Credit: Instagram via@eatwelltravelmore_

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Think people drink a lot at Ladder 15, Misconduct, Voyeur or some of the other super-packed bars of Center City? Think again. The real drinking in Philadelphia happens at packed restaurants, crowded hotels, one legendary strip club and, yeah, one of those bars Center City bars you either love or love to hate.

With data from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Billy Penn has compiled the 20 locations — bars, restaurants, clubs or hotels — that purchased the greatest amount of alcohol from the state last year, by dollar amount. These numbers cover purchases of wine and spirits. Not beer. That might be another reason why typical bars are mostly absent from the list.

Del Frisco’s, $1.4M

They say red wine is a must with steak, and apparently that’s the case.

Del Frisco's
Credit: Del Frisco’s

The Union League, $1.2M

The most exclusive liquor in town.

Union League
Credit: Instagram via @Mundera

Parc, $973K

Like sitting on a porch while drinking, except the porch wants you to believe you’re in France and $11 is a perfectly reasonable price for a drink.


Hotel Monaco, $758K

The first hotel on the list. Hotel Monaco routinely lands on lists of the best hotels in the country.

Hotel Monaco
Credit: Instagram via @caromalis

Xfinity Live!, $719K

Perhaps XFinity Live! would be higher if the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers were better?

Xfinity Live!
Credit: Instagram via @XFinityLive_XL

Loews Philadelphia Hotel, $663K

Philly’s best old-school hotel, located at 12th and Market.

Loew's Philadelphia
Credit: Instagram via @ministerjojomac

Philadelphia Marriott, $612K

Where all the convention-goers stay.

Marriott Philadelphia
Credit: Instagram via @clearmatrixusa

Capital Grille, $612K

Probably selling a good portion of its alcohol to City Hall types.

Capital Grille
Credit: Instagram via @capital_grille_philadelphia

Delilah’s, $575K

If you had any doubts whether Delilah’s was Philly’s best-known strip club, this should silence them. Plus, Dennis Rodman loves it:

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Barclay Prime, $564K

Stephen Starr’s steakhouse where people like to spend a lot of money (see, $120 cheesesteak).

Barclay Prime

The Ritz Carlton, $561K

Lots of rooms for conferences and entertainment and lots of tourists.

Ritz Carlton
Credit: Instagram via @trulyyouevents

The Rittenhouse, $551K

Five-diamond hotel that also routinely lands on the “best of” lists.

Rittenhouse Hotel
Credit: Rittenhouse Hotel

Houlihan’s Restaurants, $550K

There’s no longer a Houlihan’s in Philadelphia — sorry Allen Iverson — but Devon Seafood Grill in Rittenhouse Square is owned by the restaurant company.

Wells Fargo Center/Lincoln Financial Field, $546K

Again, maybe the stadiums would rank higher if the sports teams could perform competently.

Wells Fargo Sixers
Credit: Mark Dent/Billy Penn

El Vez, $511K

Starr’s Mexican restaurant. It offers nine types of margaritas and you can buy them by the pitcher.

El Vez
Credit: Instagram via@eatwelltravelmore_

1925 Lounge, $487K

Bottle service and cocktails in an atmosphere out of the 1920s.

1925 Lounge
Credit: Instagram via @warnnlee

The Bellevue, $466K

A host of many events.

Credit: Instagram via @bellevuephl

Ashton Cigar Bar, $460K

Claims to have more than 340 whiskeys — the best selection of anywhere in Philadelphia.

Ashton Cigar Bar
Credit: Instagram via @theangelrivera

Howl at the Moon, $442K

And here’s the Center City bar you either love or hate. Most of these other places probably made the list because of the sheer amount of people they serve every day and at nearly every hour of the day and the fine wines and cocktails they serve. Howl at the Moon likely got here from order after order of vodka-sodas and Fireball shots on Friday and Saturday nights.

Howl at the Moon
Credit: Instagram via @tld1124

The Logan, $436K

The Logan must’ve had one helluva stock-the-bar party. This hotel just opened last December.

Michael Nutter Logan Hotel
Credit: Instagram via @TheLoganHotel

Updated Monday at 12:45 p.m. to include new information on Houlihan’s. 

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...