The Philly drinker’s smoking index: 45 bars where you’re still allowed to light up

Because sometimes you don’t want to go outside.

Smoking and drinking
Flickr via Mathias Ripp

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:

South Philly

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

Center City

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

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