The 14 Best Bar Crawls in Philadelphia
Routes through all the city's best drinking and dining neighborhoods, curated by the Foobooz team.
When friends and family come to town, it’s tempting to hit the highlights — Reading Terminal Market, the Mütter Museum, Pat’s (or Geno’s, depending on how you roll). But one of our favorite ways to show off Philly’s greatness and essential character is with a neighborhood bar crawl. You’ll get to introduce your people to the kinds of places you actually spend time in, and they get a deeper experience of the city than tourist traps and cheesesteaks can bring.
We’ve planned out a three-stop bar crawl for each of our favorite food neighborhoods in the city, easily completed on foot (or with a little help from SEPTA or Lyft), complete with dinner and late-night spots. These are all our favorite neighborhood bar crawls in Philly.
Kick things off with a pint or two at the essential Johnny Brenda’s, then wind your way up Frankford Avenue to Nunu Bar for a katsu curry bowl and draft whiskey highballs. Then head over to Front Street and post up at the El Bar for Citywides and karaoke on Monday nights.
Start with the strong stuff at New Liberty Distilling’s tasting room, which pours their full line of spirits distilled from local malt every weekend. Then head north to Martha for a carefully crafted cocktail and nosh on cheese, charcuterie, pickles, and one of their seasonal veggie-centric specials before hitting The International for global beers or sherry on tap.
First, show off the shiny new Yards taproom on Spring Garden Street, then hit up Standard Tap for locally-sourced dinner and more local beer. Finish off your evening at Francophile favorite Bardot Cafe.
Start on North Broad with soul food-inspired snacks and drinks at South’s bar, then head up to Fairmount Avenue and go west to Bar Hygge for build-your-own boards perfect for sharing and beer from house label Brewery Techne. End up at the Belgian Cafe for world-renowned beers and a bowl of mussels.
Want to walk as little as possible on your bar crawl? This is the route for you. Start with cocktails poured by the knowledgeable spirits nerds behind the bar at Art in the Age’s tasting room at 3rd and Arch, then head two blocks south and one over to Second Street for indulgent dinner and drinks at Nick Elmi’s Royal Boucherie before hitting the Khyber Pass Pub just two doors down for a nightcap.
No visit to Philadelphia would be complete without a cruise down South Street. Start just north of the strip with a warming whiskey at Twisted Tail, then head down South Street and choose your own adventure: sausage and steins at Brauhaus Schmitz or pho and banh mi at Banh Mi & Bottles? Double back a few blocks to close down Tattooed Mom (the only place a South Street bar crawl should rightly end).
Hit happy hour at Blue Corn — one of our favorite spots for it in the city — for margaritas and guac to start. Pop over to Saloon next for old-school red gravy Italian fare and more drinks, then finish out the evening around the pool table at 12 Steps Down.
The Avenue is so densely populated with drinking establishments that there are so many ways you could take this one — but here’s our favorite: begin with a round drinks and pierogies at the P.O.P.E., then cruise south for upscale cocktails and luxe small plates at ITV, which is now Christmas themed. Finish just off the strip at Fountain Porter — drink what you want, but the $5 burger’s not optional. (Note: if you’re one of the lucky folks with a Palizzi Social Club membership, now is the perfect time to show off your cred. Just be sure to brief out-of-towners on the rules beforehand.)
Graduate Hospital and Fitler Square
Start things off at iconic hangout Doobies for a Scrabble match and their take on a Citywide (that’s a Sly Fox and a shot of Heaven Hill), then roam west for dinner and drinks at Pub & Kitchen. The last stop? A no brainer: finish off with a slightly less fancy Citywide or three at Bob & Barbara’s. Depending on what night you go, there’s bound to be something (karaoke, a drag show, or live music) going on.
This route across South Philly west of Broad Street involves a little more legwork — or maybe a Lyft ride — to complete, but the libations are worth it. Start with bites and beers at South Philly Taproom, then head north for dinner at American Sardine Bar. Then pop over to Burg’s Hideaway Lounge for tiki drinks and a cozy vibe to close out your night.
Start off fancy at the Franklin Bar for high-end cocktails, then hit up Rouge for old-school swank, dinner, and more drinks. End up — where else — below ground level at Oscar’s Tavern, where you can split a cheesesteak-and-a-half alongside your extra-large glass of Yuengling if you’re still hungry.
Of all the bar crawl routes on this list, this one displays the, er, eclectic nature of Philly’s drinking and dining scene best. Begin at Tria’s flagship cafe at 12th and Spruce with a cheese board and expertly devised beer or wine pairings, then head north to iconic tavern Fergie’s Pub for a burger, more beer, and some of those ultra-thin fried pickle chips. No holiday visit to downtown Philly would be complete without hitting up the aggressively festive perpetual Christmas party that is Tinsel. By this point in the evening, you should be ready to drink just about anything out of a snow globe.
This one’s easy: Start at Bar-Ly for craft beer, wings, and a Sixers game. And when you’re en route to one of the best cocktail experiences in the whole country — Hop Sing Laundromat, of course — make sure to stop at an ATM (it’s cash-only) and have your ID ready at the door. Your last stop is obviously Chinatown Square for some Johnny Walker and karaoke. Done and done.
This crawl along a section of the Market-Frankford line starts with Walnut Street Cafe, where (depending on your budget) you can take advantage of excellent happy hour specials or head sommelier Kaitlyn Caruke’s excellent wine list. Hop the subway to 46th Street and hit up gastropub Local 44 for craft brews and a hearty dinner before heading a block west and up a flight of stairs to Fiume for Citywides or upscale cocktails, whatever you’re in the mood for.
Kick things off with draft wine, fancy pizza, and the giant Caesar salad at Clarkville. You’ll want to carb up before strolling west to Dahlak, which transitions from Eritrean restaurant to the eclectic neighborhood’s favorite dive after 9 p.m. or so. Chances are, there’ll be karaoke, an open mic, or a dance party happening in the dining room, so post up at the back bar for a more chill evening. Finish things off a few blocks further west with a creative beer cocktail at Dock Street Cannery, the brewery’s younger, hipper, smaller sibling.