Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Apr 22, 2014 01:34 PM

Best "nicer" bar for local beer and a good burger

Really quick, someone from out of town wants to try local beer and eat a burger. I need a place that is in Center City, West Philly or Old City; nicer and has both.

I was thinking Dandelion because I love the dog bar. Other ideas were Dock Street, Good Dog and Pub and Kitchen. The bars have around 3 local beers available.

Whiskey Village is out because of space issues.

Any recommendations?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Khyber Pass has a great beer lineup, decent burger.

    City Tap House in West Philadelphia makes a good burger and has a great tap lineup.

    If you are willing/able to go to N. Liberties Standard Tap should be on the list.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      City Tap is really loud and Khyber, while good, isn't what I would call "nicer"

      I didn't want something that we had to take a cab both there and back. That's the one problem with Dock Street and Standard Tap both.

      1. re: jellybell

        Dock street is as nice as Standard Tap ... its an old firehouse with garage doors on it .. always feels like a dump to me. Same really could be said for Good Dog. Khyber's food is really good, so I would sacrifice a little on ambience.. (no more than if you were going to Dock Street.. or Good Dog.)

        Dandelion is a great choice..except fewer local brews on tap there.

        City Tap noise level varies depending on time of the day.

      2. re: cwdonald

        I am looking for local beer list, not necessarily a huge list.

      3. Resurrection Ale House? Strangeloves?

        1. I like the Cambridge on South St

          you may check the tap list see if it suits you

          unfortunately most places I would recommend are neighborhood bars and out of your geography

          5 Replies
          1. re: JTPhilly

            Where else would you recommend? I had a similar requirement recently.

            1. re: barryg

              Royal Tavern, although I wouldn't say it's "nicer" it's a good gastropub. Fountain Porter has my favorite beer list and burger right now.
              I recently had the burger at Dandelion, and while seemingly perfectly done, it ended up dry at the edges. I'm not sure how you manage that on a medium rare burger.

              1. re: barryg

                I live out the Fishtown/Kensington way - nearby there are several places that could fit the bill- my hands down favorite is the EGG Pub (East Girard Gastropub) for service, atmosphere and a killer burger & really fresh oysters

                Jerrys Bar in Northen Liberties is also a really cool place and has a more upscale feel

                but North Third, Johnny Brenda's, Fishtown Tavern, Interstate Draft House, Kraftwork and Cedar Point among others could all fit the bill - With all that + nearby I just don't get to the other areas of the city as much as I would like but Queen Village, East Passyunk, Fairmount all have their equivalents/betters - a good burger and a local brew are sort of the gold standard of the neighborhood gastropub (I hate that word but cant think of a better one)

                some of the mentioned places are "nicer" than others but none are dives I am pretty casual mostly so "nice" is relative, I am thinking clean with table service, - I believe most of these places generally have local beers on tap but don't follow the tap lists religiously and I am not sure how to define local ie Philadelphia County or East Coast?.

                1. re: JTPhilly

                  Thanks to everyone for their consideration of the question and their great suggestions

                  My question has to do with not knowing these people and what they consider an appropriate place for a burger and a beer. They're here for a meeting. I want them to have a nice night in a nice place without a wait or a noisy crowd on a Wednesday night and highlight our city. I want a walkable neighborhood that won't scare them if they don't usually hang out after dark.

                  Every place mentioned sounds great. I know there are tons of neighborhood bars with good food in Philly. I just don't know these people.

                  1. re: jellybell

                    I understood your question - my response on neighborhood dining was to Barry G's comment- which I took to be in reference to the second, qualifying, portion of my post, which is that IMO its oddly easier to find the list of things you are looking for in the hoods than in CC. Sorry to cloud your thread - went a bit OT there.

                    The Cambridge was my recommendation to your OP - but maybe South Street is too edgy

                    What place did you ultimately choose? Let us know how you like it?

                    Black Sheep is nice on a down night but it gets so crowded - not sure on the beer list I am sure they have some local beers =

                    your first bet of Dandelion is probably spot on

            2. Pennsylvania 6 on 12th Street ( Great burger (and other food) and beer list.

              The Bar at Avance has an outstanding lamb burger.