Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

There’s nothing better than the thrill of a secret. That’s why there are speakeasies in Philadelphia. It’s one thing simply going to a bar, it’s another going somewhere exclusive.

Imagine traversing a random alleyway in the city and finding a neon sign for a secret bar. There is nothing more thrilling than that. Imagine going into an unsuspecting shop. You open a hidden door, and are transported into a swanky cocktail parlor. That’s the excitement of a speakeasy.

Speakeasies, in case you didn’t know, were super big in the 20s. Prohibition was in full swing, so Americans had to find crafty ways to have their fun. Confidential spots with passwords and undisclosed locations began popping up. You needed to know a guy who knew a guy to get in, or even hear about these places. The fact that it was a secret made the vibes inside even better.

Well, we don’t have a NEED for these establishments anymore. Prohibition has been gone for almost 100 years now. We can drink freely in our favorite bars. But something about exclusivity is so enticing. It’s fun to be the only one in your circle that knows about “this one place.”

So here we have a list of speakeasies in Philadelphia for you. That way you can be the one with the know-how. The coolest person in your friend group. You can take your pals to one of these spots and watch as they marvel at how high-class and trendy you are.

  • The Ranstead Room

    If you want to hit up a place that embodies your mental picture of a speakeasy, head here. There are two exclusive entrances to this place. If you go halfway down a random alleyway on Ranstead street and find the RR logo on a black door, you will be greeted by a hostess. Another way to pop in is to get escorted through the kitchen of El Rey, a casual Mexican restaurant. You will be led directly to the door of the Ranstead Room. There is a limited capacity in there, so you may have to wait a sec.

  • Blind Barber

    On Sansom Street, there is a barber shop that is more than it seems. Head into the storefront marked by a barber pole. You will then be standing in a typical barber shop, tools and chairs and all. Keep walking back to an unmarked door, and simply walk through. Behind it is a 70s-inpsired cocktail bar, complete with an upstairs area and all. The place also serves grilled cheese until 2am, so don’t miss out. Fun fact: by day it literally is a functioning barber shop.

  • Ruba Club

    Here is another bar tucked down a nondescript alleyway in the city. Ruba Club is a late-night place. No, seriously. They are only open after hours, so if you’re still out looking for fun, go here. In classic speakeasy style, there is tons of entertainment going on here. There are even burlesque shows, if you’re feeling spicy.

  • Graffiti Bar

    What is with these places and alleyways? Just kidding, OF COURSE they’re hidden in an alley. That’s like…a quintessential speakeasy cliché. Well Graffiti Bar is anything but cliché. It’s actually an outdoor speakeasy. The spot is covered in gorgeous street art and serves delicious food. It’s attached to Sampan, so you can order the satay and dumplings you love. This place is totally instagramable. The art all over the walls is mesmerizing.

  • 1 Tippling Place

    Okay, so this place really isn’t hidden. 1 Tippling Place goes against speakeasy convention and has a clearly marked entrance on Chestnut. But the speakeasy vibes in there are real. The intimate feel inside is due to the comfy décor all around you. Velvet couches and dark wood will give you the secret vibes you’re looking for, without the stress of having to FIND the dang place. Plus their cocktail list is top notch.

  • The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

    What an unsuspecting name…The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company. They really went in on the whole confidential thing. I mean, the address they give out is literally fake. If you’re struggling, though, The Franklin says you can DM them on Instagram for guidance. They take the Prohibition thing seriously. The bartenders are decked out in suits, hats, mustaches, and all. This one may be tricky to get to, but it sure is worth it one you’re there.

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