Sarah Maiellano

Independent Journalist and Communications Professional

United States

Writing about travel, food, and lifestyle from Philadelphia.

Contact me at my first name last name at gmail.

Philadelphia Magazine
Wilmington Is Becoming the It City Next Door

Thanks to a resurgent downtown - the passion project of a pair of native sons - and a red-hot dining scene, our region's second city is building quite the buzz. What does that mean for Philly - and for Wilmington? The bar is three or even four people deep, making it tough to get through the door.

Philadelphia Magazine
In Defense of the Ice Cream Cone

Ice cream cones may be messy, but they're worth a taste of nostalgic bliss. Which team are you on? Team cup or team cone?

Philadelphia Inquirer
Philly Chefs Make Waves Down the Shore

When summer hits, our city's chefs long for the seashore. Lately, when they cross the bridge, they're bringing with them not only their kids and beach chairs, but their talent.

Philadelphia Magazine
The Most Anticipated Philadelphia Restaurant Openings of Early 2021

From Peter Serpico's new rotisserie chicken concept to Nick Elmi's new restaurants on the Main Line, here are the most anticipated restaurant openings of the new year. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen too many beloved restaurants close their doors. At the same time, surprising as it may seem, new eateries are opening up too.

James Beard Foundation
How COVID-19 Is Hurting Women-Owned Restaurants

Our industry is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has already permanently shuttered more than one percent of restaurants, forced millions into unemployment, and left chefs, owners, and workers struggling to imagine what the future looks like in the near and long-term.

Eater Philly
Wilmington Is Coming for Philly's Food Scene

Picture this: A 15-year-old Tyler Akin - now a high-profile Philly chef and co-founder of the Independent Restaurant Coalition - having afternoon tea with his friends in Wilmington, Delaware, at the Hotel Du Pont's century-old Green Room. It was "a tongue-in-cheek goodbye" before Akin, a star varsity soccer player, went in for major spinal surgery.

A food and wine trail from Madrid to Barcelona

Spanish winemakers have a saying: "If we have wine in the cellars, we have no problems." That sentiment holds true for visiting Spain: if you have wine in your glass, you have no problems. As one of the best wine-producing countries in the world, vino - be it tempranillo from Rioja, a flute of cava or txakoli in Basque country - is everywhere.

USA Today 10Best
10 Unique Ways to Eat King Cake in New Orleans

As soon as early January hits, a special treat starts popping up at parties, offices and homes all over Louisiana. "King cake is a New Orleans staple," says Adrienne Rousse, store manager at 71-year-old Gambino's Bakery which sells 100,000 of these baked goods annually.

James Beard Foundation
Philly's New Sisterhood of Chefs

As Kiki Aranita was building furniture for her Hawaiian restaurant, Poi Dog, Ange Branca, the chef-owner of Saté Kampar, showed up. “She knocked on the door, saw that I was stressed, brought in burgers, and started putting prep tables together,” Aranita said. “She wouldn’t leave.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
In Philly's restaurant scene, these couples thrive in and out of their kitchens

For Mission Taqueria's chef, Jon Rodriguez, Feb. 14 hasn't always been about romance. "Valentine's Day was always the breakup point," he says. "I've had a solid five relationships broken up because of missing Valentine's Day." That is, until he met Jillian Moore, his girlfriend who is a bartender and server at Zahav.

Philadelphia Inquirer
Cooking up love in Philly restaurants

Talk about christening a kitchen. On the day that Friday Saturday Sunday's cooking line was delivered, owners Hanna and Chad Williams got married amid the stoves and cooktops.

Travel + Leisure
Move Over, Cheesesteaks: Philly is All About Vegetables Right Now

Philadelphia is at a food crossroads. Millennials and empty nesters have flooded Center City, bringing with them a hunger for creative, delicious dining options. The place that has long prided itself on the meaty, greasy cheesesteak is changing and may be the most exciting city in America for vegan fare.

Eater Philly
Philly's 17 Essential Italian Restaurants

In Philly, we eat Italian food. The city is home to a seemingly countless number of red sauce joints, the oldest Italian restaurant and largest open-air market dedicated to Italian food in the country, and Marc Vetri, one of the most respected chefs cooking Italian food this side of the Atlantic.

