South Philadelphia Tap Room
Taps: 14 / Bottles: 75
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
4.68/5 rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
For you public transit types, take the Broad Street (Orange) line to Snyder Avenue, then head North on Broad, keeping Center City in your sights, two blocks to Mifflin, left two blocks to the corner of Hicks Street.
It is truly a corner bar, with awnings over the windows overlooking both Mifflin and Hicks Streets. The doorway was a recessed right angle on the NE corner that opened directly onto the grey, brushed steel-like Formica topped bar to the left. A Stella Euro-tap sat at the front end of the bar. The truly industrial brushed-aluminum ten-tap system sat in the middle of the bar and at the end of the bar was a cooler with some outstanding stuff, including Port Brewing, Sly Fox cans, Belgian imports and Casco Bay, plus Founders, just to name a few. The back bar was a beautiful lightly-stained wood and mirror construct. Theirs was the cheapest shot of Johnnie Walker (Blue) that I have ever encountered. Believe me, I ain't a liquor guy, but I like rye whiskey and I can appreciate a novelty. Continuing aft, past the cooler, was a set of steps leading to their back room/restaurant area. Further aft, still in the bar area, were a couple of standard restaurant tables, but with chairs upholstered with a neon lime-green, not encountered since MKE. The long, exposed brick wall along Hicks was fronted by, from fore to aft, a round table with swiveling chairs; a few standard tables with more garish chairs; and finally, several high tables and chairs. On the wall was their gorgeous wood and color chalk blackboard, listing their "On Draught" selections. A huge TV, as well as a satellite jukebox sat in the back right corner. The front of the restaurant area had a series of windows overlooking Mifflin with booths along the left wall, followed by standard tables and chairs, and finally, the kitchen. The kitchen was especially important to me, since I not only had the Greek Omelet, but their head chef splits his time here with Bridgewaters. A small world...
Beers: My visit - 2 Stoudt's; 2 Troegs; 2 Blue Point and one each of Old Rasputin, Sly Fox; River Horse; Smutty; plus the cask of Blue Point.
12-08-2009 10:02:56 | More by woodychandler
4.28/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I had originally planned to go to the South Philadelphia Tap Room for the selection of beer (obviously). When a short list of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts was found printed on the other side of the bottle list I figured it was typical bar food. Ends up everything is actually amazing and most of the food that was served complimented just about any beer. Great service, outdoor seating, a long mind-boggling list of imports, and a short list of exclusive draughts, and the Tap Room quickly climbed my personal charts.
One note for the Haand Norwegian Wood that I ordered. Brew date was November 2007. Drink by was November 2009. The bottle was ordered in October of 2009. Try to check your dates before opening bottles or even go as far as asking when the shipment was obtained. This beer was in perfect condition, and still fresh, but it was dated a little close.
EDIT: I returned twice since my first visit, all about a year apart from each other. I didn't order food these last two visits, but purchased beer. The Tap Room always surprised me with the finds in the back of the bottle refrigerator. Two year old Angel Share Bourbon randomly found. $18/bottle, but whatever. If you're walking by, it's worth a peak and if you're out for date night, it's worth your time.
10-21-2009 16:58:53 | More by RobertColianni
4.7/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I really like SPTR, it is one of my favorite Philly Beer Bars.
The first time I went was for a Founder's Tasting during Philly Beer Week. They had at least 13 if not more taps all devoted to Founder's offerings including KBS, FBS, Backwoods Bastard, Doubel Trouble, Cherise, Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, Curmudgeon, Hand of Doom. Needless to say, we stayed there long enough to have brunch and dinner. Regularly, they will have a couple Founders, Russian Rivers, or Lagunitas, but more local and east coast breweries, which is also nice. They also have an extensive bottle fridge although, there don't ever seem to be prices on anything, you have to ask, which I hate.
The food here is great, I always get the breakfast burger if I can make it in early enough, which is grass-fed beef, a fried egg and bacon on a harty roll. The homemade ketchup and the fries are good as well. They make a ridiculous grilled cheese sandwich with 3 kinds of cheese on garlic texas toast served with homemade tomato-lager soup. I'm sure not everything on the menu is a home-run, but the few things I always get are great.
