10 Hidden Bars In Philadelphia

By Julia Marnin | February 27, 2020 | Food & Drink

The Roaring 20’s are back again, and Philadelphia has a plethora of hidden bars that keep up the speakeasy spirit. Discover these 10 hidden venues nestled within Philly that serve a myriad of alcoholic concoctions along with delectable menu options to pair with.

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The Twisted Tail

As a bi-level venue, The Twisted Tail has a southern style restaurant with a charcoal grill, a bar with over 150 different whiskies, and a stairwell that leads to another bar where you can listen to top blues performers. Their specialty cocktails on their seasonal menu are certainly worth tasting. Try their “Cargo Plain” cocktail made of Cardamom Orange Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, aperol and citrus. 509 S. Second St., thetwistedtail.com

The Franklin Mortgage Company

Walk downstairs and enter through a mundane black door to experience the essence of the 1920’s at the Franklin Mortgage Company. This low light environment boasts its 9th anniversary menu with unique cocktails such as Lords of the Night, Sagittarius Rising and Day of Atonement. It’s name is inspired by one of the largest operating alcohol rings during prohibition and it is listed as one of the25 best cocktail bars in America by GQ. 112 S. 18th St. thefranklinbar.com

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The Library Bar

Don’t miss the cocktails whose names are inspired by thrilling novels written by renowned author Stephen King at The Library Bar. Sip on “The Outsider” composed of Laird's Apple Brandy, Agave de Cortez Mezcal, Carpano ‘Antica’ Vermouth and Fernet Branca or “Needful Things'' crafted with Penn 1681 Vodka, lychee, yuzu and tonic. Here, you can escape the streets of Center City and step into an elegant bar in the lounge of the Rittenhouse hotel. 210 W. Rittenhouse Square. rittenhousehotel.com/dining/librarybar

Charlie Was a Sinner

Before sampling their menu full of bar bites, small plates and a variety of vegan options, let the restaurant’s 20th Century Cocktail crafted with bluecoat, creme de cacao, lillet blanc and lemon linger on your tastebuds. This hidden gem in Midtown Village is a sure venue for a stellar evening out in Philly. 131 S 13th St. charliewasasinner.com

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Hop Sing Laundromat

Situated in Chinatown, discover the speakeasy style bar that was never intended to be a speakeasy, according to its owner Lê who never discloses his last name. His alcoholic concoctions have gained huge notoriety, and the bar has been named one of the 30 greatest bars in the world by Conde Nast Traveler 1029 Race St., hopsinglaundromat.com

1 Tippling Place

This speakeasy style bar that is accessed through its unmarked entrance holds a cocktail menu that is difficult to choose from. Luckily, whatever cocktail you choose, from classic to seasonal, it will always be the right choice. Select a plate from their hors d’oeuvres menu such as baked parmesan artichoke casserole or their sweet and tangy meatballs to pair with your carefully crafted alcoholic concoction. 2006 Chestnut St., 1tpl.com

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Ranstead Room

The Ranstead Room describes itself as “Philadelphia’s best kept nightlife secret” with its entrance located behind the restaurant El Rey. Its bartenders use no shortage of ingredients in their expert cocktails such as “The Bitter Darling '' that is composed of cognac, fernet, byrrh ramazotti, bitters and Coca-Cola. They feature food from El Rey’s menu such as a sampling of their seasonal hors d'oeuvres and plates of crispy calamari. 2013 Ranstead St. ransteadroom.com

Palizzi Social Club

Experience the exclusive, members only social club and hidden bar situated inside a South Philly row home. It has been open since 1918 and boasts a menu with authentic Italian recipes and decadent Italian-named cocktails. Currently, they are advertising they are not accepting new members to maintain the club’s exclusive atmosphere. However, current members are allowed to bring up to three non-members. 1408 S. 12th St., palizzisocial.com

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Vesper Sporting Club

For another establishment that is rich in history, Vesper Sporting Club has a rotating bookcase that leads to its speakeasy downstairs. Here, you can enjoy cocktails such as the Cadillac Margarita made with Espolon tequila, grand marnier, orange juice and fresh lime juice. Browse plates on their menu as sporting games are displayed on their 4k mega screens. 223 S. Sydenham St., vespersportingclub.com

Ruba Club

The Ruba Club’s roots go all the way back to 1914, and it has been a vibrant social club ever since. Surround yourself in the bar’s vintage atmosphere and immerse yourself in its Cabaret style experience. Sip a cocktail while enjoying their ping pong or pool tables. Membership to this unique bar is approved by Ruba Club’s membership committee and is $35 a year. 416 Green S., rubaclub.org



Photography by: Photo courtesy of The Twisted Tail, Photo courtesy of The Library Bar at The Rittenhouse Hotel, Photo by Robert Neroni, Photo courtesy of the Ranstead Room, Photo courtesy of Vesper Center City.