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Khyber Pass Pub

Not Rated.
Khyber Pass PubKhyber Pass Pub
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

65 Ratings
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.2%
Taps: 22
Bottles: 71
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

56 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106-2810
United States
phone: (215) 238-5888

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @khyberpasspub

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: NeroFiddled)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

oglmcdgl, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

hoppymcgee, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of seanchai
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

seanchai, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

SpAiReArGsEonNE, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of SudsTerkel
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%

I was in Philly on biz and found myself in Penn Landing neighborhood on a Tuesday night, intending to go to Trinity which I discovered was closed on that evening. [By way of commentary, that's mighty pricey real estate to allow to lie fallow but I suspect they have their reasons for doing so.] Going around the corner to 2nd St., I spotted the beer signs in Khyber Pass Pub's windows and headed over.

It has a small bar area with a adjacent separate dining room. I headed over to the dining room and checked out the beer list and menu. KPP has a very deep and well thought out beer list of about 25 offerings. I always try to have beers from the local area so I ordered a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Easton which was very satisfying, along with a Philadelphia Brewing's "Kenzinger," finishing up with a Wells Bombardier ESB on cask, which though lacking local origins, I couldn't pass up.

The service was good & efficient; I also had a bowl of their Jambalaya which was generous and satisfying. The staff know their offerings and are well prepared to make recommendations to their patrons.

One thing I'd offer to management: both the dining room and the bar are too dark; I could hardly read the beer list and the menu. Also - a matter of personal preference - the music was too loud. It wasn't a big deal as I was by myself but if I was trying to carry on a conversation with somebody, it would have been challenged.

Overall, a solid establishment deserving your attention and I'll have to hit Trinity the next time.

SudsTerkel, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of GeoffreyM
4/5  rDev -3.1%

GeoffreyM, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%

A nice little spot located near Penn's Landing. A few seconds away from Eulogy and Triumph, this is a good place to stop into. Its kind of small and dimly lit, with plenty of beer paraphernalia all over the place. The bartender who served me was incredibly friendly and very attentive. They have a good selection of beers from local stuff to imports to weird brews. The food is also something to try as they have a nice handwritten chalkboard menu with mostly artisanal and original selections. I had pork fat Cajun seasoned popcorn and a shrimp/oyster po'boy with a side of gravy smothered cheese fries. They also take part in beer events. Check this bar out sometime.

BeerForMuscle, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of Giantspace
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%

WOW...I have not been here in years. Last time was when they still had shows about 12 years ago. I really liked the old dumpy place with horrible bathrooms and good cheap beer. Oh well , things change. Still have the jukebox but not sure whats in it as I did not look. Music that I heard was good though.

A..A bit too loud to sit and hang out and a bit dark. Sat in the "band" room not at the bar. Cant comment on how the bar is but happy to say its the same bar that has been here for ever. This place needs to put some sound deadening material up.

Q..Pretty good quality on the food and the beer side. No complaints

S..Pretty poor. Our waitress could give a shit about us. Worst part was that there were only a few tables sitting. Cant imagine how poor it would be if it was busy. Maybe we get a better server next time.

S..Very nice beer selection. I counted 22 beers on the tap list. Did not notice if there was a bottle list. Back in the day the bottle list was great and well ahead of its time for back in the 1980's. Good selection of locals and out of state beers. I also like that the list gives you the price, glass size and ABV. I wish every bar would do this. I saw Clown shoes, Founders, Brooklyn( a few types), Yards, Philadelphia Brewing, Bruery, Boulder, Deschutes, Stoutds, Stillwater, Duclaw, Duvel, Petrus, and a few others.

F..food is mostly cajun and BBQ. LOTS of vegan and veggie options. We were all happy with our food, veggie and meat. $10 for a nice sandwich and side was much less than what I was expecting. There is a board with specials as well as the menu.

V..I would go back. Beers were $5.5-7 for tulips and pints. I think Kenzinger was $4.50 a pint. Food was priced well for what it was and where we were.

There are many other options in the area and even more if you want to walk a little bit. If you have never been here go check it out.

