11 Festive Philly Bars for the Holiday-Obsessed Among Us

Want to fuel your love of Christmas by drinking out of ornaments and sitting under twinkle lights? You’ve come to the right place.

holiday bar christmas cocktails

Holiday cocktails at Craftsman Row, transformed into a Christmas bar for the holidays / Photograph by Eddy Marenco

The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time to get into the spirit — with spirits. (I only get to use that pun once a year, forgive me.) Want to throw on an ugly sweater and go somewhere you can drink a cocktail out of an ornament while surrounded by ornaments for no reason other than to fuel your love of Christmas? You’ve come to the right place.

Tinsel

philadelphia holiday bars

Midtown Village Christmas bar pop-up Tinsel / Photograph courtesy of Craft Concepts Group/Tinsel

Leading off with the Christmas bar that arguably started the trend in Philly, it’s the hyper-festive Tinsel. This former Midtown Village jewelry store is small, but they cram holiday cheer into every square inch with all the lights and decorations they could find, and a soundtrack to match. Some of the themed drinks come in cute glassware you can keep (think: snow globes and childlike plastic mugs with reindeer on them). They also sell “the Canned Good” which comes in a custom Tinsel can and includes a $1 donation to charity. Don’t miss a selfie with the Gritty Claus statue when you walk in!
November 25th-December 31st, 116 South 12th Street, Midtown Village.

Assembly Rooftop Lounge

Alpine Heights at Assembly Rooftop Lounge / Photograph courtesy of PUNCH Media

For the holiday season, Assembly transforms into Alpine Heights, a ski lodge-themed experience with fire pits, boozy hot chocolate and mulled wine, themed decor, blankets and more. They’re serving holiday menu items like sweet and savory fondues, as well as a new outdoor pizza oven with happy-hour flatbreads. Plus, the Parkway views can’t be beat. Assembly Rooftop Lounge is open for walk-ins based on availability, or you can make reservations here.
November 18th-February 28th, 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Logan Square.

Frankford Hall

 

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This German beer hall-inspired Fishtown spot gets decorated for the holidays, including their outdoor patio with cozy fire pits and heaters, s’mores kits and warm drinks like spiked apple cider. But families especially should be on the lookout for their popular “Frankford Hall-idays” weekends — planned for December 10th-11th and 17th-18th — when they’ll have crafts and visits from Santa.
1210 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown.

The Prime Rib

 

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The Library Bar inside Live Casino’s Best of Philly-winning Prime Rib transforms into “Winter Wonderland” with chic lounge seating, shimmering snowflakes and other sparkly decor, and holiday cocktails and beer. Even better, those cocktails will be from Lê of Hop Sing Laundromat. His custom drink menu includes “Tijuana’s Margarita” made with blanco tequila, ruby grapefruit syrup, Aperol, and lime and the “G&G” made with gin, egg white, ginger syrup, lime, and lemon peel. There’s also a special holiday food menu from Prime Rib’s chef Justin Nelson. This experience is reservation-only, and can be booked here.
November 19th-January 4th, 900 Packer Avenue, South Philly.

Craftsman Row

holiday bars christmas

Craftsman Row decked out for the holidays / Photograph by Eddy Marenco

This Jewelers’ Row bar and restaurant goes all out for the holidays with ornaments cascading from the ceilings and garland everywhere, plus themed menu items and over-the-top milkshakes. The Christmas Dinner Burger is topped with stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet-potato fries; the milkshakes come topped with candy, cookies, and (in one case) a whole slice of pie.
November 9th-January 15th, 112 South 8th Street, Washington Square West.

