As you get older, the birthdays just keep getting better. At 16, you can drive a car. At 18, you can vote (and buy fireworks!). At 21, you can drink (legally). And at 30, you can... no longer go to these nine Philly bars. Um, yayyy?!
Outside of a bachelor/bachelorette party, no one over 30 should ever order a drink -- or in this case a bucket -- called “Swizzle Dizzle” or “Adios Mofo.” Leave it to the 20-year-olds to down those gallons of boozy sugar water. Their livers can handle it; yours probably can’t.
Just because you’ve hit your third decade doesn’t mean you CAN’T go to Fado. Technically, the bouncers will still let you in. But be prepared to look like a chaperone at the wildest school dance in Philly.
Just to be clear, the bottom floor of Time is completely fine -- there’s great live music, good cocktails, and generally enough space to enjoy yourself. Head upstairs and the story’s a little different: on the weekends, the top floor becomes a Fireball-soaked, sweaty (and sticky) dance party with your requisite youngin's looking to hook up. But not with you, ‘cause you’re too old.
With the 'Yunk being an ideal landing spot for the recently graduated crowd, there’s no shortage of bars catering to 22-year-olds still living the college dream. And hey, Mad River is the perfect place to crush beers beers with your bros, and eat “legendary” wings. But just not for you.
If your idea of a good time is to wait in line, pay a cover only to stand in a cattle car, and observe impromptu dance circles started around a spinning bottle, Ladder is the bar for you!
Drinker’s is a place where you can easily convince yourself that you can drink like you’re 21 again. There are 40s at the bar... and they’re cheap! But you should never let your wallet dictate your drink choice and never order a beer with more ounces than your age.
Remember that first time you went back here after graduation? You still knew everyone, the bartenders still recognized your face, and the drinks were dirt cheap. Well, that was 10 years ago! Time to find a new drinking hole. Preferably one that doesn’t have people wearing Greek letters.
Not lacking for originality in the name, Irish Pub is what you expect: an Irish pub. Except, instead of people drinking Guinness and listening to some Irish ditty, it’s full of bros pounding Bud Lights with the speakers pumping Diddy.
1. Howl at the Moon258 S 15th St, Philadelphia
2. Fado1500 Locust St, Philadelphia
3. Time Restaurant1315 Sansom St, Philadelphia
4. Mad River4100 Main St, Philadelphia
5. Ladder 151528 Sansom St, Philadelphia
6. Drinker's Tavern124 Market St, Philadelphia
7. Smokey Joe's210 S 40th St, Philadelphia
8. Irish Pub1123 Walnut Street & 2007 Walnut St, Philadelphia
9. The Blarney Stone3929 Sansom St, Philadelphia
This factory-style singing joint (read: dueling piano bar!) has made its way to Philly, and has all the hook ups for you and your buddies to make their Billy Joel debut. It's filled with libations, snacks, and the chance to embarrass yourself.
Irish pub with a clubby weekend vibe. Recommended for the younger set.
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.
A staple in the college scene, Mad River's got you covered with all kinds of dive-y goodness, rocking a dark wood interior plus plenty of drink specials.
Ladder is actually in a cavernous old-time firehouse, but instead of firemen's hats and Hoseburgers, the owners have outdone themselves, with the homey-industrial setting (mesh cage rock-walled wraparound mezzanine, cold-rolled steel paneling, wide-plank dark cypress floors, lantern chandeliers, mahogany walls, and a birch log-encased fireplace), a menu designed by the Bon Appetit-feted Little Fish chef, and cocktails that expertly summon up your fatboy youth.
With a murderer's row of bars in the area, the one true dive bar that sticks out in Old City is Drinker’s. Those claiming that Khyber Pass is a dive bar are fooling themselves; dive bars aren’t stocked with a beer selection that includes Bayerischer Banhof Leipziger. Drinker’s, however, is the quintessential dive -- a place where you go to drink, often times hard. It serves 40s, cheap draft beer, and boozy huggie bombs (for the nostalgic). And like any dive bar, the food is pretty good as long as it’s swimming in buffalo sauce.
A stomping ground for UPenn students and alumni to drink beer, eat pizza, and watch the game.
An Irish pub with contemporary sensibilities. Fun fact: This bar made a cameo in the movie "Rocky Balboa" starring Milo Ventimiglia.