There are many ways to cross Philadelphia if you are heading from the Rittenhouse Square area to the Old City. Chestnut Street and Walnut Street are among the most common routes. They are always bustling with people and filled with activities. If you wanted something a little quieter—a stroll after lunch, perhaps—go for Pine Street.
Pine Street is a couple blocks down from Walnut. Pine isn’t as funky as South Street, or as commercial as Chestnut and Walnut. The stretch of Pine Street between 18th and 2nd is primarily residential. Charming little boutiques line the walk. The apartments have window boxes spilling with flowers and ferns, and stone lions guarding the entrances. The entire walk is shaded by the branches of drooping trees. Their roots have shifted the bricks of the sidewalk and bring character to the neighborhood. It makes for a pleasant stroll, a relief from the fast-paced city.
On the corner of 13th and Pine sits a little café, the Last Drop Coffee House. The Last Drop is cozy, quiet, and laid back. The daily menu is scrawled on a chalkboard above the bar. The espresso machine gleams behind the counter, and ten little marble tables squeeze into the narrow café.
For a creamy dose of caffeine, I’d recommend the latte ($3.80)—it’s rich, smooth, and with an elegant pattern in the foam. In my opinion, the quality surpasses any Starbucks (as does the atmosphere). The Last Drop also offers a tempting selection of baked goods: carrot cakes, cookies, scones, and biscotti. On the brisk days of autumn the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans warms the air.
The Last Drop Coffee House is at the intersection of Pine and 13th Streets. Catching a show at the Kimmel Center? It’s about a four-minute walk away.