Philadelphia has endless amounts of bars – from stylish speakeasies to beer taverns and classic dive bars, there’s always a new watering hole to discover. In a city so famous for its food, it’s safe to say that it delivers big time on drink, too.
Whether you live in Philly or are just visiting, these are the essential bars you need to go to.
Best bars in Philadelphia
Notoriously hard to get into, this Chinese-style speakeasy is one of the most talked about bars in the city. The cocktails are superb and the decor beautiful, but there’s rules: no selfies, no phone calls.
Once the bouncer makes sure you’re not on the “banned list,” the bar’s list of nearly 3,000 “no longer welcome” people, in you go to soak up the entire Hop Sing Laundromat experience.
This Belgian beer bar has been serving world-class beers for over 20 years, with people coming from all over America to drink here. It’s that good. There’s a great selection of rotating taps and over 200 bottled beers at any one time.
You can’t be in Philly and not stop off for a drink or two here. The beer taps have been flowing since 1860 — making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia and one of the oldest taverns in the country.
A true speakeasy, Ranstead Room is a dimly lit cocktail lounge located behind El Rey. Not everyone knows where to go or how to get in, but if you take the time to figure it out, the city’s best cocktails, crafted by some of the finest bartenders in the game, await.
Tucked into the rear of Sampan restaurant on a private 30-seat open-air patio, Graffiti Bar can be found down a narrow chain linked fence alley surrounded by a funky mural that’s perfect for Insta snaps. Heat lamps and a great Happy Hour make it a top-notch spot for evening drinks.
You might recognise Johnny Brenda’s from the movie Creed, but this Fishtown pub is equally famous for its live music both upstairs and downstairs that showcase independent bands. Built on a philosophy of supporting the local community, Johnny Brenda’s serves all-draft high quality beer from local brewers.
Prost! This fun German biergarten has spacious open-air picnic tables, fire pits and indoor bar area with ping-pong and shuffleboard. German and American beers flow by the half and full liter, and there’s warm Bavarian pretzels if you feel like a snack.