Nostalgic cuisine with a side of humor
National Mechanics is the most authentic new bar Old City has seen in years. The space is large but feels very neighborhood-like. And with a menu full of delicious bar fare and more than 15 beers on draught, National Mechanics is a place you should add to your to-do list.
The menu is fun to peruse, full of nostalgic favorites and innovative mash-ups. Sample throwback items include corn dogs, grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup, and the “Frito Taco Extravaganza” — a split-open bag of Frito’s topped with a heavenly medley of chili and cheddar cheese.
The restaurant’s self-proclaimed “world’s best veggie burger” lives up to the billing, while the avocado, mango and grapefruit salad is a sweetly tangy and healthy alternative.
For more classic entrées, try the grilled salmon, nestled in a rich and robust mustard cream sauce, or the pan-seared crab cake with roasted pepper aioli and saffron rice.
And with 32 varieties of beer on the beverage roster, National Mechanics may be your one stop for the night.
National Mechanics sits in the original National Mechanics Building, a stoic structure holding court on 3rd Street since 1837. The building has seen banks, churches, clubs, bars and fires pass between its walls, and it still remains an exquisite piece of architecture.
Walk past the the building’s massive columns to enter the restaurant through tall, red doors, revealing an eccentric and vibrant dining room.
The restaurant’s décor pays homage to all things mechanical. Metal devices adorned with Christmas lights illuminate the dining room, while the restaurant’s bathrooms are worth a trip for their artistically designed sinks and light fixtures.
Much like Philadelphia itself, the crowd at National Mechanics is a combination of all walks of life, with artists and bikers toasting with business professionals and students.
A Toast to Health
With your health in mind, National Mechanics only cooks with zero trans fat oil — which relieves the guilt of enjoying their savory dishes.
In the neighborhood
401 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
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at Penn’s Landing
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525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106
- Carpenters’ Hall
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Restaurants & Dining