Here's your next Philadelphia happy hour spot
I take my happy hours very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I tend to judge places by how good their happy hour is. Only a dollar off drafts, or something pathetic like $4 Kenzingers only? Or, even worse, no happy hour at all? I'll take my business elsewhere, thanks. I've found that most Philly bars have at least a semi-decent happy hour, however, and the bars below are my personal favorites.
Bottle Bar East
In my humble opinion, this is the best happy hour in the city. Half off most drafts, wine and appetizers, as well as $6 cocktails. Yup, the apps are half off as well, and there's enough variety that you could easily make a meal out of them. Plus, Bottle Bar always has an amazing rotating selection of drafts, so you're getting quality craft beers for as little as $3.
Okay, so it's probably going to be packed with college kids. But if you can get past that, there's half off drafts, house margarita specials and cheap wings. They have a large and consistently good selection of craft beers on tap, which makes fighting the college crowds worth it. [Edit: As of at least 8/21/17, the University City location is temporarily closed. Fingers crossed they reopen soon.]
Craft beer enthusiasts, this one's for you. Varga's drafts are only $4 during happy hour, and they always have a solid (and rotating) list. This is my favorite happy hour in center city. Plus, SATURDAY HAPPY HOUR.
Skip the coffee and go straight for the rum. La Colombe's Different Drum Rum will make you wonder why so many people make a fuss about the Draft Lattes instead of the harder stuff. During happy hour all rum cocktails are half off, and these baristas can make a mean drink.
I like Root, though I'll admit their happy hour isn't the best deal in the world: their gin & tonics are $8 as opposed to their regular $12. But, their G&T's are actually pretty good and the $5 snack menu is even better, so if you're a gin fan it's worth the visit.
The happy hour list may not be expansive (a $5 red or white wine option and a few select beers for $4), but the real appeal is the bar snacks. I'm in love with the deviled eggs and welsh rarebit, both only $3-$4 during happy hour. Plus, Dandelion is super nice and there's no shame in knocking back a few Yards IPAs and eating your body weight in deviled eggs. Right?
Cantina Dos Segundos
Pitchers, baby. That's right, forget the margarita by the glass (though they're on happy hour too) because the real deal is the pitchers. For $20 you and your friends (or just you, no judgement) can get a classic or flavored margarita pitcher. I would suggest the cucumber. (Neighboring El Camino Real has a similar deal, though I don't think their margaritas are quite as good. Still a solid option though.)
Bing Bing Dim Sum
Monday-Friday 5-7, Saturday&Sunday 3-5
So I actually have never drank at Bing Bing. BUT I've gone specifically for their food happy hour. A bunch of their small plates are $5, and there are drink specials on beer, wine, cocktails and cocktail pitchers. Plus, weekend happy hour. Boom. Cheu Fishtown has a similar happy hour at those same times as well (they're owned by the same people).
If you're going to go to M, make sure you pick a nice day. The little garden bar attached to the restaurant is absolutely adorable, and the specials aren't bad either: $4 drafts and $6 cocktails. The food specials also aren't too shabby. Plus, weekend happy hour!
Tria is my reliable go-to if I want a cheap glass of wine and don't want to think that hard. One white, one red, one cheese plate and two beers are $5 during happy hour. You don't even have to pretend you know about wine! Just pick a color, sit back and enjoy a generous pour on the cheap.
Besides the benefits of a three-hour happy hour, Milkboy has some solid specials: $2 off all drafts, wine and specialty cocktails, and $5 well drinks. Their draft list is usually pretty good, and also did I mention the three-hour happy hour?
Honorable Mention: Hop Sing Laundromat
This one goes out to all of you who drink your liquor straight. While I'm not one to drink the hard stuff neat, Hop Sing is known to have an incredible happy hour where you can get pours of high-quality liquor for crazy low prices. But sorry, no deals on their cocktails.