All, however, are simply cool places to hang out . . . so maybe that's it. A hot spot is hot, because it's actually pretty cool.
What it is: A new midsize venue taking over the former Spaghetti Warehouse (um, R.I.P.?) space to bring Philadelphia a venue that is the middle ground between spots like Johnny Brenda's and behemoths like the Electric Factory. The main hall will host bands, but there's also a spacious lobby and a separate bar/party lounge.
Who goes there: People who have heard of bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (who opened the venue on Wednesday), Wild Flag and much ballyhooed Odd Future.
Bonus round: It's part-owned by Sean Agnew, the godfather of Philly concert booking, and Bowery Presents - which runs hip NYC venues the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge. These guys have experience running clubs of this size.
Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100, utphilly.com.
What it is: The real place the cast of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" hangs out when they're in town. (Don't confuse with Paddy's Pub. Charlie, Dennis, etc. do not live upstairs.)
Who goes there: Fans of the show, "Preston and Steve's" Preston (a limited partner in the biz), people who don't like to get dressed up to go out, Flyers.
What to order: Beer, especially a Kenzinger.
When to go: Thursday nights at 10 p. m., to watch the show with sound.
Bonus round: When the Phils or the Birds play, the beer's on special.
If you like Mac's, try: Stogie Joe's (1802 E. Passyunk Ave.), where you'd better not be a Mets fan.
Mac's Tavern, 226 Market St., 267-324-5507, mactavern.com.
What it is: iCandy is one of the newer kids on the Gayborhood's block, taking over the space of the 12th Air Command in March. Like 12th Air Command, there are four floors, including an open-air roof deck with tiki decor (dig that faux-thatched roof). There are theme nights from Wednesday through Sunday, including a drag show, country line-dancing and football-heavy Sundays.
Who goes there: The young gay set looking for a break from their regularly scheduled programming.
What to order: The "DP" may cost a whopping $22, but you won't need to make additional trips to the bar. It's a double margarita (in a festive glass) complemented by two Coronitas.
What to wear: C'mon, boys, you don't need fashion advice from us. But you'll have to work hard to upstage the waitstaff clad only in their tighty whities.
If you like iCandy, try: Tabu (200 S. 12th St., 215-964-9675, tabuphilly.com) also has a sports vibe, if that's your thing.
iCandy, 254 S. 12th St., 267-324-3500, clubicandy.com.
What it is: An Old City lounge with the neighborhood's biggest outdoor-dining area - and a celebrity owner (three-time "Survivor" star Stephenie LaGrossa, a/k/a/ Mrs. Kyle Kendrick).
Who goes there: Michael Barkann, Mike Jerrick and the Fox29 family are regulars, so are Hugh Douglas and Kendrick's co-workers.
What to order: Pineapple or pomegranate sangria - yum.
When to go: Fridays, for karaoke, 10 p.m. to midnight.
Bonus round: Happy hours, Monday through Friday, 5 to 7 p.m., mean half off signature cocktails. Try a top-shelf Hamptons iced tea.
If you like GiGi, try: Happy Rooster (118 S. 16th St., thehappyrooster.com), for karaoke Thursdays and stiff martinis.
GiGi, 319 Market St., 215-574-8880, gigiphilly.com.
What it is: An urban version of the suburban institution (with locations in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr), MilkBoy Center City spices things up by adding two bars: a full roster of booze downstairs and a half-bar upstairs, where you can hear live music regularly. The 200-seat venue's schedule skews local and has a rockier vibe than the out-of-town iterations with bands like masters of Philly fly Black Landlord (tomorrow) and Bucks County indie rockers Illinois in October.
Who you'll see: It's too soon to classify the nighttime crowd, but the coffee-slingers report that many of the doctors from nearby Thomas Jefferson University Hospital come by for a drink after completing a long shift . . . at 7 a.m.
Bonus round: MilkBoy has three can-crushers to take out your post-work frustrations.
If you like MilkBoy, try: Brew and Ultimo Coffee (1900 S. 15th St., 215-339-5177), two separate businesses that operate out of the same space in Newbold, across the street from South Philly Tap Room, that act as both a coffee and bottle shop.
MilkBoy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., 215-925-MILK, milkboyphilly.com.
What it is: You may know the Italian Market diner for its outta-this-world brunch (order the tater tots!), but at night, Teri's transforms into a dance club, complete with a fancy cocktail list and DJ nights - both in a couple of flavors.
What to order: The Muppets take Manhattan, a fruity twist on the classic Manhattan.
Who goes there: When patrons of the Pub on Passyunk East (1501 E. Passyunk Ave.) want to put their dancing shoes on, they hit up Teri's.
Bonus round: Happy hour is from 6 to 8 p.m., perfect for people who actually work for a living. It beats those infuriating 4-to-6 p.m. happy hours (we're looking at you, Cantina Los Caballitos!).
If you like Teri's, try: The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave., thebarbary.org). Genre-spanning DJs keep this spot lively, even on weeknights.
Teri's, 1126 S. 9th St., 267-761-9154, terisphilly.com.
What it is: The elegant, modern tippy-top of Two Liberty Place, where the mood, drinks and scene are sexy all the way.
Who goes there: No one in sweatpants, baseball caps or T-shirts. Eagles have been known to throw b-day bashes there. This spring, Bradley Cooper used R2L to fete the local premiere of "The Hangover Part II."
What to order: Anything top-shelf, including single malts or a house Cosmo, topped with Champagne.
When to go: Wednesday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the most popular day for happy hour, or any clear night.
Bonus round: Got a few extra Gs to party with? Rent the place out yourself.
If you like R2L, try: Tryst (1523 Walnut St., lebecfin.com/ tryst), Le Bec-Fin's flirty new lounge, for high-heels below ground.
R2L, 50 S. 16th St., 37th floor, 215-564-5337, r2lrestaurant.com.
What it is: In the heart of Headhouse Square, this weeks-old Southern joint feels fashionably old-timey, down-home yet grown-up.
Who goes there: Blues-musician types and their laid-back, slow-sipping fans.
What to order: Bourbon flight - with a side of ribs.
When to go: Sunday nights, 5 to 9, for its jam session. BYO slide guitar.
Bonus round: Serious eaters stay downstairs. Chillers-out head up to the juke joint and lounge, where they might play shuffleboard.
If you like Twisted Tail, try: South Street's Ms. Tootsie's (1312 South St.) for big, fruity drinks, smooth grooves and impeccable soul food.
Twisted Tail, 509 S. 2nd St., 215-558-2471, thetwistedtail.com.