The service is nice, bartenders offer suggestions. One time, I asked for a beer, but by the time the waitress got the order in the keg kicked and the same thing happened to my second order, so they told me they would give me a Russian River Damnation for free since I had to wait so long for a beer. I didn't ask for this nor was I making a fuss, but staff here are very attentive and want to make you happy.
I would rate this a 2.5 $ if there was an option, a lot of the beers are 5-6, which can add up quickly especially for the stuff that is less alcohol and not as special. But for what you spend, you will have a good time
09-08-2009 13:41:21 | More by Soonami
4.38/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Been here a few times and have been impressed so on to a review. This place has gone far in just a short time since it opened. Located deep in south philly this is a great place to go for beer if your in the neighborhood. Nice looking from the outside, once inside you can tell alot of work went into this place. A semi small bar area with a lot of table seating for small or large groups. Some outside seating also.
The quality is one of the best i've seen in philly. The taps are always clean tasting and the place is very clean and modern. The service is up there to with servers that at least know what's on the beer and food menu and have a good knowledge of beer. Never sat at the actual bar so I cant comment on that.
A limited but well thought out selection of food that I feel would appeal to a lot of people. I had some type of tacos plus some head cheese which was off the chain and some wings that were not all that. The portions are on the small side though.
The tap selection is also not that huge but is put together well with varying styles and brewery's. I had the pleasure of having Canadian Breakfast Stout and a few other gems. Again the serving sizes seemed small for some offerings. A bottle selection as well with good choices but be prepared to drop the ducket's. SPTR is a bit pricey but hey were in Philly and you get what you pay for, and the SPTR brings it in terms of quality.
05-24-2009 21:28:28 | More by BARFLYB
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by during their Founder's event during Philly beer week.
The SPTR is an interesting, almost hole in the wall beer bar located right on Mifflen street in what looks like a blue collar south philly neighborhood. As you walk in the front door, there is a fairly long bar running along the left side of the beer bar. There are also a few tables and chairs scattered about, with a slightly larger area up a small rise to the left above the bar. Still, this is a fairly small establishment, that was just about crowded out the door on the Saturday afternoon I stopped by. The place has a couple of TV's over the bar, and there is a lot of wood everywhere you look. I'm thinking on most "normal" days this is a good place to hang out, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of craft brew. Not today, however.
As for quality, what can I say? They had 13 Founders beers on tap, which included the KBS, Hand of Doom, Curmudgeon and Backwoods Bastarnd. In other words, with a line-up like that, I'm not sure how quality could have been much higher.
As for service, I initially was going to give the place a straight average score. The waitstaff and bartender were working their butts off, but the fact is that there was close to 50 people trying to get service at the bar, with just a single bartender most of the time. She did a competent enough job, but the fact is that she was in the weeds most of the time I was there. Waits for a beer were up to 15 minutes long, despite her best efforts. I blame the owner for much of the problem, as the bartender was clearly doing her best. However, the fact remains that service was just not very good on this particular day, at least most of the time I was there.
As for prices, they were pretty fair I thought. The really rare stuff was expesive of course (KBS was $9 a six ounce glass, and hand of doom was $6 for the same size), but otherwise everything was $5 for a 12 ounce pour. All things considered, I thought prices were pretty fair.
In any event, this is yet another very solid beer bar in Philly. Hopefuly I can stop by again some time when the place isn't mobbed. Still, I thought the slow service and huge crowd were a small price to pay for the incredible selection here today. So all things considered, I would still call this is very good place.
03-14-2009 23:49:12 | More by John_M
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I've ventured down here 3 times now and this place is really growing on me.
There is a small amount of sidewalk seating along the front and side of the building. The main entrance opens into a tight room with a 15 person (or so) bar along the left and a cozy table and chairs on the right. The whole right wall is a line of various kinds of tables, including one rathe comfy looking one right near the door. The interior is primarily of brick and gives a real homey feeling. Just past the bar, stands a small but action packed cooler. Beyond the cooler on the left, are 3-4 stairs that lead up to a second level dining area. All in all not a huge place and the bar can get rather packed. Luckily the waitstaff are on their game.
