Best of Philly 2005: Nightlife & Bars

Where to drink, dance and hook up

Bar Snacks

Cheap: Beef Jerky at Bob and Barbara’s A perfect accompaniment to B&B’s famous $3 beer-and-shot, this smoky, black ­pepper-spiked jerky is more pliable than most. A buck per piece, or $10 for a half-pound “dime bag” (1509 South Street; 215-545-4511).

Chic: Saloon Great cocktails, and an even better scene of illicit romances, dysfunctional family celebrations, and deals going down. But it’s the silver bowls filled with slices of shaved parmesan that we can’t resist—the salty, nutty, delicious cheese makes a vodka martini taste even better (750 South 7th Street; 215-627-1811).

Main Line bar (intimate): Bianca The little sofas and lush raw-silk curtains that frame them, plus the tiny wine bar, are quite romantic, even though you’ll see everyone you know here on a Saturday night (24 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr; 610-519-0999).

Martini: Southwark When we’re tired of the mangotini crowd, we head to this little bar, where top-shelf ’tenders will shake or stir you into gin-soaked oblivion. Request the Miller’s English gin and Noilly Prat vermouth combination, up with three olives (701 South 4th Street; 215-238-1888).

New lounge: Walnut Room
It arrived on the Rittenhouse scene this year, and quickly won happy-hour and even late-night-Denim-fabulous types with its extensive list of quirky cocktails and sleek interior. The fruity Seafoam and vanilla-infused Paddington Bear are favorites (1709 Walnut Street, 2nd floor; 215-751-0201).

Classic cocktail spot: Bridget’s The chic new steakhouse in Ambler has a long, handsome bar that’s all dark wood, mirrors and low lights, with an unobtrusive TV. We like to eavesdrop here on the musings of Hogan-sandal-wearing women with their khaki-clad husbands, drinking — what else? — Grey Goose martinis (8 West Butler Pike, Ambler; 267-465-2000).