Philly's Top 50 Bars

From upscale to down home, we really know where to knock 'em back.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 76 | Posted Mar. 5, 2008

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This city loves booze. Fancy microbrews, dented cans of PBR, a snobby Merlot or a shot of Jack--we love it all. But lonely drinkers we're not. We Philadelphians go out to get our drink on because we know a good time has more to do with location than beverage. Happily, there are approximately 252,925 different bars, brewpubs, taverns and gin joints in this city. Which is exactly why you need this list. We considered everything--beer selection, food selection, clientele, service, happy hour specials, music options, decor, location, reputation, special features and ambience. Forget world peace, the election and the latest episode of American Idol. These are the things that matter. So pick your poison, and let's get on with it. (Erica Palan)

 

1. Grace Tavern

2229 Grays Ferry Ave. 215.893.9580

Just behind the beautiful dark oak bar at Grace Tavern sits a miniature grain silo stuffed with a large assortment of beer. Well, not exactly. It's an old-school refrigerator called the Bevador. The Bevador was built in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1955, and remains the shining pillar of kickass cooling technology the men and women who built it more than a half-century ago intended it to be. That it's still standing--chilling bottles of High Life, Amstel Light, Budweiser, et al.--speaks to both its magnificent craftsmanship and the dedication of some caring someone to keep her up and running over the years. It also speaks to the unfailing attention to detail with which the folks at Grace approach their establishment. That observant eye extends to every square inch of the Grays Ferry bar's tiny, cozy interior. The ceiling and walls are covered in an elegant, understated architectural tin tile. An old gas heater by the door glows blue; an old Ballantine beer ad shines on the wall just under a TV. Together, they give Grace the feel of an era gone by, cast off by a distinct people-have-been-drinking-here-for-eons vibe despite its having been open only three years. Of course the ambience would matter little if the food and drink were subpar. Both impress. They pour a perfect pint of Guinness at Grace. They cook their blackened green beans al dente. Jambalaya, po' boys, sausages: delicious, all. They even take the time to grill the bread each is served with. And you can eat this good stuff all night, since the kitchen pumps out food till 2 a.m. It doesn't get much more perfect than Grace. Put simply, it's the best bar in Philadelphia. Stop by and pay the Bevador its proper respect.

 




2. N. Third

801 N. Third St. 215.413.3666. www.norththird.com

Even though owner Mark's been a busy Bee, having revamped Silk City into its current retropolitan splendor, he hasn't forgotten N. Third. Where else can you look at dried piranhas hanging from the ceiling, pretend Tuaca is a proper cordial or mop up the best sausage gravy and biscuit breakfast, all under a huge eagle and without feeling rushed?

 


 

3. Good Dog Bar

224 S. 15th St. 215.985.9600. www.gooddogbar.com

Come for the signature Roquefort-stuffed Good Dog burger or Wednesday nights' half-priced cans. Sit in the cozy high-backed booths or, if you've got a big group, at one of the coveted tables upstairs. Stay for the happy hipster waitstaff, the Johnny Goodtimes quizzo or "Philly's only Internet jukebox" (though the coolest cats prefer the Pac-Man on the third floor). A drinkers' bar for foodies, the self-proclaimed "baddest bitch in town" has you covered on both sides of the aisle. The kitchen, helmed by gastropub wunderkind Jessica O'Donnell, is open till 1 a.m.--so you can enjoy fries with your PBR pounder till the wee hours of the morning, doggie-style.

 


 



4. Sugar Mom's

225 Church St. 215.925.8219. www.myspace.com/sugarmoms

A hidden island in the awful sea of Old City, Sugar Mom's has two things going for it: an arcade corner and multiple seating options. Pinball and a standup Ms. Pac-Man beat video poker any day, and the difference between resting your ass on a couch, a stool or a bumper car is astounding. Seriously, there are a lot of freakin' seats, so Sugar Mom's can handle folks who like to drink with their friends, their friends' friends and their friends' friends' moms. Plus, you can smoke inside, so if that MILF sucks down a pack of Virginia Slims a day, you're golden.

 


5. McMenamin's Tavern

7170 Germantown Ave. 215.247.9920

For one, McMenamin's has the best damn bar food. And we're not just talkin' buffalo wings, burgers and mozzarella sticks. We're talkin' pistachio-crusted tilapia, Irish beef stew and spinach-and-cheese ravioli. And it's all ridiculously cheap. This cozy Mt. Airy gem also has a long and impressive list of beers on tap. For those who prefer something besides stouts, we recommend the big-glass margaritas. The staff remembers faces. The crowd is inviting. There's always a game on. And there's free parking right next door. Life gets no better.

