Food & Drink

38 shot-and-a-beer specials in Philadelphia. All under $7.

Published On 07/02/2014 Published On 07/02/2014

If there's one thing you have to explain to people about Philly, it's... well, these 18 things... and what exactly the "Citywide Special" is. That one is easy, though: it's a shot of Jim Beam and a PBR for around $3, and it's been available in numerous Philly bars for the last decade or so... but it's only the beginning. Here're 38 shot-and-a-beer specials, all under $7, spread across five different parts of Philadelphia.

McGillin's Old Ale House

McGillin’s Olde Ale House (address and info)
The Philly special, Jim Beam and mug of PBR for $3, goes nicely with your shepherd’s pie at one of Philly's/America's oldest pubs.

Nick’s Roast Beef Bar & Grille (address and info)
Nick’s offers the usual Citywide Special -- $5 PBR and a shot of whiskey -- to go with that underrated bacon stuffed (and topped) burger, and of course, roast beef.

Graffiti Bar (address and info)
You can’t miss the psychedelic art on, um... pretty much every surface of this 30-seat open-air patio behind Sampan, and you can't beat the shot/beer specials they tweet weekdays during their $2 Satay happy hour.

Las Vegas Lounge (address and info)
They've got some pretty sweet Spanish fries to go with their constantly changing array of drink specials. At the very least this place'll hook you up with $2.50 High Life bottles & $4.50 Jack Daniel's shots on Tuesdays.

Bierstube (address and info)
This bilevel beer hall, which has more than 150 beers, has a Narragansett special w/ shot of Root for $5, plus brats, burgers, and German pub fare.

McGlinchey's (address and info)
$3.25 cheapest whiskey, $2.95 cheapest beer. Pair together or get fancy with something Belgian for $5. Either way, you're drinking it at one of their Pac-Man tables.

Era (address and info)
It is $3 for a Heaven Hill shot and a Lionshead bottle at this Ethopian dive bar on Poplar.

London Grill (address and info)
This might be the only place you can get a PBR & a shot of Old Grand-Dad for $5 and take your mom out for dinner. Although every evening that involves the latter should probably also include a few of the former.

MilkBoy (address and info)
This coffee shop/music venue with two suburban outposts has a whole "Citywide section" of their menu, which boasts Heaven Hill & Straub Lager for $6, plus more expensive combos like a shot of Absinthe & Abita Purple Haze.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Dirty Franks (address and info)
They've got the Citywide (PBR and a shot of Jim Beam) for $3.50, plus a jukebox and some darts, just don't be surprised if someone throws the latter at you if you play the wrong thing on the former.

Devil’s Alley Bar and Grill (address and info)
For the name and burgers alone, this place deserves some serious props, but don't sleep on happy hour from 5-7pm, Monday-Friday with $2 Yuengling, $3 craft drafts, and $5 Jameson's.

Locust Rendezvous (address and info)
They've got a rotating list of beer and shot specials for $2 and $3, respectively (that’s $5 total if you've already had too many to do the math), and some pretty bangin’ bar food specials to go with 'em.

Raven Lounge (address and info)
Start with the $5 PBR/shot of whiskey combo then step things up to an even better... err, stranger combo: their Pop Rocks and Champagne fizz.

The Bards (address and info)
$3-5 draft beer and $4 house liquor, which you “may or may not add some soda to”, from 5-8pm, Monday-Saturday. That sounds perfectly logical to us.

Oh! Shea’s (address and info)
With happy hour from 5-7pm, Monday-Friday, and $3 domestics, whiskey for $4, as well as mixed drinks, margs, cosmos, and food specials, you'll be saying "Oh!" when you try to open your eyes in the morning.

Doobies (address and info)
The Funk-doobies-y mixture of Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale & Heaven Hill bourbon for $5 all day will have you singing some old-school rap in no time.

Brad Foster

Bainbridge Street Barrel House (address and info)
They roll out the Citywide Special for $5 from 9pm to close and have a killer happy hour Monday-Friday, 4:30-6:30pm with half off draft beer, $5 select wines.

Bob & Barbara’s (address and info)
They started the Citywide Special, so they keep it old-school w/ a PBR & Jim Beam for $3. The PBRs are $2 otherwise.

