Ah, Thursday night—the only truly social night of the week. It’s the night when babysitters are booked, friends convene and drinks are imbibed. There are no family obligations to fulfill, no amateurish weekend crowds to elbow through—and the possibilities are endless. The night starts after work and ends whenever you want. In any city. All over the world.
This week, we present the perfect Thursday night in Philadelphia:
Happy Hour in Philadelphia starts promptly at 5 so you best get your backside where you want to drink by at least a quarter till.
Start your night out right with a mini-bar crawl through Northern Liberties, about a seven-minute cab ride from the heart of Center City.
Get the half-priced margaritas at El Camino Real before venturing across the street to the Piazza to PYT for a boozy milkshake and a wacky burger, $3 wells and house wines plus $2 Miller Lites and Kenzingers (a local beer you should really drink out of a can).
Walk South on Poplar street to the Standard Tap gastro-pub to sample their homegrown beer selection. They feature only locally produced draft beers, including two cask-conditioned brews served from their own hand pumps.
(Courtesy: Standard Tap)
Just in case you don’t want to venture north of the city, hit the best happy hour downtown at Davios, where they have free appetizers (cheesesteak spring rolls!) and stellar drink specials from 5-7.
Book your reservation early (tables fill up on Thursdays) for dinner at Vernick in Rittenhouse Square. Put away your terror of carbs as you nestle into the bi-level former bookstore for their Tour de Toasts, slick slices of perfectly toasted bread smothered in peas and bacon, crab, beef tartare, or corn and smoked chiles.
Relatively new on the scene, Fitler Dining Room is another excellent option for dinner, offering inspired American cuisine in a quaint French Bistro setting with just 32 seats. FDR has two craft beers on tap and a well-curated selection of wines. You can also grab your own bottle of wine and head to an outdoor table at the BYOB Audrey Claire right off of Rittenhouse Square.
(Courtesy: Fitler Dining Room)
Most people don’t realize that Philly has a vibrant live music scene. Dodge hipsters and the yuppies who long to be them at Johnny Brenda’s (the best view in the house is from the balcony…also much less sweaty) or head to Boot & Saddle for $10 tickets to see a great selection of up-and-coming indie bands (most shows start at 8:30).
Why not make that last drink, two drinks. Ask for the “special” at Bob & Barbara’s bar on South Street and you will be rewarded with a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam whiskey for the low, low price of $3. This is just one of the reasons that Philadelphia is completely amazing.
(Courtesy: Bob & Barbara’s)
Calories don’t count between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., so you might as well head down to Passyunk to sample one, if not both purveyors of the city’s official dish, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak. The locals are very territorial about whether they’re a Pat’s or a Geno’s person. I lived in Philadelphia for 20 years and I promise that you really can’t go wrong with either. Don’t forget to order it “wit whiz.”