Always a rotating tap selection of 10-12 beers. They have a chalkboard hanging directly across from the bar listing all tap beers. Last time I was there, they had 3-4 offerings from Arcadia (it was an Arcadia event), Obamagang, RR Damnation and Pliny the Elder, Bear Republic Apex IPA and a few other tasty treats on tap. I have never seen a bottle list, but that's not really a big deal since you can walk right up and check out the cooler.
In addition to the Obamagang and Pliny, I had an Arcadia HopMouth (firkin) and split a bottle of Old Viscosity with my two friends. The only issue I have with this place is that their cooler is a little too cold.
As far as the food goes, the mac and cheese is dynamite, the hummus plate rocks and the roast pork sandwich is solid.
Quickly becoming one of my favorite bars in the area.
03-09-2009 19:53:01 | More by ColForbinBC
3.5/5 rDev -19.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Hit up the SPTR after a Flyers game... Perfect place to gather for a couple pints and some bar grub.
Decent tap selection, locally based, but some interesting regionals, and international flavors, and a solid bottle selection. Unfortunately, prices on some of the bottles bordered on the absurd. I casually asked about Hopslam, thinking about my depleted stock and home, and the bartender apologetically told me they were $8 a bottle! Thanks, I'll pass.
For about 11 or 11:30pm, the place was packed although we found two bar seats right at the corner of the bar by the front door. Bartender seemed friendly and in control of the thirsty crowd. He didn't have time to talk much with us, nor did he comment or offer suggestions when we ordered, but he made sure our beer arrived promptly with the correct, clean glassware.
Food was very good! A friend and I split some very tender calamari and a chicken quesadilla. Both were better than your average bar fare.
Music was loud and there wasn't much elbow room to be had, but this is still a classic Philadelphia neighborhood bar. It'll be a regular south philly stop...
02-18-2009 21:04:23 | More by bwd110
3.95/5 rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable, pouring us a few samples before we decided on a pint...I had the Riverhorse Oatmeal Milk Stout, Amy had a Pliny the Elder Double IPA. Beer selection was good and focused primarily on the local breweries, it looks like there are about 12 taps here, and a small but decent bottle selection.
The food was good - Amy had the eggplant parmigiana and I enjoyed a rustic sandwich. We shared a Mediterranean plate.
The atmosphere was very corner bar, with an elevated / second floor seating area with tables and a long bar on the lower level. The music was searingly loud, especially considering the small crowd.
There are some good happy hour specials to be had - no complaints about getting a cheap pint of a good beer - that's for sure.
Between SPTR and the Devils Den, its nice to see some good beer bars making their way into South Philly.
01-16-2009 21:52:34 | More by ImHereForTheBeer
4.33/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place has come a long way in the last year and it is now a destination that will get me to trek down to South Philly. The atmosphere is dark Old Philadelphia bar-room, which used to be rather claustrophobic, but they have expanded into the neighboring building and opened up the bar area into the new dining room. That change has made a huge difference in the atmosphere.
The food is simple but reliable. The fish & chips are delicious, the burger is tasty, the grilled cheese and soup plate has possessed my wife's mind. The macaroni and cheese is among the best I have tasted in restaurants.
The beer list isn't vast, but its colorful and well thought out. They always have an interesting selection of locals on tap - Troegs, Yards, Victory and the like - with at least a couple of unusual choices from farther afield, like Rock Art, Founders, and Russian River.
This is an excellent choice for a good meal and a well-chosen beer.
12-10-2008 14:39:33 | More by Seanibus
4/5 rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
A surprisingly good beer bar in South Philly. Recently they have extended and built a new dining room with nice art work. The menu has also ben overhauled predominatly featuring exotic meats. While I admit that the quality of their food has improved, I miss being able to order a simple pulled pork sandwich with fries. They have removed lion from their menu recently because of public outcry. The SPTR along with the Devil's Den have the best happy hour with half price drafts from 4-6 M-F. They have a nice selection of draft and bottled beer with the focus being primarily on American Craft. This was the first place I ever hap Bells Hopslam. Alays a nice selcton with decent service and good food.
11-26-2008 08:03:56 | More by corby112
South Philadelphia Tap Room in Philadelphia, PA
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.