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The Top 10 Bars In University City, Philadelphia
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The Top 10 Bars In University City, Philadelphia

Picture of Lauren Gruber
Updated: 9 February 2017
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.

Fiume

Bar, Restaurant, Ethiopian
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Fiume

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.

Address & phone number: 229 S 45th St Philadelphia, PA 19104 , No Phone Number

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A bottle of Zavino's fruity cocktails sits on top of their granite countertop bar.
©Helen Horstmann-Allen/Flickr
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Zavino

This pizza and wine bar is perfect for midday drinks or after-work relaxation. With brick ovens cooking pizzas in front of diners at the bar, a range of seasonal wines and bottles, and the sleek dark wood inside with a serpentine granite bar, Zavino will make you feel classy whilst still being easy on the wallet. The wine list is impressive and includes international and stateside options, from Malbecs to Torrontes.

Address & phone number: 3200 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-823-6897

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Aloosh Hookah Bar Restaurant

Aloosh Hookah Bar is great for both beer and hookah in a totally relaxing environment. Painted in rich reds, Aloosh offers lounging couches as well as tables to sit to enjoy hookah and drinks. They surprisingly have an extensive beer menu ranging from ales to fruits, cider beers, lagers and IPAs. For large groups, they also have cheap shots.

Address & phone number: 3600 Lancaster Ave Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-222-2345

The front of The New Deck Tavern stands along Sansom Street as the lights shine on the front facade, just off UPenn's campus.
©Tom Milewski/Flickr
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New Deck Tavern

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.

Address & phone number: 3408 Sansom St Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-386-4600

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Williams Street Common

This coffee shop-cum-restaurant turns into an indoor beer garden in the evening. Brunches are also fantastic – they serve mimosas, sangria, craft beer with their donut brunch, and specifically offer a 3 drink brunch special on the weekends from 10AM to 3PM. The list of cocktails includes margaritas, strawberry lemonade and lavender fizz. They also have a list of creative old fashioneds, and punch bowls to make for a great evening with friends.

Address & phone number: 3900 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-397-4693

A line-up of beer flights at Dock Street Brewing Company in West Philadelphia
©Helen Horstmann-Allen/Flickr

Dock Street Brewing Company

Bar, Craft Ale Bar, American, $$$
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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.

Address & phone number: 701 S 50th St Philadelphia, PA 19143 215-726-2337

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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.

Address & phone number: 4333 Spruce St Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-222-2337

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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.

Address & phone number: Radian Balcony 3925 Walnut St, Fl 2 Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-662-0105

A panorama image of the white modern interior of POD at 3636 Sansom St.
©Joy/Flickr
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POD

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.

Address & phone number: 3636 Sansom St Philadelphia, PA 19104 215-387-1803

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

Harvest is at a convenient location for a stop by after work, for students on their way home, or for anyone looking for a quick drink and a small appetizer. Local summer brews like Flying Fish and Yards are on their list of seasonal drafts, and the food is all sourced from local farmers consisting of appetizers that will pair well with wines. It is a great locale for a quick nightcap after a film or dinner or a midday lunch break.

Address & phone number: 200 South 40 St Philadelphia PA 19104 215-662-1100