 


 

 

 

6. Standard Tap

901 N. Second St. 215.238.0630. www.standardtap.com

This two-story corner bar is the perfect middle ground between the hipster hangs to the north and the Old City frat traps just south of its NoLibs location. Built by former Sam Adams brewmaster William Reed and his partner Paul Kimport, the Tap has all the features of a cozy neighborhood pub but the menu of a full restaurant. The front door is adorned with taps of all varieties including a totally memorable door handle made from a brass pipe. A chalkboard displays the completely homegrown beer selection, and knowledgeable bartenders can (and do!) answer all beverage-related questions.

 



7. Royal Tavern

937 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.389.6694. www.royaltavern.com

Universally and righteously praised as one of the best burgers in town, the royal with cheese comes with a succulently carcinogenic coating, bacon, cheese and a greasy long hot pepper on top. The Tavern has graduated from vibing as Standard Tap South to its own rightful place as a cozy nook. The only downsides are that you've got to start early if you want a seat, because it fills up fast, and the service at brunch can be, shall we graciously say, European-style. But if you have all day, and ya know you do, go for it.

 


8. For Pete's Sake

900 S. Front St. 215.462.2230. www.forpetessakepub.com

With a beer menu that's more church bulletin than Bible, and a clientele of QV yups and scrappy unioneers ordering everything from lager to Dupont Saison, this redbrick Queen Village pub emphasizes quality over quantity. Taps are a well-chosen mix of Irish, Belgian and American brewers--Allagash, Yuengling and Chimay are mainstays--with a few surprises like the rouge keg of Kwak, a tawny 8 percent Belgian with notes of maple and vanilla. They stock a respectable selection of Irish whiskies, and their modern pub menu is no afterthought, from the scallion-flecked creamy potato soup to the smoked-in-house pulled pork sandwich too big for its bun.

 



9. Oscar's Tavern

1524 Sansom St. 215.972.9938

Let's see, the ceiling is caked with the brown ick of a few decades' worth of tobacco smoke; the clientele are salt-of-the-earth blue-collar types who could drink Bukowski under the table; and it's the home of the $3 honker, a 23-ounce pour of refreshingly cold lager or Pabst. If the top three most critically important aspects of any good bar are 1) ambience, 2) a polite and efficient waitstaff and 3) the ability to buy a round of drinks for friends with a $10 bill, Oscar's has all its bases covered. This place is a bar. It's a beautiful thing. Oh, and bonus, it's two doors down from PW's office.

 



10. Raven Lounge

1718 Sansom St. 215.840.3577. www.ravenlounge.com

A true hideaway amid the neighboring business bars and well-loved dives, the Raven Lounge's brick-backed bar and brightly colored walls make the space feel both cozy and cool without trying too hard. Board games scattered on the tables don't hurt either. Spend happy hour playing kid-classic Connect Four or new-school fave Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Or show up later for quizzo with an edge--sponsored by Brave New World Comics. A rotating crew of DJs spin Thursday through Sunday, with the occasional live music act, including local acoustic artist Benjamin Tinsley.



11. Bob and Barbara's
1509 South St. 215.545.4511

There are some dive bars that feel like lies--dive in name only. You order a microbrew, overpay for an innocuous jukebox pick, and feel safely cutting-edge surrounded by likeminded folks and a bathroom so clean you could lick its porcelain. Thank heaven Bob and Barbara's is nothing like that. The place hasn't been quite the same since house bandleader Nate Wiley passed, but there's still plenty of slightly scuzzy merrymaking from all walks of life--the Crowd Pleasers' gentlemanly jazz, the long-running Thursday drag show and the legendary Citywide Special--PBR and a shotta Beam, if you dare.


12. Southwark Restaurant
701 S. Fourth St. 215.238.1888. www.southwarkrestaurant.com

Fact: Kip Waide, co-owner and barkeep extraordinaire at Southwark, shakes up the best goddamn Manhattan in town. It's a cathedral of safety in a dangerous world, a classic cocktail bar for connoisseurs and amateurs alike. You couldn't get through the 20-plus rye collection in three sittings without medical attention. Bonus for people who consume solids: It's not often an Old World bar comes attached to a progressive, full-service, farmer-friendly restaurant. The restaurant, run by Kip's wife Sheri Waide, impeccably plates sophisticated twists on bistro classics under the same roof as all those golden dreams. You can go for the clams in dried chili butter broth, and stay for the digestifs and George the bartender's jokes.

