New & Hot Places

Hottest Bars in Philly

With new izakayas, subterranean speakeasies and sunny cantinas, there's no shortage of places to cozy up to the bar this winter in Philly. Here's a look at the city's latest crop of well-stocked cellars, cocktail havens and instant happy-hour hits.

Royal Sushi & Izakaya

NewJapaneseQueen Village

This sake mecca is introducing Philadelphia to a whole new Japanese dining scene, and with it, a menu packed with a world of rare fermented rice brews.

Must-order: Consider yourself warned, the city’s first and only sake on tap goes down a little too easy.
Insider tip: Hard-to-find Japanese craft beers and whiskeys round out the expansive drinks list.

780 S. Second St.; 267-909-9002

Scarpetta Philadelphia

NewItalianRittenhouse Square

When it comes to Rittenhouse cocktailing, the sleek bar at Philly’s latest New York import is the place to be.

Must-order: Spirits like Plymouth gin and Carpano Antica bring a new level of elegance to a classic Negroni.

Insider tip: The recently introduced happy hour is a generous one, with half-off the bar's entire lineup of beer, wine and cocktails.

210 W. Rittenhouse Square; 215-558-4199

Banh Mi and Bottles

NewVietnameseBella Vista

Vietnamese fare, killer drinks and a well-stocked bottle shop give this South Street newcomer across-the-board appeal.

Must-order: East Meets West, a whiskey and coconut concoction, is equal parts tropical vibes and serious sipping.  
Insider tip: Citywides come in three varieties here, including Wild Turkey Rare Breed with a house-brewed tea chaser.

712-714 South St.; 215-800-1533

Harp & Crown

NewRittenhouse Square

Whether you’re sipping street-level or heading to the downstairs speakeasy, there’s not a bad seat in the house at this Michael Schulson stunner.   

Must-order: Riffing on the stout and sparkling combo, a Black Velvet marries an inky stout cordial with bright lemon and champagne.
Insider tip: Gather a group of friends and reserve the basement bowling alley for an evening of strikes, spares and spirits.

1525 Sansom St.; 215-330-2800

Rarest

NewAmericanWashington Square West

An ambitious menu of raw, cured and fermented fare is matched with a stellar bar program.  

Must-order: From Pennsylvania Riesling to Spanish spumante, general manager Alexandra Cherniavsky has crafted a wine list that's equal parts new discoveries and tried-and-true favorites.
Insider tip: Even if you haven’t saved room for dessert, a roving bar cart is stocked with all manner of after-dinner drinks to ensure that meals end on a high note.

834 Chestnut St.; 215-305-8752

24 Wood Fired Fare

NewItalianRittenhouse Square

Jose Garces’ latest endeavor is an all-day dining and drinking destination with Italian accents and unparalleled Schuylkill River views.  

Must-order: Red, white or bubbly, all wines on tap go for under $10 a glass.
Insider tip: Head to the bar for aperitivo time, a two-hour block offering drink specials paired with complimentary small plates.

2401 Walnut St.; 215-333-3331

Cinder

NewRittenhouse Square

An in-depth draft list showcases the city’s most comprehensive cider selection, along with uncommon pours from breweries near and far.

Must-order: A duo of old- and new-world styles is a surefire way to up your cider knowledge.
Insider tip: Don’t ignore the bottle list, a treasure trove of large format beers, quirky wines and high-ABV cult favorites.

1500 Locust St.; 267-761-5582

ITV

New AmericanEast Passyunk Crossing

At chef Nick Elmi’s petite wine and cocktail bar tucked next to Laurel, there's no need for reservations — just head on in for a taste. 

Must-order: Beverage manager Heather Sharp has a soft spot for Austrian bottles. Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings are only the tip of the iceberg.
Insider tip: Those in the market for a later dinner will be happy to know that the kitchen serves until 11 PM and the bar is open until 2 AM nightly.

1615 E. Passyunk Ave.; 267-858-0669

Mission Taqueria

MexicanRittenhouse Square

The bar at this second-floor Center City spot from the Oyster House is stocked with a lovely selection of spirits, beer and wine that lend themselves to the menu's Mexican flavors.

Must-order: Fruity margaritas are the real deal, made with fresh juices from the kitchen’s cold press.
Insider tip: Get your game on at the foosball table.

1516 Sansom St.; 215-383-1200

Lou Bird's

NewNew AmericanRittenhouse Square

This warm New American bistro comes from the owners of Center City favorite, The Happy Rooster. That means they’ve given plenty of thought to drawing a neighborhood bar crowd with a roster of smartly composed cocktails, a well-thought-out wine list and a typically great Philly beer list.

Must-order: The Royal Americano is livened up with a splash of bubbly, adding sparkle to this bitter aperitivo.
Insider tip: Ask for the full wine menu, where you'll find gems like a bottle of bright Sicilian Frappato for around $50.

500 S. 20th St.; 267-804-7977

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