Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Wine Bar Renaissance Is Here

Natural wines, intimate settings, and elevated food pairings are transforming Philly wine bars.

Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk
Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk
Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk

Philadelphia’s culinary scene is undoubtedly world-class, with local talent such as Rittenhouse Square’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Fishtown’s Kalaya, and High Street Hospitality‘s Ellen Yin even sweeping this year’s James Beard Awards. And along with our prestigious restaurants, the amount of premiere wine bars has experienced its own impressive growth in the past decade.

This blossoming is due in part to a 2016 change in Pennsylvania liquor laws that permitted specialty wine importers and distributors to ship directly to restaurants and bottle shops, opening up options for restaurants and bars that hadn’t existed before. It also allowed for restaurants to sell to-go bottles.

From solid by-the-glass options, bottle offerings, and small bottle shops with rare finds, it’s an exciting time to go out and enjoy wine right now. Here are 13 spots to take part in Philadelphia’s wine bar renaissance.

Photo courtesy of a.kitchen + bar
Photo courtesy of a.kitchen + bar
Photo courtesy of a.kitchen + bar

Where to Drink Wine in Rittenhouse and Midtown Village

a.kitchen + bar

Rittenhouse
As part of industry pioneer Ellen Yin’s restaurant group, High Street Hospitality, a.kitchen + bar has been a go-to for years with one of the city’s best by-the-glass menus. Its expertly curated 31-page lists includes varietals from wineries in Pennsylvania, Slovenia, or Austria along with often hard-to-find options from California, France, Italy, and Spain.
Notable food pairings: Gougeres made with comte cheese, Grilled Swordfish, and the signature Cheeseburger from renowned executive chef Eli Collins
How to book: Resy

Superfolie

Rittenhouse Square
One of the two wine bars co-owned by Chloe Grigri of The Good King Tavern, Superfolie opened its doors in March of 2023 and proved to be an immediate hit with its modern vibe. It’s small, stylish, and perfect for dropping in for a glass of red, white, or ros√© house wine after work or hanging around a bit and enjoying several glasses with friends or a date.
Notable food pairings: Croquettes with jamon serrano and bechamel; Steak Tartare with fried capers and house potato chips; and Rotating Cheese & Charcuterie
How to book: Walk-ins only

Tria

Rittenhouse and Midtown Village
Tria’s two wine bars in Philadelphia are staples in the city, serving as a roadmap for many of the wine bars to come. The by-the-glass menus are fairly straightforward but with some unique offerings. Known for its tradition of Sunday School, both locations also offer a new out-of-the-ordinary wine each Sunday (as well as a cheese and a beer) with accompanying notes for a bit of education.
Notable food pairings: Warm Gorgonzola-Stuffed Black Mission Figs, Truffled Mushroom Bruschetta; Spanish White Tuna Sandwich
How to book: Tria Rittenhouse OpenTable, Tria Wash West OpenTable

Vintage

Midtown Village
A chandelier of wine bottles hangs from the ceiling at Vintage Wine Bar, setting the casual mood of the establishment. Behind the bar, there are 30 wines by the glass and rotating flights of red and whites, ideal for those who can’t choose just one. The wine menu has a deep focus on French and Italian wine, with some offerings from other established wine regions around the world.
Notable food pairings: Baked Brie, Escargot, and Steak Frites
How to book: OpenTable

Photo courtesy of Fishtown Social
Photo courtesy of Fishtown Social
Photo courtesy of Fishtown Social

Where to Drink Wine in Fishtown

Fishtown Social

What’s referred to as natural wine is available at many Philadelphia wine bars, but Fishtown Social-which opened in 2016-specializes in it, dubbing itself “Philadelphia’s OG Spot for Natural Wine.” This intimate neighborhood joint attracts more than just the locals from surrounding blocks. Wine lovers come from all over the region to experience sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines from throughout the world or choose a bottle to take home from their onsite Bar & Bottle Shop.
Notable food pairings: Sharable small plates include rotating Cheese (including vegan options) & Charcuterie, Tinned Sardines, and Truffle Almonds
How to book: Walk-in

Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar

What sets the intimate Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar apart from the other Philly wine bars is that it serves wine from just one winery: Wayvine Vineyards in Nottingham, PA, a 100% estate-grown spot that specializes in dry, still, and sparkling low-intervention wines. During the nice weather, Tulip has a small outdoor seating area that’s first come, first serve.
Notable food pairings: Rotating handmade Pasta, Mushroom Arancini, and Local Tuna Crudo from a seasonal menu
How to book: Resy

Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk
Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk
Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk

