Updated: Dec 11, 2022
The fun and festive Midtown Village neighborhood is packed with restaurants, bars, and seasonal activities, all within walking distance of each other. Consider it Philadelphia’s holiday epicenter, rife with time-honored tradition, bright lights, and holly jolly ambiance.
Tinsel is an absolute must-see pop-up holiday bar featuring incredibly intricate decor. Every square inch of this space is covered in colorful lights, blankets of snow, wrapping paper, ribbons, and wreaths. Sidle up next to Santa and his elves, a faux fireplace, and probably even a partridge in a pear tree, with that warm buzzy, I mean, fuzzy feeling. The inventive cocktails have cutesy names like Canned Good and Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins, and are served in keepsake glassware. Peppermint, coffee, marshmallow, cocoa, cinnamon, caramel apple, hazelnut, vanilla, gingerbread, cranberry, maple, rosemary: every wintry flavor is present and accounted for here. Now that you’re in the holiday spirit, you can jingle all the way down 13th Street to your next destination.
Hidden from the street, down an alley, and nestled behind its parent property, Sampan, you’ll find an open air patio bar ensconced in spray painted murals, aptly named Graffiti Bar. This secret garden of sorts has an intimate, trendy feel. Heat lamps and potent drinks like the Kantoi Road, made with tequila, tamarind, citrus, and charred chili, and Hashi Old Fashioned, a smoked caramel apple twist on the classic, will keep you warm and cozy, regardless of the forecast.
Keep the celebration going across the street at El Vez, with its upscale Mexican menu in a party atmosphere. Your guests will enjoy the variety of shareable appetizers: Bazooka Limon guacamole with goat cheese and pistachio, sweet corn and poblano empanadas, queso fundido con carne, black bean tlayuda (a crispy corn flatbread), and, of course, chips and salsa. Most of the cocktails are tequila based, and all are innovative and refreshing. Margaritas are the obvious choice here, with the Pink Cadillac, El Vez, Lavender-Honey Jalapeno, and Pineapple Canela being the standouts. High quality ingredients elevate the chicken and carnitas tacos past your standard Mexican fare. We also recommend the short rib enchiladas, prepared with a chocolate mole sauce. Be sure to check out the old school photo booth with your group to capture this occasion indefinitely.
After dinner, watch the spectacular Deck the Hall Holiday light show at Dilworth Park. At the top of the hour from 5:00pm to 9:00pm, you can catch the dazzling projections illuminating historic City Hall. There are many other holiday attractions to check out in this vicinity, including the Rothman Orthopaedics ice rink and cabin, as well as the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. Of course, no holiday visit to Philadelphia would be complete without a stop at Macy’s to see the awe inspiring window displays and to rattle off your wishlist to Santa. We hope all of your holiday and birthday wishes come true and this night is one to remember.
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Please remember to drink and play responsibly.