347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: 11 am to 2 am Daily
Oh, Dirty Frank’s. This may well have been the establishment that made me fall in love with dive bars. It was certainly the first Philadelphia dive I started going to on a semi-regular basis. Is it actually dirty? You bet. The thick layers of dust on the ATM machine and arcade games are a testament to that. The place doesn’t look like it’s had a makeover in decades, and we hope that never changes. But, apart from being an asbestos-filled step into the past, there’s so much more to love about this place.
Let’s start with the drink prices. You’d be hard-pressed to find better deals anywhere else in Center City. They don’t have a “City Wide Special” here. Don’t ask for one. It really gets under their skin if you call it that. It’s the “Dirty Frank’s Special,” and you will be corrected if you call it anything else. It’s a 7oz bottle of beer (usually your choice of MGD or Rolling Rock, if my memory serves me correctly) and a Kamikaze shot. For $2.50. You can’t beat that! Don’t want a shot? Well, you’re wrong, but there’s a deal for you, too. Look behind the bar for the “Dirty Frank’s Shelf of Shame.” Whatever beer they’ve got on display up there is $2. Historically, it’s been a can of Milwaukee’s Best. I can’t think of a better beer to embody the spirit of a dive bar. It’s shitty, it makes you cringe, but it gets the job done. And it actually makes you pretty damn happy. Even if you’re looking for something more palatable and exotic than these drinks I’ve just mentioned, you still won’t break the bank. The most expensive cans they’ve got are Guinness and Strongbow pounders, both of which cost $5.50. But other than that, pretty much any craft/import beer will only run you around $4.00.
Dirty Frank’s has two video arcade games, a pinball machine, and darts. It’s no Hudson House when it comes to games (the Hud has all this, plus shuffleboard and pool!), but this is enough to keep the bar-gamer happy. Cheap drinks and good games in a dirty, dimly lit room. That’s about all I could ask for from a drinking establishment. But there’s more. Dirty Frank’s is dog-friendly AND it was endorsed by Anthony Bourdain on his [now defunct] Travel Channel program, The Layover. When it comes down to it, Bourdain is essentially a professional diver, plus, he’s from New Jersey, so you know he’s trustworthy. His face is actually plastered on the wall here, too.
Speaking of walls, Dirty Frank’s always has pieces from local artists (you know we love to support locals) on display (and for sale) on their walls. You may just find that perfect painting to complete the divey look we know you’re going for in your house.
If you’re in Center City, and you’re sick of all the upscale bullshit that’s going on around there, head down to 13th & Pine. Dirty Frank’s is an oasis; a breath of “fresh” air in an area that’s chock-full of yuppies with their heads up their asses. You won’t find those nerds in here. Only cold drinks and friendly dogs.
This is the only real dive that I know of in this area of the city, and you’ll definitely have more fun, and spend less money, here, than you would anywhere else in the immediate area. Cash only. ATM on site.
Happy hour: daily 5pm-7pm