The Olde Bar

4.4
917 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
A contemporary oyster saloon that pays homage to the original tradition.

The Olde Bar, located in Philadelphia’s landmark Old Original Bookbinder’s, is a contemporary oyster bar and cocktail lounge steeped in the city’s nautical and culinary traditions. Serving oysters on the half shell, alongside a smart menu of modern re-imaginings of traditional bar snacks and a comprehensive cocktail and spirit list, The Olde Bar is at once a tribute to the city’s storied past and an updated version of one of our most beloved dining spaces.
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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 917 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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mainmanmarv
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Great bartender. Took a while to get service at our table once seated. Oysters were excellent. Lobster roll was OK. Seemed a bit pricey for lobster on a stick and french fries. Overall a good experience.

B
Brian
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining area felt very quiet and private, nice atmosphere. Staff was very friendly and attentive. Food was all excellent.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Seafood was good or just average. Star of the food was the buffalo cauliflower which was truly amazing. Cocktails are excellent which was what we had been told.

KB
KayB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoy my meal and drinks as usual. Love love happy hours special and can order something else on the main menu. Super awesome staffs.

KT
vipKymberlyT
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service, drinks and appetizers were great! The main courses were very average, especially for the price point.

HB
HeatherB
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

wonderful food and service, perfect happy hour prices for a fun date night!

C
vipCyndi
Philadelphia
35 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved our server Lauren and the Manager Kate. Food was great as usual.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall1food4service1ambience1

I come here once a week and this was beyond terrible service and disappointing

DT
DadT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This was a very nice spot. The food was excellent and service was pretty good too. Will definitely have to go back to try again.

JT
vipJTward
Philadelphia
38 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Rushed! We sat down and ordered some wine and two apps and two entrees. Within 10 minutes the entrees came out with one app at the same time. A few minutes later the Caesar salad came out LAST. We were hoping to have a nice relaxed dinner but that didn't happen. The food was OK, not great. And for the price, not worth it. Service was kind of scrambled, with anyone in the place delivering drinks, taking plates, serving, we didn't know who our real server was. We are not very picky either when it comes to service, but this was not a great experience. We will not go back again based in this experience. We are being generous with a 3 star review.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good was amazing and our favorite server Omar was very helpful!

KA
KristaA
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience2

We had a great experience, as always. Food and service were both outstanding. The only complaint was the music. Very loud and non-melodic jazz. At least I guess it was jazz. It was really just a lot of noises on top of each other. It was jarring and did not create an atmosphere one would want when enjoying a lovely dinner.

PM
PaulaM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oysters were outstanding as were additional Happy Hour goodies. Relaxing way to end a day of Philly exploring.

V
vipVasya
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Always enjoy the oysters happy hour at The Olde Bar. Great fresh oysters at a great price. Service is prompt but not much follow up - our waiter never checked back on us. Also the bar area is great but the music is overwhelmingly loud… would recommend bringing down a notch. We will be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great!! No complaints

N
vipNurika
Philadelphia
52 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was probably my 20th visit to this restaurant and the last time I complained about the music being too loud. Well, not this time. We had an amazing time, we’re able to converse and they brought back the Vodka gimlets for happy hour!!! Everything was perfect like the good olde days! Thanks for listening to your clients. I’ll be back next week ♥️

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Good as usual, awesome oysters

DR
vipDRHBR
Philadelphia
127 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Fine seafood with traditional "Tower" - not cheap at 65 (small) 90 (large) but good variety.

Overall very good food (lobster roll, pot pie sampled). Again, prices over 30/entree -but quality fine.

Pre dinner cocktail a bit small for price-

Overall pleasant time with good service and food.

LH
vipLatashaH
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Oysters are top notch for for Buck a Shuck and they Fishbowl punch is excellent. Fried shrimp roll wasn’t quite what I expected. But all in all solid cool place to HH

NA
NeeleyA
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

We were really disappointed in our experience. We made reservations through OpenTable at 8:45pm and an hour beforehand I get a call saying that they can't do 8:45, but can do 8:30pm. OK. Had to make a quick change with my Uber to make sure we get there on time. We get there and were seated with a menu. 20 minutes in they come to finally take our order and they tell us that they have no lobster and no crab. HALF OF THEIR MENU HAS LOBSTER AND CRAB. It was also the main reason why we came. So everyone had to look ove the menu again and choose new items. The seafood tower was terrible. Overly salted, sandy, and did not taste good. Only thing that was good on the $100 tower was the shrimp. My steak and frites was not very good and my wife's scallops looked very small and came out of a can. The kids liked their burgers and that was the only highlight. Thoroughly disappointed and defintely wouldn't recommend

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience3

How does a lobster restaurant run out of lobster??

JD
JoeD
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were excellent as always.

CS
CarolS
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience3

We went here while on vacation in Philadelphia. It was very close to our hotel and we were looking for seafood. We sat in the bar area at a high-top which we liked. Music was very loud - it was difficult to hear each other and the waiter. We had raw oysters and clams, chowder, warm lobster salad and some bar fries to start. Raw items were fine. Chowder was okay but a little thick from roux. Warm lobster salad was good but would have been better without all of the frisée lettuce. The fries were topped with crab and lobster sauce and were surprisingly good.

