From left: The fish tacos are a favorite at Campbell’s Place, as is the cozy interior.
This 100-plus-year-old bar is now a historic-meets-edgy haunt. The narrow, brick-lined space is defined by its leather-studded booths and antique mahogany bar. You can’t go wrong with any of its variations of the classics. Think: Sidebar, Dark ’n’ Stormy and Negroni.
What to drink: A Bulleit Sazerac. 8337 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, (215) 242-1818, www.campbellsplace.com.
Honorable mention: McNally’s Tavern, 8634 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, (215) 247-9736, www.mcnallystavern.com.
The Whip Tavern
This authentic English pub, hidden away in the Chester County country-side, has a wonderful patio, a robust Eurocentric brew list, and hard-cider offerings from here and abroad. You can bring other libations-—but why bother?
What to drink: Thatchers Green Goblin Oak Aged Cider. 1383 N. Chatham Road, Coatesville, (610) 383-0600, www.thewhiptavern.com.
Honorable mention: Mr. E’s Tavern, 313 W. Kings Highway, Coatesville, (610) 384-4356, www.mrestavern.biz.
Isabella’s thought-provoking, garden-sourced drink recipes are the perfect match for its colorful, contemporary atmosphere and tapas-style dining. House-made offerings like cucumber-infused Tanqueray and jalapeño-infused Milagro share top billing with key-lime- pie martinis and other clever creations.
What to drink: A strawberry-basil martini. 382 E. Elm St., Conshohocken, (484) 532-7470, www.barisabella.com.
Honorable mention: The StoneRose, 822 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (484) 532-7300, www.thestoneroserestaurant.com.
This cozy spot brings a low-key hip quotient to Downingtown’s budding town center. It offers an exceptional whiskey selection and an impressive tap-and-bottle list, plus a tasty, affordable menu and a craft-beer inventory that changes often.
What to drink: WhistlePig’s Boss Hog, a 12-year-old single-barrel rye, served neat. 207 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 593-0560, www.stationtaproom.com.
Honorable mention: Victory Brewing Company, 420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown, (610) 873-0881, www.victorybeer.com.
The Old Guard House Inn
The martinis are sharp and cold, the wine list is petite yet refined, and the bartenders never forget your name. With its devotion to classic cocktails—and repeat pours of cognac—this rustically genteel 18th-century landmark is a true throwback to the old Main Line.
What to drink: Rosé sangria. 953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, (610) 649-9708,
Honorable mention: Is there another place worth mentioning in Gladwyne?
This super-friendly beer-and-shot joint aims to please with its ample mahogany bar, chalkboard beer list, and thoughtful spirits menu. A great place to catch a game-—any game. What to drink: A shot of Fireball Whisky, chased with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. 2225 E. Darby Road, Havertown, (610) 449-4200, www.thecrossbarhavertown.com.
Honorable mention: Roache & O’Brien’s, 560 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 527-6308.
Two Stones Pub
The first Pennsylvania outpost of this burgeoning Delaware chain has earned raves for its stellar craft-beer list and excellent, seasonal gastropub fare. Less has been said about its killer cocktails, which incorporate fresh herbs and fruits. What to drink: An Incognito. 843 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, (610) 444-3940, www.twostonespub.com.
Honorable mention: Half Moon Restaurant & Saloon, 108 W. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-7232, www.halfmoonrestaurant.com.
The Flying Pig Saloon
It’s no-frills done right at the Pig—in the form of a fantastic beer selection that features hundreds of brews from around the world. The hearty sandwiches make this most treasured of neighborhood institutions a lunchtime favorite.
What to drink: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. 121 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 578-9208.
Honorable mention: The Office Bar and Grille, 1021 Morehall Road, Malvern, (484) 318-7806, www.theofficebarandgrille.com.
Derek’s is home to one of the area’s best wine lists. Or set your sights on one of the “candy” cocktails, made from vodka infused with Skittles, Nerds and more. Other noteworthy ingredients include crème de cassis, house-made grapefruit bitters, and Fernet-Branca.
What to drink: A Bijou. 4411 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 483-9400, www.dereksrestaurant.com.
Honorable mention: East End Tavern, 4001 Cresson St., Manayunk, (215) 482-4944.
Diego’s Cantina & Tequila Bar
Forty-plus tequilas make Diego’s a must for margarita lovers. Or try an Old-Fashioned made with mescal. The wine list favors South American reds and whites, and standout bar bites include chorizo tacos with onions and cilantro (just $2 during happy hour).
What to drink: A margarita with jalapeño and fresh-squeezed lime. 214 W. State St., Media, (484) 442-8741, www.diegos-cantina.com.
Honorable mention: Old State Tavern, 38 State Road, Media, (610) 566-9920.
The Greeks Arcadia Chios Tavern
A Narberth standby since 1922, the Greeks has enjoyed sustained success by keeping up with its discerning patrons’ changing tastes. It currently boasts 18 rotating craft beers on tap and over 950 bottles. Fill a growler, or grab a six-pack to-go.
What to drink: Founders Brewing Co.’s Rübæus. 239 Haverford Ave., Narberth, (610) 664-8655, www.thegreekstavern.com.
Honorable mention: Pub of Penn Valley, 863 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, (610) 664-1901, www.pubofpennvalley.com.
TJ’s Restaurant & Drinkery
One of the first spots in the area to fully embrace the beer-obsessed gastropub dictate, TJ’s maxes out at an impressive 26 taps and 100-plus bottles—many of them hard to find. The cider, Scotch, bourbon and wine lists are also strong.
What to drink: Laphroaig Quarter Cask Whisky—neat. 35 Paoli Plaza, Paoli, (610) 725-0100, www.tjseveryday.com.
Honorable mention: Redhound Grille, 128 Paoli Pike, Paoli, (484) 318-8047, www.redhoundgrille.com.
A beer at Molly Maguire’s is a must when in Phoenixville, as are its authentic fish-and-chips.
Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
They take Irish seriously here, right down to the bar itself, which was imported from the ould sod. The friendly staff is always ready to help you choose from among any number of beers, whiskeys or Emerald Isle specialties.
What to drink: Baileys Irish Cream on the rocks. 197 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 933-9550, www.mollymaguiresphoenixville.com.
Honorable mention: Sips Bistro & Bar, 400 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (484) 924-9721, www.sipsphoenixville.com.
With more than 1,200 bottles in its wine cellar and an on-site sommelier, it’s no wonder Bar Savona was honored with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. A sophisticated yet approachable menu ensures spectacular pairings.
What to drink: A glass (or bottle) of Ramey 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pedregal Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley. 100 Old Gulph Road, Gulph Mills, (610) 520-1200, www.barsavona.com.
Honorable mention: 333 Belrose Bar & Grill, 333 Belrose Lane, Radnor, (610) 293-1000, www.333belrose.com.
Teresa’s Next Door
One of the area’s first and best gastropubs, Teresa’s is always crowded, which says a lot about the food, the service and the beer selection. The cocktails pack an intelligent punch, too. Even when it’s three deep at the bar (which is often), you’ll be sipping a fresh, new discovery in no time.
What to drink: A Bulldog Gin Negroni. 124 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 293-9909, www.teresas-cafe.com.
Honorable mention: White Dog Cafe, 200 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 225-3700, www.whitedog.com/wayne.
Side Bar & Restaurant
With its rock-solid regular menu, imaginative specials, well-researched beer list, and inspired cocktails, Side Bar has fast become the best all-around watering hole in a town filled with them.
What to drink: An Orange Jewel. 10 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 429-8297, www.sidebarandrestaurant.com.
Honorable mention: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 3 W. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 738-9600, www.ironhillbrewery.com.