From Our Editors
With its authentically nostalgic décor, cheap cans of beer and an everybody-knows-your-name feel, Ray's "Happy Birthday" Bar has been one of Philadelphia's favorite dives for more than 75 years. In fact, a free birthday shot, with attached small candle, is a veritable rite of passage for any in-the-know local. This South Philly institution also opens its doors at 7 a.m., six days a week (9 a.m. on Sundays), and allows patrons to smoke inside, among walls littered with old newspaper clippings, mug shots and neon signage. And to keep the crowd entertained, Ray's hosts open mic nights on first and third Tuesdays, karaoke on Fridays and live music on Saturdays. Once last call arrives, hungry patrons can head over to Pat's King of Steaks or Geno's, two local Philly cheesesteak institutions.