Where to Drink Wine Across Philadelphia

Barcelona Wine Bar
East Passyunk
This Spanish-inspired South Philadelphia establishment is one of a dozen Barcelona Wine Bars throughout the US. Collectively, the chain has one of the largest Spanish wine programs in the country, with a smattering of wines from other established global wine regions on the menu. A large outdoor seating area right on the corner of Passyunk and Watkins Street makes an excellent spot for drinking and people watching.
Notable food pairings: Blistered Shishito Peppers, Paella, rotating Cheese & Charcuterie
How to book: Wisely

Bloomsday Wine Pub & Retail Shop
Head House Square
Bloomsday’s by-the-glass menu changes frequently, and guests will almost find a few glasses of the best local wine around on it. Its extensive bottle list covers just about every category of traditional wines and quality trending wines (think orange wine, p√©t-nat, piquette) from as close as Philadelphia urban wineries and as far as Australia. There’s an extensive sherry list as well, including its own, recently launched Fell to Earth label. A visit to their Fancy Wine Shop is a must for both wine and cider.
Notable food pairings: Chips & Dip & Caviar, Delicata Squash Galette, and the Veggie Breakfast Sandwich available during brunch
How to book: Resy

City Winery
Fashion District
City Winery sources grapes from vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Argentina, and Chile and makes wine in its wine bar/concert venue/winery in the Fashion District. One of over a dozen City Winerys throughout the US, guests can enjoy wine and food upstairs, see a concert or comedy show downstairs, or make private label wine in the cellar.
Notable food pairings: Duck Tacos, Saffron Lobster Risotto, and Fun-Guy Foraged Mushroom Flatbread
How to book: Resy

Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar & Wine Shop
Manayunk
For over 35 years, Jake’s and Cooper’s has held its spot on Manayunk’s Main Street in one form or another. Jake’s was first, then came Cooper’s with its brick oven pies and wine bar. Now, they operate as sister establishments serving up some of the best wine deals in the city from a menu featuring wine flights, by-the-glass offerings, bottles, and half carafes of select wines. The establishment offers regular wine classes, and the bottle shop carries wines that are usually $40 and under.
Notable food pairings: Short Rib Wood Fired Pizza, Margherita Wood Fired Pizza, and Corn ravioli
How to book: OpenTable

Jet Wine Bar
Graduate Hospital
Jet asks guests to think globally and drink locally. The wine list is decidedly global with plenty of bottles from countries such as Lebanon, Slovenia, Turkey, and the Republic of Georgia next to bottles from an urban winery based in Philly or Italy. The outdoor wine garden is where the action happens, and indoors, a wine shop has curated wine packs and individual to-go bottles.
Notable food pairings: Mezze Hoagie, Meatball Skewers, and Satsebeli (smoky tomato-chili dip)

Le Caveau 
Bella Vista
Chloe Grigri’s first wine bar, Le Caveau, is situated above Good King Tavern. Climb the stairs to the dimly lit room where the small, carefully crafted wine menu is on a board behind the bar. On Thursday evenings, the wine bar offers walk-in night classes with a rotating monthly theme, and once a month it offers registration-required sommelier-led wine study groups.
Notable food pairings: Smoked White Fish Rillettes, French Hot Dogs, and rotating Cheese & Charcuterie
How to book: Walk-ins only

Panorama
Old City
Behind the bar of this wine bar inside the Penns View Hotel is a Cruvinet (a wine preservations system) that holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest of its kind. It features 120 open bottles, which means Panorama’s by-the-glass program is pretty impressive and allows for 30 different wine tasting flights. The bottle list is over 400 bottles strong, too. A monthly, educational wine club meets on the last Sunday of the month.
Notable food pairings: Scallops with truffle butter, Pappardelle with local duck ragu, and Branzino with cauliflower
How to book: Resy

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Robin Shreeves is a Thrillist contributor.

Philadelphia

Museum Exhibits in Philly to Check Out Before They Disappear

Get in some culture (and selfies) at the best art exhibits in Philadelphia.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

From the historical to the artistic, Philadelphia is jam packed with museums. Art aficionados of all ages can get lost inside the likes of tourist-friendly museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of the American Revolution or feast their eyes on unique exhibitions at institutions like the Fabric Workshop and Museum and the Museum for Art In Wood.

Between big-ticket exhibitions honouring the House of Mouse to collections showcasing the legacy of a prominent Black family in early America, there’s plenty of material to dig into. After you’ve planned a date night and rounded up friends to explore the city, here are the most exciting museum exhibits in Philly right now-before they’re gone for good.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

The Franklin Institute

Exhibition: Disney 100: The Exhibition
Mickey Mouse, you look good for your age. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Disney is a retrospective exhibition, which got its world premiere right here in Philly. Between rarely-seen artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and interactive installations where you can listen to hit Disney songs, the exhibit is a Disney lover’s wish-upon-a-star-come-true.
Dates: Until August 27, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Monday through Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS

Academy of Natural Sciences

Exhibition: Conversations With Birds
No, not an allusion to the Eagles, this exhibition is dedicated to actual birds, their migration patterns, and humans’ relationship with avian creatures. Expect avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers along with an interactive exhibit showing five migratory birds that pass through the Philadelphia region on their seasonal passage between North and South America.
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available online or at the door.

