The Best Watering Holes in Philadelphia

Yards Brewing Company beer flights

The Best Watering Holes in Philadelphia

While traveling, I often feel the best way to experience a place is through its libations. I can’t help it; I need to try the local beer, as well as any cocktails that may be unique to an area. I feel that it’s often the best way to understand a place, and I never mind exploring my options.

During my most recent visit, I discovered the best watering holes in Philadelphia and was impressed at the great selection they had to offer. From craft beers to creative cocktails, there was no shortage of delicious beverage drinking to be had.

Percy St. Punch.

Lauren and I made our way through the city, sure to check out the best places for a quality drink, and there were plenty to be found. Here are a few of my favorite places to pick up a beer or cocktail in the city of brotherly love:

Beer:
There is no question that Philadelphia has an excellent selection of craft beer, but Lauren and I felt the need to sample as many as we could to make our decision. The beer goes down easily and the atmosphere it’s served in takes it up a notch.

Yards Brewing Company beer flights

Yard’s Brewing Company
Located in Fish Town, Yard’s is the place to go if you’re looking for a comfortable and casual place to enjoy a few pints. If you’ve been to a brewery before, you’ll know what to expect. If not, it’s a place with a no fuss attitude and a serious focus on beer. You can get flights to sample a few beers or just stick with one, though I’d suggest starting with a flight. Tours are also available if you’re interested, but we stuck to the sampling.

Hawthorne’s Biercafe
What I loved about this bar was the laid-back, no nonsense attitude. They sat Lauren and I outside and explained the rules. Draft beer would be brought out to us, but if we desired to have a bottled beer, we could go inside to pick it out. Just like a shop, we browsed the cases, looking for a seasonal, local beer. Once our choice was made, it was opened, along with our tab, at the register and could be brought outside to enjoy. (Update: Due to a fire in February, Hawthorne’s is temporarily closed.)

Cocktails:
The beer scene in Philadelphia is excellent, but sometimes I am in the mood for a cocktail. The bars in town did not disappoint, serving a cocktails that made it hard to say no to enjoying more than just one.

Margaritas at Distrito

Percy Street Barbecue
Not only does this bar have the largest selection of canned beers, which is what Lauren and I went for, it also has a couple creative cocktails. It wasn’t our intention, but after watching the bartender create a few, we knew we had to try one and decided to split the Percy St. Punch. A delicious concoction of Beefeater gin, Plymouth sloe gin, pomegranate, sweet Tea, and lemon, it was perfect for an afternoon cocktail, right out of a mason jar.

Serpico
Located on South Street, this restaurant serves up drinks at a small bar. Their drink menu has interesting cocktail choices, that change from time to time. If you head here, you’re going to want to stay for dinner, as the food is delicious and goes perfectly with their selection of drink choices. Their menu changes from season to season, but I indulged in the duck liver mousse and couldn’t get enough.

Southwark
Located in Queens Village, this bar seems to take you back in time. The bartenders were some of the best in town, and they introduced me to the French 75. I grew to like the drink quite a bit, and I enjoyed a couple during our time in the bar. It felt far away from South Street, with a historical vibe, one that’s always welcome in a town with such historic importance.

Distrito
Not only does this place have fun decor and tasty Mexican food, the drinks are fantastic. Many include infused vodka, as well as various herbs in their drinks. I indulged in the strawberry-thyme margarita, and it did not disappoint.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.
This bar is a speakeasy, and one of my favorite spots of all the places we visited. Lauren and I got a spot at the bar, and chatted it up with the bartenders. They will make you any drink, as long as it doesn’t have vodka in it, or you can pick from their cocktail list, which is full of so many innovative choices it’s almost hard to choose.

A Yard's beer in Philadelphia.

No matter where you decide to head for a beer or a cocktail in this town, you are bound to have a good drink and an even better time. Just make sure you leave enough time to drink them all.

I was a guest of Visit Philly on this trip, however, I would never recommend a drink I didn’t enjoy. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Comments (10)

  1. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)

    Wait, what am I missing? Why won’t the bartenders make a drink with vodka at Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.?

    But, yeah, I’m all about going local when I visit someplace new, and beer is my most favorite thing to try!

    1. The World Wanderer

      They said it had no flavor, so no use in working with it, haha.

      Yes, the beer was fantastic!

  2. lola

    YEP my favorite place was Franklin Mortgage too but I also loved that Earl Gray Tea gin drink we had at Fork!! Gotta figure out how to recreate that one. OH and how about the LOLA at Serpico – it’s not every day a bartender names a drink after you 😉

  3. Kieu

    Yay – between Lola’s post and yours, I think I’m set for a trip to Philly. Just when though? lol.. That Earl Gray tea gin is peaking my interest.. 😉

  4. @mrsoaroundworld

    This looks like such a fun trip, Erin!

  5. Mary Anne

    A girl after my own heart. Beer and Gin drinks for everyone! Looks like Philly was a great time.

  6. Leah

    Awesome roundup! If {when} I get to Philly, I’m totally referencing this post. That flight of beer looks great, and I’m not even a beer drinker.

  7. Traveling Ted

    Great guide for us lushes when coming to Philadelphia. Now I know where to treat my liver when I am in the city of Brotherly love.

  8. Ryan Brown

    Awesome collection if thirst quenching spots! I’m salivating looking at these. Yards looks delicious!

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