Translating to “beautiful sight,” Bella Vista was the first Philly neighborhood settled by Italian immigrants. Its original heritage informs much of what exists today, though the family-oriented residential pocket has blossomed into a microcosm of South Philadelphia itself.
Bella Vista’s best-known feature is the 9th Street Italian Market, the oldest operational open-air market of its kind in America. Welcoming the presence of other cultures — Vietnamese and Mexican, most prominently — has helped the area grow into much more than the sum of its once-monocultural parts.
Bella Vista offers visitors a staggering roster of dining options, from city-best brunch spots to late-night international explorations.