Best Dance Clubs in Philadelphia

Shake your groove thing at Philadelphia's best dance clubs

Dance clubs in Philadelphia have come a long way from the days of pounding music, flashing lights and dubious attire. While some die-hard clubs still revel in their thumping beats and laser light shows, others take pride in offering refuge from the noisy street with plush seating, expertly mixed, fresh cocktails and a comfortable perch from which to serenely take in the action. Whether you enjoy more of a Top 40s kind of vibe, or come alive when the music swings more towards the Latin side, you'll find a place that allows you to relax, let loose and enjoy a night of fun out with friends, coworkers, a special someone or even if you're solo and looking to widen your circle of acquaintances. Clubs like 1500 Lounge deliver when it comes to high profile guests, top-notch music, great drinks and a convenient, attractive, upscale location. If you're not in the mood for fancy, take a trip over to Silk City Lounge and enjoy more of an eclectic, creative vibe, or to The Barbary for no frills, fantastic fun and debauchery. It's up to you what makes the perfect night out. No matter where you end up in this city, you're sure to find great drinks, music, and the chance to let your hair down, which is really what it's all about.


Built on to a trolley-car diner/restaurant and a funky beer garden, the long-time Northern Liberties hipster hangout brings DJs, live bands and special events like comedy showcases to a simple, single-room space. Home to an exceptionally diverse crowd of 20- and 30-somethings, this is the place to catch surprise sets by ? uestlove of The Roots. Since its beginnings as a true dining car, it always attracted the offbeat, eclectic, creative and interesting. The place came under new management in 2006 and was remodeled and a warmer-weather beer garden was added to keep up with changing tastes and preferences.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Converted trolley dining car Silk City now pumps out eclectic beats for an eclectic crowd of dancers.

Sharon's expert tip: Prep for the trip by watching Silk City's episode on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

Read more about Silk City Diner, Lounge & Beer Garden →

For more than 15 years this Old City hotspot has been pumping out Latin beats for dancers shaking it to salsa, rhumba, cha-cha and tango. On certain nights, live bands take the place of DJs, and every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday professional instructors teach drop-in salsa classes. These lessons are also available privately for groups if desired. This establishment is a great place to cut a rug and experience a night out for those whose idea of great music leans more towards Latin than pop or Top 40. All levels of dancers congregate here to get their dance on, so don't be intimidated if you're a beginner, and certainly, come strut your stuff if you've got skills you'd love to show off.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Brasil's, one of the city's most long-running clubs, pumps out Latin beats and free dance lessons in Old City.

Sharon's expert tip: To avoid potential embarrassment, brush up on the website's salsa tips before going.

Read more about Brasil's →

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Photo courtesy of Cubre Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

This isn't so much a club, but a fun and vibrant restaurant that offers the opportunity to let loose and dance on the weekends. Enjoy music that ranges from Cuban to Latin to Tropical Dance, Salsa, Merengue, or Bachata. The tropical atmosphere, Caribbean decor, and upbeat Latin music make this a great place to let loose with fun-loving friends after a delicious weekend meal. You can also have your upcoming private event here where other services are also available including Salsa lessons should you decide to include them as part of the fun, or just sit back and watch the celebration with a delicious cocktail from their bar.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Professional Latin dancers set the mood to prime the audience to take to Cuba Libre's dance floor themselves.

Sharon's expert tip: Start the night with dinner and a wake-up coffee cocktail.

Read more about Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar →


One of the standard-bearers of the gay nightlife scene, this Gayborhood club offers show tunes in the Piano Bar seven days a week for those taking a break from boogying. Showtunes also take center stage at the second-floor Ascend nightclub every Sunday, though disco, karaoke, DJs and a Wednesday ladies night populate the weekly calendar. Considered one of the most welcoming and least pretentious gay bars in town, T.O.C. also serves a full tavern menu in the downstairs Tavern Restaurant should you get hungry either before or after arriving. Come here for great conversation, good food, upbeat music, the chance to dance, or sing along to your favorite show tunes. What could be better?

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: One of the city's original gay bars gives the community a dance floor, tavern, piano bar and stage club.

Sharon's expert tip: With "Chopped" winner Mackenzie Hilton helming the kitchen, pre-dancing dinner at The Tavern is a worthy stop.

Read more about Tavern on Camac →

The Barbary
Photo courtesy of The Barbary

The Barbary is Fishtown's in-your-face answer to the dance club, and proudly refers to itself as "Philadelphia's alternative nightlife venue, hosting a diverse monthly calendar of anything and everything. From hip-hop to goth, house and techno to emo and the legendary Tigerbeats Monday banger, the Barbary is defined by wild party vibes and full inclusion. The 2-floor, 200 person venue also plays host to on-the-rise local and indie touring bands. It's the perfect place to watch the madness...or dive right in! The recent addition of credit card readers only makes it easier to enjoy this no-frills haven for late-night dancing and debauchery.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Barbary is where anyone and everyone goes to let their hair down without judgement. Different DJs and music genres on both floors means you'll never get bored.

