Brewerytown Living Presents – Brewerytown Sippin’
Looking to quench your thirst? Summer is coming, and the changing weather is sure to demand the right place to wet your whistle and relax to a cold one (or hot) during the coming months. This is a list that compiles the places you can claim as your own to ease in the heat. From bars to cafes to tea houses, there are a plethora of options to please your desires, and all are walkable from right here in Brewerytown.
RyBrew Cold beer + Shuffle Board = Awesome. RyBrew has become a Brewerytown staple and the go to for a sandwich and a beer since opening its doors last year, just in time for summer. The door welcomes regulars and newcomers alike. They are constantly rotating beers here, and continually adding new stock and seasonal’s. RyBrew has an answer to all your beverage desires with arguably the best selection of cold craft beers in the greater art museum area. Add to the beers an extensive variety of sandwiches, soups, coffee, and there is something here for everyone. This is a regular lunch beer temptation for frequenters, so tread with caution! Stop in for a beer, a mix and match six pack, or even a twelver to go. Need help? Ask for Sean, who is on top of the beer game, and provides knowledgeable advice for those who can’t decide between the hundreds of options. Oh, and the beer is COLD – just how you like it on a hot day. 2816 W Girard Ave
Bridgid’s This local neighborhood bar has impeccable service and an excellent selection of draft beers. The bartenders know what they are doing, and make real deal cocktails as well. As if that weren’t enough, the chef is a certified bad ass with mouth-watering meals and rotating specials. The bar is small, and the perfect place for a night-capper, a happy hour, or a meal. Oh, and from 11pm to midnight, there is a 5 dollar special. You get whatever the chef decides, but it’s well worth the “risk”, as everything out of the kitchen is worth trying. The service here is so good, your bar napkin will be folded and awaiting your return when you make a trip to the bathroom. Great vibe and great atmosphere. The place is easy to miss, but well worth looking for. 726 North 24th Street
ERA Neighborhood staple, this bar hasn’t changed much and doesn’t intend to. Doors open at five, and they offer a beer (Lion’s Head) and a shot (Heaven Hill) special for four bucks. Basic draft selection with Sly Fox, Yard’s and Yuengling, as well as cans of PBR for the hipsters and Temple students playing quizzo on Thursdays…Long time bartender Fitty keeps customers smiling, and there is a beat up old pool table worth passing some time. Although the jukebox needs constant feeding, and this isn’t the spot to order any upscale cocktails, there is something very comforting about ERA. Hungry? Get your hands dirty (literally – you eat with your hands) the Ethiopian cuisine here is top-notch. 28th and Poplar
Lemon Hill A whiskey lover’s dream, with food to match. The neighborhood tavern is tucked away on Aspen and 25th, and has limited space. Bar seating can be tricky on a busy night, but make no doubt, it is worth risking the wait for this spot. Lemon Hill probably has one of the most knowledgeable bar staffs in the entire city, and watching them mix specialty drinks is like watching Bob Ross lovingly paint a little tree. Ordering a drink here is not just an action, it is an experience. There is a fine selection of American craft brews, but this is a bar where the focus should be on the custom drinks designed by Al Sotack to present options for every taste. “From the lightly sweet and tart through the dark and brooding and deliciously bitter, we’ll have your poison. If you prefer your liquor as just that, ask advice of the wall of bourbon that is our bar, but be warned: it only says nice things.”
747 North 25th Street
North Star Bar What can I say – easily one of the best happy hours in town with 50% off all drafts, daily drink specials, dollar wings, and half off mussels. The venue regularly has live music and is a great place to unwind, with an impressive craft beer selection. The crowd can range, and often depends on whether or not there is music. The beer is always cold, and they can splash together some decent cocktails as well. There is usually a bartenders special, so keep an eye out and be sure to try it! They are also happy to provide to go beers in a plastic cup for the day walkers. 2639 Poplar St
Brown Street Tavern Cheap food (7 dollar burgers) and cold beers, not the most impressive selection, but they offer drafts and bottles and provide a pool table. Oh, and there is a ladies entrance as well. 795 North 24th Street
Jack’s Firehouse Once considered the outskirts of town, this was the original Philadelphia Fire House because of its hill top view of the city. Tons of history, and the original fire pole still stands. Adding to the atmosphere – the fire doors swing open to make the bar an outdoor bar right inside. Awesome place for a hot summer evening. Food is pricey, but Matt is one of the finest barmen in town, with one of the most genuine smiles, and will make sure you have a great time. 2130 Fairmount Avenue
Playmakers Owned by former NFL star Marvin Harrison, Playmakers is home to probably the best pool tables in the area. Music bumps loudly at night, and they offer specials during sporting events. There are no drafts, but a respectable assortment of bottled beers to choose from.
