10 Hottest New Bars in Philadelphia

By Caroline Russock | February 12, 2016 By Caroline Russock  |  February 12, 2016

There's no arguing Philadelphia is a beer town, but the latest round of bar openings have set their sights on wine, rare spirits and craft cocktails. Check our list of the 10 hottest new bars in Philadelphia for all of your happy-hour, day-drinking and wine-sipping needs.

  • Urban Farmer

    Why It’s Hot:  Setting up shop in the former Four Seasons hotel means the the bar at this sustainable steakhouse came with built-in clientele. Happily, the revamped cocktail menu and its extensive beverage lineup inspires the same conviviality as the original — only this time with eye on forward-thinking drinks. The spirits list is serious, cocktails (pictured at top) are well made and the vibe is anything but stodgy.

    Must-Drink: Farmer #4 ($14) will have you rethinking your stance on vodka. This one blends Hangar One with elderflower and lime, poured over a cube of hopped grapefruit juice ice.

    Insider Tip: Martini mavens take note: the Overhand ($14) is a refreshed take on a classic with gin, house-infused vermouth and olive oil float. There are also as many pickled onions and olives to garnish (or snack on) as you'd like.

    1850 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-963-2788

  • Neuf

    Why It’s Hot: Chef Joncarl Lachman’s welcoming Italian, French and North African endeavor has been home to a lively bar scene since day one. Thanks in no small part to head barman Jesse Cornell, the drinks are fantastic riffs on classics that inspire guests to stay for more than just one round.

    Must-Drink: With bottles sourced from the sunny climes of the Canary Islands, Morocco and Portugal, the wines at Neuf are geared to pair with the deeply spiced fare.

    Insider Tip: Lachman’s love of all things sparkling is no secret. Be sure to check chalkboards for daily champagne specials.

    943 S. Ninth St.; 215-309-5847

  • Bud & Marilyn’s

    Why It’s Hot: With a cocktail menu crafted by Franklin Bar vet Colin Shearn, this throwback spot pours retro cocktails that don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Must-Drink: Blue drinks shouldn’t be relegated to vacation days. The Cannonball! ($11) is a bright blend of blanco tequila with rosemary, lime and just enough blue curaçao to make it a whole lot of fun.

    Insider Tip: Head to the bar during happy hour for gimlet slushies ($6) and fried cheese curds with garlic scape ranch ($5).

    1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2220

  • Buckminster’s

    Why It’s Hot: Much like the kitchen's menu at this Point Breeze neo-bistro, the drinks list is brief but concisely crafted. Wines are affordable yet exciting, beers run the high-low gamut from High Life ponies to locally brewed rarities and cocktails are killer.

    Must-Drink: Lavender-scented gin and tonics go for $5.50 all day, every day. ‘Nuff said.  

    Insider Tip: Vegan cocktail enthusiasts listen up: Buckminster’s might be only place in town that has an eggless flip on the menu. Here the Vegan Flip ($8) subs in applesauce and coconut milk in place of egg white for a remarkably tasty (and frothy) coupe shaken with gin, Cherry Heering and spearmint.

    1200 S. 21st St.; 267-928-3440

  • Hungry Pigeon

    Why It’s Hot: This solo venture from South Philly Taproom and American Sardine Bar allows chef Scott Schroeder to pair his well-known background in beer with his love for natural wines. Tapping local natural wine booster David McDuff, the wine list is on point — it's interesting and priced to encourage exploration.

    Must-Drink: There’s no other place in town where you’re going to find such an incredibly drinkable glass of Piedmontese Barbera on tap for $7.

    Insider Tip: The Pedra ($9) riffs on Argentinean favorites, mixing Fernet Branca with red wine Coke and a splash of lime.

    743 S. Fourth St.; 215-278-2736

  • Tredici Enoteca

    Why It’s Hot: Carving out an instant classic into the 13th Street corridor, the folks behind Zavino had an inkling that pairing a serious raw bar with a well-thought-out wine list would be a welcome addition to Midtown Village. Long story short, it paid off and quickly.

