It’s the 2014 50 Best Bars in Philadelphia


Bob & Barbara’s | Photo by Trevor Dixon

We asked 25 of the city’s best chefs, bartenders, beer geeks, cork dorks and professional drinkers to weigh in on the best bars in Philly. Here, in order, are the 50 best places to drink in a city made for drinking. Philadelphia, meet the 50 Best Bars Class of 2014.

Foobooz 50 Best Bars by the Numbers

13 bars are new to the list from last year.

18 bars have been on the list for all six years we’ve compiled it.

Another 4 bars have been on the Best Bars list at least 5 years. was the biggest mover, jumping 38 spots on the list.
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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.

Methodology and the 50 Best Bars » 

The Bar That Didn’t Make the List

PHS Pop-Up Garden | Photo by Karl Shouler

PHS Pop-Up Garden | Photo by Karl Shouler

When we compiled the list of Philly’s Best Bars there was one bar that we couldn’t count. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s pop-up beer garden received enough votes to place on the list and to come in rather high. Not bad at all for a pop-up garden that only was open for five months. But we couldn’t include a closed bar on a list highlighting the best Philadelphia has to offer. However, the PHS’s Pop-up Beer Garden was the hit of the summer (and fall) and deserves a special mention.

It was the go-to spot for al fresco drinking all summer. A wonderful place to meet friends or find new ones. The Kimmel Center and a setting sun presented a wonderful vista. Locals hears swelled with pride. Visitors were sold on Philadelphia after one look around. It was at once an urban respite and an energy filled lot of what can be. It forced the question, how can this location right on Broad Street, across from the Kimmel Center be allowed to have remained empty for so long? It’s a question that resonates today on South Broad and now across the city. For what the PHS’s garden really did, was open our eyes to what can be.

Here’s what a panelist had to say »

Top 50 Bars in Philadelphia Methodology

This is the fourth year I’ve run the Foobooz Top 50 Bars list, taking over after Philadelphia Weekly ran a similar list in 2008. A list on which I contributed.

The mechanics of the ranking is modeled after that Philadelphia Weekly list. Ask a bunch of writers, bloggers and other assorted bar hounds for their top ten bars. I’m not sure how mathematical Philly Weekly’s list was after polling, but I’ve kept mine to a formula.

And that formula is as follows:

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Philadelphia’s Top 50 Bars by the Numbers

We’ve posted the 2012 Best Bars in Philly list and now that we have had some time to let the list soak in, here are some interesting facts and figures about the Top Bars list.

  • 14 first time bars made the list.
  • Alla Spina had the highest ranked debut.
  • Welcome back to Doobies and McMenamin’s, neither had made the list since 2009.
  • Biggest jump, Frankford Hall jumped up from 41 to 10 in its first full year.
  • Farmers’ Cabinet saw the biggest drop falling from #9 to off the list.
  • Standard Tap, South Philadelphia Taproom and Pub on Passyunk East have been in the top 10 each year of the list.
  • Beer dominated the top ten spots but cocktails are a priority in at least seventeen of the establishments.

The Foobooz Top 50 Bars for 2012

We’ve done it again. Foobooz has polled a panel of writers, bloggers, noted drinker types and others whose opinions we respect to assemble our list of  Philadelphia’s Top 50 Bars for 2012 ranked 1 through 50.

We’re once again impressed with the way the list has turned out. There is a bar or three for every occasion, whether it be fraternizing with a dozen friends, reconnecting with a digital buddy from the 80s or looking for a new companion.

For each of the top bars in Philadelphia we provide some praise, a pro’s tip or a quote from one of our panelists. Check out the list and tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter via our #50BarsPHL hashtag.

Best Bars in Philadelphia 2012 [Foobooz]

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]

Some Statistics About the List »

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