The Absolute Best Bars in Philadelphia Right Now

From swanky speakeasies to underground dive bars, these are the best places to grab a drink in Philly right now.

It’s shaping up to the perfect time for reacquainting yourself with Philly’s best bars. With warmer weather here, more outdoor dining and imbibing options than ever, and the return of several pandemic-shuttered bars, there’s plenty to see, discover, and taste.

From laidback wine bars and bougie speakeasies to iconic dives with Citywides on repeat, there’s something for everyone. Take a look at our picks for the best bars in Philly right now.

Blind Barber

Midtown Village
$$$$

This barber-shop-turned-speakeasy finally has a foothold in Philly, where it opened last fall to serve top-notch cocktails and grilled cheese to the masses. The bar offers a large lounge set-up that’s fun for a night out when you want to dance and have some late-night bites. As far as drinks go, you can go as high or low as you like—we’re talking Miller High Life on the same sheet as $500 bottles of champagne. Thankfully there’s a lot in the middle, too, including seasonal cocktails, happy hour specials, and even a few zero-proof options.
How to book: Via website

Ranstead Room

Rittenhouse
$$$$
After a pandemic hiatus, the Ranstead Room (covertly tucked away behind El Rey) reopened in February to the joy of cocktail-loving Philadelphians who were missing their go-to speakeasy. Once you’ve made it past the waitlist, take your time sipping in one of the tufted leather booths and take in the ambiance of dim lighting, boudoir wallpaper, and fleshy paintings. Expert bartenders will be churning out strong drinks all night—if you really trust them, order the Bartender’s Choice and leave it up to fate.

Bloomsday

Headhouse Square
$$$$

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.

Available for Reservations

Lunar Inn

Port Richmond
$$$$

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.

Tattooed Mom

Queen Village
$$$$

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.

American Sardine Bar

Point Breeze
$$$$

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

Bar Ly

Chinatown
$$$$

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.

Cockatoo

Washington Square West
$$$$

Cockatoo is a newer addition to the gay bar scene, featuring Latin street food paired with a welcoming menu of wine, cocktails, and beer. Cockatoo also has one of the better happy hour iterations in Center City, with discounted drinks from 8-10 pm Wednesday through Friday, then a special weekend happy hour from 3-5 pm, where you can score $10 specialty cocktails, $9 prosecco, and $6 beers to your heart’s content.

Dahlak

Cedar Park
$$$$

Visit Dahlak’s laid-back outdoor patio—now outfitted to accommodate all kinds of weather—for outdoor dining and drinking. This Eri-Ethiopian restaurant’s summery cocktails pack a punch, and options like the tequila Blue Crush or the Henny Punch, are best enjoyed outdoors with stir-fry sirloin tibs, a spicy sauteed dish served with peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
How to book: Walk in

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Devil's Den

Passyunk
$$$$

Devil’s Den’s ever-changing draft list is full of unexpected domestic and imported brews, while the bottled menu offers an extensive collection that you’ll need a few minutes to sift through. Seasonal cocktail lovers will also be happy here, and since this is Philly, Devil’s Den also offers three City Wides to pick from. The spot boasts excellent bar nibbles including $12 wings, $7 skewers, and other savory bites.
How to book: Walk in

Frankford Hall

Fishtown
$$$$

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Hawthornes Beer Cafe

Bella Vista
$$$$

Hawthorne’s is a welcoming one-stop shop for all your bar needs: a sizable outdoor beer garden, a big ol’ TV to watch the latest, a massive all-day food menu, and plenty of craft beer and seasonal cocktails. It’s the perfect laidback spot for digging into the likes of fried chicken and waffles and truffle grilled cheese sandwiches while trying to stay ahead on all the latest bar offerings. The drink menu is full of rare imports and unusual finds, so there’s always something new to try.

Available for Reservations

Lloyd Whiskey Bar

Fishtown
$$$$

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.
How to book: Walk in

Monk's Cafe

Rittenhouse
$$$$

Belgium is at your fingertips at Monk’s, where the spot’s signature beer bible does indeed feel quite holy. The place is packed with Belgian (and other-style) beers. Trust that it’s hard to pick any drink here that doesn’t go with pommes frites and mussels.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Philadelphia Distilling

Northern Liberties
$$$$

Sample some of the best spirits to come out of Philadelphia, from Blue Coat Gin to Vieux Carre Absinthe, at Philadelphia Distilling. The beautiful facility begs you to linger with tufted leather sofas and exposed brick walls for an airy, bright, and ultra-stylish destination any time day or night. Be sure to try one of the seltzer-gin cocktails or a family flight of bourbon, rye, and American whiskies.

Available for Reservations

Sonny’s Cocktail Joint

Graduate Hospital
$$$$

Sonny’s Cocktail Joint offers casual takes on high-end food and drink (think caviar, chips and dip, or Dunkaroos with bourbon Old Fashioned buttercream). The bar goes old school with vinyl, vintage pieces, checkered floors, and a jukebox, but the drinks are up-to-date with negronis, high balls, and best-enjoyed-outside selections off the “Boat Drinks” menu. You’ll also find plenty of domestic and imported drafts and natural wines to even things out.

Standard Tap

Northern Liberties
$$$$

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.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Wine Dive

Graduate Hospital
$$$$

South Street’s Wine Dive is an intriguing mix of high meets low brow, with more than 20 wines by the glass, 215 (see what they did there?) by the bottle, and a collection of ciders, beers, and cocktails, all served in ultra-dark yet welcoming digs, not unlike your favorite neighborhood dive bar. Throughout the week you’ll find live music and comforting bar food to warm your visit.

Writer's Block Rehab

Washington Square West
$$$$

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.
How to book: Walk in

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Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram.