Top Bars In University City, Philadelphia

Cheering with beer
Cheering with beer | Photo by Elevate on Unsplash
Lauren Gruber

University City is a growing hub for college students, and has plenty museums and attractions for visitors. If you’re looking for a place to unwind for lunch or after hours, we’ve created a guide to where you’ll find some of the best beer selections and cocktails in University City bars and venues.

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Fiume is an uber casual bar and music venue located right above Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia. The bar is one room with limited seating, and during shows, it’s standing room only. The atmosphere of Fiume is intimate, and on nights with live music it gets packed. On other nights, the friendly atmosphere makes it a great way to meet locals or mingle with new people. With a beer, cocktail and whiskey list that won’t disappoint, Fiume is a cozy dive bar with friendly, intimate vibes.

New Deck Tavern is your typical bar in a clean and inviting atmosphere. Perfect for college students and groups, New Deck Tavern feels like your modern American pub, boasting wood paneled walls and high chairs and tables. Their beer selection ranges from cheap American brews to even cheaper cocktails.

Dock Street Brewing Company

One of Philadelphia’s first post-Prohibition craft breweries and first all-grain brew pubs, the award-winning beers here are a treat for customers to enjoy while learning more about the process of brewing. The brewery hosts happy hours from 4PM t0 6PM Monday to Friday, and they also hold many live music events and movie nights. Just outside of the central University City area, this brewery is ideal for bar and brunch food complete with refreshing and experimental crafts – they even brewed one with goat brains in honor of the Walking Dead.

Local 44

This is a local neighborhood bar that ranges in clientele from young millennials to older clientele. Local 44 has a great beer selection for great value – 8% beers priced for around $6, for example. About 20 drafts rotate frequently, and beer aficionados will be happy to know that they also have casks of specialty beer. The knowledgable bartenders will give helpful recommendations on beer, and they also have a menu with several vegan and vegetarian options.

City Tap House

With over 60 taps, City Tap House features both rare, well-reviewed crafts as well as benchmark local, regional and European brands of beer. The Tap House features an unpretentious, relaxing environment where you can enjoy beer inside or on the outdoor patio. Hundred Mile Happy Hour is hosted every Friday from 4PM to 7PM. Be sure to check out all their happy hour specials through Monday to Friday.


Stephen Starr’s Japanese Fusion restaurant POD is a trendy go-to that puts a kick in your mid-day or after hours routine. A spacious and tranquil, open-air setting, POD is filled with minimalist design and mod-like white table tops and chairs. If not interested in food, customers can enjoy cocktails and appetizers in the shiny red chairs in the front. Faithful to its Japanese inspiration, POD serves speciality Japanese sake and cocktails. Although they have a smaller beer menu, there is still a basic list with favorites such as Flying Fish and Sapporo. Of note are their speciality martinis, each with a different color, sweetness and Japanese specialty such as the Rising Sun, mixed with Smirnoff passion fruit vodka, mango schnapps, yuzu and orange juices.

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