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The Best Cigar Bars in Philadelphia

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigar bars have long been a beacon for cigar lovers who want to kick back and enjoy a drink with their cigar without being confined to the man cave or the backyard. It wasn’t that long ago, most major metropolitan areas boasted a number of places you could go to enjoy a fine cigar and a cocktail, from steakhouses to hotel bars to nightclubs. Draconian smoking bans have extinguished the majority of choices cigar connoisseurs once entertained. However, there are still some real gems worth visiting.

Ashton Cigar Bar

In the historic hometown of Holt’s, for example, Philadelphia is also home to one of the finest cigar bars in the world: Ashton Cigar Bar. Located in the heart of Center City just above our flagship Holt’s Cigar Shop at 1522 Walnut St., Ashton Cigar Bar opened in 2013. Whether you live in Philly or you’re one of the millions of our city’s annual tourists and you love cigars, Ashton Cigar Bar deserves a place on your list of mandatory destinations. Discover the evolution of the cigar bar at Ashton.

Modern & Inviting

No expense was spared in renovating the upper level of the historic downtown building where Ashton Cigar Bar is located. A modern ground-floor entryway introduces the space above with a pristine integration of glass, steel, frosted bricks, and exotic woods as you step inside. The aroma of fine cigars entices the second you ascend the stairs to a hostess stand crafted from Venetian Carrara marble which matches the establishment’s centerpiece – a sleek and snaking bar top cut from a single block of Carrara framed at the front by a wave of red leather chairs and backed by a towering wall of ultra-rare whiskeys and spirits. Up front, a relaxed setting of black leather lounge chairs buffers the view of Walnut Street from tall windows. Smoking is permitted everywhere.

An Extensive Menu of Coveted & Classic Premium Cigars

Several white quartz high-top tables, also wreathed by high red leather chairs, line the walls throughout the bar and draw you in toward a custom walk-in humidor with over 200 premium cigar offerings enshrined behind floor-to-ceiling glass in Spanish cedar display shelves. While the company’s entire core portfolio of Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba, and San Cristobal cigars is thoroughly represented, Arturo Fuente, My Father, Padron, Oliva, Davidoff, Perdomo, Rocky Patel, Liga Privada, Montecristo, and many other top-shelf brands are available.

A number of very rare, hard-to-find cigars are on the menu, including several Fuente Fuente Opus X shapes like the BBMF and the Chili Pepper, multiple Arturo Fuente Anejo cigars, a full course of Ashton ESGs, and several Padron Family Reserves, including the Padron 50th. Many of Cigar Aficionado’s top-rated brands are represented, including ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ titleholders like Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark, My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo Box Press, and Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado. Even more tempting is the selection of proprietary and exclusive cigars sold only at the Ashton Cigar Bar – including La Aroma de Cuba Small-Batch No. 225, My Father Reserva Privada No. 809, and an impossibly rare Ashton VSG 20-Year Reserve, from the very first batch of VSGs ever rolled back in 1999.

In addition, on the weekends, the humidor is managed by a cigar expert whose role is to guide and educate guests as they navigate the cigar selection. Many turn to the cigar expert for suggested cigar and spirits pairings.

Unrivaled Selection of Ultra-Rare Whiskey, Spirits, & Craft Cocktails

Besides an opulent selection of smokes, Ashton Cigar Bar is home to one of the most extensive whiskey menus in Pennsylvania with over 400 premium, limited edition and vintage labels. Great lengths are taken to curate the spirits selection which is drawn from all corners of the globe. Scotch, bourbon, Irish whiskey, North American whiskey, Rye, Asian whisky, and more are procured to satisfy sophisticated whiskey lovers as well as those in search of every traditional pour you could imagine.

Classic single malts from Highland Park, Oban, Glenfiddich, Macallan, and many others include familiar editions as well as extremely hard-to-find bottles you may only come across once in a lifetime. Angel’s Envy, Blanton’s, Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, Jefferson’s, Bulleit, and Michter’s doesn’t even scratch the surface of bourbons to choose from. Ashton Cigar Bar is frequently characterized as a whiskey lover’s paradise.

The veteran bartending contingent makes every classic cocktail you can imagine with a high infusion of passion as well as several house and seasonal specialties. While classic interpretations like the Ashton Martini, Mi Amor Mojito, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned are musts, the Whiskey Revelation is one of the most popular drinks in the entire place. And trust us, there is a cigar to go with every cocktail on the menu.

Advanced Air Purification

Not apparent to the eye is a high-tech system of multiple air ventilation and purification units on the rooftop, each the size of a tractor-trailer. Their function is critical to the space as they continually remove smoke and recycle air throughout the building to maintain a fresh injection of cool and clean air molecules even during hours of peak capacity. It’s not difficult to get comfortable in the Ashton Cigar Bar and stay for a while.

Union League Club of Philadelphia

If you’ve had the pleasure to frequent the Ashton Cigar Bar in the past and you’re looking for a backup cigar bar or an alternative, there is one other possibility in Philadelphia – however, you’ll have to know someone to get in, as this historic members-only establishment is not open to the public.

If you do have a chance to visit the Union League Club of Philadelphia, not only does it possess a stunning collection of art, sculpture, and historical artifacts, it also houses a gorgeous Victorian cigar bar. Founded in 1862 for Union patriots dedicated to the advancement of Abraham Lincoln’s political agenda, the Union League remains an important emblem in our nation’s heritage. Presidents, politicians, dignitaries, business leaders, and more have walked the halls of the Union League Club during their stays. Many prominent individuals are members today.  

While the Union League enforces a dress code, among a host of other formal requirements, the opportunity to enjoy a cigar in the club’s opulent cigar bar is likely an occasion few will forget.

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