Tattooed Mom (address and info
Screw a shot-and-a-beer special (although you can get those too) TM's Burger Wednesdays specials gets you a burger and Narragansett tall boy for just $5.

Fiume (address and info)
This six-stool UCity watering hole serves the Citywide Special for $4.

Drinker’s West (address and info)
One of the diviest bars around, they thrive on drink specials that will cross your eyes. $3.50 Yuengling drafts, $2.75 Narragansett cans, $3 Coors Banquet, $4 Whatever Shots, and $6 Red Bull Bombs just to name a few… that aren’t listed on the front door.

Catahoula (address and info)
The special: Narragansett with a shot of Heaven Hill for $5.

Connie's Ric Rac (address and info)
Boasting a solid brew selection (Yard's etc.), this unassuming looking dive is a go-to for the Citywide Special... and a bathroom w/ smutty comics.

The Dive (address and info)
They offer the classic Citywide Special ($3 PBR & cheap whiskey), and free pizza (!) at happy hour.

Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar (address and info)
The only thing better than the $4 National Bohemian Beer & shot of Windsor is the free drink they'll give you on your birthday.

Queen of Sheba (address and info)
Apparently the traditional PBR & shot of whiskey special goes great w/ Eritrean food.

The El Bar

The El Bar (address and info)
Conveniently located near the El train, their version of the Citywide Special is PBR and shot of Heaven Hill for $3, or $4 for Kenzinger & a shot. Cash only.

Ortlieb’s (address and info)
Their daily 6-8pm happy hour specials take half-off of almost everything, including top-shelf bourbons, which you can easily pair with $2 domestics, or $3 for craft drafts like Troegs Dreamweaver for under $7.

Johnny Brenda’s (address and info)
From 4-6pm, Monday-Friday they've got Kenzinger & Heaven Hill for $6. And they've always got a badass burger and a side of fries combo.

Barbary (address and info)
There are four different specials for $5 at this bar/dance club, including the Lion's Club, which combines a Lionshead beer and a shot of whiskey.

Atlantis The Lost Bar (address and info)
The specials: Heaven Hill and a Pabst for $3, or (options!) a Kenzinger and Jacquin’s for $5.

The Crazy Leprechaun Bar & Grill (address and info)
Make it on a Tuesday and you get "U Call It" shots and select beers for $2 each.

Barcade (address and info)
They have Jim Beam and craft beer for $7 during happy hour, and vintage arcade games for 25 cents all the time.

Cantina Dos Segundos (address and info)
The Mexican version of the Citywide Special gets you a can of Tecate with a shot of Sauza Gold tequila for $5 Sunday-Thursday.

Lloyd Whiskey Bar (address and info)
Old Grand-Dad with a Miller High Life for $5, and $4 drafts all the time. Oh, and check out their Instagram for cocktails specials daily.

Kung Fu Necktie (address and info)
Pick your poison: 16oz PBR & Heaven Hill for $4, or Tacate & tequila for $4.

Flickr/oFace Killah

Grape Room (address and info)
They call it the Philly Special here, but it's still a shot of whiskey and a bottle of Lionshead for $5.

Cresson Inn (address and info)
As any hardcore, old-school Yunker will tell you, you can pretty much get everything here as a beer and shot special -- at 8am no less. But their signature combo is Yeagers and pony bottles of the "Champagne of Beers".

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1. McGillin's Olde Ale House 1310 Drury St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Market East)

Imagine: the year was 1860, Lincoln was elected, and McGillin's Olde Ale House first opened. It's safe to say they place is doing something right, because generations of people can't be wrong. This is the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philly. They have since changed the beer taps, we promise.

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2. Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille 16 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

Nick's in Old City serves up old-school-style roast beef sandwiches and other pub fare, but's also got an arcade and bar so you can unwind while you unwind.

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3. Graffiti Bar 124 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Midtown Village)

Graffiti Bar now has a snow-stopping clear roof and heat lamps so you can enjoy a bunch of food and drink specials with weather-related pricing. Offerings include Korean BBQ short rib satay, sauerkraut and Sriracha Reuben egg rolls, Banh Mi pork belly buns, and specialty cocktails, all $4 or less any day the temperature drops below 32F/there are Toros in the atmosphere.

