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25 Great Bars in Philadelphia’s Historic District

Where to toast 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 on the town, 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 20,000-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 snag a picnic table and get a game of Jenga going with friends. Hit up the ping pong table after choosing from a list of over 40 local and domestic drafts.

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 hot spots. Craft beer, a selection of seasonal cocktails and delicious food from a highly lauded local chef fill the menu, and a lively music scene takes over once the sun sets. A schedule of international and local DJs, along with various upbeat bands, keep dancers 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-slash-martini bar create 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 satisfy any taste.

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

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04

The Olde Bar

Jose Garces' Old City seafood spot

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

Where: The Olde Bar, 138 Walnut Street

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05

Khyber Pass Pub

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

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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 score here, too, as the menu also specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

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

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06

Royal Boucherie

Dishes at Royal Boucherie in Philadelphia Dishes at Royal Boucherie in Philadelphia
— Photo courtesy Royal Boucherie

Chef Nick Elmi’s Old City debut features a French-accented selection of raw bar, charcuterie and small plates complemented by a thoughtful wine, beer and cocktail program. Lunch here classes it up with dishes like blue crab Louis, while dinner brings steak au poivre and lobster over farfalle with truffle butter.

Where: Royal Boucherie, 52 S. 2nd Street

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07

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 drink list. Sangria is obviously a highlight here, but don’t overlook the restaurant’s specialty cocktails (some named after Pedro Almodóvar films) and Spanish wines.

Where: Amada, 217-219 Chestnut Street

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08

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 recipes that 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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09

Revolution House

Historic views and comfort food 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 tap. 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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10

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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11

Stratus Lounge

A snazzy rooftop spot

— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Set eleven stories above street level and just steps from Independence Hall, Stratus Lounge draws a chic crowd of patrons who come to dance the night away to DJ-spun music every Friday and Saturday. Five days a week, the posh rooftop spot serves up craft cocktails as well as a curated selection of wine and beer.

Where: Stratus Rooftop Lounge, 433 Chestnut Street

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12

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 — from both inside and outside the restaurant — are stellar.

Where: Red Owl Tavern, 433 Chestnut Street

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13

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 stocks more than 170 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 perfect for kicking back with a drink.

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

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14

Lucha Cartel

Mojitos, margaritas and other Latin-inspired favorites

— Photo courtesy Lucha Cartel

Savor signature margaritas, sangria and more than 40 varieties of tequila any night of the week at Lucha Cartel. Bonus: On Tuesday evenings, the contemporary Mexican spot hosts salsa dancing sessions paired with $5 margaritas.

Where: Lucha Cartel, 207 Chestnut Street

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15

Mac’s Tavern

Stars from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" own this neighborhood gastropub

While it’s not the fictional Paddy’s Pub, Mac’s Tavern counts Rob McElhenney (Mac) and Kaitlin Olson (Sweet Dee) from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” among its owners. The bar features more than a dozen beers on tap, gastropub fare, a jukebox and occasional live music. Savor a drink while catching a sports game on the tavern’s four plasma TVs.

Where: Mac's Tavern, 226 Market Street

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16

National Mechanics

Nostalgic cuisine in a historic building

— Photo courtesy National Mechanics

National Mechanics sits in a stoic structure that has been holding court on 3rd Street since 1837. The architecturally exquisite building has housed banks, churches, clubs and bars over the years. 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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17

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 ten beers on tap, an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails accompanied by 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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18

The Victoria Freehouse

Blimey! What a beer and spirits list!

Modeled after a British pub, The Victoria Freehouse keeps an impressive list of $40 wines by the bottle, international meads, single malt scotch and other interesting spirits. Be sure to check out the extensive beer list, featuring a variety of brews from both the U.K. and the United States. Paired with classic fish-and-chip-style fare and pub snacks like deviled eggs, the menu and the cozy setting invite guests to settle in and stay awhile.

Where: The Victoria Freehouse, 10 S. Front Street

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19

Panorama

Over 150 wines by the glass

— Photo courtesy Penn's View Hotel

The historic Penn’s View Hotel is home to Panorama, a romantic trattoria-style restaurant with more than 150 wines available by the glass. Panorama also happens to be home to the largest wine preservation and dispensing system in the world. Can’t choose just one? Try one of the many options of five-wine flights.

Where: Panorama, 14 N. Front Street

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20

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 food 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.

Where: Sassafras, 48 S. 2nd Street

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21

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 deliciously unique $5 martinis, including a Jolly Rancher Martini and a Margarita Martini.

Where: Bleu Martini, 24 S. 2nd Street

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22

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 international and Southern-inspired comfort food served into the late hours of the night.

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

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23

The Plough & The Stars

An inviting Irish pub and restaurant in Old City

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

This friendly spot serves American and Irish fare and features a bustling bar that draws a young weekend crowd and hosts live traditional Irish music on Sundays. When the weather’s nice, patrons gravitate to the outdoor tables lining the sidewalk, the perfect place for stellar people-watching.

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

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24

Drinker’s Tavern

Where twenty-somethings go to party

A post shared by Lizz Kula (@_urban_achiever_) on

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

Where: Drinker's Tavern, 124 Market Street

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25

Race Street Cafe

Low-key vibes and more than a dozen beers on tap

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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 and an array of wines. If hunger strikes, enjoy 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
The Olde Bar
Khyber Pass Pub
Royal Boucherie
Amada
Cuba Libre
Revolution House
2nd Story Brewing
Stratus Lounge
Red Owl Tavern
Cooperage Wine and Whiskey Bar
Lucha Cartel
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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