Like any old American city, Philadelphia is full of famous sights and tourist traps, but with a little guidance from a local, you can discover some great underground bars, people, and events.
One place I can often be found is Tattooed Mom on South Street. Although it’s in a very touristy area, this bar is a diamond in the rough – good food with an ample vegan selection, regular cheap beer specials, and a jukebox that’s always rotating great stuff, including Trojan Reggae compilations, Black Flag, and Cock Sparrer!
If you’re looking for a cheap happy hour bar, The Dive on Passyunk Avenue in South Philly is your best bet. The name says it all – this hole in the wall features happy hour specials and free pizza starting at 5pm, every weekday. Lucky 13 at 13th and Passyunk is another cozy spot that has a friendly staff that DJ everything from indie and classic punk to reggae and 2tone.
The biggest night of the month for me, however, is Moonshot!, at the Barbary in Fishtown, which is just north of Center City. This DJ night features a mix of skinhead reggae, ska, rocksteady, and soul — and best of all, it’s free. This is the one night of the month where all our friends meet up and have some fun with affordable drinks and rare vinyl selections. Another free entry night at the Barbary is Rocks Off! every Sunday night, with DJs spinning a mix of classic punk, rock, power pop, and oi.
But there’s more to Philly than just bars and clubs. The Ritz movie theatres, which are located in Old City, offer a great opportunity to see an indie, foreign, or underground film at a reasonable price. The Wednesday night special knocks the admission price down to only $5.50!
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, visit the Mutter Museum on 22nd street in Center City. It’s a museum of medical oddities, collected from over the years, and features such strange sights as “The Soap Lady” which was a corpse of a woman that had turned itself into a soapy substance.
If you happen to be a scooterist, make sure to catch the annual Independence Day Rally. Every year, on the weekend of July 4th, the Hostile City scooter club – Philadelphia’s overarching scooter association – hosts the Independence Day rally, which obviously coincides with the celebration of 4th of July. The rally includes bar meet-ups, rides through the city, more bar meet-ups, and of course, watching the fireworks that light up the sky over Philadelphia. For the avid brunch fan, they also plan Sunday brunches in various places throughout the city. It would include meeting at brunch, and after there will be a lengthy but informal group ride in the city.
All in all, Philadelphia has many exciting opportunities to get into, even if it is a small city. We have all the fine accommodations any other place would have along with our famous cheese steaks, the liberty bell, many arts murals, and so much more! If any of the events mentioned in the beginning seems to peak your interest, you should definitely visit us in Philadelphia!
Submitted by Sara Heinio