Food & Drinks

Restaurants, bars, and all the food of Philadelphia.

Top 10 Dive Bars in Philly

There is nothing better than a dive bar. Rather than getting all dressed up and spending extra money to journey across town, wouldn’t you rather just walk to the corner looking however you want with the few bucks you already have in your pocket?

Here are some of the best dive bars in Philadelphia, listed in no particular order.

Bob & Barbara

1509 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
215-545-4511

Bob & Barbara’s Cocktail Lounge is more of a gritty dive than the name suggests. It’s been serving the thirsty Philly community since 1969, and its cheap and dirty brand of fun hasn’t lost its charm. Pocket pleasing specials, like a nearly free shot of Jim Beam with a can of PBR keep the floors sticky, while a diverse crowd packs into the tight space for weekly live performances, from punk to jazz. No night is more wild than Thursday, as lineups of lip-synching drag hit the bar, presided over by the beloved local trans icon Miss Lisa. Bring singles for tipping.

Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar

1200 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-365-1169

At Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, everybody might not know your name, but they will give you a free birthday-cake shot on your birthday, complete with a candle. On days when it isn’t the anniversary of the hardest day of your mom’s life, Ray’s is your typical South Philly dive. You can even still smoke at Ray’s, which is either the greatest thing on Earth or a serious annoyance (where you fall on the scale is, not surprisingly, tied to your alcohol consumption).

Dirty Franks

347 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.732.5010

Dirty Frank’s got everything you need to get the job done, cheap pitchers, darts and Mrs. Pac Man.

Mcglitchey’s

259 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215.735.1259

Mcglitchey’s is an old school, grimy, friendly, smoking bar. It has a huge beer list and great food. So what could make McGlinchey’s any better? How about the face that $3.25 buys you whiskey and $2.95 gets you a beer.

Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar

1503 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA

Gotta respect Bonnie’s — outside of mussel night (and maybe a pizza night if you’re lucky), they don’t serve any food. So if you’re hungry, eat before you go. Because at Bonnie’s, you’re there to drink some cheap beer or cocktails. It’s simple, but that’s the way we like it.

Mccusker’s Tavern

2601 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA

Look up ‘neighborhood bar’ in the dictionary (Wiktionary, let’s be real) and you would probably find a picture of a bar that looks pretty similar to McCuskers. The South Philly tavern, owned by two brothers, is your quintessential neighborhood drinking establishment — the menu’s got burgers, sandwiches, and wings, domestics are cheap, and they have a dart board. Pretty much all you need in a bar.

Tattooed Mom

530 S 17th St
Philadelphia, PA

Looks intimidating, but the people are friendly! Regular prices might be a little higher than some other dives, but luckily, most nights they’re offering a food or drink special, including half-priced drinks every day from 5-7pm and 10-11pm.

Black Cat Tavern on 12th

2654 S 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
267-519-3574

Opened by owners Marlise Tkaczuk and Tom Ball in the location formerly occupied by Cheech’s Beef & Ale, Black Cat Tavern serves Polish inspired food and has six beer taps featuring mostly craft beers.

Wander Inn

2500 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-800-1264

Wander Inn is a Whitman neighborhood gastropub featuring homemade comfort food, draught beer, wine, and cocktails. This little spot features a jukebox, dining room and pool table, brunch, and seasonal outdoor seating.

Oscar’s Tavern

1524 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA
19103 215.972.9938

Just a few blocks from City Hall, Oscar’s is in the perfect location for anyone who works in the heart of town. The 23-ounce Yuenglings for $3.25, good bar food, and year-round Christmas lights make this cash-only bar look like a scene from that weird Ryan Gosling movie. Be sure to build up that liquid courage before braving the bathrooms.

Lipkin’s Bakery opens in Whitman, South Philadelphia

Lipkin’s started their kosher bakery at 4th and McKean in South Philly nearly 50 years ago. The famous bakery then relocated to Rhawnhurst, where it became a staple for breads, pastries, cakes, and knishes. Now, Lipkin’s is coming home to South Philadelphia!

Lipkin’s Bakery recently opened up a new storefront in the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly at 2153 S. Hancock St. South Philly residents anxiously awaited the opening. The line was around the block!

Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly
Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly

Wander Inn opens in Whitman

Otis & Pickles didn’t last very long, but luckily Wander Inn is here to take its place.

Last year, the owner of The Dive and Watkins Drinkery purchased the taproom at Third and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia that last operated as Otis & Pickles. He renamed the gastropub The Wander Inn, after the historic Wander Inn that once stood at 18th and Federal Streets in Point Breeze before becoming the home of American Sardine Bar.

Wander Inn South Philadelphia

We haven’t read any recent press releases or announcements about the opening of Wander Inn, but at least a soft opening must have happened over the past weekend (according to all the untappd checkins we’ve seen).

The Wander Inn
2500 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Step aside, Cantina: Pistola’s Del Sur is here

Mexican dining on Passyunk with attentive staff and good service? Count us in!

Pistola’s Del Sur, the East Passyunk edition of Casey Parker and Joe Gunn’s popular modern Mexican hot spot serves fusion tacos, Mexican flatbreads and more creative fare by chef Adan Trinidad. The buzzy restaurant & bar serves inventive Mexican eats, beer, tequilas & more in a lively and intimate setting.

