Boston vs. Philadelphia: A City Showdown
Boston and Philadelphia are two East Coast cities with a lot of history and patriotic spirit, and the competition between them is hot right now. Not only are the two preparing to duke it out in Super Bowl LII this Sunday, they’re also both on Amazon’s shortlist for the company’s new headquarters.
So… does Boston or Philly have more to offer its resident football fans? To find out, we first talked to Redfin real estate agents from each market to hear what they think about their cities. Here’s what they had to say:
“Philadelphia, the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and former capital of the United States, is home to the nation’s first zoo and the oldest residential block in the country… not to mention rabid sports fans,” said Philadelphia Redfin agent Erik Lee. “Boston may have had their very own tea party, but this is where our country was founded. The perpetual underdogs in both fact and fiction, Philadelphians—for better or worse—stick by their teams through thick and thin. We may be going up against ‘The Hoodie’ and TB12, but my money rides the Birds’ front 7 and a 53-man roster with the heart of all the Rockys combined.”
“Can you guess which U.S. city tops lists every year for the most educated, healthy and entrepreneurial? Or how about the one that has the most recent professional sports championships? If you guessed Philadelphia, eat another cheesesteak!” said Boston Redfin agent James Gulden. “Boston is the home of the Patriots, the winning-est NFL team in the modern era. They’ll be playing for their sixth championship when they appear in their 10th super bowl — their eighth appearance within the last 17 years. Holy chowder! Philadelphia might have Rocky Balboa, ‘The Italian Stallion’, but Boston has Bill ‘The Hood’ Belichick. Game On!”
Cheesesteaks…chowder…we can’t decide! For a more objective look at both cities, we pulled data from sources like Yelp, U.S. Census and Redfin.com. Here’s what we found out about life in these rival cities.
Philadelphians are More Likely to Own Homes
If you’re tired of the renter life and want to put down roots, Philly is the better city. Fifty-four percent of homes in Philadelphia are owner occupied, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. In Boston, only 34 percent of homes are occupied by the owners, while the majority are rented out.
…Probably Because Homes There are More Affordable
It’s not surprising to see that more people are renting in Boston. The cost of the median home there is $635,000— that’s 111 percent higher than the median home price in Philly, which is $185,000. In addition to having more affordable homes, Philadelphia also has a bigger selection of homes. There are currently 4,706 homes for sale in Philly on Redfin.com, compared to 702 in Boston.
Even Though Philly is Bigger, You Get More Space in Boston
Philadelphia is larger than Boston in both in population and geographics. The city is 141.7 mi² with a population of 1,526,006 according to 2010 Census data, compared to Boston’s 89.63 mi² and population of 617,594. But—you actually get a little more square footage in Boston. The average Boston home that sold last year was 1,696 ft² compared to 1,334 ft² in Philadelphia. More room for all those Tom Brady jerseys!
When It Comes To Walkability, Boston Wins (But Not By Much)
If your preferred method of transportation is walking or riding your bike, both cities are great! However, Boston does have a slight edge on Philly in all three categories: Walk Score, Bike Score and Transit Score. You can see each city’s scores below.
Walk Score: 81Bike Score: 70Transit Score: 74
Walk Score: 79Bike Score: 68Transit Score: 67
“Boston is a very accessible city for those who prefer or need to get around without a car. From the T trains, buses and commuter rails, to Zipcar, Uber, Lift and Hubway bike sharing, not to mention plain ol’ walking, Boston is easy to navigate sans automobile,” said Gulden.
Boston is Slightly More Educated
According to 2012-2016 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, 85.7 percent of Boston residents have attained a high school diploma or higher. In Philly, 82.6 percent have done the same. Boston also continually earns a spot among the top 10 most-educated cities in the U.S.
Both Have Excellent Food
You can’t go wrong with food in either city. Outside of chowder and cheesesteaks, the two cities offer tons of food options, including excellent ethnic-inspired dishes. Boston’s top-rated restaurant on Yelp, Piperi Mediterranean Grill, serves up Mediterranean-inspired food, while Philly’s top-rated restaurant, Cafe La Maude, offers a French-Lebanese menu.
If you’re looking for great places to watch the big game, here are the 5 best sports bars in each city, as identified by Yelp:
Best Sports Bars in Boston, MA:
The Pour HouseThe Four’s Restaurant & Sports BarSports Grille BostonCask’n FlagonJ.J. Foley’s Cafe
Best Sports Bars in Philadelphia, PA:
McGillin’s Olde Ale HouseCavanaugh’s RittenhouseThe Bayou Bar & GrillChick’sWoolly Mammoth
Which city are you rooting for?
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