Where to Grab a Drink in Philly Right Now

You deserve it.

As if the last year and a half didn’t give us all a reason to drink, the Philly bar scene has given us dozens of new (and happier) reasons with new bar and dining concepts popping up all over the city. Philly’s current guidelines require a mask for indoor dining, while many bars and restaurants throughout the area are also asking for proof of vaccination if you plan to eat or drink inside. Be sure to keep that golden ticket on you (or a photo of your vaccination card on your phone) so you’re not out in the rain.

Whether you’re after eclectic drink menus sourced from around the globe or the simple comforts of a long-standing beer mecca, there’s a bar for that. Take a peek at our picks for where to grab a drink in Philly right now, from lofty wines-by-the-bottle to laidback cocktails to locally brewed perfection.

Writer's Block Rehab

Washington Square West

Writer’s Block is perfect if you like to drink and also feel like you’re in a cozy 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

Philadelphia Distilling

Northern Liberties

Sample some of the best spirits to come out of Philadelphia, from Blue Coat Gin to Vieux Carre Absinthe. 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

This laidback whiskey bar offers fresh cocktails, local drafts, and a vast selection of whiskeys selected from across the globe. The spot also features a sold pub menu to keep you going through rounds of flights. Try one of the Boilermaker selections, which gets you a beer and one-ounce pour, like an elevated version of the Philly Special.
How to book: Walk in

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 specialities, 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.
How to book: Walk in

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Sonny’s Cocktail Joint

Graduate Hospital

The tavern once known as The Cambridge is reopening as Sonny’s Cocktail Joint, a fresh concept featuring ultra-casual takes on high-end food (think caviar, chips, and dip or Dunkaroos with bourbon old fashioned buttercream). The bar goes old school with vinyl, vintage pieces, checkered floors, anda 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.
How to book: Walk in

Cockatoo

Washington Square West

Cockatoo is a newer addition to the 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. Then you can score $10 specialty cocktails, $9 prosecco, and $6 beers to your heart’s content.
How to book: Walk in

Wm. Mulherin's Sons
Photo by Daniel Olsovsky

Find a seat in the Wm. Mulherin’s Sons outdoor garden, or stay indoors and cuddle up by a cozy fireplace. Treat yourself to an artful cocktail like the SGT. Pepper, made with tequila, mesal, rum, bell pepper, and green chartreuse, or keep it simple with local and domestic drafts. You can also score wines by the glass and cans, and all of them happen to go great with a garden view and wood-fired Italian fare.

Available for Reservations

Attic Brewing Co. is now open for indoor and outdoor imbibing, offering a casual, relaxed atmosphere to try all the original (and sustainable) beers the spot has to offer. From the juicy Forward Descent IPA with hints of tangerine and cedar to the dry and earthy Nonlocality, there's usually something for everyone.
How to book: Walk in

Dahlak

Cedar Park

Visit Dahlak’s laid back outdoor patio—newly covered 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: Via website

Available for Delivery/Takeout

La Llorona Cantina

West Passyunk

La Llorona was able to debut and stay open amid the pandemic thanks to vibrant outdoor street seating that makes this little corner of South Philly a welcome respite. Enjoy nachos and queso alongside sangria, wine, and happy hour specials from 2 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

South Jazz Kitchen

Spring Garden

Good food and live jazz make up the magic behind SOUTH, and you’re free to enjoy wine and bubbly by the bottle while soaking in all the upscale ambiance you desire. Get a seat at garden patio or in the skylit dining room, and don’t be afraid to order an extra skillet of cornbread after the first round.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

P.O.P.E is a neighborhood favorite for hunkering down with a craft beer and some jukebox tunes. There’s always something new on the rotation to discover, and you can keep tabs on the latest stock on the bar’s Instagram.
How to book: Walk in

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Frankford Hall is one of Philly’s prettiest and biggest year-round outdoor bars, giving you a chance to score a seat by the fire pits (and make smores) 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.
How to book: Walk in

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Monk's Cafe

Rittenhouse

Belgium and beyond are 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 that taste just as nice inside or at home when you order takeout. Trust that it’s hard to pick any drink here that doesn’t go with pommes frites and mussels.
How to book: Walk in

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Standard Tap

Northern Liberties

More than two decades in business, Standard Tap is still going strong, 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 the The Purp (Cape May) to the Pizza Boy Slice & Dice to the Two Robbers Fruit Punch.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

All the eccentricities of the International’s eclectic bar menu can make you feel like the world is your oyster again. Sherries on tap, rare wines, obscure beers, and even more obscure liquors are all flowing strong. Peep the in-depth beer list for all the latest and greatest drafts.
How to book: Walk in

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram.