Best of Philly

Best Music Venue

2021 Best Music-Venue Pivot

Chris’ Jazz Cafe

When every other music venue shut down, the city’s longest-standing jazz club invested in a state-of-the-art four-camera HD livestreaming package and brought live Philly jazz to audiences around the world, with viewers as far away as Japan. The move provided some much-needed work to otherwise out-of-work musicians, and even though live audiences have returned, the livestreams continue. This month, don’t miss master bassist Ben Williams on August 13th. Read More »

1421 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA Website

2020 Best Music Venue We’re Surprised We Like So Much

City Winery

A chain music venue? In the glorified mall that’s the Fashion District, née the Gallery? With a name like City Winery? Yeah, we were skeptical. But the fact is, this place offers an intimate, high-quality experience — with pristine sound and excellent production standards — like no other in the city. Oh, and the wine is great, too. How often can you say that about a music venue? Read More »

990 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA | 267-479-7373 | Website

2019 Best Small Music Venue

The Living Room at 35 East

Imagine if a professional sound crew turned your favorite hangout room into a spot where impressive local acts and touring musicians liked to stop by and jam. That’s this place. (And it’s BYO, too!) Read More »

35 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA Website

2019 Best Reason to Go to the Met

Its 25 Bars

Finally, a music venue figured out how to not have us stand in line for 20 minutes to pay $13 for a domestic beer. The answer was quite simple: Have lots of bars. Read More »

858 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA Website

2019 Best Cultural Institution

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The upcoming season is one helluva barn burner, with opera great Placido Domingo kicking things off in September; the new series WomenNOW, featuring female composers, conductors and instrumentalists; and the entirety of Bach’s majestic Mass in B minor. Totally subscription-worthy. Read More »

| 215-893-1900 | Website

2018 Best Way to See Big Acts Up Close

The Borgata’s Event Center

This intimate venue is relatively small–only 2,400 seats–but the acts that perform here are anything but. Last month, headliners included Britney Spears and Barry Manilow. This month: Stevie Wonder and Cher. Good luck getting tickets! Read More »

1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ | 609-317-1000 | Website

2017 Best Music Venue Revival

Dell Music Center

A recent much-needed rehab and a new programming push (Erykah Badu, Frankie Beverly’s Maze and the War on Drugs all play this summer) make this once-neglected city-run amphitheater a solid venue contender. Read More »

2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive, Philadelphia, PA | 215-685-9560 | Website

2016 Best New Music Venue

The Fillmore

When we heard that someone was converting a former World War II munitions factory in Fishtown into a 2,500-person music venue, we pictured a drab, soulless cavern (cough, Electric Factory). Thank God we were wrong. The concert hall is sleek, the bars are well staffed (never miss three songs while waiting for a drink again!), and the sight lines are so good, you won't find a bad seat in the house. It's the all-grown-up-yet-totally-cool venue we've been waiting for. Read More »

29 East Allen Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-309-0150 | Website

2014 Best Place to Discover New Music

Boot & Saddle

What does Philly bluegrass sound like? How about experimental klezmer jazz? Find out at Broad Street's country-saloon-turned-musical-oasis. Read More »

1131 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA | 267-639-4528 | Website

2014 Best Place to Hear Cover Bands

Ardmore Music Hall

The year-old Hall is, simply put, THE spot for any and all cover bands. Read More »

23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA | 610-649-8389 | Website

2012 Best Music Venue

Union Transfer

The vaulted ceilings that once sheltered the red-sauce carnage of Spaghetti Warehouse are now reverberating with the beats of the city's hottest new mostly-indie music venue. And though with three full bars, a balcony and a sizeable standing-room floor, Union Transfer may seem as cavernous as the restaurant that preceded it, the space feels surprisingly intimate: It's plenty big enough for writhing around to Neon Indian, but also small enough for you to enjoy the folksy delicacy of Gillian Welch. Read More »

1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-232-2100 | Website

2011 Best New Music Venue

World Cafe Live, Wilmington

What founder Hal Real did with the dilapidated (and that's putting it nicely) circa-1915 Queen Theater is nothing short of spectacular. Read More »

500 North Market Street, Wilmington, DE | 302-994-1400 | Website

2013 Best Music Venue

Johnny Brenda’s

Readers' Choice: Since opening up in Fishtown nearly 10 years ago, Johnny Brenda's has clearly been the go-to Philly venue to hear up-and-coming artists. And why not? The sound is crystal clear, the beers are all local, and the room, which holds 250, is comfortable and has plenty of character. And thanks to a dedication to treating both customers and performers with respect, the indie concert hall has more than enough good karma to go around unusual in the normally dirty business of rock-and-roll. Read More »

1201 North Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 215-739-9684 | Website