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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
Kung Fu Necktie (address and info)
Pick your poison: 16oz PBR & Heaven Hill for $4, or Tacate & tequila for $4.
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".
1. McGillin's Olde Ale House1310 Drury St, Philadelphia
2. Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille16 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
3. Graffiti Bar124 S 13th St, Philadelphia
4. Las Vegas Lounge704 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
5. Bierstube206 Market St, Philadelphia
6. McGlinchey's259 S 15th St, Philadelphia
7. Era2743 Poplar St, Philadelphia
8. London Grill2301 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia
9. Milkboy1100 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
10. Dirty Frank's347 S 13th St, Philadelphia
11. Devil's Alley Bar & Grill1907 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
12. Locust Rendezvous1415 Locust St, Philadelphia
13. Raven Lounge1718 Sansom St, Philadelphia
14. The Bards2013 Walnut St, Philadelphia
15. Oh! Shea's Pub1907 Sansom St, Philadelphia
16. Doobie's2201 Lombard St, Philadelphia
17. Bainbridge St Barrel House625 S 6th St, Philadelphia
18. Bob & Barbara's Lounge1509 South St, Philadelphia
19. Tattooed Mom530 South St, Philadelphia
20. Fiume229 S 45th St, Philadelphia
21. Drinker's West3900 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
22. Catahoula Bar & Restaurant775 S Front St, Philadelphia
23. Connie's Ric Rac1132 S 9th St, Philadelphia
24. The Dive Bar947 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
25. Queen of Sheba4511 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia
26. El Bar1356 N Front St, Philadelphia
27. Ortlieb's Lounge847 N 3rd St, Philadelphia
28. Johnny Brenda's1201 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
29. The Barbary951 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
30. Atlantis: The Lost Bar2442 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
31. The Crazy Leprechaun Bar & Grill3589 Richmond St, Philadelphia
32. The Barcade1114 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
33. Cantina Dos Segundos931 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
34. Kung Fu Necktie1250 N Front St, Philadelphia
35. The Grape Room105 Grape St, Philadelphia
36. Cresson Inn114 Gay St, Philadelphia
37. Lloyd Whiskey Bar529 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia
38. Ray's Happy Birthday Bar1200 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Plating European dishes like braised veal breast, London Grill is a solid option for a memorable meal in Fairmount.
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,
Dirty Frank's got everything you need to get the job done, cheap pitchers, darts and Mrs. Pac Man.
Diabolically good BBQ and comfort food in Rittenhouse Square.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bob & Barbara's is the original home of "The Special," a can of PBR and a shot of your good old friend JB. Why not take two?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Ortlieb's Lounge rocks vintage-looking tufted banquettes, a beat-up bar, dark paneling, and an appreciation of jazz at this mainstay concert venue.
Johnny Brenda's features all kinds of local beer and plenty of live music out of their divey, Fishtown digs.
Bring your cash and be ready to get down. Photo booth, great music and people
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Great place to catch live music and grab a beer at this cozy Manayunk bar.
The Cresson Inn is known as the "Five star dive bar" and that's all you need to know.
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.
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).