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Best of the Best 2011
The best of everything the Philadelphia suburbs have to offer

by Bill Donahue and Jocelyn Murray

People who were born in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs stay here for a reason—or, better put, a lot of reasons, and in the following pages we outline as many as possible: namely, the top local restaurants and can’t-miss eateries; the best places to calm your mind and soothe your spirit; the most exquisite shops and salons at which to help you look and feel your best, etc. For some, the area is quite literally (and understandably) the center of the universe.

Thanks for the 2011 Best of the Best list are due largely to you, dear reader, for voting for your favorites on our website, SuburbanLifeMagazine.com. We also chose some of our top picks, based on weeks of “painstaking” field research of the finest places locally (meaning in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, as well as a handful in Philadelphia and across the river in New Jersey) to eat, shop, play and relax.
 
We certainly didn’t mind doing the “legwork” to identify these local landmarks and standout shops … and we expect you won’t either. Enjoy.
 
 
FOOD AND DRINK
Breakfast
You can’t miss at Daddypops in Hatboro. It’s packed daily, and the fact that it’s been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” should be proof enough that the breakfast gems of this Hatboro institution are worth waiting for. Some might call it small—even cramped—but this old-time diner (somehow “greasy spoon” doesn’t seem fair) has perfected the art of breakfast, using eggs over easy and expertly seared squares of scrapple as its medium. The service is quick, the atmosphere is anachronistically festive, complete with barber chairs at the counter, and the food is the best possible reward for waking up in the morning. 232 North York Road, Hatboro, 215-675-9717
 
Brunch
Every Sunday, just across the river from historic New Hope, The Inn at Lambertville Station unveils a brunch that’s nearly impossible to beat. The brunch features a variety of choice sides—fruit, cheese, bagels, pastries, breakfast meats, seasoned potatoes and yogurt—and at least two rather memorable signature dishes, Belgian waffles and eggs Benedict. The best part: Sleep in if you like, because the brunch runs from 1o a.m. till 3 p.m. 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, N.J., 609-397-8300, LambertvilleStation.com
 
Chinese
It begins and ends with Michael Wei’s Yangming. Chinese Restaurant News named it the best Chinese restaurant in the country … and for very good reason. Even the standard dishes found on the menus of just about every local Chinese restaurant—spring roll or hot-and-sour soup, say—find unexpected life and flavor at this Bryn Mawr darling. 1051 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr, 610-527-3200, YangmingRestaurant.com
 
Italian Food
You’ll find some of the best Italy-inspired cuisine at Fellini’s Café, a cozy trattoria in Media. Seemingly ancient Romanesque columns and hand-painted murals create an authentically warm Italian dining experience, but this is mere preamble to the abundance of Italian classics sure to push your taste buds into overdrive. 106 West State Street, Media, 610-892-7616, FellinisCafe.com
 
BYOB
Pho and Beyond may be on the smallish side, tucked unassumingly in a semi-urban strip center, but don’t let its outside appearance fool you: Pho offers the finest authentic southern Vietnamese cuisine this side of Saigon. Whether vegetarian or carnivore, the menu offers memorable dishes you’ll want to come back for—perfect for pairing with your best bottle of white—from vermicelli noodle bowls to fresh garden spring rolls to the signature noodle soup after which the restaurant takes its name. 47 Easton Road, Willow Grove, 215-659-3464, PhoandBeyond.net
 
Beer/Gastro Pub
Horsham’s own Iron Abbey Gastro Pub has earned its reputation as one of the top gastro pubs in the Philadelphia suburbs. Consider its highly likable personality: more than 200 beers from around the world, including two dozen on tap; a food menu designed to pair easily with beers to suit any palate; a spacious bar area with rich woods and a wraparound marble countertop; and comfortably plush restaurant seating for a 21st-century update on the public house. In short, Iron Abbey has an atmosphere that encourages lingering. 680 North Easton Road, Horsham, 215-956-9600, IronAbbey.com
 
