"There are no strangers here—just friends you have yet to meet,” so reads the motto painted on the parchment-colored walls of Maggie O'Neill's foyer. The pub aims to live up to this neighborly ethos by offering up an inviting hangout space with three stories. In the top-floor bar area, you can sip on a draft beer, play shuffleboard, or catch a basketball game on TV. The downstairs dining area has table draped in linens, and you can head here to enjoy beer-battered fish and chips and golden-brown shepherd’s pie.
Maggie O’Neill’s décor is an homage to Ireland: there’s a hand-painted Guinness ad on the building's exterior, and the bartop is made of dark varnished wood. Along the walls inside, you might notice the Poet's Corner, which is dedicated to famous Irish authors. It has impassioned musings on art from James Joyce, witty nuggets of wisdom from Jonathan Swift, and Brendan Behan’s rhymed shopping lists.
It can be difficult to tear your gaze from Tavola Restaurant & Bar's dining-room windows, which overlook the lush rolling hills, majestic pines, and rustic gazebo of the surrounding country club. But soon, an enticing aroma compels your nose to turn toward the kitchen. Inside, chefs bustle about, folding fresh herbs, aromatic sauces, and crisp vegetables into a variety of Italian specialties—including the buttery shrimp scampi lauded by reporters from CBS Philly. A nearby brick oven melts mozzarella cheese onto gourmet pizzas.
The elegant dining room hosts diners swirling strings of pasta beside chandelier-illuminated oil paintings, and the cushy white sofas of the bar area support guests sipping Italian and American wines. Those seeking the best views venture to the outdoor patio, where they can watch seasoned golfers play on Springfield Country Club’s course or make sand angels in the sand traps.
Bogart's Bar & Grill comforts diners through a menu of hearty American sandwiches and entrees. Piled-high chicken nachos send morsels of tender poultry skiing down a cheese-slathered mountain of tortilla chips complete with jalapeño peppers and mini ski lifts ($8.99) . For the main dish, staff can hand-carve slow-roasted slabs of meat to stuff au-jus-sprinkled kaiser rolls, crafting Bogart’s signature roast-beef sandwiches ($7.29). Alternately, opt for a hot entree, such as the Yuengling fish 'n' chips, for which kitchen craftsmen slather a cod fillet in beer batter before a dip in the deep-fryer turns it crispy, readying it to take its place for a photo op beside a giggling group of waffle-fry fans ($11.99).
Fez Moroccan Restaurant should almost ask to see passports at the door. Bolts of crimson and green fabric embellished with golden patterns adorn the walls. Seated atop cushioned stools, diners surround the room's low-slung circular tables as Moroccan music echoes throughout the space and Friday and Saturday evenings herald the arrival of belly dancers. Collectively, these unmistakable accents of Moroccan culture help create an ambiance that Gayot described as, "a setting out of Arabian nights." As evidenced by the swirling aromas of saffron, honey and almonds, and harissa-cumin sauces, the chefs are equally committed to the task of capturing the essence of Morocco. In addition to the selection of kabobs and tagines, the Zagat-rated menu features a variety of vegetarian as well as meat-laden couscous dishes. The savory smells mingle with the slightly sweet smoke of the fruit-flavored shisha smoldering in the hookahs , which earned Fez Moroccan Restaurant a spot on CBS Philly's list of the Top Hookah Bars In Philadelphia.
The taps flow with Guinness, Smithwick’s, and Harp. High-definition televisions play overseas soccer matches in surround sound. Walls of flagstone and exposed brick flank the tiered dining space of the cozy corner pub. The Irish Times truly does embody the vivacious Gaelic spirit—a spirit that thrives until 2 a.m. seven nights a week. CBS Philly praised this dedication to authenticity and placed The Irish Times on its 2012 list of Top Philadelphia Irish Pubs for St. Patrick’s Day.
In between pints, the menu tempts diners with a selection of traditional Irish staples and assorted international comfort foods. The slow-simmered stew features hunks of lamb, carrots, and celery in a Guinness, merlot, and lamb gravy, and the traditional Irish breakfast—complete with black and white puddings, rashers, and Irish sausage—is served all day long. Dishes from farther abroad include a trio of hummus, pico de gallo, and baba ghanoush and wraps filled with teriyaki-glazed chicken tenders, pineapple, and individually polished sesame seeds.
Mac's Tavern may be far nicer than Paddy's Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but they do have one thing in common—Mac's is owned by Rob and Kaitlin McElhenney, who play Mac and Dee Reynolds on the show, along with a small group of their friends.
The building's house-like façade has long been an Old City fixture. In the 1700s, it was the Skinner’s Dry Goods Store and served such famed customers as Benjamin Franklin, even though it refused to accept payment in the form of bills with his face on them. These days, more than 17 draft beers rotate through the taps behind the stained wood bar and a jukebox sets the background score.
Though the tavern itself is historic, Mac's dedicates itself to modernity, as evidenced by a seasonal menu that might list a roasted beet salad in a balsamic-caramel gastrique or buffalo chicken cheesesteak, a twist on the hometown staple. And every Sunday, the brunch burger arrogantly bestrides mealtimes with its topper of smoked bacon, a fried egg, and a seven-cheese sauce.