27 Things Everyone from Philadelphia Knows To Be True

But there are certain things real Philadelphians, and only real Philadelphians, know to be spot-on. Whether you’ve lived your entire life in Roxborough or moved as an adult to Queen Village, if you’re a genuine Philly person, these 27 facts ring true about what living in Philadelphia is actually like.

Only real Philadelphians know these true facts

1. Real soft pretzels are figure-eight shaped, smushed together in fives and come slightly damp so the salt melts.

2. Even the most educated Philadelphian isn’t always sure how to spell “Schuylkill”.

3. We can call it “Filthadelphia,” but you can’t.

4. We might make fun of the tourists doing it, but running up the Art Museum steps and looking out over the Parkway is actually pretty awesome.

5. You can’t really define the word “jawn” without using the word jawn.

6. Taking SEPTA is a great alternative to being on time.

7. Neither Pat’s, Geno’s nor Tony Luke’s are the best cheesesteaks in Philly. Those are for tourists. Real Philadelphians’ favorite cheesesteaks come from Jim’s, John’s Roast Pork, Dalessandro’s or your neighborhood jawn.


9. There’s no better mascot in the world than the Phillie Phanatic, but Gritty is quickly gaining ground.

10. Bradley Cooper and David Boreanaz are real Philadelphians. So are M. Night Shyamalan, Questlove and Chris Matthews. Kobe Bryant is not a real Philadelphian.

11. Taking out-of-towners on a Freedom Trail tour is fun, but taking out-of-towners on a Nicolas Cage “National Treasure” tour is so much better.

12. Only the bravest dare cross between the inner and outer lanes of the Boulevard at rush hour.

13. Water ice is not the same thing as Italian ice. Water ice is also not an Icee, Slurpee or snow cone.

14. The best people watching anywhere in the city is at Rittenhouse Square.

15. The “Action News” theme is the greatest song ever written … both the “duh duh duh duh dunnunnu nuh, nuh nuh nuh nah nah” part and the “Move closer to your world, my friend” part.

16. Is it Frank’s? Thanks!

17. Once you’re south of Washington, parking in the median on Broad Street is perfectly legal. Kinda.

18. People from South Jersey aren’t really Philadelphians, but they’re a whole lot closer to being one than those shifty Delawareans.

19. It’s not really Thanksgiving until “The Gobbler” is available from the Wawa touch screen kiosk.

20. The Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation are great and all, but the best art in Philly is painted on the side of a building on nearly any block in town.

21. “Acme” has three syllables, but “Did you eat?” only has one.

22. The Market-Frankford SEPTA Line is not the “subway,” it’s the “el.”

23. Watching people trying to navigate the sidewalks of Manayunk during a snowstorm is a popular spectator sport.

24. Fried chicken and donuts are a thing and it’s glorious.

25. A selfie with Philly Jesus is a real bucket list item.

26. The observation deck at City Hall is old, cold, cramped, rickety and a little scary, but it’s the best view in town, from right under Billy Penn’s feet.

27. The Philadelphia Big Five is full of amazing universities. Temple is the working-class school. St Joe’s is the Catholic school. Penn is the smart school. La Salle is the overlooked school. Villanova is not in Philadelphia.

Agree or disagree?

Do you relate to these true Philly phacts? Disagree? See something we forgot? Hit us up in the comments.

And if this snapshot makes Philly sound like your kind of place, there are plenty of apartments in Philadelphia waiting for you to move right in.

Photo by Master Wen on Unsplash
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Michael HochmanMichael is a Philadelphia-based writer with a variety of interests, including music, TV, politics, travel, and sports (Fly Eagles Fly!). His background includes a decade as a programming executive in network television, six years as a marketing executive at a technology company, and time at two magazines and two advertising agencies. He also sits on the board of a non-profit law firm that assists veterans with disabilities. Michael is a proud Syracuse grad (Newhouse) who has lived in Kansas, Chicago, Saratoga, and beyond, and can be found at @phillyparttwo.

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