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The Best Cocktail Bars In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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The Best Cocktail Bars In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Picture of Lauren Gruber
Updated: 2 December 2016
Philadelphia has a slew of well-established cocktail bars that are at the forefront of a lively nightlife scene. Read our guide on where to find the best expert cocktails in Philadelphia.
Two specialty cocktails sit on a table at bar 1 Tippling Place.
©Tom Ipri/Flickr

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.

Classy and sophisticated, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.–named after the local Prohibition era front for the largest alcohol ring in the US – is one of Philadelphia’s most popular Prohibition-style speakeasies. Narrow and dark interiors boast classic leather tufted banquettes and Carrara marble tables, and customers will feel as if they’re stepping into the past. The flavorful and creative cocktails are known for their exotic syrups and avant-garde ingredients- like the Berry Patch for example, made with Barbados rum, strawberry and wheat berry syrup, cream, egg whites and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Perfect for dates, happy hour or a nightcap, this bar is well worth the wait during busy hours.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., 112 S 18th St Philadelphia, PA 19103 (267) 467-3277

1 Tippling Place

This bar has the atmosphere of a an old antique shop or an old library, with big worn out couches perfect for cozying up to your partner or friends for a romantic evening. Recognized as one of the top 24 speakeasies and cocktail lounges in the country by Food & Wine Magazine, the bartenders here are highly creative and serve a mix of old classics and contemporary concoctions.

1 Tippling Place, 2006 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19103 215-665-0456

Emmanuelle

Northern Liberties’ premiere cocktail bar stands out with its experimental cocktails and Gothic décor. Named after Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel’s character Emmanuelle – a French sex kitten – the bar reflects a sensual atmosphere with its rich, French fabrics. The dimly-lit establishment boasts an expert staff of bartenders who serve artisanal spirits mixed with ingredients such as herbs, fresh juices and fortified wines to bittersweet liqueurs. The original craft cocktails inspired by 19th and early 20th century American mixed drinks brings some up-scale, Manhattan-esque historical splendor to the bar’s modern foundations within the Pizza at Schmidt’s.

Emmanuelle, The Piazza at Schmidt’s 1052 N Hancock St Philadelphia, PA 19123 215-791-8090

Southwark

Southwark is a local neighborhood bar where visitors will find regulars reading or talking with the staff. The bartenders are willing to tailor your drink to your taste preferences, and the charm lies in getting a drink that is made slightly differently every time you visit.

Southwark, 701 S 4 St Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-238-1888

An outside shot of the Trestle Inn's sign and red outer facade standing from the Northeast corner of 11th and Callowhill St looking south.
©waving at you/Flickr

Trestle Inn

The Trestle Inn boasts the theme of a whiskey go-go bar, and you’ll find dancers performing on pedestals while a DJ plays in the corner. Their specialty drinks pack a punch, perfectly matching the energy of the room. Patrons can choose from a list of several beers and a massive scotch, bourbon and blended list. For a sweet, tangy drink, go with the Black Power or Highland Whiskey which has a smooth apricot finish.

Trestle Inn, 339 N 11th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 267-239-0290

Charlie was a sinner.

Charlie was a sinner. offers vegan-friendly cocktails and wines. Chandeliers and tufted-back banquettes are dotted around the interior, as projections of movie icons such as Marilyn Monroe flicker overhead. The cocktails here are infused with tropical fruits and fresh juices. Try one containing cinnamon-spiced blueberry wine – a characteristic that distinguishes Charlie’s boozy potations. Also offered are four draft and five bottled beers, along with several wines.

Charlie was a sinner., 131 S 13th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 267-758-5372

Hop Sing Laundromat

No sign and an iron gate make for an almost secretive speakeasy vibe at one of the best cocktail bars in the country. The inside is dark, with pennies decorating the floor, antique-like books on shelves and vintage photographs. When you arrive, you will be subjected to a humorous interrogation by Lê, the doorman who will make sure you understand the rules. Hop Sing has a strict dress code and a no phones or pictures policy inside, plus, it’s cash only. However, this makes for an intimate, attentive, up-scale atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. Drinks are pricey, but you pay for the excellence of master mixologists who boast extensive knowledge on how to craft the perfect beverage.

Hop Sing Laundromat, 1029 Race St Philadelphia, PA 19107

The inside decor and bar area of The Good King Tavern and 7th and Kater Street in Queen Village, Philadelphia.
©Tom Ipri/Flickr

The Good King Tavern

The Good King Tavern has a quirky-chic style, with chalkboards and yellow, rustic wood paneling mixed with French-inspired decor. At this local neighborhood hangout, patrons will find a list containing two house cocktails and seven classic cocktails. The drinks range from tart and strong to tangy and sweet.

The Good King Tavern, 615 S 7th St Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-625-3700