If you haven’t heard — ok, unlikely. Try again: If you haven’t muted it on Twitter yet, you know that tons of Philly restaurants and bars are rolling out DNC specials using #DNCDeals.
For visitors, that’s great, since they can just surf the hashtag and not even have to worry about looking elsewhere for recommendations. (Actually not quite as easy as it sounds, since hashtags are easily hijacked, so to find the discounts you have to navigate through tweets that alternately call Hillary a sell-out or a criminal.)
But Philadelphians looking to cash in on living in the host city have it even tougher. First, many of the #DNCDeals apply just to credentialed badge-holders. Not gonna be sitting inside the Wells Fargo at night? No discount for you. Second, a lot of the specials — even many of the ones that ended up in the guides published by respectable local outlets — aren’t really very good deals, at all.
Just think: You can join a 3-hour viewing party for “only” $100 per person! Get a beer and a burger for “only” $20 (plus 16 cents)! Taste a special politically-inspired cocktail for “only” $18! Yes, these are all real “deals” being offered this week.
We sifted through the flood, looked up menu prices and whipped out our calculator to find a half dozen #DNCDeals that locals will actually want to take advantage of while they last.
Late-night happy hour at U-Bahn
This subterranean bar is like a ’70s arcade crossed with a Bavarian beer garden. Drop hashtag wisdom between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. this Monday to Thursday to get in on the deals, which include $4 Pennsylvania-brewed craft drafts (usually $6 and up), $6 Bluecoat gin and tonics (that’s a $2 discount) and $6 shots of locally-distilled Kinsey whiskey (careful, it’s potent stuff).
Lobster mac at Mac Mart
Might not expect to find the city’s best lobster deal at a counter-service “mac-n-cheesery,” but on Tuesday and Wednesday this Rittenhouse spot will sell you a half-pound bowl of seven-cheese macaroni topped with panko crunch and three succulent ounces of garlic-butter lobstah for just $12.
Donkey discounts at the Twisted Tail
If you’ve been too embarrassed to snap a selfie with the #DonkeysAroundTown, here’s the monetary incentive you’ve been waiting for. Show your pic to your server at this Headhouse Square juke joint to get 15 percent off anything on chef Leo Forneas’ menu (pro tip: wild boar sausage with crispy garlic).
Enchiladas and margs at Distrito
If you want chicken enchiladas at Jose Garces’ West Philly taqueria, you usually have to pony up $16, but in honor of Bill Clinton — it’s one of his favorite dishes, or at least was before he went vegan — it’s just $20.16 for the dish PLUS guac and chips plus a margarita (you’ll save a total of $15, all told).
Burgers for two at P’unk Burger
Made with organic beef, the only problem with the 5-ounce burgers at this environmentally-friendly fast-casual is that they’re kinda pricey. If you’ve got a friend, the DNC will let you save — get two burgers, two orders of sea salt fries and two Maine Root sodas for a total of $20.16 (it’d normally run $26). Even better, the deal goes all the way from July 22 to 31, so you can score it even after conventioneers have peaced out.
Cuban guacamole at Cuba Libre
Order at least $15 worth of food or drink at the bar or one of the dining room tables at this palm-tree-filled ode to the Pearl of the Antilles and an order of Pineapple Guacamole Cubano is yours for free. It comes with fresh-fried plantain chips and usually runs $6.75.