10 Places To Go For SIPS That Don’t Suck

The best spots to spend your Wednesdays in Center City this summer.
10 Places To Go For SIPS That Don’t Suck image

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

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. 


photo credit: GAB BONGHI


Center City

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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.

photo credit: Hi-Low Taco Co.

If you’re spending your SIPS in orbit of Midtown Village's 13th Street, you definitely don’t mind a crowd. But this spot offers an incredible lineup of food and a change from that brand of chaos. The margaritas and signature ranch waters are $7, and there are lots of great small plates like jumbo smoked wings and chips and queso to share. Also, if you get too gluttonous and eat the guajillo bbq chicken too fast, the dining room will probably be filled with 20 doctors from Jefferson.



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When you want somewhere where you can drink discounted wine and eats lots of carbs to soak it all up, head to Gran Caffe L'Aquila. It’s a place big enough to work perfectly whether you’re with a few friends at a table out front or just want to get some food by yourself at the bar. The menu of half-priced appetizers includes truffled parmigiano fries, arancini, and baked melanzana parmigiana.

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), $4 deviled eggs topped with scallions, $2 fresh-shucked oysters, and $ 7 sandwiches like fish fritters.

Thanal Indian Tavern serves some of our favorite Indian food in the city. During SIPS, they have $7 margaritas (our favorite is tamarind) and discounted small plates like sundal, chicken 65, and crunchy onion pakoaa. 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. 

Village Whiskey is in Rittenhouse Square so it's right in the middle of the SIPS madness. It's also a place that gets crowded when prices aren't slashed for a few hours. So plan to head here early if you want a ton of chicken or pork sliders. Plus, they make a good old fashioned, and Kentucky mules that you can pair with both for as long as you're drinking and stomach stamina lasts.

1225 Raw Sushi has one of the largest SIPS menus. They have several $7 cocktails to choose from—like the Raw Crush, which has vodka, triple sec, and Sprite—and 10 small plates, like pork belly 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. 

High Street is a great SIPS spot for two reasons—the crowds don’t get as crazy and the menu is good enough to stick around when the price-dropping party is over. Don’t worry about making a reservation (you can almost always walk in with a few friends and get a table). Order a $6 rosé, tonnato deviled eggs, and at least three black garlic knots.

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. 

On summer Wednesdays at Dilworth Park, it’s perfectly acceptable to get intoxicated on the front lawn of the City Hall. But once you've seen that unhinged scene, you’re just going want a place to escape to. While Flambo isn't City Hall, their blackened shrimp should be a Philly institution. Head here for a plate of them, along with lightly fried wings and curry mussels.

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Suggested Reading

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