Student Guide

Learning to bartend at Aqua Vitae Institute can be overwhelming for those not familiar with the city. Here are some of our favorite go-to places and recommendations to help make adjusting to being a student easier.

Where to Eat

Philadelphia is home to some of the most affordable food trucks in the area. The food is not only fresh but it’s delicious and a meal won’t cost over $5.00. They vary by permit, but there are dozens scattered around, with some like King of Falafel becoming a centerpiece in Philadelphia. For a last minute fix, Subway is a cheap and convenient option located less than a minute walk from our school.

There is a Wawa a couple blocks away for a quick  snack or soup, and there are also food courts located at the Liberty PlaceComcast Center, and Suburban Station.

The City of Philadelphia also organizes a plethora of special events at Love Park, and there’s a rotating schedule for the Love Park Trucks which means everyday is another delicious meal!

Where to Buy School Supplies

The Walgreens on the corner of 17th and JFK. There is also a Staples on 15th and Chestnut.

Where to Drink Coffee

Hubub Coffee, Passero’s Coffee and La Colombe offer some of the most unforgettable coffee and tea in the city. For desserts and coffee, there is Miel Patisserie and Termini Brothers underneath the Comcast Center.  

Gran Cafe L’Aquila is also a delicious option for Italian Coffee and Sorbet!

Where to Get a Cocktail

One of the best things about Aqua Vitae Institute is that we are located within walking distance of the most innovative bars and restaurants in Center City Philadelphia.

If you need somewhere close, we’re proud to say many of our staff (current and former) and alumni have are working at Urban Farmer.

Some other innovative bars we recommend are:

Tria, The Franklin Bar, Dandelion, The Library Bar, Gran Cafe L’Aquila, 1 Tippling Place, and many more.

Tell the bartenders where you’re coming from and they might give you a little special attention too!

Our Top Five Visits in Center City

Aqua Vitae Institute is a short walk from some of the most historic places and interesting places in the city. Here are our five favorite visits:

  1. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located seven blocks away on 26th and JFK. It is free on Wednesday after 5pm, and the first Sunday of every month.
  2. City Hall is the centerpiece of Philadelphia and the largest municipal building in the whole country. The construction of City Hall started in 1871 and took over thirty years to complete. As a side-effect, it also is one of the most beautiful buildings in the whole country.

    There are interior tours running Monday - Friday starting at 12:30 pm. These tours last two hours. Alternatively, you can pay $6.00 and view the whole city from the observation deck.

    The observation deck is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  3. The Franklin Institute is one of the oldest museums dedicated to science in the United States. It has events coming around every night, so it’s pretty hard to keep up. On the third Wednesday of every month, the Franklin Institute hosts a community night: free admission and discounted parking from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
  4. The Mutter Museum is dedicated to medical science. It’s a little creepy, and not for the faint of heart, but it’s inspiring to see how doctors battle to save lives and the tools they use to do so. Cost for students with ID is $11.00. Cost for most people is $16.00.
  5. Almost 30 years older than City Hall, the Masonic Temple is one of Philadelphia’s most historic landmarks and a look into the history of where many of our founding father’s existed.

    Students get in for $8.00, adults for $13.00

Learn How Alcohol Is Made

Please note, you need to be 21 or over to visit these places. Philadelphia is home to a huge variety of local distilleries and breweries that offer tours of their facility. Here is a list of some of the ones located in Philadelphia:


Philadelphia Distilling Company (please note this distillery doesn’t offer regular tours of the facility, e-mail to find out the dates or check their facebook)

Rowhouse Spirits

Rowhouse Spirits gives tours to any customer interested. Call ahead to confirm the time.


Free Will Brewing Company
Free will brewing offers free tours every Saturday at 3pm.

Philadelphia Brewing Company
Tours & Tastings for the Philadelphia Brewing Company occur on Saturdays and Sundays between 12-3pm

Yards Brewing Company
Yard’s offers free tours between 12-4pm every Saturday and Sunday.They are closed on major holidays and the brewery is first come, first serve!