Cheesesteak
Out-of-towners clamor to the more famous Pat’s and Geno’s in South Philly, but the initiated head to the intersection of 4th and South for the finest cheesesteak in the universe, courtesy of 70-year-old Jim’s Steaks. Lucky for us, Jim’s has exported its perfect formula of steak, bread and cheese to the suburbs, meaning you can scarf one down—get it “Whiz wit” and slicked with a patina of fried onions, if you know what’s good for you—without having to head into the city. God, it seems, does love us. 469 Baltimore Pike, Stoney Creek Center, Springfield, 610-544-8400, JimsSteaks.com
 
Vegetarian
Southampton’s Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille is proof that vegetarian food has made huge strides in the past 10 years. Although this spot is ideal for vegetarians and vegans, even the most voracious meat eater is sure to enjoy a great meal at this BYOB, with a diverse mix of artfully crafted cuisine that not only is healthier than most but also packs an unexpected punch of vibrant flavor. 772 Second Street Pike, Southampton, 215-942-8888, BlueSageGrille.com
 
Happy Hour
The Drake Tavern has an atmosphere well suited to winding down after a day in the salt mines: multiple flat-screen TVs, a working jukebox, lively décor complete with memorabilia commemorating your favorite movies and moments in local-sports history. It’s especially festive in late spring and summer, when the spacious outdoor patio welcomes locals to wash down their favorite burger, sandwich or salad with a rich assortment of happy-hour specials, including craft beers from local breweries. 304 Old York Road, Jenkintown, 215-884-8900, DrakeTavern.com
 
Appetizers
Who says healthy has to be humdrum? Not the good folks behind Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar in Glen Mills. Focusing on seasonal, organic specialties made from local sources, Harvest presents a broad menu of delectable appetizers—from ceviche and hummus to charcuterie and cheese plates—guaranteed to suit any palate. 549 Wilmington West Chester Pike, Glen Mills, 610-358-1005, HarvestSeasonalGrill.com
 
Sushi
Somehow it doesn’t seem right that an Italian restaurant should have the region’s best sushi, but judge for yourself. Sure, Café Alessio has earned its reputation as a haven for zesty pasta dishes and pizzas forged in a wood-burning oven, but the sushi is just as fresh and first rate. Can’t decide on one or two options from the rather extensive menu? Simply get the sushi platter and ask for the chef’s choice. 24 North Main Street, Doylestown, 215-340-1101, CafeAlessioDoylestown.com
 
Neighborhood Bar
Need a home away from home with a friendly, attentive bartender staff that’s second to none? Head to Ambler, take your seat at the Fireside Bar and Grille’s roomy bar and buckle in. This place has close to 20 flat-screen HD televisions, so you won’t miss a pitch (or goal … or touchdown … or highlight-reel slam dunk), and a food-and-drink menu befitting of the best bars encircling the city’s Sports Complex. 1211 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, 215-643-6540, FiresideBarandGrille.com
 
Desserts
Berwyn-based Nectar Restaurant is certainly one of the most visually appealing restaurants in the suburbs, and it also has some of the most memorable cuisine. These inspired Chinese dishes make a habit of shining, perhaps nowhere more so than on the menu of homemade desserts—paired perfectly with an after-dinner coffee, tea or, if the mood strikes, martini. 1091 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 610-725-9000, TasteNectar.com
 
Sports Bar
With an atmosphere tailor made for the area’s most dedicated fans, Chickie’s & Pete’s locations boast massive TV screens and oversized bars—perfect for watching those nail-biting Phillies, Eagles, Flyers or Sixers games. Locally, there’s no better place to spend a game night (except the stadium, perhaps) than here, sitting elbow to elbow with rowdy sports fanatics while enjoying a cold beer and a fistful of C&P’s “World Famous Crabfries.” Multiple area locations, including the one at Parx Casino, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, 267-525-7333,ChickiesandPetes.com
 
Bakery
As its French moniker suggests, Wayne’s Aux Petit Delices has been creating small delights for more than two decades. Owner and pastry chef Patrick Gauthron has brought his international training and sensibilities stateside as inspiration for his unique French confections. His handcrafted chocolates, fine pastries and extravagant cakes are sure to delight any taste bud. 162 East Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 610-971-0300, AuxPetits.com
 
