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Top Summertime Bars In Philadelphia

Philadelphia isn't the most popular city for fabulous summer bars with rooftop decks and outdoor seating (though the bars participating in Center City Sips and the With Love Beer Garden did become popular destinations as of late). However, the city does offer convincing alternatives to the traditional beach-theme bar, ranging from adult milkshakes to sports mega-centers, with a few rooftop bars to boot. So whether it means keeping you trim for the beach or providing a great place outdoors to watch the Phillies, these fine establishments are offering amenities that will make this summer a breeze.
Nightlife & Music valanni skinny cocktails
Photo Credit: Lindsay Lewis

1229 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 790-9494

Since summer was all but made for passionate beach-goers, Valanni offers the best way to get and stay swimsuit ready without forsaking your social life: skinny cocktails. For example, the Rock Hard Mojito, Orangina and Hot For Herra Margarita are 139 calories or less, but between the Splenda and the fresh ingredients, there's no sacrifice in taste. Aside from sips for the slender and an impressive wine list, Valanni also offers twists on refreshing favorites like margaritas, mojitos and martinis offering house-infused liquors with pineapple, cucumber and seasonal flavors. During happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, get the skinny (cocktail) for $5, in addition to half off select tapas and $5 glasses of select vinos and specialty cocktails.

Nightlife & Music la calaca feliz
Photo Credit: Lindsay Lewis

La Calaca Feliz
2321 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 787-9930

Opened by two proteges of Iron Chef Jose Garces, La Calaca Feliz is a haven of margaritas, guacamole and quality tequila. During Phillies games, cans of Tecate run you only $2 and $2.50 for a glass of Dos Equis, conveniently on tap. Draft beer, specialty drinks and wine are also discounted $2 from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 p.m. to midnight during  the "reverse happy hour" on Fridays and Saturdays. Even full-priced, the Grateful Dead-named specialty cocktails are worth the cost, from the sangrias and caipirihnas to "I'm a King Bee", which includes chamomile-infused epsilon, honey, lemon and basil. Almost all drink ingredients are made in house, down to the sour mix for margs, so sip on a fresh specialty margarita like watermelon or blood orange while enjoying either the interior Day of the Dead Murals by a South Philly artist or some fresh air. In addition to the charming outdoor courtyard decorated with a magnolia tree and a brightly frescoed birdbath, there are a few tables to sit at street side, since people watching is a prime summertime activity.

Related: People Watching Spots Across Philadelphia

Nightlife & Music Summer Time, PYT The Piazza At Schmidts
Photo Credit: PYT via Facebook

PYT The Piazza At Schmidts
1050 N Hancock St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 964-9009

In addition to a happy hour that extends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, PYT boasts a sweet location right on the Piazza At Schmidts. From their outdoor lounge, you can watch Phillies games for free on the Piazza's giant screen or just enjoy a summer night of people watching. While famous for its gourmet burgers, including an interesting weekly "burger of the week" special, PYT is also home to some unique beverages including "adult milkshakes" and "adult cereals," like the combo of whole milk, Fruit Loops and Three Olives' "Loopy" fruit vodka. Enjoy something different while basking in the warmth of the sun or enjoying one of the many free concerts or festivals that take place at the Piazza right outside of PYT.

Related: Top Upcoming Art Festivals

Nightlife & Music Summer Time, Positano Coast
Photo Credit: Positano Coast via Facebook

Positano Coast
212 Walnut St. 2nd Fl
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-0499

Climb the stairs to Positano Coast in Olde City and be transported from the heat in Philadelphia into a cool Italian summer experience. While taking in the view of Old City from the second-floor patio and munching the al fresco cuisine, don't forget to sample some signature drinks. The signature Lemon Drop drink might be available year-round, but will never taste so refreshing as in the summer from a seat in the Sopa Lounge as the breeze from the patio wafts in. If you'd rather stay on the ground floor, in the summer Positano Coast takes over the sidewalk with an outdoor cafe. Either way, enjoy one of the three exterior spaces during Positano's happy hour - you can score drinks for only $5.

Related: Philly's Top Rooftop Bars 2011

Nightlife & Music Summer Time, Xfinity Live!
Photo Credit: Xfinity Live! via Facebook

Xfinity Live!
1100 Pattison Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 609-1600

Why go to just one bar at a time when you can go to several? The Xfinity Live! center is like the King of Prussia Mall of bars: there's something for everyone as long as you're willing to brave the crowd. Next to the Philly Marketplace, which gathers all the favorites from Philadelphia together from Chickie's & Pete's to cheesesteaks, you'll frequently find outdoor cookouts, live entertainment and a massive amount of Philadelphia sports fans. Not only is there a Victory Beer bar complete with indoor beer hall, outdoor seating and a fire pit, but you can also choose to listen to some live acoustic music at the Broad Street Bullies Pub or ride the (mechanical) bull at the PBR Bar & Grille, which misleadingly has absolutely nothing to do with hipsters or cheap beer. One of the best things about summer is watching a sports game, and if you can't be there, the next best thing is to be at Xfinity Live! spectating the game from the 32-foot diagonal HDTV. Bonus? The beer isn't anywhere near as overpriced as a stadium.

Related: Top Places To Watch The Philadelphia Phillies

Lindsay Lewis is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

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