First-Rate Nightlife Spots to Round Out Your Day near Rittenhouse Square

"Do you want to go out for a drink or two in Philadelphia?" This question is many times followed by "Well, where should we go?" It pays to have a place or two in mind for just such an occasion, as the last thing one wants to do when the mood strikes is to waste time trying to think of an appropriate place to go. Philadelphia, fortunately, has many venues to grab a drink or two. Feel like dancing, too? Try 1500Lounge, the place to be seen. If sipping a fancy cocktail in a comfortable and upscale setting is more your thing, venture into the Library Bar. Folks who like to keep it casual and affordable also have choices, and may want to put a visit to Graffiti Bar on their list of possibilities. No matter what mood you happen to be in, theres sure to be a place that you'll feel quite at home in. Many venues offer food, some deliver on cool decor or comfy seating or great views of the city skyline. If you're lucky, you'll stumble on a place that does all of these well. Visit some of the great options we've fettered out for you, and see if there's a pile that makes it onto your list of favorites.


Sleek, sophisticated and stylish, this venue is the perfect place for that special celebration. Bachelorette party, social or corporate achievement, birthday, milestone event or other happening, this space delivers on every front. From top notch, dedicated service to sophisticated surroundings to cutting edge DJs and music from local talent, 1500 Club promises to make your night one that will stand out from the rest. Bottle service is available, and easy to arrange, as are other services your event may need. Dress your best and come ready to make memories no matter what event or special day you may be celebrating in this upscale center city space.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: If you're looking for a place to dance and be seen, this venue ought to be a top choice.

Sharon's expert tip: Join their VIP listing for the very best in service and notifications about upcoming events.

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Vango was created to be unique. This venue boasts all custom made accouterments, as even the smallest details were taken into consideration when pulling together this one-of-a-kind establishment. Come here for music from talented DJs, enjoy drinks and dancing, or simply hang out at the popular rooftop deck for spectacular views of the city and skyline. The second floor is where the music and dancing are centered, and the third floor is home to Vango's fabulous year-round roof deck. It has an indoor patio and a lounge bar for those who prefer to cozy up to the fireplaces. This place has it all : private rooms for chilling, king size beds for lounging, a wide dance floor for kicking up your heels, drinks to enjoy, good company to mingle with and a sky to gaze upon.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: Come here if you'd like to experience something new and unique, dress up a bit and enjoy delicious drinks and food.

Sharon's expert tip: Be sure to venture up to the third floor to take in the views, even if heights aren't your thing.

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Monk's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Jason Smith for GPTMC Visit Philly

An oldie but a goodie. While dozens of newer craft-beer bars have opened since this one, you can't argue with a destination that's still considered the beer mecca of Philadelphia. Called "One of the Top Ten Places to Drink a Beer Before You Die" by All About Beer magazine, Monk's pours several hundred of the world's best beers and almost single-handedly originated the Belgian beer craze in America. If you can tear yourself away from the beer, there's also food: European dishes cooked in beer, eight different preparations of mussels and seven burger topping combinations, each named after something related to Belgium.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: When it comes to good craft beer venues, this is your place.

Sharon's expert tip: Monk's bartenders are among the most knowledgeable in the business, and they expect patrons to have many, many questions about the leather-bound beer menu. As long as you don't make a pest of yourself, you should feel comfortable asking questions and asking for samples.

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XIX Nineteen
Photo courtesy of Hyatt at the Bellevue

Located on the 19th level of the Park Hyatt, this striking lounge is just the place to entertain a business client or raise a glass for a special occasion. Come here with the intention of spending a special night out, be it with coworkers or a special someone or two. A beautiful marble bar adorns the interior, and three cozy window seats give it romantic appeal. There are also places to step out and view the city, so don't miss them. Choosing among the 19 specialty cocktails may be tough, but nothing else at this lavish spot should be. Have a seat on one of the rich brown banquettes, and sip a martini over candlelight.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: If "stunning" and "elegant" are what you're seeking in a night out in the city, this place is where you need to be.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't forget to step out onto one of the many balconies located here, as the view is certainly worth it.