Seafood
There’s no reason to go as far as the Jersey Shore for a fresh salmon dish or tray of gulpable oysters when the area’s finest seafood is in King of Prussia, home of Creed’s Seafood & Steaks. With a raw bar, fresh fish selection, shellfish platters and accompaniments to each meal that include delectable crab cakes, Creed’s has proven that there is no better spot locally to enjoy the bounty of the sea. 499 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-265-2550, CreedsKOP.com
 
Hoagies
As its Italian name implies, family-owned Primo Hoagies is No. 1 in creating the freshest traditional and specialty Italian hoagies. These distinctively flavorful sandwiches, which are now famous locally for their signature sesame-seed torpedo rolls, can make any day into a bellissimo one. More than 30 locations throughout the Philadelphia area; visit PrimoHoagies.com for details
 
Deli
Roast turkey + Russian dressing + coleslaw + oven-fresh roll = a formula for repeat business at Jack’s Cold Cuts in Bensalem. Whether you order straight from the menu or ask the good folks behind the counter to assemble a creation of your own design, there’s simply no better place than Jack’s for fresh, perfectly portioned deli sandwiches. 1951 Street Road, Bensalem, 215-639-2346, JacksColdCuts.com
 
Coffeehouse
In an era of Starbucks sameness, Elcy’s Café in Glenside has earned its stripes through its unexpected space and warm personality. Unique in both location (inside the Glenside train station) and menu (a broad mix of sandwiches and sweet treats, as well as coffees, teas and other barista-prepared drinks), Elcy’s provides the perfect respite from the hectic workday. 1 Glenside Ave., Glenside, 215-884-5600, Elcys.com
 
Pizza
Right in the heart of Doylestown, Bacco Bistro has drawn in the masses with its unique coal-fired Neapolitan pies. Baked in old-world brick ovens, the traditional thin-crust-style pizza is cooked fresh with more than 20 toppings and a dozen specialty pizzas for guests to choose from. An added bonus if you chose to stay a while: It’s BYOB. 478 N. Main Street, Doylestown, 215-348-9882, BaccoBacco.com
 
Room with a View
Straight down the delightfully winding strip of River Road, in the quaint town of Washington Crossing, stands Francisco’s on the River:a fine-dining experience of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, promising an intimate evening with beautiful views of the Delaware River and its surroundings. Windows aplenty means there’s not a table in the charming spot that does not offer a spectacular view. 1251 River Road, Washington Crossing, 215-321-8789, FranciscosOnTheRiver.com
 
Fine Dining
Savona has set a rather high bar. The attention to detail in the preparation of each dish, made better by local, fresh ingredients, assures a chic yet straightforward menu. In addition to the incredible food, impeccable service and impressive wine cellar—the largest in the state, apparently—Savona prides itself on giving guests a full experience from the opening salvo to the moment they leave the table. 100 Old Gulph Road, Gulph Mills, 610-520-1200, SavonaRestaurant.com
 
Outdoor Dining
Head for The Landing in New Hope to escape life’s stresses and enjoy fine dining and the simple joys of a summer breeze. Right on the bank of the Delaware River, this landmark has an expansive outdoor patio and a menu full of American favorites—burgers, wings, seafood, salads, etc.—sure to improve anyone’s outlook. 22 N. Main Street, New Hope, 215-862-5711, LandingRestaurant.com
 
Steakhouse
A dozen or so cuts of sizzling meat carved right off the skewer and placed delicately on your plate—what’s not to love? Go to na’Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse for a true dining experience. If, for some reason, perfectly cooked beef and other carnivore delights aren’t your style, na’Brasa has a salad bar and sushi station that aim to satisfy any appetite. 680 Easton Road, Horsham, 215-956-0600, naBrasa.com
 
Wine List
Any place with a floor-to-ceiling wine rack is heart-attack serious about its whites and reds. At Dettera, which is positioned at the literal center of Ambler’s main drag, oenophiles can choose from dozens of wines by the glass and a seemingly endless by-the-bottle selection. Whether you’re staying to enjoy cuisine from the progressive dinner menu or simply sharing appetizers at the opulent bar, you’ll be happy to raise a glass (… or two … or three) at Dettera. 129 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, 215-643-0111, Dettera.com
 
