Oscar’s Tavern

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s Center City dive bar selection isn’t extensive but it does feature one of the city’s best, 1972 stalwart Oscar’s Tavern. Red is the color here, from the red brick outside to the soft, red-lit interior to the sometimes distressed booths that stretch along the wall opposite the bar. Oscar’s Tavern is a narrow, shotgun-style space, the front half dedicated to the bar illuminated by hanging lanterns and the back half broken up into countless short, square tables with the wooden spindle chairs one would associate with a classic tavern interior.

The pub menu here is more legit than the average dive bar and yes, there’s a well-liked cheesesteak on the menu, but the real story is in the rumored evening special that includes half a cheesesteak for free with the purchase of a full sandwich. Add in a tiled drop ceiling, non-digital jukebox and the occasional Bill Murray sighting and the case for Philadelphia’s best downtown dive bar is a strong one for Oscar’s Tavern.

SFG Note: This is a dive bar directory listing. We haven’t had the good fortune of visiting firsthand yet. When we do, you’ll get a great review. In the meantime, we’ve compiled information to help you make a choice on visiting.

The Basics

1524 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Downtown Dive



Further Reading

  • Hidden City
  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Bon Appetit
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