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When the sun goes down, an entirely different side of the city is revealed. ShermansTravel experts sort through the dives and overpriced cocktails to show you the best bars and nightspots that really give a taste of the local vibe, while also pointing out the jazz clubs, theater performances, and dancehalls that travelers might not find on their own.

Philadelphia Nightlife

Bob and Barbara's Lounge

Short on pretense and long on fun, this dive-y, gay-friendly bar on South Street is famous for its Philly special – a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam for $3.

1509 South St., PA, 215-545-4511
Tags: gay and lesbian | nightlife | lounge | bar

McGillin's Olde Ale House

The oldest continuously operated bar in Philadelphia has been open ever since the Liberty Bell cracked. Casual and boisterous, they have a great selection of beer on tap.

1310 Drury St., PA, 215-735-5562,
Tags: nightlife | history | bar


Tristate-Area restauranteur Stephen Starr lures hip parents, arty professionals, and students to his mod Asian bistro with an imaginative selection of cocktails (Green Honeydew Lime Martini, Zen and Tonic, etc.), Lego block seating, and retro décor.  

3636 Sansom St., PA, 215-387-1803,
Tags: nightlife | moderate | trendy | asian

Rock Lobster

This outdoor bar on the Delaware is hopping in the warmer months – especially when they bring in the live entertainment. Jazz bands, DJs, and salsa Sundays draw old and young alike.

221 North Columbus Ave., PA, 215-627-7625,
Tags: nightlife | bar


Beautiful people, great park views, and outdoor seating (warmed by heat lamps during brisk weather) make for a lovely start to an evening of Rittenhouse Square bar hopping. They’re famous for their burgers, too.

205 South 18th St., PA, 215-732-6622
Tags: nightlife | bar

the Plough & the Stars

Live music – everything from Irish traditional to jazz – draws a professional, hip crowd to the bar of this upscale Old City pub.

123 Chestnut St., PA, 215-733-0300,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | bar

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