Food & Drink

The Best Places to Drink in Philadelphia Right Now

Updated On 12/04/2017 at 06:08PM EST
Writer's Block Rehab

Writer's Block Rehab

Washington Square West

Cocktail lounge with library decor
Ever feel torn between hibernating with a good book and glass of wine and hitting the town in careful layers on a hunt for a strong cocktail? Writer's Block Rehab can offer a bit of both worlds, a bar that's decked out in an academic aesthetic, complete with faux library wallpaper and wood paneling that would make Professor Henry Higgins envious. It's all about the drinks, though: creative cocktails infuse herbs and plants for a uniquely effective taste.

1 Tippling Place

1 Tippling Place

Rittenhouse

Eclectic upscale parlor with expert bartenders
If you're looking to feel instantly fancy, settle in on one of the vintage upholstered seats and up your game as you comb through this cocktail lounge's lengthy menu. The parlor setting lends itself to dark corners, Instagram-y backgrounds, and bartending experts who can make anything you throw at them. 
 

Royal Izakaya

Queen Village

Japanese pub with expansive saki and liquor menu
This Japanese pub is all about dim candle light and lots of saki. You can also find Japanese dishes unlike any other in the city, including lengthy yakimono options and a kitchen that stays open until 1am. There’s plenty to imbibe if saki isn’t your style, including dozens of imported and local brewed beers, global wines, and Japanese whiskey. What more would you expect from Stephen Simons and David Frank, the dream team that brought us the Khyber Pass Pub and other Philly essentials?
 

Friday Saturday Sunday

Friday Saturday Sunday

Rittenhouse

Beloved New American restaurant with a great first-floor bar
The Rittenhouse restaurant made its long-awaited return after being sold in 2015, which was closed to make way for a complete rehab that now boasts gorgeous wood paneling and a marble bar, plus plenty of romantic lighting that creates the most perfect romantic winter escape. Despite its hiatus, the restaurant’s return stays true to what made the spot a mainstay in Philly’s drinking and dining scene to begin with, especially when it comes to cocktails. A tastefully curated wine and beer menu is completed by a seasonal collection of strong mixed drinks, like the apple brandy-infused Fibonacci in Autumn or the rum and cinnamon-tinged Blurred Line.
 

Franky Bradley's

Gayborhood

Kitschy American bar fare with upstairs dance party
The Chancellor Street bar can fit a number of going out priorities, whether you want to down a Kenzinger at the bar among medieval hip decor, or you want to go upstairs with Franky’s Punch in hand to dance the night away. You should definitely plan to hit this spot if you’re looking to ring in the New Year with a dance party that’s a nice alternative to the Barbary. 
 

Tria

Tria Taproom

Rittenhouse

Beers and wines on tap served with cheese and small bites
The Tria family currently has three locations, which includes two Tria Cafes -- largely focused on wine and cheese -- and the Tria Taproom in Rittenhouse, which serves 24 beers and 12 wines on draft, offering guests interactive tablet menus to help them pick the perfect drink. This is the perfect hideaway for post-holiday tourist festivities, whether you want to warm up from the City Hall outdoor holiday market or escape the rowdiness of the Mummer’s.

Memphis Taproom

Memphis Taproom

Kensington

Southern comfort food and a beer list updated daily
Nothing like Southern cuisine to trick you into thinking you’re in a warmer climate. While a fried chicken sandwich or slow roast pork may seem like good winter warmers, the real draw here is a beer list that is updated on a daily basis and can satisfy most -- if not all -- beer needs. If you’re really good at decision making, there’s a lengthier bottle list -- available for carry out -- and wines for those who are so inclined. Memphis Taproom is also the perfect spot for happy hour on your way home, which features $4 draft beers and $5 appetizer specials. 
 

Trestle Inn

Callowhill

Retro whiskey bar with go-go dancers and generous happy hour specials
This whiskey-a-go-go bar is a throwback to the '70s, complete with rowdy dance parties upped by staff go-go dancers. While it’s a good party spot for New Year’s Eve, it’s also a good hideaway for year-round drinking. The front bar’s specialty is whiskey and whiskey cocktails, and this season there's a new collection to choose from: Try banana-infused Jameson for the Mrs. Peel Cocktail, or sample the menu’s latest whiskey additions with small batch bourbon, rye, and single malt flights. Stop in for the daily happy hour running from 5pm to 8pm or make a late visit from 10pm-11pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays for late-night happy hour.
 

Frankford Hall

Frankford Hall

Fishtown

Outdoor beer garden with German brews and fire pits
The architecturally stunning Frankford Hall is a staple in Fishtown any time of year, even when the outdoor picnic tables make you extra thankful (and dependent) on those fire pits. In the cold months you’ll find yourself particularly enchanted under twinkly lights with a gigantic German beer to warm you up. The spot has also upped its food game as of late, with plenty of hearty burgers and comfort food.

