The Philadelphia Bar Hit List: Where To Drink Right Now
The best new bars in Philly.
In order to help you figure out which new restaurants are worth going to, we created The Hit List, our guide to recently-opened spots that are actually worth your time and money. And now, we’re doing the same thing for bars. After drinking at some of Philadelphia's newest spots, we’ve made a list of wine bars, breweries, and casual bars where you should grab a drink.
photo credit: Jason Varney
Andra Hem pretty much did the opposite of a grand opening: there was no viral slow-motion reel of a bartender pouring a drink (or even a sign out front). Instead, they made cocktails so good, word spread on its own. The Swedish-style bar is super intimate—it has movie theater-esque low lighting and leather booths, and you’ll hear everything from Earth, Wind & Fire to N.E.R.D. while sipping on a cocktail of Söderblandning-infused whiskey, Swedish punsch, fresh beet juice, and fig. If you’re hungry, go for a cheese board with pear butter and pistachio-cherry praline, sunflower sprouts salad, and a crispy potato pancake. No matter which cocktail you go for (the Jack Rose is our favorite), you’ll have a drink that’s blended beautifully while sitting in a place that makes you forget you’re in Center City.
photo credit: Eddy Marenco
Grace & Proper
Grace & Proper is a European-style bar in Queen Village that tends to get as crowded as the Market-Frankford Line on a Monday morning. The cozy, buzzy bar offers small plates, including cured meats, fragrant cheeses, and meatballs in a blackberry romesco, along with an extensive drink menu. The cocktails range from $12 to $18 and the wine and spirits list may be one of the longest in town. But it’s their incredible signature drinks, like the Good Giving & Game with saffron-infused gin, honey, and 24-karat gold leaf that sets this place apart. Come in for a low-key dinner or make this your launching spot for a night at Tabachoy, Fiorella, or anywhere else nearby.
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photo credit: Solar Myth
If we made a list of things essential to setting the mood, good wine and excellent music would be at the top. With records from Miles Davis and Sunny Murray for sale, a low-lit and intimate concert space (in the old Boot & Saddle), and an extensive wine list from around the world, the folks at Solar Myth clearly agree. During the day, the cafe has a menu full of pastries from Mighty Bread Co., as well as lunch options like doughy tomato pie, semolina with fresh mozzarella and peppadews, and giardiniera full of pickled vegetables. There are plenty of large booths that are ideal for splitting a bottle of rare cinsault with your friends, but it’s also cozy enough to have a solo beer and watch as the bartender switches out the vinyl to provide the soundtrack for your night.
The Best Breweries In Philadelphia
photo credit: Rachel Del Sordo
Like a lot of breweries, Carbon Copy is a large industrial space. Unlike a lot of breweries, this one doubles as a winery and sells their branded tees like they’re Harper jerseys. Inside the West Philly spot, you’ll find a long bar packed with co-workers and couples waiting for a table with pale ales in hand. We’re fans of all six beers they have on tap, especially the Tender, a perfectly citrusy double IPA. Plus, their wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and vegetable-heavy small plates are good enough to make up for the fact that the wine could pass for Crystal Light. Avoid the cab franc, order the fragrant curry squash pizza, and spend the night deciding if the white or black shirt goes better with your favorite pair of jeans.
photo credit: Two Robbers Fishtown
Two Robbers Fishtown
In many ways, Two Robbers has the same atmosphere as neighboring Middle Child Clubhouse and Frankford Hall. But unlike the other, more conventional bars, this colorful shop’s sole focus is on its eponymous hard seltzer brand. You’ll find fridges stocked with rows of six packs, and a glowing green bar where you can order fizzier twists on micheladas and gin and tonics. When it comes to the food, there are pub staples, like a good burger and poutine. They also have scallop crudo and stracciatella tacos, but we’d suggest you skip the more unique offerings. It’s an easy place to head to without a reservation, pass time with a pineapple ginger buck (our favorite here) and fries, and then walk elsewhere for dinner.