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Hop Sing Laundromat
Hop Sing Laundromat

Every Important Philadelphia Cocktail Bar, Mapped

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Hop Sing Laundromat

Philadelphia is, by no means, a cocktail town (an organic effect from the insanity that is the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board). Philly's bred itself into a beer town, because beer comes easy, and really, that's nothing to be ashamed of. But even with all the broken systems in place, we've created a magnificent scene of cocktail bars, restaurants with great cocktails, and dive bars that can shake up something wondrous.

To kick off Cocktail Week 2015, here's a map of 10 places that do cocktails better than anyone else.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hop Sing Laundromat

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1029 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hop Sing Laundromat is a bit of an enigma, which in turn, becomes its allure. A cocktail bar in Chinatown, with barely any marketing (save for hilarious daily Facebook posts by owner/proprietor Lê, and his Kim Jong-un complex), and a strict set of rules (if you think rules are meant to be broken, good luck dealing with Lê) shouldn't be the recipe for a successful cocktail bar. But time and time again, people line up to get into one of the most beautiful rooms in Philadelphia. With fresh juices squeezed to-order, top-shelf liquor, and nearly perfect recipes, you'll understand why the floor made of pennies (and the bar made of nickels) isn't just lavish, it's appropriate. Pro-tip: Hop Sing's Happy Hour is one of the best in the city: shots of rare, if not top-shelf, liquor — neat.

2. Fiume

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229 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The bar above West Philly's Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant is one of the easiest places to drink in Philly. The beer menu is glorious (especially for the bar's size), and if you're not feeling fancy, don't worry, they offer city-wides. But the whiskey selection is a top contender for best in the city (fairly priced, too), and in turn, owner/'tender Kevin Holland's cocktails are spectacular (his non-whiskey drinks are just as good). Go after work for a shot and a beer, go with some friends for a beer/whiskey nerd-out sesh, or go for the phenomenal cocktails — whichever road you take, make sure it leads to Fiume.

3. Townsend

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1623 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 639-3203
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It isn't a "cocktail bar" per se, (the wines by themselves are a reason to drink here), but barman Keith Raimondi designed a cocktail list so smart, Philly fell in love with Townsend's bar pretty quickly. Classics like the lowly Gibson (Townsend's house-pickled pearl onions give the drink the kick-in-the-pants it needed for the past 30 years) are renovated but with an eye for recipe-integrity, and Raimondi, himself, is just as much a reason to go. His charming demeanor and comforting I'll-take-good-care-of-you-tonight attitude is not only enjoyable, but sorely needed in this town bursting at the seams with bars and cocktail bars alike.

4. a.bar

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135 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 825-7035
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a.bar is a hotel bar truly unlike any other in Philadelphia. The service is friendly, but the cocktail program is serious, and with a location right on Rittenhouse Square, people-watching couldn't be any more fun than if you have a perfect Vieux Carré to wash it down with.

5. Ranstead Room

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2013 Ranstead St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
One of the few left standing after the speakeasy wave hit Philadelphia, there's a reason Ranstead stood the test of time. The sexy speakeasy behind El Rey is basically lit solely by candlelight, so: a perfect place to have a stiff cocktail (tailor-made to your liking), enjoy the finer things in life, and if you're the type, meet your mistress.

6. The Franklin Bar

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112 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 467-3277
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Head bartender Sarah Justice gave Philly a new experience: a seasonal cocktail tasting menu, and once again proved that Franklin Bar (once Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.) is ahead of the game. If you have the opportunity, make sure you snag a seat at the bar — although it's tiny, a simple conversation with the bartenders will demonstrate one of the most impressive displays of cocktail expertise around. And if you're trying to keep the night low-key, head upstairs — it's the divey version of its downstairs sibling.

7. The Yachtsman

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1444 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 868-4015
Philadelphia's only tiki bar is, at the very least, so much fun. And the drinks? Well, they're dangerously easy-drinkin'. The Yachtsman has it all, from glassware to big flowers, umbrellas to fat pieces of fruit. And don't think that all the sweet juices and fancy frills are an attempt to mask the ingredients — drinks that taste this good aren't made with frat-boy liquor. Oh, and after a throwing a few back, weekly karaoke is the perfect way to follow suit.

8. The Good King Tavern

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614 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-3700
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The Good King is a French bistro with a cocktail program worth paying attention to. They do the usuals (French 75s, Negronis, Sazaracs, etc.) just as good as any other cocktail bar, but riffing off the classics is where they truly excel. The food menu is one of the best values in Philly, and starting your meal off with a few cocktails ain't a bad way to spend your days.

9. V Street

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126 S 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 278-7943
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Calling V Street's bar a "vegan bar" really pigeonholes the entire concept. It's a bar that draws its inspiration from country-specific ingredients from around the world, and blending them together no matter the geographic location. Lokum At The Bazaar (which comes in a ceramic Greek coffee cup) brings together the U.S. and the Middle East (bourbon and Turkish coffee), and that's something we haven't seen much of in a long, long time.

