For some, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it induces family-driven cabin fever and a need to drown your holiday anxieties in a big cup o' booze. Whether you’re on the hunt for a way to up the festivities or to escape from them, these bars will give you shelter (and drinks) on Christmas Day.
Southern comfort in Old City will be available with a 10am-4pm brunch buffet and dinner buffet starting at 5pm, with plenty of stiff drinks to be served in between.
Head to this South Philly spot after 6pm and choose from over 200 bottles, 17 drafts, and a limited holiday food menu. Bonus: it has cozy fireplaces that will make you feel rather merry.
Doors will open at 5pm, so if you’re itching to avoid eating your aunt’s weird leftover fruitcake, you’ll find the safehaven burger and sandwich (and beer) staples here.
Like most hotel bars and restaurants, Urban Farmer will be open during normal hours, but the bar will be closing by 10pm. Try the chocolate hazelnut Bûche de Noël if you’re feeling festive and French before then.
Avenue of the Arts
The Ritz-Carlton bar will be open normal hours -- don’t change out of your Sunday best for this one.
The Roxy favorite will open its doors at 4:45pm on Christmas Day with some seasonal festive beers on tap.
This Old City boozer opens just in time for cocktail hour at 5pm, and there’s plenty of floor space for a dance party. It could come in handy if you want to sweat off that Christmas ham.
The Irish Pub’s Rittenhouse location at 20th & Walnut will be open to cheer you up with seasonal beers and $3 pints (and bacon-cheddar steak fries).
This Old City dive will open its doors at 5pm to serve you bacon-grease popcorn with your Yuletide lager.
Not only is this bar beautiful, it’s open at 6pm too! The burgers are almost as artful as the decor.
The kitchen is closed today, but the drinks are pouring after 7pm.
Open at 6pm, the Tap Room will be fully stocked if you’re in need of an emergency holiday beer.
New Wave opens around 5pm for 20 draft beers and some rounds of pool to end your Christmas right.
One of the most important places to eat and drink in Philly would be amiss if it didn’t open up for Christmas. Head over after 6pm.
Say bonjour to Papa Noel, sort of, and enjoy the French stylings at Parc all Christmas Day until 8pm.
Square 1682 will start serving brunch at 8am and dinner at 3pm, so really any time of day you’ll be jolly here.
Doobies is open every single day, and Christmas is no exception. The dive will open at 7pm, and your dog is probably welcome.
POPE opens at 6pm and will make even the stingiest vegetarians in your family happy, so take them here when the holiday is winding down.
When it’s time to bro it up Xmas style, look no further than Fox & Hound, which is open from 6pm to 2am. Making this one a Boxing Day morning to remember.
Go downstairs at the Rittenhouse Hotel to enjoy the strong and delicious cocktails at Library Bar during regular hours on Christmas Day.
The bar at Lacroix (also in the Rittenhouse Hotel) will be open regular hours, and if you’re there early enough, maybe you can snag the Christmas brunch special too.
Doors open at 7pm and ugly sweaters are very welcome.
Stop by the bar at Sonesta and try one of ArtBar's festive Christmas cocktails today.
The lounge bar at Sofitel can be another high-end stop if you’re looking to make your Christmas casually classy AF.
Year after year (and there’s been over 75 of them), Ray’s is open Christmas Day during normal hours. We all need traditions, right?
It may be a Steelers bar, but if you find yourself in need of a Christmas hideaway in a pinch, you shan’t starve or go thirsty here. O’Neals is open normal hours, including the kitchen, which opens at 11am.
Cavanaugh’s Headhouse location will open at 8pm. It’s the perfect excuse to peak at the ultra-festive streets of the Headhouse district.
The Lodge at Winterfest
Christmas Day will be the 12th and final day at the Lodge’s 12 Days of Christmas Movie Nights, so if you’re in the mood to see Elf and drink some spiked hot chocolate, this is your place.
Copabanana’s South Street location will be open from 4pm to 2am; it’s perfect if you’re looking to wile out with margaritas and thumping music.
Washington Square West
One of the best dives in Philly will not let you down this Christmas. Doors open at 7pm; bring the $20 bill your grandma gave you -- it's cash only!
