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University City Bars to Try This Weekend

Enjoy a fun night out at these spots in University City.

University City, a neighborhood in Philadelphia encompassing the local universities, is home to a lot of college students, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of bars to try in this area. With so many spots to choose from, it can be hard to determine which ones are worthwhile and which are a waste of time. We’ve put together a list of our top picks for bars near University City.

friends celebrating at a bar in university city

With spots for beer lovers, wine lovers, casual drinkers, and more, there’s a perfect bar for whatever you prefer. This neighborhood is home to many dive bars and sports bars as well as more refined spots to grab some wine or a nice dinner with your drink. Keep reading to learn a bit about each spot in this town!

Best Bars in University City

  1. New Deck Tavern
  2. Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
  3. Local 44
  4. The Post at The Commons
  5. Dahlak
  6. Booker’s Restaurant & Bar
  7. Wine Garden
  8. Bonner’s Irish Pub
  9. Doobies Bar
  10. The Barn

New Deck Tavern

3408 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 386-4600
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If you prefer a pub-like feel, make sure you check out New Deck Tavern. This local Irish pub has been operating since 1986 serving the University City area plenty of beer, wine, and bar food.

New Deck Tavern offers a casual atmosphere to enjoy a beer from their wide collection or some wine or a cocktail. We recommend the blood orange mojito, beermosa, or grilled pineapple chili margarita. Be sure to order some food to go with your drink!


Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

119 S 39th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 386-4889
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If you’re a sports fanatic, swing by Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar the next time a big game is on. This neighborhood bar has plenty of TVs to watch college sports on, so it’s perfect for events like March Madness.

Cavanaugh’s serves a line of draft beer as well as a fairly extensive food menu. They also offer cocktails and other drinks, of course, if you don’t like beer. Be sure to try the wings, mussels, or mac and cheese!


Local 44

4333 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 222-2337
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Another great spot for a wide beer selection is Local 44. This neighborhood bar offers a rotating tap of 20 different beers, so there’s always something new to try at this spot. With a friendly and casual atmosphere, it’s perfect for any occasion.

Local 44 offers beer on tap as well as to-go in their bottle shop, so you can also take some home. They also serve bar food with plenty of vegan options included. Try the banh mi, 44 cheeseburger, or veggie burger!


The Post at The Commons

129 S 30th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (267) 353-8521
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Looking for a fun night out? We recommend The Post at The Commons. This local bar not only offers food and drinks, but also plenty of games to play including arcade games and board games. Additionally, The Post has TVs so you can watch the game as well.

With an impressive beer selection, it’s no wonder this is a popular spot to have some fun with friends. The Post also offers bar food including sliders, nachos, wings, and more!


Dahlak

4708 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone: (215) 726-6464
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Hoping to try something different? Make sure you head over to Dahlak. This local restaurant doubles as a bar and serves Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. With a comfortable and lively atmosphere, this is the perfect spot for a night out.

Dahlak offers a full bar menu to diners but also serves takeout cocktails, beer, and wine if you just want to swing by for a quick drink. We recommend the old pal, summer breeze, or redsea sunrise!


Booker’s Restaurant & Bar

5021 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone: (215) 883-0960
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If you’re looking for a more refined bar to visit, check out Booker’s Restaurant & Bar. This local restaurant serves Southern inspired cuisine and offers a full bar. With live jazz each week, this is the perfect place to relax after a long week.

Booker’s offers an impressive array of drinks to choose from. With plenty of beer, wine, and cocktail options, everyone will be able to find something they love here. Don’t forget to grab some food as well!


Wine Garden

5001-5099, Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
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If you’re a wine lover, you’re going to love Wine Garden. This family and woman-owned business is the perfect spot to enjoy some wine and try out new varieties. Reviewers appreciate the friendly atmosphere, staff, and inviting location at this spot.

With a wide variety of inventive wine cocktails, you’ll always have something exciting to try here. Choose from mimosas, a wine flight, frose, and other delicious combinations. We recommend the candy girl or rosé pop!


Bonner’s Irish Pub

120 S 23rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 567-5748

Another Irish pub in town is Bonner’s Irish Pub. This local bar is quite popular among the community with over 200 reviews. Reviewers love the service, food, drinks, and affordable prices at this spot.

Bonner’s offers a great selection of beer, including some on tap. However, the food seems to be just as delicious as the drinks are at this spot. Make sure you try out the french onion soup, fish and chips, or shepard’s pie!


Doobies Bar

2201 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 546-0316
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Looking for a spot with a dive bar atmosphere? Head over to Doobies Bar. This local bar is all about the relaxed, laid-back, and divey atmosphere. With board games and a jukebox, this is the perfect place for some fun too.

Doobies Bar is a cash-only establishment, so be prepared to pay appropriately. Offering drafts, cocktails, and bottles and cans, there’s plenty of options to choose from here. Be sure to check out the food too!


The Barn

4901 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone: (215) 921-3797

Rounding out our list of bars is The Barn. This local bar is the perfect spot to blow off some steam with friends. With a relaxed atmosphere, friendly service, and affordable prices, it’s no surprise this spot is so popular among locals.

With a jukebox and pool tables, The Barn offers old-school vibes for you to enjoy your night. Locals love the citywide special, $2 PBRs, and margaritas at this spot. Don’t forget to try the wings, fried artichoke, or mussels!


Final Thoughts

It’s pretty clear that University City has countless amazing bar options, so you’ll never get bored here. Where will your next night out take you? With so many different atmospheres, you’ll be able to try something new each weekend.

Which bar are you excited to visit? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment 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.