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A perfect fit for Rittenhouse Square, this snazzy cafe has just the right touches of big city panache to appeal to trend-conscious folks who like their beverages served by meticulously trained staff who can recite the finer points of every item on the menu. Tria caters to these sophisticated palates by specializing in a unique array of artisanal beers, cheeses, and wines â€" the so-called "Fermentation Trio." And while the attitude of the place is quite laid back and not at all pretentious (the dress code simply states, "Come as you are ... if you are wearing a shirt and shoes"), you'll feel a bit out of place if you don't dress up just a little. While there are now two other Trias in the city, this is the original, and in our opinion, the classic.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: This venue concentrates on wine, beer and cheese. No loud distractions like TV or karaoke or DJs, so enjoy the simplicity.

Sharon's expert tip: Sunday school was never as much fun as it is here, where Sunday School Tria-style means a deeply discounted wine, beer and cheese every Sunday.

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Heading off to the Library? The Library Bar, that is. This cool nightlife spot is located in the Rittenhouse Hotel, so if you'd like to stop by, enter through the hotel and cozy up to the bar. You'll be able to enjoy a lighted fireplace in the cooler months, and comfortable seating options no matter when you stop on by. Drinks are crafted with care and many great options are available including cocktails, wines and beer. It's an upscale environment, so don't stop by in your car-washing clothing, but treat yourself and your crowd to a nice night out when you're able to. It suits the Rittenhouse area nicely.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: Feel like taking your cocktail experience to the next level and going a bit upscale? The Library Bar is the place to do it.

Sharon's expert tip: This bar, although it can be pricey, is great for pre- or post-dinner drinks, so don't hesitate to treat yourself when in the area.

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While you won't find real canines inside this Rittenhouse Square bar, you will find a spectacular selection of beer and pub grub that's likely to have you howling with delight. When you venture upstairs, you'll find plenty of wall art dedicated to the pooch. Be sure to walk around a bit and admire the plethora of dog-related decor here. This neighborhood hangout's fire hydrant-red walls are quite appropriate, and a bone-shaped chalkboard features beers on tap. There's also a pool table, darts and an arcade machine (hello Pac-Man), as well as happy hour every weekday and $5 specialty cocktails on Sundays.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: With the option of great food on the menu, this bar also delivers on drinks and cool ambiance, so its a great choice all around.

Sharon's expert tip: Check out the upper floor, as it has plenty of pup pictures, pac man, darts and a pool table to keep you and your crowd occupied.

Read more about Good Dog Bar and Restaurant →

Graffiti Bar is a small venue tucked at the back of Sampan Restaurant. This bar is perfect for happy hour or for a great after-hours hang-out. Dine at Sampan, and then tuck yourself out back at their year-round outdoor location. Warm nights in the summertime or chilly nights in winter under the heat lamps allow folks to get a bit of fresh air while relaxing and mingling with friends. It's totally casual here, and invites one to set aside their cares and mingle a bit. It is small, so expect to be close to your neighbors, but sometimes that can be a great way to meet folks.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: When you want to feel like you're one with the hip but fun crowd, this place does the trick quite well.

Sharon's expert tip: Fans rave about their affordable and enjoyable Happy Hour, so be sure to check it out after work.

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More like a parlour or the living room in a slightly eccentric rich person's house, 1 Tippling Place is the bar you wish your grandparents had in their basement. This isn't to say that it's stuffy. Au contraire. Bartenders here mix up some of the most innovative, fresh and labor-intensive cocktails in the city, and if you're not in the mood to sip quietly on a plush banquette, you can sit in the intimate � and more traditional-looking â€" bar area with all the other youngsters. Take stock in the fact that this venue serves up some of the finest cocktails in the city, too.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: Comfortable, classy, cocktails - what more could one ask for in a night out?

Sharon's expert tip: With the entrance tucked into the side of a wall and with nary a sign to identify it, 1 Tippling can best be located by looking straight across Chestnut Street from the El Rey restaurant.

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From the moment you approach the black door of this literally underground establishment, you get the feeling that you're entering the private lair of a 1920s starlet or politician, where alcohol flowed secretly out of sight of enforcement agents. Taking its name from the largest Prohibition-era alcohol ring in the country, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company is everything you want it to be: hushed, dark, elegant, low-ceilinged, exclusively pricey and captained by some of the most decorated cocktail creators in the business. The narrow space features classic cocktails and modern interpretations thereof, a handful of conversation tables and just enough seating to accommodate people who know people.

Recommended for Rittenhouse Square's Best Nightlife because: The fun of this bar is the somewhat secret, underground location and excellent cocktails.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't be offended if you're asked to wait outside until space clears: bouncers only allow in as many people as there are seats.

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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