Where We’re Drinking Right Now: The Best New Bars in Philly
The new wine bars, cocktail spots, and breweries you should check out next.
You probably have a long list of reasons why you haven’t been drinking anywhere other than your neighborhood bar lately. Some of these excuses might be about convenience. Another might be: “Crossing the city to pay $17 for a shitty espresso martini? No thanks!” We get it.
But Philly’s bar scene is growing, and there are plenty of exciting new places where the bartenders don’t yet know how often you wear that one long-sleeve shirt. We’ve scoped out as many recently opened bars as possible, all so that you can find a great place to drink. (Admittedly a tough gig, we take our work very seriously). Here’s what’s new and cool — or chaotic but fun — in Philly’s drinking world right now.
Poison Heart, Spring Garden
Opened: July 2023
You’ll probably think you’re in the wrong place when you first arrive to Poison Heart. It is located in a small storefront with blocked-out windows and no noticeable sign, but upon entry, the long bar and dim lighting will confirm that this is, indeed, a place where you can spend many hours. Try the freezer martini, a very nice batched gin version with your choice of twist, olive or onion; or go for one of their glasses of wine. (The team behind The Good King Tavern, Le Caveau and Superfolie are connected here, so the wine list is interesting without being funky for funky’s sake.) A small food menu includes oysters by the half-dozen, a patty melt, and a basket of burn-your-fingers-fresh waffle fries drenched in raclette cheese sauce. Kitchen is open until midnight, bar open til 1 a.m. 931 Spring Garden Street.
Post Haste, Kensington
Opened: June 2023
We go deep on their sustainability angle here, but the team at Post Haste is working very hard to source everything on their menu from East of the Mississippi River. This might not seem like a super specific area until you consider things like tequila, Scotch, and lemons. But don’t let this very serious-sounding intention keep you away. The drinks are mostly classics, reworked with local-ish ingredients, like the pear-nicillian, a pear-based take on the classic Scotch cocktail. 2519 Franklin Avenue.
Next of Kin, Fishtown
Opened: April 2023
Co-owners Kyle Darrow, John Grubb and Devan Roberts opened Next of Kin as a simple thing: a very good cocktail bar. The menu is many pages of very classic cocktails, which they make expertly in lovely glassware and with fancy, transparent ice that both looks gorgeous and melts slower. There are no reservations, and there’s no food. Just the very simple, very complicated art of a good drink. 1414 Frankford Avenue.
Opened: March 2023
The team behind The Good King Tavern and Le Caveau opened this jewel box wine bar in Center City in March, just in time to be identified by Esquire as one of the best new bars in America for 2023. Its specialness comes from the thoughtful curation of wines both by the glass and by the bottle, and the care with which the team there helps guide you through the options. Every Wednesday they open special bottle from the cellar and sell it at cost by the glass, which brings in both wine geeks and people who want to learn a little something new. They also have a small cocktail and beer program, plus thoughtful plates designed for pairing with their beverages. 1602 Spruce Street.
Carbon Copy, West Philly
Opened: December 2022
Carbon Copy took over the old Dock Street West location and remodeled the place with a terrazzo bar and pastel-colored stools. Owners Kyle Wolak and Brendon Boudwin worked at Tired Hands before splitting off to open their own concept where they serve not just their own beer, but also their own wine (produced at a facility in Kensington). The beer is the real draw, especially Carbon Copy’s Belgian-style Mote and a pilsner made with traditional step-mashing methods. Bring your kids during the day; it’s certainly a family-friendly environment. 701 South 50th Street.
Andra Hem, Rittenhouse
Opened: December 2022
You could watch an Architectural Digest YouTube video or you could go to Andra Hem, sit on a blue barstool, and live one out yourself. This Rittenhouse bar, whose name translates to “Second Home” in Swedish, is outfitted in vintage Scandinavian furniture and patterned walls that would give a Vera Bradley bag self-esteem issues. If you’re looking for a new place to meet up with someone in Center City, there is probably no option more polished right now. Though it’s worth mentioning that, in our experience so far, style seems to outmatch the fairly one-dimensional drinks we tried, like a tequila-based cocktail with lingonberry. But we’ll be back for more soon. 218 South 16th Street.
Solar Myth, South Philly
Opened: November 2022
This experimental jazz club in the old Boot & Saddle space — operated by Fountain Porter owner Evan Clancy and Ars Nova Workshop founder Mark Christman — manages to shed any pretension typically associated with the semi-esoteric musical genre. What’s left is just plain cool and easy-feeling: a dim-lit, concrete-floored bar, vinyl playing through the speakers, and a wine list that even the most insufferable wine people in your life will drool over. Bring a few friends on a Friday and split a bottle of something nicer than what you might usually order, or stop by for a live show. Then come back the next day for coffee and a slice of tomato pie (from Mighty Bread, no less). Solar Myth opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, and stays open until 2 a.m. every day. 1131 South Broad Street.
Grace & Proper, Bella Vista
Opened: November 2022
Grace & Proper’s corner space has been slammed all three times we’ve been there. At noon, it packs with groups of friends day drinking. At night, dates look at each other with we-haven’t-had-sex-yet googly eyes and share plates of Portuguese-inspired snacks like boquerones or thin, crispy tomato pinsas. Despite the cocktail menu flaunting ingredients like 24 karat gold leaf and white truffles, the place is really quite casual and neighborhood-y. Stick to the straightforward drinks, like a refreshing porto tonico, or a glass of wine. Just prepare for a tight squeeze. At its best, the tiny room feels magnetic. If you can’t snag a seat, though, you’ll gain a new appreciation for those anchovies marinated in vinegar. 941 South 8th Street.