The Barnes Foundation

Exhibition: Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember
The work of two contemporary South African artists-Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye-are shown side by side, offering a cross-generational dialogue. Both artists utilize video installations, photographs, sculptural installations, and textiles “to consider how the stories our elders tell us shape family narratives and personal identities.”
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

Exhibition: The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz
Exploring the rapid change of societal issues in America since 2020-antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights-Jonathan Horowitz designed installations inspired by recent occurrences. His works explore specific events like the infamous far-right rally from white supremacists in Charlottesville as well as recent themes in American history, like attacks on those within the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Dates: Until July 4, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Friday through Sunday. Admission is available online and at the door.

Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol

The Museum for Art In Wood

Exhibition: The Mashrabiya Project
The newly renamed Museum for Art in Wood (formerly The Center for Art In Wood) celebrates the rebrand with a brand new project. Focusing on mashrabiya, the traditional Islamic architectural design, The Mashrabiya Project is a first of its kind effort in the U.S. to examine this aesthetic. As a part of the larger mission, a new exhibition Seeing Through Space features newly-commissioned, never-before-seen works by six female-identifying artists.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are not required.

Photo by Carlos Avenda√Īo
Photo by Carlos Avenda√Īo
Photo by Carlos Avenda√Īo

Fabric Workshop and Museum

Exhibition: Henry Taylor: Nothing Change, Nothing Strange
Combining painting and sculpture, Henry Taylor utilized recycled objects in this exhibition, the product of an 18-month residency. The entire second floor of the museum houses the large scale assemblages, tapestries, and textiles. Think: 30-foot billowing canvases and towering totems created from compressed blocks of paint buckets, vinyl home siding, and black plastic planters.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available but advanced registration is encouraged.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Exhibition: Judith Joy Ross
More than 200 photographs from renowned portrait photographer Judith Joy Ross will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, chronicling her career from the 1980s to today. Her black-and-white portraits are intimate reflections of everyday Americans, and this show features work from all her major projects, plus, never-before-seen images.
Dates: April 24 to August 6, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

American Swedish Historical Museum

Exhibition: Radically Marimekko
Famous for their bright and bold fabrics, Finnish textiles, clothing, and home furnishings, the company Marimekko is showcased at this special exhibit. Drawing attention to Finnish design, the collection traces the brand’s path from industrial art house to fashion icon.
Dates: March 30 to September 24, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and African American Museum in Philadelphia

Exhibition: Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
A collaboration between the African American Museum in Philadelphia and PAFA, Rising Sun showcases new work from 20 artists examining the question of Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy? With pieces shown in both museums, visitors can reflect on, challenge, and expand their view of democracy through art.
Dates: March 23 to October 8, 2023
How to visit: The African American Museum in Philadelphia is open Thursday through Sunday; admission is available online and at the door. PAFA is open Thursday through Sunday; admission can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution

Exhibition: Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
James Forten may not be a familiar name within early American history, but this new exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution is looking to change that. Telling the story of Forten and his family through 100 historical artifacts, Black Founders explores the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and the abolitionist movement.
Dates: Until November 26, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open daily. Admission is available online and at the door.

National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center

Exhibition: The 19th Amendment: How Women Won The Vote
That lofty document known as the Constitution and its values, interpretations, and amendments are explored in great detail at the National Constitution Center, naturally. This semi-permanent exhibit examines the 19th Amendment-the one which granted women the right to vote-and the road to its ratification. Out of the near 100 artifacts, expect to see a rare printing of the Declaration of Sentiments from the first women’s convention at Seneca Falls, a ballot box used to collect women’s votes in the late 1800s, Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the 19th Amendment, and various “Votes for Women” ephemera.
Dates: Semi-permanent, no end date announced
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

M√ľtter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M√ľtter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M√ľtter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

M√ľtter Museum

Exhibition: Spit Spreads Death
Eerily topical, the M√ľtter’s latest special exhibit, Spit Spreads Death, an exhibit about the 1918 flu pandemic, opened in the fall of 2019, less than six months before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The exhibit traces the disease’s spread throughout Philadelphia neighbourhoods a century ago and how the pandemic impacted the city with artifacts like photos, newspaper clippings, and more.
Dates: Now through 2024
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Monday. Advanced tickets are required.

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Allie Volpe¬†is a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn’t slept in days. Follow her on Twitter:¬†@allieevolpe.

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