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One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember to voice your support for investing in our public schools, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

The Philly-est Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

Follow our guide to outdoor dining in Philly to discover spots around town for delicious food and drink in gardens, on tucked-away patios and other Insta-worthy surrounds

The Philly-est Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

Follow our guide to outdoor dining in Philly to discover spots around town for delicious food and drink in gardens, on tucked-away patios and other Insta-worthy surrounds

Those of us who’ve been around long enough might remember when Rouge became the first restaurant to get a modern permit for sidewalk dining. These days, Philly restaurants have gone far beyond the sidewalk. Some stretch onto the street, but also many into garden spaces, vacant spaces and rooftops to create al fresco dining rooms all over the city.  Thanks to the ingenuity of our restaurateurs, eating out, outside is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia these days.

For this guide, we scoped out locally owned, fresh-air dining destinations that we feel embody the Philly spirit. (Want outdoor places to drink? We got you.)


Cantina “Calaca” Feliz Fairmount

People sit outside in a courtyard with blue chairs and small tables. A tree stands in the background at Cantina Calaca Feliz in Fairmount, Philadelphia.
Cantina “Calaca” Feliz.

A charming little courtyard stands alongside this contemporary Mexican spot in the heart of Fairmount has a menu of well-executed crowdpleasers and occasional surprises (bacon fig guacamole), and compelling tequila and margarita lists. 2321 Fairmount Avenue, (215) 787-9930

The Garden Restaurant at the Barnes Foundation

A table is set with drinks and food outside the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.
Garden Restaurant at the Barnes Foundation.

On the northwest side of this eminent art museum, a lovely, modern, tree-shaded patio serves elegant, seasonal lunches and brunches (no dinners!) Thursdays through Mondays — chopped salads, smoked turkey BLTs, smoked salmon omelets … wine. No admission required. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 278-7070



A plate of maki (sushi rolls) stands alongside a cocktail in the back outdoor lounge of 1225Raw in Philadelphia.

Less a sushi bar, more a sushi lounge, this snazzy, just-off-13th Street joint has a not-so-secret back patio for sipping sake bombs and nibbling sashimi, maki and tempura. 1225 Sansom Street, (215) 238-1903

Little Nonna’s

This photo of the patio at Little Nonna's accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by E. Mencher for Visit Philadelphia

The courtyard of chef Marcie Turney and Val Safran’s Gayborhood Italian restaurant hides beyond a dining room, protected by a canopy and brick walls. On the menu: traditional Italian comfort foods like spaghetti and meatballs in Sunday gravy, half a roasted chicken and eggplant and chicken parm. 1234 Locust Street, (215) 546-2100

Royal Boucherie

People sit at outdoor tables on the second-story deck of Royal Boucherie a French restaurant in Old City, Philadelphia.
Royal Boucherie

Royal Boucherie‘s garden dining space sits atop the Old City brasserie. Exposed brick walls, hanging greenery, string lights, and a clandestine vibe make make Parisian steak tartare, trout almandine, steak frites, oysters on the half shell and French 52 somehow taste even better. 52 S. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6313

Talula’s Garden

Plates filled with food and drinks fill a table at Talula's Garden.
Talula’s Garden.

Inspired by co-owner Aimee Olexy’s rustic BYOB in Kennett Square, this farm-to-table spot (next door to Talula’s daytime market-cafe; across the street from Washington Square) is beloved for its cheese plate and extra fresh everything. Seats on the rustically planted courtyard are justly coveted. 210 W. Washington Square, (215) 592-7787

The Wayward

Black metal chairs and tables along with upholstered banquettes fill a small, planted courtyard with a wooden screen on one end and string lights overtop. This is the Wayward in Philadelphia.
The Wayward.

Rustic, geometric wooden panels separate the Canopy Hotel’s outdoor terrace from the busy Market East corridor, while deep planters seem and dim lighting muffle the din. The 30-seat American brasserie has one of the largest gin menus in Philly, not a bad prelude to lobster gribiche, ratatouille or a brioche-bunned cheeseburger, either. 1170 Ludlow Street, (215) 258-9430


A table filled with food stands on the patio of Zahav, a popular Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia.
Patio at Zahav.

