The brains behind Tria opened a West Philly watering hole with beer, wine, and a menu full of snacky items. Without Wi-Fi, karaoke, or live-music distractions, it’s the perfect place to hone your non-Facebook communication skills.
You’ll need to travel down a grungy stretch of street to locate The Ranstead Room’s discreetly marked door, but once inside, you’ll see the speakeasy-inspired space is completely posh. Fancy cocktails with hand-chipped ice will start the conversation instantly.
The Ranstead Room, 2013 Ranstead Street (215-523-9999).
The Washington Square West location of Tria gives schwaggy well liquors the boot and serves a rotating selection of beer, wine, and savory cheese plates for $5 each at happy hour.
The tiny gem occupies a sliver of space but packs in an oven, antipasti bar, cheese and charcuterie station, and communal table in the rear. Libations include artisanal cocktails and affordable wine choices like Samantha Starr chardonnay, Canaletto pinot noir, and Masciarelli Montepulciano.
Zavino Wine Bar Pizzeria, 112 South 13th Street (215-732-2400 orzavino.com).
The cocktails at Varga — whiskey Collins, daiquiris, and Cadillac margaritas — are nothing to sniff at. Nor are hard-to-find bottle and draft beers like Bell’s Oberon, Founders Backwoods Bastard, and Stone Ruination IPA. You can also take home select brews in signature growlers.
Varga Bar, 941 Spruce Street (215-627-5200 or vargabar.com).
Xochitl’s chef Lucio Palazzo turns out contemporary Mexican delicacies like house-made chicharonnes with salsa verde, chorizo and kale casserole, veal tongue meatballs, and margaritas.
Situated on a picturesque cliff above the river, Water Works Restaurant and Lounge affords a breathtaking view. Sip a leisurely cocktail and listen to the water rush by.
Water Works Restaurant and Lounge, 640 Water Works Drive, on the Schuylkill, below the art museum (215-236-9000 or thewaterworksrestaurant.com).
Forget your troubles at Jose Garces’s Prohibition era-style joint, which has black-and-white tile floors, leather banquettes, and aged mirrors behind the bar. Philly’s biggest selection of the brown, Village Whiskey’s more than 80 varieties include Suntory, Pappy Van Winkle, and Springbank.
This financial institution was once a front for the shady Max “Boo Boo” Hoof, a leader of Philly’s Probihition-era underworld. Today his legacy is recalled with artfully made cocktails that celebrate the King of the Bootleggers.
The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., 112 South 18th Street (267-467-3277 or thefranklinbar.com).
Split an order of tapas-style dishes like bison sliders and chorizo mac ’n’ cheese before ordering off Kokopelli’s menu of more than 50 tequilas.
Pub & Kitchen serves traditional English bar grub (fish and chips, bangers and mash), modern gastropubbery (orzo mac ’n’ cheese with pork shank, duck-liver toasts), and Americana (burgers, wings), along with a great beer selection and an affordable wine list.