28th and Harper
This is a great day time spot with reasonably priced food, and one of the better burgers in the neighborhood. It can be packed at night and for games. Outdoor seating is abundant, but hard to come by. This is a great place for a cold one on a hot day. They offer the Philly standard of craft beer selections and the bartenders mix quality drinks. What more could you need?
2349 Fairmount Avenue
This is an interesting place because it has a very old-school, blue collar, PHILLY vibe. This really is a neighborhood bar. You will probably stick out like a sore thumb if it is your first visit, but they are generally welcoming, and offer mainly beer from the canned variety. You are sure to experience some interesting convo, avid Philly sports fans, and perhaps a game of poker.
2701 Brown Street
This spot has gone through some management changes over the years, and has been around the neighborhood in some form for ages. Formerly Patsy’s, in 1985 it became Rembrandt’s. They have a decent beer selection at prices (6 bucks) that don’t scream out that you are getting a great deal, but the service is good and the food gets mixed reviews around the city. On a good day, they have a great burger.
741 North 23rd Street
La Calaca Feliz
Viva la Tequila! Shots, shots, shots, shots, and a great happy hour. La Calaca Feliz offers the best tequila selection in the area, and although the bar only seats about 6 to 8 people, there is plenty of seating for dining as well. They make a respectable margarita, have a solid draft selection, and for the hungry; the closest thing to authentic Mexican in the area. Service is always great, and the atmosphere has always been one conducive to conversation and meeting some new faces.
2321 Fairmount Ave
Sort of like a Fairmount version ERA for young professionals, Urban Saloon can come off as a frat boy bar for dudes that are too old to be in frats on a bad night, but is a fun mix of professionals and shakers on a good night. They have plenty of beer to offer and a friendly enough staff.
2120 Fairmount Ave
This place has a really cool decor, and is surprisingly, often a great place to conversate or bring a date. I say this, because amazingly, there is usually some bar seating despite the location and service that would suggest the place would be forever packed. London Grill has a very old school pub vibe that is both comforting and relaxing. They have an excellent rotating draft selection, make killer cocktails, and are at a prime location. Hungry? Don’t let England’s bland and boring food reputation fool you, this London bar does it up well. It’s a little pricey, but worth the cash for a special treat.
2321 Fairmount Avenue
Fare offers 3 dollar bottled beers for happy hour and makes a good martini. The vibe varies, but generally it draws the locally minded, but occasionally pretentious clientele. This may not be your go to spot, but it’s worth going to, if just to sit in their amazing courtyard. Fare is, “Organic, local, sustainable, crafted and Artisan,” offering an impressive menu of locally minded dishes.
2028 Fairmount Avenue
Old Philly Ale House
Most people don’t realize, but you can actually drink on site here. This is true Philly, and feels that way the moment you walk in. They have been in the game for a long time and know their beers. Most choose this for buying beers to go, but you won’t be disappointed if you sit with the owner and have a chat. Excellent selection of some of the world’s finest beers. What’s that you say, you want a new beer? Old Philly Ale House has you covered and if they don’t, they’ll order it for you. They have hundreds of beers including Belgian, English, Micro Brews, and of course Pennsylvania’s Pride, Yuengling.
565 N 20th St
Claiming to have the sunniest tree-lined corner in Fairmount, the Belgian Cafe offers an awesome selection of brews. They usually have at least twelve drafts that rotate, and offer seasonals as well. The menu is intriguing and extensive. This is also arguably one of the best places in town for mussels.
