Whether you hate karaoke or love it, this Japanese import is showing no signs of slowing down and is only growing in popularity as the years go by. In fact, many bars in Philadelphia host a karaoke night and they are frequently jam-packed with karaoke lovers, spectators, amateurs and future rock-n-roll stars alike. Looking for a place to show off your singing skills to a crowd of enthusiastic fans? This list will help you out.
951 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Sunday nights are for karaoke at this Frankford Avenue bar, starting at 10 p.m. The Barbary often has different themes for its karaoke night, ranging from hip-hop night to 90s night to ladies’ night. The bar also has “karaoke roulette” once a month, where you take your chances by blindly selecting a song out of a hat, and then singing whatever song you are dealt. From 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., you can enjoy $1 dollar PBRs and prizes and giveaways are also handed out throughout the night.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House
1310 Drury St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
For karaoke in Midtown Village, come in to McGillin’s on Sunday and Wednesday nights. This bar is the oldest continually operating tavern in the city and was recently named by Huffington Post as one of the best places in the country for St. Patrick’s Day (and only five were selected!). McGillin’s packs a crowd every night of the week and offers great specials, including two tacos for $1 on Wednesday and $7 Yuengling Light pitchers on Sunday. Head upstairs to escape the crowd or a particularly ear-wrenching singer.
22 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Karaoke happens every Tuesday night at National Mechanics in Old City. This place may have some performers with serious singing chops, but don’t let that scare you off – the crowd here will support you no matter what you sound like. The best thing about karaoke at National Mechanics is that a large projection screen displays the lyrics behind the singer, so you can follow along. The bar also makes some tasty drinks, which makes it all the more easy to imbibe in some liquid courage before taking the stage.
1100 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
If you find singing on a stage intimidating, Red Lounge is the place for you. In fact, after picking a song, the microphone comes directly to you, which means you can sing wherever you are – standing at the bar, sitting at a table or even in the middle of the dance floor. You can also choose to sing in any of the following languages: English, Vietnamese, Chinese or Spanish. The Red Lounge packs a diverse crowd and karaoke is held every night from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Karaoke is free, but there is a two-drink minimum. This karaoke bar is located on the second floor of a Vietnamese shopping center.
Related: Top Rum Cocktails In Philadelphia
211 N. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Yakitori Boy is an authentic izakaya, an after-work Japanese drinking establishment, located in Chinatown. Its mission is to take your mind off of work for a few hours, whether it’s by having a few drinks with your coworkers (try the sake), sharing a few small Japanese dishes (known as “Japas”) with your friends, belting out your favorite tunes upstairs in one of Yakitori Boy’s private rooms or watching others sing one of the more than 4,000 song choices (in five different languages) in its 2nd floor public karaoke lounge. Karaoke is performed daily until 2 a.m. and reservations are recommended on the weekends for a table in the lounge or a private room. Bring your kids on Sunday or Monday, when the bar opens up its karaoke to folks of all ages.
Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.