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1. Library Bar210 W Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia
2. Bar 210 at Lacroix210 W Rittenhouse, Philadelphia
3. Square 1682121 S 17th St, Philadelphia
4. Irish Pub1123 Walnut Street & 2007 Walnut St, Philadelphia
5. Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse1823 Sansom St, Philadelphia
6. Parc227 S 18th St, Philadelphia
7. Fox and Hound1501 Spruce St, Philadelphia
8. Doobie's2201 Lombard St, Philadelphia
9. Khyber Pass Pub56 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
10. Sassafras48 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
11. Cavanaugh's Headhouse421 S 2nd Street, Philadelphia
12. Ray's Happy Birthday Bar1200 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
13. The Pub on Passyunk East1501 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
14. South Philadelphia Tap Room1509 Mifflin St, Philadelphia
15. American Sardine Bar1800 Federal St, Philadelphia
16. New Wave Cafe784 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
17. O'Neals Irish Pub611 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
18. 12 Steps Down831 Christian St, Philadelphia
19. ArtBar, Philadelphia
20. The Little Lion243 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
21. Devil's Den1148 S 11th St, Philadelphia
22. Royal Tavern937 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
23. Urban Farmer at the Logan1850 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia
24. Aqimero10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia
25. Hilltown Tavern326 Roxborough Ave, Philadelphia
26. National Mechanics22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
27. Liberte120 S 17th St, Philadelphia
28. Copabanana344 South St, Philadelphia
29. Dirty Frank's347 S 13th St, Philadelphia
The Library Bar is a two-room cocktail palace, cozily tucked into the ground floor of the Rittenhouse Hotel. With huge volumes of literature on display, and including a tome-like, 17 page long drink menu, make yourself comfortable in the spacious cocktail haven with a meticulously crafted Old Fashioned or seasonal option like the El Presidente with bacardi rum, red wine, vermouth, and grenadine.
This is one of our favorite bars in Philly, with one of our favorite bar tenders, Amy Farrell.
Located adjacent to Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, Square 1682 features locally sourced produce and meats, and pours distinctive craft cocktails that are as imaginative as they are tasteful. And not for nothing, was named number one bar in America by USA Today. But if that doesn't impress you, the truffle popcorn will.
An Irish pub with contemporary sensibilities. Fun fact: This bar made a cameo in the movie "Rocky Balboa" starring Milo Ventimiglia.
hoof it over to Cavanaugh's, where you can kick up your feet on either floor to watch whatever's on their screens whilst knocking back drafts of whatever's on tap and taunting other fans.
Stephen Starr-created Parc in Rittenhouse Square slings authentic French cuisine in the manner of a Parisian bistro and cafe.
Sure, it may be a chain bar, but it is one of our favorite places to grab a drink in Philly.
We will always have a soft spot for this dive bar.
The KPP is a late-night joint offering some fan-food favorites from down South, like red beans & rice and even beignets. And oh-so-much beer.
This is one o the most beautiful bars in Philly, with some of the best burgers we have ever had.
It's a bar with a bunch of mini bars inside.
At Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, everybody might not know your name, but they will give you a free birthday-cake shot on your birthday, complete with a candle. On days when it isn’t the anniversary of the hardest day of your mom’s life, Ray’s is your typical South Philly dive. You can even still smoke at Ray’s, which is either the greatest thing on Earth or a serious annoyance (where you fall on the scale is, not surprisingly, tied to your alcohol consumption).
It's Philly's second favorite POPE.
This is one of our favorite bars in South Philly.
We consider this one of the most important places to drink in Philly.
Head here for pitchers of beer and multiple rounds of pool.
Warning: Anyone who is not a Phillies fan should enter with caution. They have a nice outdoor drinking area, an extensive beer list, and some traditional and seasonal menu items that are some of the best bites in Philly. As far as we are concerned, O'Neals is the best Irish pub in Philly.
Chipotle Cheddar Burger and onion rings with a horseradish aioli, that's all I need to say. Get moving.
