Where to Grab a Drink in Philly Right Now
At the best bars in Philadelphia, sip on inventive cocktail menus paired with exciting bites and fun vibes.
Exciting things are happening in the Philly bar scene, whether you’re on the hunt for something new or prefer returning to the city’s tried-and-true standbys. From laidback vinyl-heavy hotspots to brewery-winery hybrids to hideaway cocktail lounges, there’s plenty to discover as we step into Spring. Here are the 20 absolute best bars in Philly right now.
The infamous neon boot on Broad Street has new life. Solar Myth, housed in the former Boot & Saddle space, delivers a laid back atmosphere that’s big on vinyls and natural wines. If you want a little more excitement, Solar Myth has hung on to the live music aspect of the original spot, so you can always go catch a show in the back concert hall.
How to book: Walk-in
The Listening Room
Tucked away in LMNO is the Listening Room, a warm music-forward space featuring craft beer and cocktails along with shelves and shelves of vinyl. The spot welcomes different DJs throughout the week for a mix of genres and vibes. It makes for a great pre- or post-dinner spot, whatever your plans.
This brewery-winery combo is housed in the former Dock Street West space, instilling the historic building with beers brewed on-site and wines made exclusively in Carbon Copy’s winery out of Kensington. Seasonal brews and one-off specials pair with a menu of shareable bites, pizza, and even a collection of tinned fish varieties.
How to book: Walk in
Two Robbers Fishtown
Everyone’s favorite Philly-based hard seltzer has some new grown-up (and very green) digs in Fishtown. Take your pick at Two Robbers’ ever-growing list of seltzer flavors and cocktails, as well as a couple beer and wine options. A short-and-sweet menu of fries, poutine, burgers, and other bar-friendly bites round out the must-visit spot.
How to book: Walk-in
The name of this inviting cocktail house translates to “Second Home” in Swedish, and it lives up to the moniker with charming peacock-and-mustard interiors, artwork, and Scandinavian-inspired drinks and dishes. Enjoy a craft cocktail with bites like Swedish Meatballs, cured meats, and cheeses.
American Sardine Bar
This is one of Philly’s quintessential bars for relaxed sips, which are best enjoyed on a patio chair in the bar’s backyard. You can expect tried-and-true drafts alongside newer seasonal releases and local specialties, as well as flavorful cocktails that pack a punch, from the special flavor whiskey sours to their gin mule counterparts. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, peruse the food menu to find items like pickled egg and a tin fish board featuring sardines, of course.
How to book: Via website
Visit the only sports bar in Chinatown for a fantastic menu of surprising bar grub, plus no less than 60 beer taps. You can slowly make your way through that list at Bar-Ly’s daily happy hour which runs from 3 to 6 pm, even on weekends. Being a sports bar, you can catch the game while noshing on an eclectic menu that includes Peking duck sliders, veggie fajitas, and 10-piece wings.
Bloomsday offers a cheerful bottle shop, wine bar, and cafe hybrid in Headhouse Square, along with a simple-and-tasty menu of food to enjoy with your drinks. For wine lovers you’ll find events and plenty of interesting bottles in the shop, plus Bloomsday’s own Dumpster Juice Vermut, from the bar’s line of craft vermouths, that regularly sells out. If cocktails are more your style, you’ll always find something seasonal and on-point, from warm weather spritzes to off-menu espresso martinis.
Whether you know your wine or can only identify whether it’s red or white, Le Caveau is a more-than-worthy retreat. The cozy wine bar above The Good King Tavern is big on natural wine bottles and new discoveries, dividing the wine menu according to pours from “France” and “Not France.” It’s a dim, moody spot rich with inviting corners where you could easily end up staying until last call. Wine-friendly bites like cheese and a “French hot dog” (it involves a baguette) make a visit complete.
Frankford Hall is one of Philly’s prettiest and biggest year-round outdoor bars, giving you a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and score a seat by the fire pits (and make s’mores) when temps cool down. Massive German drafts, bottles, and beer cocktails and floats make up the lengthy bar menu, which goes big on German specialties as well as hoppy and tart options.