 


Map: Philly's Top 50 Bars


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Map courtesy of Travis Hoppe

13. Dawson Street Pub
100 Dawson St. 215.482.5677. www.dawsonstreetpub.com

 

If you're going to wind up in Manayunk some night--and really, that kind of masochistic bender can happen to anyone--cushion the blow at the Dawson if you're more Chevrolet than jetset. There's a healthy slew of microbrews for ale snobs, a ratty-couched lounge and pool table for competitive slackers. And you can always find a friendly soul to bum a butt from on the patio. Wednesday nights are an informal half-open-mike scene that has that band-in-the-living-room vibe: You know who only a few of these cats are, but who cares? More pressingly, how the hell are you gonna get home?


14. Monk's Belgian Café
626 S. 16th St. 215.545.7005. www.monkscafe.com

A beer aficionado's wet dream, Monk's features the most extensive and delicious collection of rarities, microbrews and barley wines in the city. One of the bar's greatest claims to fame is its astoundingly diverse beer bible, which guides curious patrons to the perfect brew for their palate. Not surprisingly, the well-loved Belgian brewpub respects its beer--and its clientele--by offering smart cheese, fruit and sausage pairings to bring out the full flavor of each pint. Visit Monk's this week for Philly Beer Week festivities, including tasting events and meet-and-greets with brewers from around the world. Just don't get caught ordering a Miller Lite.

15. Dark Horse Pub
421 S. Second St. 215.928.9307. www.darkhorsepub.com

There's beer and soccer for starters. And the not-too-posh proper pub food. And it's a real Irish pub. Meaning it's utterly indistinguishable from an English, Scottish or Welsh pub--and miles from those plastic-Paddy chains with fake memorabilia, fake Irish beers and a fake Gaelic name. The beer isn't top-notch microbrewed ale, but that's a good thing. Because if it were, the Dark Horse would be heaven on earth. If you haven't been served proper beer by properly surly (but devastatingly efficient) bar staff in a pub packed with savagely partisan, singing, stomping, cursing, roaring international soccer fans, you haven't really been in a pub.

 


16. Silk City
435 Spring Garden St. 215.592.8838. www.silkcitydiner.com

Long before there was the Barbary or Johnny Brenda's, there was Silk City. The grime-encrusted lounge that hosted assorted bands and fledgling dance-driven DJ parties was for years the neon-lit cornerstone of Philly nightlife's northward migration. With cheap or no covers, mixed crowds and cheap plates of gravy-soaked french fries to be had in the classic silver-bullet diner next door, Silk City was a destination dive. So it could've been risky business when NoLibs' man-about-the-neighborhood Mark Bee took over two years ago, gutting Silk's insides, applying a mosaic-laced carnie-boudoir makeover in the lounge, and switching to a bougie-comfort-food menu in the diner. Despite the redo, Silk has kept its laid-back, anything-cool-goes religion. And its hard-partying congregation--it's still home to top-notch, only-in-Philly parties like the Thursday night Mo Money No Problems and Monday's Back 2 Basics.

17. Johnny Brenda's
1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com

When Fishtown became known as the official hipster hive, Johnny Brenda's was there to be the hipster bar. On a Saturday night you can eye the finest fixed-gear bikes the city has to offer locked up out front. Go for a look at equally diverse and ridiculous facial hair, from Fu Manchus to mutton chops. Since the second floor opened last year as a venue, it's also been the place to see up-and-coming bands without sneaking your booze in a paper bag. Oh, and the pulled pork and ham sandwiches are delicious.

18. Fiume
229 S. 45th St.

A signless room above the Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia, Fiume has gained a reputation for its Citywide Specials--both the $3 PBR and whiskey combo and their Thursday night bluegrass band. The popularity of the music nights--Sunday and Wednesday also feature bands--make it nearly impossible to find a spot even to stand in, so go on an off night. While in any other bar this would be intolerable, such tight quarters have just the opposite effect here, creating one of the friendliest bars around. The pure West Philly crowd means you can come in alone, start off talking to a grad student about neuroscience and end the night in a sing-along with your new crust-punk friends.

