We get it, it’s cold outside. But rather than stay hermetically sealed in your dingy apartment all winter, try holding court (and getting a buzz) at these dozen bars with some of the best fireside imbibing in the city.
The Black Sheep: Stop here to warm up with some gastropub grub before heading to Stir – the earlier, the better for getting a seat by the hearth. A bonus is that the bartenders are some of the friendliest in the neighborhood serving up two (yes, two) kinds of cider.
Continental Midtown: This groovy rooftop lodge is the perfect place to sip some martinis to cap off a night in Rittenhouse. Sure, the cocktails are pricey, but where else can you get a Violet Beauregarde?
The Dandelion: We don’t know what we like better at this well-appointed pub – the cheese plate or Anglophile decor. Head upstairs to warm your cockles by the fire. Pints of English ale never tasted so good.
Devil’s Den: This South Philly pub is just a hop, skip and jump from the Italian Market and close enough to East Passyunk to attract more gay patrons than ever thanks to some big-time growlers.
Fado Irish Pub: This place, a haven for soccer fans, has enough nooks and crannies to hole up with a good book, drink and meal to never be heard from again – until tomorrow night, anyway. The upside is it’s within walking distance to both Rittenhouse and the Gayborhood.
Hawthorne’s: This Bella Vista beer cafe may have one of the more perplexing menus (pierogies, pancakes and Fettuccine?), but the seasonal beer selection and crackling ambers make it a great little getaway, especially for date night.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House: Three things we love about McGillin’s: the old fireplace, the beer flights and the fact that we can stumble to our favorite Gayborhood nightclubs when we should be stumbling home.
Nineteen: Rise above it all at the fireside lounge. Not only is this Hyatt jewel within walking distance to theaters and gay nightlife, but the vibe here tends to make us want to order fancy drinks even when we can’t afford them.
The Plough and the Stars: You can’t beat the combination of a sizzling fireplace, Irish specialties and all the Guinness you can drink on a cold winter’s night. Try it for a post-Ritz film discussion.
Standard Tap: If you find yourself in NoLibs, mosey in here for a sandwich platter, some local brews and a hot spot near the hearth.
Stratus Rooftop Bar & Lounge: This swanky rooftop lounge at the new Hotel Monaco in Old City has its own 30-foot wall of fire that’s flaming hotter than all the go-go boys at ICandy put together. You’ll be seeing stars – literally – it has a gorgeous view of the night sky.
Venture Inn: This gay bar has just the right comfort food, attitude and sass to make it one of our favorites in the city. The fireplace is an added treat.