If A) "whiskey" is really based on the Latin phrase "water of life", and B) Philly tap water can kill you, then you should probably see about doing most of your drinking in one of the city's 10 best whiskey bars, including second-floor cigar lounges, smoked-meat-slingers, and one opening to the public in a matter of days. " "
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Lloyd Whiskey Bar
This Fishtown boozer (named in part for the bartender in The Shining) boasts a rotating list of 80-plus bourbon, Irish, rye, and Scotch whiskeys, which you can swill in a variety of ways, including craft cocktails, half-price 1oz pours, or in flights of six for $17, so you can "knock 'em back, Lloyd, one by one.”
It's got a gastro-pub slinging bone marrow and short ribs, an upstairs dance spot filled with people who weren't alive in the '80s, and... guess-what!... a wood-filled whiskey bar where there's live jazz and more than 80 brown imbibeables, including single-malts, blends, etc.
This speakeasy-ish spot was designed by super-chef Jose Garces to be the kind of place he'd like to hang after a shift in the kitchen, so it's got two of his favorite things: an accolade-heavy burger and close to a hundred whiskeys they use to make classic 'tails like the rye/ Peychaud's bitters/ Demerara syrup Sazerac, served with an absinthe rinse.
Ashton Cigar Bar
Conveniently located above Holt's Cigar Company, this second-floor boozer's equipped with state-of-the-art air purifiers, but they aren't the only things that're breathtaking -- there's also the view overlooking Walnut St, and the 250-plus whiskey list, the latter of which you can sip in a club chair overlooking the former.
German for “fat pig”, this picnic table-equipped spot's trying to make you a guess-what (!) with huge slabs of smoked meat (Black Angus beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs), paired with Philly's "best whiskey list", which is over 100-strong.
The Trestle Inn
On the fringes of Chinatown, the modern version of the infamously gritty J & J Trestle Inn features lovely, be-tasseled dancers, and 65-plus whiskeys that wind-up in cocktails, like the whiskey/ Grand Marnier/ agave nectar "Fast Pussycat", and a specialized whiskey sour menu including change-ups like the currant-infused "Black Power".
Red Owl Tavern
The biggest isn't always the best, as evidenced by, well... certainly not us (why, what have you heard?!), or this particular whiskey bar which boasts two stories, a balcony, and a roof deck as well as one of the city's biggest lists of brown stuff, including rarer sips like a 12-yr Japanese Yamazaki single malt.
Cooperage Wine & Whiskey Bar
Stocking more than 75 varieties of both American and imported whiskeys, CWWB is hidden away in the Curtis Center near Washington Square, and offering a booze-heavy happy hour with whiskeys and bar eats for $5, and beer for $3.
Bank & Bourbon
Already open to hotel guests (and open to everyone on Wednesday, April 9th), this Loews-based whiskey bar is slinging a... err, number (75) of bourbons, ryes, and international spirits, as well as barrel-aging their own hooch/cocktails behind the bar. There are also 70 lockers where customers can age their own distillates, classes taught by a “bourbon master”, regular tastings in the works, and more, including food that, just like Philly's water, is killer.
1. Ashton Cigar Bar1522 Walnut St, Philadelphia
2. Red Owl Tavern433 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
3. Lloyd Whiskey Bar529 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia
4. Time Restaurant1315 Sansom St, Philadelphia
5. Village Whiskey118 S 20th St, Philadelphia
6. Fette Sau1208 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
7. The Trestle Inn339 N 11th St, Philadelphia
8. Stateside1536 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
9. Cooperage Wine & Whiskey Bar601 Walnut St, Philadelphia
Located right above Holt's Cigar Company in Rittenhouse, this second-floor bar serves 200 cigars, more than 350 whiskeys, and 500 total spirits. The expert staff will help pair your cigar (which are handmade in the Dominican Republic) with the right, just-as-smoky whiskey. Ashton has a speakeasy vibe with decidedly masculine leather couches. It's sleek, modern, and boasts a wall of windows overlooking Walnut St.
The walk up to Society Hill's Red Owl Tavern, along cobblestoned streets before Independence Hall, is quintessentially Philadelphia, and the food at this upscale Hotel Monaco restaurant is appropriately American rustic, but with some modern updates. The lunchtime cheesesteak synonymous with the city is brought up to speed with Angus ribeye, sharp cheddar, caramelized onion and hot peppers (no whiz, here). Marrowbones are topped with pickled lamb tongues. Venison, cut by the in-house butcher, is augmented by a huckleberry marinade. The zinc-topped bar in the brown and brick dining room continues the patriotic theme, serving up a Penn’s Treaty (bourbon, blackberry, honey, mint, lemon) to thirsty tourists and red-blooded Americans alike.
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.
This combo whiskey bar, resto, and taproom also plays host to various musical performances in its Market East digs. Tuck in to a cozy booth and feast on dishes like roast duck, shrimp ceviche, and more.
Village Whiskey is an American gastropub vision of James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Garces. Standing proudly on a bustling corner of Rittenhouse, this old-school pub with a masculine air does two things best: Burgers and Whiskey. Together. There are a few bar snacks and entrees on the menu alongside a full raw bar, but what the people really want from this place is the simple yet entirely indulgent All-American Burger with (of course) whiskey-cured bacon to match their 200+ bottle selection of whiskeys and prohibition-era cocktails.
Fette Sau keeps it simple. Wooden tables, concrete floors, gourmet BBQ, craft beer and whiskey. No pretense. Sounds like the go-to spot for the most interesting man in the world, doesn't it? Named after the German phrasing for "fat pig," Fette Sau's obviously got pork on lock, plus other delectable, dry-aged and smoked meat comestibles. The Philly outpost of this Williamsburg standby is sure to satisfy.
Trestle's the thankfully cleaner iteration of infamously gritty J & J Trestle Inn, which closed in '09 before catching fire last summer; it’s reemerged while keeping much of the dark-wood-heavy, dimly lit digs that weren't charred, and also the lovely, be-tasseled dancers, whose costumes have been updated to give off a “'60s-'70s vibe”, whose covers only ever featured Teddy Pendergrass and Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.
Following breakfast with booze is a terrific way to start the day, so thank God this alcohol-oriented project from the breakfast-mad folks behind Green Eggs offers brown liquors and ex-Barbuzzo-chef-crafted small bites in a space rife with contempo touches.