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Feb 16, 2007 10:16 AM

Decent pub/bars in central Philadelphia

Have had some great advice about a range of restaurants in Philly. Would now like advice on decent pub/bars in central Philly (we'll be staying in the Old City area) that have a good atmosphere, music playing and acceptable bar food (a good range of beers would help too).

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  1. Not sure where you're staying in Old City or how many people you'll be with but...the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia is a few blocks north of Old City and boasts two of the best gastropubs in the city. N 3rd and Standard Tap. Eulogy is in Old City, it's great for beer and the food is decent, not as good as the two previously mentioned though.

    1. Besides my Society Hill Hotel rec in your other thread, I'd also like to mention Black Sheep Pub, 17th St. just south of Locust, and Good Dog bar, a couple blocks over on 15th St. All have great food, especially the burgers.

      1. Race St. Cafe is located in Old City between 2nd/3rd on (where else) Race St. They have great food and a terrific line-up of beers. I'll second the suggestion above of N. 3rd and Standard Tap. Excellent food and beer selections.
        In the downtown area, Good Dog, Fergies, Monks, Bobblehead brewpub all have good food/beer combos. Ten Stone around 20th & South is good, as well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jbird35

          Good one - our hotel is on race Street at 2nd Avenue. We'll definitely try this place.

          1. re: Jbird35

            Bobblehead, a.k.a. Nodding Head brew pub. ;)

            I agree, Race St. does have mostly good food (wings and shepherd's pie, mmm) and beer selection, although I'd avoid the pasta dishes, which are pretty bad.

            1. re: Jbird35

              For accuracy's sake its Nodding Head, not Bobblehead. :)

            2. Just so you know - Center City and Old City are diffrerent. Center City is closer to broad street and Old City is far east. In most cities, they are considered walking distance. But we Philadelphians aren't used to long walks like those!

              In Old City: Eulogy, Serrano, Continental

              2 Replies
              1. re: saturninus

                Just so you know - Old City is part of Center City. Center City runs from the Delaware to the Schuylkill, from Spring Garden to South or so. Old City, then, is the part of Center City from Front to 4th, and roughly from Callowhill or so down to Walnut. Those are the borders I would suggest.

                If you like, check this against Wikipedia--perhaps not always the most reliable source, but it pretty much matches what I've said. I disagree that Race St is the northern border of Old City. If you live on Vine St, you live in Old City, and Radicchio, a relatively-cheap-but-good Italian BYOB @ 4th & Wood, is said to be in Old City.

                As for walking, I highly recommend it! I live around 3rd & Market and walk to Broad and Walnut in about 20 minutes. If I took a cab every time I wanted to go close to (or beyond) Broad St, I'd have a lot less money for CHOW. :-)

                For food at pubs/bars, try Race St Cafe @ 2nd & Race. Nodding Head is decent, but I think Monk's, on the whole, has better food. Go there for the mussels (the spicy Red Light are my favorite) and the entrees. Skip the burgers; I think they are overrated (on this board and elsewhere). They are better at Nodding Head. For the best burger at a pub/bar, though, go to Good Dog--best burgers I've ever had.

                1. re: FoieGrasFranc

                  Yes, now that it's warmed up a little, I'd consider any of the places mentioned walkable from Old City. Maybe with the exception of Ten Stone...I tried walking home from there one night, and it was a little too long of a trek.