How to Conquer the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

Visitors enjoying the Dollar Stroll
Aug 16, 2023 3 months ago

Since its debut in 2010, the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll has grown into a hugely popular event. Neighbors and Philadelphians from around the city convene on Baltimore Avenue to enjoy deals from local businesses, plus live music, free activities for kids, and a chance to experience one of our favorite commercial corridors in West Philadelphia.

At the September 7th, 2023 Dollar Stroll, businesses will offer $1, $3, and $5 options for the first time. Whether you’re a seasoned Stroller or visiting for the first time, here are some ways to make the most out of your Dollar Stroll experience.

1. Be Ready for the Heat!

The forecast for the September 7th, 2023 Dollar Stroll is calling for steaming conditions heading into the evening. Plan ahead by wearing cool clothes and making sure to hydrate before and after the event. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle so you can hydrate on the go! 

2. Arrive Early

The Dollar Stroll officially runs from 5:00-8:00 pm, with the largest crowds gathering in the 6:30 - 7:30 window. If you want to get first crack at the more popular spots, attempt to arrive close to 5:00 before the crowds get too large. Whether you arrive early or late, we recommend you…

3. Plan Your Evening

To get the most out of your evening, study the Dollar Stroll map (see below) and make a plan for what you want to buy (available online soon or at the UCD tents at each end of the event). Vendors like the Baltimore Pet Shoppe, VIX Emporium, or the collection of community merchandise vendors –  who sell merchandise instead of food or drinks – tend to have shorter lines, while restaurants with $1, $3, and $5 bites tend to get crowded. One way to ensure you get to sample everything you want is to…

4. Divide and Conquer

Most businesses do not limit how many items you can purchase. If you’re going with a group, consider splitting up and buying multiples from each business and then meeting up to share. That way, you can enjoy a variety of items in the same time as it would take for the whole group to each buy the same item together. Another way to make sure to keep lines moving is to…

5. Bring Plenty of Cash, Especially Singles and $5 Bills

The Dollar Stroll is a cash-only event for the items being sold for $1, $3, and $5. Make life easier for yourself and for the official businesses participating by arriving at the event with a stack of $1 and $5 bills. 

6. Look for the Official Vendors

Want to make sure you’re getting quality products? Only businesses or vendors listed on the maps are official Dollar Stroll participants, meaning they are an approved business located on Baltimore Avenue or a licensed and permitted community vendor approved by both the Health Department and UCD to safely prepare and sell food. Support the official Dollar Stroll businesses along your way as you…

7. Get Ready to Walk

It’s called the Stroll for a reason! From the easternmost participant (Renata's Kitchen) to the westernmost (Triple Girl Treatment Candle Co), the complete walk is 0.9 miles. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and also paying attention to the weather report. If it’s going to be hot, make sure to bring some water. If there’s a chance of rain, bring an umbrella. The Dollar Stroll is rain or shine, so be prepared! And while you’re walking around…

8. Try Something New

Part of what makes Baltimore Avenue, University City, and West Philly so great is the diversity of cultures that co-exist. During the Dollar Stroll you can enjoy food from Thailand, Ethiopia, India, China, and the Mediterranean to name a few, plus a variety of healthy and more indulgent treats. You just might decide you have a new favorite and that you need to…

9. Come Back to Baltimore Avenue after the Dollar Stroll!

Yes, the Dollar Stroll’s deals are awesome, but this a great neighborhood to visit throughout the year! Whether you’re trying restaurants for University City Dining Days, grabbing a cold treat, or doing some shopping, Baltimore Avenue is an awesome location throughout the year.

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns in 2023 on Thursday, September 7h from 5:00 to 8:00. Read details about participating businesses, entertainment, and other details here.