Devil's Den

Passyunk Square

Cozy gastropub with expansive beer menu 
Every December the ceremonial lighting of the first fire marks a season of major coziness ahead at Devil’s Den, a South Philly mainstay known best for its expansive beer collection (200+ bottles and 17 drafts) and a double-sided, wood-burning fireplace. The spot is perfect for a low key night of sampling diverse beers or if you’re on the hunt for seasonal cocktails, like the spiked hot cider or the rich chocolate, whiskey, and stout combo that is the Caramel Devil.

Blue Cross RiverRink

The Lodge at Blue Cross RiverRink

Penn's Landing

Holiday pop-up full of winter activities and cozy lounge areas
Every winter Penn’s Landing is transformed into a wintery wonderland of toasty fire pits, cozy sofas covered in plaid blankets, personal cabins, spiked cider and hot chocolate, ice skating -- you name it. This makes for a particularly special New Year’s Eve destination, giving you a front row seat to the first fireworks of 2018 flying over the river. 

Flickr/Buzz Andersen

Monk's Cafe

Rittenhouse

An expansive beer bible paired with burgers, frites, and mussels
Prepare yourself for Monk’s signature beer bible, packed with page after page of Belgian (and other-style) beers to go perfectly with your choice of mussels and pommes frites. You should also prepare yourself to flip through the beer bible while sandwiched between all the other locals who love Monk’s since the availability of personal space leaves much to desired. If you’re not down to wait for a table (the spot doesn’t take reservations), try Monk’s sister bar, The Belgian Cafe, in Fairmount. There, you’ll find a similarly expansive menu and all the frites you desire, along with the extra space.

Johnny Brenda's

Johnny Brenda's

Fishtown

Laid-back bar with rotating drafts of local brews and live music 
JB’s has become a Philly bar scene staple over the last few years, even earning itself a cameo in Creed that hasn’t kept Fishtowners away. Come for laid-back games of pool and stay for the beautifully curated local beer menu that goes great with the late-night kitchen hours. Most nights of the week you can find a show upstairs, and New Year’s Eve is no exception: local heroes The Districts, Lithuania, and Pine Barons are all playing upstairs on December 31.

Pub On Passyunk East - POPE

The Pub on Passyunk East

Passyunk Square

Cozy, dim beer hall with rotating brews
P.O.P.E is the perfect place to hole up in South Philly, complete with a dark, cave-like dining area and carved fireplaces. Pick a song from the old school jukebox and one of the 14 microbrews on draft from around the country, or opt for one of the rare domestic and international bottles on the menu. The pub fare is fresh and seasonal, and on weekends you'll find one of the best hearty brunches in the neighborhood.

Bar Hygge

Bar Hygge

Fairmount

Cozy brewpub with cheese plates and industrial decor
By definition this Fairmount brewpub should evoke that feeling of wintery coziness we’re all searching for at the bottom of our sock drawers. Named after the Danish concept of taking pleasure in the ordinary, Bar Hygge personifies this idea most potently through its warm atmosphere and original brews and cocktails. Try the Portmanteau for a dark saison or the house Imperial IPA, Ripsnorter, for perfectly heavy winter beers.

Tired Hands Brewing Company

Suburban brewery pairing seasonal drafts with cheese and charcuterie
If you’re looking to get out of the city, head to Ardmore for small-town charm that lays it on thick during the holidays. Streets lined with gold snowflakes and outdoor shopping make it a perfect place to feel festive. Warm up at Ardmore’s very own brewery, Tired Hands, which has two locations to choose from: the Fermentaria and the brew cafe. For charcuterie boards, paninis, and delicious butter, check out the pub. For a more expansive menu and front row view to where the beer is made, take a seat in the Fermentaria. Either way, you can expect to find treasure on the ever-changing beer menu, like this season’s black beer, called Nothing, which features notes of burnt sugar and baker’s chocolate.
 

Up Next
Food & Drink

Where to Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Philly

Published On 06/08/2018
P hilly soccer hooligans, rejoice! The four-year wait is over and the FIFA World Cup is upon us, which means diehard football fans from South Philly to Fishtown will soon be packing bars morning and night -- since the Cup's being held in Russia -- to catch as many of the 60-plus tournament matches as possible.
From June 14 through July 15, scores of Philly pubs will be hosting World Cup live-streams, complete with enticing food and drink specials and plenty of riotously cheering (or jeering) fans. With so many distinctive bars to choose from, the good news is, you don’t have to pick just one. We've curated the huddled mass down to a lean lineup of great soccer-friendly watering holes all over the city (and even tapped FOX Sports broadcaster John Strong for his top picks), and we'll also be updating this page with deals and specials as they're announced. And, since Cup month will be absolutely dense with matches, you could feasibly hit each spot below (and then hit them all again).
Wash your jerseys, set your alarm clocks, and get ready to drink early and often. These are some of the best locales in Philly to watch the 2018 World Cup.
Courtesy of The 700

The 700

Northern Liberties

Divey, lively NoLibs staple that's fit for fans of any affiliation
This neighborhood mainstay may not be the most tricked-out sports bar in Philly, but when it comes to watching “footy” surrounded by fellow fanatics, there are few better spots. During a good match, this cramped corner bar can get boisterous -- in the most jubilant of ways. Be prepared to make many new friends. But be advised: The 700 doesn’t have a food menu. Patrons are welcome to bring their own eats, though.
Specials: There will be drink specials, but the specifics are still hazy. During past World Cups, the bar’s also had free giveaways for T-shirts and posters, etc.

