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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On the border between Kensington and Fishtown, Lost Bar is in disputed territory. Serving up the Citywide Special (beer and a shot for $3), and located right across from the Philadelphia Brewing Company, Lost Bar will soon offer plenty of cheap and delicious PBC pints. Plus, there's a mesmerizing fish tank behind the bar, making it the perfect place to go when you want to only pretend to listen to what the guy sitting next to you is saying.

25. Belgian Cafe
21st and Green sts. 215.235.3500. www.thebelgiancafe.com

Sure the 'Mount has its share of perfectly fine drinking establishments and watering holes--Bridgid's, Green Room, Rose Tattoo, Bishop's Collar, not to mention newcomers Urban Saloon and St. Stephen's Green--but the Belgian Cafe stomps them all. A collaboration between Philly beer/bar mavens Tom Peters (Monk's Caf�, No. 14) and Fergus Carey (Fergie's, No. 20; Grace Tavern, No. 1), local expectations ran high when it was announced last year that a Belgian-style bar would be coming our way. If you're not from the neighborhood, there's not much to draw you to Belgian Cafe that you won't find elsewhere--just a great selection of (mostly) Belgian beers; decent, well-priced food (every 'hood needs a burger-and-mussels joint); and a clean and friendly bar that's not too fussy, not too boring, but--like the large paintings of soft naked ladies that decorate the dining room--somehow magically just right.


26. Greeks
39 Haverford Ave., Narberth. 610.664.8655. www.narberthpa.com/TheGreeks

You live in the 'burbs and want to have a few pops at a joint with character, you're pretty much out of luck. The Main Line in particular is dotted with faceless sterile bars in generic environs. There are exceptions--McCloskey's and Guillanes, belly to belly in Ardmore, come to mind. But the place with the most character (and the most resident characters) is the Greeks, a woodsy ramshackle no-frills bar-with-booths and good honest food located in the heart of Narberth. Most of the time the demographic mix is classic parish picnic--all ages, all sizes, all degrees of smart. (Former Sixers coach Larry Brown is a semiregular drop by.) But at night the lights dim and the place gets kind of sexy in a 1959 suburban-noir kind of way.

27. Barbary
951 Frankford Ave. www.myspace.com/thenewbarbary

If you're in the mood for intimate conversation, well-crafted cocktails or edibles of any kind, forget the Barbary. But if you wanna dance, you've found your spot. Less than six months old, the Barbary has quickly become the one-stop shop for those looking to get sweaty. DJ nights include Turnaround vs. Immediate (soul 'n' stuff), Michael Madonna Prince (Pop with a capital P), Broadzilla back from Sal's (blog bangers) and Spank Rock's weekly Jang House. Drinks are cheap, the refracted disco light makes anyone look and feel like a Daft Punk robot, and the photo booth's cool for taking a breather from the soundsystem.

28. Abbaye
637 N. Third St. 215.627.6711

To celebrate his 35th birthday in 2005, Rich Bruder started a band. But more important than just having a band, Bruder wanted the ability to perform in front of people. So he talked to the folks at the Abbaye, the homey corner bar/restaurant in Northern Liberties. "They're all my friends who work here," Bruder says. They let him play despite having no training or experience, and very little practice. It's that kind of place. On a daily basis the burgundy-colored room with art-covered walls is packed with neighborhood locals like Bruder, eating bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwiches or seitan cheesesteaks, and quaffing fine Belgian beers. "There's a comfort level," Bruder says. "I got attracted to that and never left."

29 Sidecar Bar & Grille
2201 Christian St. 215.732.3429. www.THEsidecarbar.com

Arguably the friendliest bar in Philadelphia, Sidecar will make you feel welcome whether you're just grabbing a six-pack to go or plan to claim your stool for the whole night. Located just far enough from Broad Street to feel off the beaten path, this South Philly treasure may be teensy-tiny when it comes to space, but its beer selection is enormous, with drafts changing weekly. With a Cajun-inspired dinner menu featuring mouthwatering handmade sausages, Sidecar offers more than just atmosphere.


