The Dandelion at 18th and Sansom in Center City, Philadelphia is one of my favorite spots. It’s the sort of place you can dress up for or dress down for without feeling out place, which means that even a spontaneous dinner can have a degree of class and character and an overall tone that’s tough for many places to offer so easily upon walking through the door.

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It’s one of the many great spots in Center City that has an energy that flows out into the streets in warmer weather, and that prompted an older visiting friend this year in the warmer autumn who hadn’t spent time in Philadelphia in many years to comment that Center City felt “practically European” in the sense of being walkable and lively and “tight” even late into the night.