For those who are spectacular cooks who live in a home with a stocked bar and a working fireplace, there's no need to leave the house this winter. For the rest of us, thankfully, there are restaurants and bars that can offer up hot comfort food, beverages that give you a liquid jacket and in many cases, a glowing fireplace to seat near. Now if only it was socially acceptable to wear our Snuggies to dinner.
If you’re ever out in the cold in Bella Vista, make sure to warm your bones at Growlers. Melt into one of the leather armchairs that are conveniently next to a crackling fireplace. While you’re there, get comfortable with a bowl of pulled pork mac 'n' cheese, and perhaps one of the spiced seasonal brews on tap.
736 S. 8th St., 267-519-3242, www.growlersbar.com
Although this beer garden is known for giving off summer vibes with all the picnic tables and the additional bar outside, it’s also a go-to winter destination. There’s a fire pit and heat lamps so that you can stay toasty while sort of being outdoors this season. Take a tip from the Germans and stay warm with classic brats, schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels and bier. Bonus: In the winter, Frankford Hall isn’t crawling with hipsters like it is in warmer months.
1210 Frankford Ave., 215-634-3338, www.frankfordhall.com
Sometimes a flickering votive on a table is just as cozy as a fire in the hearth. There’s no roaring fireplace at this Old City nook, but the close quarters, soft lighting and heavy red curtains make this place a great pick for cuddling up with booze and a beau. The bar menu is often updated with seasonal cocktails to warm your soul.
48 S. 2nd St., 215-925-2317, www.sassafrasbar.com
Go for dinner or go for brunch — just go here and thaw out. The Mildred is fancier than your average elevated comfort food tavern, though if you want to get casual, eat at the bar. That’s where the fireplace is located, so it’s win-win. Dig into hot dishes served in cast iron, like the veal meatballs or the sheperd’s pie. Save room for dessert: You’re going to want to put a little meat on those bones to keep you warm all winter long.
824 S. 8th St., 267-687-1600, www.the-mildred.com
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Warming the spirits
If you’re in the University City area, you shouldn’t pass up a chance for a hot toddy from White Dog Cafe. Like most of the menu, ingredients for this soothing drink are locally sourced, including the farm-fresh cider.
3420 Sansom St., 215-386-9224, www.whitedog.com