Sips and Eats: Philly’s best food and drink picks for Jan. 1-5

Art in the Age

This Week in Cocktails: National Bloody Mary Day

Not only is January 1 the dawn of the 2020s, but New Year’s Day is also National Bloody Mary Day. Check out these stellar renditions of America’s favorite hangover antidote and most everyone’s preferred brunch-time elixir at these Philly locations.

(Red Owl Tavern)

Devil’s Den: Devil’s Den, Philadelphia’s best craft beer rocks a double-sided wood-burning fireplace, so where better to start 2020 than listening to the crackling fire while sipping on one of Devil’s Den’s brunch bloodies for just $4 or $8 for a large version. Brunch will be served 10:30 – 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day and additional Bloody Mary varieties include Tequila Bloody, BBQ Bloody Mary and of course a Stout Bloody. All served with optional salt rim and bacon garnish.

Franky Bradley’s: Franky Bradley’s, Philly visionary Mark Bee’s Franky Bradley’s is just one short block east from the Mummer’s Parade on Broad. New Year’s Day revelers will want to escape the fray and drop in for the city’s most baller bloody  — The Bloody Brawler — made with Smirnoff Vodka, house-made bloody mix, pepperoni, bacon lardon, prosciutto-wrapped olive, pepperoncini peppers and smoked onion skewer, garlic toast garnish. $12.  Fun fact: FB’s The Bloody Brawler pays homage to the original Frankie Bradley’s — Frank Bloch, a former boxer who opened the original Frankie’s with his winnings.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern, Just across the street from Independence Mall, Red Owl Tavern is rolling into 2020 with an over-the-top Bloody Mary featuring house-made candied bacon, vodka, and Red Owl’s spicy bloody mix. $13 includes the glass in which it is served.

Royal Boucherie: Royal Boucherie, Chef Nicholas Elmi’s French-inspired American brasserie in Old City offers two bloodies, a traditional version for ten bucks and a stepped-up version. Assistant General Manager Ezequiel Rudy’s Royal Bloody is like a meal in a glass and rocks a jumbo shrimp and bacon garnish. $16

Dry January

With the rise of dry and sober months, it’s no wonder many restaurants and bars have added alcohol-free cocktails to their menus. From simple fruit-based mocktails to over-the-top creations with no-AVB spirits, to alcohol-free beers, there’s a sober sipper for everyone to enjoy. This year for Dry January, guests are invited to the below restaurants and bars to indulge in new, refreshing flavors that are fun to order, satisfying to sip on and pretty to look at.

(The Bar by Bluebird Distilling’s Morning Dew and Hare of the Rabbit)

Art in the Age: Art in the Age, is inviting Dry January participants in to enjoy two creative alcohol-free cocktails for the entire month. No-ABV imbibers can sip on the Old Fabrication ($12) made with Bittermilk No.1 Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer, chilled lapsang souchong tea, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Bitter Housewife Old Fashioned Bitters, and Orange Blossom Water Mist and the No-groni ($8) made with Bittermilk N.5 Charred Grapefruit Tonic Syrup, Hibiscus and gentian Infusion, Orange peel ginger tea, seltzer, Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters, Dashfire Bay Leaf Bitters and orange peel expression. Both recipes can be found attached below.

Café Ynez: Café Ynez, the BYOB all-day Mexico City-inspired café, is offering delicious mixers made with fresh fruit and herbs. Guests can choose from a variety of flavorful combinations such as Blackberry Lemon Thyme made with blackberry puree, lemon, and homemade thyme syrup, Blood Orange, or Mango Mint made with orange juice, mango puree and mint syrup. Carafes are $13 and can be enjoyed virgin or with BYO tequila.

The Bar by Bluebird Distilling: The Bar by Bluebird Distilling at The Bourse, located in the main dining area of the historic food hall in Old City, is offering guests two creative alcohol-free cocktails to sip on in January –Morning Dew ($6) made with lime juice, cinnamon simple syrup, mint, and angostura, and Hare of the Rabbit ($6) made with carrot shrub, lemon juice, and demerara.

(Art in the Age’s Old Fabrication)

Rex 1516: Rex 1516, the Southern-inspired restaurant and on South Street, is making the traditional Southern Hummingbird cake in liquid form for your sipping pleasure. Hummingbird Soda ($6) made with Hummingbird Shrub, lemon juice, and simple syrup is a house-made recipe of macerated chopped pineapples and bananas in sugar with vanilla beans, nutmeg, and cloves that rests and yields a concentrated juice that is then strained and fortified.

Royal Boucherie: Royal Boucherie, the American brasserie from dry Chef Nicholas Elmi, has the prim and proper solution to a liquor-free month with the Lavender Bowtie ($6). This Instagramable drink boasts a beautiful purple hue from butterfly pea powder and is made with grapefruit, and soda.

Royal Tavern: Royal Tavern, the recently renovated and re-opened South Philly favorite, offers two zero proof cocktails in addition to an alcohol-free beer. Both zero proof cocktails are $6 and include the Sits Easy made with chamomile tea, coconut nectar, orange and lemon, and the Funky Fresh Kombucha made with gritty turmeric, honey, and ginger. For beer lovers looking to cut back on alcohol, they can sip on Run Wild IPA ($4.50) from Athletic Brewing Company.

Square 1682: Square 1682, the modern-American restaurant and bar in Rittenhouse, is offering the Like a Virgin, a Seedlip mocktail made with Chamomile Infused Seedlip Spice 94 Nonalcoholic Spirit, Fusion Verjus Blanc, raspberry basic syrup, lemon juice, and egg white. Available for $11, this spirited alcohol-free libation will be available for the entire month of January.

The Spotlight of the Week: Vegan Hotspots 

For those making going vegetarian or vegan their New Year’s resolution for 2020 or looking for ways to not only eat healthier but also cut back on personal carbon footprints, this list is for you. Guests at the below restaurants and bars can dig into feel-good meals packed with plants. From vegan comfort food at Khyber Pass Pub, to all-vegan beers at Philadelphia Brewing Company, to multi-cultural vegan bites at The Bourse, it’s obvious that Philadelphia’s restaurant scene offers great alternatives to meat-heavy meals. These hotspots boast delicious vegetarian and vegan options even carnivores would love.

(The Bourse)

The Bourse: The Bourse, Old City’s food hall located across from Independence Mall, offers vegans and vegetarians a fast-casual haven of multi-cultural food choices.

  • Lalo – seasonal vegan Filipino comfort food dishes, including Veggie Lumpia, Vegan Laing, and Vegan Kare
  • Baby’s Buns – The Impossible Burger with Impossible meat, vegan mayo, and lettuce with the option of a brioche bun or lettuce wrap
  • Rebel Taco – customizable tacos, burritos, and nachos
  • Abunai Poke – customizable poke bowls with tofu and toppings
  • TaKorean – customizable tacos, rice bowls, and slaw bowls

Café Ynez: Café Ynez, the all-day Mexico City-inspired café in Point Breeze, offers herbivores a veggie-stuffed burrito, aptly named the Veggie Burrito ($10). Jam-packed with corn, black beans, baby spinach, avocado, quinoa, pico de gallo, garlic, and sautéed shallots, this vegan ode-to-Mexico is wrapped in a fluffy wheat flour tortilla.

Khyber Pass Pub: Khyber Pass Pub, the Southern-inspired restaurant, bar, and performance space in Old City, offers classic comfort food with vegan options sure to satisfy even the hungriest meat lovers. Options include Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork ($14), Vegan Chili ($7/$10), and Vegan Nachos ($9/$13). In additional to all-out vegan options, Khyber Pass Pub also allows vegetarians the option to customize dishes such as Nachos, Mac & Cheese, and Po-Boys.< Philadelphia Brewing Company: Philadelphia Brewing Company, one of Philadelphia’s oldest and largest breweries, had Philadelphia’s first-ever Vegan Beerfest this past July, marking it a vegan staple in Philadelphia’s food and beverage scene. Those looking to imbibe in vegan brews can take comfort knowing every beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company is vegan and purchases help support Duke, the almost-famous brewery cat.

(Philadelphia Brewing Company’s vegan brews)

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern, the American tavern across from Independence Mall, offers lunch and dinner options for vegans and vegetarians from Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden. Inspired by his mother’s vegan diet, Dearden strives to add plant-based options to his menus. During lunch, guests can enjoy Smoked Tofu ($22) with black rice stir-fry, ginger, bok choy, pickled carrots, and garlic chips. For dinner, guests can dig into Impossible Meatballs ($22) over spaghetti with a house-made sauce, Fresno peppers, and optional parmesan on top.

Rex 1516: Rex 1516, Philadelphia’s go-to for elevated Southern cuisine, has created a creamy, delicious vegan risotto for guests to enjoy. Made with Carolina Gold Heirloom Rice, chicken-fried maitake mushrooms, smoked creminis, salt-roasted beets, and red beet puree, guests can enjoy Carolina Gold Risotto for $19 during dinner.

Royal Tavern: Royal Tavern, the recently renovated and re-opened South Philly favorite, offers guests a wide variety of vegan fare with twists on classic bar foods, including Sweet Potato Mac ‘N’ Cheese ($11), a Vegan Burger ($15) made with Beyond Meat, and Braised Kabocha Squash ($17). More eclectic options include Kimchi Mashed Potatoes ($3), Charred Snap Peas ($6), and a Lemongrass Yuba Bahn Mi ($13).

Philly Loves Bowie Week

(Bowie IX by Natalie Hope McDonald, Nine panels (each framed 12×12) of works on paper with plastic overlays using paint, ink and tape, Mixed media.)

David Bowie died in January 2016. To commemorate the loss of the music legend and universal talent, Philadelphia created Philly Love Bowie Week. There are a series of art displays, concerts, Bowie themed nights at tattoo parlors, quizzo, brunches, happy hours,  movie screenings, plays, and other theatrical workings. One exhibit during the Bowie commemoration week that you don’t want to miss is the National Liberty Museum‘s “We Can Be Heroes”. The exhibit, opening on Friday, January 3, will explore the influence that David Bowie and his music had – and continues to have – on contemporary art. A mixture of sculpture, paintings and digital artwork from both local and international artists will be featured in the exhibit.

There will be an opening reception on its opening night. Light refreshments will be served, including Bowie-themed beer provided by Round Guys Brewing Company in Lansdale and whiskey from Powers. Live music will be provided by Patrick Bamburak, Chris Huff, and Bill Kern. There will also be a poetry reading by Adam McGovern and other poets and a “Meet and Greet” with some of the original “Sigma Kids.” Additionally, there will be a Bowie-themed Pop-Up Shop featuring prints of artwork, the annual PLBW pin set, and other fun Bowie merchandise

You can purchase tickets here. Museum members are admitted at no charge; please contact Jocelyn Beaucher at  or 215-925-2800, ext. 126 to reserve your place at the Opening Reception.

Weekly Events

Kimmel Center New Yar’s Day: The Kimmel Center’s annual and free New Year’s Dat festivities are back for another year. There will be live performances, games, activities, and more. You’ll also have access to amazing views of the Mummers Parade. There will also be a soiree and brunch in the building with libations and cuisine courtesy of Garces.

New Year’s Day at Tattooed Mom: South Street bar, Tattooed Mom, will be hosting a free New Year’s Day buffet this Wednesday. There will be a bounty of food, drink specials, and a New Year’s themed specialty cocktail.

Drop It Like Its Hot: The next night the same venue will host an insane throwback party. Drop It Like Its Hot will feature the best music from the 2000s. From the era of Limewire and two-way pagers, this dance-off will take you back with hits “Buy U A Drank” and more.

Philly J5 Kappa Founders Day Party w/ Dave East: NOTO Philadelphia will be hosting a Kappa Founders Day celebration this Saturday night. Hip-hop star Dave East will be performing at the premium nightlife venue. This will be the biggest party of the weekend! Don’t miss out.

• Green Legion Tailgate:  Come to XFINITY Live! this Sunday for Green Legion’s tailgate party. Before the wildcard battle with the Seahawks, this tailgate will have drink specials, a sizeable buffet, and more. You can get Unlimited Miller Lite, unlimited Workhorse Brewing products, unlimited Stateside Vodka drinks (exception energy drinks), and more.

Featured Event

The 26th Annual Hair O’ The Dog


Where: NOTO Philadelphia 1209 Vine St

When: Saturday, January 18

Voted the “Best Event in Philly”,  one of Philadelphia’s most popular, upscale, and glamorous events is back with a bang this year. The 26th Annual Hair O’ The Dog will take place on Saturday, January 18th. Get ready to party like Gatsby at this blowout event.  Q102’s very own DJ N9NE, of Saturday nights DJ N9NE at nine, is set to open this lavish shindig. He has performed with 50 Cent, DMX, Ja Rule, Lil Jon, T-Pain, and Fetty Wap. Hair O’ The Dog hosts of the evening are Q102 Philly’s Rach on the Radio, plus Ja-Mel of Wooder Ice. Top-tier ticket packages will feature gourmet stations, hors d’ oeuvres prepared by the FSensational Host. There are a multitude of additional inclusions including one complimentary 60-minute makeup session at M.A.C on Chestnut, a gourmet appetizer platter at the table, bottle service presentation by the NOTO Knockouts, and more. Portions of proceeds at this exciting bash will benefit the M·A·C VIVA GLAM Fund.

For more information, click here

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