19. Vintage
Wine Bar & Bistro 129 S. 13th St. 215.922.3095. www.vintage-philadelphia.com

From the wall of crosshatched corks to the Vin Marshall chandelier of empty bottles, Vintage isn't ashamed to wear its tastes on its sleeve. The 80-by-bottle, 60-by-glass wine list at this Midtown Village grape escape is smartly composed by sommelier Delphine Evenchik, who co-owns Vintage with hubby Jason, and features an interesting, super-affordable selection. We dig the choices from the "Unusual and Exciting" section, such as apricotty Covey Run Gew�rztraminer and berrylicious Colle dei Venti Dolcetto D'Alba, generously poured from a state-of-the-art Cuvinet without any of the pomp or pretense served up at other so-called wine bars. Ask the bartender for pairing suggestions to go along with Vintage's brasserie menu of pates, cheeses and one hell of an Angus burger.

20. Fergie's Pub
1214 Sansom St. 215.928.8118. www.fergies.com

Few bars define Center City like the flagship of the Fergus Carey empire. Philly's best quizzo (sorry, Johnny Goodtimes) on Tuesday and Thursday nights feels very all-for-one-and-one-for-all, while still being suitably competitive. The top-notch staff, meanwhile, embody Fergie's everybody-knows-your-name conviviality, without the exclusionary feeling that you have to be a member to get in. And beyond the great burgers, better fries and best-of-all chili, Fergie's is among the most artist-friendly bars in town, regularly hosting theater events, art happenings, solid open-mikes and of course traditional Irish music Saturdays.

21. North Star
27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488. www.northstarbar.com

Classifying the North Star is no easy task. One part dingy local watering hole and one part kickass music venue, the bright pink Fairmount bar has become a staple in Philly's music scene and in its rapidly gentrifying 'hood. Open since 1981--though it closed briefly and changed hands before reopening in 2000--North Star gives a big fuck you to the overly popular Citywide Special, and offers a way better alternative, featuring a happy hour with half off all pints and well liquor with 25-cent wings "eight days a week." And that whole music thing? Yeah. That's pretty awesome too.


22. Moriarty's Restaurant and Irish Pub
1116 Walnut St. 215.627.7676. www.moriartyspub.com

Though it's best known for ginormous buffalo wings, Moriarty's offers more than the same old spicy fowl offered at just about every other establishment on this list (and in the world). Gorgeous stained wood and walls adorned with cute colloquialism plaques make the whole place feel homey and warm, while Guinness served by bartenders with (presumably) authentic brogues gives this Center City bar the feel of a low-key Irish pub.


23. Tattooed Mom
530 South St. 215.238.9880. www.myspace.com/tattooed_mom

There are loads of reasons to hang at Tattooed Mom (kitschy decor, Woodchuck Pear Cider, Taco Tuesdays, dirt-cheap pierogies and grab-bag toys on the tables), but all of those fall flat if the condiment basket's removed from the equation. There's ketchup, Grey Poupon, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce, nectar from the gods and liquid crack. Makes anything taste better. Even South Street. Nestled in the midst of the outdoor mall, Mom's is the perfect/only spot for a friendly nibble and cold one before Fluid or after a show at the Fillmore at the TLA.


24. Atlantis: The Lost Bar
2442 Frankford Ave. 215.739.4929

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 76 of 76
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1. Big Laur said... on May 2, 2008 at 12:17PM

“This was a pretty good list - but you missed Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk. By the looks of the place, you'd never guess how incredible the food is. They change the menu and the taps every week to keep it fresh. Not only that, but you can play shuffleboard, pool or darts. Old Eagle is at Markle & Terrace streets.”

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2. THE MAYOR said... on May 17, 2008 at 08:53PM

“This paper has inspired me to start a photoblog of Philly to share my thoughts. When In Philly... http://www.wheninphilly.com”

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3. Craig said... on May 17, 2008 at 09:53PM

“This paper has inspired me to start a photoblog of Philly to share my thoughts. When In Philly... http://www.wheninphilly.com”

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4. Miguel said... on Jul 19, 2008 at 03:55PM

“I think Race St. Cafe should be added to the list. The wood furnace in the winter, the good menu, and cozy environment all make for a great drink on the town. May be too close to Old City for some, but think this one passes muster.”

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5. beatty042801 said... on Jul 24, 2008 at 03:11AM

“I second the comment on the Race street Cafe. Great food, great atmosphere and a great beer selection.”

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6. Tracey said... on Aug 7, 2008 at 06:08PM

“I've frequented Sugarmom's for over twelve years and have never been more insulted as I have been tonight. I use to think their "dirty basement" feel and grumpy service was campy until this incident. I ordered a veggie burger and fries while making small talk with the bartender... about 45 minutes later, I have to go up to the bar to inquire about said order (probably sitting there for a good ten minutes)... i go back to my seat and am very unimpressed with the look of the veggie burger sans the fries (that were a part of the order)... i take one bite and realize that is is a full on meat burger...i take the order back and tell the bartender mentioned above that I received the wrong burger (already paid for) as well as missing fries...i then asked for my money back and he became irate with me.... i explained why and he bellowed profanities towards me. It was the strangest, most uninviting experience I have ever had at a bar...I will never go back there...”

