There’s more to Philly than cheesesteaks and hoagies. If you enjoyed spending the day getting to know the City of Brotherly Love through its delicious food, then how about a night of sniffing, swirling, and sipping at wine bars in Philadelphia?
A heads-up for drinkers though: PA has specific alcohol laws you may want to get familiar with before you start chugging down your favorite vino. Also, it’s illegal in Philly to consume alcohol in public places such as in sidewalks, residential neighborhoods, or common areas of apartment buildings or hotels. If you’re not up for reviewing laws, then going to a bar for a drink will be your best bet.
Here are ten wine bars in Philadelphia you should visit. Whether you’re in the mood for a full-bodied red, a crisp white, or a refreshing sparkle, each of these bars can satisfy your thirst.
Fishtown Social offers the best of both worlds: it has an up-front bar and an in-back bottle shop. They focus on providing sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines. Also, they try to source products from small producers as well as lesser-known varietals. As a result, you can choose from a variety of unique bottles you can’t get in regular stores.
Being labeled natural means there are no additives in it, and there’s little intervention in the natural fermentation process. As a result, the product is considered wholesome “living wine.” Their sparkling wines are mostly from Italy. The reds, whites, and rosés, on the other hand, are sourced from various parts of the States, Europe, and Africa.
They also offer a wide range of food that you can munch on as you sip vino. These include oysters, cheese, and charcuterie meant to turn your bar trip into a lovely gastronomic experience. Fishtown Social is located at 1525 Frankford Avenue.
If you like your bar all-formal and stiff, then Wine Dive isn’t for you. Customers flock to this place because of its quirky character; its clipboard wall menus and whimsical decors all speak for themselves.
However, don’t let its eccentric personality distract you from what’s essential – their wine. This bar seems to be making a mark on wine culture through its own unique ways. For instance, they have what they call a “wowler,” currently being trademarked. Just as what growler is to beer, you can ask their bartenders to fill these bottles with wine on tap. They’ll then close the wowler with a stamped wax seal. The result is a Bohemian-looking bottle, fit to give as a special gift.
In addition to that, they also have “Naturdays.” Every Saturday, they offer their natural wines with special prices by the glass. Wine Dive is located at 1506 South Street.
Jet Wine Bar
Jet Wine Bar makes it possible for wine lovers to sample great varieties from far and wide without stepping a foot out of Philly. From Santorini to Sardegna, this bar collected the best wines from all over the globe to put on their list. Aside from regular reds, whites, bubbles, and rosés, they’ve also got organic numbers that will satisfy even the pickiest drinker.
Along with their diverse wine list comes a lovely menu of small plates carefully picked to go with the vino. They have sumptuous cheese and meat platters. And they also offer international grub like Duck Rillettes, Pkhali (Georgian spinach and walnut dip), as well as Spanish meatballs. Jet Wine Bar is located at 1525 South Street.
What’s not to love about this bar? A few steps away from Rittenhouse Square, The Love features dining and bar areas that look classy, hip, and retro all at once. Their menu approach is uniquely convenient for drinkers who find it challenging to find their way around the wine-pairing maze.
For instance, their menu has a section for bubbles you can start your meal with, or “to carry you straight through to dessert.” Since fried chicken is a best-selling dish, they have a whole section dedicated to drinks that pair well with every crunchy bite. They also have drink suggestions if you feel like feeding the feminist in you by choosing wines from women-owned wineries or women winemakers. The Love is located at 130 S 18th St.
If you’re looking for wine bars in Philadelphia that’s also well-known for their food, then a reservation at Zahav is a must. In fact, they have a handful of James Beard Awards to show for their culinary prowess. Their menu is influenced by Israeli cuisine, but also pays homage to flavors of Eastern Europe and North Africa.
Do grilled lamb, chicken, or mushrooms, and a hearty serving of hummus sounds good to you? They’ve got those in Zahav. Along with their sumptuous food, their wine list doesn’t disappoint. They have varieties that go well with their signature dishes, such as Galilean Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache. You can find Zahav at 237 St. James Place.
Just a few months after opening its doors to the public, Vernick Wine is making a name for itself. Founded by James Beard Award winner Greg Vernick, the wine bar is located next door and shares a kitchen with the chef’s restaurant, Vernick Food & Drink.
From the get-go, Vernick wanted the wine shop to offer a well-curated menu of unique bottles from all over the globe. In addition to that, he wanted to provide wine drinkers with varieties they won’t get from the regular state stores. So, their wine list includes orange wines, natural wines, as well as Old World styles sourced from small-scale wineries.
Aside from serving as a cozy bar for wine drinkers who’d like to unmind, the venue also hosts private dining groups and events for up to 32 people. Moreover, since they aim to celebrate wine craftsmanship, the bar also hosts visiting winemakers for in-store tastings and events. Vernick Wine is located at 2029 Walnut Street.
Le Caveau vibrates an air of French nonchalance and casual artistic vibes. Known as the cozy upstairs wine bar atop The Good King Tavern resto, they feature an extensive wine list. As expected, their list includes a lot of varieties from l’Hexagone, including those from Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Cuisles.
One look at their menu and you’ll see that they’re far from trying too hard. Their short menu includes a daily selection of cheese, a daily selection of charcuterie, and a few French eats like salmon rillette, duck liver mousse, and tapenade on crostini. You can find Le Caveau at 614 S. 7th St.
Panorama offers Italian cuisine, which, as any foodie would know, goes well with wine. If that doesn’t convince you of their wine expertise, maybe this will: they’re the Guinness World Record Holder for World’s Largest Wine Keeper!
It’s not surprising that Panorama offers 150 wines by the glass, as well as more than 30 sommelier-selected wine flights and over 400 reserve bottles. They even have a wine club that offers complimentary wine tastings for each member at a guest, as well as hefty discounts or select wine flights and wines by the glass. Panorama is located in Penn’s View Hotel in the Old City.
Alongside its two cafes, Tria also has a taproom they describe as “the neighborhood bar reimagined.” They took the word “taproom” in its literal sense – every drink is available on tap, and you won’t find a bottle anywhere.
They offer wine on tap, which typically includes Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet blend, among many others. They update their all-draft list in real-time, so visit their website for your game plan. The taproom’s menu ranges from bar snacks like wings, shrimp tacos, and fries to wine-pairing cheese platters.
Aside from draft wine, they also have beers, ciders, and cocktails on tap, so it’s a great hangout even for non-wine drinkers. Tria Taproom is located in 2005 Walnut Street.
If you like to have options, check out Vintage, which offers more than 60 wines from around the globe. And the best part? You can order varieties by the glass, so you won’t be stuck with a whole bottle of something you’re not happy with. Moreover, they also offer wine flights that allow you to sample three 3oz pours of different wines.
The bar’s interiors feature exposed brick and wine crate walls, which serve as a backdrop to their rotating art installations. If you happen to drop by the bar during Happy Hour (Mondays to Fridays, 4-6 PM), you can score a glass of their house wines at $5 and a serving of sangria or bubbly for $6. Get a side of mussels or fig and Gorgonzola Bruschetta to go with your wine, and you’re in for a treat.
If you’re not a wine drinker (yet), then sampling their wine-inspired cocktails might help you get started. Aside from those, they also offer beers and spirits. Vintage is located at 13th and Sansom St. in Midtown Village.
Whether you’re looking for an elegant place to relax as you enjoy your glass of red or a casual pub to where you can drink and chat the night away with your friends, Philly’s got options. But don’t take my word for it! Visit these wine bars in Philadelphia and tell us about your experience!