Pistolas

Pistola’s Del Sur
1943 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(267) 519-2329

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy expands: brunch, kitchen, events

When we first wrote about the long-awaited opening of Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, we were expecting craft beers and cocktails in an unassuming and intimate neighborhood bar. Following up on Otis & Pickles now, we see that this local South Philly bar has already expanded to offer so much more and to so many people. Whitman and Pennsport neighbors show their gratitude by making frequent visits, but travelers from outside South Philly also brave their way to this humble bar.

One not so local reviewer states, “O&P is located in a quiet South Philly neighborhood just off of Oregon near Tony Luke’s. I mention this because the next time you head this way for a late night sandwich, I suggest checking out O&P instead. You won’t be disappointed.” That is an impressive feat for such a small business.

In addition to their expansive drink options, Otis & Pickles Speakeasy has expanded to a full menu with brunch, all served on their distinctive trays. Their food is available for delivery on Caviar, for the homebound types.

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy Wings Otis & Pickles Speakeasy pickles platter

On May 6th, Otis & Pickles will host a Cocktails and Cupcakes event from 1-10pm. The theme for May’s event is the Rum Diaries, so expect movie showings starring Johny Depp and wide selections of rum infused cocktails.

If you have never ventured this far South, make a point to stop by for a drink and check out the interesting concept. Don’t expect anything fancy or pretentious. It’s a dive in the Far South, but one that should make anyone feel welcome.

Flavors on the Avenue 2017 Festival

Foodies, rejoice! On Sunday, April 30, East Passyunk Avenue is hosting Flavors on the Avenue: A Street Festival. This year, they’re out from under the big tent, and heading to the street for a neighborhood-wide street festival! Over two dozen of East Passyunk Avenue’s award-winning chefs and restaurants will be serving up sample-sized portions of their favorite dishes.

A limited number of ‘Flavors Tastes’ books are available for $50 each, which includes:

  • A coupon book that will allow you to try something from every participating restaurant – that’s more than 24 different dishes!
  • Two glasses of beer or wine from our EPABID beverage area
  • A coupon for FREE valet parking during the event

Participating restaurants include:

  • Bing Bing Dim Sum
  • Laurel
  • Noord
  • Will BYOB
  • Noir
  • Townsend
  • Brigantessa
  • Le Virtu
  • Paradiso
  • Stateside…..
  • and many more!

Flavors event Philly

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy reveals menu

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, the new Whitman and Pennsport neighborhood bar, has a tentative opening date of March 3rd, 2017. The opening date keeps getting pushed back, but at least we have a tentative opening date and food menu now.

pickle back

In the next few days, the owners will be sharing their opening draft cocktail list. According to the Otis & Pickles Facebook page, the draft cocktails will focus on variations of classics and will include vodka, rum, gin, tequila and bourbon and sangria. They will also have a selection of hand crafted cocktails and pickle backs. The focus will be boozy, but simple and fun.

As for the food menu, you can see from below that it will be a mix of the essential bar snack foods like wings, fries, and sliders – and plates unique to the pickles speakeasy style. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available to cater to different dietary needs. We are most excited for the pickles component!

Otis & Pickles Food Menu

Snacks / Small Plates

Grilled Corn $3
Chile oil and cilantro or Cajun-honey compound butter and romano cheese

Pickled Plate $8
Selection of sweet and classic pickled fruits and veggies, grilled bread, and spreads

Deep Fried Pickles $6
Seasonal veggies and cucumbers, dippers and chutneys

French Fries $4 v
Garlic “aioli”

Hummus Plate $8 vv
Pita, veggies,

Cheese Plate $12
Assorted local cheeses, grilled bread, cranberry mustard, assorted pickles

Eats / Large Plates

Cheese Burger Sliders $9
Custom beef blend, caramelized onions, American, marrow aioli, house made pickles

Roast Beef Sliders $9
Sharp provolone, caramelized onions, jus

Pickled Brined Wings $10
Classic buffalo hot, Sweet-Spicy ginger teriyaki, blue cheese

Taco’s $9
Choice of pulled chicken, pickled pork belly, pickled tofu, grilled salmon, or seasoned ground beef, fresh pico, pickled red onions, aioli (vegan available)

Hungry Hipster Plate $11
Roast beef, mashed red potatoes, jus, grilled corn

Desserts

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte $6

Bread Pudding with coffee and bourbon caramel sauce $6

Philly Cooks 2017

Philly CooksPhiladelphia magazine and Foobooz’s annual food and drink festival returns to Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 from 6:30pm-9pm at the Sheraton Philadelphia.

Early bird specials have sold out, but tickets are still on sale for $99, which will get you all-you-can-eat food from some of the best chefs in the city, all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails from some of the best bars and bartenders, and a chance to spend the night with all of Philly’s most dedicated gastronauts.

ACME brings Starbucks, Beer, & Wine to Snyder Plaza

ACME is moving into ShopRite’s old spot in Snyder Plaza, according to the Goldenberg Group, ACME Markets real estate and development firm. The new ACME is rumored to include a Starbucks coffee, as well as a beer and wine shop.

We’ve never seen a Starbucks inside an ACME around these parts, but for the neighborhood’s sake,  we hope someone will confirm these rumors soon.

ACME opening Summer 2017

The new full-line grocery market, set to open in the Summer of 2017, will be located in the Snyder Plaza Shopping Center and will serve the Pennsport and Whitman neighborhoods as well as the greater Center City area.