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1. Ela627 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
2. Isabella382 E Elm St, Philadelphia
3. The Olde Bar125 Walnut St, Philadelphia
4. Library Bar210 W Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia
5. Bar 210 at Lacroix210 W Rittenhouse, Philadelphia
6. Village Whiskey118 S 20th St, Philadelphia
7. Spruce Street Harbor121 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
8. U-Bahn1320 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
9. Kensington Quarters1310 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
10. The Trestle Inn339 N 11th St, Philadelphia
11. Parlor Suburban Square30 Parking Plz, Ardmore
12. Taproom on 19th2400 S 19th St, Philadelphia
An American restaurant directed by the steady hand of acclaimed chef Jason Chichonski, Ela serves cuisine that changes seasonally but is consistently innovative and crafted to perfection. With an extensive wine list and large collection of craft beers, something is bound to go well with your whipped foie gras.
Isabella's an airy multi-level joint serving share-happy portions of Mediterranean comfort fare in a two-level interior with a balcony and an exterior hosting a stone dining area that's surprisingly not a Taco Bell.
Jose Garces brought some much-needed life into the old stomping grounds of the locally loved Bookbinder’s, which closed during the not-great-economically year of 2009. Garces' reincarnation of the place is a nice polish to the original, and includes an open banquet room complete with dimly lit red booths, candles, and an oyster saloon serving snapper soup and fried belly clams. In addition to the nouveaux riche aperitif menu, the seafood-centric restaurant serves classics like dungeness crab, Maine lobster, and of course, champagne cocktails to pair.
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.
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.
Depending on the time of year, the Waterfront boasts dozens of activities thanks to the Spruce Street Harbor Park. Beer gardens pop up in the summer, and the views of nature impress regardless of the season. The waterfront park has everything from hammocks to an outpost of Federal Donuts (Port FedNuts).
Just one floor below the expansive beer-list and gravy-fry paradise that is Brü comes U-Bahn, inspired by German underground transit. The spot sports two bars and has the cuisine covered by Brü’s chef, which means the street food-inspired bar snacks will not disappoint. This is also a great place to catch some entertainment while you’re drinking and eating -- local DJs and musicians perform a couple times a week on the in-house stage.
Meat is taken seriously at this industrial chic butcher/restaurant in Fishtown, where every animal is used head-to-tail, and every diner leaves not only full, but with a primer in butchery and meat-curing. Right when you enter Kensington Quarters, you'll see the on-site butcher counter and retail section. Once seated, order the mixed house-made charcuterie followed by braised pork shoulder, a hulking pork chop, or a ribeye with smoked cheddar. Don’t be a meathead and remember to grab a salami for home on your way out.
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.
The only thing better than the food and drink here are the fantastic bartenders and wait staff.
If you've ever been curious about what "upscale stoner fare" might taste like, head down to Tap Room on 19th. This tavern serves up farm-to-table fare that draws inspiration from South Philly traditions and southern eats, and includes fried cheese curds, Ponzu dumplings, and a curated list of craft beers. If you come in during brunch hours, you can even choose from a list of breakfast shots, like the Honeynut Cheerio made with Jack Daniels Honey whiskey and Horchata.