Conde Nast Traveler checked in with mixologists, bartenders and "professional drinkers" to find the 30 best bars in world. In the mix of upscale cocktail joints and neighborhood dives? Philly’s own Hop Sing Laundromat.
The secretive, speakeasy-style cocktail bar in Chinatown — 1029 Race St. — is run by the artfully mysterious Lê. There’s no sign outside, and no guaranteed access. Hopeful drinkers ring a bell on a iron gate across the doorway and wait to be allowed into the small, dark lobby lined with bookshelves and framed photos, where they post up and wait to be allowed into the bar.
The shtick comes across amusing, even insider-y — not annoying. And it’s all well worth it once you’re situated in the dim, ornate space with a menu of inventive craft cocktails in hand, and especially once you have one of those cocktails in front of you.
Here’s what Cody Goldstein, head bartender at NYC's Upholstery Store: Food & Wine, told Conde Nast Traveler about Hop Sing:
“My favorite bar changes all the time, but the most exciting spot I’ve been to in recent memory has to be Hop Sing Laundromat in Philadelphia. The menu pays homage, in one way or another, to America. With one of the largest selections of spirits in the country, you can find everything from your classic Maker’s Mark right up through their specialty cocktails like 'Montana Payback' and 'A Failed Entertainment.' Plus, it’s hidden behind an unmarked door and looks like what you would imagine having a cocktail in Hogwarts would feel like. In a true Philly no-BS style, the owner boasts very firm rules: no sneakers, no shorts, no photos or you’re out!”
The full list of Conde Nast Traveler's 30 best bars is here.