Good spot for drinks and good bar food near the Kimmel
I have an event at the Kimmel Center this weekend. We woud like to go out afterwards to a cool spot for drinks and great bar food. As we will be on foot, we need somewhere fairly close to the Kimmel
I recommend walking over to 13th and Sansom (about 4-5 blocks) and checking out the resto/bars that line that strip. They all have great food and drinks and cool atmospheres. Some choices are Opa (greek), Zavino (pizza/wine), The Corner (American), Barbuzzo (italian), Jamonera (spanish), Vintage (french/wine bar), and Sampan (pan asian). They all have good websites, so I recommend checking them out. If you don't want to commit or make a reservation, you can just walk up 13th street and see what captures your fancy. Then go to Capogiro for gelato!
I've searched for it and I'm afraid it doesnt exist. This is the kind of place I would love to find. The contenders:
1) Good Dog -- gone horribly downhill over the last couple years (even the stuffed burger). I do not plan to return to eat more than a snack, and even that I hesitate.
2) Jose Pistola's -- food is ok, not great. Gets very crowded on weekend nights, hard to get a seat, which is a deterrent.
3) Perch Pub -- Been several times, food ranges from bad to mediocre. Hot sandwiches and fries have been the best bets. Definitely avoid the Mexican-inspired items.
4) Misconduct Tavern -- only tried it once, food was not bad, especially their house made hot dog/sausage. Would try again but also gets crazy crowded on weekends, a seat most likely requires a wait.
5) Devil's Alley -- A little farther away. Tried this one recently after being turned away by other places. Not hard to get a table. Food was not bad but didn't have potential to be great. Would try again.
6) Monk's -- Have not eaten here in a couple years. Again, hard to get a seat. Last few visits was not impressed with the food, other than the fries (yes even the mussels). Would return but I have been trained to expect a long long wait, maybe I owe it another try to see if getting a seat at the bar for two is feasible and to get a recent judgement on the food.
7) Oscar's -- The food will never be great BUT they aren't trying to be a gastropub. They excel at what they set out to do -- fried bar snacks, hoagies, hot and cold sandwiches, a surprisingly good cheesesteak. Can't beat the prices. Downside is the poor beer selection and, possibly, the authentic dive atmosphere (but this can actually be refreshing after the orchestra).
8) Tria (Spruce St) - We always forget it's so close, but probably the best bet for after Kimmel. It's not really bar food, though.
The good news is that all have good prices for Center City, and, with the exception of Oscar's, good or great beer lists. Perch Pub has a very nice whisky/bourbon/scotch list too.
So what did I miss or do I owe another visit?
Varga Bar on 10th and Spruce is probably your best bet for that combination. It's got a great tap list and has pretty good bar food. There are bars with better food in the city but I'm never disappointed there. Lump crab fries, turkey burger and smoked turkey and brie sandwiches are all great options. Farmer's Cabinet has mediocre food but is a great scene for drinks.
The Cambridge on 15th and South is another option. Another spot that's a great bar scene. I've only eaten there once and had a great sandwich (Sensei Kris) but others have found the food less steady.
Barryg - don't think you owe any of those sports another visit although I haven't found Jose Pistola's to be a tough table, just don't often find a desire to eat there. Agree wholeheartedly about Good Dog and Monk's, two places that get a lot of hype.
Last couple visits to Jose Pistola's we were greeted with a line basically out the door of people on a wait list for a table.
We tried Cambridge once and were pretty disappointed, the food just wasn't executed well -- nachos were not layered properly and brussel sprouts were underdone (issue was that the core wasn't removed). Will try again probably, but not rushing back.
Have been to Varga in the past and agree about the beers and food, thanks for reminding me about it.