    Must-Drink: Enoteca (Italian for wine bar) might not be part of the Philadelphian vernacular, but Tredici is a magnet with its internationally sourced wine list and half pours made for sampling. An ideal introduction is a half pour of Sicilian grillo ($6) and a half-dozen happy-hour-priced oysters.

    Insider Tip: Beverage director Jason Brooke is stocking his Cruvinet system with bottles rarely opened for glass pours. In other words, where else are you going to have a chance to sample a 1990 Riesling from J.B. Becker ($8/$16)?

    114 S. 13th St.; no phone

  • Martha

    Why It’s Hot: Philly fermentation heads know Martha co-owner Jon Medlinsky well. From a strong beer and restaurant biz background, Medlinsky has created an inviting bar that specializes in curious craft beers, natural wines, local spirits and complimentary plates that showcase local producers.

    Must-Drink: With a penchant for all things naturally fermented, anything on the menu reading sour, saison, gose or wild is a solid bet.  

    Insider Tip: Medlinsky’s got friends in good places, meaning the overhead-projected menu is always packed with rare beers from boutique brewers like Forrest and Main and Tired Hands. Draft cocktails created by the best barkeeps in town.

    2113 E. York St.; 215-867-8881

  • Kanella

    Why It’s Hot: Chef Konstantinos Pitsillides’ unparalleled Cypriot menu is finally getting the drinks love that it deserves with his stunning new Queen Village restaurant that opened complete with a liquor license. Mediterranean flavors sparkle through the cocktail and wine lists highlighting food-friendly Greek bottles and working their way into sunny cocktails.

    Must-Drink: The cocktail menu at Kanella 2.0 is divided into classics and house cocktails. Both categories are filled with solid bets like a bergamot-infused Aviation ($11) and the Odysseus ($11) with gin, dill and rose preserves.

    Insider Tip: Don’t let unfamiliar bottles on the wine list throw you off. The waitstaff here is more than happy to walk you through the finer points of their Mediterranean list.

    757 S. Front St.; 215-644-8949

  • Coeur

    Why It’s Hot: Taking over a cozy Italian Market location, the craft-beer impresarios behind Memphis Taproom and Strangelove’s have gone a step beyond the gastropub for their latest endeavor. Sure the beer list is solid, but there’s plenty more to enjoy here.

    Must-Drink: With seven wines on tap, enjoying a few glasses from the draft list is a must. An Austrian Gruner Veltliner ($8) is a great place to start.

    Insider Tip: The Coeur team joins forces with local breweries on the regular. Check out their Lose the Skin wild cider ($6) collaboration with Bullfrog Brewing while it’s still available.

    824 S. Eighth St.; 215-922-6387

  • South Kitchen + Jazz Parlor

    Why It’s Hot: The Bynum brothers revamped this airy North Broad space with a drinks, jazz and dining concept reminiscent of their dearly departed Zanzibar Blue. The kitchen is putting out Southern-accented fare and the bar is doing a bang-up job keeping the live music crowd busy with a brown-spirits-heavy cocktail menu.

    Must-Drink: The Northern Neighbor ($12) puts an after dinner spin on George Dickel rye by matching it up with Cardamaro (a cardamom amaro), maple syrup and chocolate bitters.

    Insider Tip: Plenty of places have Sazeracs on the menu but South’s take on the NOLA classic ($12) is textbook perfect.

    600 N. Broad St.; 215-600-0220

Places Mentioned

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Bud & Marilyn's

American Washington Square West
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French Bella Vista
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Urban Farmer Philadelphia

Steakhouse Logan Square
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SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor

Southern American Spring Garden
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Restaurant Neuf

African Bella Vista
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Point Breeze
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Tredici Enoteca

Italian Washington Square West
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Hungry Pigeon

American Queen Village
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Greek Queen Village
Food25 Decor18 Service23 Cost$43
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North Kensington
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