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20+ Great Bars in Philadelphia’s Historic District

Where to cheers with a pint or two in the Historic District

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Morgan's Pier Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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Like a freshly poured, almost-overflowing beer, Philadelphia’s Historic District is brimming with options for adult refreshment.

Whether you prefer an open-air spot with games, snacks and 40 taps (Independence Beer Garden), a waterfront view with late-night dancing (Morgan’s Pier) or a cozy tavern with awesome food (Khyber Pass Pub), Philly’s Old City has you covered when it comes to drinks.

Establishments specializing in wine, whiskey and beer are all options, too, as is a quaint tavern owned by two leading members from the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, all just steps away from the main attractions in the area.

So whether you need a spot for a midday break after checking out The Liberty Bell Center or a bar or two for an evening out after sightseeing, check out where to grab a drink in the Historic District below.

01

Independence Beer Garden

Cold beer, games and tasty food, steps from Independence Mall

Independence Beer Garden Independence Beer Garden
— Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Open spring through fall

Overlooking Independence National Historical Park and The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Beer Garden offers a 22,000-square-foot outdoor retreat to grab a drink right in the heart of the Historic District. Lounge in the rock garden on a large granite boulder, cozy up in a colorful Adirondack chair or grab a picnic table and get a game of Jenga going with your friends. Or hit up the ping pong table after you choose from a list of over 40 local and domestic drafts, spread across two bars.

Where: Independence Beer Garden, 100 S. Independence Mall West

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02

Morgan’s Pier

Perfect al fresco dining and nightlife on the Delaware River waterfront

Morgan's Pier Morgan's Pier
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Open spring through fall

Facing the Delaware River Waterfront and the beautiful Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Morgan’s Pier is among Philadelphia’s most popular summer hotspots. Craft beer, a selection of seasonal cocktails and delicious food from a highly lauded local chef fill the menu, and a scene of live music takes over once the sun sets. A schedule of international and local DJs along with various upbeat bands keep your dancing shoes moving into the wee hours of the morning.

Where: Morgan's Pier, 221 N. Columbus Boulevard

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03

The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar

The ever-popular Old City institution

Exterior of the Continental Exterior of the Continental
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

The creative cocktails and imaginative décor at this diner-made-martini bar creates an atmosphere all its own, making it one of the hottest night spots in Old City. An extensive martini list offers interesting combinations (with even more interesting names) that will surely satisfy any taste.

Where: The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar, 138 Market Street

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04

Khyber Pass Pub

New Orlean's style fare at one of Philadelphia's oldest established pubs

Dating back to the 19th century, the Khyber Pass Pub offers a classic dark-wood tavern setting to enjoy a craft beer on draft. Cocktails, wine, bourbon and scotch also line the drink menu, along with hearty barbeque and New Orleans-style fare, including fan-favorite bacon-grease popcorn. Note: Non-meat eaters in the bunch can score here, too, from a menu that also specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Where: Khyber Pass Pub, 56 S. 2nd Street

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05

The Olde Bar

Jose Garces' Old City seafood spot

A post shared by The Olde Bar (@theoldebarphl) on

Jose Garces’ Olde Bar revives the Old Original Bookbinder’s, a landmark mid-20th-century Philadelphia restaurant. With an extensive drinks menu that covers everything from classic cocktails to Fish House punch, it’s easy to find something interesting to sip on.

Where: The Olde Bar, 138 Walnut Street

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06

Amada

Jose Garces’ first Philadelphia restaurant

Interior of Amada Interior of Amada
— Photo by N. Sheldon for Visit Philadelphia

Jose Garces’ first restaurant is widely considered responsible for starting Philadelphia’s tapas trend, but it’s also got a killer drinks list. Sangria is obviously a highlight here, but don’t sleep on the restaurant’s specialty cocktails (some named after Pedro Almodóvar films) and Spanish wines.

