Ten Things To Do on New Year’s Eve that Don’t Suck

Photo by Matt Stanley

Penn’s Landing Fireworks | Photo by Matt Stanley

The professionals that read Foobooz know that New Year’s Eve is generally amateur night. But it is a big night out and Foobooz readers don’t like to miss a big night out, amateur or otherwise.

Here’s our short list of New Year’s Eve plans that don’t suck.

Committed to a fancy night out with good food and drink? Then look no further than Townsend, where chef Todd Wentz is offering a prix-fixe menu worth the money. The 9 p.m. seating is $125 per person and includes marinated hamachi, scallops, seared foie gras, escargot, oxtail risotto and venison “en Crepinette.” And you’d be foolish to not take up sommelier Lauren Harris up on her $75 wine pairing.

Want dumplings? Bing Bing Dim Sum is a party every time we go. And with specials like whole lobsters, oysters, and foie gras soup dumplings, this is our kind of party. Closer to Cheu Noodle Bar? No problem the guys have surf and turf ramen and oysters as specials. Both spots are pouring a free glass of bubbles and offering their standard a la carte menus. Also different, both Cheu and Bing Bing are offering reservations for New Year’s.

Love beer? Then get yourself to Monk’s Cafe. The O.G. of beer bars has two special dinners featuring rare vintage beers, and in the case of the $125 per person 9 p.m. seating, six courses, black truffles and a midnight beer toast featuring Malheur Brut.

Love cocktails? Love them more at a BYOB? Head to Helm where they’re bringing in bartenders Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal to pair cocktails produced with local spirits with each course. There are three seatings, 5 pm seating is $65, 7 pm seating is $75, and the 9:30 pm seating is $85.Call215-309-2211 to book your reservations.

Like umlauts? Celebrate the New Year with a Haus Party at Brauhaus Schmitz. The four hour open bar includes all 30 of the German bar’s draft beers and an appetizer buffet all night. You might even get to climb up to the roof deck to check out the fireworks. Tickets are $95.

Can’t find a babysitter? Head to Marc Vetri’s Lo Spiedo for an early New Year’s Eve celebration. The “Spiedo Ball” drops at 8 p.m. and beforehand there are food stations featuring rotisserie meats and vegetables. There’s even a mocktail station for the kids and $4 beers all night for the adults.

Wish you were spending New Year’s in a deli? We love the angle Pub & Kitchen is taking this New Year’s Eve. Chef Eli Collins is offering a four-course, $55 per person, New York Deli inspired menu that includes the likes of rabbit schnitzel, pastrami spiced beef strip, chowder and more. Make it fancy with a $20 per person caviar accompaniment. Make it awesome with celebratory shots of whiskey at midnight.

Want to end the night with a ten-foot cheesesteak? Then start the night at Varga Bar. There are three dinner options and a $55 per person open bar available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. And then they roll out a ten-foot cheesesteak.

Keeping it cheap this year? Then it will be tough to beat Tattooed Mom’s where there is no cover but a free buffet, and draft beer is half-price between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. There will also be champagne cocktails to get you in the mood.

Is New Year’s Eve really just about the bubbles to you? Then consider Tria Rittenhouse Square and Tria Washington Square West are both offering 10 sparkling wines for $10. Bubbles!

For more ideas that don’t suck, check out the 27 Fun Things to Do in Philly on New Year’s Eve
that our Arts & Entertainment friends have picked out on Ticket.