30. Locust Bar
235 S. 10th St. 215.925.2191

No frills, quality beer, good crowd, tasty food, decent prices. That describes a lot of bars, but none more than Locust Bar. The L-shaped space gets a little crowded at times, but despite its popularity, the place rarely feels stuffy or cramped. It has just the right selection of amenities and events--quizzo, karaoke and arcade bowling to name a few. Despite the bar's constant flood of hipsters, it also feels like a neighborhood bar your grandfather went to.


31. Bards
2013 Walnut St. 215.569.9585. www.bardsirishbar.com

Imagine a Dublin taproom packed with red-nosed regulars with whiskey-soaked brogues. That fantasy is the most accurate representation of the Bards you'll find on this side of the Atlantic. A true Irish pub swimming in a sea of shamrock-soaked imitations, the Bards avoids the gimmicks with classier decor. Think shillelaghs instead of four-leaf clovers, and Irish tribal drums instead of orange-green-and-white flags. Besides encouraging pint after pint of Guinness or that extra shot of Tullamore Dew, this Center City tavern keeps amusements low-key, save twice-weekly quizzo nights. The Bards is the real deal.


32. McGillin's Olde Ale House
1310 Drury St. 215.735.5562. www.mcgillins.com

No list of Philly bars would be complete without showing some love for McGillin's. This 146-year-old tavern is the oldest in Philly, opening the year Abe Lincoln took office and outlasting Strawbridge's, the Civil War and that pesky 18th Amendment. Keeping it fresh with topically themed drinks--last year's special was the King Tutini, inspired by the Franklin Institute's exhibit, and each football season brings the return of the deadly Iggletini--McGillin's has traditionally served more Stoudt's draft beer than any other tavern in the state. We'd say this ain't your grandma's bar, but it actually could've been.

33. Tritone
1508 South St. 215.545.0475. www.tritonebar.com

Thank God the deep-fried candy bars are still there. Tritone--along with the entire Philly music scene--took a serious hit with last year's passing of co-owner Rick D. But the eclectic South Street mainstay has soldiered on, and still offers seemingly every genre under the sun. The next two weeks alone include jazz (G. Calvin Weston's Big Tree, Bobby Zankel), indie (Nite Lights, Grady), Jewish (the Collaborative's Purim Shpiel), hip-hop (Wise Intelligent Live and Doodlebug) and Eastern European (West Philadelphia Orchestra's Balkan Dance Party). And through it all, deep-fried candy bars. Try 'em with ice cream--Bob and Barbara's can't touch that.

34. Grey Lodge Pub
6235 Frankford Ave. 215.825.5357. www.greylodge.com

This Northeast pub was named one of America's best bars by Esquire and one of America's top 50 bars by BeerAdvocate.com. Don't hate, though--the place hasn't been spoiled by fame. The beer selection is constantly (and rightfully) lauded, but the strong Irish whiskey collection is the best in the city. Plus, you have to love a place that sometimes feels like it has an entire CYO soccer team in it.

35. Bishop's Collar
2349 Fairmount Ave. 215.765.1616

Named for the white stripe that forms atop the murky blackness of a perfect Guinness pint, the Bishop's Collar delivers what its clever logo promises. But St. James stout isn't the only choice on the menu. The 9-year-old Fairmount pub also features 10 other reliable brews on tap, including Yards, Yuengling and Stella selections. Owners Jeff and Megan Keel have assembled a comprehensive jukebox to keep heads bopping to everything from the Boss to hometown heroes Dr. Dog, but the real draw is the occasional live music. Best known for its church pew seating, Bishop's Collar has an earth-toned decor that opens up the narrow taproom, making it feel warm and welcoming.


36. Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant
1516 Sansom St. 215.569.9525. www.ripsneakers.com/nodding

How could you not love a pub that sells a beer called Rudy's Kung Fu Grip? It's all about the beer at the Nodding Head. Which is not to say the grub, the dart boards, the bobblehead collection, the always happy waitstaff, the nonstop soccer on the TV and the jukebox (featuring the Clash, Toots and the Maytals and Billy Bragg) are to be sniffed at either. But oh man, the beer! Brewed on the premises, it's the mutt's nuts. Some of their more esoteric concoctions--like the spicy Monkey Knife Fight--may be an acquired taste. But stick to staples like the grog, 60 Shilling and BPA, and you'll be laughing. Literally.