Gourmet Market
Forever a Center City landmark, Di Bruno Bros. has sprouted legs and set up shop in the Ardmore Farmers Market at Suburban Square. (Take a moment to dry your tears of joy, if needed.) Go for the artisan cheeses. Stay for everything else—namely, the gourmet groceries, smoked meats and bustling atmosphere reminiscent of an open-air Italian market. 120 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 484-416-3311, DiBruno.com
 
Romantic Dinner
Scene: dinner by candlelight, fireplace crackling nearby as you sip from a delicately poured glasses of cabernet and feast on a menu of American and continental classics—this is what you can expect from a night at the historic Dilworthtown Inn, which has been a gathering place since 1780. Here, romance isn’t just in the air; it’s in every nook and pore of this character-rich inn. 1390 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester, 610-399-1390, Dilworthtown.com
 
Asian Fusion
Margaret Kuo’s Restaurants sprinkled throughout the Main Line have become synonymous with excellence, expertly blending Eastern culture and exceptional taste. The multiple-award-winning restaurants’ menus burst with flavor and flair, featuring memorably authentic cuisine of both Chinese and Japanese origin for a true dining experience. Four locations in Malvern, Media and Wayne; visit MargaretKuos.com for details
 
Pasta
There’s so much to love about Ristorante San Marco, a landmark in Ambler’s dining scene, including one of its best pasta “appetizers”: Linguine ai Frutti di Mare, which mixes pasta with mussels, shrimp and other riches plucked from the sea. Aside from the wonderful cuisine, the servers are nothing short of craftspeople and the atmosphere will likely leave a lasting impression. 504 N. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, 215-654-5000, SanMarcoPa.com
 
New Restaurant
Downtown Wayne has amassed an exciting collection of dining-out destinations, made even more so by the addition of Xilantro’s fine Mexican cuisine. This new entrant offers to-die-for margaritas and a variety of authentic Mexican specialties, which, when the weather cooperates, can be enjoyed on one of the region’s best outdoor patios. 103 North Wayne Ave., Wayne, 484-580-8415, Xilantro.com
 
Small Plates
Relatively new to the dining scene, Conshohocken-based Isabella has already become a standout in tapas, specializing in Mediterranean-style seafood, and tinted with locally sourced ingredients.The food goes down quickly and easily, but just in case, you can wash it down with a rotating lineup of craft beers on tap, including some from local brewers. 382 E Elm Street, Conshohocken, 484-532-7470, BarIsabella.com
 
Family Restaurant
There’s something (multiple things, in fact) for every member of the family at Tre Fratelli. While the little ones chow down on chicken fingers or personal pizza, Mom and Dad can enjoy the filet mignon or calamari fra diavlo. What’s more, when it comes time for dessert, at Tre Fratelli everyone can have their cake and eat it, too. 17 Summit Square Shopping Center, Langhorne, 215-968-1700, TreFratelli.biz
 
 
AT YOUR SERVICE
Florist
When locals living along the Main Line want to make life’s moments memorable, the easy money is on Accents by Michele. For weddings, anniversaries or any special occasion, this full-service floral shop provides lovingly handpicked creations—bouquets, gift baskets, table arrangements, etc.—sure to last (in memory) for a lifetime. 4003 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, 610-356-5683, AccentsByMichele.com
 
Interior Design
With Design Home Interiors, it’s all about creating spaces that are well suited to a client’s lifestyle and personality, while keeping comfort and utility fully in mind. This Montgomeryville-based interior design firm, which also has an impressive showroom where much of its magic blossoms, has all the tools and creativity to turn tired spaces into inspired ones. 668 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, 215-361-9100, DesignHomeInteriors.org
 
Home Accessories
Driving down Route 202 in Peddler’s Village, one can’t help but gaze into the beguiling showroom of Black-eyed Susan. The spacious “canvas” changes regularly, courtesy of interior-design marvel Susan Taylor, and is always overflowing with fashionable furniture, remarkable accents and other highlights designed to breathe life into homeowners’ living spaces. 5222 York Road, Holicong, 215-794-1800, BESusan.com
 
