4014 Walnut St., 215/573-3234,
Straddling the fuzzy line where University City becomes the grittier part of West Philly, the Rotunda offers an excellent reason to cross over.
An old church transformed into a community and artistic space now hosts live music and events about 250 nights a year, including rock, jazz, hip-hop, theater, spoken word, film, deejays, panels, art installations, flea markets, and more.
The alcohol- and smoke-free venue welcomes all ages and best of all, most events are free. Audiences are diverse but tend toward the eager undergrad and activist types. Many attendees enjoy drinks at one of the nearby bars before stumbling in for a free show.