Midtown Village in Philadelphia is one of the leisure hotspots in the Center City district, with a handful of restaurants and bars that surround the theaters. Read ahead for our guide to the 10 best bars to drink and celebrate at in the village.
If you’re looking for options, Time is a jazz and whiskey bar that has a solution. Split into three different sections, the local in-house bands play a mix of jazz with a romantic bar/dining area on one end; the other side has a bar stocked with whiskey and a couple sports TVs. On the top floor is another bar complete with a dance floor. Time also has an extensive alcohol list with 90+ whiskeys, and serves absinthe drinks for $15 as well. Dinner is served here until 1AM on both sides, but in the meantime, feel free to dance the night away while sampling the tasty drinks.
A classic Irish bar, Moriarty’s has a warm charm, with eclectic antiques dotting its pink walls. The antique wood bar has a long list of drafts and bottles, both local and imported. Every day from 5PM-7PM for happy hour, $4 drafts are served. They also have an extensive food menu with soups, sandwiches and other bar food.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—or, in this case, where everyone knows the words to your favorite song. Tavern on Camac, a fun staple of the Gayborhood scene since 1935, boasts live entertainment singing show tunes and hits on the first floor and a fun dance floor/lounge upstairs. Tavern is one of the best bars with a lively atmosphere, great service and a bit of history (it’s rumored the bottom floor was once connected to the underground railroad.) Address & phone number: 243 S Camac St Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-545-0900
If you’re looking to taste a range of beers, Strangelove’s list is diverse with a mixture of large and small breweries on tap and a seasonal flair. On board are also some collaborations with several local breweries that can’t be found anywhere else. With plenty of space, Strangelove’s is a great bar with a nice, clean atmosphere to hang out with friends or relax and watch the TV. For happy hour, check out their $4 drafts. Their food menu is quite appealing, and many entrees can be prepared vegan.
At night, McGillin’s is a crowded mess of young twenty-somethings (fun if you’re into the loud, rowdy thing), but during the afternoons this bar is a nice mix of professionals, students and locals. Looking like a large beer hall, the bar has been open since Lincoln was elected president and is the oldest continuously-operating tavern in Philadelphia. The bar has a big selection of regional and local beers on tap. The food menu is full of extensive, delicious bar food. Named one of the ‘Best Irish pubs in America’ by Complex magazine and one of the ‘Coolest bars in the U.S.’ by Gourmet, the fun and friendly atmosphere is not hard to see why.
A nice alternative to Tria, Vintage has a happy hour on Friday nights with wine glasses for only $4. Paired with the wines is a menu filled with cheeses and French-inspired appetizers. There are over 60 wines, 25 beers and a full bar of spirits with cocktails including sangria and white and wild with St. Germain and sauvignon blanc. With bottle chandeliers, crates and fancy wallpaper, the vintage-chic décor holds true to a romantic bar experience.
Dirty Frank’s is at once a dive bar and a neighborhood institution. The bar prides itself on being a sanctuary to the underdogs, the poets and writers, and those striving to make a difference in the city–it’s perhaps why they often showcase UArts and other local artists’ work on the walls. Even the occasional bouncer is a poet (Frank Sherlock, poet laureate of Philadelphia, anyone?). Cheap beers and a mix of ages come into this small, corner bar.
Petruce’s happy hour from 5-7PM is one of the best under-the-radar experiences in the city. An industry favorite, they serve $5 pours from local breweries like Nodding Head and $6 glasses of wine, cider and sherry curated by the owner/sommelier Tim Kweeder are offered. There’s also a rotating $7 cocktail list with creative twists on classics. Be sure to check out their flavorful appetizers like the tomato and furikake. Address & phone number: 1121 Walnut St Philadelphia. PA 19107 267-225-8232
Bar, Restaurant, Asian, American, $$$
Located inside of the restaurant Sampan, Graffiti Bar is tucked into the back with a 30-seat open-air patio. The bar gets its name because it features spray paint from three local Philadelphia artists A Lot, Distort and Rune. It is open during all weather, due to the clear-ceiling helping to keep it clean and the rain out, and heat lamps for cold nights. Happy hours are every Monday through Friday from 4PM-7PM and it features a $2 Satay menu with daily-changing cocktail and wine and beer specials.
As mentioned in our previous article highlighting the best cocktail bars in Philadelphia, Charlie was a sinner. is a must-try. The bar offers vegan-friendly cocktails and wines–patrons do not have to worry about animal by-products like fat or glycerin being used in any drinks. There’s a reason the cocktails here have been described as lush and hedonistic. They’re very strong and are infused with house-made tropical fruits to fresh juices or a idiosyncratic mixture. All cocktails are $12, and also offered are four drafts and five bottled beers, along with several wines. Address & phone number: 131 S 13th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 267-758-5372