The Coziest Bars and Restaurants in Philly

Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night will keep us from going out and having a good time. Here are the best spots to get cozy in Philly.

A cocktail by the fireplace at 48 Record Bar / Photograph by Gab Bonghi

It’s cold. The nights are long, you’ve been stuck in the house for way too long, and you’re starting to go a little stir-crazy. It’s time for a change of scenery, and what better way to break up the monotony than by going out to a bar or restaurant.

Times like this call for a spot that feels like an extension of your home — one where there are plenty of comfort foods on the menu, drinks that will make you feel toasty (and get you toasty), and an atmosphere that feels like a warm hug. Here are the bars and restaurants you’ll find us getting cozy in.

48 Record Bar, Old City

What could be more chill than listening to records and sitting by the fireplace with a cocktail in hand? The Industry Negroni with Fernet-Branca, green chartreuse, Campari, and orange bitters paired with an eclectic mix of vinyl sounds like the best way to spend a cold night.

Sassafras, Old City

It’s all about the ambient lighting at Sassafras. The warm glow of lamps and candles that illuminate the space makes sipping cocktails and chatting with friends an intimate experience. From the soft pretzel with maple dijon mustard sauce to the tavern grilled cheese, the menu is loaded with upscale takes of homey comfort foods.

Bloomsday Cafe, Society Hill

With its quaint cobblestone street and brick sidewalk, Headhouse Square is oozing with charm. And the coziest spot on the block is at Bloomsday, in the casual lounge spot by the front window. Imagine sitting here with a glass of wine, snacking on cheese, tinned fish, and chips with caviar while watching the snow cover the shambles outside — it’s a scene plucked straight out of a Hallmark movie.

Library Bar, Rittenhouse

There is not a single corner of this bar you’re not going to want to curl up in. Lounge in a chair the bookcase, snuggle up on the couch in front of the limestone fireplace, or hang out on the yellow leather booth in the bar with a glass of Gamay and let go of all your worries.

The Dandelion, Rittenhouse

Considering England is known for its chilly, damp and foggy weather, you can trust the Brits to know how to create a cozy vibe. The dark wood tones, fabric window drapes, and antique aesthetics makes the Dandelion feel like you’re visiting your worldly, eccentric aunt — the aunt you love visiting because she can weave a hell of a tale over a pint of beer and a plate of bangers and mash in front of a crackling fireplace.

Good King Tavern, Bella Vista

There’s a different kind of comfort that comes from Good King Tavern. It’s not the snuggle-up-with-your-beau-and-a-beer kind of cozy (though it could be if you’re one of those couples that like to sit on the same side of the booth). Rather, it’s the sense of ease that comes from consistency. You can always trust that the tavern burger topped with raclette is a solid choice, that the friendly staff will recommend the exact wine you’re in the mood for, and that, chances are, you’ll run into someone you know from the neighborhood, as if you were living out a real-life episode of Cheers.

Le Caveau bar / Photograph by Neal Santos, courtesy of Le Caveau

Le Caveau, Bella Vista

We can’t talk about Good King Tavern without mentioning Le Caveau, the super chill wine bar upstairs. The dim lights, exposed brick walls, and the steady stream of story-driven wines makes the outside world fade away. Grab a French hot dog stuffed into a baguette and a glass of sparkling wine, and you’ll forget it’s freezing outside.

Alpen Rose, Midtown Village

The booths at Alpen Rose are prime real estate. They’re the most tucked-away seats in the most tucked-away restaurant in Philadelphia. Best of all, they’re the U-shaped booths that, once you slide in, you melt into their dark leather embrace, like a slab of honey butter on one of their clover rolls. Spit a dry-aged porterhouse with your special someone for an intimate night out.

My Loup, Rittenhouse

Fine dining, but make it unpretentious. Alex Kemp is serving up casual comforts with elevated interpretations in one of the most stylish dining rooms in Rittenhouse. Pork rinds topped with caviar, a delicately folded omelet oozing with Boursin, and a classy cocktail while sitting in a booth by the bookcase warms the soul on a cold, gray day.

The Jim, East Passyunk

We go to dive bars because of their come-as-you-are-style of comfort. They’re the dim, windowless, no-frills venues where we can confidently order one too many beers. The Jim offers up a no-judgment vibe with the added bonus of a menu full of Asian American comfort foods. This is the spot when you need a kimchi-bacon grilled cheese and a beer after a hard day.

Townsend East Passyunk, East Passyunk

Townsend has a refined menu featuring dishes that are familiar yet elevated. Things like the roasted chicken have a homey appeal, but with experimental flourishes like apricot jam, pistachio, speck, and cippolini, it brings the dish to a whole new level. And it’s all served in a dining room that feels like you’re in someone’s house. Who said elegance can’t be cozy?

Grace & Proper, East Passyunk

The constant hum of chatter that reverberates off the exposed brick walls brings Grace & Proper to life. The long bar and small tables create a social environment where you can swap tasting notes with the person sitting next to you or discuss your favorite cocktail and snack pairings with the bartenders. But the vibe is mellow enough where, if you’re in the mood for solitude, you can fade into the crowd with a mortadella sandwich or a plate of chips and salami.

Photograph courtesy of Assembly Rooftop Lounge

Assembly Rooftop Lounge, Center City

During the colder winter months, Assembly transforms their rooftop into a modern ski lodge pop-up with fire pits, blankets, comfort food and warm cocktails. Nothing evokes après-ski vibes like getting toasty under a blanket by the fire pit and get toasted with a spiced, mulled wassail cocktail during their Alpine Happy Hour.

Bar Hygge, Fairmount
Bar Hygge is all about cultivating a cozy vibe – literally. The Danish word “hygge” became part of the international lexicon in 2017 when the Instagram vibe was showing off the places that gave us the warm fuzzies. And what has more hygge energy than a grazing board of locally made bread slathered in chicken liver mousse, tangy camembert, and pickles with a house-brewed beer.

Suraya, Fishtown
Suraya gets a lot of hype for its dinner service (rightfully so), but if you need to warm up in the middle of the day a pastry and coffee or tea at brunch is where it’s at. Grab a chocolate halva croissant and a Lebanese chai latte or go big with the entire pastry basket.

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons, Fishtown

Pasta, pizza, and craft cocktails all served in lofty space with natural light coming through large windows, a chill playlist, and a roaring fireplace: need I say more?

Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar, Fishtown

Nothing staves off the icy chill of a cold Philly day like a saucy bowl of pasta. What can I say? Carbs are cozy. Order a savory mushroom pastina or a duck fat carbonara with a glass of wine and you’ll feel toasty in no time.