Philadelphia’s Wine Bar Renaissance Is Here

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

Best Wine Bars in Philadelphia
Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk | Photo courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar Passyunk
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.

Best Wine Bars in Philadelphia + bar | Photo courtesy of + bar

Where to Drink Wine in Rittenhouse and Midtown Village

As part of industry pioneer Ellen Yin’s restaurant group, High Street Hospitality, + 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

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 rosé 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

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

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

Best Wine Bars in Philadelphia
Fishtown Social | Photo courtesy of Fishtown Social

Where to Drink Wine in Fishtown

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

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

Best Wine Bars in Philadelphia
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, pét-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
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

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.