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Philly Area Gastropub


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Hey all

the Wife and I are headed up to Philly (where we went to school) in April. Always on the lookout for great food and beer, I was hoping y'all could recommend a few gastropub kinda things. Somewhere with really good, quality food, interesting beer (without being real hop heavy like so many things are these days), nice atmosphere. I don't want fun beer with crummy bar food, or great food with budwiser products dominating the taps. Thanks for your recommendations!


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You are in luck; there are about a billion bars with great beer and food in Philadelphia. The problem you'll have will be in narrowing down the list and deciding which neighborhood you want to hit. Just off the top of my head, here are four of the most obviousest candidates:

Monk's (Center City. Belgian beer and food.)

Standard Tap (Northern Liberties.)

Grey Lodge (in the great Northeast. Crazy-go-nuts beer selection.)

Tria (two Center City locations. They specialize in all things fermented-- beer, wine, cheese-- and are a good place for trying out lots of little things.)

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Not a gastropub per se, but London Grill, just a couple blocks from the Art Museum, always has a nice selection of brews and very good food. When I first moved to the neighborhood in 1979 I was enthralled to find John Courage on tap. They don't carry that now, but they always have Willie Sutton (named for the bank robber who served time and briefly escaped from the world's first penitentiary, now a museum, across the street), which iirc is brewed by Stoudt's.

Right now their on tap list includes cask condition Victory Hop Devil, Rogue Chocolate Stout, Fullers Mr. Harry's, Flying Fish Imperial Espresso Porter, Palm Ale (Belgium, 1st time in America), Magic Hat #9, Sierra Nevada Wet Hops Harvest Ale, Brooklyn Black Chocolat Stout, Victory Donnybrook Stout, Flying Fish "Hopfish" IPA, Carlsberg (I drink it with a shot of Aquavit, though London doesn't have the latter), and Yards Philly Pale Ale.

Good representation in bottles too: a couple of Stan Smith's from England; Innis & Gunn from Scotland; from the U.S. various selections from Dogfish, Victory, Stouds, Anchor, Sierra Nevada, Philadelphia Brewing, Weyerbacher, Slyfox, and Arcadial; plus a few Belgians, Chimay, St. Martin Blonde, and Lindeman's Framboise.

The food is always well-executed with something for everyone. They've always had one of the better burgers in the city, good fries, a lunch menu that ranges from classic but exceedingly high quality sandwiches to fish-n-chips to hanger steak to gnocchi pancetta to potato pizza. Dinner menu is, of course, more expansive: starters like cheese or charcuterie plates, scallops, grilled ocotpus or fried clams, veal ribs with peach salsa. Mains can include gnocchi rabbit-chorizo sausage, linguine with crab and guanicale, braised veal breast, as well as duck, beef, pork, chicken and veggie selections of equal interest.

If you plan on visiting the Art Museum or Rodin Museum, work in a lunch, dinner or weekend brunch here. The same folks have owned and operated it for nearly 20 years, and the service is neighborly and efficient.

Website: London Grill

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I'll agree with the above, and add Royal Tavern (on Passayunk, near 7th st) They have a much-lauded burger, meatloaf sandwich, etc, but usually a few fancier specials as well. Lots of veggie and vegan choices if that matters. Unexpectedly interesting wines by the glass.

I'm not sure I'd call it a gastropub, but there's always good beer at Southwark at 4th and Bainbridge. They don't have a huge selection by philly's standards, but well-chosen ones and excellent cocktails if you want to take a break from beer. The food is in that farm-to-table style, good, mostly local ingredients, hearty yet contemporary. You can eat at the bar, or they have a regular dining room.

Also, Pub and Kitchen at 20th and Lombard (you may remember it as Chaucer's.) Small menu mostly pubby, comfort food standards, but buffed-up a bit with modern technique.

Also, Local 44 in West Philly, at 44th and Spruce. (You might remember it as The Tavern, or Murphy's if you lived out there, but you won't recognize it!) The same folks opened Resurrection Ale House on Grey's Ferry near Catherine St. And also The Memphis Taproom out in Fishtown/Port Richmond. Excellent beer selections, and interesting food - I've heard some mixed reviews of the food, but I've always enjoyed what I've eaten.

and as Andrew said, there are lots more...








Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


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We always enjoy Nodding Head on Sansom Street

A true prew pub in that they make their beer on site

<Ahem> And downstairs from Nodding Head you could always stop by Oyster House for some raw bar, fresh seafood, good beers, wine or a cocktail. Happy Hour Buck-a-Shuck oysters and $3 Kenzingers on draught not a bad deal either...:smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Surprised no one mentioned Good Dog


Well known for their Roquefort stuffed burger, served on a brioche roll with carmelized onions. I am also a fan of their grilled cheese with cheddar, swiss, bacon and apple.

From their website a representative list of beers on tap:

Southampton Double White $5

Smuttynose Star Island Single $5

Boulder Never Summer Winter Warmer $5

Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale $5

Philadelphia Brewing Co. Kenzinger $4

Flying Fish Grand Cru $5

Lagunitas IPA $5

Magic Hat #9 $5

Gritty McDuff's Pub Ale $5

Founder's Breakfast Stout $6

My other favorite is an older bar that really began the Belgian craze in Philadelphia.. Brigid's. They have a good representative list of Belgians including six trappists, (not as good as monks, but not bad by any means), a changing menu on the blackboard, at reasonable prices. Beerwise they have a "down draught" system, where they keep one beer served via gravity, (usually a Yards beer). Smallish bar in Fairmount (24th and Meridith)but great local feel to it. Worth a visit.

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My sister, who lives in Philly highly recommends: The Devil's Den (south Philly) http://www.devilsdenphilly.com/index.html for their excellent food and great happy hour. They also have an "In the Biz" special offering 20% discount to Food Service Industry Employees from 10PM - 2 AM

The Big Cheese


My Blog: "The Kitchen Chronicles"

BMR on FaceBook

"The Flavor of the White Mountains"

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Devil's Den does have a great happy hour-half off all of their amazing drafts, but I have to disagree with the food recommendation. I know they're changing chefs, and he's reworking the menu, but the last thing I got there was some 1/2-inch thick deep fried greasy "masa" cakes with bland pork sandwiched between them. Very strange. There are much surer bets in the city; stick with the beer there for now.


matt o'hara

finding philly

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