Best of Philly

Best Bartender

2023 Best Bartender to Befriend

Patti Brett at Doobies Bar

Bartenders like Brett are a dying breed. She’s run Doobies since inheriting the business from her mom in 2003, and she holds court each night, serving craft beer, chatting with regulars, and curating an ever-changing jukebox full of Maggie Rogers, Sly & the Family Stone, and Brett’s beloved David Bowie. Her openness and easy conversation are reminders that connection, however casual, is as sustaining as a Citywide at the end of a long day. Read More »

2201 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA Website

2018 Best Bartender

Alison Hangen

Oloroso’s Alison Hangen is the bartender of the moment. Her cocktails are fast, unfussy and interesting. Read More »


2017 Best Bar Staff

Watkins Drinkery

Refreshing: Their friendly smiles aren’t motivated by tips. Read More »

1712 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-339-0175 | Website

2015 Best Bartender

Jesse Cornell at Vesper

Jesse is quick behind the oak. He can execute the classics with aplomb (and without excessive tinkering). And if you put him on the spot, he's got the rare talent to whip up something off the top of his head that's so good, it deserves its own award. Read More »

223 South Sydenham Street, Philadelphia, PA | 267-930-3813 | Website

2013 Best Bartender

Kevin James Holland

Holland is perhaps the only bartender in the world who can craft a perfect martini or manhattan, strum a banjo (check out his bluegrass outfit, the Citywide Specials), and wax philosophic (but not pretentiously) about the issues of the day. Find him and his flourishing mustache behind the bar at Fiume, his tiny, phone-less bar on the second floor of West Philly Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia. Read More »

229 South 45th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-387-2424 | Website

2012 Best Bartender

George Costa

Standing behind the long oak at Pub and Kitchen, Costa has the three talents every great bartender needs: He makes a classic drink to your exact specifications, he shakes up a custom cocktail like nothing you've ever tried before, and he knows more about bitters and rye than you do about your own children. Read More »

1946 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-545-0350 | Website

2010 Best Bartender

John Doyle

Imagine a sweet old grandpa. Now imagine that sweet old grandpa pouring you a pint of Stoudt's while telling a dirty joke from behind a 150-year-old bar. Head over to McGillin's on a Friday night and you'll find just such a gent: the delightful John Doyle, who's been behind the stick at Philly's oldest bar for 35 years. If you'd like to buy him a congratulatory drink, he'll take an Irish Mist on the rocks. Read More »

1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-735-5562 | Website

2009 Best Bartender

Jos Pistola’s

So many bartenders seem to find it difficult just to simultaneously smile and pour your drink. But this co-owner and weekend bartender (not to mention lead singer in '80s glam-rock tribute band Welcome to My Face) gets you good and drunk while keeping you thoroughly entertained via bar tricks, dirty jokes, current-event commentary, astute sports analysis and, if you're really lucky, the occasional song. Read More »

263 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-545-4102 | Website