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4. Las Vegas Lounge 704 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Center City West)

This dive bar has been serving Center City for more than a decade. They've got great specials and awesome Spanish fries. Stop by on Tuesdays for $2.50 High Life bottles, $4.50 Jack Daniels shots.

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5. Bierstube 206 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

Unfortunately not the centerpiece slide of the soon-to-replace-water BEER park, Bierstube essentially translates to “drinking hall”, and is the Eulogy crew's Bavarian renovation of Old City's Asian Bistro, which's now a sudsy cathedral thanks to black lacquer fixtures and century-old stained glass, so, It’s Been Awhile since they made that.

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6. McGlinchey's 259 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

It's got a huge beer list and great food. So what could make McGlinchey's any better? How about the face that $3.25 buys you whiskey and $2.95 gets you a beer.

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7. Era 2743 Poplar St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (Fairmountart Museum)

This Ethiopian restaurant and bar is serving the best Ethiopian food in the city for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They've also got great specials, which make it a chill place to hangout.

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8. London Grill 2301 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (Fairmountart Museum)

Plating European dishes like braised veal breast, London Grill is a solid option for a memorable meal in Fairmount.

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9. Milkboy 1100 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Philadelphia)

A heralded coffee shop/music venue with two suburban outposts, Milkboy's finally crashed the city with a two-level loft space rocking garage-door windows, plenty of stripped surfaces (exposed brick and woodgrain), and a bar on each level, making it the first bar/ coffee shop in Philly, and the first boozer on their roster, a move made more difficult by the fact that coffee shops don't traditionally have disabled lists. Additionally, this multi-use space also takes on the role of a music venue, hosting impressive live acts like cult favorite, Electric Six,

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10. Dirty Frank's 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Rittenhouse)

Dirty Frank's got everything you need to get the job done, cheap pitchers, darts and Mrs. Pac Man.

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11. Devil's Alley Bar & Grill 1907 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

Diabolically good BBQ and comfort food in Rittenhouse Square.

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12. Locust Rendezvous 1415 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Rittenhouse)

Locust Rendezvous has been kickin' it since 1989 and offers up some great changing weekly specials for booze. What else could you ask for at a bar?

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13. Raven Lounge 1718 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

On the scout for a casual and fun way to end your evening in Philly? Look no further than the Raven Lounge and let the good times begin.

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14. The Bards 2013 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

Come here for authentic Irish brew, food and of course for warm Irish hospitality. The atmosphere here is casual and lively but not dive-y or too loud, so that you can enjoy a pint of Guinness without the large crowds or rowdy drunk people that typically come with Irish bars.

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15. Oh! Shea's Pub 1907 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

With two bars, two dining rooms, and seven TVs for sports fans, plus daily drink specials, Oh! Shea's is definitely the spot to hit up for some good grub and suds.

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16. Doobie's 2201 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (Rittenhouse)

At Doobie's you can find a classic juke box, board games and cheap beer. A perfect setting for the start... or end to the night.

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17. Bainbridge St Barrel House 625 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Society Hillqueen Village)

An all-day, 60-seat ode to hardcore diner food, Bainbridge St Barrel House's not only a place you'd want to go after a night of plentiful drinking, but also a place you'd want to go for a night of plentiful drinking, with 100+ beers and plenty of bay windows on both sides so you can take in the Bella Vista scenery/keep an eye on your car.

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18. Tattooed Mom 530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Street)

Inexpensive beer that isn't PBR?! This South Street dive bar has got that plus great food and bumper cart seating. Yes, bumper cart seating.

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19. Fiume 229 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (West Phillyu City)

Tucked above University City Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia, Fiume brilliantly executes the concept of a speakeasy by embracing its inner dive bar. Christmas lights illuminate a chalkboard listing of the bar’s extensive beer selection, and you’ll be sure to find some unique bottles you’ve never heard of. Philadelphians who trek from all over the city to Fiume don’t mind that the prices are slightly above average or that there are only six stools at the bar and a handful of tables. And even though the place is so miniscule that you’ll wonder just how the live Bluegrass band managed to squeeze both its members and instruments inside, you too will want to come time and time again.

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20. Drinker's West 3900 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (West Phillyu City)

Drinker's West has daily specials on high-lifes and PBRs, but if that doesn't tickle your fancy they have even more specials for every other day of the week, which makes drinking... easy.

