The Foobooz Top 50 Bars for 2011

For the third straight year we’ve polled a panel of writers, bloggers, Twitterers and others who play a part in Philadelphia’s bar scene for the Foobooz Top 50 Bars in Philadelphia list. As curators, we like this list. It has a bar for every occasion and spans the spectrum from cocktail lounge to dive an back again.

New this year we offer a Foobooz tip for each bar on the list. Hopefully these make your visits even better. Check out the list and tell us what you think.

Foobooz Top 50 Bars [f8b8z]

The statistics:

  • 13 first-time bars make the list.
  • The slideshow contains two photos from restrooms.
  • In each of the three (four if you count the Philadelphia Weekly version) there has been a different number one bar.
  • 5 Dive Bars make the list
  • Cocktails are a big deal at 10 bars on the list.
  • The Fergus Carey, Tom Peters contingent had three bars on the list, as did the Khyber, Cantina, Royal crew.
  • Three bars make the list from the Pennsylvania suburbs.

Around The Web

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  • Adam

    I couldn’t agree more with Khyber being #1. Their fried chicken is some of the best i’ve had and their beer list/events continue to be impressive month after month.

  • David G

    Continental Midtown before Chick’s, Kennett, and Silk City? Apologize they should.

    Regardless, this list is in every way better than that prank of PhillyMag’s.

    Although the Khyber is a great bar, I’m shocked it came in at #1.

  • Beers for Real

    Continental is definitely a surprise, but what’s more surprising is their serious beer program. Don’t sleep on that shit. Wouldn’t put it ahead of Kennett, but Silk and Chick’s? Yes.

  • Jessica

    Uh, Oh. Now I may not be able to get a seat at the bar at Khyber Pass. Great bar with very very good food.

    This is a surprisingly good list. I usually have a lot of gripes with “top 10” (or 50) lists, but I only have a few small quibbles here.

    Well done Foobooz.

  • Rick

    This is a much better list than the Philly Mag list.

    If you take Sampan(!) off the list, it’s just about perfect.

    And congrats to Khyber Pass pub. So much could have gone wrong with the Khyber into Khyber Pass Pub renovation and yet here they get a well deserved #1.

    Now, when’s that izakaya opening?

  • Elron “Old Mother” Hubbard


  • Austin

    I would’ve gone Capone’s instead of Teresa’s for one of the few suburban bar slots but it’s a close call.

    Overall this is actually one of the better top bar lists I’ve seen in a long while. Props to Khyber, SPTR, and Memphis Tap.

    Grey Lodge fell off a little bit but it will be nuts next year with 3 Friday the Firkinteenths all packed into a 7-month period.

  • Kruno Gypsy Jazz

    No Xchange Bar and Grille?

  • Jamie

    Probably the best recent bar compilation. Entertaining, helpful, concise, good bars, and without random categories and blurbs that make no sense. Happy to see a few of my thoughts on there!

  • Snake

    The map indicates that Sidecar is at 58th and Christian. I’ve never been there, but I truly doubt that’s the correct location if it’s on your list.

  • GrowlerKing

    Sampan is only on here for Happy Hour, its hardly a bar as more of a restaurant with a bar. Urgh.

  • JB215

    How is McMenamins not on this list. It is the best bar in the city. Best food and beer list.

  • Occupy Foobooz


  • cantillon

    the P.O.P.E before Southwark? you guys can suck a dick.

  • John E.

    What about Applebee’s or Ruby Tuesday (nice tvs)?? Or Fox and Hound (a Philly Mag pick!)?? This is an outrage. I demand an investigation.

    Here’s an idea for next year: truly make it a best bars in Philly list by keeping it only to bars within city limits. I’m sure Teresa’s, etc. are good, but it’s often comparing apples and oranges when you have city vs. suburban bars.

  • Bruce from Spruce

    No Restaurant Ly Michaels? FOR SHAME!

  • Victor Fiorillo


  • Mike

    I’m embarrassed I’ve only been to half of them.

    Before you vent about your favorite place not making the list, think about this, how awesome is it that we can have a list of 50 awesome bars in our city, and still have a ton of snubs.

  • Willie

    Credit where it’s due – Khyber is truly the best bar in Philly. Great beer, great food, truly great staff. If you nail #1, in my book you get a pass on #2-50.

  • loaf

    No Kraftwork?

  • jbk

    @Loaf fyi – #16

    3yrs later and still no love for Eulogy?

  • Befuddled

    Race St Cafe needs some respect.

  • Nightman

    Rotten Ralph’s?

  • loaf

    @Jbk…ahh..thanks :)

  • second

    I second Eulogy, the 400 greatest beers you’ve never had and great food

  • Miguel

    Capone’s should def. be on this list. Their beer store in the back puts the Foodery to shame.

  • Capones

    Love Capones! And TJ’s in Paoli

  • Meh

    No Time or mahogany? Those places definitely deserve to be on this list instead of Sampan.

    While I have some major gripes with this list, I do love Khyber. Carry on.

  • Jane

    Hear you # 18 and agree!

    I also agree with many of the bars that hit the Top 50 and have been to my share of them. But Oyster House? Seriously? The old one maybe, the new one…of the many times I’ve been, three recent times I’ve had to return a simple T & T because they “ran out of of tonic!” The last time, the waiter argued with me about the quality of the drink. Haven’t mustered the patience to return since. Miss the old Oyster House.

    Agree with Franklin Mortgage & Investment–unique experience there. And I have a few new ones to try. Good list–thanks.