Bloody Marys aren’t just for brunch anymore. While the popular vodka and tomato juice cocktail is best known as a breakfast beverage, updated versions of the drink often boast unusual add-ins that take things to a whole new level. In the Philadelphia area, Bloody Marys are big business, with many bars and restaurants boasting signature recipes, make-your-own buffet bars and even endless refill options. Take a look at this roundup of five Philly hot spots that serve up the best Bloody Marys.
Standard Tap
901 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 238-0630
www.standardtap.com 

While this Philly bar is best known for its extensive craft beer selection, in 2011 Standard Tap was voted the place to get Philly’s best Bloody Mary by Philadelphia magazine. Four years later, the Fishtown tavern still makes a distinctive Bloody Mary with a list of ingredients (Old Bay, horseradish, hot sauce?) you can’t quite put your finger on (Old Bay, horseradish, hot sauce?), garnished with pickled veggies.  The Standard Tap staff knows its way around a brunch, too, with an extensive menu served on Saturdays and Sundays. So while Marys aren’t just for the morning, in this case you may want to indulge.

National Mechanics
22 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 701-4883
www.nationalmechanics.com

Housed in a historic 1837 bank building, this Old City bar and restaurant is a BYOB: Build Your Own Bloody. The Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar features a vast election of ingredients and garnishes including an array of hot sauces, Slim Jim stirrers and, perhaps most importantly, National Mechanics’ signature bacon vodka. With its old world charm and gothic vibe, this bar claims to “breathe new life into an old edifice,” and that can be said for the drink menu, too. The Bloody Mary bar is available on weekends during lunchtime hours at the eatery.

Related: The Best Brunch Spots in Philadelphia 

Bar Ferdinand
1030 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 923-1313
www.barferdinand.com 

This Spanish tapas bar and restaurant boasts the Bottomless Bloody Mary. Made with tomato gazpacho, Tabsaco and a choice of high-end vodkas, the bottomless drink doesn’t come cheap, but patrons don’t have to pay for refills. In addition to this endless drink, Bar Ferdinand offers an eclectic mix of traditional and modern tapas. The eatery’s entire menu is inspired by the various regions of Spain.

Ela
627 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 687-8512
www.elaphilly.com 

Featured at last fall’s Bloody Mary Festival in Philadelphia, this Queen Village establishment not only has an extensive wine and craft beer program, but also several inspired cocktails on its menu. In addition to a traditional house Bloody Mary, Ela mixes a memorable Golden Beet version of the drink. But it may be the Smoked Rye Bloody Mary that gives this place that extra edge. Made with rye and smoked tomato juice (yes, smoked!), a homemade Bloody Mary mix is the key ingredient for the most unique Mary on Ela’s menu. 

Related: The Top Bottomless Mimosas for Brunch in Philadelphia

Farmicia
15 S. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 627-6274
www.farmiciarestaurant.com 

Known for its extensive list of drinks and unique tonics, this 122-seat Old City bar and restaurant has a rustic vibe. It also offers a very fitting Bloody Mary called the Barn Burner. The recipe for this home-grown mixture features an unusual fusion of ingredients, including pesto and chili paste, but it’s probably the addition of Laphroaig 10-year scotch whiskey that gives this drink that extra kick. But don’t worry, there’s vodka in it, too!  

Victoria Miller is a freelance entertainment writer who also covers recreation and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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