This boozehound's guide through the City of Brotherly Love's Rittenhouse Square starts out with traditional brews at the city's oldest bar and concludes with martinis overlooking the city skyline.
For Great Brews, with a Side of History
Where: McGillin's Olde Ale House, 1310 Drury St., (215) 735-5562
Stop by the oldest continually running bar in Philadelphia, started in 1860, for some excellent beers ranging from local microbrews to rare imports, and sit back and enjoy the history of Philadelphia through the perspective of a bar that’s seen it all.
To Get Your Belgian Beer On
Where: Monk's Cafe, 264 S. 16th St., (215) 545-7005
This bar, equally famous for its bad luck as its fantastic beer selection, is known to house America’s foremost Belgian beer collection. Snack on the moules frites while enjoying the legendary house Flemish Sour Ale.
For More Than a Simple Rum and Coke
Where: Rum Bar, 2005 Walnut St., (215) 751-0404
This new temple to the distilled sugarcane spirit mixes some variety into the city's typically beer-centric drinking scene. Take in the casual, vintage Cuban atmosphere while sampling from the variety of mojitos, daquiris, and top-notch sipping rums.
For Cocktails Worth Hunting For
Where: Ranstead Room, 2013 Ranstead St., (215) 563-3330
This new retro speakeasy-style bar is hidden near the corner of 20th and Ranstead, and worth the little game of hide-and-seek required to find it. The glamorous décor and dark atmosphere let you know that this is a place where serious cocktails are ordered — that, and the fact that the menu set up by Sasha Petraske of New York City’s famed Milk and Honey. Of course, if you're having trouble deciding, feel free to ask for the bartender’s choice and leave your fate in their very capable hands.
To Enjoy Some Seriously Good Drinks... Seriously
Where: The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., 112 South 18th St., (267) 467-3277
Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. is a leader in the city's craft cocktail movement, looking to reclaim the bar scene from the flavored-vodka frat house drinks and put well-made cocktails back on the pedestal they so rightly deserve. The bar, aptly named after a bootlegging operation that ran in and out of Philadelphia during Prohibition, serves up carefully crafted cocktails that are meant to be enjoyed instead of gulped back with a grimace.
To End the Night on a High Note
Where: Nineteen, 200 S. Broad St., (215) 790-1919
This restaurantand bar perched on the 19th floor of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia has a view of the city that simply can’t be beat. Put on your classiest airs as you take the elevator up to this swank cocktail lounge and enjoy an expertly made martini as you stare out over the city skyline.