Sonesta hotel aims to please an artsy crowd with their onsite lounge, serving cocktails and small plates, in a very contemporary space close to a gallery displaying works from the Center for Emerging and VIsual Artists, which the hotel also sponsors. In addition to beer and scotches, delicate cocktails are made to be sipped on the sculptural couches, like the namesake Grand Sonesta (with raspberry and peach sweeting a mix of Grand Marnier, Schnapps and sparkling wine). A selection of quiches and salads are offered during breakfast and lunch, but burgers and bruschetta can be had until close.
There's an irony in the fact that this American tavern in historic Old City is titled after a cutesy name for Alexander Hamilton: the man did champion a whiskey tax in his day, after all. Nonetheless, the atmosphere at the 19th-century multi-story stop across from the Museum of the American Revolution is spot on, with lots of wood work, large arched windows, and bright red colonial chairs next to banisters painted black. The food is filling and true to American tastes: barbecue chicken is heaped on slaw and mac & cheese gets served in a hot skillet. Cheers to the fact that the Revolutionary War was won with a historically inspired cocktail menu, which you can sip in the mezzanine bar.
South Philly's the Devil's Den has been luring in impish drinkers since 2008 with local and imported craft beers, as well as some rare wood-aged suds that are sipped as hell's flames roar in the rustic fireplace. The food that comes out of the kitchen in herculean portions can be divided into two wings: gluttonous beer-sponge (bacon-wrapped hot dog with scrambled eggs) and surprisingly elevated (duck breast with sautéed kale and cherry-red wine sauce).
The unassuming, minimally labeled outside of this Passyunk place gives way to a classic, deep red pub on the inside where the Angus Burger reigns king. The small, laid-back crowd of regulars who know about Royal Tavern line the full-service bar in the afternoon and late night to get a bite of rare beef and bacon, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, pickled longhots, and chile mayonnaise. They don't dare forget the side of thick, crispy fries with a sprinkling of Old Bay, either.
The Philly outpost of this eco-conscious steakhouse and modern bistro features bright farm-to-table fare. The dining space, located just off Logan Square, is full of eclectic tchotchkes of Americana, and the warm, welcoming environment highlights the delicate flavors on the menu. Take the grits, which come directly from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown and are coveted by local chefs for their pure flavor and great texture. And while we’d probably eat a bowl of just the grits, Urban Farmer tops theirs with a soft poached egg, shrimp, and pulled pork.
Aqimero is bringing Latin-American flavor to the upscale -- if sometimes stiff -- Ritz-Carlton hotel. In the gigantic historic lobby, textured glass partitions and blue accents in the carpet hint at the sea, which is reflected in the seafood-heavy menu. Ocean eats are presented simply in a plate of grilled octopus, enveloped in cheese for shrimp quesadillas, and topped with turf fare in seared scallops with pork belly and snap peas. The so-called “Mexican beach campfire” whole-roasted snapper stands out on the menu, even though Philadelphia is far from any beach, Mexican or not. Guests can watch the staff chuck oysters, crack clams, and whip up ceviches behind the marble bar. Mexican mezcals take center stage at the bar (Narcissistic Noriega: mescal, tequila, rosemary, pineapple shrub, lime, ginger beer), but drinks are not limited to the smoky elixir (sake sangria: vodka, sake, lemon-basil, tequila, ginger ale).
HIlltown Tavern, formerly known as the Brickhouse, is a Roxborough Irish tavern in the spirit of local taverns: it's mostly about hanging out, drinking beer and soaking it up after with burgers and wings. A spacious outdoor seating area makes a nice spot for some crab-topped fries to go with any of the eight mainstream beers on tap.
National Mechanics's got a varied American menu, a crazy array of cocktail, and inhabits an historic, gothic building in Old City.
Filling out the former La Bourse space inside the Sofitel, Liberte's a super-comfy resto, lounge, and bar, serving Frenchy fare and sporting a fireside sofa/banquette and rich, super-soft upholstered deep-cushioned chairs, banquettes, and high-backs, also
A divey Philly fave, Copabanana serves queso, guac, and beer till the wee morning hours. When you see the neon green palm trees by the door, you'll know you're at the right place.