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Pictured: Johnny Brenda's

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Hipster Hangouts & Dives

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Looking to experience Philadelphia like a local? Try sipping a few local microbrews (on draft or in a bottle) in some of the city’s most authentic bars and you’ll soon know what Philly is all about.

Relax over beers and great burgers (not to mention everything else on the menu) at Royal Tavern — a South Philly landmark among the gastro-pub sort — while listening to one of the city’s celebrated jukeboxes.

Or head over to the always artistic neighborhood of Northern Liberties (or NoLibs), where Standard Tap, North Third and (a little further north) Johnny Brenda’s will help you find a laid back crowd where good food and great beer share the spotlight.

Featured Listings

  • Standard Tap

    Widely considered “America’s First Gastropub”

    Standard Tap

    A multi-room Northern Liberties gastropub — some say America’s first — that pairs local microbrews with excellent, gourmet pub fare like chicken pies, fried smelts and double burgers.

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  • Johnny Brenda’s

    Delicious food + great beer + live music = a Fishtown landmark

    Johnny Brenda’s

    Located at the intersection of Frankford and Girard Avenues on the southern tip of Fishtown, Johnny Brenda’s is, at once, the catalyst, champion, living room, kitchen/dining room and concert hall of its neighborhood.

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  • The Dive

    A smoky den of iniquity

    This casual hangout offers a vast beer selection—from cans of Schlitz to local microbrews—a rock-filled jukebox, inexpensive pool tables and friendly barkeeps. But it’s this pub’s exemption from the citywide smoking ban that makes it earn its name.

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  • Local 44

    Six for here, six-pack to go

    raft beer flows from the taps at this University City bar, where crowds pump quarters into a killer jukebox and enjoy savory bar food (plus vegan and seafood options) along with their draughts. The owners opened a bottle shop next door, expanding the sudsy offerings with 500 bottles and a cask that pumps out beers to drink while shopping.

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  • Gojjo

    Half Ethiopian, half dive, all awesome

    One of the friendliest bars in West Philly, Gojjo is Ethiopian-owned, offering a small but solid selection of that native cooking (you gotta try the beef tibs). It also enjoys a reputation as a downhome dive bar, where the the High Lifes are so cheap they’re nearly free. These worlds collide in the form of amazing beer-muncie snacks like the “Ethiopian cheesesteak.” Even more surprising: live country and bluegrass acts.

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  • Fiume

    Hidden tipple heaven

    There’s no sign, no phone number and no website for this beloved dive bar, and that’s exactly how patrons and employees like it. The cash-only Fiume has a tremendous selection of craft beer, but it’s underappreciated as a place for a good stiff cocktail. Regulars know to climb the stairs above Abyssinia to this hidden spot to partake in the “citywide special” (a cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon and whiskey combo) and listen to the live bands as they shake the miniscule space.

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  • Abyssinia Restaurant & Bar

    Favorite spot for signature Ethopian cuisine

    Abyssinia is a long-time favorite of Spruce Hill residents fond of the singular spices and textures of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. Abyssinia cooks up savory and authentic Ethiopian cuisine in a neighborhood packed with African dining destinations. The native Tusker Lager beer complements tasty vegetarian and meat-based entrees served on traditional injera bread.

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  • Smokey Joe’s

    A West Philadelphia “Pennstitution”

    The walls are covered with sports photos of great Penn athletes, and the beer taps are programmed for students on a budget.

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  • Millcreek Tavern

    This American restaurant, bar and live music venue pours 20 draught beers and offers drink specials during its daily regular and late-night happy hours.

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  • West Tavern

    First-rate dive bar

    A killer place to catch a Phillies, “Westy’s” is where you to go to for thrifty drinking and risky eating — try the house special “Dirty Burger,” seasoned with secret spices and topped with nothing but secret “Dirty Sauce,” if you dare.

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  • Kelliann’s Bar & Grill

    The corner pub

    Spring Garden’s no-frills drinkery is known for its cheap brews and heartier-than-thou comfort food menu.

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  • The Irish Times

    The hallmark of this traditional pub is a perfect pint of stout

    The perfectly poured pint of Guinness is what Times bartenders are most fond of talking up, but they do some simple, tasty UK-style bar food, too.

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