The Best Bars in Philadelphia – Your Guide to a Booze-filled Romp!
Alcohol and Philadelphia are borderline synonymous. Here is your guide for hitting all the best watering holes in the entire city of brotherly love.
Hop Sing Laundromat
Bob & Barbara’s Lounge
Teresa’s Next Door Bar
Tavern on Camac
Union Jack’s Olde Glory Pub
Bars and Philadelphia
Bars have evolved and most of all in Philadelphia. Gone are the days of stuffy rooms with bearded men and average liquor. Those days are far behind and now we have breezier, enjoyable spaces with bartenders working magic and drinking buddies who lay all their cards on the table. Bars in Philly have become drinking dens for locals and great spots for visitors to get a true Philly experience.
So where do you go when you want to experience the best bars in Philadelphia – pretty much everywhere. But okay, we will save you the trouble and point the best spots out to you. Read on to learn about them; we have separated who’s best at what to give you a better insight.
Philly’s top cocktail bars
Irwin’sCourtesy of Philadelphia InquirerCall Them Book on OpenTable TripAdvisor
Here’s a little history behind Irwin’s. The Bok building which occupies an entire block of South Philly was once a high school. Now, it is used as a creative hub for a wide range of professionals such as architects, artists, small-batch manufacturers, and fashion designers. On the 8th floor, you will find Irwin’s restaurant and bar with its unique interior design, which still features graffiti from the buildings post-school phase. We could go on and on about the chairs, rugs, and more but you are here to know about the cocktails so…
Irwin’s offers you classics such as Manhattan, Sidecar, and Negroni. They are not lacking in house specials such as the eponymous Irwin’s (honey, Old Forester, Angostura bitters, walnut) and Black Honey (Cynar, Rum, lime, cinnamon honey). They basically offer you South Philly vibes. Don’t drive to this spot because you really want to indulge and there will be nowhere to park your car.
Hop Sing LaundromatCourtesy of Philadelphia InquirerCall Them TripAdvisor
This bar doesn’t like to stand out much on the streets so the only evidence of its existence is an ornate iron door with no sign but with a bell to ring. Dress appropriately. Come with cash. Leave your phone behind and just enjoy what might be the best cocktails in town from Le and his crew.
Ranstead RoomCourtesy of Center City DistrictCall Them TripAdvisor
After locating the black doorway with the logo RR on Ranstead Street, you will enter an anteroom. There a hostess will let you in on a ‘one out, one in’ policy. Once within you will be presented with the list of cocktails. Ranstead Room is well known for its creative cocktails and bartenders who can offer you exactly what you need as long as you can utter the right keywords.
The cocktail menu does not lack on the classics and seasonal mixtures such as a winter-worthy blend of cognac, sloe gin, Madeira, lemon, Pinky & Drank, and blackberry. The bartenders consider their work as a form of art involving cynar and bitters of course.
Philly’s top bars for drinking, singing, dancing, and all-round fun
Bob & Barbara’s LoungeCourtesy of The JawnCall Them TripAdvisor
This bar has been in South Philly since 1969. It’s famous for cheap beers, live jazz, and the rowdy energy you can’t miss. Fridays or Saturdays are when you can catch the Hammond B-3 organ combo playing “Liquor Drinking Music”. Sunday nights in this dive bar feature karaoke and Thursday nights are for night drag shows and live jazz.
Doobie’s BarCourtesy of The InfatuationCall Them TripAdvisor
Are you one of those people who like to have a chat with the bartender and wholesome fun with a bunch of friends? Then you will love Doobie’s. In this bar, the bartenders don’t forget your name. They serve cocktails faster than anyone else and the beer is always cold. Doobie’s also has a bunch of board games to keep the fun going for as long as you are in.Get Directions :Hours of Operation :Mon-Tues, 2 PM-2 AM Weds, 7 PM-1 AM Thurs-Fri, 2 PM-2 AM Sat-Sun, 3 PM-2 AM
MarthaCourtesy of YelpCall Them TripAdvisor
This bar is famous for hoagies, cocktails, draft beers and wines. It’s a bar like every other regular bar. Martha offers local booze, kombucha, bocce ball, and pretty much anything that anyone would love in a bar. If you are playing it safe and have no need for surprises, Martha is your safe place.
