We Philadelphians love our sports teams and are happy to support them, but sometimes we just want to have a drink without having to talk over the game on TV or enjoy lunch without listening to the Eagles chant over and over. For those infrequent times, we’ve compiled a list of pubs where you can discuss something other than sports.
1214 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Fergie’s, a traditional Irish pub in the Market East area, is an overall great place to eat, drink and chat. There are no giant screen TVs to distract you, and the food is surprisingly good. The on-tap beer selection is above-average (Guinness, Allagash White and Sierra Nevada Torpedo, to name a few) and there are almost 40 different beers in bottles for your drinking pleasure. Instead of watching Monday Night Football, Fergie’s has a very entertaining open mic night on Mondays. Feel free to stop in and show them what you’ve got!
1201 N. Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Johnny Brenda’s is a great place to enjoy drinks, farm fresh food and live music in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. There are no TVs, but the venue boasts a world-class sound system–all the better to listen to Philly’s emerging musical talent. Because Johnny Brenda’s is all about supporting the local community, it serves draft beer from local brewers as well as a diverse menu compiled of fresh ingredients from local farmers. Check out the Gospel Brunch on 2nd Sundays for a soulful good time.
Related: Top Secret Bars In Philadelphia
The Dive Bar
947 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Bella Vista has a friendly dive bar named, appropriately, The Dive Bar. The beer is cheap, the barkeep is amiable and the TV is always playing something cool (cartoons, Discovery Channel, Ninja Warrior.) Just how cheap is the beer? How does $2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. sound? Ever the trend-bucker, The Dive Bar even allows dogs. If you’re not up for vegging out in front of the Eagles next Sunday, leash up Fido and head to The Dive instead.
Washington Square West
1137 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
123 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tria Cafe, with locations in Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square West, has nabbed six Philadelphia Magazine Best of Philly awards, making it the place for wine, beer and cheese lovers of all kinds. Its Sunday School Menu is the best thing to happen to Sundays since toast. You are offered a different wine, beer and cheese every week for half price and given the opportunity to learn about each one. Tria’s Happy Hour is one of the best in the city: you can choose among white or red wines, a cheese plate and two beers for just $5 each (only at the Washington Square West location.) There are no TVs at Tria; just focus on the tastes and the eclectic mix of cool background music.
1516 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
This Penn Center restaurant and bar has been serving up fresh oysters and cold beer to happy Philadelphians since the bicentennial. There are no blaring TVs at The Oyster House, but surely you’ll have enough to do on a Monday evening–with all that shucking and sipping, you won’t even miss football. Oyster House also hosts the happiest happy hours, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and late night Saturday, with $1 oysters, $3 draft beers, $3 shooters and $5 cocktails. The service is fast and friendly and the beer list is interesting, with six drafts, eight bottled varieties and Troegs Hopback Amber via hand pump.
Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.