10 Places To Go For SIPS That Don’t SuckThe best spots to spend your Wednesday this summer.
SIPS is sort of like one of those music festivals where the lineup is stacked—and as a bonus, the tickets are half-off. The citywide Happy Hour—including some of your favorite spots in Center City—discounts everything from drinks to small plates. And since this deal draws about half the population within walking distance of City Hall, we put together this guide so you can avoid waiting in line just to get stale beer and $3 pretzels. We’ll be updating this list all summer as each spot continues to drop their discounts and continues to not suck.
Double Knot was already one of the most popular Happy Hour spots in Midtown Village, so their SIPS deals will probably make it as crowded as an Eagles tailgate. And while it’s usually packed with people eating rice and noodle bowls, the idea of half-priced pork baos, kobe sliders, edamame dumplings, and $5 beer may change your go-to order. If you can’t get in, head to Sampan—the very purple Pan-Asian spot next door from the same team with similar deals. Or to keep the party going, you can get almost the same menu out back at the Graffiti Bar, which is a lot less purple.
You might not guess from the outside, but Harp & Crown is enormous, so feel free to come with your friends, intramural kickball team, or the entire office on Wednesdays. The cocktails are always strong, and now they’re only $7 (so maybe pace yourself if your kickball team actually has a game later). And since it’s a place that always serves good pizza, a slice (toppings rotate daily) is a SIPS deal you should prioritize out of the discounted small plates.
A Happy Hour at Pearl & Mary can be enjoyed at their oyster bar while admiring nautical chalk art or in the dining room while staring at a wooden ship helm. When you come during SIPS, you can do very much the same, just with a $7 cocktail, $6 wine, and $5 beer on hand. You can expect half-priced daily crudos (which are always fantastic), deviled eggs topped with scallions, and fresh-shucked oysters.
So you just ran into your coworker at a bar after spending the whole day ignoring their invitation to get drinks? Head to Barbuzzo in Midtown Village to process the awkwardness with wood-fired pizzas, delicious pasta, and small plates like crispy arancini. Plus, with discounted house reds and whites by the glass, a great excuse might come to you between sips.
Thanal Indian Tavern serves some of our favorite Indian food in the city. During SIPS, they have $7 margaritas and discounted small plates like samosas, gobi manchurian, and crunchy onion pakora. Thanal never gets too packed—so it’s a rare quiet stop on a Wednesday afternoon. Plus, there are lots of tables, which makes it perfect for walk-ins or a last-minute hangout with coworkers where you all complain about nobody in upper management knowing how to use Excel.
Giuseppe & Sons is an Italian restaurant with no wrong choices on the menu any day of the week. So from ricotta toast topped with olive oil and saucy meatballs to daily pizza deals and crunchy calamari, anything you eat on Wednesdays here is a win. Plus, with intimate lighting and tablecloth-topped tables, the upscale space can be a super cheap pre-date spot to have a $6 wine and ask them some deal breaker questions before the night gets pricey somewhere else.
1225 Raw Sushi has one of the largest SIPS menus. They have several $7 cocktails to choose from–like the Sumo Punch, which has tequila, raspberry liquor, and Sprite—and 11 small plates, like short rib bao buns and spicy tuna rolls. You can eat inside at the red neon-lit bar, but the back patio is where you want to be. There are massive umbrellas to give you some shade and lots of large tables where your friends can pass around fruit sake and complain about why it’s not Friday yet.
The liveliest spot on Wednesdays during the summer is Uptown Beer Garden. If you want a chance to get in without waiting 30 minutes, do a Jalen Hurts sprint to their doors as soon as SIPS starts at 5pm. When you get inside, order their $7 tequila-heavy Pineapple Lemonade, a $5 large hotdog, or fries at any of the four bars. There’s always a DJ blasting Miguel or Megan Thee Stallion, and, unlike other laid-back beer gardens, this one has everything from cabanas to bottle service.
Dim Sum House has a few locations in town, and we head there often—they open every day at noon and have a ton of dumpling options. Another reason this spot is super dependable is their SIPS deals of $7 margaritas, $5 New Trails beer, and $6 house wines. Bring a group of friends after work, order some half-priced options like crystal shrimp dumplings, and catch a Phillies game at the long bar.
We know this spot is on the edge of Old City, but if the city says it gets a Center City pass for SIPS then so do we. That's mainly because of the long tables where you can play Jenga with a few friends and the fact that it's one of the best SIPS open-air spaces. Since it's one of the bigger beer gardens in the area, expect a crowd ordering things like half-priced wings, french fries, and quesadillas between corn hole sessions.