Smokers are lucky in Philadelphia. The city banned smoking at restaurants and bars in about nine years ago with the Clean Indoor Air Worker Worker Protection law, but the edict didn’t completely prevent Philly residents from getting their nicotine fix inside a bar. A few holdouts are still allowed to apply for an exemption, and can accommodate smokers.
This is a guide to all of those bars, by neighborhood, with comments about some of the more eclectic watering holes. If you want to smoke and drink go to any of these places:
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12 Steps Down, 831 Christian Street
Activities and specials every day of the week, including Nintendo Game Night on Sundays.
The Dive Bar, 947 E. Passyunk Avenue
No false advertising with the name here. Free pizza during weekday happy hours.
Friendly Lounge, 1039 S. Eighth Street
Old jukebox, similar vibe to the other Bella Vista dives.
Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 E. Passyunk Avenue
THE place to go for karaoke in South Philly and maybe the world.
Bonnie’s Capistrano Bar, 1503 S. 13th Street
Philly Mag named it Philly’s best dive bar in 2014.
Grumpy’s Tavern, 1525 S. 9th Street
Big for Eagles games, when you can get $2 Miller Lite pounders.
O’Jung’s Tavern, 1625 S. 2nd Street
2-Street bar that’s popular on more than just New Year’s Day.
Brother’s Two, 1428 W. Ritner Street
Rosewood Bar, 1417 W. Shunk Street
Not to be confused with the Rosewood Bar adjacent to Woody’s. This place is as neighborhood as it gets.
Cookie’s Tavern, 2654 S. Alder Street
Fireside Tavern, 2701 S. Marshall Street
Locust Bar, 235 S. 10th Street
Great bar but maybe not in the ideal location next to all the health-minded Jefferson doctors and nurses.
Brownie’s Irish Pub, 46 S. 2nd Street
McGlinchey’s, 259 S. 15th Street
Paddy’s Old City Pub, 228 Race Street
Of course you can smoke at the “Always Sunny” bar.
Pulse, 1526 Sansom Street
So, Pulse doesn’t appear to have a permit, but smoking happens there. Keep it on the DL.
North Philly/Northwest Philly
Victor’s Tavern, 5550 Wayne Avenue
Towey’s Tavern, 7829 Germantown Avenue
A divey change of pace on the main strip of Chestnut Hill.
Five Points Tavern, 4091 W. Ford Road
Soul food, pool, cheap pitchers and smoking.
Broad Street Tavern, 3648 N. Broad Street
Just across the street from Max’s Steaks.
The Northeast/River Wards
Fishtown Tavern, 1301 Frankford Avenue
The lone bar in Fishtown with a smoking permit.
Corner Bar, 3066 Richmond Street
Donna’s Bar, 2732 E. Allegheny Avenue
Sand Dollar Tavern, 2723 E. Allegheny Avenue
Cheers Cafe, 2601 E. Westmoreland Avenue
Luke’s Bar, 2434 Cedar Street
Sometimes they have $1 jello shots.
Jack’s Famous Bar, 853 E. Allegheny Avenue
Trenton Inn, 2116 E. Tioga Street
Fibber McGee’s, 2221 Bridge Street
Cannonball Tavern, 2268 Kennedy Street
Family Inn, 4135 Comly Street
Irish Eddies, 6558 Vandike Street
CJ Mulligan’s, 6453 Frankford Avenue
Morrell Tavern, 3800 Morrell Avenue
Sweeney’s Veree Tavern, 7968 Veree Road
Sweeney’s Station Saloon, 13639 Philmont Avenue
Perry’s Place, 2417 E. Huntingdon Avenue
Sam’s Place, 2632 E. Lehigh Avenue
Old Philadelphia Tavern, 2118 E. Dauphin Street