At Old City’s Israeli James Beard winner, a charming patio welcomes by-reservation-only diners for a nosh (hummus for sure) and a cocktail, or a full, five-course menu. Your choice.  237 S. James Place, (215) 625-8800 


Front Street Cafe

Front Street Cafe. Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia.

Reliably open daily from 8am through most kids’ bedtimes, Front Street serves elevated basics — fried chicken, veggie burgers, flatbreads, salads, kombucha, mimosas — in the shadow of the El. 1253 N. Front Street, (215) 515-



This festive, Mexican-American Spring Garden joint has colorful seating, vibrant wall murals and kitschy decor like neon-lit signage and a large model ship. It’s pretty, too, brimming with trees and overhead flower boxes. Come here for frothy margaritas and guacamole, meat- and veggie-filled tacos and quesadillas. 1033 Spring Garden Street, (267) 639-2892


Entrance to a garden patio at the Kensington bar and restaurant, Martha in Philadelphia.

The back garden patio of this spunky Kensington restaubar is as cute as a button. Martha is known for its short-and-sweet menu of natural wine, draft cocktails, salads, hoagies, cold pizza and pickles. 2113 E York Street, (215) 867-8881

Pizzeria Beddia

Pizzeria Beddia. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.

What began as a ridiculously popular pizza food truck now lets everybody in on the deliciousness of Joe Beddia’s straight up fabulous pies — made with whole milk mozz, Old Gold cheese — and natural wines, best enjoyed at a green picnic table on the back patio. 1313 Lee Street,  (267) 928-2256

The Garden at Silk City

The outdoor seating area at Silk City Diner
Photo courtesy Silk City Diner

The kitschy outdoor garden of this Spring Garden diner has a frozen drink machine cranking out boozy concoctions, plus Thai chili wings, spicy chicken sammies, disco fries and vegan fare. Open daily for dinner, weekends for brunch too. 435 Spring Garden Street, (215) 592-8838

Sor Ynéz


People sit behind planters on the patio of Sor Ynéz, a Mexican restaurant in Kensington, Philadelphia.
Sor Ynéz.

An outdoor space of brightly-colored furniture under strings of white lights atop a green carpet seems the perfect spot to enjoy chef Alex Tellez’ vibrant, vegetarian-friendly, Mexican menu starring heirloom blue corn, fish tacos, pumpkin seeds — and mezcal. 1800 N. American Street. (215) 309-2582


Plates of hummus, manoshe, and other Lebanese / Levantine items fill a table at Suraya in Fishtown, Philadelphia.

Suraya‘s beautiful outdoor dining space reflects its Levantine heritage. A 5,000-square-foot, all-white outdoor lounge and garden has Persian ironwood trees, Arabic art, fountains, and a fire pit. Add an egg to your order of man’oushe, and don’t skip pastry. 1528 Frankford Avenue, (215) 302-1900


Harper’s Garden

People sit at an outdoor restaurant beneath a slatted wooden ceiling at Harper's Garden in Philadelphia.
Harper’s Garden.

Open daily for lunch, brunch, dinner and drinks, Harper’s Garden is a verdant surprise attached to a ho-hum office tower. There’s lots good to eat, but you’ll also feel compelled to order from the cocktail (or mocktail) menu any time of day. 31 S. 18th Street, (267) 886-8552


People walk by outdoor cafe tables, where more people sit, at Parc restaurant on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.

Every day, morning through night, this boisterous brasserie across the street from a … park feels more like Paris than anywhere else in Philly. Have anything. It’s all delicieux. 227 S. 18th Street, (215) 545-2262


Cocktails on a wooden table at Rouge, a bistro on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
Cocktails at Rouge.

In 1998, this petite bistro launched Philly’s sidewalk cafe trend. Back then, martinis and cosmos were the thing. Today’s Rouge is twice the size, thanks to a lovely, year-round, ambient tent along 18th Street. Still on the menu: martinis, a Gruyère-topped burger, but also fresh juice cocktails and sparkling rosé. 205 S. 18th Street, (215) 732-6622


Alma Del Mar

People sit at tables to watch a musical performance in the outdoor cafe of Alma del Mar, a Mexican-owned restaurant decorated with papel picado garlands.
Alma del Mar.