2047 Green Street
McCrossen’s has a feel good neighborhood vibe and offers an amazing weekend brunch that includes all you can drink Bloody’s or Mimosas. They have a great craft beer selection and excellent service. The woodwork adds to the atmosphere, and this is a great place for a day beer or a night capper. The food is excellent and the menu is constantly changing as well. Friendly and accomodating staff make this an easy choice for a quiet drink.
529 North 20th Street
The Green Room
This place isn’t trying to be anything it isn’t. Many complain of it as a dive bar in reviews, but it is worth going in for a cold one. There are two pool tables, a juke box, drafts, bottles, and liqour. They may not mix the best drinks, but you can’t go wrong with a cold beer here.
1940 Green Street
Distributor closed? No worries – Non-Stop carries a surprisingly good selection of quality beers such as Victory Hop Devil and Dog Fish, while also supplying Steele Reserve, PBR, and Coors Light for the budget-minded, this is the best price on late night beers you will find.
29th and Girard
High Point Cafe
New in the neighborhood, but not new in Philly, High Point’s third location on Girard Ave offers perhaps the most extensive list of nonalcoholic beverage options in the area. Priding themselves on service and quality, High Point is an avid supporter of local economy and small business. From traditional hot cocoa to delicious iced teas and even a specialized wellness elixir, baristas also make a mean variety of espresso drinks, using one of the best machines in the business. Need more than a coffee kick? High Point offers their own pastries and makes crepes to order. There is outdoor seating, balcony seating, and a large communal table as well as a small bar area to enjoy your order, or you can take it to go.
2831 Girard Ave
This little hidden spot on the corner of Baltz Street across from the Bottom Dollar has been quietly winning over residents for well over a year. The upstairs seating area is perfect for relaxing, although the massive screens might be intimidating. They offer hearty sized portions, illy coffee, teas, and espresso. The service is friendly and the location convenient.
1233 N 31st St
Tucked on a corner of Poplar, the Lucky Goat has become one of the neighborhoods most talked about coffee shops. With many options around, this might prove to be a quieter, and more relaxed choice. They offer all of the espresso options your heart desires, and provide snack items such as bananna bread. They also have an enticing season drink special menu to choose from. Definitely a great place to read a book, or to grab a quick one for the road on your way to the city – however, parking can be tricky.
888 N 26th St
Rita’s Water Ice
The name speaks for itself. Tucked into a tiny stall on Girard, Rita’s is a classic summer quencher.
2827 Girard Ave
Hand bagged teas and a friendly owner make this a great spot to bring a date, have a meeting, or to relax to conversation with a friend, giving a new meaning to “tea time”. Teaful Bliss believes that the calming sensation that comes from drinking tea is universal, and that the ingredients should reflect the cultures and countries of the world. They offer a wide range of delightful flavors, and have something for everyone. Not a tea drinker? They offer coffee, but be prepared to become not only a tea fan, but a connoisseur. More than just thirsty? They have that covered also, with a pallette-minded menu, and generous portions for breakfast and lunch.
28th and Cambridge
Tela’s Market & Kitchen
Tela’s on Fairmount is a fresh and prepared food market. The inside has a modern, local, fishtowny vibe. They are meant to be passionate about offering local and high-quality foods, but closer inspection may disappoint some shoppers, with offerings of some mega brands such as Dole fruits, and some other non-locally minded big boys on the shelves. Get past that minor disappointment, and you are met with delicious coffee, including what many have said is the best Cafe Au Lait in the city. They offer other beverages such as sodas, and even a 20 dollar bottle of rootbeer. There is adequate space for seating, and a delicious menu that offers hearty portions. Overall, there is a respectable selection of local and the place is comforting, with an excellent and mindful staff.
1833 Fairmount Ave
A spacious and self proclaimed “industrial-chic cafe”, OCF has primetime location and reasonable parking options just across from Eastern State Penitentiary. The coffee shop is “a real estate company’s sideline java empire, thanks to a full kitchen, lunch and brunch menus, and a wide array of house-baked pastry.” Although OCF seems to be confused about its identity as an “empire” that is also a BYOB, and a “best of local farms” restaurant with a full menu, somewhere in there, it is a coffee shop with free wifi.
2100 Fairmount Ave