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7. Adam said... on Sep 12, 2008 at 06:20AM

“Eulogy? Anyone? Eulogy?”

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8. THE MAYOR said... on Dec 3, 2008 at 08:30PM

“THIS IS THE WORST LIST OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REMEMBER THE PEOPLE IN THE NORTHEAST RUN THE CITY! WE PAY THE CITY TAX OUT OF THE WHOLE CITY.GREY LODGE AND 3 MONKEYS? COME ON!!!!! DO YOU NEED A TRANSFER TO GET PASS BRIDGE ST?????????????????????? ”

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9. Jake said... on Dec 13, 2008 at 11:42AM

“Last night was my first night at Grace Tavern. I have to say Rees and his staff do a great job. I have to be honest and say I don't go to the city all that much but I will be going back there for sure. Good food and a great atmosphere. People there are very friendly. Rees great establishment! No wonder they are the #1 bar in Philly”

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10. Brian said... on Jan 15, 2009 at 03:36PM

“I think you should look at the Happy Roster. A nice little dive bar and the food is OK. 16th and Sansom.”

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11. GB said... on Feb 9, 2009 at 01:48PM

“Flatrock is an excellent bar. Nothing but awesome brews and even better food. Probably hands down the best bar food i've ever had.........always hand cut fries, must have (huge n hot) wings ( in my top 5). The specials are always kickin'”

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12. Anita said... on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:03AM

“I've really been enjoying St. Steven's Green on 17th and Green. www.saintstephensgreen.com There is quality and care in the food, there's a very nice selection of imports and domestic brews on tap and bottle and the service is friendly and prompt. Additionally, it has a warm cozy atmosphere with a nice fireplace. It also offers outside seating when the weather permits. They also do a very good brunch. ”

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13. Anita said... on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:04AM

“Eulogy is okay. I still prefer to go to Monks. ”

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14. Chris said... on Feb 24, 2009 at 01:05PM

“You had two bars listed at headhouse square and somehow didn't list The Artful Dodger. Terrific food, excellent beer selection (where only locals are on tap) and great service, especially from the owner who is quick to befriend regulars. A real "neighborhood" bar. As a resident at 2nd and Pine for years it puts the Dark Horse to shame. Xochitl has terrific margarita's (no mix, just fresh limes and booze) and authentic micheladas, along with knowledgable bartenders and terrific food (though $$$) but if you can't sit at the bar there isn't much standing room at the upstairs bar. Good Dog is an all time bar and the Collar should be much higher as well.”

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15. violet said... on Apr 10, 2009 at 12:39PM

“i realize this list was published before they opened, but i would think both Local 44 + Memphis Taproom would now top this list. Local has the best beer list I've ever seen...and both serve great food.”

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16. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2009 at 02:47PM

“Where is Monk's? This list is a joke.”

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17. netty said... on Apr 17, 2009 at 07:26AM

“Where is The Devil's Den? Erin & Scott run a wonderful place, where the staff is knowledgable & friendly. Their 16 draft lines change so quickly that a new , fresh beer is almost a given. The beer list in both bottles & drafts is quite extensive, now they offer growlers too. The happy hour is the best in the city ( 1/2 price drafts). I think you really need to rethink your list.”

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18. Rob from OZ said... on Apr 23, 2009 at 09:06PM

“Hi - heading to Philly for one night only from Australia & need some advice. Staying in Market St - would like to find a couple of good bars - hopefully some live music & friendly locals.

Any suggestions to rob.barrett at g mail dot com”

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19. bunny said... on May 20, 2009 at 10:30AM

“Yeah, the N.E. is known for its opulence of pubs and bars. From the entire list, I only saw one N.E.-based place. C'mon. Somebody didn't look hard enough. represent, don't disrespect”

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20. So What, Want to Fight About It? said... on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:39AM

“I think the Kite and Key could sneak in next year. Beer on Tap/Behind the bar is extensive, and the food is very good. When the weather is right, the outside seating/beer garden is very nice too. It's off the beaten path (callowhill and 19th streets), so the publishers of this list should like that.”

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21. whatchu talkin bout willis said... on Sep 3, 2009 at 03:07PM

“No Local 44??? Fiume?? World Cafe Live?? Dock Street?...........that map only has 3 points west of the schuylkill......'freal?”

