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The Best Places to Grab a Drink in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s bar scene pulses with the same eclectic energy that defines its restaurants. In every neighborhood, you’ll find spots that reflect the people who live, work, and drink there. Some embrace the city’s signature blue collar ethos while others offer glamorous settings—and even higher-end spirits. Many are attached to restaurant kitchens that turn out the kind of top-notch food that put Philadelphia on the culinary map. The city’s drinking dens have you covered, whether your tastes skew classic or trendy, whiskey or vodka, domestic or imported. Grab a friend—plus a barstool—and explore this town by way of its best watering holes.

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Joy Manning
9 Restaurants
Updated June 16, 2022
Restaurants:JG SkyHigh All Day Dining & Lounge, Charlie was a sinner., Barclay Prime
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Contemporary French, Tapas / Small Plates, Steakhouse
Neighborhoods:Center City, Rittenhouse Square
A photo of JG SkyHigh All Day Dining & Lounge restaurant

JG SkyHigh All Day Dining & Lounge

$$$$
Contemporary French
Center City
4.7
1631 reviews

JG SkyHigh, part of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s vast restaurant empire, is an impressive place to take someone out for drinks. To get here, visitors are whisked up to the top of the Four Seasons Hotel in a transparent elevator. The bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows keep the glamorous cityscape front and center, but if you’d rather not sit at the bar itself, elegant lounge seating, in muted colors, is available. Drinks include sparkling, red, and white wines by the glass; cocktails are classic but contemporary, such as a Collins made with lemongrass-infused gin and lemongrass tea. Don’t miss the food, whether you order something from the full menu, such as a peekytoe crab risotto, or a smaller dish, like the famous egg toast and caviar.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Charlie was a sinner. restaurant

Charlie was a sinner.

$$$$
Tapas / Small Plates
Center City
4.6
2234 reviews

This narrow space on 13th Street has an intimate vibe, with plush seating and low lights that make it ideal for date nights and other cozy one-on-one occasions. The drinks menu is extensive, and the bartenders are equally skilled at mixing classic cocktails and more creative drinks. Freshly squeezed juices and house-infused spirits make the bar a standout. The zero-proof cocktails—try the Spicy Pineapple, laced with a special house spice blend— get no less attention than the rest of the drinks menu. The fully plant-based menu has plenty of smaller snacks, such as caramelized eggplant bao buns and zucchini “crab cake” sliders, that are perfect for sharing plus more substantial plates, like roasted cauliflower steak and silken tofu and mushroom ramen, for when the occasional calls.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Barclay Prime restaurant

Barclay Prime

$$$$
Steakhouse
Rittenhouse Square
4.9
4598 reviews

This Rittenhouse steakhouse’s bar and lounge is set off from its dining room, with a distinct atmosphere, thanks to moody, wood-paneled walls and a black-and-white checkered floor. This is the ideal place to sip classic cocktails; take a look at the excellent wine list if you plan to order steak and want the perfect red pairing. If you’re feeling especially flush, splurge on Barclay Prime’s famous luxe $140 cheesesteak with wagyu, foie gras, and truffled cheese—it also comes with a half bottle of Champagne.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mei Mei restaurant

Mei Mei

$$$$
Chinese (Taiwan)
Old City
4.2
865 reviews

This two-story pan Asian restaurant and bar sets the scene for a big night out. Its creative food menu is appealing, as is its basement lounge. The space is lined with plush banquettes and lit with ample candles and lavender lighting, boasting one of the neighborhood’s best happy hours. On Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 pm, order a signature cocktail—such as a fresh daiquiri with house-made ginger syrup—for $7. There’s also a section of reasonably priced wine and beer. Happy hour snacks include craveable snacks such as salt and pepper chicken bites served with house pickles and shrimp bao buns.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tria Rittenhouse restaurant

Tria Rittenhouse

$$$$
Wine Bar
Rittenhouse Square
4.8
320 reviews

Since 2004, Tria has showcased one of the most impressive and interesting wine lists in the city–and fortunately, it never takes itself too seriously. Servers are well educated about everything they pour and they’ll always answer questions happily. If you don’t know what to choose from a wine list organized into categories like “stimulating” and “pretty,” don’t be afraid to ask. In addition to wine, you’ll find plenty of excellent beers, ciders, and cocktails. Beyond cheese, the menu offers snacks, salads, and sandwiches, too.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of SOUTH Restaurant & Jazz Club restaurant

SOUTH Restaurant & Jazz Club

$$$$
Contemporary Southern
Center City
4.8
2146 reviews

This Broad Street spot brings a restaurant, bar, and music venue together under one lively roof. The cocktail list puts twists on the classics with options including a spicy mango-habanero margarita and a mojito mixed with sweet tea. Wine lovers will appreciate the thoughtful and lengthy wine list. The Southern-inspired food menu features plenty of hearty options such as creole deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, and buttermilk fried chicken. If you’re looking for a bar to visit after dinner, South is a terrific spot to enjoy a little something sweet with a wide selection of nighttime drinks, such as brandy and cordials.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Time restaurant

Time

$$$$
Contemporary American
Center City
4.6
723 reviews

If your ideal night out features entertainment, this Midtown Village haunt is your spot. There’s a ground floor bar with a healthy selection of craft beers, wine, and cocktails. From here, you can take in the live music that’s performed by a range of bands as well as periodic open mic nights. Downstairs, you’ll find a whiskey bar for sipping spirits in a candlelit, wood-paneled refuge. On weekend nights, the top floor hosts a dance party: DJs and drinks combine to create a French nightclub atmosphere. The popular happy hour runs Sunday through Friday from 5 to 7 pm with discounted cocktails and wines, plus a selection of small bites such as mussels and deviled eggs.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Amada PHL restaurant

Amada PHL

$$$$
Spanish
Old City
4.7
7986 reviews

Jamóns dangle over a gleaming meat slicer at one end of Amada’s lively bar, waiting to be sliced onto one the restaurant’s signature charcuterie plates. Wine barrels are displayed behind the bar. This iconic Old City tapas spot has drawn crowds for tapas and sangria since opening in 2005, and its boisterous atmosphere fuels much of the appeal. The Spanish wines are reliably great, but for something a little different, consider ordering from the gin tonic bar—or opt for a glass of sherry. By design, the entire tapas menu is sharable and good with drinks, but garlic shrimp, ham croquettes, and charcuterie plates are must-orders.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Butcher Bar restaurant

The Butcher Bar

$$$$
American
Center City
4.5
1301 reviews

This meat-centric Rittenhouse spot is helmed by the owners behind another rustic Philly hotspot, Mercato. Traditional bar snacks, such as jerky and wings, are treated to gourmet makeovers and pair perfectly with the whiskey-based cocktails and 16 beers on tap (draft wines are also available). It’s a laid-back setting for a weeknight hang—rare in this pocket of town. If drinks become dinner, rest assured, there are heartier plates to dig into, such as grilled Korean short ribs and rotisserie game hen.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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