37. Charlie's Pub
114 N. Third St. 215.627.3354

There are two kinds of people in this city--those who love Old City and those who loathe it. If you're among the latter, we hear ya loud and clear. But give Charlie's a chance. An oasis among the usual Old City mayhem, Charlie's Pub is a low-key alternative where patrons actually sit and converse with their pals instead of tossing back Soco-and-lime shots or grinding to a corny remix of a song you first heard in eighth grade. The menu features typical pub grub with a surprising Mediterranean flair, and there are two well-maintained pool tables in the back room. One visit and you'll be a convert.

38. White Dog Cafe
3420 Sansom St. 215.386.9224. www.whitedog.com

Being spotted at White Dog Bar automatically ups your cool ante. Even if you go to Penn. Frequented by artists, architects, graphic designers and other creative types, the well-lit room feels like the perfect place to sit and chat with pals or fly solo for a night of non-creepy people-watching. The only place in the whole city where you can grab late-night organic snacks, White Dog has the most amazing nachos you'll ever taste. And the hot toddies are to die for.


39. Ten Stone
21st and South sts. 215.735.9939. www.tenstone.com

Open five years next week, Ten Stone is bigger than it looks. The dark wood, fireplace and warm ambience belie the bar's surprising size, and it's proved an anchor in the G-Ho/Anderson Village resurgence. The mammoth draft list is always changing, but regularly includes a healthy mix of domestics and imports, lites, wheats and ales. And the servers are especially good at recommending beer pairings with the sophisticated (but cheap!) menu: three cheese risotto fritters, brie and blue cheese fondue, grilled flank steak salad with caramelized onions and miso peanut vinaigrette, and spicy turkey reuben on a ciabatta roll, to name just a few. Gentrification can be delicious.


40. Dive
947 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.465.5505

There are many reasons to patronize the Dive: $4 PBR and Jager specials, rock paper scissors competitions, bathroom graffiti that says "These clever kids are killing me." But there's no better reason to go than to simply stick it to the man. Last spring the place was raided by the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections and cops after owner Jonn Klein says he pissed off the wrong connected guy. The upstairs was shut for months. This can be said only in heavy words: People who know people in Philadelphia can get shit done to you. If you don't know people, go to the Dive and fight for the little guy.

41 National Mechanics
22 S. Third St. 215.701.4883. www.nationalmechanics.com

An integral (if recent) addition to the way-too-cool-to-be-in-Old-City tavern triumvirate (see also: Sugar Mom's, No. 4, and Charlie's, No. 37), National Mechanics opened its red-velvet-draped doors just about a year ago. With an expansive selection of pub fare, 32 varieties of beer and a warm, welcoming vibe, the most recent incarnation of the gothic Third Street staple is the best thing to happen to the 171-year-old former bank building since ... well, since anyone around here can remember.

42 Dock Street
701 S. 50th St. 215.726.2337. www.dockstreetbeer.com

Everyone's been singing Dock Street's praises for its elaborate, delicious pizzas and its tasty homebrewed beer. Everyone's right. This West Philly brewpub is just about the only watering hole on Baltimore Avenue that isn't the back/side/bar area of an Ethiopian restaurant, making it an interesting alternative for all those students and professorial types. It's the perfect place for meeting up with dates from Craigslist's Missed Connections--the drinks and food are impressively refined, the atmosphere is laid back, and there are enough people around to help in an emergency.

43. South Philadelphia Tap Room
1509 Mifflin St. 215.271.7787. www.south philadelphiataproom.com

It seems like owner John Longacre had a Field of Dreams moment. Some ghost must've whispered a little "If you build it" action into his ear, because there has to be a reason this South Philadelphia Tap Room exists. Too far from the hipper haunts of South Philly to be an easy drunk walk for pub crawls, the SPTR loaded up on microbrews, opened its doors, and announced to the seemingly thousands of craft beer lovers in the city that they were there for them, organizing lectures, tastings and brew-focused brunch.