Oriental Rug Cleaning
If there’s an authority on oriental rugs, his name is Roy Maloumian. Maloumian Oriental Rugs has a wide variety of the finest oriental (and contemporary) rugs, and has firmly established itself as the premier cleaner and restorer of rugs—complete with pickup and delivery services—in the Philadelphia area. 231 West Mount Pleasant Ave., Philadelphia, 215-247-3535, RoysRugs.com
 
Spoil-Your-Pet Spa
They say all dogs go to heaven, and that certainly can be said about the canine (and feline) patrons of Malvern’s Wagsworth Manor. It’s an indoor spa and outdoor playground, with luxury boarding accommodations to boot—nothing but the best for man’s best friend and his feline counterpart. 27 Spring Mill Drive, Malvern, 610-251-9247, WagsworthManor.com
 
Outdoor Cooking
If you’re looking to improve your quality of life, amp up your home-cooking capabilities or even just master the art of grilling the perfect steak, Ambler Fireplace and Patio has what it takes to meet your goals. For the finest barbecue grills, hearths, etc., you’ll find it here in spades. E. Butler Pike and Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, 215-643-5100; 791 Bethlehem Pike, Colmar, 215-997-7300; AmblerFireplace.com
 
Ride in Style
There’s nothing quite like a ride in a limousine, especially when it comes from Secrets Limousine Service. Travel in comfort and style to your next special event, whether it’s to a Center City restaurant in celebration of your 10-year wedding anniversary, heading to South Philly to catch a game with friends, or to an out-on-the-town work party with co-workers. One thing’s for sure: Life’s too short to restrict limo usage to weddings and funerals. 902 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-540-9955, SecretsLimo.com
 
Pamper your Car
Your car is a workhorse, your A-to-B delivery system, your four-wheeled castle. Why not give it the spa treatment it truly deserves at WaterWorks Car Wash? If you really want a happy car, follow this simple WaterWorks formula: wash, rinse, repeat often. The occasional waxing or detailing couldn’t hurt either. 1435 Ridge Pike, Plymouth Meeting, 610-270-0711, WaterWorksCarWash.info
 
 
RETAIL AND FASHION
Full-Service Jeweler
Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring with which to pop the big question, a fine-jewelry piece for an anniversary gift or an heirloom with which to say “thank you,” there’s just one go-to destination in the Philadelphia suburbs: Fred H. Straub Inc. Jewelers in Abington. Simply look for the landmark street clock on Old York Road and pull into the lot. The Straub family will take care of the rest. 1375 Old York Road, Abington, 215-887-1115, FredHStraub.com
 
Time Pieces
You’ve got nothing but time at Precision Watches, a full-service retail shop and repair center with skills honed by three generations of watchmakers. It’s also an authentic dealer of the world’s finest luxury watches and time pieces (and eyewear and jewelry, too) guaranteed to keep you on time and in style. 1528 Main Street, Warrington, 215-355-6403, PrecisionWatches.com
 
Fine Furniture
The selection and quality of antique furniture available at Stenella Antiques in Perkasie can take one’s breath away. If you can’t find your dream dining-room table or China cabinet in this 26,000-square-foot store, which is filled to the gills with heirloom pieces, you’re just not looking. 104 S. Second Street, Perkasie, 215-453-8490, StenellaAntiques.com
 
Shopping Destination
Whether you seek a well-deserved treat for yourself or an upscale gift for a friend, you’ll find a collection of elegant women’s and children’s fashions, home furnishings, jewelry and other surprises when you stop by Carousel Boutiques at Indian Walk, which is nestled lovingly between Newtown and Wrightstown. 591 Durham Road (Route 413), Wrightstown
 
Floral Boutique
Considering the vibrant colors, glorious perfume of bursting blooms and assortment of distinctive gift items, entering the world of Valley Forge Flowers is an almost overwhelming feast for the senses. Through its array of plants and stunning arrangements, this Main Line destination helps breathe life and color into the homes of its customers all year long. 503 W. Lancaster Avenue Wayne, 610-687-5566, ValleyForgeFlowers.com
 
