for a few essential stops on the BV/QV line, where farm-first kitchens and supremely traditional French bistros bump up against mod-American cooking playgrounds, formerly mobbed-up wine bars, and one of the most-admired brown-liquor selections in the city.
What to Drink and Where
Chick's Social Kitchen + Bar (try the Dark & Stormy)
Southwark (try the Manhattan)
Supper (try the Sorcerer)
Ela (try the Bought a Bride)
Kennett (try the De Rigueur)
Bistrot La Minette (try the Kir Royale)