When you think of Colonial Philadelphia, you might imagine the numerous taverns and inns that populated the busy streets of the first capital of the USA. Some of these taverns are still around the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, as well as some newer, more modern watering holes. Here is our guide to the 10 best.
Founded 35 years ago, Sassafras is an old standby in this neighborhood. The environment is warm and inviting, the bartenders are experienced and friendly, and the food is top-notch. They boast a selection of single malt scotches, whiskeys and bourbons, as well some unique drinks that change daily, like the Lavender Champagne or Hibiscus Mojitos. The menu has its own unique option, the Ostrich Burger, for those courageous enough to give it a try.
Situated in a late 19th century tavern, the Khyber Pass Pub is a modern pub . The menu features authentic Cajun specialties from New Orleans, like Gumbo and a vast selection of Po’boys. Patrons can also partake in Hickory-Smoked Barbecue served with three different types of barbecue sauces. Leaving this bar satisfied is practically guaranteed.
Originally a Quaker Friends Meetinghouse, 200-year-old bricks can still be seen in the Revolution House’s inventive interior. This bar stays in touch with its historic roots with custom-made concrete tables inlaid with skeleton keys, and has a roof deck seating overlooking Market Street for people watching or enjoying a sunset on a cool summer nights. The drink menu offers local Yard’s Philly Pale Ale, among other popular American favorites, and a varied wine list.
One of the first moonshine themed restaurants in Pennsylvania, with wood beamed ceilings and lounges, JJ Bootleggers brings southern hospitality to an urban setting. The bar makes use of the once illegal drink, Moonshine, with twelve different types and flavors, not including mixed cocktails. The Moonshine is even used in several items on the menu, like the White Lightning Wings or the Honey & Shine Wings. Be sure to head upstairs for a game of darts or pool.
Located on Front Street, the Victoria Freehouse is a short walk from Penn’s Landing and the Seaport Museum, making it a perfect stop after a long day at the waterfront. This British Gastropub offers a wide variety of beers and ciders from the United Kingdom to accompany dishes like Welsh Rarebit, Fish and Chips, and even Scotch Eggs. For fans of trivia, the Victoria Freehouse hosts regular pub quizzes.
Walking into 2nd Story Brewing Co. you might think that it is simply an ordinary bar, but what makes it so unique and worth a visit is the fact that a substantial amount of their beer list is made on-site, in fact, it’s made right upstairs. The seasonal brewing menu of ales, lagers and IPAs is supplemented by a full bar with beers from several other brewers and companies. If you are a fan of great flavor brewed fresh, than this is the place to be. With over 400 international and domestic bottles beers, plus 30 draught beers, Eulogy Belgian Tavern is every beer lover’s dream. The bar has a menu of both Belgian and American Cuisine, with six types of Mussels, Roasted Lavender Chicken or Belgian Fries. For a brave few, the bar features a ‘coffin room’ where the tables in the small dark room on the second floor are made of old (empty!) coffins.