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22. whatchu talkin bout willis said... on Sep 3, 2009 at 03:10PM

“ok ok my bad my bad, I see fiume on the list. i passed right by it without even seeing it...just like how it is in real life!!!!”

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23. Newspaper guy said... on Sep 23, 2009 at 08:18AM

“What about Westy's at 15th and Callowhill. That bar has been in the city for over 60 years. That is a true testament to Philadelphia tradition”

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24. WTB said... on Oct 5, 2009 at 07:01PM

“coming to your fine city this weekend, staying atthe Park Hyatt, any good bars in that area that one would recommend?? within walking distance mind you...thanks”

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25. Daniel Denvir said... on Oct 7, 2009 at 04:45PM

“McGlinchey's is a serious omission.”

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26. Pistol Pete said... on Oct 13, 2009 at 06:29AM

“Eulogy Tavern and Monk's cafe are atop my list. Monks is better if you want to sit down and eat, but I could sit at Eulogy all night and drink. The bartender remembered my wife and I every time since our first visit, whick was very surprising cause we're pretty quiet. 5 Stars for both, just some good freakin beer.”

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27. José said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 01:43PM

“Grey Lodge Rules! Scoats runs a great place, with a great selection of beer, and above average food at a great price. The bartenders are great too, from Pat, Pat, Bill, Duzer, Frank, and Corrina. Friday the Firkenteenth Rocks!!!!!”

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28. mimi said... on Dec 12, 2009 at 09:42PM

“I need a place to go for a drink must be reserve but friendly.Iam a older women and still like to go out.”

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29. Anonymous said... on Dec 14, 2009 at 01:05PM

“This list is pathetic! Youve gotta be kidding that the grace and fergies would beat even its sister bars of nodding head and belgian cafe, let alone places like the devils den or beneluxx. Dock St. also needs a mention. And while monks has a good beer selection, it always smells like my a$$, and im getting tired of the consistently unfriendly wait staff. Fergies also smells bad and the girl that took over quizo from Pat has the most shrill annoying voice ever. The Grace as the best bar in philly? I doubt itd even make my top 50.”

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30. rebecca said... on Dec 15, 2009 at 01:44AM

“hell yes, mcmenamin's! was my neighborhood bar till i moved to san francisco last year! wonderful bar..”

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31. Anonymous said... on Jan 5, 2010 at 09:44PM

“Check out earls at 23th synder Or Sit On It At 19th & miffland sts, What about these bars?”

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32. Krunch said... on Feb 17, 2010 at 12:41PM

“I used to love Dirty Franks back in the day. Is that bar still there at 11th and Pine?”

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33. skylar said... on Feb 19, 2010 at 01:20PM

“I agree with the comment about SUGAR MOM's bar. I was visiting Philadelphia and unfortunately chose this bar to go to my first night here. The entire work staff disappointed me and the food was so-so at best. I had heard this was a cool bar, with a hip clientele; what I found instead was a bunch of poseurs who think they can be wankers to just about anyone who isn't working there. Perhaps it's changed over the years... Heard that from someone about TATTOOED MOM's, too. BTW, went to both GRACE's Tavern and JOHNNY BRENDA'S and they were excellent at redeeming philadelphia's bar knosh and music scene.”

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34. MadScience said... on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:03PM

“Wanted to let everyone know about a project website I recently created.

www.BestPhillyBars.com

I intended this to be a resource for the people - so be sure to let me know what you think..

Thanks!

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35. jthomp said... on Mar 5, 2010 at 07:30PM

“Grace Tavern is terrible. Food is awful, drinks are flat, and service is even worse. Last time I was there, I was served a lager that tasted like it had been left out overnight and my food was room temperature. Then the barback/server, I'll just call him "Grandpa Ponytail", gave me shit for complaining about it. More like "Fallen from Grace Tavern" -- right off this list.

Resurrection Ale House down the street is a great alternative with great food and even better beer selection.”

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36. the notorious one said... on Apr 1, 2010 at 01:35AM

“the raven lounge gets people drunk then overcharges them. those scumbags!”

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37. MixedDrinker said... on Apr 27, 2010 at 12:33AM

“My friend n i r 22 n we dont want to go to a bar we can find ppl that r primarily our parents age. Which bars tend to have more of a college crowd?”

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38. Derek Musician said... on May 17, 2010 at 02:50AM

“Devil's Den
1148 S 11th St | At Ellsworth St”

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39. scott said... on May 17, 2010 at 12:40PM

“Let's get a 2010 list going! I vote Mc Crosan"s on 21 off Hamilton.”