Tattooed MomCourtesy of HappyCowCall Them TripAdvisor
It might look weird and dramatic with the display of crafts and spontaneous designs, but that doesn’t stop a crowd from going here. Tattooed Mom has it all from the food, to drinks, atmosphere, inventive cocktails, and more. It is spacious so don’t think a crowd means you would bump into people or forfeit your personal space. Vegans can have a blast here on Mondays when the bar serves veggie-heavy items for half the price from noon.
Teresa’s Next Door BarCourtesy of Teresa’s Next Door BarCall Them TripAdvisor
Everything is great here including the setting, staff, beers, and food. They have a specially curated wine list, 2 taps with intriguing brews, and lots of whiskey. Teresa’s Next Door was the semi-finalist for Outstanding Bar Program 2018 James Beard. That should give you all the comfort you need that this watering hole can be just what your heart desires.
Johnny Brenda’sCourtesy of Visit PhiladelphiaCall Them TripAdvisor
Johnny Brenda’s is recognized for awesome music. They have been a part of the Philly bar scene for over 15 years. You can easily recognize it from one of the busiest intersections in Philly. The exterior and interior give you the impression that the building hasn’t been painted in a long time but this weathered, lived-in look is part of the Philly nature of this bar.
Johnny Brenda’s is one of those institutions that seem to only get better and better with each passing year and probably somewhere older adults can look back on and remember their glory days. Johnny Brenda’s has it all. So aside from the music, there is beer on tap. You can easily find families sitting outside the bar for Sunday brunch and also music lovers/party crowds dancing on the balcony on Saturday nights.
Tavern on CamacCourtesy of Center City DistrictCall Them TripAdvisor
Tavern on Camac is located on a cobblestoned street in the Gayborhood. Its piano lounge is a major attraction for songbirds; the upstairs dance floor is busy on weekends with lots of happy people. Tavern on Camac is a magnet for a lively crowd. You can always count on the bartenders to pour your drinks strong too.
Philly’s top bars where the drinks are made at the back
Only in Philly, I tell you! What’s possibly better than knowing that you are sipping on fresh drinks made right where you are! These bars have a vibe of their own and you certainly want to dig into this.
Philadelphia DistillingCourtesy of Eater PhillyCall Them TripAdvisor
Philadelphia Distilling wasn’t always the way it is now. It was in the 1950s that the current owners got the approval to transform the place into a bar/lounge on one side, a top floor event space on the other, and behind it all a production and bottling facility. It is one of the most popular alcohol producers in Philly’s beer industry.
You can do anything from hanging out with friends to drinking. The distillery produces two Bluecoat varieties of gin, which are barrel finished and American dry. As for cocktails, they do a good job of serving seasonally driven takes on these two varieties.
Dock StreetCourtesy of The InfatuationCall Them TripAdvisor
Dock Street goes back as much as 33 years in Philadelphia producing award-winning beers and giving locals and visitors a place to hang out, drink beer, eat, and more. Dock Street guarantees you a good time at any time.
Philly’s best bars to watch sports
Bar-LyCourtesy of Visit PhiladelphiaCall Them TripAdvisor
Bar-Ly is famous for being the only sports bar in Chinatown. It’s also famous for never being boring. Bar-Ly offers dozens of taps, a rich food and drink menu, and big flat-screen TV behind the bar.
Union Jack’s Olde Glory PubCourtesy of USA RestaurantsCall Them TripAdvisor
Just like other top sports bars, Union Jack’s Olde Glory Pub gives you a chance to have a good time with friends or strangers. Dig into beer, chicken wings, and other offerings while watching the games on a big TV screen behind the bar. There is one small difference though between Union Jack’s Olde Glory Pub and other bars – it is that the bar focuses more on rugby matches and soccer.
Check out our other blogs featuring local beer gardens to who has the best Happy Hour. Also keep an eye on our Things To Do In Philly blog. We update it regularly with local info about events, parties, and other fun stuff.
- 1. Irwin’s
- 2. Hop Sing Laundromat
- 3. Ranstead Room
- 4. Bob & Barbara’s Lounge
- 5. Doobie’s Bar
- 6. Martha
- 7. Tattooed Mom
- 8. Teresa’s Next Door Bar
- 9. Johnny Brenda’s
- 10. Tavern on Camac
- 11. Philadelphia Distilling
- 12. Dock Street
- 13. Bar-Ly
- 14. Union Jack’s Olde Glory Pub