Our favorite mementos from the City of Love.
The temperature is dropping and the garlands soon to be strung. Even streetlights seem to twinkle a little more this time of year. The holiday season is upon us and we’re on the hunt for the perfect gifts. Cross some off your list with our top picks for Philadelphia-themed souvenirs.
Chocolate Cheesesteak at Mueller Chocolate Company
The sandwich that put Philadelphia on the gut-busting map takes the form of candy at Mueller Chocolate Company. Owner Dr. Chockenstein regularly creates the most unusual chocolates out there: chocolate-covered whole raw onions and human organ-shaped chocolates (nothing like reminding someone they’re ‘on your mind’ than with a chocolate brain). At seven inches long and with realistic detail, Mueller’s chocolate cheesesteak resembles the real deal—especially the streak of white chocolate on top standing in for traditional cheese whiz. Available at the Reading Terminal Market, a retail store just outside the city in Rockledge, and online.
Good Night, Philadelphia
Everyone remembers the beloved children’s book, Goodnight Moon. This version Phillifies the classic by taking kids on a colorful, literary journey to famous Philly sites, including the Liberty Bell, Reading Terminal Market, the Schuylkill river and the Museum of Art. Available at Ali’s Wagon and a number of online retailers.
We Heart Philly’s LOVE line
Souvenirs featuring Philadelphia’s famous LOVE sculpture are plentiful around town, but We Heart Philly’s designs make the symbol fashionable and functional. Dainty gold and silver earrings and necklaces, artsy coasters and canvas totes are available online and at two charming shops, Open House and Verde. The collection also includes gifts—like bottle openers, decorative platters, and flasks—that highlight Philly’s diverse neighborhoods, favorite snack (soft pretzel) and landmarks.
The Philly-themed apparel at Cheesesteaks Tees drip with sarcasm, humor and nostalgia—sometimes all at once. It’s hard to choose between throwback team logos and inside jokes like the “Mess with Texas” design with a scratched out Cowboys star. Rated ‘R’ shirts will make adults giggle, while sweet baby onesies bring home the cute factor.
Art in the Age Spirits
A nice bottle of booze is always a fun present, but this Old City shop’s four organic liquor offerings are one-of-a-kind. Root is based on a 1700s recipe for an herbal remedy made with sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch bark and other wild roots and herbs that were popular in Pennsylvania. Perfect for wintertime, Snap employs a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe using hearty blackstrap molasses and fresh ginger. Tangy Rhubarb—a favorite flavor of Ben Franklin—incorporates beets, carrots, lemons, petitgrain, cardamom, and pure cane sugar, while Sage is a take on a ‘garden gin’ with notes of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and fennel.
Sarah Maiellano is on the Philadelphia beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @SarahMaiellano.