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Nightlife & Music

Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

May 24, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: frankfordhall.com

Photo Credit: frankfordhall.com

The hipster hangouts in Philadelphia show that dive bars and indie music still have a place in society. With offerings from vegan to pub fare and drink specials from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to slightly more expensive beer, these joints probably single-handedly support the continued existence of tofu and PBR and keep hipsters happy with board games, bumper car décor and kung fu movies. Venture in with the too-cool-to-care crowd to these so-cool-you-have-to-care bars and see how the anti-mainstream are living, loving and drinking.

Fishtown and Northern Liberties 
Fishtown and Northern Liberties should be renamed “Hipster Central” with the plethora of trendy joints there to post up at. Furthermore, these bars offer close proximity to indie music venues and trendy eateries like the late-night kitchen Kraftwork and gourmet burger joint Sketch, where the bites are cheap, the menu is vegan-ruled, and ordering ketchup on a burger means certain exile from the cool kid crowd.

nightlife music hipsters fankford hall Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: frankfordhall.com


Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-3338
www.frankfordhall.com

Despite the reality that Frankford Hall is a Stephen Starr joint, hipsters are drawn to this beer garden by the allure of liter drafts, German food (from Bavarian pretzels to sausages), s’mores and games like ping-pong, Jenga, Uno and foosball. Winter or summer, indoor or outdoor, heat lamps and fire pits give the trendy somewhere to huddle for warmth or the latest gossip. Happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday offers $5 half-liter drafts, $10 one liter drafts and half-liter combos, including Victory Prima Pils and a Bavarian pretzel for $6, or any draft and sausage on the menu for $8. Frankford Hall is also located steps from Johnny Brenda’s, making it a popular hangout before and after shows for a bite to eat.

RelatedBest Burger Joints In Philadelphia

nightlife music hipsters johnny brendas Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Johnny Brenda's via Facebook


Johnny Brenda’s
1201 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 739-9684
www.johnnybrendas.com

Speaking of Johnny Brenda’s, it’s been called the “quintessential Philadelphia hipster bar,” and walking into this gathering place for the flannel-wearing, PBR-drinking, irony-ridden crowd won’t convince you otherwise. Affectionately termed “JB’s” by those in the music know, the most popular hangout nights are on indie and local band show dates. Hipsters and lost tourists alike will find fresh, seasonal food scribbled across the communal chalkboard menus to nosh on before heading to the performance upstairs. Though it has a full liquor and wine bar, JB’s will pour no beer but all-draft, all-local brews. Sit down at one of JB’s light-up tables and try a few during the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. happy hour every Monday through Friday.

nightlife music hipsters barbary Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: thebrbry.blogspot.com


The Barbary
951 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-7400
thebrbry.blogspot.com

The Barbary is so cool it doesn’t even have an official website – they blog instead. The menu lists PBR multiple times for $2 – and that’s not even on special. This is three floors and seven days of hipster at the Barbary every week, from Monday’s “Tigerbeats” indie dance party to dollar drinks on Karaoke Sunday. Cover varies per night, ranging from free to a max of $15. Check out the full schedule of events for the month on The Barbary’s blog, because some nights they get ultra-hipster and throw super cool bashes, including the “Makeout Club” party, “Hands + Knees” and “The Shakedown.” Memorialize your in-crowd experience with the Barbary’s photo booth – black and white prints only, of course.

nightlife music hipsters kungc2a0fuc2a0necktie Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Kung Fu Necktie via Facebook


Kung Fu Necktie
1248 North Front St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 291-4919
kungfunecktie.com

For a hipster, the only thing cooler than hanging out on the El train may be hanging out at a bar under the El train. Kung Fu Necktie takes this wager and raises it, bringing trendsters of Philadelphia just that – a bar under the El train – with live indie music and PBR on tap, literally. This gritty hidden gem boasts $3 PBR drafts and a $2 “Shelf of Shame” for connoisseurs of cheap beer. If that isn’t enough to draw the hipsters in, the presence of a quality stage for shows, constant flow of somewhat undiscovered bands and low ticket prices makes Kung Fu Necktie a dive bar at its hipster best. Bonus? Bizarre kung fu movies are frequently playing.

Related: Top Venues To Hear Local Music In Philadelphia

The Rest of Philadelphia
nightlife music hipsters sugar moms Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Sugar Mom's via Facebook


Sugar Mom’s (Olde City)
225 Church Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-8219
https://www.facebook.com/pages/sugar-moms

Sugar Mom’s resides in the basement on an old sugar refinery, tucked away in a small alley in Olde City. Because this subterranean bar is so hard to find, it earns extra street cred with hipsters, probably even with those who never end up finding it. Once you’re inside, Sugar Mom’s is a typical Philadelphia dive bar, with cheap beer, bar food, and the chance to relive your teenage grunge years drinking in an underground room decorated with Christmas lights and that wall graffiti your parents would never let you make. Unlike most basements, however, this dive has a real jukebox, old arcade games and retired carnival bumper cars for seating. The average draft is around $5, but come between 10 and 11 p.m. on weekdays to enjoy them at half-price.

nightlife music hipsters dirty franks Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Dirty Frank's via Facebook


Dirty Franks (Washington Square West)
347 South 13th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 732-5010
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dirty-Franks/273443706227

A real live dive bar complete with an art-centric clientele; enter the at your own risk. Besides the regular barflies, some everyday experiences at Dirty Franks include pin ball machines, dangling piñatas, dart dodging, low-hanging paper snowflake decorations, a rotating display of artwork in the one-wall “gallery,” $2 “beer of the week” specials and possibly a bar stool occupied by a precocious dog. While the $3.50 charge for a can of PBR may keep some away, the hipster at heart will love this cash-only spot for its “Citywide” offering, which is a pony (7 oz.) of High Life or Rolling Rock and a Kamikaze shot.

nightlife music hipsters pope Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: pubonpassyunkeastblog.blogspot.com


The POPE: The Pub On Passyunk East (East Passyunk Ave.)
1501 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 755-5125
www.pubonpassyunkeast.com

The large beer selection, pub fare and rock ‘n roll jukebox you’ll find at the Pub On Passyunk East (aka the POPE), don’t scream out hipster paradise at first. Enter a few of a hipsters’ favorite things: the cheap drink price, brunch on weekends, impressive vegan nosh – and you’ll find them at the POPE, with a $4 Bloody Mary in hand if it’s Sunday.

Related: Top Vegan Friendly Restaurants

nightlife music hipsters tattooed mom Top Hipster Hangout Spots In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Tattooed Mom via Facebook


Tattooed Mom (Society Hill) 
530 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-9880
www.facebook.com/tattooedmomphilly

This South Street bar unites bumper cars, tats, cheap beer, punk rock, tats, naked people decor and more tats into one hipster haven. Trendsters will feel right at home at the “Mom” during special events like the Annual Philly Zombie Crawl and the “Potato Party,” which is exactly what it sounds like: an old-school spin on Mr. PotatoHead using real spuds. Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m., it’s happy hour indeed, with all drafts poured at half price.

Related: Top Tattoo Parlors In Philadelphia

Lindsay Lewis is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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