Giantspace, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of rikatine
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%

We have been to Khyber Pass 3 times now. Great atmosphere, lighting, friendly and attentive service, and great tap list. We stopped in on a tour of the city, and really enjoyed ourselves. On our first visit we did not have a meal here, we liked it enough to return on a future visit. The place felt very cozy and welcoming. We did order the duck fat popcorn, and the bacon fat popcorn to go with our beers, and it was sooo good. The tap list here was very good as well.

On our next visit we sat in the "dining room" area and ate dinner. The experience here was not as good. Our waitress didn't know the tap list, and told me the beer I wanted was not on. My husband got up and got me one from the bar.

The next day we returned for their Hop Scotch event, sat at the bar, and again had a great time. The gumbo is awesome. We will return, but probably not for the dining room.

rikatine, May 09, 2013
Photo of danman0125
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%

Very nice place.

I was in Philly for 2 nights staying at Comfort Inn in Penns Landing / Old City area.... this place was just a 10 to 15 minute walk from my hotel.... went here on way to go to Eulogy belgian tavern and then get some Indian Food at Karma in old city.

Had 3 beers (forget which). Extensive selection of beers on draft.... probably about 20 or so.... it seems like the bartenders print up a new menu as soon as something new is tapped and then pass out a few copies along the bar.

Seems like there is also a rather extensive selection of bourbons, whiskeys, scotches, even bitters for people to select from.... I hear one of the regular bartenders makes a wicked 'Old Fashioned' cocktail.

food smelled good. Service was excellent (at bar at least... which is where I sat).

Prices are average to reasonable (for eating in a big city).... most drafts were in $5.50 area.

Nice atmosphere. long bar seating 20 to 30 and then a dine-in area as well. Happy hour also offered I think (I forget what the happy hour specials were... I wasn't there during that time period).

Make sure you stop in if you are ever in the old city / Penns Landing / Second Street area of Philadelphia.... have a beer or two... maybe a whiskey... get a little bit of food and relax.... you won't regret it I assure you.

danman0125, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%

Atmosphere retains a slight amount of the grittiness of its past. Dimly lit, well aged dark hand crafted wood bar is the centerpiece of the room with a mish-mash of beer logo adorned signs and flags on the beat up walls. Beers available on draught hang above the bar on individual pieces of slate with the name written in white chalk. Dinning room ajacent to the main bar in a sparsely decotrated, again dark room.

Nice selection of 25+ drafts, solid mix of local and domestic craft and Belgian beers, could use some solid non-Belgian imports thrown in. Bottle list is available, with a focus on Belgians and domestic craft. Nice list of events, with something fun going on on almost a twice a month basis.

Food menu is outstanding. Southern fare with a good mix of cajun, creole and BBQ. The Po Boys and Muffaletta were some of the best outside of New Orleans, the BBQ was fantastically juicy and flavorful without being overly charred or smoked. Fantastic rotation of specials for sandwiches and sides.

Fantastic reinvention of a bar which maintains character but expands on the beer and takes it to a whole new level with the food.

rfgetz, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of reymic
5/5  rDev +21.1%

HOLY MOLY - the Khyber Pass Pub is hands down my favorite beer bar in the city of Philadelphia. I used to frequent the old Khyber on a weekly basis, and there will always be a special place in my heart for that live music venue.

However, the new Khyber Pass Pub has blown me away. First, the draft beer selection is killer. I've consumed some heavy hitters there recently in the past few months: Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Elder, Ballast Point Sculpin on cask - dry hopped with Amarillo/Citra hops, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, etc. Been to a few events here and they were all really awesome and impressive (i.e. Tsarpower - all taps were Russian Imperial Stouts, Philly Beer Week events with Ballast Point, etc).

The food is southern style, New Orleans based. All I can say is - BACON GREASE POPCORN. And the gumbo is the real deal. Same with the pulled pork sandwich. I could go on and on about the food, it's top notch.

