Bar-hopping can be a lot of fun, but what to do in the time spent traveling from place to place? Well, if you're aboard the Pedal Tavern, you'll be drinking to pass the time. This brilliant, roaming 16-seat bar transports its boozy passengers from bar to bar in the Third Ward and Walker's Point, and thanks to a newly-implemented piece of legislation, riders — who also use the built-in pedals to power the quadricycle — can enjoy a cold one while making their way to their next destination. The upside? We imagine all that pedaling might help sober you up as you move from place to place. The downside? Those extra beers surely won't.
We've seen bars hidden behind a phone booth, and even behind a wall of kegs — but never one tucked away behind a wall in a basement restroom. Until now. PortSide Parlour is one of the most difficult to find bars in London Fields, tucked behind the wall of an unmarked bathroom in the basement of Off Broadway. Once inside, you'll find yourself in a richly furnished and appropriately dim space, filled with terrific music, and featuring a bar that serves 50 of the world's finest rums — thanks to a partnership with Jamaica's finest Rum Appleton Estate — and cocktails worthy of a secret rendezvous.
Its sister Cafes are perhaps better known for their wine, but trust us, there's no shortage of other beverage options at Tria Taproom. Located not far from Rittenhouse Square, this sleek, intimate space offers over 40 taps dispensing a wide range of local and craft beers, ciders, and wines, ensuring every glass is as fresh as possible — no bottles allowed. And should you find yourself looking for a snack to pair with your drink(s), it also offers a menu of small bites, wood-grilled flatbreads, and cheeses.
If you call yourself a bourbon fan, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to Bourbon Country. And once you're there, you should most certainly start your tour at The Old Talbott Tavern. Continuously operated since it was built in 1779, it's the world's oldest bourbon bar, having at one time been owned by Jim Beam's brother, having been frequented by the founders of Heaven Hill and Maker's Mark, visited by Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, French King Louis Phillipe, and Jesse James, drank in by countless many. Should you find yourself enjoying your bourbon a little too much, they also serve a menu of local food favorites and, as a last resort, offer five overnight rooms.
As far as Stateside Tiki bars go, it's tough to get more authentic than Hala Kahiki. Originally opened in 1963 as a neighborhood tavern, transformed into a Tiki not long after, and subsequently moved to its roomier current location, this classic Polynesian-themed bar offers over 100 tropical drinks on its extensive menu, as well as a full bar and a smattering of bottled beer. There's plenty of seating — 40 tables plus the bar inside, and another 15 tables in the garden outside — from which you can take in the terrific decor, including the largest collection of Witco art of any Tiki bar in the US.
Sometimes you don't need a huge list of beers or world-class cocktails to have a good time. Sometimes all you need is a good jukebox, a good crowd, and some drunken distractions. The Thirsty Beaver Saloon offers all three. Nestled in the Plaza Midwood area, this cinderblock honky tonk is a go-to for local beer drinkers of all ages, and is also home to occasional live music, a pair of pool tables, a Pac-Man machine, a surprisingly clean restroom, some picnic tables outside for al fresco drinking and/or smoking, and a crude painting of a beaver in cowboy boots and hat drinking beer on the side of the building. What more could you want?
Founded in 2010 after the co-founders found themselves on the wrong side of a downsizing, Blackrocks Brewery has grown from a tiny 1bbl nano brewery to a full-on local microbrewery operation. Located near the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, this brewery/bar offers a lineup of taps that typically change every week, with a few fan favorites sticking around on a semi-regular basis. The brew house also plays host to live music five nights a week, either inside, or outdoors — the latter making the spacious front porch the ideal chillout spot.
Named after the infamous bungalow No. 8 at the Beverly Hills Hotel — home to many a late-night forbidden tryst — No. 8 exudes some of the same style, and we assume serves as the site for some discrete hookups, as well. Located in the Chelsea arts district, this two-floor affair features a ballroom-like atmosphere on the main floor, with banquet tables, a lounge area, and a U-shaped bar, and a vinyl lounge upstairs boasting a curated collection of over 8,000 albums. Terrific small plates account for the food, but the cocktails are the real star, with excellently paired ingredients and a slightly different menu on each floor.
Not all pubs are created equal. Opened in 1976, the Horse Brass Pub has been serving up great beer and tasty food for decades. And unlike some wannabe "pubs", the Horse boasts a traditional English-style atmosphere, with a couple of dart boards, rich wood everywhere, and a friendly atmosphere. The beer list boasts over 50 local, regional, and imported options — including a handful of cask-conditioned selections — served up in 10 oz. glasses or 20 oz. Imperial pints, as appropriate. As for the food, the menu consists of all the British options you'd expect — like pot pies, pasties, and fish & chips — alongside burgers, sandwiches, and salads. As the Pub itself claims, "if it were any more authentic, you'd need a passport."
Some of the best bars you'll ever go to are in out-of-the-way places. In small towns, hidden alleyways, up on rooftops, and down unmarked basement stairs. But never have we seen one in the middle of a river. Until now. Murinsel Cafe sits in the middle of the Mur river, and can be accessed by footbridges that extend from either shore. Built just ten years ago, the unique structure is home to both indoor and outdoor areas, an amphitheater, and a cafe that does just as well making a coffee as they do pouring a drink. [Scouted by Rob]
It might not look like much from the outside, and it certainly has a dive-worthy history, but if you're a fan of whisky, there's no where better to head in SoCal than The Aero Club. Located just off I-5 near the airport, this historic watering hole — it opened in 1947 — boasts one of the West Coast's most impressive selections of whiskies, with over 750 varieties available at last count. They also boast an interesting clientele, two pool tables, a decent jukebox, and a solid selection of beers — both on tap and in the bottle — but if you don't order at least one dram of the brown stuff, you're missing the point.
In a town that's created more than its share of villains — both real and imagined — it only makes sense that they'd have their own bar. And while you won't find Lord Voldemort or Dr. Evil holding court at Villains Tavern, what you will find is a fittingly ornate interior, a cocktail menu of carefully-prepared drinks — several of which are on tap — and a short but satisfying food menu. Out on the patio of this Arts District establishment, you'll find a circus-like canopy, seating, and a stage that frequently plays host to local up-and-coming artists.