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40. LLOYD said... on May 19, 2010 at 01:25PM

“Any list that identifies Sugar Mom's as an island in a sea of old city awfulness, and doesn't mention Sassafras, is dubious at best.”

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41. Mike said... on May 21, 2010 at 07:46PM

“Great list. May I add Quotations in Media? Nice beer list and very good prices. Also, the blackened grouper sandwich is really nice.”

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42. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 09:36AM

“where is ROYAL TAVERN? you put the dive on the list, which PLEASE, visitors, if you're reading this list... walk a couple of doors down and go to ROYAL. You'll be glad you did. And what about New Wave Cafe??”

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43. Jeux de moto said... on May 30, 2010 at 09:57AM

“I think the Kite and Key could sneak in next year. Beer on Tap/Behind the bar is extensive, and the food is very good. When the weather is right, the outside seating/beer garden is very nice too. It's off the beaten path (callowhill and 19th streets), so the publishers of this list should like that.”

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44. Psych-A-Billy said... on Jun 14, 2010 at 10:15AM

“DIRTY FRANK'S!”

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45. grace hater6969 said... on Jun 17, 2010 at 08:18PM

“grace number 1? gimme an effing break. the food is good i'll give you that but if you don't have 18 whack tats to show off or hipster glasses service will be bad. OVER-RATED”

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46. Anonymous said... on Jun 20, 2010 at 12:31AM

“Grace's is hot and stale. Two drink max despite the good beer list”

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47. Gin & Bear It said... on Jul 22, 2010 at 01:25PM

“How could Mako's not make this list?”

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48. Anonymous said... on Sep 1, 2010 at 05:56PM

“This list is bogus!! How did they miss the Cock & Bulls at 9th/Market or Eli's Toolbox on Lombard st. by Rittenhouse Square?? Try the wings at C&B's or the footlong hot dogs at the Toolbox. They're to die for!”

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49. Ms Kellunge said... on Sep 2, 2010 at 04:42PM

“Wha...? No Paddy's?”

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50. Anonymous said... on Sep 7, 2010 at 04:26PM

“Misconduct ought to hire a bartender; cannot get a drink at that furniture store bar wannabe.”

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51. lauren said... on Sep 8, 2010 at 03:53AM

“not a great list.. no way is grace tavern #1. the servers are rude and there really isn't a great beer selection. i'd bump POPE and Sidecar up and add Beneluxx, Devil's Den, Hawthorne's and a few others.”

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52. Anonymous said... on Oct 29, 2010 at 07:46PM

“I will agree with the other opinions that Grace Tavern is overrated. Rude and obnoxious staff. Went there on the opinion of last year's Top 50 bar list, got treated like shit. Also, I'll second that the Artful Dodger should be on this list.”

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53. Rino6 said... on Jan 28, 2011 at 03:45PM

“The person who judged these bars is a total chooch. These places all suck!”

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54. Anonymous said... on Feb 3, 2011 at 06:45PM

“Some pretty decent selections, but I think you gotta check out this joint called Gojjo on 45th nd Baltimore. Theres a pretty chill crowd, fairly diverse, and the cheap beer rocks lol... Definitely one of my fav in the area...”

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55. Joey Kaiser said... on Feb 10, 2011 at 03:54AM

“I think "The Memphis Taproom" at Memphis and Cumberland streets should be on that list. great food, huge selection, wonderful atmosphere and service.”

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56. ShowUsYourBars said... on Mar 10, 2011 at 08:13PM

“Living in Philadelphia we're blessed with an array of different bars, pubs, lounges, taverns, and clubs. In reference to a few showing on this list, Silk City is a great spot to get your dance on, Oscar's fits every stereotype that you love about a dive bar, and Good Dog surprisingly makes one of the best burgers in town. To see what local Philadelphians are saying about these 50 spots, as well as, other Philadelphia bars then check out this new site: www.showusyourbars.com

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57. andrew said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:29PM

“South Philadelphia Tap Room

Locust Bar

These made the list and Devils Den didnt? Crazy talk!”

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58. MyDogChunk said... on Sep 24, 2011 at 06:54PM

“Dear PW Staff, These are fine bars but you, obviously, have never been to the El Bar.”

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59. andrewkn said... on Oct 24, 2011 at 07:05PM

“Devils den has over 200 different bottles. 16 rotating taps from stouts to ciders. A firkin tap. Growlers. Its rated 1# happy hour bar in the city by Philly Beer Scene. Game specials. One of the twelve stops on the craft beer express.

