Dining Neighborhood Secrets Of Philly

Dining Neighborhood Secrets Of Philly

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 Square

• 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.

Grad­u­ate Hos­pi­tal

• 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.

North­ern Lib­er­ties

• 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.

Boots Levinson


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Phone: 267-235-7516
Dated: August 10th 2013
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