Enjoy eating in the outdoors off of the sidewalks and on patios and in courtyards in every neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s temperate seasons beg for diners to take advantage by taking meals in the great outdoors. Dining alfresco brings many joys — though it also brings exhaust fumes, noisy pedestrians and other ills.
We want to help you avoid the downside of alfresco dining by scoring a table in a leafy courtyard or on a pleasant patio. Whether you’re seeking brew at a backyard table or a farm-to-table meal in a garden, Philadelphia has an off-street table for you.
Now, read on for our top picks for off-street alfresco dining in Philadelphia, divided by neighborhood.
• Rittenhouse Tavern: Rittenhouse Tavern, the charming dining room housed inside the Philadelphia Art Alliance, features a quaint courtyard out back for outside dining sheltered by trees. It’s the perfect alternative to dining on the Square, if you’re looking for proximity to Rittenhouse with a little more privacy than afforded by the many sidewalk tables overlooking the park. • Table 31′s Plaza Cafe at the Comcast Center: Orange umbrellas provide shade at Table 31′s Plaza Cafe while dancing fountains offer a bit of visual entertainment, to say nothing of the tallest skyscraper in Pennsylvania standing just 50 feet away. A new roof has partially enclosed the cafe, so you’re also protected against rain. • Branzino: At Italian BYOB Branzino, the best seats in the house are in the recently renovated courtyard out back. Sure, there are sidewalk tables, too, but the fresh seafood coming out of the kitchen is better enjoyed from a table on the charming brick patio.
Midtown Village and Washington Square
• Talula’s Garden: Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy’s superb farm-to-table spot offers elegant alfresco dining on a leafy courtyard just off of Washington Square. Along with a sizable area for garden dining, Talula’s outdoor area also includes a bar. Perch beneath the twinkly lights for an out-of-city experience. • Effie’s: A courtyard tucked along an alley off of Pine Street twinkles at night, making for a magical summer meal setting in which to enjoy classic Mediterranean fare. • 13 Restaurant at the Marriott: The Patio at 13 — Center City’s “outdoor living room” — is open with a great small-plates menu and specialty cocktails. • Opa: Midtown Village’s popular Greek restaurant, Opa, has a completely awesome Drury Street backyard beer garden featuring a nicely priced beer list and summery eats (crabs, pretzels, chicken fingers). • Raw: Step outside into Raw’s private outdoor courtyard and lounge under the stars, sake in hand. In fact, the fifteen feet glass bar inside houses an impressive shelf of exotic sakes that caters to new tasters as well as sake connoisseurs. • Sampan: Sampan’s outdoor Graffiti Bar is a favorite Center City watering hole. Philadelphia-area graffiti artists layered the walls and counters with custom street artwork. A plasma screen is suspended overhead so you can catch the Phillies game, and a clear plastic overhang covering the outdoor area means the rain is no deterrent. Word of warning: Chef Schulson’s bright Asian fare and refreshing drinks mean you may never leave. • M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel: Tucked away behind a walled courtyard, M Restaurant serves a wide range of Asian- and Italian-flecked fare within a gorgeous, romantic courtyard.
Fairmount and Spring Garden
• Route 6: Order up from the raw bar at Stephen Starr’s coastal spot on North Broad, Route 6, snag a spot at one of the outdoor picnic tables and you might actually be convinced that you’re at the beach. • Alla Spina: Head to Marc Vetri’s casual Italian gastropub Alla Spina on North Broad for indoor and outdoor dining. Treat yourself to a delicious beer on tap (there are 20 total and some 50 more in bottles) at a table by one of the huge windows or on the railed-off patio. • Jack’s Firehouse: Jack’s offers some great outdoor dining in their side garden, with American food and exclusively local craft beer offered up as the perfect complement to the tucked away alcove. • La Calaca Feliz: The patio out back of La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount is huge by Philadelphia patio standards, with plenty of space between tables and big glass doors that make it easy to move inside and out. • Llama Tooth: Across the street from Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street sits an unassuming tropical oasis called Llama Tooth, featuring a brightly painted Tiki Bar, Christmas lights hung from the ceiling, bright murals and locally made art all outside in a giant beer garden. • Fare: Dedicated to healthy, organic and local food, Fare’sdinner, lunch and brunch menus contain small plates, salads and main courses best enjoyed at one of the numerous tables outside — both overlooking Fairmount Avenue and just off of the street in a side courtyard. • Waterworks Restaurant and Lounge: Located behind the Art Museum and situated in the very same Fairmount Water Works that pumped water to the city until 1909,Waterworks is an idyllic spot with outdoor seating overlooking the Schuylkill River and the famous Boathouse Row.
