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The Ultimate Guide to Philadelphia Bars

Find your new favorite drink at these Philly spots.

Whether you live in Philly or are just visiting for a few days, stopping by a few bars and restaurants is something you won’t want to miss. This city is full of amazing things to eat, drink, and experience, and what better way to end a day than by having a few drinks at a local bar? When trying to find a bar though, you never really know what the atmosphere is like, that’s why I’ve compiled my favorite bars into one list.

group of happy friends wearing facemasks while drinking cold beer in philadelphia

So, what are you looking for? A casual spot to knock back a beer? Or some live music and wine? Whatever it is, you’ll know exactly where to go after perusing this list. Keep reading to learn a bit about each spot!

Best Bars in Philadelphia

  1. Oscar’s Tavern
  2. The Library Bar
  3. Graffiti Bar
  4. Monk’s Cafe
  5. Tattooed Mom
  6. Johnny Brenda’s
  7. El Bar
  8. Good Dog Bar
  9. Locust Bar/Club
  10. Bob and Barbara’s Lounge

Oscar’s Tavern

1524 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 972-9938

When you’re in the mood for an old-school bar feel, head over to Oscar’s Tavern. With a laid-back atmosphere, this is perfect for enjoying some food and drinks. Complete with a jukebox and cozy interior, you’ll always feel welcome.

As a popular spot, it’s no surprise Oscar’s Tavern has numerous great reviews about the drinks, service, and company. Be sure to try their long island iced teas, any draft, or a cheesesteak when you’re there!


The Library Bar

210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 546-9000
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If you love a good book, you’re going to love The Library Bar. Believe it or not, this spot combines books and drinks in a charming space. Offering beer, wine, cocktails, and a cozy spot to curl up with a book, this is the perfect place to unwind.

Locals love the high-quality drinks here made by friendly and knowledgeable bartenders you won’t find anywhere else. This spot may have a bit of a higher price point than others, but reviewers say it’s well worth the delicious drinks!


Graffiti Bar

124 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 732-3501
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Established in 2010, Graffiti Bar is a unqiue spot you have to try next time you’re in town. With a small, open-air patio, this is great for enjoying the weather and surroundings. This spot gets its name from the graffitied walls surrounding it.

Graffiti Bar serves Asian cuisine as well as cocktails and other drinks. Check out their tasty food menu and order an appetizer or two. Be sure to stop by for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day!


Monk’s Cafe

264 S 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 545-7005
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If you like beer, make sure you head over to Monk’s Cafe. In service for over 23 years, it’s no surprise this spot is a local favorite. With world-class beers, numerous draughts, and bottled beers, you’ll always have something to try here.

Monk’s Cafe serves cocktails and wine in addition to the plentiful beer options. They also have a fairly extensive food menu as well, in case you get hungry. And, if you can’t decide what to order, check out their Beer Bible!


Tattooed Mom

530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 238-9880
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This local bar is a great place to let loose in a unique interior. Take a look at Tattooed Mom. Vibrantly decorated, covered in art, with candy on the bar, a sticky art machine upstairs, and pool tables scattered throughout, this is a bar unlike any other.

Tattooed Mom’s drink list has innovative cocktails like the pop rocket or cosmo cloud. They also have beer if you’re looking for something simple. And if you’re hungry, check out their food menu with vegan options!


Johnny Brenda’s

1201 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: (215) 739-9684
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If you like music, you’ll love Johnny Brenda’s. Though it’s a bar, this spot doubles as a venue for indie rock artists. Serving craft beers and small plates in a two-level building, this is a great spot to celebrate after a long week.

With a rotating list of craft draft beers, to-go packs, and seasonal cocktails, you’ll have something new to try every time you go to Johnny Brenda’s. Don’t forget to try their appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees too!


El Bar

1356 N Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: (215) 634-6430

When you want a casual spot for your night out, be sure to head over to El Bar. As a local dive bar, this is a great little place for a night with friends or even a date. This bar is cash-only, so make sure you come prepared to pay appropriately.

With plenty of drinks and modest food menu, you’ll have everything you need here. People especially love the hotdogs, so don’t forget to grab one. With weekly live music and karaoke nights, you’ll never get bored here!


Good Dog Bar

224 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 985-9600
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Looking for a uniquely-themed bar to try? We recommend Good Dog Bar. With three floors and a dog theme throughout, dog lovers won’t wanna leave this spot. This place is perfect for mingling, drinking, and admiring cute dog photos.

Serving cocktails, beer, wine, and bar food, Good Dog Bar has everything you need. If you can’t decide what to drink, try out the Richie business, Harls in charge, or demolition Anne. And if you’re hungry, be sure to have a vegan cheesesteak, gnocchi, or empanadas!


Locust Bar/Club

235 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 925-2191
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Hoping to spend your night at a lively atmosphere? Take a look at Locust Bar/Club. With friendly staff, plenty of TVs, and delicious food, this is a classic bar scene that won’t let you down. This spot allows smoking inside, though, so if you’re not a fan of smoke, we suggest visiting another spot on the list.

Hundreds of reviewers have raved about the friendly atmosphere and great bartenders at Locust Bar/Club. With beer on tap and basic spirits, you’ll find classic drinks here. Be sure to grab some food as well!


Bob and Barbara’s Lounge

1509 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: (215) 545-4511
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Another good place to listen to some live music while you enjoy a couple drinks is Bob and Barbara’s Lounge. Featuring jazz in an upbeat and energetic atmosphere, this is a great spot to unwind.

Known for their wide variety of drinks and low prices, it’s no wonder people love Bob and Barbara’s Lounge. They have everyday specials like $5 beers and more. Be sure to eat beforehand as they have a very limited food menu. Don’t forget to try their most popular special: $4 for a PBR and a shot of Jim Beam!


Final Thoughts

Are you already thinking about your next night out? I definitely am. With so many fun bars to choose from, you may even want to spend every weekend on the town. From refined spots with jazz to classic dive bars, there’s so many unique bars in Philadelphia.

Which bar will you go to first? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you mention it below and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Ryan F.

Ryan is a Philadelphia local who enjoys checking out Philly's restaurant scene every chance he can. He grew up in South Jersey and now lives in Philadelphia's Point Breeze neighborhood. Ryan also enjoys traveling and checking out local eateries in every city he visits.