56 South Second Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 238 5888
The Khyber is one of the oldest bars in Philadelphia. It is the quintessential rock club-all dark and smoky. The chosen bar for old and new rockers alike, most bands go on to hit the jackpot from here (always a good sign). The bar itself, designed with ferocious red eyed gargoyles, is a legend having being shipped from London way back in 1876. The club boasts of at least one good live show in a week, and happy hour is between 5p-7p. So stop by to chug some beers from the excellent selection, which has both local and international brews.
40 North 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 922 1122
With a mix of new and older works, the Arden Theatre Company is the local equivalent of New York's Off-Broadway. George Bernard Shaw, Conor McPherson, Stephen Sondheim, Steve Martin and two or three local playwrights fill the main and upstairs stages each season with reliable entertainment. The quality of the productions is generally high, and there are usually a few awards collected at the end of each season.
138 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 923 6069
Restaurant entrepreneur Steven Starr has been offering tapas-style dining in this restaurant and martini bar for over five years. The trendy and hip Continental attracts patrons of a wide range of ages to its neo-diner atmosphere. In fact, it used to be a diner now, giant martini-olive lamps hang over the booths, while Latin and lounge music plays softly. The restaurant's contemporary cuisine includes outstanding sushi-grade pan-seared tuna and miso glazed Chilean sea bass. Follow dinner with a martini, including such exotic variations as chocolate and the Hawaii 5-O.
306 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 625 9425
It has been said that the owner consulted a Feng Shui expert when designing the harmoniously arranged interior of this restaurant. In the belief that superior food must be balanced by not only quality service but an equally balanced environment, there is an intriguing, moody, film-noir quality to the space. The menu has a way of appealing to the senses in a sort of subliminal way, combining an otherwise common ingredient with a surprising twist. See website for full menus and more. Note the extensive lists of both wine and imported and microbrewed beers.
123 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 733 0300
This converted bank makes you think every bank should have a bar in it. There is an excellent list of Irish beers on tap, including Murphy's Stout, Caffrey's and Harp. A massive stone fireplace at one end of the room is ringed with cozy chairs and side tables. On Sundays, an Irish band sits by the fireside and jams on traditional tunes. It's a good spot for brunch on Sundays or a drink on rainy afternoons. The food is modern Irish fare, a nouvelle cuisine that sheds any old stereotypes of Irish cooking. There's a very light seafood chowder.
1400 South Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 462 2000
Run by the same brothers who run Zanzibar Blue, this is an expansive blues club, a big room with good music and plenty of space for the sound. The menu has a Southern accent- Chicken-Fried Steak, Chicken with Waffles, Ham and Greens, grits with everything. Reservations are suggested. (If you have a reservation for dinner, there's usually no cover charge for the shows.) On Tuesdays, there's an open jam. On Sundays there's a Gospel Music Brunch.
20 South 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 928 0770
Folk music always sounds best in an intimate room where you can hear everything clearly. (Unless you hate singer-songwriters, in which case it's better to face them in a bar where the music is drowned out by the clack of the pool table.) This room is deceptive: it's long, low and narrow, so it feels small and warm but has enough room to hold about 50 small tables plus a bar in the back. There are live acts four nights a week, two shows a night. Recent acts have included Elias Ochoa (from the Buena Vista Social Club), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jill Sobule, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Mick Taylor and Freedy Johnston. Advanced tickets suggested; when you buy your tickets, you can make a dinner reservation at Serrano downstairs for dinner, and they'll hold a seat for you at a table upstairs for the show.
46 South 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 238 1222
Customers come to have a beer and watch a ball game, shoot some darts or play some billiards. Cheap drafts and a genuine good time are the main attractions. Plenty of domestic, imported and micro brews are available on tap and in bottles. Finger foods include nachos and spicy Buffalo wings. Happy Hour is Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm. Various specials are offered. Rock is generally the music of choice on the jukebox, with a few Irish traditional tunes.
Front and Market Street Penn's View Hotel Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 922 7600
Considered to be Philadelphia's only pure wine bar, Il Bar is set alongside its big sister restaurant, Panorama. This place and its customers are serious about their wine. Bartenders even throw out the first glass from new bottles to ensure its intended flavor. Featuring 120 wines by the glass, Il Bar also prides itself on its extensive selection of grappa, port, single malts and its reserve list of prestigious bottles. It's a quiet, warm place, with lavish drapes, plush chairs, an indoor waterfall and striking photographic murals adorn the bar. Live jazz is performed on weekends.
221 Church Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 +1 215 629 9292
Old City Coffee is nestled behind Christ Church on the cobblestone streets of the historic district. Quaint charm and a hot cup of java awaits. Only small batches of coffee are roast daily and freshness is guaranteed. The staff will gladly share their wealth of knowledge to help you select from a variety of roasts and advise proper brewing techniques for maximum flavor. In warm weather, customers can sit outside on Church Street. Live music is performed here on First Fridays, the first Friday of each month when many Old City art galleries host new shows.
Set in a neo classical building with a spectacular view
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It's hard to believe the Hard Rock has been around
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