• American Sardine Bar: American Sardine Bar very recently opened the doors to its brand new outdoor area. Enjoy some fresh air at the Point Breeze space with a few brews and one of the bar’s famous sardine sandwiches. The new spot boasts tables and freshly cut grass to provide Philadelphians with the ultimate backyard summer spot. • The Cambridge: This gastropub showcases an impressive menu, from the charred octopus and gouda mac and cheese to the 24-hour brined hand-ground Porker Burger, both in the cozy bar and on its breezy backyard patio. Nearly 25 craft beers on tap, Fleet Street wines and original cocktails mean there’s something to quench everyone’s thirst at The Cambridge. • Jamaican Jerk Hut: With its spicy jerk chicken, generous portion sizes and plenty of picnic-table-style outdoor seating in the warmer months, this small Caribbean BYOB has become a classic Philly establishment.More patio dining picks, below.
South Street and Queen Village
• Bistrot La Minette: Chef-owner Peter Woolsey brings a true taste of Paris to Queen Village with Bistrot La Minette, his charming bistro. Sample decadent duck-leg confit, coq au vin, escargots, tarte tatin and more French classics street-side on the front porch, or within the secret garden lit by romantic lanterns out back. • Bridget Foy’s: Check out the South Street passersby from the safety of the elevated sidewalk cafe at Bridget Foy’s, where crowds are easily pleased with an American menu and fully stocked bar. • Southwark: Offering old-fashioned favorites like the Pisco Sour, Sidecar, Manhattan and the Mai Tai, Southwark Restaurant was one of the initial catalysts of the classic cocktail craze in Philadelphia, and offers delicious farm-to-table dishes to boot. Take your cocktails to the charming courtyard and enjoy.
East Passyunk Avenue
• Cantina Los Caballitos: The outdoor seating area set up on a giant grassy triangle of space adjacent to Cantina is the perfect setting for margaritas and nachos. Much like its younger sibling, Cantina Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties, the original Cantina cooks up modern twists on Mexican dishes, such as vegan fajitas and mahi mahi tacos—fare that washes down perfectly with a tequila flight or specialty margarita. In warmer months, the newly outfitted outdoor seating area draws a huge crowd. • Sophia’s: South Philly dining-out hotspot East Passyunk Avenue got even more gourmet cred when chef Christopher Lee opened Sophia’s, a refined American brasserie. Now, guests have to decide where to dine — at the bar, in the intimate dining room or at one of a few tables in a rear courtyard. • Le Virtu: The sweet smell of burning wood and charcoal searing meats on the grill welcomes diners to the alfresco area at Le Virtu, a newly-paved and beautifully landscaped patio adjacent to the restaurant. The menu extends beyond the grill to offer a taste of some of the region’s spring and summer favorites.
• Frankford Hall: If you build a modern German beer garden, they will come. This indoor/outdoor Stephen Starr hotspot keeps 12 beers on tap, most of which patrons can order in half- and full-liter helpings, and 10 more in bottles. Authentic German foods like pretzels to bratwurst, open-air picnic-table seating, a center campfire and ping-pong tables make for a memorable evening on the town at Frankford Hall. • Fette Sau: Brooklyn’s notable barbecue restaurant recently added a second location in Philadelphia, replete with all the characteristics that made the New York outpost buzz-worthy—dry-rubbed, well-prepared meats from local farms that are smoked in-house; simple and elegant side dishes; and communal seating on wooden picnic tables. Fette Sau(German for “fat pig”) also boasts nine beers and a cider on tap, as well as a handful of North American bourbons and whiskeys to pair with the BBQ. • Barcade: Combine a sizable craft beer list with more than 40 25-cent classic arcade games, and the result is Barcade. Based on locations in Brooklyn and Jersey City, the bar-arcade combo also offers up a generous menu and outdoor space — for those who can tear themselves away from Tetris or Donkey Kong. • Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen: Kale makes its way into veggie burgers and martinis at Fishtown Southern comfort foodery Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen. Enjoy the relaxed brunch-through-late-night concept from the front porch, an elevated deck. • Interstate Draft House: At the bar, restaurant and outdoor patio of this Southwest-style locale, people chow down on alligator and beef chili, grilled seitan tips and burgers topped with applewood bacon and mac and cheese, and they wash it all down with refreshing brews. • Memphis Taproom: An epic bottled beer list is just one highlight of the vegan-friendly Memphis Taproom, which also boasts 10 craft beers on tap and extensive brunch, lunch and dinner menus and a backyard beer garden with an accompanying can-beer-and-dog truck, drawing tons of outdoor (drinking) lovers.
