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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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