One of the coolest things about the Philly Gayborhood is the fact that it is infused with so many other “straight” businesses, so to speak. Sure, we have a ton of gay bars, but there are also great eateries that cater to anyone who wants a fantastic cocktail and a delicious bite to eat. We rounded up our picks of five great places in the Gayborhood to grab happy hour that aren’t gay bars, but given their proximity in the ‘hood, you’ll be joined by plenty of great company as you wash down some tasty nibbles with a cocktail or two.
The bartenders at Garces Trading Company know what they are doing, and their happy hour is a perfect time to test out the wide variety of drinks the restaurant offers, plus sample their amazing wine selection. The newly-expanded bar means that there's room for everyone, plus the awesome food deals will satisfy any appetite: I love the $5 Margherita flatbread and the house-made mozzarella. Happy hour Monday-Friday 3 to 7pm, 1111 Locust Street
One taste of the $4 edamame dumplings and you'll be hooked. The Asian-inspired eats at Sampan's 7-day-a-week happy hour are enough for you to fight for a bar seat, but the drinks are also amazing: There's a rotating cocktail on special every night, plus a ton of other wines and beers to wash down the ridiculously cheap (but amazing) food selections. The tofu lettuce wraps are my favorite, and who can pass up the little, bitty soft serve ice cream cones at the end of your meal? Happy hour 7 days a week 4 to 7pm, 124 South 13th Street
Let's get this out of the way: You do not have to be vegan to fall in love with Vedge, and if you're in the mood for a well-crafted cocktail, this is the place to be. They do rotate their happy hour drink selections frequently, but the gin buck is pretty awesome. Also, you must get the Korean seitan taco (trust me on this one), and I'll bet you'll be ordering more than one after you taste it. Happy hour Monday-Friday 5 to 7 pm, 1221 Locust Street
You honestly won't mind squeezing into the tiny, quaint bar at Zavino during their happy hour: The best pizza in the hood is only $8 and is made fresh before your eyes in a brick oven. There are also a ton of wine and beer specials to wash down those carbs, and the friendly, warm, and cozy environment is a great place to take a date. Happy hour Monday-Friday 4:30-6:30 pm, 112 South 13th Street
Sure, Valanni isn't "gay" so to speak, but it seems to attract just about everyone in the hood for their happy hour specials: half-off speciality drinks and wines by the glass, $5 you call it, and $3 Yuenglings, plus an assortment of tasty tapas. The cucumber martini is my go-to weapon of choice, plus the people watching and awesome dance beats make this the early evening spot to be seen. Happy hour Monday-Friday 4:30-7 pm, Saturday 12 to 3 pm, 1229 Spruce Street
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone. And welcome to the Year of the Horse. Despite the snow, the ice, the cold and everything else, we’ve got three Philly restaurants running Year of the Horse tasting menus this week–Sampan, Matyson and Meritage. Check out the details after the jump.
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Well what do you know. While we were focusing on Top Chef locals Nicholas Elmi and Jason Cichonski, Travis Masar quietly began working at Sampan.
Eater has the details (and careful, some Top Chef spoilers).
Top Chef’s Travis Masar Working at Sampan [Eater]