• Silk City: The setting at the Silk City beer garden-like courtyard is part island oasis, part junkyard. It’s filled with colorful wooden tables, empty-kegs-turned-chairs, string lights aplenty and garden ornament-like objects likely salvaged at many a yard sale. And to that an awesome beer selection, favoring local brews, and you have a recipe for a great alfresco outing. • PYT: Sun yourself out on the Piazza or lounge in the breezeway at this burger and shake stronghold located in Northern Liberties. • Gunner’s Run: Gunner’s, named for the natural creek that originally bordered the neighborhood, tempts with American grub and outdoor tables, which provide perfect seats for catching a game in the Piazza. • Bar Ferdinand: Picasso-inspired paintings and a sherry wine list inspire patrons to unleash their inner matadors at Bar Ferdinand, a Spanish-inspired tapas venue. Diners snack on small hot or cold plates and take in the Liberties Walk scenery either indoors or out. • King’s Oak: With $3 happy hour pickle shots, $2 PBR draughts all day every day, the budgeting crowd gets their cheap drink on at King’s Oak both indoors and on the expansive patio. • Darling’s: Plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the Piazza at Darling’s makes scoring a breezy seat a cinch. Treats like berry cuvée with guava and bananas foster are best enjoyed alfresco, right? • El Camino Real: Texas or Mexico? Seitan or sirloin? Local brew or Dos Equis? The menu options seem endless at El Camino Real, Bar Ferdinand’s progeny that splits allegiances as a barbecue post and border bar. • Standard Tap: In a show of Philly pride, this draft-only pub’s menu spotlights local brews among its daily rotation of more than 20 beers. Plus, area environmentalists have given Standard Tap a green thumbs up for its eco-friendly habits, including a green roof to circulate sunlight and fresh breezes throughout the pub.
Old City and Penn’s Landing
• City Tavern: Historic City Tavern, built on the site of the very pub when our Founding Fathers raised pints, has a lovely, grassy garden in the rear of the restaurant. A full menu is served on the veranda, but folks can arrive just for a brew out back, too. Order up a glass of Yards’ Ales of the Revolution, and perch on a bench out back. • SquareBurger: SquareBurger offers juicy burgers and the famous Tastykake Cake Shake courtesy of Mr. Starr, all outdoors in one of the city’s most lush courtyards in Franklin Square park. Bonus: work off the meal with a round of Philly-themed mini golf. • Positano Coast: Across from Ritz Five, Positano Coastoffers three fun and foodie-friendly outdoor atmospheres perfect for summer dining: a sidewalk café complete with comfy couches and bright turquoise pillows; an outdoor patio that boasts great second floor views; and the beautiful Sopra Lounge, an open air space with a terrace-like feel. • Crosswalk Cafe: The Independence Visitor Center’s outdoor cafe is the perfect warm-weather hangout in Historic Philadelphia, situated on the gorgeous Independence Mall with a great view of the National Constitution Center, National Museum of American Jewish History and Independence Hall. • Morgan’s Pier: Philly’s sprawling waterfront destination offers sweet Delaware River waterfront views, scores of alfresco tables, a busy entertainment schedule and epicurean picnic fare. Really, Morgan’s Pier is an ideal outdoor hangout. And with room for more than 300 alfresco diners, there’s plenty of space for folks to experience chef George Sabatino’s new menu. • La Veranda: Located on Pier 3 at Penn’s Landing, La Veranda has always been a treat for diners looking to experience the Delaware waterfront. The dockside seating brings you excellent views for the summer’s many fireworks displays, while the kitchen serves a fantastic menu of Northern Italian cuisine. • Moshulu: Moshulu takes waterfront dining to a whole new level by bringing you out onto the water. The 394-foot sailing vessel is permanently docked as a restaurant and bar at Penn’s Landing, serving up lunch, dinner and a weekend champagne brunch. Make reservations around sunset for an unforgettable view of the Delaware.
University City and West Philadelphia
• Zocalo: Zocalo has a nice little backyard, plus top-notch Latin American fare ranging from traditional regional Mexican dishes to Tex-Mex faves. • Dock Street Brewery: Relax on the sidewalk or up on the deck at Dock Street with a cold craft beer, brewed right indoors, and a hot-from-the-oven pizza (our favorite is the Brie with mozzarella, sliced pears and toasted walnuts).
Continue reading about Philly's BEST Art, Eats, Design & Real Estate at BOOTS & CO. magazine
(On Flipboard) http://flip.it/rXslH
(Click image to see magazine)
Buy, Sell, Invest - Building Wealth Health in Philadelphia.
We are very excited to present SPACE & COMPANY, a boutique real estate brokerage dedicated to re-thinking real estate in Center City , Philadelphia. Our business model, characterized by a commitment to our local community, green living and technology, provides a unique perspective for our clients and agents. Educating our agents on quickly changing market trends and supporting their use of the latest technological tools is a priority.
At SPACE & COMPANY we continue to embrace our forward thinking, results-oriented marketing. Things have changed drastically for the real estate industry in the past few years. Given this, we are not content to provide the status quo – we will continue to strive to be a step ahead, offering creative solutions that speak for themselves.