As much as I miss the old Khyber, I can say without a doubt, this is the best craft beer bar in town.

reymic, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of chcfan
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%

I never went to the old Khyber, so I can't compare the two. I can say that it is another in a long line of great Philadelphia beer bars. I say the more the merrier.

They have an extensive list of around 30 beers on tap. The list was heavy on American craft with a few good imports. I had a Flanders Red that I had never heard of before. The bartenders were very attentive.

Their NC pulled pork sandwich is very good and my friend said his Po Boy was also very strong.

The only real knock I have on this place (I took it out of the atmosphere score - I may will probably go back in winter to see if they have the opposite problem and possibly write a separate review) is that it was hot as balls in there. Granted, we were there in July, but it was a pretty temperate evening and felt hotter inside than out. It seems as if they either don't have AC, or what they have doesn't work really well. We actually left to go somewhere else for more beers because of this. I couldn't imagine seeing a show in those conditions.

chcfan, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
2.71/5  rDev -34.4%

They've ruined the Khyber.

Yes, they now specialize in serving craft beer and microbrews, but they used to do that anyway. Now they serve food. Ok fine. The Khyber used to be a great small venue for underground music acts, and now there aren't live shows anymore. They now focus on being a beer bar, but #1 - again, they already served a fine amount of local brews, and #2 - Eulogy is right across the street, as is Triumph and the Croc Bar, with the Irish Pol not too far away. Do we REALLY need another competing bar right in Olde City? I do not approve.

Rifugium, May 04, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

Wow, what a remake! The city's "grittiest" rock club cleaned up (but not too much) and with usable bathrooms. Who'd a thunk it?

I had not been to the old Khyber in probably 20 years, but as best I knew it was still a scary dump, albeit with good beer. The initial concept for the remake was as an izikaya; I am happy to say they ditched that and went for cajun food and great craft beer.

We grabbed a couple of seats at the bar early on a Saturday afternoon. Great welcoming vibe. The Khyber has had a few layers of grit scraped off but has not been scrubbed to a shiny white. A few layers of grime remain.

The beer lineup was heavy on RIS as that was the theme for the day (with cool "Tsar Power" t-shirts for only $7; awesome). All great choices from locals like Dock Street Prince Myshkin's to the first 2011 tapping of KBS. We could have stayed all day, but for the need to make it home without passing out.

Food was quite delicious. Bacon grease popcorn with cajun spices made for a delicious appetizer (served in a brown bag so you could see the grease spots develop), followed by a chicken poboy which was also quite tasty (grilled chicken is not, of course, the recommended protein for a poboy; will check back in 40 pounds for a proper poboy with debris, just like they serve in Nola).

Service was prompt and friendly. We loved this place and will visit again soon.

sholland119, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%

It's been a real long time since I've been here and realize it's within walking distance from Eulogy. This was for their grand reopening event recently. I met the owner at Monk's and he's good people.

Old City, Khyber is split between a bar area and a seating area, left and right. The bar area is large but it was crowded as hell in there. Either way the bar seats about 15 people or so and wraps around. Alot of beer signs on the wall and a nice Rodenbach banner. I likes it. Kinda dark, not to trendy, not the cleanest spot but faar from dirty. The eating area was nice though and a bit brighter. Very nice bathroom, dark, clean.

Quality is up there, about 20 taps or so plus two pumps. Some nice proper glassware and even Rodenbach glasses, these people must love their roadies down there. Clean glasses, even on a insanely busy night. I had no problem getting drinks although there were like 5 bartenders on, no time to chit chat.

They had a great selection on, I was double fisting sculpin and pliny like nobodys buisness. Also had some curieux and Yards Bourbon Barrel porter, in a Weyerbacher tulip glass. The rest of the list was superb to and the prices were not so bad considering it's old city here. (im talking about the regular menu prices here, not the grand opening party prices, which was a knockout) I think this place has something like 70 or so bottles to choose from. Food was also served but I'll grab it next time. I heard this place changed alot over the years and I like it where it is at now.