Taqueria Amor

Senor Grinch’s / Photograph by Scott Sumsky

For their third season, this Manayunk spot transforms into “Senor Grinch’s.” The restaurant is covered in lights, garland and other themed areas including an Elvis tribute (why not?) and — new for this year — a “Wet Bandits”  bar area themed to Home Alone and a projector showing holiday movie clips all night. They also add seven special holiday cocktails to the menu.
November 17th-January 2nd, 4410 Main Street, Manayunk.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House

McGillin’s all dressed up for the holidays / Photograph by Laura Swartz

According to their website, the beer taps have been flowing at McGillin’s since 1860. But it’s not just one of Philly’s oldest bars, it’s also a holiday standby for generations of Philadelphians. They’ve got themed cocktails including the “Mistletoe Mule,” “Peppermint Bark,” and an eggnog martini. Visiting the decked-out McGillin’s is a Philly holiday tradition, like the Macy’s light show or complaining about crowds at the Macy’s light show.
1310 Drury Street, Midtown Village.

Uptown Beer Garden

Uptown Beer Garden’s Grinchy holiday makeover / Photograph by Society Hill Films

If you’re looking for an outdoor spot to grab a festive drink and festive photos, head to U-Ville. (Though, bundle up, because while there is an enclosed-tent section and some heaters, it still gets very chilly. Frozen cocktails for $22 are … a choice.) Uptown Beer Garden’s Grinchy pop-up comes back with theming inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic. Whimsical decorations include a Christmas dinner tableau where you can sit and “carve the roast beast,” a tunnel that leads to a Grinch face made of lights, a Christmas tree surrounded by Whos, and … a giant spangled Krampus, for some reason. As for drinks, you can choose frozen, hot and regular-temperature themed cocktails, along with beer. And because Uptown shares an owner with Tinsel, you can also get the Canned Good cocktail here. You’re also in a prime location, as this one sits right across from Christmas Village in LOVE Park. Bonus: Kids are welcome before 8 p.m.
November 19th-December 31st, 1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Center City.

Aqimero

 

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For something swanky, hit up the Ritz-Carlton’s lobby bar which is always stylishly decorated for the holidays. Special cocktails include “the Buona Natale” (warm apple cider, amaro and cardamom), “the Rompope” (rum, mezcal crema, egg nog and cinnamon) and “the Holiday Sparkle” (rosemary-infused vodka, cranberry, lemon and candy cane garnish). But the real reason this spot is always on our list is thanks to their signature hot chocolate, served with all the fixings and a cookie on the side (make it boozy for an extra $6). Load up your cocoa with chocolate shavings, house-made marshmallows, crushed peppermint and more as you sit and take in the sparkle.
November 25th-January 1st, 10 Avenue of the Arts, Center City.

Evil Genius

Evil Genius in its holiday best / Photograph courtesy of Evil Genius

“Santa! I know him!” Evil Genius has turned that Elf quote into a seasonal beer, as well as a guiding principle at their Lab in Fishtown. The holiday saison is brewed with rose hips, chamomile, black currants and dark Belgian candi syrup. The Lab, meanwhile, is decked out with a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree, which they’ll light on December 1st from 5 to 9 p.m. in their kickoff holiday party. Outside, the beer garden will also be decorated for the season, and you can even pick out your Christmas tree from Front Street Trees. Special events include the Santa 0.5k charity race around the block on December 4th and the “Sleigh My Name Sleigh My Name” Christmas drag brunch on December 4th and 11th.
1727 Front Street, Fishtown.

Butcher Bar

 

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The Yule Lodge is returning for the season, transforming Butcher Bar’s patio and garden into a cozy, plaid refuge filled with holiday-themed drinks. They even have National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-inspired reindeer egg nog glasses.
November 19th-December 31st, 2034 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse.

Bonus: Cozy Cabins and Igloos

Festive greenhouses at Harper’s Garden / Photograph courtesy of FCM Hospitality

If you’re looking to take your hygge a little further, cozy up at après-skate cabins at both Dilworth Park and the Blue Cross RiverRink. Both serve plenty of warm beverages (both non-alcoholic and boozy). The RiverRink has the added bonus of the private chalet lounges and fire pits to make s’mores at while you sit in an Adirondack chair.

In addition, spots like Harper’s Garden, Juno and Figo have creative outdoor greenhouses and igloo-like bubbles, also decorated for the season with twinkly lights. Figo’s igloos are located right by the Northern Liberties Christmas tree for some added holiday cheer, and they’ve got Santa brunches planned along with a visit from everyone’s favorite snow queen.