Where: Amada, 217-219 Chestnut Street

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07

Cuba Libre

Minty mojitos and other Cuban cocktails

Known for its mojitos, Cuba Libre serves up the rum drink in all forms, adding infusions like grilled pineapple, passion fruit puree and watermelon juice. The bar has dozens of rums to choose from and several punch recipes to feature them, alongside multiple sangria options and a solid beer and wine list.

Where: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, 10 S. 2nd Street

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08

Revolution House

Historic views and comfort foods with an international flair

Outdoor seating at Revolution House Outdoor seating at Revolution House
— Photo courtesy Revolution House

The bar at Revolution House pours cocktails, boutique wines and eight rotating local beers. On warmer nights, patrons take advantage of the lively roof deck, one of the few in the neighborhood.

Where: Revolution House, 200 Market Street

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09

2nd Story Brewing

Brewery, restaurant and bar in Old City

A local farmer teamed up with her beer-brewing son-in-law to open this working brewery, restaurant and bar. Grab a flight to taste a number of the brewery’s tasty creations side by side.

Where: 2nd Story Brewing Company, 117 Chestnut Street

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10

Cooperage Wine and Whiskey Bar

Nearly 100 whiskeys to savor

Interior Cooperage Whiskey and Wine Bar Interior Cooperage Whiskey and Wine Bar
— Photo courtesy Cooperage Whiskey and Wine Bar

Bourbon? Rye? Canadian? Irish? Scotch? It’s easy to be dazzled by the whiskey selection at Cooperage, which numbers close to 100 different bottles of all varietals and origins. A solid wine list, an array of signature cocktails and draft beer deals during happy hour make the warm, wood-accented industrial setting a perfect one for kicking back with a drink.

Where: Cooperage: A Wine & Whiskey Bar, 123 S. 7th Street

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11

Stratus Lounge

A snazzy rooftop spot

— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Located 11 stories in the air across the street from Independence Hall, party people come to Stratus Lounge to dance the night away to DJ-spun music each Friday and Saturday. Five days a week, the posh rooftop spot serves up a well-curated craft cocktail list inspired by seasonal ingredients and a wine menu that  emphasizes bubbles.

Where: Stratus Rooftop Lounge, 433 Chestnut Street

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12

Lucha Cartel

Mojitos, margaritas and other Latin-inspired favorites

— Photo courtesy Lucha Cartel

Score deals on drinks from 10 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday, and savor signature margaritas, mojitos, sangria and more any night of the week at Lucha Cartel. Bonus: On Tuesday evenings, the contemporary Mexican spot hosts salsa dancing sessions paired with a free instructor and $5 margaritas.

Where: Lucha Cartel, 207 Chestnut Street

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13

Red Owl Tavern

Modern pub fare in a relaxed atmosphere

People drinking at Red Owl Tavern People drinking at Red Owl Tavern
— Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

This tavern attached to the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia serves up handcrafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices. Plus, the views of Independence Hall — both inside and outside — are stellar.

Where: Red Owl Tavern, 433 Chestnut Street

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14

Mac’s Tavern

Stars from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia create a gastropub.

While it’s not Paddy’s, Mac’s Tavern counts Rob McElhenney (Mac) and Kaitlin Olsen (Sweet Dee) from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia among its owners and features more than a dozen beers on tap, gastropub fare, a jukebox and occasional live music. If you’re looking to savor a drink while catching a sports game, the tavern has four plasma TVs for you to enjoy, too.

Where: Mac's Tavern, 226 Market Street

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15

National Mechanics

Nostalgic cuisine with a side of humor

— Photo courtesy National Mechanics

National Mechanics sits in 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 remains an exquisite piece of architecture. Today, it’s a public house (that transforms into a dance spot at night) with over 30 draft and bottled beer options and a fully stocked bar.

Where: National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd Street

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16

Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen

Waterfront dining at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing

— Photo courtesy Keating's Roe & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen

Located in the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing (Philadelphia’s only waterfront hotel), Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen offers more than 10 beers on tap, an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails to go with your views of the Delaware River and the Battleship New Jersey.

Where: Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen, 201 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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17

The Victoria Freehouse

Blimey! What a beer and spirits list!

