Trivia Art over at Foobooz just listed his Top 50 Bars in Philadelphia, with help from numerous contributers. You may remember that when Philadelphia Weekly posted their top 50 last year, I was one of the contributers. After all I am a man of leisure, one that is no stranger to dens of ill repute. So you’d think that I’d naturally be a contributer for this thing, since all Trivia Art had to do was yell down the hall, “Hey JGT, what are your favorite bars in the city?” But alas, no. We’ll see where his invite is when I decide to do my 50 Greatest Trivia Questions of All Time Piece.
But perhaps it’s just as well, since my top 50 experience didn’t turn out so well when PW stabbed me in the back. These top 50 bars things don’t seem to turn out so well for me, but nonetheless I am going to throw in my two cents on this.
- Standard Tap. A great bar, with the best Bloody Marys in the city. That said, it’s a little too hipsterish for my taste. Certainly top 5, but not sure it’s #1.
- POPE. Was there Friday. It has a nice tap list but nothing made me think it was the #2 bar in the city.
- Monks. Yeah, sure, it’s a perennial top 5 bar, though I think it’s a victim of the old Yogi Berra saying: “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”
- Southwark. No disagreements here. Terrific drinks, thought the bar was better than the food when I went.
- Good Dog. Good bar, good food, good ambience, good people. Would maybe like to see them play around with the menu a little more, but hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
- Grace Tavern. This one was #1 in the PW piece. It’s a pretty good bar, with decent food, but is it #6 in the whole city? I got it in the 10-12 range.
- South Philadelphia Tap Room. It’s been very good every time I’ve been, both food and beer wise, but I’m not confident it’s a top 10.
- Sidecar. If I go out in my neighborhood, G-Ho, this is the place I go. This is top 3 in my book, perhaps #1. Great food, great beer, diverse crowd, great owner who does fun stuff like organize bus trips for Phils games, and lots of special events.
- Tria Washington Square West. It’s pretty nice, I guess. Have been to the one near Rittenhouse more. I don’t really know what to make of this ranking, almost makes it seem like there should be a separate list for beer and wine bars.
- Royal Tavern. No problem with this one. Some of the best bar food in the city and an interesting tap list.
Other notables: #21 Silk City should have been ranked higher. #17 Varga ranked too high. It’s fine, but not Top 20. #24 McGlinchey’s is ranked too high. I’ve had fun there, but Locust Rendezvous is much friendlier at the same price and Oscar’s is a much better dive bar with much better service. (I’m guessing the smoking kept people from ranking it higher). #25 North 3rd is a Top 10 bar, as is #33 Cantina. #44 Cherry Street Tavern should be ranked in the top 25. I think the bottom line is this, however: there are so many great bars in this city, I really don’t see much of a dropoff at all between number 1 and number 50 (#50 is the genesis of JGT quizzo, Nick’s Roast Beef.) Anyhow, check out the list and let me know what you think.