Charleston: The Ultimate Local's Guide
Speakeasy-style artisan cocktail lounge
This cozy cocktail lounge is both a romantic date spot and a mingler’s paradise. With vintage furniture and a pseudo-speakeasy vibe, it’s the perfect spot to let a stranger buy you a drink, or vice versa, or bond over your shared love for $15 egg white cocktails.
South Street dive with live music
This Philly staple has been the starting ground of many Philly relationships of (highly) varying lengths. Maybe it’s the excessive PBR memorabilia or maybe it’s the loud live music that goes all night, but Bob & Barbara’s is a prime late-night stop on the single circuit, and you will almost always see people pinned to the wall and making out.
Theme night dance floor in a former strip club
There’s nothing like themed disco and ‘90s R&B nights to get you out of your shell. Head there Saturday nights to shamelessly dance among the shifting neon lights and occasional go-go dancers among other restless Philadelphians.
Craft beer bottle bar with vintage arcade games
Whereas Garage North has cultivated a bro-tastic clientele, the original location in South Philly is still hanging on to its original identity as an eclectic beer-focused bar where folks can mingle over old-school arcade games.
Busy multi-level bar, music venue, and dance floor
Time is a multi-level space with three distinct floors, suitable for whatever you’re looking for that night: there’s the first-floor whiskey bar, fit for casual encounters and game watching; the dining room, where you can catch some live jazz; and the top-floor dance club, where the lights are dim, the music is loud, and the floor is packed with potential.
Hidden back alley outdoor bar with Asian influences
Michael Schulson’s outdoor bar next to Sampan is open all year, a tiny hideaway that draws crowds with fishbowl cocktails and, when necessary, potent heat lamps. Hang out at the bar for a few minutes, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ve struck up a conversation with someone new.
Multi-level piano bar and dance club
This multi-level bar on a quiet corner in the Gayborhood is another multi-faceted wonder, sporting a cocktail bar great for fresh conversations, a piano bar perfect for bonding over your favorite song to sing along to, and an upstairs dance club ideal for just about everything else.
Poolside bar and club by the Piazza
Nolibs’ ever-endearing dayclub pool is back for the season, and with it droves of single Philadelphians who know the great joy of a literal urban oasis -- no matter how crowded it can get. This year the club is adjacent to the new Germantown Garden, an indoor/outdoor restaurant with yet more possibilities.
Corner bar with pool, live music, and craft beer
Warm red lighting, a couple pool tables, and alternating menu of locally made beer make JB’s an inviting spot to find your next date. Conveniently, that date can occur in the back dining room, particularly intriguing when the doors open for the warmer months. Plus, you can always head upstairs to the almost daily lineup of concerts if it’s a bust.
Underground ping-pong bar
Can a friendly game of ping-pong break the ice? That’s the idea at SPiN’s Philly outpost, where you can either station yourself at the bar or a booth, or get your paddle and start playing. The spot also hosts weekly themed parties and events to draw visitors.
Lush rooftop bar above Hotel Monaco
If you’re looking to get dressed to impress, Stratus is the ideal location. The indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge features not one but two dramatically decorated library lounges, but also an airy dance floor surrounded by lush garden walls and the sky.
Spacious, flowery restaurant with natural wines
Teddy Sourias’ latest, Blume, mixes Instagram-catering flowery decor with trendy cocktails and wine taps, and it’s been drawing major crowds in the Center City going-out corridor since opening last month.
Historic, multi-level beer-centric drinking hall
Philadelphia’s oldest bar is thus Philadelphia’s oldest hook-up spot. It gets very crowded, very loud, and there are many, many pints readily available for the thirsty.
All-day eatery and bar with buzzing downstairs dining room
There’s something about subterranean drinking and dining that gets everyone excited to be there. The buzzing upstairs bars at Giuseppe is fun for happy hour (which conveniently lasts until closing), while the downstairs dining room and wraparound bar are something of a transportative experience when you’re hoping to meet people yet still want the option to fall in love with your pasta instead.