Modeled after a British pub, The Victoria Freehouse keeps a nice list of $50 wines by the bottle, international meads, single malt scotch and other interesting spirits. You can’t miss the extensive beer list, either, featuring a variety of brews from both the U.K. and U.S. Paired with classic fish-and-chip-styled fare and pub snacks like deviled eggs, the menu and the cozy setting invite you to settle in and stay awhile.

Where: The Victoria Freehouse, 10 S. Front Street

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18

Panorama

Over 150 wines by the glass

— Photo courtesy Penn's View Hotel

The historic Penn’s View Hotel contains Panorama, a romantic trattoria-style restaurant with an impressive wine list of over 150 wines by the glass. Panorama also happens to be home to the largest wine preservation and dispensing system in the world, so you know you’ll be in good hands when ordering one of the signature, five-wine Panoramic Flights.

Where: Panorama, 14 N. Front Street

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19

Sassafras Bar

A classic Philly neighborhood bar in Old City

— Photo courtesy Sassafras Bar

Serving Philadelphians for more than 35 years, Sassafras Bar offers a small but eclectic menu along with a serious selection of single-malt scotches and other whiskeys. Old-school charm, bartenders proficient in classic cocktails and a speakeasy vibe make for a perfect all-night hangout. Plus, a live jazz trio performs Sunday through Thursday nights, at no cover cost.

Where: Sassafras, 48 S. 2nd Street

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20

Bleu Martini

An extensive martini list

This restaurant, bar and club bathed in cobalt blue offers a VIP scene and an edgy DJ soundtrack. Daily happy hour specials include select $5 martinis from the 30 martini options on the menu.

Where: Bleu Martini, 24 S. 2nd Street

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21

The Twisted Tail

Modern Southern cuisine, bourbon and blues in Headhouse Square

Interior of The Twisted Tail Interior of The Twisted Tail
— Photo courtesy The Twisted Tail

Bourbon juke joint The Twisted Tail serves up an impressive array of whiskeys and features live blues music most nights of the week. Pair that shot of Kentucky Straight with a menu of Southern-inspired comfort food, served into the late hours of the night.

Where: The Twisted Tail, 509 S. 2nd Street

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22

The Plough & The Stars

An Irish pub and restaurant in Old City

Plough and the Stars exterior Plough and the Stars exterior
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

A friendly spot offering American fare with a bustling bar that draws a young weekend crowd and hosts live traditional Irish music on Sundays. If the weather’s nice, patrons gravitate to the outdoor tables lining the sidewalks outside.

Where: The Plough & the Stars, 123 Chestnut Street (entrance on 2nd Street)

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23

Drinker’s Tavern

Where 20-somethings go to party

A post shared by Lizz Kula (@_urban_achiever_) on

Attracting a young, party-ready crowd, Drinker’s Tavern serves up 40-ounce bottles of beer and a basement DJ scene where an always-lively crowd can be found grooving on the dance floor.

Where: Drinker's Tavern, 124 Market Street

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24

Race Street Cafe

Low-key vibes, 10-plus taps and more

A post shared by Kyle (@funkedope) on

Settle into Race Street Cafe’s low-key rustic bistro, warmed in the winter by a wood stove and cooled in the summer by the breeze blowing through the open barn doors. Choose from a dozen or so different drafts or an array of wines. If hunger strikes, enjoy the array of seasonal and local options on the casual cafe menu.

Where: Race Street Cafe, 208 Race Street

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Independence Beer Garden
Morgan’s Pier
The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar
Khyber Pass Pub
The Olde Bar
Amada
Cuba Libre
Revolution House
2nd Story Brewing
Cooperage Wine and Whiskey Bar
Stratus Lounge
Lucha Cartel
Red Owl Tavern
Mac’s Tavern
National Mechanics
Keating’s Rope & Anchor, Bar + Kitchen
The Victoria Freehouse
Panorama
Sassafras Bar
Bleu Martini
The Twisted Tail
The Plough & The Stars
Drinker’s Tavern
Race Street Cafe
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