The weather is officially frigid, which means your motivation to venture out is probably decreasing along with the temps. However, rest assured that when you do decide to pound the frozen pavement, there’s a light—er, flame—at the end of the tunnel. Here’s where to thaw out by the fireplace (or pit!) in Philadelphia. –Chelsea Karnash
Step off the frozen sidewalks and into this warm, enchanting French creperie just off South Street, where owners Jim Caiola and David Salama have perfected the Brittany-style crepe (flat, round, light). You’ll be hard pressed to choose between savory and sweet, but who says you have to? Warm up near the cozy little fireplace and order ‘em both!
Old school Italian in a historic granary the Founding Fathers could have chilled in. Think exposed brick, lush draperies and one sweet working fireplace…add your current flame (as in significant other), and you’ll warm up real quick.
This Old City venue might conjure up images of drunken bachelorette parties and excessive dancefloor grinding, but outside of weekend nights, Plough is actually, like, a restaurant. Grab a stool near the fireplace and de-frost—okay, a glass of booze might help, too.
Quiet, dark and creaky…in the best possible way. Enter this labyrinth of drinking, and after a few drams (because ya know, it’s British) you might not be able to find your way out. And if you scored a seat near the fireplace—one of the oldest working examples in the city—you probably won’t want to.
My first experience at Black Sheep was on a cold, dreary night…exactly the type I recommend this place for. Like the Dark Horse, the Black Sheep is historic, named for a farm animal and in possession of both a sweet fireplace and a cozy atmosphere that encourages its patrons to curl up in a ball and pass out. Whether that’s from copious amounts of alcohol or actual exhaustion is up to you.
Whether you come in for brunch or a beer (there are over 1000 to choose from!), the fireplace at Hawthornes will keep you warm and comfy. Insider tip: Beeline it straight for the overstuffed couch by the fire (the best seat in the house!) and linger for as long as you can without being thrown out.
When it comes to style, the words ‘chic’ and ‘Old English’ don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. But when you take into consideration the fact that this is a Stephen Starr place, it makes sense. Enter through the wooden door on the corner of 18th and Sansom, then settle in by the well-stoked fireplace for drinks and apps. Just don’t forget to explore all of the nooks and crannies upstairs on the 2nd floor.
Farmhouse-in-the-city Standard Tap not only offers an ever-rotating menu of delish, local fare, but a blazing fireplace upstairs on the second floor. Oh, and a plethora of craft brews, a yummy brunch and killer burgers, too.
Inexpensive food, lots and lots of beers and an easy walk from the Art Museum. A low key place like Brigid’s is just what you need sometimes, especially when the lovely fireplace is stoked and the temps are hovering at or below freezing.
Valley Green Inn
I cannot possibly say enough good things about this adorable, cozy spot nestled in Wissahickon Park. I just love it. Especially in winter.
My rec? Bundle up and take a hike (no, really!) through Wissahickon on a cold, snowy day, then head into the creaky, low-ceilinged Valley Green Inn for hot apple cider or hot chocolate in the Fireplace Room.
Crammed into a dirty alley that probably looks much the same as it did when McGillin’s first opened in 1860 (minus the cars and dumpsters, of course), Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating tavern is still going strong—and still one of the best places to have a drink on a cold winter’s night. Elbow your way as close to the fireplace as you can get; this place is always crowded.
Retro-fab Jones will have you feeling like an extra on the set of the Brady Bunch. In the winter, there’s also a neat see-through fireplace to help you warm up, and with things like tater tots and mac ‘n cheese on the menu, this is one Stephen Starr eatery that is surprisingly kid-friendly.
You’re less than 10 miles from Center City, but you’ll feel like you’re in a ski lodge. Manayunk’s Ugly Moose is in the weirdest location ever (up near Roxborough, behind a fence in what looks like some sort of industrial park), but there’s ample (free!) parking, good food and a cozy fireplace to be had at this off-the-beaten-path dive.
Better wear your best snow boots to this one! Uber-swanky XIX is perched at the top of the Bellevue, and the views are fantastic. If you prefer loose-leaf tea and champagne to cheap beer and moules frites to mozzarella sticks, this is your place. Oh, and the fireplace is beautiful…just like everything else in this upscale establishment.
St. Stephen's Green
Designed in Ireland and built by Irish craftsmen, this charming corner pub in Fairmount offers fireplaces, a well-focused beer selection and pretty excellent food. An ideal neighborhood bar—if it’s located in yours, consider yourself lucky.
Beer pong, board games and s’mores? Yes, please! At this newly opened outdoor beer garden in Fishtown with more than 18 heat lamps and a fire pit, you can enjoy all three in comfort—even during the coldest months of the year.
Mingle with the Penn crowd at this massive newbie to West Philly, where you’ll also find five sweet fire pits on the outdoor terrace. And keep your eyes peeled for events involving s’mores and beer—a winning combo any time of year.