Finding bars in downtown Philly is not a difficult prospect, the city’s density a big boost to spotting a place to duck in for a post history tour High Life. And thanks to Philadelphia’s rich history, the Philly dive bar scene is thriving, Center City one of the more prominent hot spots in the city alongside fellow dive bar hubs South Philly and Fishtown. This particular pub crawl winds through downtown Philadelphia’s rigid road grid, spotlighting stops that might otherwise slip detection like Top’s Bar and its second-story location or our first stop, old city-style McGillin’s Olde Ale House
, located on an alley.
Those worried that investing too much time in a Philadelphia bar crawl might mean one less cheesesteak, fear not, as Oscar’s Tavern offers a nightly special perfectly tailored for such an occasion. And though some of the stops included here run a bit on the subtle side, our last stop, Dirty Franks, bucks that trend thanks to a passive, two-wall, wraparound mural featuring famous and sometimes notorious “Franks” through history.
Philadelphia is, of course, well-stocked with dive bar crawls, the will to drink in authentic surroundings a nice excuse to explore the city. These stops provide only a snapshot into Center City's downtown possibilities, offering a dive bar-fueled license to learn a bit about Philadelphia and dig more fully into a conversation with friends about the true nature of liberty over a Narragansett.
For those seeking a bit more adventure, a number of extension opportunities exist, including happy hour-friendly Locust Bar
and city icon Bob & Barbara’s
on South Street (another good starting point for any number of pub crawls). But this core bar crawl Philadelphia experience keeps the effort manageable, the meandering path from first to last suggested stop totaling only 20 minutes of walking.