Sharon's expert tip: Make sure to check the calendar on their facebook page so you know what's happening before you arrive, but rest assured there will always be something for everyone.

Read more about The Barbary →

Photo courtesy of Voyeur

One of the top dance clubs in the city, Voyeur is a multi-level venue whose main draw is its versatility. Indeed, the hip clientele can choose any number of ways to spend their time here –competing in trivia contests, sipping cocktails and taking in the scene in the Lounge, singing karaoke classics to the cheering masses and, of course, dancing while DJs spin everything from house to 70s disco. Offering a variety of themed nights, you can even enjoy drag nights here and shows involving their lighted runway. Special events can be held in the new St. James Room for an evening you won't soon forget.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: With spot-on music, high-end lighting, tuned-in sound and decor, this venue delivers the party scene on weekends like a boss.

Sharon's expert tip: Becoming a member and downloading their app gets you in faster and at a discount many times.

Read more about Voyeur →

This Northern Liberties hipster staple distinguishes itself for its lack of a cover charge and its history as the former home of a poultry butcher � whose kitchen now serves as the upstairs bar and whose bathroom, though now the DJ booth, still contains remnants of a bathroom. Dancing happens upstairs on the second floor on weekends, though from Sunday to Wednesday, DJs spin in the narrow bar downstairs, where bartenders pour 12 draught beers, 80 beers from bottles, absinthe and artisanal gin. Comfortable couches and chairs allow patrons to comfy-up and enjoy the setting, and guests have commented that it feels like a really awesome party your good friends threw in their house with all of the music you like. You be the judge.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Sneakers and tattoos are encouraged at this hipster house-turned bar/nightclub alternately called "The 700" and "The 700 Club."

Sharon's expert tip: Though it's not widely known, The 700 prides itself on playing international soccer matches and Philly's own Union team on the telly.

Read more about The 700 →

This Delaware Avenue club complex offers up 3 rooms in which to party and groove to the music. There's a 1500-person capacity at this place, so it's not some time little lounge tucked away in a corner of the city. The complex also houses a hookah lounge for when you want to kick back and relax a bit, and a delicious variety of food is also offered. Top DJs, the state-of-the-art sound and lighting system will impress you, as well as the presence of the large waterfront deck. This is a serious destination for partiers; it's not to be missed.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: B-Side Complex hosts top DJs to its dance floor but provides a reprieve on the deck and separate bar area, and hookah lounge.

Sharon's expert tip: Be sure to check out Bamboo Bar, open in warmer weather until mid-Fall season.

Read more about B-Side Complex →

Penn's Landing

At this place, you certainly won't be bored with the same-old, same-old. Start off with shrimp and crab cocktail, enjoy sophisticated cocktails and take advantage of a bottle service menu that lists nine sparkling wines, including Cristal and Dom, and ten vodkas, including Belvedere and Ketel One. Professional acrobatic performances enhance the DJ lineup at this high-end spot, where membership applications are taken at the door. The two-room club opens from Wednesday to Saturday and stays open until 3 a.m, so you're sure to get your fix of nighttime entertainment. Drinks, dancing, good music, entertainment and the chance to mingle with friends make Zee Bar a great option.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Luxury surrounds DJs and professional acrobats at Zee Bar, located next to the city's most upscale gentleman's club.

Sharon's expert tip: Be prepared to purchase an annual membership for $20 at the door.

Read more about Zee Bar →

Photo courtesy of NOTO Philadelphia

The opening of this venue meant an exciting and fresh change to the city of Philadelphia. To finally have a nightclub right in the city that attracted the best DJs and talent was much needed and welcomed. Today, the exciting energy and upscale, trendy atmosphere make it a sought-after destination for anyone looking to make their night or special event one to remember. It's truly a unique experience complete with top-shelf liquor and champagne, a bar menu to satisfy, as well as talent and musical guests to make your night one that's certainly not of the ordinary.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: With the best and hottest music in town, cutting edge DJs, top lighting and sound and an in-house recording studio, this place has it all.

Sharon's expert tip: Take advantage of full or partial event planning here that fits all kinds of budgets and needs.

Read more about NOTO →


Meet Sharon Nolan

Sharon is a native to the Philadelphia area, but loves to wander from its familiar borders. She has traveled to more than 30 countries, trekked five continents, ventured out with family,...  More About Sharon