Food & Drink

The 10 Best Wine Bars in Philly

Published On 02/18/2016 Published On 02/18/2016

Le Virtu

Le Virtu’s menu is one long, extended nod to the Italian region of Arbuzzo, and the wine selection follows suit. The expansive list is divided by areas with a price point for whatever amount you’re looking to spend, plus a knowledgeable staff is there for when you realize you have no idea what any of the regions of Arbuzzo actually mean for you and your wine.

Jet Wine Bar

Jet Wine Bar

Graduate Hospital

Jet Wine Bar is a hideaway on South St, though its extensive wine list will trick your palate into thinking it's anywhere else in the world. Alternating seasonal wine lists bring in the best from France, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Chile, Morocco, Georgia... you name it. If you want to up your wine game, opt for one of Jet's laid-back, informative wine tasting classes -- you get to sample five wines and spend a couple of hours learning how to perfect your taste for the good life in the bar's lounge area.

Panorama

Panorama

Old City

With more than 120 wines on tap and 150 served by the glass, Panorama is one of the largest wine bars in the world. That's not even a facetious exaggeration: the Guinness Book of World Records named it number one when it comes to the largest wine preservation and dispensing system, and the restaurant typically sees a total of 800 unique wines a year. If the numbers intimidate you, ease in with the happy hour a whopping seven days a week, which includes discounted wine flights and Italian appetizers.

Tria

Tria Taproom

With its newest location in Fitler Square, Tria is swiftly becoming a go-to spot for beer lovers and winos alike. At the Walnut St location you can choose from a dozen wines on tap, meaning you’re always getting the freshest seasonal choices with which to enjoy artisanal flatbreads.

Vintage Wine Bar

Vintage Wine Bar

Vintage is a staple of 13th St, mostly thanks to a slightly overwhelming by-the-glass menu with over 60 wines from countries all over the world. Obviously you’ll need help choosing, so why don’t you try not choosing and instead sampling several at a time with one of VWB’s 3oz wine flights? Or, head over during happy hour and snag yourself some $4 house wines, too.

Bar Ferdinand

No respectable Spanish tapas menu is complete without a killer wine list repping the best Iberian wines -- this one’s so killer, in fact, that if you look too closely at it you’ll find yourself lost in the triple-digit price points of BF’s by-the-bottle selections. Our advice: stick to the earlier by-the-glass pages where you’ll find some seriously good vinos, but still have enough scratch for the fig & gorgonzola  bruschetta, and/or Brie en croûte.

Lacroiz at The Rittenhouse

Lacroix at The Rittenhouse

Not only is Lacroix a sweet choice for brunch, The Rittenhouse spot offers perfectly paired food and wine selections in its Library Bar. It’s not all just cheese spreads and berries either: craving ribs or cod fries? Lacroix has a wine for that.

A.kitchen

a.kitchen + bar

This restaurant by the square gets a special mention thanks to its unusual by-the-glass wine menu, where your favorite French or Italian wines can be sold right alongside specialties from Slovenia (there is also a very detailed by-the-bottle list that’s pricier). Even better, you can opt for one of two wine glass sizes depending whether you’re looking to save some bucks or planning to… ugh, take SEPTA home.

Paris Wine Bar

Paris Wine Bar

Fairmount has plenty of eateries influenced by culinary expertise in France or Belgium, but this spot sets itself apart with a localist edge, serving wines exclusively from Pennsylvania. This fact makes the bar’s name a bit of a misnomer, but think of it more as a nod to Parisians’ impeccable ability to enjoy every last drop of wine -- plus, it turns out PA wines pair well with French specialities.

La Famiglia Ristorante

La Famiglia Ristorante

For a quintessential Italian experience in Old City, La Famiglia is a great choice for grade-A winos and newbies alike. Besides offering whatever French, Italian, or California wine you have in mind, the wine list also boasts a high number of hard-to-find Chilean wines that can typically make non-wine drinkers into believers.

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1. Le Virtù 1927 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148 (South Philadelphia)

This taste of Italy in Philly serves fresh fare crafted with local ingredients. And if it can't locate the elements for a dish locally, it'll import them from Abruzzo, a region in Central Italy that was the inspiration for the place.

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2. Jet Wine Bar 1525 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Street)

This South Street hideaway is famous for its extensive, seasonal wine list that offers bottles from, to name a few, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Chile, Morocco, and Georgia. Additionally, Jet also provides laid-back, informative wine tasting classes and an array of globally-inspired appetizers, such as steak or mushroom montadito, Spanish meatballs, and Merguez skewers.

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3. Panorama 14 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

Home to the world's largest wine dispensary, Panorama is an upscale North-Italian eatery, tucked away in the heart of Philadelphia's Old City. The menu is stocked with handmade pastas, fresh vegetables, and thick cut local meats, most or which are served encased in cheese or alongside stacks of herb-dusted house focaccia bread. The whole place practically oozes old-school Italian charm with candle chandeliers dangling from the ceilings, large Tuscan doors, and vintage upholstery lining the seat cushions. Certified sommeliers guide patrons through the Restaurant's ridiculously extensive wine list while the hungry guests salivate over hand rolled ricotta gnocchi with broccoli rabe pesto, or braised leg of lamb with spicy salsa verde. Full of dark wood and low chatter over rich, sauce-coated plates, the whole place is a romantic ode to classic Italian dining.

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4. Tria Taproom 2005 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

The Rittenhouse location of this cozy bar boasts a number of carefully-curated, seasonal beers, wines, and ciders. And in a true taproom fashion, without a bottle in sight. Big windows, a solid-glass, climate-controlled wine "cellar" that dominates the back wall, and an airy-for-its-size interior -- lined with sparsely-appointed counters and rustic stools -- creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy craft libations, wood-fired grilled flatbreads, and sophisticated snacks.

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5. Vintage Wine Bar 129 S 13 St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Midtown Village)

How much more fun would politics be if you were voting for hamburgers instead of old white people? Find out tomorrow night at Vintage, when $10 lands you a trio of never-before-seen (except right here) sliders, one of which you can nominate to be their next signature burger.

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6. Bar Ferdinand 1030 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (Nolibs)

This Spanish tapas eatery serves up killer small plates like baked goat cheese raciones, as well as a slew of brunch options.

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7. Lacroix at The Rittenhouse 210 W Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

Your milkshake brings some adventurous people to the yard when you're Rittenhouse Square French-staurant Lacroix, (located at the Rittenhouse Hotel), especially because said milkshake involves both foie gras and blood orange. If you thought that was interesting, it's also serving up the likes of suckling pig, Spanish octopus (it's got an accent), and sweetbreads, in addition to a build-your-own Bloody Mary station. Celebrated head chef Jon Cichon traveled to places like Portugal, Thailand, Japan, and even America to get inspiration for the flavors he's dishing out.

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8. a.kitchen 135 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

A first-floor space opening onto Rittenhouse Square, a.kitchen's a stark dining room with plenty of wood banquettes/ tables plus marble counters at which to take down dinner plates like pork belly risotto fritters.

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9. Paris Wine Bar 2303 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130

This wine bar doubles as a live music setting, letting you sip your favorite casked wines and nibble French favorites in melodic company.

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10. La Famiglia Ristorante 8 S Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This fine Italian spot offers a curated wine list and classic Italian dishes served in an elegant setting.

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