BARFLYB, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of shylady
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%

I kind of felt silly because I went too early to get my day load on. I'm going to have to go again and drink beer. Alot of it. I have my work cut out for me... there is a dizzying array of brew.

What I did experience was some amazing bar-b-cue. The vinegary Carolina pulled pork was mouth-watering. Made me want beer. The staff was friendly and efficient. Much more approachable then at the last show I attended at the Khyber.

I'll definitely go back soon (next week) to drink cause it's all about the beer after all.

shylady, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of corby112
3.49/5  rDev -15.5%

This one of my favorite places to drink in the douchey section of Olde City. Usually the bars here are rope off with jocks waiting in line for half a block to get in. On one hand this place is cool because it's laid back, they serve a very good variety of local craft, and awesome indie music, especially live acts but on the other hand it's often filled with pretentious asshole hipsters who only drink PBR.

The service is the same as any other small bar/club that has live acts. This means that there is no interaction, just them serving the next person waving a bill in front of them. They are usually quick to fill your glass but not over friendly, talkative or knowledgeable.

The selection isn't really that great either. They have PBR for the hipsters as well as a decent selection of regional craft that you can get anywhere else.

This is a really cool place to see shows and probably the best place in Old City for beer, except Eulogy. Go for the music and enjoy some decent craft while there.

corby112, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of longdivision
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

Tucked in the heart of Olde City, The Khyber is a beacon for Philly of what a good beer bar should be.

Cozy, worn, and dimly lit, the typical popped-collar crowds that monopolize weekends in Olde City are are often diverted from entering. The draft line-up changes weekly if not more often. Speaking of drafts, The Khyber showcases and favors a lot of PA breweries along with NJ and DE. Yet, they also have no problem offering other beers from other great breweries.

The Bartenders know their beer! Very knowledgeable, friendly, and aim to help you find a new beer that fits your tastes and preferences.

The recently added food menu is tasty and affordable. You wouldn't expect the food to be as good as it is.

Happy Hour is great and allows you to try new, or your favorite, beers for a great price ($2 off all drafts).

Great jukebox selection, on a Friday night I can expect to hear a good variety consisting of NWA and the Smiths.
Some great bands come through too, so check the calendars! There are also beer events from time to time that are creative and worth checking out.

One of my favorite bars in the area.

longdivision, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of mltobin
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%

Located conveniently close to the River Link ferry and Penn`s Landing is the Khyber Pub. This is a dive bar with a great happy hour special and a good range of beers. You will see a crowd with bike messengers, music fans, the young and the old. They carry beer From bottles of Yuengling to a couple nice belgian bottles and some local PA craft beers on tap from Yards and others. Service is very good, bartenders manage to keep up well with a loud and thirsty crowd. A great spot to have a couple inexpensive pints/bottles of American beer.

mltobin, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of jsanto
4.13/5  rDev 0%

a - like a gringhy old beer bar. nothing special, but ok.

q - very good, if not better than average selection.

s - it was there. but it was not crowded on a friday afternoon.

s - from good quality, to a few i never heard of for a better than expected selection. i will take it. and go back for sure.

f - now this was good. i had the berger, that i thought was better than the last one i had at a place that i spendt twice as much for.

v - this was not happy hour, but i will go back again. it was better than average.

jsanto, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of gdfan47
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%

go to this place if you really wanna see a band there

located in olde city parking is rough....

it is also half a block from eulogy and triumph... so ... there are other places to go

the bartenders are usually friendly, they have an older hipster door guy who is flat out rude

the beer selection is pretty good, have some really cool domestics on draft , stuff like allagash, dfh, yards.. the draft list changes alot and they have a small bottle list

the grimiest batrhoom will you will find in the city
the rest of the bar feels like it hasnt been swept or cleaned since Rico Suave was tearing up the charts..

its one of the cheaper places to drink ,you can get pbr for dirt cheap

but its just really hard to go here with such other great beer bars less than a block away

gdfan47, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Foxman
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%

To call the Khyber an icon in the Philly music scene would be a gross understatement. From Jeffrey Gaines to The Butthole Surfers to The Dead Milkmen to 70,000 Tools, somebodies and nobodies have been playing here for decades. And way back when into the 80's, this place was known for its extensive and ecclectic beer selection, though at that time it was mostly imports. As American beer has blossomed, so has the selection here. But I get ahead of myself.

