Fishtown offers a rustic and unpretentious experience, where the industrial decor is the standard and the beer flow unending. Read ahead for the best bars in Philadelphia’s Fishtown.
Loco Pez plays up to Fishtown’s quirky standard. The bar holds a collection of Pez dispensers, mounted upon the wall, along with miscellaneous latin decor. The bartenders are always friendly and more than willing to offer their expertise to those wrought with indecision. Three must-knows about Loco Pez are the randomly selected $1 taco nights, the eternal tequila list, and the cash-only policy. The restaurant takes its inspiration from the taco trucks of Southern California. So, if an LA-inspired dive bar serving up tacos sounds like a winning night out, Loco Pez is your place.
El Camino brings you the taco and margarita experience in the truly hipster Fishtown fashion. This place is decorated with beer flags hanging from the awning and has picnic table sidewalk seating outdoors. There’s also an all-wood everything interior with twinkle lights. El Camino has become a popular spot for Philadelphians. It is known for its happy hour, where cheap pitchers of margaritas are served along with endless supplies of chips and salsa Sunday to Thursday from 5 to 7pm. El Camino is always a winning choice. Happy hour is especially enticing for any and all larger groups wishing to spice up the mid-week blues and binge on tortilla chips.
Johnny Brenda’s is one of Philadelphia’s most well-known venues for indie-rock music and nightlife. Johnny Brenda’s is bi-level, with an upstairs balcony and first-floor bar. The extensive beer menu is predominantly made up of local brews, in an effort to support the Philadelphia community. If a multi-level bar with live music and a great beer menu on tap doesn’t have you excited, the full menu offered until 1am just might. Any music or fun-loving individual should make a stop at Johnny Brenda’s when in the neighborhood – it will not disappoint.
Once again, Stephen Starr slays the restaurant game, as his Frankford Hall may be one of the best spots in all of Philadelphia. The German beer garden offers up one-liter pints of draft beer in a picnic table covered courtyard. The venue is always filled with a diverse crowd playing foosball, ping pong, or life-sized Jenga in the outer courtyard. Fire pits and heated lamps are set out in colder weather. A small bar food menu accompanies the drinks and includes soft pretzels and sausages, true to Frankford Hall’s German theme. If looking for a casual and fun night out in a large open space filled with amusing games, go entertain your inner child while sipping a pint.
Barcade is one of the original bar arcades, started by brother and friend group Paul Kermizian, Pete Langway, Kevin Beard and Scott Beard. They opened the first Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2004. The bar’s greatest attraction is obviously the games, so this location tends to attract a ‘gamer’ crowd. The bar and game area are separate, creating an atmosphere for those who opt out of dropping rolls of quarters into the machine for sitting and drinking from the rotating beer menu. For gamers and non-gamers alike, Barcade is a great place for switching up your night.
Murph’s barhas a reputation as an Irish dive with delicious Italian food. The exposed brick walls and penny-covered bar create an interesting, enjoyable atmosphere at this hole-in-the-wall dive. Murph’s is the type of bar where you can go, sit back, relax, and pass a few hours. The bar is a local attraction and has been around for 10 years, keeping patrons loyal with an unbeatable $2 draft happy hour. Murph’s Bar also offers live music on the weekends. In the midst of all of Fishtown’s growth, Murph’s bar stands as a neighborhood staple. It is a necessary visit for anyone with a taste for quaint and eclectic atmospheres.
Kung Fu Necktie is another Fishtown draft/music mashup. With dim lighting, billiards, red booths, and live music this venue is more like a scene from a movie. Since Kung Fu Necktie is a music venue as well as a bar, the crowd and atmosphere frequently change so research the performer before making your decision to go out. The venue has an area for dancing as well as the performance area and, of course, a full bar. The bar throws a funky, divey vibe and well illustrates the Fishtown culture. Be prepared for loud music, lots of dancing, and an eclectic crowd at Kung Fu Necktie.
The El Bar offers the classic dive bar experience at an inexpensive price, making it a college age/postgraduate favorite. True to its name El Bar is located under the El Septa line and has an outdoor patio that is just as divey as the bar. The casual atmosphere attracts an interesting crowd. The El Bar staple food and drink are the can of Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot of whiskey and the ‘Kensington happy meal’. This includes two hot dogs and a bag of chips. When heading to the El Bar, leave your card at home, because this little joint is cash only.
Lloyd Whiskey Bar is one of Fishtown’s newer additions. Started by Scott Coudriet along with his father and wife, the bar is a low-ceiling classy space with tasty bar bites. As stated in its name, the bar is gaining momentum due to the phenomenal whiskey selection. It has a revolving selection of more than 80 types of whiskey. With references to The Shining (Lloyd is the imaginary bartender’s name) that persist throughout the cocktail menu, this bar is a trendy hot spot for those more particular about their drinking game.
Kraftwork was opened in 2010 by Adam Ritter and has quickly won over the Philadelphia neighborhood. With a dedication to providing the best selection of beer from around the globe and a tasty selection of daily bites, Kraftwork offers the Fishtown experience. The Kraftwork draft menu is well-known and extensive. Happy hour is offered Sunday to Thursday from 10pm to 12am. The atmosphere is cozy. Like many Fishtown bars, it is industrial, and the exposed brick walls give a rustic feeling to the room. Any beer-loving foodie will certainly feel a strong attraction to this spot.