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ISO: excellent food, good drinks, while sitting at bar

Coming to Philly for a conference early in November. Most nights will likely be eating alone. Looking for some really good food but also a place where I can sit at the bar while I eat and get some excellent beverages as well. Enjoy all cuisines.

From the limited research I've done, sounds like Village Whiskey and Noble fit the bill quite nicely. Other suggestions of places to consider? Pub & Kitchen? Sounds like Amis could also be an option.

Other suggestions for places to just get a good after-dinner drink are also welcome.

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  1. Village Whiskey is very nice but usually very crowded, if you're by yourself you have an advantage because you can slip into a single bar seat. Pub & Kitchen is great, I'd skip Amis in favor of Barbuzzo, which is a couple blocks away. The Oyster House has great drinks and oysters, and most of the rest of the menu is pretty good too. Southwark is another great place but if you're coming for a conference you probably aren't staying near it.

    Just for drinks, I'd say Southwark is the best in the city for classic cocktails, Oyster House the best for more inventive ones, but I'm not the biggest cocktail expert..

    1. my list - oyster house, village whiskey, good dog (for good food + good beer), osteria (more of an awesome pizza with a delicious glass of wine spot) and zavino. i hate to knock another poster's recs, but pub and kitchen has left me underwhelmed more times than i like to think about and it can be a douchebag factory to boot. it's not so bad midweek, but avoid it on the weekend....

      if you want standard english pub fare (with good beer and excellent international sports), the dark horse is great.

      1. You will eat very well at all the recommended places so far. For a nightcap, check out either Chick's or Ranstead Room if they are near your hotel, they make excellent cocktails and are comfortable at the bar. If you like beer, Varga Bar has a great draft list.

        1. There are a fair number of options, actually. If you google 'solo dining' and its variations, you should be able to find some stuff.

          i'll add that some of Garces' restaurants have bars, including Tinto and Amada. Tria, at least the Tria on 18th st (or is it 19th?) has a bar that I've enjoyed sitting at solo.
          I also like sitting at the bar at Fergies and eating a bowl of chili. If you like barbeque (but aren't picky about it, which I know that many many bbq people are), then you could try either Devil's Alley (19th and Chestnut) or Smokin' Betty's (11th and Sansom maybe?).
          Those are the places I'd check out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Loblaw

            Devil's Alley and Smokin' Betty's are good places to sit at the bar and get some solid comfort-type food. Percy St BBQ (9th & South) is also good for straight BBQ (Texas style dry smoked), especially the brisket.

            Not to take away from those options but a question for Bob: do they use a real smoker at Devil's Alley and Smokin' Betty's? I haven't tried their "smoked" items, but they were always suspect to me because at Sam's Grill (the owner's other restaurant) they just slap BBQ sauce on grilled meat and call it BBQ. And also because their smoked ribs are offered in three different varieties, including without a rub, which is pretty atypical for a serious smoking operation. I'm not picky about bbq styles but I don't usually bother with braised ribs when eating out.

            1. re: barryg

              wild, crazy ideal: order their ribs and see if you like them. i know i do. i order them dry rub.
              sorry, i don't really get into technical discussions of bbq. they're a slippery slope. ;-)

          2. It might be a little out of your way, but my recommendation is James. Great bar food and a great female bartender.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JanR

              For dinner you could consider Zahav: http://www.zahavrestaurant.com/

              They have a regular bar there, but I've also enjoyed eating at the long bar overlooking the kitchen.

              1. re: JanR

                Jan its been a while since I have been to James. I seem to recall that you do not get access to the full dinner menu at the bar. Is that still the case? Regardless the drinks and the service at the bar are outstanding.

              2. oh, also worth considering the various sushi bars, including Morimoto as well as more normal sushi places.

                1. Fork for dinner and drinks at a very comfortable bar -- food is outstanding.

                  I agree with Ranstead Room -- perfect for an after dinner drink. If you like fresh ginger, ask the bar tender to make you a Penicillin.

                  1. Parc in Rittenhouse has a beautiful bar, great casual food to eat at the bar and a nice wine list.

                    1. Thanks very much for the great recommendations. Sounds like I have some tough decisions to make. I'll try report back on my final decisions/experiences.