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Barside Dining for One Old City/Independence Hall Area

I will be in Philly alone Tues-Friday this week and I was wondering if anyone had any recs on places to have dinner. Probably looking to sit at the bar and dine rather than at a table. Will eat all types of cuisine. Any thoughts? Thanks! P.S. I know the title says Old City area but will also entertain Center City Ideas.

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  1. Try the Philadelphia Brew Room at 120 Market st. Good eats and drinks Another place in that area is Jones at the corner of 7th and Chestnut. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kariya66

      Just moved out of Old City last month so perhaps this place just opened, but I'm not familiar with Philadelphia Brew Room (I lived there about 2 years but am not much of a drinker so perhaps just missed it). Is it definitely there?

      Anyway, for a great wine by the glass selection and pretty good Italian I'd try Panorama at the Penn's View Hotel at Front and Market. For Belgian Bar food and a great beer selection I'd try Eulogy at 2nd and Chestnut (though one can't always find a seat at the bar and it can be somewhat loud and crowded). For very casual Philadelphia classics that are pretty good like cheesesteaks, hoagies, etc. (also have beer by the bottle) you could try Campos around 2nd and Market--it's not a particularly exciting environment though, and most of the people who actually seem to be eating there are tourists.

      There are actually a lot of places in Old City that you could comfortably eat at alone, so if you feel like braving the cold you could wander North-South between Market and Chestnut and East-West between Front and 4th. Good luck.

      p.s. Kisso sushi at 4th and Race also has a very welcoming area for a single diner. My boyfriend really liked the food but I can't speak from personal experience since I don't eat fish.

    2. For upscale tapas, Amada is great and has a nice bar area. Another higher end option is Zahav for modern Israeli, they also have a comfortable bar as well as a counter you can eat at that looks into the kitchen.

      For something more casual, reports from the newly reopened Khyber Pass Pub, serving Southern-inspired gastropub fare, have been very positive. For more basic pub food, National Mechanics is not bad.

      There are a lot of crappy bars in this area, so beware and trust your fellow hounds!

      5 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Is Khyber Pass, the same place as The Khyber? I was just there a couple of weeks ago and the beer selection was great. I know what you mean about lots of crappy bars in Old City. I am more familiar with Center City and have always enjoyed that area better than old city. I am actually staying at the Sheraton Society Hill. Anything decent in near there? Amada is a great choice, went there a couple of years ago. I think I will save the upscale places for date with my wife. Looking for more like pub grub.

        1. re: dfishhead

          Check out the restaurant at Society Hill Hotel - 3rd and Chestnut for pub grub!

          1. re: dfishhead

            If you're looking for Pub Grub I'd go Eulogy or National Mechanics. One interesting "bar" that I unfortunately never got to while living in Old City was Sassafras. I'd walk past almost every night with the dog; it looked like a good atmosphere that would welcome dining alone, and I think the food is supposed to be fairly good.


            1. re: dfishhead

              Yea, The Khyber. I thought they rebranded as Khyber Pass (the original name) when it became all restaurant.

              Everything is Old City is near Sheraton Society Hill. You also aren't far from New Wave Cafe which is decent almost-gastro-pub fare. The beer list is not as good as Khyber or those kind of places. If you liked Khyber, you'll like Good Dog and Varga Bar in Center City. Closer to the hotel, I think kariya66 actually meant Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant, not Brew Room. I haven't been but it has gotten good reviews for beer and food.

              1. re: dfishhead

                Zahav is right across the street, and would be a shame to miss if you haven't been. Even if you don't want a full meal (the $35 menu is plentiful and reasonable for what you get), you should go to the bar, get a drink, some hummus and one or two small plates.

            2. You're really not that far from anywhere, especially if you're willing to hop on the El or grab a cab, or just hoof it. You might check out this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7516... for gastropub suggestions. You're not a far cab ride from Standard Tap. Or take a bus up 3rd street, or the Market Street El one stop to Spring Garden.

              1. and while we are sending you in cabs and on public transit, head down to South Philly Tap room!

                1. The Plough & The Stars, 2nd just north of Chestnut, has an extensive bar menu and above-average food at reasonable prices in an historic building. It is especially beautiful this time of year with a wood-burning fireplace and huge Christmas tree. (Avoid Friday happy hour unless you favor a mob scene.)


                  1. Bar Ferdinand has great tapas and a large bar. Its a great place for dinner. Very casual relaxed atmosphere. It's in Northern Liberties.

                    1. I ate the chicken gumbo at Khyber Pass Pub last night and it was the best $4 worth of food I have had in a while - they also have a decent burger and good mac and cheese and founders breakfast stout. The place was dead though. The Philadelphia brew room to me is way below par, you only have to look at the cheap furniture to get a feel for what it is, bland food, average brews. The continental is always left out, but has a great "pat la Frieda" burger, and also some great beers on tap. I live in old city, and I do travel on the el to the South Philly Tap Room a lot, but would definitely reccomend the bar at Amada and Zahav, the latter has great cocktails and always great wine by the glass, the former incredible food and solid wines.

                      1. One of my favorite solo spots is Southwark, at 4th and Bainbridge. Great cocktails and a creative and solid menu, and, equally important, quality bartenders. It's not in Old City but it's not far for a walk or a cheap cab ride.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LPhila

                          and often a great place to have a conversation with your fellow patrons