7.2 out of 10

Bella Vista

Ranked 20th best neighborhood in Philadelphia
39.9387596507612 -75.1557689282778
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parking
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Students

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"To Italy, and beyond!"

Open air markets. Fresh, affordable produce. The smell of meats, cheese and wine in the air. This is what you will find in Bella Vista, located between 11th and 6th streets, just south of South Street. Bella Vista means “beautiful sight” in Italian, named for the Italian immigrants that were the first to settle in the area. Italian pride still runs deep and strong, and Bella Vista is home to the famous Italian Market. The market runs up 9th street, where vendors line the sidewalks and foot traffic is heavy with tourists and locals alike. Specialty shops are open year-round, including DiBruno Brothers, known for their cheese, meats, and friendly service.

The area is also home to one of the best meals of the day – brunch. Top brunch spots include Sabrina’s Café, Fitzwater Café and Hawthornes; they all feature gourmet dishes, eclectic menus and fresh ingredients. The lines are always long at these hot spots on weekends, but are well worth the wait.

Residential rent and sales prices are very reasonable for the row homes in the area. While it can be loud near the Italian Market, as you travel away from 9th Street it becomes peaceful and neighborly. There are many small parks, like Bardascino and Cianfrani Parks, which are the perfect location for dog walking or having a picnic. There is access to three elementary schools and one high school in the School District of Philadelphia, and the Free Library of Philadelphia has a branch in Bella Vista. This quaint, cultural pocket is ideal for families and young professionals that want a quieter alternative to downtown, but is still within walking distance of Center City.
Pros
  • Brunch
  • Italian Market
  • affordable
  • Lots of restaurants
  • Great location
Cons
  • Heavy foot traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Italian for Beautiful Sight"

Bella Vista is a wonderful little neighborhood and actually the first to be settled in by Italian immigrants. The community has a very Italian feel to it even to this day.

One of the features of Bella Vista is the Italian Market. It is America's oldest outdoor market. There are bakeries, cafes, grocery and meat markets within this truly amazing place. It's actually quite gratifying to take your time and look through all the possible items for an authentic Italian meal.

Shopping in Bella Vista is not limited to the Italian Market. Bookstores, stationary stores, flower, gift, antique and art & crafts shops can be found throughout the neighborhood.

The Italian Market has one of the largest festivals once a year. Those who have experienced this festival suggest it to anyone who will listen. The other major festival is the Bella Vista Festival which features arts & crafts. The festivities show two major components of the Bella Vista area - Italian culture and art & crafts.

The neighborhood also has a few parks. You can find several different means of recreation such as bocce, baseball, and basketball. There's also some pretty awesome outdoor concerts during the summer. It makes for a great time with the family.

The homes in Bella Vista are of many styles. Most houses are 2- and 3-story row homes. Some are of their original architecture but some have been renovated to have a more modern feel. There are apartments above and around the different shops. A loft is another way to go, giving renters/buyers a variety to choose from.

The School District of Philadelphia zone students to 3 schools that accommodate K-8 graders. There is, however, only one high school.

Transportation is a tad bit dicey. With only a few buses on tight schedules in and around the area traveling to other parts of the city is tough, but not impossible. Having a car would actually be better, but because most residents think like this, parking is hard to come by any time of the day.

If you think the Spring and Summer concerts and festival are the only thing to do in Bella Vista, you are sadly mistaken. The nightlife in the neighborhood is cool. Restaurants, dive bars, lounges, and pubs can make for an interesting evening.

Bella Vista is a nice area with a neighborly spirit. The hustle and bustle of the market can be unnerving sometimes, but it allows for coming in contact with a variety of different people in and around the neighborhood. There is a subtle excitement that makes living here a enticing.
Pros
  • Italian Market
  • affordable
  • Lots of restaurants
Cons
  • No parking
  • traffic
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Bella Vista - A Beautiful View"

Do you have a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients? Are you an aficionado for open air markets? Then the Bella Vista also known as the Italian Market District would be the place for you to make a home. Fresh air markets operate from mid-week to the weekend offering the essential goods and exotic accents.

Traditionally, it has been home to the immigrants from Italy providing everything from hand-made wedding cakes to live turkeys. Stores supplying cooking utensils are plentiful. More recently, it has become home to newer immigrants from Asia and India bringing their spices and delicacies for sale.

The area is populated with row homes of 4 stories and trinities of 3 stories with one room per floor. Blocks contain homes of family and extended family. There are several public schools and playgrounds which field sports teams that play during the evening hours.

Transportation is excellent with buses running to and from Center City. On pleasant days, a brisk walk will carry you to the major hubs. Medical students from Thomas Jefferson and Pennsylvania Hospitals populate the area because of the close proximity.

South Street, a major entertainment corridor, is a few blocks away. En route, there are small café’s for coffee or light snacks.
Pros
  • Italian Market
  • affordable
  • Close to everything
  • Great location
  • Lots of restaurants
Cons
  • dirty from the market
  • Expensive
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Beautiful section of Philadelphia"

Bella Vista, which means “beautiful sight” in Italian, is a neighborhood in South Philadelphia that is situated between South Street to the north, Washington Avenue to the South, 11th Street to the West and 6th Street to the east. It is one of the most beautiful sections of the city and is home to the Italian Market, which runs up 9th Street. The Italian Market features many grocers, restaurants, cafes and bakeries. One of its most famous stores is De Buno Brothers Cheese.
It was one of the first neighborhoods in the city to be settled by Italian immigrants and continues to be one of Philly’s prominent Italian American neighborhoods.
Bella Vista is considered the brunch capital of Philadelphia and features many great restaurants to dine in, including Sabrina’s, 12 Steps Down, and Little Bar. It also features some of the prettiest parks in the city including Washington Square Park and Bardascino Park.
If you own a car, be prepared to spend some extra time looking for parking. Due to Bella Vista being one of the more popular residential areas of the city, many people want to live there and parking is always difficult to find.
If you want to live in a quiet and clean section of South Philadelphia, then Bella Vista is definitely perfect for you. There are many hidden gems to discover in this delightful neighborhood including the free library located on 10th Street and Carpenter Street.
Pros
  • Italian Market
  • Lots of restaurants
  • Close to everything
Cons
  • No parking
  • Expensive
  • Loud
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Italian pride all around."

One of the first things many people new to Philadelphia may think of when they hear “South Philadelphia” is “Italians”. Of all of the neighborhoods in South Philadelphia few display Italian pride as well as Bella Vista.

The first Philadelphia neighborhood to be settled by Italian immigrants, Bella Vista has annual festivals like the Italian Market festival and Bella Vista festival which celebrate Italian culture. These festivals blocks of the streets and attract crowds. When there are not festivals the Italian Market is still pretty crowded during the day with people shopping for cheap produce and specialty meats and cheeses. So be prepared to get stuck in a few mini traffic jams or change lanes often.

Over all Bella Vista is a nice neighborhood and relatively inexpensive to live in. The more distance you put between your home and the Italian Market the better as far as aesthetics and smell. The area tends to get dirty and in the summer smells terrible because of the leftovers from the Italian Market stands.

Bella Vista is also within walking distance of a lot of other great neighborhoods and public transportation is easy to access. And if you’re driving, aside from the traffic from the market, it’s pretty easy to get around.
Pros
  • affordable
  • Italian Market
  • Great location
Cons
  • smells terrible in the summer
  • dirty from the market
  • traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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