It’s the 2013 50 Best Bars of Philadelphia

Alla Spina, one of the Best Bars in Philly | Photo by M.Edlow for GPTMC

Alla Spina is one of the best bars in Philadelphia | Photo by M.Edlow for GPTMC

For the fifth year in a row we’ve polled a diverse panel of Philadelphia’s drinking scene in order to determine the best bars in Philadelphia. The polled include our favorite writers, bloggers, twitterers and even just drinkers for the 2013 Foobooz 50 Best Bars list.

Foobooz 50 Best Bars by the Numbers

Seven new bars made the list this year.

23 bars have made the list in each of the five years it has been published.


0 repeats at number one. Each year a different bar has held down the top spot.

For the first time ever a bar from New Jersey made the list.

Loco Pez was the biggest mover on the list, jumping 32 spots.

Foobooz 50 Best Bars Methodology

As always the list is compiled by summing up the panelists lists, awarding ten points for the number one bar, 9 for number 2, etc. The results are added up and tallied here. The bar with the most points is number one. Ties favor the bar that appears on the most ballots.

And without further ado ...

Foobooz 50 Best Bars - 2013
2013 Foobooz 50 Best Bars in Philadelphia

Our Best Bars Contributors

Special thanks to all our contributors:

Madison AlpernJackie BaikMichelle CassidyLily CopeJack CurtinAdam EraceMarcos EspinozaArthur EtchellsVictor FiorilloAnna GoldfarbHelene GolembekDanya HenningerKristina JenkinsCollin KeefeDrew LazorBrian LimJared LittmanAshley MartinTara NurinTimothy PattonOmar RosaDon RussellJamie ShankerJason SheehanEmily TeelAlex Tewfik, Nick VadalaAlbert Yee, James Zale and others ….

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Snake

    Alla Spina is a great bar, but it’s not in Fairmount. It’s on North Broad Street. This is something that your suburban readers would want to know as they are trying to parallel park on 13th and Wallace.

    • Michelle

      I lived down the street from Alla Spina and that area is Fairmount.

      • Snake

        That area is Spring Garden.

        Fairmount is bound by Girard to the north and Fairmount to the south, Fairmount Park to the West, and Eastern State Penitentiary on the East.

        • Bill

          Fairmount is bounded by Spring Garden to the South & Broad to the East.

          Alla Spina is in Fairmount, if barely. It’s on the West side of Broad.

    • Dan

      If the suburban readers are too dumb to google the address then they shouldn’t be coming. The neighborhood nazi know-it-allism is more than played out. It just makes you seem pretentious and small.

      • Snake

        *slaps own forehead*
        You’re right Dan, being accurate and correct is sooo pretentious.
        /sarcasm

  • Luisa

    Good list…but when comparing year to year, it shows how arbitrary this list is. Standard Tap from #1 to #25….what changed there- nothing. Congrats to the newbies and the 5 year vets…for whatever it is worth.

  • Zalmon King

    Blue Monkey > Pour House

    • SlapJack

      Yes, as far as beer selection, the Blue Monkey (Merchantville, NJ) is better than the Pour House. However, food wise, the Blue Monkey is just a step-above a diner. The food is much better at the Pour House (not that I am saying the Pour House has stellar food or anything)

  • A

    SASSAFRAS. Jus’ sayin’.

    • Sue G.

      YES!

  • Mccarthys5

    The Tank Bar at Friday Saturday Sunday. There’s nothing else like it in the city.

  • Natalie S.

    I don’t understand how a best bars of Philly list includes bars not in Philly or even the state…..

    • http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/ Art from Foobooz

      Philadelphia is a city and a region. Down with the Delaware Valley. http://www.phillymag.com/property/2013/10/21/morning-headlines-11/

      • Natalie S.

        Yes, but the list only includes one bar outside of the city. If they are going with “best bars of the Philly Region” I am sure there are more good bars in the region besides the one in Jersey. If they want to do that, go for it, but this is basically a “Best Bars of Philly” list with one Jersey bar. That makes no sense.

        • SlapJack

          Focus Natalie, focus. It is not that hard to understand.

        • Greg

          I couldn’t agree with you more Natalie. Granted, a list of bars is nothing vital, but your point is well made.

          Since we’re talking about area: for the record, in an article like this, I’d love to see a google map.
          Also for the record, Foobooz, I recognize that this would be a lot of boring data entry, so don’t take that s a terribly serious critique…I am grateful as ever!!! :)

  • tsarstruck

    Yep, POPE surely deserved to drop from 7th in 2012 and 6th in 2011 to 31st. With Devil’s Freaking Den in the top ten.

  • John I

    Total snub of Farmer’s Cabinet. Great bar that belongs on this list.

    • Guzzi

      I couldn’t agree more.

      • abe

        They don’t deserve a mention on any “best of” list. Ever. Unless maybe that list is “best-douche-face-convicted-criminal-owner-who-hasn’t-ever-paid-a-bill-and-has-mysteriously-managed-to-actually-take-money-out-of-his-former-vendor’s-and-employee’s-pockets-while-somehow-keeping-the-lights-and-gas-on (most of the time).”
        You rubes should really stop giving these degenerates your money.

  • justdoingmypart

    alla spina is as much fairmount as prohibition is in center city, but i guess they just couldn’t get too specific with the neighborhoods. also would like to note that bottle bar has over 700 beers to choose from, not 300. that is a major oversight. place is leaps and bounds better than any foodery

  • Tim

    Where is Growlers?

  • ed

    I’m just curious if you could tell us how much it costs to get on this list, because there’s no way this is real.

    • Sue G.

      I’m with you Ed.

  • Jilly

    Silk City, hello? Can I get an amen.

  • Cameron

    Hop Sing Laundromat? And so high on the list? The place reeeeks of preteniousness, from the arrogant bartenders, to the gated front door, to Lee’s rambling “introduction”. Go there for a peak behind the curtain, then go to Farmer’s Cabinet or Ela for outstanding cocktails and service.

  • Greg

    Where’s Belgian Cafe? Great food, great beer, the bar is friendly.

    • Goon

      See Monk’s

  • Sue G.

    Surely Sassafras was overlooked as well as several others. I’d have to say as someone who lives in Philly…this isn’t anywhere near what my list would look like…

  • gandhus

    I love Johnny Brenda’s and all, but #1? Varga and Barcade should be much higher and I agree with Luisa….what substantiates such a drop for Standard Tap?

  • Hello!

    12 Steps Down? Dirty Franks?

  • Joe

    If your expanding the list to include bars outside of Philadelphia (Pour House in NJ) then how is Teresa’s Next Door not on this list?