For entrees, we had lobster roll, papardelle with scallops and halibut. They were fine but not special. Not a great value considering the high price.

N
vipNurika
Philadelphia
52 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience3

I love going to the Olde Bar but the last couple of times when I seat at the bar area the music it’s so loud and crappy that it’s impossible to stay in and have a conversation. We basically eat fast and leave. Please do something about it . Seriously

YY
YumYum
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

While this was not my first time at The Olde Bar, it was the first time I thought service was less than standard. I received food before receiving water which seemed out of place and instead of acknowledging the slip-up, got an excuse about how the kitchen and bar do not communicate the same. It was an awkward and out of sync experience.

t
tommyo10
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were top notch.

EG
EllenG
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience3

The only issue was that the AC was out and the temperature was 97! The service was good and the food was good but eating raw oysters in that kind of heat was bad and smelled but everyone was great that worked there.

KB
vipKayB
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love going there for the fresh oysters and crab fingers and my old fashioned drink during happy hour. Super awesome staffs. Enjoy taking my mom and dear friends there especially after the 2020.

V
vipVasya
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

A regular favorite. Enjoyed the happy hour - “buck a shuck” oysters and all other dishes were great. The hostess was very flexible and adjusted the seating for our reservation, which was appreciated. Drinks were a bit hit or miss - cocktails were light on the alcohol and wine choices were just ok. Service was a little mixed, food arrived before the drinks… coordination can be improved. Overall, enjoyable and we will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Top 10 worst dining experience. 20 minutes before water was brought to table. 35 minutes before drinks were brought to table. Staff let empty drinks and dishes pile up while walking past our table empty handed. Crabcake was terrible. Other food was average at best. Not at all worth the price.

MC
vipMichelleC
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Server very pleasant but was visibly overwhelmed. Obviously, short-staffed. Bar service was slow as well. The drinks arrived at the same time as the appetizers. The food was very good as well as the outdoor dining space.

SR
4SlicesofRoni
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall2food5service1ambience2

It's like they forgot how to be a restaurant. I ordered their Modern Martini and it came in what appeared to be a shot glass on a stem. Ordered a dozen oysters, received 11. Our entree was delivered at the same time as only 1 of the 2 appetizers we ordered. We had to ask for utensils for every course, leaving us staring at our food while we waited. All of this I guess could be looked over as the food was in fact delicious but the absolute worst thing is that they got rid of Bookbinder's signature snapper soup that has been on the menu for over a century. Why in the world would you do this?!

SF
SusanF
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot in Philly for fabulous food. Our reservation was in time for Happy Hour.

TS
TylerS
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Happy hour specials were great. Service was good but it was very busy so a bit slow initially (to get waters, order). Music was a bit intense in the bar area, but had a great time.

HL
HanksLove2
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Olde Bar is a must go for anyone visiting Philly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Slow service. Food was just okay.

JT
JimT
Dallas
23 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Happy Hour! We saved the Olde Bar for our last meal in Philadelphia, and we are so glad we did. The regular menu is excellent, but the Happy Hour menu has to be one of the best values in town. Fresh local oysters for $1.00 each, six of them fried for $7.00, drink specials, lobster sliders, and everything we had was outstanding!
The building is historic, in one of the oldest parts of the city, the service was warm and welcoming (especially the enchanting Aylish!), and we had a terrific time. Highly recommended!

S
vipSteve
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We had high expectations for this, currently what we consider Jose Garces's flagship in Philadelphia. And we splurged - going for the Large seafood tower. At $90, and Large, we figured that we might even have to take something home. But to our surprise we got a two-tier platter and the bottom tier was half empty. 12 oysters (but we were there during happy hour - oysters at $1 each), 6 clams, one queen crab leg split down the middle, a small container with lump crab and another with ceviche. The crab was dry. The rest tasted OK. But it wasn't enough to feed two people. I'd hate to know what was in the regular size tower. No bread or crackers to eat with the ceviche or lump crab. We complained to the manager who, to her great credit, agreed with our assessment and brought out a dozen oysters, a shrimp cocktail, and a lobster salad in a way of apology. Apology accepted - and the additions made for a sumptuous meal. For which I would gladly have paid $120. Overall the service was spotty, no real attention to our table, The rest of the menu looked good and reasonably priced - if the portions are normal-size.

T
Tati
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to the Olde Bar to get my oyster fix. They were $1 on a happy hour. I enjoyed my wine and oysters were big and delicious. Service was excellent. The waiters and the hostesses and the host were all super nice, smiling and very thoughtful. I felt like a celebrity, everyone tried hard to make sure I am happy and have everything I need. I had an amazing time!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I love the Olde Bar! The happy hour is amazing! The oysters, fries, cauliflower, rolls, just everything is amazing. I also love the happy hour cocktails. The service was pretty good even though they forgot a few of our items. When they did remember, the food came out pretty quickly. The portions are pretty small but still amazing in taste.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from The Olde Bar using the Order Online button. The Olde Bar also offers delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. The Olde Bar also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (215) 253-3777.

The Olde Bar is rated 4.4 stars by 917 OpenTable diners.

The Olde Bar does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://garces.americommerce.com/.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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