Drew Becher is the president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which hosts the Philadelphia Flower Show that blooms every March in Philadelphia. This year’s presentation celebrates the movies, complete with landscape and floral designs inspired by the films of Disney and Pixar. Follow his guide to Philadelphia’s top spots for shopping and food-fueled fun.
9 am: Breakfast Bagel
I fell in love in Montreal—with its bagels! Spread Bagelry, in the Rittenhouse neighborhood, brings Montreal-style to Philly, with a wood oven that bakes them thin and crispy. My favorite is the sesame with farm-fresh butter or cream cheese. In a word: divine. 262 S. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.545.0626
10 am: Show Time
Go to the world’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, of course. The 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, has the most exciting theme in years, “Celebrate the Movies.” Feb. 28-March 8. 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 215.418.4700
1 pm: Cheesesteak Fusion
I love lunch with a good wine at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. You have to try the Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls, an Asian approach to the local specialty. And you can’t go wrong with any of the pastas. 111 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.563.4810
3 pm: Center City Stroll
My shopping tour along Walnut Street includes hitting Tumi (1733 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.564.1317) and Vince (1701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.220.4965) for the latest fashions, and I can never pass by the Apple Store (1607 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.861.6400) without a quick scan. For home décor, I adore Cella Luxuria in Midtown Village (1214 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.923.0784).
5 pm: Recharge
The late-day pick-me-up is at Saxbys Coffee, a chain with a lot of hometown flavor. 2000 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 267.639.5222
6 pm: To-Die-For Toast
For the seriously best cocktails and dinner you can find in any city in any country, visit Vernick Food & Drink. Everything I’ve had is great. High on the list are any of the “On Toast” dishes. The grilled heart of Romaine is amazing, and the sirloin is to die for. 2031 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 267.639.6644
9 pm: Speakeasy-style Nightcap
For unbelievable after-dinner drinks, it’s the Ranstead Room, Stephen Starr’s throwback-themed, back-alley lounge. 2013 Ranstead St., Philadelphia, PA, 215.563.3330