Washington Post
From onions to internal organs, a Philly chocolate company finds humor in the business

"I have a question," a sporty teenage girl asks. "Are chocolate-covered onions a thing?" "They're a thing here," a Mueller Chocolate Co. employee answers. "Oh. Really?" She pauses and looks at her friends. "Ew. . . . I'd like chocolate-covered strawberries, please." It's a Saturday afternoon at Philadelphia's popular Reading Terminal Market.

Edible Philly

PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK E. KAPP It's with a strange mix of hesitation and pride that I tell people I meet in Center City that I'm from Northeast Philly. I'm proud to be a city girl. I went to public school for 12 years, took SEPTA alone and hung out on front stoops.

The Plunge
Best Proposal Locations in Philadelphia

Now that the famous LOVE sculpture is back in its original home, expect to see Philadelphians and tourists popping the question under the iconic red letters on the regular. There are always other iconic local landmarks too: the Rocky Statue, the Delaware River Waterfront, or the Liberty Bell.

Resort photo tour: The Greenbrier, welcoming guests since 1778

Since 1778, travelers have come to White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for the water, which is considered beneficial to health. Through the 1800s, guests stayed in cottages (that remain in use today) on The Greenbrier resort's property and it became known as a grand summer social gathering place.

Travel + Leisure
How to Visit Philly Like a Movie Star

With the latest film in the Rocky series, Creed, generating awards buzz, Philadelphia is a hot spot for movie buffs and wannabe celebrities. Just in time for the Academy Awards, here is our guide to visiting Philly like a movie star.

Washington Post
The Lunch Bunch

A t lunchtime, the streets of Washington teem with lobbyists, civil servants, lawyers and nonprofit staffers. A peek inside the city's food trucks can reveal a parallel scene. "While street vending historically has been the realm of new immigrants, in Washington we have seen a large number of ex-professionals (in addition to chefs) open food trucks," says Ché Ruddell-Tabisola, executive director of the DMV Food Truck Association and co-owner of BBQ Bus.

Eater Philly
19 Essential Philadelphia Bars

Philly has always been a place with plenty of watering holes, favorite taverns, and corner bars in every neighborhood. We've long been one of the country's best beer cities. Hell, the Citywide Special was invented here. The bar scene has only improved as the city's population exploded with millennials and empty-nesters in the last decade.

Eater Philly
17 Essential BYOBs in Philly

Thanks to Pennsylvania's out-of-touch booze laws and the challenge of obtaining a Philadelphia liquor license, Philly restaurants created one of the country's most unique drinking workarounds: Bring Your Own Bottle policies. At more than 300 BYOBs, diners can bring bottles of wine, champagne, beer, or even spirits to dinner.

USA Today
Taking Silvercar - and its spiffy Audis - for a test drive

Silvercar bills itself as "the world's first hassle-free car rental company." You rent using a mobile application and pick up your Audi - yes, every car is a silver Audi - by scanning a code on the car with your phone. The website promises you'll forgo the lines and paperwork that hold you up at the rental counter.

12 can't-miss U.S. museum exhibits this spring

Pop culture and pot culture. Megacities and dollhouses. Van Gogh's bedroom and El Chapo's prison cell. Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney's unlikely friendship. U.S. museums are getting creative this spring. These new and special exhibits take interactivity to a new level with museum mini golf, virtual reality tours through famous paintings, life-size Pixar characters, and a cloud of plastic bags meant to evoke Mumbai.

Washington Post
The ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolate experience in Asheville, N.C.

It was the weekend after Thanksgiving in downtown Asheville, N.C., and there was a line stretching down the sidewalk. Patient moms and dads were trying to keep antsy kids occupied as they waited outside a baby-blue-and-brown corner building. "Santa must be here," I thought. Turned out they were waiting for something better: chocolate.

11 must-see museum exhibits in Europe this summer

With the high value of the U.S. dollar in Europe, this summer may be the perfect time to go overseas. European museums brim with exciting temporary exhibits during these warm months. On display: ancient history and modern art, studies of celebration and games, and Byzantine culture and Beat culture.