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21. Catahoula Bar & Restaurant 775 S Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Society Hillqueen Village)

After beginning its life as the French joint Saute before swapping chefs, Catahoula's got a rehabbed interior anchored by a carved wooden bar (original to the site and recently returned) and a row of high tops along with a plant-lined patio with umbrella seating, at which to take down New Orleans-inspired cocktails and rustic Louisiana cuisine, finally letting Philly enjoy the best of Cajun country without getting decimated by Drew Brees.

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22. Connie's Ric Rac 1132 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Italian Marketbella Vista)

They call themselves a venue... that happens to serve drinks. NOT a bar with music. It's the spot to go if you're looking for up-and-coming local bands and want to drink cheap.

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23. The Dive Bar 947 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Philadelphia)

With sweet deals (classic citywide special -- $3 PBR & cheap whiskey!) and free pizza during happy hour, this is a pretty legit dive bar. The owners allow smoking in the evenings too.

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24. Queen of Sheba 4511 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Queen of Sheba is a hole-in-the-wall joint that will treat you to authentic Ethiopian dishes like lamb tibs (lamb in a stew) and doro wat (chicken in a spicy stew).

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25. El Bar 1356 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Convientely located just one stop under the El, this chill Kensington dive bar has live music, great specials -- like $3 for PBR and shot of Heaven Hill -- and a backyard area. Cash only.

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26. Ortlieb's Lounge 847 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Ortlieb's Lounge rocks vintage-looking tufted banquettes, a beat-up bar, dark paneling, and an appreciation of jazz at this mainstay concert venue.

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27. Johnny Brenda's 1201 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Fishtown)

Johnny Brenda's features all kinds of local beer and plenty of live music out of their divey, Fishtown digs.

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28. The Barbary 951 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Nolibs)

Bring your cash and be ready to get down. Photo booth, great music and people

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29. Atlantis: The Lost Bar 2442 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Kensington)

Not only do the have great specials -- $3 Heaven Hill shots and Pabst (!) -- they've got a pool table and a fish tank too. Dive bars don't get much cooler than this.

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30. The Crazy Leprechaun Bar & Grill 3589 Richmond St, Philadelphia, PA 19134 (Kensington)

There are tons of great deals here on food and drinks. Make it on $2 Tuesday and enjoy copious amounts of booze -- drafts, shots, and select beers for $2.

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31. The Barcade 1114 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA (Nolibs)

This bar/arcade is perfect for a throw-back night because of all the classic video games. They've got $7 shots of Jim Beam and craft beer $6 or less, plus 25 cent “vintage” arcade games during happy hour too.

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32. Cantina Dos Segundos 931 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

From the folks who brought you Cantina Los Caballitos, this Mexican joint has some pretty sweet deals. We're talking $20 marg pitchers, not to mention the Mexican version of the citywide special gets you a can of Tecate with a shot of Sauza Gold tequila for $5 Sunday-Thursday.

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33. Kung Fu Necktie 1250 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122 (Fishtown)

This 2-floor watering hole hosts live bands most nights for a 21+ crowd, with occasional exceptions for certain shows. It feels like a hipster dive and concert venue hybrid with dim lighting, cheap drinks and pool tables. There are televisions, pinball and arcade games as well, so if you're not in the mood for a show you can always just kick it at the bar.

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34. The Grape Room 105 Grape St, Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

Great place to catch live music and grab a beer at this cozy Manayunk bar.

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35. Cresson Inn 114 Gay St, Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

The Cresson Inn is known as the "Five star dive bar" and that's all you need to know.

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36. Lloyd Whiskey Bar 529 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (South Philadelphia)

Named after the owner's bourbon & High Life-loving pop, Lloyd's modeled after memories of the dude's childhood living room, which must've been stocked with vintage wallpaper, church pews, a deer's head, a tincture-topped polished wood bar, a deviled egg deep fryer, and lots and lots of whiskey.

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37. Ray's Happy Birthday Bar 1200 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (South Philadelphia)

At Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, everybody might not know your name, but they will give you a free birthday-cake shot on your birthday, complete with a candle. On days when it isn’t the anniversary of the hardest day of your mom’s life, Ray’s is your typical South Philly dive. You can even still smoke at Ray’s, which is either the greatest thing on Earth or a serious annoyance (where you fall on the scale is, not surprisingly, tied to your alcohol consumption).