44. Misconduct Tavern
1511 Locust St. 215.732.5797. www.misconduct-tavern.com

What's with the nautical theme? All due respect to the late former owner (who named the place after his sailboat), but high seas in Philly? Last high C 'round these parts came from Teddy Pendergrass when he hit that note repeatedly while jamming with the Bluenotes at Sigma Sound. Oh, but how we digress. Misconduct is a winner because the bar is itself is a work of art--long and deep and substantial, and because there are seven flat-screen TVs, one everywhere you look, making it one of the best non-frat bars in Center City to watch sports in late afternoon or early evening. Later at night Misconduct transforms into what its name connotes, but by then you're home in bed watching Sportscenter.

45. Tony's Place
6300 Frankford Ave. 215.289.3044. www.tonystomatopies.com

An institution on Frankford Avenue in Mayfair for more than 50 years, Tony's is a solid neighborhood sports bar where the high-pitched accents of Hubert's grads reverberate off the walls like it's a church basement gym. Somehow, though, it's remained practically unknown outside Northeast Philly despite having, hands down, the city's best pizza. Tony's serves tomato pies--God orders extra cheese when he goes to Tony's.

46. Xochitl
408 S. Second St. 215.238.7280. www.xochitlphilly.com

Xochitl--the authentic upscale Aztec bar/lounge/restaurant in Headhouse Square--serves the freshest, tastiest margaritas in Philly. Choose your tequila (Herradura, El Tesoro, Siembra Azul ... the list goes on) mixed with freshly squeezed lime juice, or try a fresh and fancy Mexican cocktail with the likes of chile-infused tequila, muddled blood orange and cranberries, fresh agua de Jamaica or prickly pear juice, and garnishes like a spicy pomegranate rim. Agave purists, meanwhile, can sip and savor the premium tequila flights arranged by maker (Sauza Tres Generaciones, Don Julio or Patr�n) or style (blanco, reposado or a�ejo), while munching on earthy, belly-filling huitlacoche gorditas. Good tequila will cost you, so don't miss Xochitl's half-price-margaritas happy hours.

47. O'Neals
611 S. Third St. 215.574.9495. www.onealspub.com

Just off South Street, O'Neals handily wins the Best Center City Sports Bar's East of Broad Division. And why not? The TVs are plentiful, the crowd boisterous and attentive to games--especially local ones--and there's free Wi-Fi. At O'Neals you don't have to calculate whether your fantasy team is getting destroyed in the championship. Service is great too. There's never a need to wait for a beer; tables get moved around with precision. Replacing the waitresses at O'Neals with robots equipped with the latest in waitstaff technology would decrease efficiency.

48. Pub on Passyunk East
1501 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.755.5125

Somewhere between dive bar and colonial armory, POPE (officially the Pub on Passyunk East) is defined by its dark yet alluring ambience. Toss back a few craft brews from the extensive beer menu, and it'll be easy to imagine you're anywhere other than South Philly. Make your first visit a weekday outing to avoid competing with droves of scenesters possessing an unrivaled affinity for image, affordable drinks and a well-stocked jukebox.

49. Loie Bistro and Bar (CLOSED)
128 S. 19th St. 215.568.0808. www.loie215.com

Loie (or Loie's, if you hail from deep South Philly) executes the restaurant-by-day, hotspot-by-night atmosphere with elan. It consistently features quality DJs spinning everything from "In da Club" to Inxs, keeping patrons bumping and grinding all night long. The free coat check on weekends is a nice feature, and it's policed by a bouncer, so you feel safe leaving your parka behind while you hit the dance floor. Bonus: The crazy-cheap shot specials will ensure you're back for a medicinal hair o' the dog Sunday brunch with yummy food and bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas.

50. McGlinchey's
259 S. 15th St. 215.735.1259

See Oscar's Tavern (No. 9). Take out the part about polite and efficient waitstaff and the 23-ounce pour. Now substitute the phrase "two blocks" for "two doors."

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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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