Step from the street into the glass-fronted building and you've come hip deep into the Philadelphia version of a grunge/punk/ska/hipster hangout. It's dark, it's gritty, and the edge in the air is punctuated and honed by the high-decibel music clamoring in from the stage to the right of the bar room. Most nights, since all bands have fans, it's elbow-to-elbow, but when the bands are playing, the area by the bar thins a a bit. But the bottom line is, for what it wants to be, the Khyber is spot-on, and if you don't feel comfortable here, chances are you wandered into the wrong place. The bar is crafted wood and mirror, a classic in its own right, and the restrooms are as clean as you could expect from an establishment that caters to such a wide ranging cast of crazies. The back bar is a treat to behold, with its history intact, and the jukebox is dense and far-reaching. And with the smoke gone, it's more fun than ever.

The beer is cold, and sure, sometimes too cold, but the glasses are clean, and nobody could care less whether you drink from the bottle or the glass. It's all good, and refreshing considering too many music venues are dedicated to pushing macros.

Service is strong. Bartenders have always been friendly, at least, and they make you feel like your order matters to them. The only issue I've ever run into is they're not always so patient when the music is loud and they can't get your order from you as timely as they would like. But with the crowd hovering at the bar, you realize soon that you need to make yourself heard.

The selection is damned good as well. Many, many imports, from England to Germany to Belgium, line the coolers behind the bar, and they were the mainstay for years. Now, though, domestic, and especially local, craft brew is the strength. Yards is ubiquitous, but also coming through you could find Victory, Weyerbacher, Stoudts, Troegs, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, and Sly Fox. There are 7 or 8 taps, which I never counted, but that's my impression, and plenty of bottled selections as well. Simply, finding something to enjoyable wet your whistle is an effortless task here.

Food? Yes, they have it, but I've never tried it. In the old days I never seemed to have an appetite here, and now, I eat before I go.

Prices are right in line with about any place in the city that offers this much. You won't go broke.

I actually played here in the 80's and remember drinking Chimay for the first time after our set. So sure, it has a pretty fond place in my heart, but it's not sentimentality that has me giving such a strong review. Rather, it's the fact that this place is dedicated to damned good beer while establishing as strong an identity as any bar in the city. The Earth slipped a bit on its axis when this place closed for a short spell several years ago, but all is again right with the world.

Foxman, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

The entryway was at a slight angle to the street, so as I went in the door, I had to make a left-oblique and the "U"-shaped wooden bar was right there. There were three lamps spaced out over the length of the bar, plus a few chandeliers, but the lighting was dim, at best. The bar ran along the left-hand side with the back bar against the left wall. The back bar was especially notable for its ornate woodwork and lengthy mirrors. Just past the end of the bar was the Men's washroom, which was an experience all its own. Through a couple of doorways to the right was the stage all of the way forward; a couple of tables and chairs in the center; and the engineer's board, all of the way aft. I wanted to give this place the same marks for "Atmosphere" that I gave Delilah's in CHI, but it wasn't quite the same.

Regarding their beer selection, the bottles were not neccesarily focused on craft beer, but every one of the taps were special. It is also especially notable that they were one of Yards' first three accounts.

woodychandler, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of paddyos
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%

I need to start reviewing more and I figured what better way to start than with the Khyber. The old stand by. Yes, it can be crowded for shows as well as loud and yes, it's smokey, but it's meant to be those things. That's part of the Khyber experience. They have a very good bottle selection and an excellent, local tap lineup. Yards, Weyerbacher, Troegs, Stoudts plus a slew of others rotate in and out of the rotation. The tenders are always very attentative and are full of knowledge when it comes to the offerings.
Still can't beat their happy hour of $2 pints of Yards and $1 macros.

paddyos, Sep 15, 2006
Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia, PA
92 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.