12 must-see museum exhibits in the U.S. this summer

It's prime summer travel season, and with the "heat dome" in effect, many travelers will be looking for indoor options. Enter America's museums, with a great lineup of fascinating exhibitions from coast to coast. Icebergs at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. July 2 - Sept.

Travel + Leisure
The Seven Best Dive Bars in Philadelphia

With its working class roots and growing hipster crowds, Philadelphia teems with unique dive bars. Here are our favorites. A shot and a beer. This perfect (and perfectly affordable) combination is so popular in Philadelphia that the city gave it a name, spread the trend at bars across town decades ago, and still sell it for $3.

Spring forward in Philly: The season's best art, music and events

Chinese dragons, Picasso and King Midas descend on Philadelphia this spring. The city's top museums and attractions shed winter blues with an array of special exhibits, festivals and shows. Say "Hello, Sailor!" in the city where the Navy was founded and see what happens when an opera written in 1832 time-travels to the WWII era.

11 can't-miss European museum exhibits this spring

La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux, France June 1, 2016 - permanent The new La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux is not an exhibit, but an entire museum dedicated to wine culture worldwide. Twenty permanent exhibits cover terroir, grapes, history, trends, art, religious wine, addiction and gastronomy - plus tips on storage, food pairings and choosing wine.

Travel + Leisure
Philadelphia is a Hub for Quirky Events and Festivals

This weekend, the normally quiet town of Kennett Square, outside of Philadelphia, transforms into a fungus soiree. Its annual Mushroom Festival (September 12 and 13) hosts more than 100,000 people who make the pilgrimage annually to party and chow down in the world's Mushroom Capital.

Philadelphia Flower Show recreates national park landscapes

It's been 100 years since America entrusted the National Park Service with our 408 treasured national parks. Armed with the theme "Explore America," this year's Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Philadelphia Flower Show - the nation's largest and longest-running horticultural event since 1829 - celebrates the Park Service's centennial.

Travel + Leisure
Nine Totally Free Things to do in Philly for New Year's

The City of Brotherly Love abounds with free fun for everyone around this holiday. In Philadelphia, it's easy to celebrate New Year's without breaking the bank. The city's beloved fireworks show pulls double duty this year, with an early performance for the kids plus the traditional midnight celebration.

Philadelphia Inquirer
Family opens circle to make room for one more

By Sarah Maiellano: With a master's degree in economics from Temple and almost enough coursework for a Ph.D., my grandmother's cousin Bill should have had a successful career and life. Sadly, his future wasn't bright. Bill spent his working years in the mail room at an IRS office.

Travel + Leisure
Five Souvenirs That Perfectly Capture Philadelphia

The temperature is dropping and the garlands soon to be strung. Even streetlights seem to twinkle a little more this time of year. The holiday season is upon us and we're on the hunt for the perfect gifts. Cross some off your list with our top picks for Philadelphia-themed souvenirs.

Travel + Leisure
Museum Hack: Your Best Afternoon at Philly's Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has just opened an exhibit that explores the roots of Impressionist painting. Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting features the work of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Pissarro. The exhibit is on display until September 13, and this is your only chance to see it in the States.

USA Today
America's strangest food museums

We Americans love road trips to offbeat roadside attractions. We also love to eat. Towns across the U.S. celebrate these fancies by dedicating museums to humble foods like mustard, Jell-O and pizza. There's even a museum that memorializes food that's been burned to a crisp - one man's trash is another man's treasure, right?

Travel + Leisure
Philadelphia Has Become a Beer Garden Haven

The expansive Independence Beer Garden is steps from the Liberty Bell. With 20,000 square feet, 40 beer taps, and room for 300, it's decked out in distressed metal and wood, string lights and greenery that give the space the feel of an oasis.

USA Today
America's strangest food festivals

Beer and wine tasting events, barbecue competitions and chili cookoffs are always solid choices for a tasty excursion. But some food festivals are more likely to make you scratch your head than make your mouth water. Many of these festivals celebrate the foods that put their town on the map.

Travel + Leisure
The Best Things to do in Philadelphia for Halloween

Rich in history and full of irreverence, Philly does Halloween right. The scary scene is set with nighttime tours in a former prison, and ghost story-telling in a local cemetery. Walking tours and festivals get spirited with food, fun, and fright.