Not in the top 50 bars on this list.”

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60. Anonymous said... on Nov 10, 2011 at 05:03PM

“Omitting Devil's Den makes this list irrelevant.”

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61. Anonymous said... on Nov 15, 2011 at 07:14AM

“This list is out of date and is missing some significant places to enjoy. The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is a must.”

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62. Anonymous said... on Nov 16, 2011 at 08:27AM

“Locust Rendevous...Cheap drinks, cheap great food, great waitstaff.”

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63. Anonymous said... on Feb 16, 2012 at 04:20PM

“To the Artful Dodger , your food made me sick for three days !I should report you to the board of Health !!! I will NEVER come back again !!! Not even for a free drink !!”

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64. Betty Ross said... on Feb 26, 2012 at 10:20AM

“where is The Arts Garage on this list? It is by far on of the best bars in the City .... if you don't believe me, do a recount (new survey).”

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65. Anonymous said... on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:01AM

“Turning 21 next Wednesday...where should I go? Granted, Wednesday nights probably aren't the most exciting, but I'd like to go to a place with a younger crowd. Any suggestions?”

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66. Julia Callahan said... on Apr 29, 2012 at 07:13PM

“Can somebody send me a similar article to this one but for the best BUCKS COUNTY bars, lounges and nightclubs?”

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67. MixedUpMixerMan said... on Jul 10, 2012 at 07:21PM

“I just hope that whatever bars I go to in Philly, none of the whining, obnoxious, crybaby-dickbags who posted their holier than thou/full of shit opinions above are there. What a bunch of pretentious assholes. Any 'best of' lists are open to interpretation. There's no need for all the abuse. A collective STFU/Go fuck yourselves to all the haters.”

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68. Anonymous said... on Jul 20, 2012 at 03:03PM

“Prohibition is awesome on 13th & Spring Garden

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69. Joe McD said... on Aug 30, 2012 at 07:02PM

“My favorite bar is Prohibition Taproom. Great food, great beer selection, and friendly staff. Located just south of 13th & Spring Garden Strreet.”

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70. Ms.Prestiani said... on Mar 1, 2013 at 12:05PM

“In case you go barhoppingwith POTUS”

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71. Anonymous said... on Apr 9, 2013 at 08:13AM

“I must say I worked at two places named as 2nd and 8th place whoever wrote this up must've missed a ton of places that are not only bar's, one place I enjoy is Blue Martini classy and wonderful atmosphere.
For the person who said NORTHEAST people pay TAXES for old City must've forget EVERYONE everywhere who pays taxes PAYS for all area's. Being a resident for 34 years in MAY FAIR paying taxes since I was 16 never seen someone say such stupid stuff because the bar of your choice is not listed! How do you type in the search bar; Best bar's in OLD CITY then ask why bar's in in other area's are not listed? We all have Google, type in the area you prefer and then complain if the bar is not listed! I'll continue to work as a bartender in Old City as well as a blogger for BBA (BEST BAR'S AROUND)!
Another favorite bar, Sister's they have good food, djs on weekends, great atmosphere, two floors and price is right! Yes it is known as a gay pride bar, straight & married I still have a blast.”

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72. Amy said... on Oct 31, 2013 at 08:35AM

“What about BIRRA, on Morris and E. Passyunk!??!!! It's a sin to see this place isn't recognize more often! Their food is always good, and there's always something new to try. Beer selection is always on point and let's not forget the staff..... From Chef Pauly and his gang in the kitchen to the most fun bartenders, Smoochie, Brian, and Ruben!! Mix these guys with all the locals that you can see on a weekly, if not nightly, basis and its the perfect combo of a relaxing fun night out on the Avenue!”

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73. Anonymous said... on Dec 23, 2013 at 11:16AM

“Hey Guys - You left out the Las Vegas Lounge on Chestnut and 7th. They offer 20oz craft beers for cheap.”

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74. Runner Girl said... on Jan 9, 2014 at 12:00AM

“Great list of Philly pride in its hootch spots. One more classic to add, though on South Street (ick), is Copa on 4th Street in QV. Best magarita's that will put you OUT, made with real fresh-squeezed lime juice, and awesome shoestring Copa fries. Happy Hangover!”

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75. Anonymous said... on Mar 8, 2014 at 06:21PM

“Everyone forgets the land of Mummery good ole bars on two street . O jungs, Mcdaniels,Mckennas

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76. Lisa said... on Sep 5, 2014 at 09:01AM

“Recently I found a cheap sexy lingerie website www.allure-lingerie.com, you can try. .”

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