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December 1, 2010 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Philly philter: where can I, a mid-20s chick traveling solo, get a few drinks and/or a nice meal around Center City, without looking to out of place?

I'm in Philadelphia for the first time this weekend, by myself, and would like to get some reasonably classy food/drinks in the evenings. I'd like a place near Center City where I can sit at the bar, eat, drink, not get hit on excessively or look weird in a super crowded bar or restaurant full of romantic couples. A place with interesting/old school cocktails would be a plus. Know of anywhere?

Alternately: anyone in Philly want to go out for a drink Fri or Sat?
posted by genmonster to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The top cocktail joints in Philly are the Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. and Southwark. The Franklin only has snacks, not a full menu, while Southwark is a restaurant, but man, The Franklin makes some great drinks.
posted by The Michael The at 5:59 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

El Vez is a pretty cool (if slightly expensive) joint that serves Oaxacan-style grilled corn and other Mexican entrees.
posted by The White Hat at 6:29 PM on December 1, 2010

El Vez also serves blood orange margaritas which are super delicious.

The Continental Mid-Town is a fun place with good fusion food. 1801 Chestnut St. It gets crowded later in the evening.

My husband and I would happily go out to dinner with you on Friday, but our bed time is early because we have a baby. Memail me if you like.
posted by keeo at 7:08 PM on December 1, 2010

I like Tria by Rittenhouse Square. I am a woman and I go there alone sometimes, although I do not go to the Steven Starr restaurant/bars by myself.
posted by vincele at 7:13 PM on December 1, 2010

I used to like to sit at the bar at Amada from time to time. Last time I visited Philly I went to Valanni with a friend, but I would have felt comfortable there alone too. It was delish. Or, Sansom St Oyster House? They have some nice cocktails there.
posted by medeine at 7:58 PM on December 1, 2010

Feel free to Memail me, too... not sure what my schedule looks like this weekend, but if I'm downtown, I'd be happy to take a fellow Mefite on a swing around town. By the way: this Sunday is Latkepalooza at the Gershman Y. Also, the Philadelphia Christmas Village is apparently in full swing. I've been too busy wrangling lawyers to check it out, but it seems adorable in concept.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:17 PM on December 1, 2010

Seconding Tria.
posted by millipede at 8:29 PM on December 1, 2010

I second both the Continental Midtown (get their Rye Manhattan) and Tria (for wine and cheese).
posted by MidsizeBlowfish at 8:33 PM on December 1, 2010

So many places, I'm the keyboard equivalent of tongue-tied. First of all, we've got a whole lot of gastropub going on. Secondly, the bars of most of your recommended mid-level restaurants are good for this. Where are you staying? What's your favoritest food?

The Franklin does indeed make some fabulous drinks, it's a great place, but the bar is super-teeny, and whoooa, it's an expensive joint.

Southwark is a little further from the middle of Center City, but a great, comfortable vibe for a solo traveler, and the classic cocktails and food is terrific. Oyster House for oysters and cocktails. Pub & Kitchen for most delicious English food you can't imagine and beer (I know, I had delicious mushy peas!) Amada for Spanish tapas and wine/sangria/cocktails. Good Dog for a burger stuffed with Roquefort and beer. Haven't had the food at Fergie's lately, but there's always a reliably great bartender.
posted by desuetude at 9:50 PM on December 1, 2010

I was in Philly this summer and imagine that a lot of the participants of Center City Sips are the kind of places you are going for. I enjoyed Gardenia in particular - it was classy, had good food and drinks, and a nice garden that you tragically won't actually be able to take advantage of because it's winter.
posted by mokudekiru at 12:50 AM on December 2, 2010

Seconding Tria

Tria is great, but it must be noted that they don't have cocktails, only (great) beer and (terrific) wine.
posted by The Michael The at 5:52 AM on December 2, 2010

In what part of Center City are you staying?

I nth Tria. There's also one on 12th and Spruce that's a bit bigger. The food beyond cheese is good too.

I am not a fan of Steven Starr places (Continental, El Vez, more), especially on weekends (though Summer is worse), and especially alone.

Check out this recent question too. These were my suggestions.
posted by supercres at 8:21 AM on December 2, 2010

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