Women’s Shoes
Head over to Shoe Bar in Lafayette Hill for the most stunningly stylish wedges and pumps from the likes of Donald J Pliner, FitFlop, Naot, Prevata, Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman. Locals have been shopping here for 30 years, finding not only the area’s finest footwear but also a staff that provides the expert service that seems to have faded from the department stores where you used to shop. 535 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, 610-825-4972
 
Women’s Fashion
No matter the category, Savioni quite literally has you covered. Whether you’re going for business casual, on the edge or simply sexy, Savioni in New Hope offers the finest styles in women’s clothing from the top brands and artisans. (There’s even a second-floor denim bar!) What’s more, you can top off any ensemble with a full range of handbags, sunglasses and other fashionable accessories. 10 S. Main Street, New Hope, 215-862-5010, SavioniBoutique.com
 
Women’s Swimwear
For generations, swimsuit seekers have been counting on Shirley & Co. to help them stand out all year long. With three suburban locations, this storied business features a massive year-round selection of women’s swimwear, cruise wear and accessories, all with characteristic service and style to turn the “chore” of buying a swimsuit into an experience. 23 Summit Square Center, Route 413 & Newtown Bypass, Langhorne, 215-579-7005; 8120 Old York Road, Elkins Park, 215-884-5401; 42 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore, 484-416-3146; ShirleyandCo.com
 
Bridal Boutique
The most elegant wedding dresses available, a collection of eye-grabbing jewelry, on-site alterations and salon services: The Wedding Shoppe in Wayne’s Eagle Village Shops has everything today’s discerning bride-to-be could ever want. As advertised, The Wedding Shoppe is “the perfect start to new beginnings.” 503 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, 610-293-1299, Wedding-Shoppe.com
 
Consignment Shop
With locations throughout the Philadelphia, including two suburban locations, Greene Street Consignment is unique among its peers. Each store’s up-market inventory—contemporary, gently worn clothing and jewelry items in immaculate condition—revolves continually based on the coming season.Stop in, check it out, leave happy. 119 W. Market Street, West Chester, 484-947-5562; 848 W Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-519-0878; GreeneStreetConsignment.com
 
Men’s Wear
For 30 years the Bucks County institution known as Ventresca Ltd. has been making local men look like gentlemen. Whether you’re in the market for a new suit, a tux rental for an upcoming formal event, a custom garment or even the perfect accessory to complete an ensemble, Ventresca Ltd. is the place to go for men who want to look as sharp and as fashionable as humanly possible. 145 West State Street, Doylestown, 215-348-3139, Ventresca.com
 
Men’s Suits
The clothes make the man, they say. Whether it’s classic fit, slim fit or modern fit, HUGO BOSS has a suit to suit the discerning man—business or casual, classically conservative or flashy—with everything else he needs to complete the look (we’re talking belts, pocket squares, shoes, socks, etc.) and turn some heads in the process. 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-992-1400, HUGOBOSS.com
 
Men’s Casual Wear
In posh Newtown, Frank DeRito Clothier has it all—tuxedos, outerwear, custom shirts, you name it—but its casual wares shine the brightest, perhaps. Embroidered sport shirts, designer jeans and casual blazers from the likes of Enzo, Robert Graham and Tommy Bahama will amplify any man’s swagger. 28 S. State Street, Newtown, 215-579-3131, FrankDeRitoClothier.com
 
Pet Boutique
Billed as “the Main Line address for the sophisticated pooch,” The Bark Avenue Boutique in Ardmore is the brainchild of Donna Marie Buscaglia. She started off making chewy treats for dogs and has since grown it into a full-scale destination—in the Ardmore Farmers Market at Suburban Square, in addition to a second location in Center City—for everything our canine family members want, need and deserve. 37 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 610-642-4495, TheBarkAvenueBoutique.com
 