A papel picado-strung open-air dining room doubles the capacity of a beloved, seafood-forward and fresh juice BYOB. The sibling of nearby Marco’s Fish & Crab House, Alma’s is known for mango, avocado and blue point crab salad, great brunch, and frequent musical guests. 1007 S. 9th Street, (215) 644-8158

Barcelona Wine Bar

Photo courtesy Barcelona Wine Bar

Along busy E. Passyunk, a V of planters and trees conceal a small patio. Have the ham and manchego croquetas and fresh sardines — pretty much all the tapas are good, especially with a small-producer Cava or rosé. 1709 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 515-7900

Bloomsday Café

People sit at cafe tables outside a brick facade of a restaurant on Headhouse Square in Philadelphia. This is Bloomsday Cafe.
Bloomsday Cafe.

Headhouse Square is as charming spot as any to sip delicious (no cap) local wines while nibbling lemon pepper wings and crispy Brussels sprouts at a sidewalk cafe. Dinner only from Wednesday through Sunday, plus weekend brunch. There’s a wine shop too. 414 S. 2nd Street, (267) 319-8018

Blue Corn

The outdoor dining area at Italian Market Mexican restaurant Blue Corn, decorated with hanging lights and heat lamps
Photo courtesy Blue Corn

An awning shades this family-run Italian Market spot, known for its tacos, tortas, burritos, ceviche, and huarache gratin, a thick tortilla topped with salsa verde, queso fresco, refried beans, onions, cactus, and chihuahua cheese. Also: margaritas. 940 S. 9th Street, (215) 925-1010

Cantina Los Caballitos

Catina Los Cabailitos.

It’s not fancy, but it’s always a good time on the gravel patio outside E.. Passyunk Avenue’s longstanding Mexican joint. Go for reliably good fajitas, burritos, tacos, and, if you must, a Mexican hot dog (bacon-wrapped with a pickled jalapeño, queso and pico). Margaritas come by the pitcher. 1651 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-3550

Casa Mexico

Chef-owner Cristina Martinez at Casa Mexico.

The younger sibling of South Philly Barbacoa, the second Mexican spot from activist chef Cristina Martinez does everything right — brunches of huevos a la Mexicana and chilaquiles; lunch: chile relleno, homemade chorizo tacos and Azteca soup; dinner: moles and ceviche.  1134 S. 9th Street, (267-) 470-1464


This photo of Irwin's accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia

Chef Michael Vincent Ferreri is responsible for an elegant spread of modern Sicillian plates and fresh pasta: straightforward spaghetti and clams, gnocchi Sardi with eggplant and chili, seasonal mezze. The Bok Building, however, is responsible for the 8th-floor terrace views. 800 Mifflin Street, (215) 693-6206

Le Virtù

This photo of Le Virtu accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Italy’s rugged Abruzzo region, birthplace of many older South Philly residents, inspired this elegant East Passyunk spot. An ample, partially-covered courtyard serves seafood stews, fresh pasta, great small plates and great wines, next to a mural of Abruzzo. 1927 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-5626


Booker’s Restaurant & Bar

An egg (sunnyside up) and fried fish stand alongside a mimosa at Booker's Restaurant in West Philadelphia.

This neighborhood-beloved, Black-owned hotspot has a large, covered, lush outdoor dining room serving Southern-inspired food and drinks. Try a salmon burger, Buffalo cauliflower, Creole vegan jambalaya, short ribs, seafood mac — and anything from the brunch menu. Also, there’s kid’s menu, happy hour specials and live music events. 5021 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 883-0960

Dahlak Paradise

The outdoor seating area at Dahlak in West Philly
Photo by Katherine Rapin

The West Philly mainstay has a spacious, covered back patio, open rain or shine. Dahlak’s Eritrean-Ethiopian menu includes a savory stews: meats, veggies like okra, collards and spinach, lentils and chickpeas, eaten with spongy sour injera bread. Cocktails here come double-sized. 4708 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 726-6464


Front Street Cafe. Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia.

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