Philadelphia is home to some great spots, such as many restaurants, bars, and things to do. There is only so much time when you visit, it can be hard to hit all the top spots. Here are 10 unique bars and restaurants in Philadelphia, PA you don’t want to miss!
This is a personal favorite because you really just cannot go wrong. It’s three stories of possibilities make for a perfect night with either a large group, thanks to their full circle tables, or make it a little more intimate in their swinging basket chairs. Their rooftop has an amazing view, and that combined with their fun drink options make for a relaxing night overlooking the city of brotherly love. However, my favorite part is their menu. Like I said before, you cannot go wrong. No item on the menu is quite like the other, and thanks to its large variety it is a perfect stop for a light lunch or a something a bit more rich for dinner and dessert.
2. Yakitori Boy
This place is the one and only authentic Izakaya (Japanese Pub) in Philadelphia with a unique variety of small dishes and Japanese plates. The very best part of this place is the karaoke lounge and private karaoke rooms which make for a perfect place to make a fool of yourself or watch someone make a fool of themselves. All the while, you can enjoy their amazing drinks and their tapas style menu that they call “Japas.”
3. Graffiti Bar
Unlike other outdoor bars, Graffiti Bar is open year round and serves Pan-Asian food with awesome cocktails and an even better happy hour. An extension of Sampan, this bar offers the same acclaimed food by the same chef in a bit more casual setting. It only has around 30 seats so it is inevitably smaller than most places, but its artwork and open-air patio makes for a one of a kind experience.
Sometimes a classic rooftop is just an ideal go-to, and Assembly is the definition of classic rooftop with its breathtaking view of Philadelphia’s art and museum district. You definitely pay for the incredible view, but it is entirely worth it as the open-air lounge truly allows its guests to get a perfect glimpse of the city. Overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway and located right in the Logan Square neighborhood, Assembly is an ideal spot to grab drinks if you find yourself out and about in this section of Philly.
5. Urban Farmer
Located right in Logan Square, along with Assembly, is this super modern steakhouse whose food and aura bring together the classic steak dinner with the culture, art, and urbanness of a city like Philadelphia. What makes this steakhouse really stand out is the insanely unique look they achieve within the restaurant of rustic farmhouse meets urban chic apartment. It is also a pleasant touch knowing that they emphasize the use of local ingredients to achieve absolutely delicious meals that incorporate a distinguished simplicity. They also have a great happy hour during the week with food and drink specials you cannot beat.
6. Vetri Cucina
In the birthplace of our country, it is only fit to list a few places with some interesting history. Vetri is a restaurant set in an old town-home residing in the heart of historic Philadelphia. With seating for only 32, its intimate setting invites guests to become a part of the old town-homes family and a part this history of our country. The dining experience includes a meal prepared by chef Vetri who uses fresh and locally grown ingredients. As for wine, their 2,500 bottles of wine are all rare vintages, and guests are given a wine list created by certified sommeliers. Vetri is perfect if it is your first time visiting Philadelphia, or if you have lived in the city all your life and need a little taste of how the original writers of our countries constitution wined and dined.
Another historic must, and opening in 1860, this tavern is the oldest in the city of Philadelphia. Built before City Hall, and owned by Irish immigrants, I do not think you’ll find a more historic bar that goes so well with the aura of the city in which it resides. It’s homey, comfortable feel makes for a great time with good friends, especially around the holidays when it’s completely decked out in Christmas decor.
8. El Vez
This Mexican restaurant radiates liveliness and brightness from its decor to its food. They have a grande size menu and an even more grande sized tequila and margarita selection. A blend of 1950s Hollywood with Mexican flair gives El Vez its superior touch amongst the many other, similar, restaurants in Philadelphia. Above all, however, I can personally attest that the guac is to die for.
In the summer months, you can definitely expect to find all kinds of pop-ups all over the city such as the PHS (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society) Beer Gardens located on South Street and uCity Square that are incredibly picturesque and a beautiful way to spend a summer day or night. Spruce Street Harbor Park is located on the waterfront and, at night, is magically lit up by pretty lights surrounded by hammocks tied to trees and hanging gardens. Independence Beer Garden is another one that is plenty of fun in the summertime. Located right across from the liberty bell, this old city beer garden is home to TV’s, games, 40 beers on tap, and awesome bar food.
10. Frankford Hall
This one is basically like taking a German “Biergarten” and placing it in Philadelphia. Frankford Hall is located in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia, and has both indoor seating and outdoor picnic table and three separate bars. How fun! Get the full German experience with a variety of favorite German foods such as bratwurst and schnitzel, and enjoy your beer by the half liter or the giant one-liter stein. The best part, however, I believe, are the massive pretzels!! With its great beer and unique food, you truly can’t get any closer to the genuine German experience right in your backyard.