 
A NEW YOU
Massage
In addition to facials, manicures and other personal services, Heaven Spa offers a variety of massages—therapeutic Swedish, which offers gentle but firm relief; deep tissue, for undoing the knots that ail the body; aromatherapy and stone, which work as elixirs for the mind, body and soul, etc.—that will make you think you’ve died and … well, gone to Heaven. 261 Old York Road, Jenkintown, 215-576-7000; The Bucks Club, 2600 York Road, Jamison, HeavenSpa.com
 
Day Spa
Renewal. Soothing. Comfort. Relaxation. These are the words that come to mind when you visit Avanté Salon and Spa in West Chester. Using essential massage, natural oils and hydrating creams, among other vitality-enhancing treatments, Avanté provides a calming antidote designed to de-stress, rehydrate and renew a woman’s (or a man’s, for that matter) body. Bradford Plaza, 668 Downingtown Pike, West Chester, 610-429-1800, AvanteSalon.com
 
Hair Salon
Head to the more than appropriately named Style Masters in Malvern for a stylish trim, new color or even a whole new look. It’s not only a salon but an award-winning spa as well, so be sure to check out the wide-ranging list of services and specialties designed to enliven the entire body, from head to toe. 549 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, 610-640-0677, StyleMastersOnline.com
 
Mani/Pedi
Pamper and polish at Currie’s three serene locations in the Philly suburbs. Sure, there’s the classic mani/pedi treatment, which don’t disappoint, but you can also indulge by nourishing the skin with the likes of mud harvested from mineral-rich Tuscan thermal springs and shea-butter lotions enhanced with fragrant oils. 121 East State Street, Kennett Square, 610-444-1644; Dilworthtown Crossing, Dilworthtown Road, West Chester, 610-455-0906; Glen Eagle Shopping Center, 585 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, 610-558-4247; CurrieDaySpa.com 
 
Specialty Salon
Jude Plum Co. has a raft of salon services designed to help locals look and feel their best, even while they’re battling cancer. Those afflicted with the disease—and the transitional hair loss that often comes as a result of treatment—rely on Jude Plum to create natural wigs as a way to retain their confidence amid the fight. 821 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-527-1770, JudePlumSalon.com
 
Shave
There’s nothing quite like the experience of getting a straight-razor shave from a skilled authentic barber—both luxurious and, somehow, primal. At Shaving Grace in Exton and Doylestown, the barbers are nothing short of artists. Find out for yourself, and stay for a haircut while you’re at it. 269 Main Street, Exton, 866-4-A-SHAVE; 41 East State Street in Doylestown, 267-620-2005; ShavingGraceBarbers.com
 
Health/Fitness Club
At Berwyn-based Devon Fitness, staying fit and trim is more lifestyle than hobby. The club has a multiplicity of classes (power yoga, kickboxing, a weight-training class known as Body Sculpt, an indoor/outdoor Booty Fit Boot Camp, etc.), a staff of personal trainers, a dietician and a number of other amenities designed to make your workout not only effective but also enjoyable. 1340 Swedesford Road, Berwyn, 610-240-9916, DevonFitness.com
 
Nontraditional Fitness
Humans don’t necessarily need fancy equipment and computerized doohickeys to get in a good workout; sometimes all you need is gravity. Doylestown Rock Gym, which has carved a home out of an old warehouse, features a challenging network of climbing routes and indoor caves sure to test any enthusiast—perfect for beginners who want to learn the sport; ideal for experienced climbers when the weather prevents them from scaling the walls outside. 3853 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, 215-230-9085, DoylestownRockGym.com
 
Tanning Salon
Get the tan without the aid of controversial UV lighting at Sunboat Tan in Southampton. All of its airbrush tanning solutions are organic, meaning customers can have the tan they want—from a healthy glow to a deep tan that makes you look like you just got back from a weeklong Caribbean vacation—without guilt or worry. 660 Second Street Pike, Southampton, 215-588-8891, SunboatTan.com
 
Dance Classes
Learn to perform like a pro at Addicted 2 Dance. Whether you wish to develop your dancing skills for pure enjoyment, to break a sweat or even to launch a professional career, put on your dancing shoes and head to this revered studio in Ambler. 15 Cavalier Drive, Ambler, 215-643-4949, A2Dance.net
 
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