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Southwark

This Queen Village stalwart was doing the proper drinking thing before that Corpse Reviver was even a glimmer in your Jerry Thomas-loving eye. Under new ownership as of 2016, the…

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Oyster House

The Mink family’s Center City seafood house has quietly positioned itself as one of the steadiest cocktail bars in the city. The bartenders are fast and friendly, the gin collection…

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Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar

Adjacent to “Cheesesteak Vegas”—the searing neon tourist-trappy block featuring Pat’s and Geno’s—Ray’s caters to all facets of South Philly. That includes early risers. The bar, which, true to form, offers…

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Bob & Barbara’s

Bob & Barb’s, a fixture on the quieter half of iconic South Street, features what might be the biggest collection of displayable Pabst Blue Ribbon memorabilia in the country. It…

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Oscar’s Tavern

An old-timey holdout on a Center City street dominated by nouveau-riche destinations, Oscar’s is a classic. Quite simply, Philly would be crappier without this bar, from décor on down. Dive…

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American Sardine Bar

Sixteen American beers on tap and a functional-stoner menu of sandwiches and snacks are the formula at Point Breeze’s best pub, identifiable by the enormous sardine-can “sign” dangling out front.…

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El Bar

The “El” in the name of this quintessential Kensington dive is not a Spanish article, but a reference to the elevated Market-Frankford trains that rattle overhead. The no-nonsense drinkers here—a…

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12 Steps Down

A dozen concrete steps below the Italian Market sidewalk lies this “group therapy bar,” so focused on quality drinking that it openly mocks the principles of AA. They have all…

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Alla Spina

Italy’s growing craft brewing reputation was the impetus for Marc Vetri’s contemporary birreria. The most walk-in friendly of Vetri’s establishments, it also works well for hard-drinking groups who prefer booze…

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Garage

Another solid drinking option in close proximity to the Pat’s-and-Geno’s Cheese Whiz vortex, this former auto body shop is now a well-stocked beer bar that values your elbow room. Billiards,…