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Dec 6, 2010 10:08 AM

Rankings of Gatropubs/Pubs in Philly Region

If this has already been done, I apologize. First of all, I think that Philadelphia and the region is a great place for bars with excellent and interesting food. I was wondering about people's thoughts on their favorite gastropubs/pubs in the Philly region. Based on my limited experience here is my list:

1. Standard Tap: great menu, love the oysters, and excellent local beer selection

2. N. Third: Love the wings, good variety of beer including draft and in bottles, had Ommegang Saison and a bottle of St Bernardus 12%. Mac and cheese is also good.

3. Tria: (only been to 18th Street location): Small but good beer selection, great wine selection, interesting and delicious food choices, small venue.

4. South Philly Tap Room: Good beer selection, excellent Fried Chicken, Roast Pork Sandwich, and Wild Boar Tacos.

4. Monk's Cafe: Amazing beer selection, food can be excellent, but sometimes appears to be hit or miss. Love mussels (haven't had them for a long time, though). Always seem to be so crowded.

5. McGillian's Olde Ale House: Decent Beer Selection, Decent Food, Great Prices, Free Soup. Great place to warm up on a cold day or night.

6. Stephanie's, Doylestown: Great beer selection, knowledgeable and friendly bartenders, very good grub.

7. Four Dogs: West Chester area: Decent beer choices, very good food, little expensive. Neat venue.

Other bars I have been to in Philly that didn't make the list:

Eulogy: great bar but every time I went it was so crowded I could barely breath. I also went to a sister place but forget the name. It is not far from Eulogy. Seemed pretty cool.
Grey Lodge Pub: Great beer selection, so so food, drove quite a distance out of the way to go here and I was a little disappointed.
McGlinchey's: good cheap dive bar
Khyber: Only been once for a couple of drinks in the afternoon, but I would love to return, good bartender and beer selection.
There is also a bar below South Street on maybe fourth that has a nice selection. About 2 or 3 blocks below South Street, forget the name.

These are the places that come to mind right now. Let me know what you think. On a side note, I did not include Victory because it is a brewery, but their beer is amazing and the food is decent.

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  1. Based only in Philly (and I think you're explanations cover them) and in no particular order:

    1. Standard Tap
    2. Resurrection Ale House -- oh good Lordy their food is awesome. And their beer list. And their bartenders.
    3. South Philly Tap Room
    4. Eulogy
    5. Monk's
    6. Good Dog Bar
    7. Kraftwork -- awesome fries. and flatbread. and sandwiches.
    8. Prohibition-- ok, so I've only sampled a little of the food, but it sounds good AND work on the street it the menu is getting mixed up v. soon

    Tap Room
    10 Palmer Sq E, Princeton, NJ 08542

    1. TJ's in Paoli usually has around 2 dozen beers on tap and the food is decent

      1. I'm not sure I can rank them, but I'd say the best IMO are:

        Royal Tavern
        Pub & Kitchen
        South Philly Tap Room
        Good Dog
        Varga Bar
        Johnny Brenda's
        Standard Tap

        Nostalgically, I'd put Doobie's and Monk's on the list, but it's been a while since I've been to either. I also really want to put Wishing Well on that list, but I'm not sure it's there yet.

        1. sidecar should be on this list- very enjoyable bar food

          1. Good beer selection is a given at any Phila "gastropub" and bars targeting the under 40 crowd in general. Devil's Den stands out as having an above average tap and bottle list combined with great prices, especially at Happy Hour (all drafts half price). Resurrection also has great prices for great beer.

            Overall, South Philly Taproom is #1 for me. Location plays a role but I've had insanely good food there--grilled duck hearts, fried chicken, boar tacos and a pampano filet are among very memorable dishes that could go toe to toe with the best restaurants in the city, at a fraction of the price. Last winter their roasted brussel sprouts blew away any other preparation I had in the city, can't wait to try them again this year.

            After SPTR #2 is probably Royal Tavern for consistently good food. Below #2 it starts to blur, but the good places have been named on this thread. I have had some fantastic meals at Standard Tap in the past (like a mixed grill of game meat) but I've eaten there I think 3 times over the past 12-18 months and have been very underwhelmed. Can any ST lovers reassure me it's worth a visit next time I'm up there?

            Haven't eaten at Monks in a while due to the crowds, service, and a few tepid food experiences--mussels and wings I used to love just didn't have it anymore. I think I remember hearing they got a new chef in there a few months backs; would love to hear a recent report on the food.

            7 Replies
            1. re: barryg

              You had better get down there right now, as they are running a roasted wild striped bass special with a warm potato watercress salad, tossed with olives, oil and lemon juice. Another incredible effort by SPTR, and they have the brussel sprouts.

              1. re: der

                Went on Friday night (that gift cert makes the place a total steal too, when they're 80% off, I think I spent $2 for a $25 gift cert), had snails to start, uh, awesome. buttery, herby, served with toast. Then had the Turkey Mole for dinner (with rice/refried beans and tortillas). Fantastic! Even the rice and beans were good. The rice must have been simmered in chicken stock, so flavorful.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Oh wow, yeah actually:


                    I use coupon code GIVE to get 70% off, does anyone have the code for 80% off?

                    1. re: AgentRed

                      They are 70% off now, if you wait a few days, they'll go to 80% off. It goes in pretty quick cycles. Sign up to get on their email list and they'll let you know. I can post when I get an 80% code. You get a $25 gift certificate, but you have to spend $35 in food to use it. That can be harder to do if you're just getting a couple of burgers, but two entrees and an app will get you there pretty easily (as a couple, it's even easier if you've got a third person).

                      1. re: urbanfabric

               gift certs are 80% off until Monday, using code PRESENT at Checkout. both SPTR and Good Dog (and Swift Half) are on the site now.

                        1. re: urbanfabric

                          Just printed out my certificate. Thanks!