Top College Bars In Philadelphia

July 29, 2013 7:00 AM

(Credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Sometimes, there isn’t anything better than cheap beer, food and a good time. With so many colleges and universities in Philadelphia (U Penn, Drexel and Temple — just to name a few), there are a lot of great bars for both students and those looking to relive their college days.
Drinker’s West
3900 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 397-4693

Drinker’s has locations in University City, Rittenhouse and Old City. All three can draw a young crowd any given day of the week, but the University City location is your best bet if you’re looking for a college scene, as it’s in close proximity to the Penn, Drexel and the University of the Sciences. Drinker’s West is a regular hot spot for students on Thursday nights because Miller High Life is sold for only 75 cents until midnight. Looking for a challenge? Come in before 11 p.m. and see if you can put your name on a plaque by eating 33 tacos in 13 minutes.

Cavanaugh’s Restaurant and Sports Bar
119 S. 39th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-4889

This University City bar is right down the street from Drinker’s West, making it another popular destination for Penn and Drexel students. Cavanaugh’s has a college night every Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, enjoy free pizza (from 10 p.m. to midnight) and $1 to $3 well drinks and drafts. Thursday night’s special includes $5 Rolling Rock pitchers and 60-cent wings (also a special on Tuesday). Cavanaugh’s has a huge selection of drafts and bottled beer along with a full menu of bar food. It’s also full of HDTVs for those looking to watch their favorite sports team.

Draught Horse
1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 235-1010

Draught Horse is a bar and restaurant located in the center of Temple University’s campus. Wednesday night is the best time to go (especially during the school year), as this Templetown bar brings in some of the best DJs and offers great drink specials. The menu goes beyond basic pub fare, with soups, salads and wraps offered too. With 20 beers on tap (including 10 on rotation), Draught Horse offers a wide selection to choose from including basics like Bud Light and Miller as well as many local craft brews. Draught Horse has numerous TVs, so you can watch a game while enjoying a drink with your buddies.

Related: Top Bars for Foodies in Philadelphia

Lucy’s Hat Shop
247 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 413-1433 

Lucy’s Hat Shop, located in Old City, is a popular stop among college students looking for dancing and cheap drinks. Every Thursday, there are $1 Bud Lights and well drinks from 7 p.m. until midnight. Space isn’t a problem at Lucy’s, as it has two spacious bars and holds a capacity of 400 people. For groups of four or more, this is an ideal place for a party, as you can pay $20 per person for a two-hour open bar. The open bar selection includes select beer bottles, drafts and house wines. For premium drinks, the price per person goes up.

Smokey Joe’s
210 S. 40th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-0770 

Smokey Joe’s is know as the “Pennstituion” and has been around for more than 60 years serving the students and faculty of Penn — and anyone else who drops in for a quick bite or drink. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, come to Smokey Joe’s for $2 16-ounce drafts and dollar hot dogs. If you’re looking for dancing on Friday or Saturday night, DJ STYXK plays music every weekend. The menu here is small and consists of classic pub fare like burgers, wings and pizza. This bar is a staple for those in the Penn area and, according to its website, Gerald Ford once called Smokey Joe’s “the 17th institution of higher learning at the University of Pennsylvania.”

Related: Top Tiki Bars Around Philadelphia

Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on

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