10. One Tippling Place

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2006 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-0456
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1 Tippling Place is a class-act. Beautifully dressed, wonderfully composed, and an authority on what's what in the world of cocktails. The interior is Don Draper's dream, and the service is everything you want it to be. The Rittenhouse cocktail bar is the most comfortable lounge in the city, and with a flawless Old-Fashioned in-hand, you'll definitely dread last-call.

11. The Olde Bar

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125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 253-3777
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1. Hop Sing Laundromat

1029 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hop Sing Laundromat is a bit of an enigma, which in turn, becomes its allure. A cocktail bar in Chinatown, with barely any marketing (save for hilarious daily Facebook posts by owner/proprietor Lê, and his Kim Jong-un complex), and a strict set of rules (if you think rules are meant to be broken, good luck dealing with Lê) shouldn't be the recipe for a successful cocktail bar. But time and time again, people line up to get into one of the most beautiful rooms in Philadelphia. With fresh juices squeezed to-order, top-shelf liquor, and nearly perfect recipes, you'll understand why the floor made of pennies (and the bar made of nickels) isn't just lavish, it's appropriate. Pro-tip: Hop Sing's Happy Hour is one of the best in the city: shots of rare, if not top-shelf, liquor — neat.
1029 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

2. Fiume

229 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
The bar above West Philly's Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant is one of the easiest places to drink in Philly. The beer menu is glorious (especially for the bar's size), and if you're not feeling fancy, don't worry, they offer city-wides. But the whiskey selection is a top contender for best in the city (fairly priced, too), and in turn, owner/'tender Kevin Holland's cocktails are spectacular (his non-whiskey drinks are just as good). Go after work for a shot and a beer, go with some friends for a beer/whiskey nerd-out sesh, or go for the phenomenal cocktails — whichever road you take, make sure it leads to Fiume.
229 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

3. Townsend

1623 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
It isn't a "cocktail bar" per se, (the wines by themselves are a reason to drink here), but barman Keith Raimondi designed a cocktail list so smart, Philly fell in love with Townsend's bar pretty quickly. Classics like the lowly Gibson (Townsend's house-pickled pearl onions give the drink the kick-in-the-pants it needed for the past 30 years) are renovated but with an eye for recipe-integrity, and Raimondi, himself, is just as much a reason to go. His charming demeanor and comforting I'll-take-good-care-of-you-tonight attitude is not only enjoyable, but sorely needed in this town bursting at the seams with bars and cocktail bars alike.
1623 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

4. a.bar

135 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
a.bar is a hotel bar truly unlike any other in Philadelphia. The service is friendly, but the cocktail program is serious, and with a location right on Rittenhouse Square, people-watching couldn't be any more fun than if you have a perfect Vieux Carré to wash it down with.
135 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

5. Ranstead Room

2013 Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
One of the few left standing after the speakeasy wave hit Philadelphia, there's a reason Ranstead stood the test of time. The sexy speakeasy behind El Rey is basically lit solely by candlelight, so: a perfect place to have a stiff cocktail (tailor-made to your liking), enjoy the finer things in life, and if you're the type, meet your mistress.
2013 Ranstead St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

6. The Franklin Bar

112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Head bartender Sarah Justice gave Philly a new experience: a seasonal cocktail tasting menu, and once again proved that Franklin Bar (once Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.) is ahead of the game. If you have the opportunity, make sure you snag a seat at the bar — although it's tiny, a simple conversation with the bartenders will demonstrate one of the most impressive displays of cocktail expertise around. And if you're trying to keep the night low-key, head upstairs — it's the divey version of its downstairs sibling.
112 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

7. The Yachtsman

1444 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Philadelphia's only tiki bar is, at the very least, so much fun. And the drinks? Well, they're dangerously easy-drinkin'. The Yachtsman has it all, from glassware to big flowers, umbrellas to fat pieces of fruit. And don't think that all the sweet juices and fancy frills are an attempt to mask the ingredients — drinks that taste this good aren't made with frat-boy liquor. Oh, and after a throwing a few back, weekly karaoke is the perfect way to follow suit.
1444 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

8. The Good King Tavern

614 S 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The Good King is a French bistro with a cocktail program worth paying attention to. They do the usuals (French 75s, Negronis, Sazaracs, etc.) just as good as any other cocktail bar, but riffing off the classics is where they truly excel. The food menu is one of the best values in Philly, and starting your meal off with a few cocktails ain't a bad way to spend your days.
614 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. V Street

126 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Calling V Street's bar a "vegan bar" really pigeonholes the entire concept. It's a bar that draws its inspiration from country-specific ingredients from around the world, and blending them together no matter the geographic location. Lokum At The Bazaar (which comes in a ceramic Greek coffee cup) brings together the U.S. and the Middle East (bourbon and Turkish coffee), and that's something we haven't seen much of in a long, long time.
126 S 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

10. One Tippling Place

2006 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
1 Tippling Place is a class-act. Beautifully dressed, wonderfully composed, and an authority on what's what in the world of cocktails. The interior is Don Draper's dream, and the service is everything you want it to be. The Rittenhouse cocktail bar is the most comfortable lounge in the city, and with a flawless Old-Fashioned in-hand, you'll definitely dread last-call.
2006 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

11. The Olde Bar

125 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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