Deals & Events

Bottom's Up: New Year’s Eve Picks by Drink

By Danya Henninger  |  December 20, 2013

December 31 is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and nearly every bar and restaurant in the city is ready to welcome you for a New Year’s Eve dinner or bash. Real talk: though you can get great food, the night is really about drinking - yes, champagne, but also lots of other stuff. Here’s where to go depending on what kind of sip makes your heart sing.

If you love bourbon: After making a splash on Next Food Network Star, Chad Rosenthal opened The Lucky Well in Ambler, and is hosting an all-you-can-eat BBQ feast from 8 PM-midnight. Also included: a bourbon tasting featuring Four Roses Yellow Label, Nor'easter bourbon and Templeton rye, along with an open bar ($75; 215-646-4242).

If you’re tempted by tequila: El Vez in Midtown Village is always dressed up, but on this night the carnival colors of the Stephen Starr Mexican will fit in more than usual. There’s open seating, so expect a crowd, but also expect to enjoy special cocktails (and, just maybe, shots) from the huge tequila selection (215-928-9800).

If spiked hot cocoa wafts through your dreams: Get an unparalleled view of the Delaware River fireworks along with a George Sabatino menu full of hand-held bites at The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest. Outdoor fire pits provide a perfect atmosphere for that cup of boozy chocolate, plus there’s plenty of craft beer, cocktails and a champagne toast (9 PM-1 AM; $85; tickets here).

If Italian wine put the felice in your anno nuovo: At his East Falls dining room with a view of the Schuylkill, chef-owner Arthur Cavaliere is preparing a $65 four-course menu of Southern Italian favorites. Call to reserve a seat at In Riva between 5:30-9:30 PM and opt for the wine pairing ($22) for the full experience (267-825-1218).

If you crave craft beer: With a name like the “No Bullsh*t Party,” you know the four-hour bash at City Tap House in West Philly won’t be stocked with fussy drinks or watered-down punch. Your $75 ticket includes all you care to drink from the bar, which happens to pour from a tops-in-the-city 60 taps (9 PM-1 AM; 215-662-0105; tickets here).

If you just can’t get enough champagne: Most people will sip some bubbly on NYE, but if you want to be sure of getting more than a single flute, spring for the high-end option at Jason Cichonski’s Ela in Queen Village. For $150 per person, you’ll be treated to a seven-course tasting menu plus a bottle of champagne for every couple in your party (267-687-8512).