Courtesy of Tir Na Nog

Tír na nÓg Irish Bar & Grill

Center City

Classy Irish pub that's rooting for Iceland
As authentic Irish pubs go, this one’s on the elegant side, with a food menu so good you’ll think you’re actually dining on the Emerald Isle. Tír na nÓg has four large TVs spread out around the bar, and many of its tables have (working) beer tap centerpieces -- so it’s basically World Cup heaven. Though fans of all teams are welcome, management says the house will be rooting for Iceland (since, y’know, Ireland isn’t competing).
Specials: $4 Carlsberg drafts and $7 Tombstone pizzas

The Black Sheep

Center City

Tried-and-true soccer bar, and a great spot to root for England
A low-light hangout along South 17th Street, The Black Sheep is a known landmark for soccer fans -- which makes it a no-brainer for anyone looking to slug beers, slap shoulders, and shout at TVs while watching the World Cup during the wee hours of the morning. It's normally a haven for Manchester United fans, so you can expect a good deal of England supporters, but you won't be booted out for wearing an Argentina jersey. Probably.
Specials: TBD

Kelsey Lilyquist

Founding Fathers Sports Bar & Grill

Graduate Hospital

Business-casual sports bar with good eats, good beers, and minimal craziness
A straightforward sports bar with an upscale twist, Founding Fathers offers more traditional American fare (big-ass burgers and savory wings) as well as a few options for the no-meat crowd (tasty seitan wings). With 13 TVs spread out all over the barroom, football will fill your view no matter where you're seated.
Specials: TBD

Irish Pub Philly

The Irish Pub

Rittenhouse

Casual hot spot that's bound to get packed for the Cup
There are two Irish Pub locations in Philly (both on Walnut), but the one at 2007 Walnut is definitely outfitted with enough screens -- 12 TVs and a pull-down projection screen -- to satisfy the viewing needs of all attending soccer hooligans. An array of beers and Irish-inspired pub fare (try their signature “chicken thumbs”) make this spacious bar an optimal spot for morning-to-night soccer watching.
Specials: TBD, but management says to expect Carlsberg specials.

Kelly Smith

The Dandelion

Center City

Mellow spot for sophisticated foodies & England fans
While not the largest location on this list, The Dandelion -- a legit British pub dropped into the heart of Philadelphia -- is one of the coziest, classiest, and most ornately designed. Plus, the Stephen Starr-stamped menu is flat-out unreal; the decadent English Breakfast (complete with black pudding and baked beans) alone makes this a go-to pub for an early morning Cup watch.
Specials: $9 cask flights and bar snacks, including deviled eggs (with curry, paprika, and cayenne pepper), marinated bar olives (herbs, spices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar), and house-made ricotta (extra virgin olive oil, dried herbs, and toasted sourdough). 

2nd Story Brewing

2nd Story Brewing Company

Old City

Laid-back brewpub where fans of all teams are welcome
A little over three years since it opened, this two-floor brewpub has become a staple of Philly’s historic Old City district. Exposed brick walls give 2nd Story a laid-back, rustic feel, and the joint’s eight scattered TVs ensure ease of viewing from any perch in the house. With two full bars (one on each floor), there’s also easy access to the pub’s many exceptional house beers.
Specials: $10 beer flights featuring in-house favorites Que Hora Es? (Mexican lager), Farm Buzz (farmhouse ale), Fritzie's Larger (Vienna lager), and Declaration IPA (American IPA). 

Courtesy of Brauhaus Schmitz

Brauhaus Schmitz

Queen Village

German beer hall that's throwing down for the Cup in a big way
This schnitzel-laden South Street highlight was bound to be a World Cup viewing hotspot, but with Germany (the reigning champ) qualifying in the tournament, Brauhaus promises to be a true destination. With as many as 80 different German beers (draft and bottle) available at any given time, plus a lush menu of Deutschland-style cuisine (start with the laugenbrezel pretzel), this authentic bierhall is a must.
Specials: Brauhaus is going all out. Beer and food specials will abound, but $60 will get you “Brauer Bund (backroom) Access,” which includes bottomless beer, food, and a view of a 10-foot projection screen. During the July 15 World Cup Final, the entire 700 block of South Street will be closed off for a massive viewing party. Details & tickets can be found here.

The Field House

Center City

Solid Philly sports bar for the unaffiliated soccer fan
If a panorama of screens is what you seek, look no further than The Field House; this Philly-famous sports bar, tucked into the Convention Center, boasts an enviable 35-plus TVs, arranged all over the establishment. In other words, whether you’re camped out at the bar, holding down a table, or leaning against the wall in some far corner, you’re sure to catch every breathless second of the tourney.
Specials: $3 Bud Light drafts and $4 Neshaminy Creek drafts.

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