I spent the day exploring the neighborhood of Old City and had a complete love affair with Philadelphia. Sometimes when you live in one place for awhile you forget the amazing sites that are in your backyard and accessible all the time. I wandered through the cobblestone streets, window-shopped in the carefully curated independently-owned stores and caught glimpses into some American history including the first bank. I also happened upon a small eatery called FRIEDA, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the day.

What I Ate:
  • Mushroom Bisque
  • Oeuf á la Coque
  • Almond Orange Cake
  • Coffee
320 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 600-1291

I pulled open my navigation app and started looking for a place to eat in Old City. I am already familiar with the popular restaurants in the area, which were mostly closed until dinnertime. I was on the hunt for the small cafe for a light lunch. I saw that there was a place called FRIEDA down the street. I had never heard of it and couldn’t picture the location, so I decided to take a trip over to check it out.

What I found was nothing I could ever expect. I thought it was going to be a coffee shop, but it was so much more. FRIEDA is a “space where people of all ages and backgrounds can meet, eat, drink, share, learn, and create. A serene setting where everyone is treated equally: with respect and kindness.”

You are greeted by a light-airy industrial space that appears you can make it into whatever you desire. While at FRIEDA, you can enjoy enjoy a Parisian style menu from chef David, buy artisan products in the atelier shop, enjoy community activities like language conversations, drawing classes or sign-up for community meals. The concept is connecting people from different generations. I was the youngest person in the space during my meal, but as I spent more time you could see patrons of all ages come and go all with different relationships to the space and the people within it.

All of the food was perfect in it’s simplicity. The oeuf á la coque is traditionally served with salmon, but since I don’t eat fish they were kind enough to substitute it to prosciutto. It worked out perfectly – the dish consisted of a soft boiled egg, prosciutto, capers and brioche toast. This paired well with my mushroom bisque, which was flavorful in it’s seasoning and consistency. I’m not a mushroom connoisseur, so I can’t even begin to tell you the types of mushrooms that were in it, but I was able to identify two to three different types of mushrooms used to create the creamy bisque. The highlight of the meal was the almond orange cake. It’s their signature dessert and I can see why. It’s flour-less, not too sweet and an amazing texture that completely melts in your mouth. I would suggest getting this dessert no matter what, even if it’s to go!

Needless to say, I enjoyed my time at FRIEDA, mostly because it’s the type of space that completely fits my personality. Pair it’s simplistic elegance, moving mission statement with Parisian goodness and it’s no surprise I fell in love. As they say, “Discover what FRIEDA can be for you.” I hope you are able to take a moment and enjoy it as much as I did. 

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