Franky Bradley’s is the move whether you want to see a drag show, dance the night away, or throw back a few Kenzingers amid Medieval-inspired decor. The multi-level bar on Chancellor Street is the perfect blend of bar and club, complete with a food menu of hearty pub fare (think mac n’ cheese, fries, burgers, wings, and more). For drinks, you have plenty of cans and bottles to choose from, plus a few wines and fruity cocktails like the Franky’s Punch, made with rum, rosé, lime, and pineapple.
Grace And Proper
Grace and Proper sets out to give South Philly a piece of European bar culture, offering a vintage feel with upscale comforts. The corner bar is big on seasonal drink specials, well-crafted classics, and other approachable provisions, all curated to make you feel like you're at a corner cafe in Lisbon. Alongside cocktails, wine, and beer, expect plenty of bread, meat, cheese, and weekend espresso with pastries.
Gritty City Winery
There are plenty of great wineries around Philadelphia but now that Gritty City has put down roots in Kensington, you no longer have to drive out of the city for a fantastic local pour. The brothers behind this urban winery produce all wines from scratch in Philly, inspired by their Italian grandparents’ tradition of home winemaking. Right now you can choose among a couple house wines and four reserve wines with bottles starting at $18. Plus if you’re curious to learn more about the winemaking process, tours and tastings can also be arranged.
Jet Wine Bar
Global wine bar Jet has been staying strong throughout the pandemic thanks to its wine garden and some powerful heat lamps. After nearly three years, though, the bar has finally reopened for indoor business as well, so you can find a seat at the intimate bar and sample all the weird and wonderful wines available. Take advantage of daily flights and the half-pour option to sample as much as you like.
Lloyd Whiskey Bar
This laidback and subtly The Shining-themed whiskey bar offers fresh cocktails, local drafts, and a vast selection of whiskeys selected from across the globe. The spot also features a pub menu to keep you going through rounds of flights. Try one of the Boilermaker selections, which gets you a beer and a one-ounce pour, like an elevated version of the Philly Special.
Comfy, cozy, and welcoming, The Lunar Inn is a neighborhood favorite for cocktails, natural wine, good bar food, and lazy weekend brunches. True to its neighborhood, the offerings at Lunar Inn can please a wide range of tastes and styles, whether you’re looking to chill with friends over cans of PBR, locally brewed drafts, global wines, or carefully crafted cocktails. Whatever you get, consider ending the night with the so-called Fancy Nightcap: a two-ounce pour of your choice of amaro or vermouth.
Try fresh cocktails with a side of mid-century swank at Fishtown’s R&D, the space formerly known as Root that has since gotten a drink-focused makeover from the same team behind concepts like Suraya, Pizzeria Beddia, and Condesa. R&D manages to be moody and seductive without taking itself too seriously. Its high-end vibe is paired with some fun and kitsch on the menu, from tiki drinks to classic espresso martinis. When you get hungry, bar snacks include bruschetta, hummus, smash burgers, and lemon-marinated olives.
After more than two decades in business, Standard Tap is still going strong and offering a stellar selection of local craft beers on draft, natural wine, and plays on classic cocktails. Beer lovers rejoice at Standard Tap’s lovingly curated selection of locally made brews, from classics like Yards Brawler and PBC’s Kenzinger to Sly Fox Dry Stout and Troegs Hop Horizon.
Tattooed Mom has long been one of Philly’s favorite dive bars, from the iconic Strange Girls and Snake Boys mural outside to the sticker-plastered bumper car inside. Aside from the ambiance, you’ll also find vegan bar food, great people, bottles, and pop rocket cocktails. Keep tabs on Instagram to spot food specials and other events, plus an extra chance to marvel at all the bric-a-brac that makes up the ultra-eclectic, multi-story bar.
Writer's Block Rehab
Writer’s Block is perfect if you like to drink and also feel like you’re in an aesthetically pleasing wood-paneled library. The actual space has a way more modern feel, but the statement wallpaper of bookshelves is a great meeting of old and new. Decor aside, Writer’s Block is the go-to for light bites and fun cocktails (and mocktails), each with an esoteric reference for a name. It’s an ideal ice breaker for meeting and mingling.
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