“Fun” is the secret word at Philadelphia’s iconic and eclectic speakeasies. Offering the thrill of the secret saloons of yesteryear, modern Philly speakeasies serve up high-concept experiences under low lighting. We recently had the pleasure of checking out several speakeasy bars in search of cocktails that defy time. Here’s a look at the eight best speakeasies in Philadelphia, PA.
Hop Sing Laundromat
1029 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA
This intimate bar provides a legendary cocktail experience full of world-class whiskeys and bourbons. Hop Sing goes to great lengths to ensure that every guest enjoys a classy, fully present visit. Guests should show up ready for an evening of quiet conversation, moody lighting, curated drink lists, and rules for how to behave while visiting. Be warned that this is not the place for a loud, rowdy night out. However, guests who are willing to play by the rules enjoy an elite experience that will leave them feeling “initiated” into a secret club.
The Ranstead Room
2013 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, PA
Look for a shadowy red door with “RR” inscribed on it if you want to have the most amazing night in Philly! The Ranstead Room is a classic speakeasy that feels very accessible for someone without experience in this genre. In fact, the staff will whip up custom drinks based on your favorite flavors. This establishment is known for creating signature cocktails that combine rare and unexpected flavors. We loved a drink called “You’re Doing Great” that combined pomegranate and ginger beer. Sitting in an old-timey booth by candlelight while trying a few fun flavor combinations was a great way to spend an evening with friends! Just keep in mind that this speakeasy is best for smaller groups.
Writer’s Block Rehab
1342 Cypress Street, Philadelphia, PA
This speakeasy is all about literature and libations! Housed in a narrow building that is set up like an old library, Writer’s Block Rehab is a great spot for well-crafted drinks that don’t cost a ton. Guests are free to grab their drinks on the first floor before climbing the stairs to explore the establishment’s other two levels in search of different configurations of comfy chairs and tables that are perfect for quiet chats. The bar seating is also fun. While most speakeasy spots in Philadelphia stay open until 2 a.m., Writer’s Block Rehab shuts its doors at 11 p.m. Arriving when the doors open at 5 p.m. is great for anyone looking for a speakeasy happy hour in Philly!
1712 North Hancock Street, Philadelphia, PA
More than one patron has commented that stepping into Four Humours feels like walking inside a whiskey bottle. The low lighting and arc ceiling create a very “chill” environment for enjoying a subdued night out with friends. Attached to a distillery, Four Humours offers a flavorful assortment of juicy, boozy drinks. The bacon old fashioned was the definite hit at our table. While the snack menu isn’t extensive, we were perfectly happy with nibbling $1 cheese puffs before deciding it was time to order the pimento cheese with pretzel crisps.
1718 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA
This three-story speakeasy is a bit of a chameleon because you’re getting a different experience based on which floor you pick. The levels range from dive bar to all-out nightclub. Along our journey to finding a VIP-like table on the third floor, we enjoyed a maze of strange statues, cool wall murals, and fun game tables. Raven Lounge’s status as a popular “bar crawl” destination means that things do get crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. This is also a good spot for getting decently priced drinks in Philly.
Charlie Was a Sinner
131 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA
While speakeasy bars don’t generally have extensive food menus, Charlie Was a Sinner spoke our love language by offering a gourmet menu of solo and shareable nibbles! Our table joyfully split oyster mushroom fried calamari, zucchini crab cake sliders, ricotta on grilled sourdough, and butternut squash ramen. Let’s just say that the flavors at this speakeasy truly sent us to another era! The Secret History cocktail made with bourbon, sherry, egg white, fig, thyme, orange, lemon, balsamic, and angostura is a drink we’d surely come back for.
1 Tippling Place
2006 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
1 Tippling Place is the ultimate spot for a sophisticated evening spent sipping whiskey cocktails from fine crystal. The interior can be described as an old English sitting room that was transported to the center of modern-day Philadelphia. Settling into a dimly lit corner table with a Chet Baker made with aged rum, honey, sweet vermouth, and bitters after a long week was pure perfection! That drink was followed up by a scrumptious Moscow mule with ginger candies on top. While the staff is attentive, patrons can expect to generally be left alone while spending a few hours savoring cocktails and conversation.
For more recommendations on where to eat and drink in the city, check out our Philadelphia page, here!