Washington Post
Street Smart: Chick & Ruth's Delly, Annapolis

When Ted Levitt's parents, Chick and Ruth, opened their restaurant on Main Street in Annapolis in 1965, the menu was two pages. Then Ted Levitt went to culinary school. "Next thing you know, we've got a 10-page menu," he says. Celebrities, politicians and patriotism are also a big part of life at Chick & Ruth's Delly.

Travel + Leisure
Make the Most of Philadelphia's Restaurant Week

Reservations are now open for Philadelphia's first-ever summer Restaurant Week-a chance to make a dent in your bucket list for touring the city's strong dining scene. Happening August 2 through 7, and 9 through 14, more than 120 restaurants in the area are participating, all offering multiple-course meals at $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner.

Travel + Leisure
Philadelphia's 5 Best Walking Tours

Consistently ranked as one of the country's most walkable cities, Philadelphia is ripe with colorful neighborhoods, great buildings, and cultural sites to explore. No better way to enjoy it, then, than on an immersive walking tour that dives deep into the city's impressive history, or gives you a taste of its wide culinary flavors.

Travel + Leisure
Make the Most of Summer at These 10 Al Fresco Workout Spots in Philly

Now that summer-the season of street festivals, blooming flowers, and beach trips-is in top form, you can embrace the sunny season by breaking a sweat at some of Philly's best outdoor attractions. The new boardwalk perched over the Schuylkill River (between Center City and University City) is a fitness devotee's dream.

The NFL's ban on purses is sexist

I recently tweeted this photo of my football tickets not fitting into my tiny handbag since new NFL rules prohibit purses larger than a clutch in stadiums on game day. My picture was retweeted by a local news outlet and struck a nerve on Twitter.

Washington Post
Street Smart: What to do in Rappahannock County

Rappahannock County may be best known for two of its crown jewels - The Inn at Little Washington and Skyline Drive - but this artsy and crafty area is worth exploring deeper. Many residents are artists whose work is available in shops and galleries throughout the county.

Washingtonian Magazine
First Person: Couple In Search of Couples

After living here for five years since college, my husband and I have built a great life-fulfilling jobs, a dog named Teddy, a condo in Arlington, a loving relationship. But something is missing: close friends. Joe and I have been a couple for close to ten years, practically since we were kids.

Washington Post
Street Smart: Carroll Creek Park, Frederick, MD

Situated along 1.3 miles through a charming historic downtown, Carroll Creek Park (South Market Street) is the heart of Frederick, Md. A peaceful stream and brick walkways beg passersby to take a stroll. Public art projects decorate the footbridges that cross the water. Some of the city's best dining destinations flank the park, and outdoor seating [...]

Washington Post
Street Smart: what to do in Middleburg

With more than a hundred equestrian events within a 50-mile radius and a history of fox hunting, Middleburg, Va., has been the nation's horse and hunt capital for more than a century. The polished town has kept its traditional past alive, with a few fresh surprises along the way.

Travel + Leisure
The Country’s Best July 4 Celebrations: Philadelphia

Philadelphia is America's birthplace, and you won't forget it on Independence Day weekend. The town where it all started goes big for the Fourth of July, with concerts, fireworks, parades, street festivals, outdoor movie screenings, and of course, history lessons.

Northeast Times
Northeast home to many hidden gems

From cheesesteaks to Tastykakes, Steph­en Starr to Marc Vetri, the Read­ing Ter­min­al to the Itali­an Mar­ket, Philly food gets a de­cent amount of at­ten­tion. But one area of the city that has been vir­tu­ally writ­ten off de­serves re­cog­ni­tion for its im­press­ive lineup of hid­den gems. North­east Philly isn't a place to go to lose weight.

Washington Post
Street Smart: What to do in Leesburg

As the seat of Loudoun County and a town that has been around since 1758, Leesburg has plenty to offer history buffs. At the same time, its downtown teems with modern restaurants, shops and even a tiki bar and a nanobrewery. Perhaps the eponymous Lord Loudoun put it best when he said, "Change, yes, but tradition too."