2015 was the last time I was in Philly, and it was via a road trip to experience the city and surrounding counties. The trip was wonderful and certainly memorable.
This summer, I traded in my car for a plane and spent the majority of my time soaking in their thriving adult-beverage scene.
Between the wonderful wine, boast-worthy beer and superb spirits, Philly is blossoming into a hot-spot
for cool and creative drinks.
In alphabetical order below (you know I don’t play favourites!) you’ll find a handful of must-visit spots in and around the city that are excelling at what they do:
Dock Street Brewery
Cracked open in 1985, they’re Philadelphia’s first craft brewery and have two avenues of exploration.
The Dock Street Brewpub offers a casual dining room with plenty of fresh beer. Pair your favourite beer with one of their many mouthwatering hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas. If you’re unsure of what pairs with what, the staff is friendly and very helpful!
Take a 30 second walk around the corner and you’ll slide into the new and exciting Dock Street Cannery + Tasting Lounge. You’ll enjoy Dock Street beer, along with Pennsylvania spirits. It’s a mixed-use space that supports various local arts events and doubles as a great place to soak in the city, regardless if you’re a local or a visitor.
Independence Beer Garden
Within America’s most historic square mile is where you’ll find these 20,000 square feet of beer bliss, featuring both local and out of state beer. With such an inviting atmosphere paired with so many varieties, you’ll probably be a repeat customer during your visit. Tivoli lights, games and and string lights help create memorable moments, regardless of your company.
Manatawny Craft Sprits Shop & Tasting Room
Their name is translated as “The Place We Meet To Drink” and their nestled in a prime location; surrounded by several celebrated restaurants. It’s a great way to bookend your night out, whether before and or afterward. They’re best described as a distillery creates specialty cocktails via their own tequila barrel-rested rum, vodka and white whiskey. Creatively, their bar is topped with copper and beneath is salvaged barn wood.
When you go, start off with some samples to taste their unique offerings and follow up with bringing a bottle or few back with you.
Their modern location utilizes old-world practices for a pronounced blend that current and new customers enjoy.
Only an hour out of town in lovely Landenberg is where you’ll find this wonderful winery, owned by two pairs of physicians, hence the clever name!
With 30% of their 100 acres of land bearing grapes, there are many varieties produced, including Cab Fran/Sauv, to Chardonnay, to Pinot and sweet wines.
Interestingly, they sell six different wines in three-litre paint cans instead of traditional bottles or boxes.
The grounds themselves are gorgeous and the sprawling winery will have your Instagram feed flowing.
And the wine is even better!
Pairing a historic building with modern décor, this Old City restaurant is multi-faceted. There’s the primary dining room, a bar and tavern area, an upstairs parlour and my favourite, the outdoor garden dining spot framed with strand lighting.
The wine list is extensive but not intimidating, which to me, signals that the team has carefully curated the wine list to satisfy their clients. Their cocktail menu is sees less options and enough variety that should have something for most palates.
Be sure to snap some exterior photos of the vibrant street scape before you peruse the menu.
If you’re there at dusk, the outdoor garden is simply magnificent to experience.
In between visiting the aforementioned, swing by some of their star attractions, including the haunting Eastern State Penitentiary, One Liberty Observation Deck, the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Market and of course, try a few Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.
I tried six and my favourite was Jim’s Steaks. But hey, I fully encourage you to try plenty of them and let me know what your favourites are.
When you go, stay at the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in the Historic District.
Philadelphia, I’ll see you sooner than later with an empty glass waiting to be “Philled.”