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The Best Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

Our guide to Philly's amazing "streatery" scene highlights some of the most beautiful spots in town to eat and drink under the stars this fall

The Best Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

Our guide to Philly's amazing "streatery" scene highlights some of the most beautiful spots in town to eat and drink under the stars this fall

We can eat inside restaurants in Philadelphia now if we want to. But why? One of the best holdovers from this lingering pandemic is all the amazing outdoor dining setups around town. In fact, thanks to the ingenuity of our restaurateurs,  eating outside is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia right now, period.

That said, there’s “outdoor dining” and then there’s “eating on a sidewalk.” The latter has its place, but for this guide we scoped out the most atmospheric restaurants offering fresh-air dining experiences this fall in Philadelphia that are tucked away on patios and in gardens, places that are removed from the world just enough that you might have your meal surrounded by seasonal foliage and fountains, and strands of twinkling lights rather than sidewalk gawkers and roaring SEPTA buses.

Keep reading for spots across the city that offer all types of cuisine—and give you a chance to support our locally owned businesses this fall. Just be sure to check the websites before you go—most spots these days are requiring reservations.

We’ve separated this guide to outdoor dining in Philly into neighborhoods, so feel free to zoom ahead to find restaurants in and near:

 

OUTDOOR DINING NEAR RITTENHOUSE SQUARE


This photo of Abe Fisher accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Abe Fisher

ABE FISHER: At Abe Fisher’s cozy streatery, you’ll start with warm, challah parker house rolls and an herby cheese spread. Next, choose your appetizer (strong recommendation for the latke fries with herb sour cream and applesauce), main and dessert, or go for the Montreal smoked short ribs, which you can order for the whole table. 1623 Sansom Street, 215-867-0088

The outdoor interior patio at Rittenhouse Italian restaurant Branzino
Photo courtesy Branzino

BRANZINO: Rittenhouse restaurant Branzino’s lush interior patio is filled with trees and surrounded by cool brick and stone walls. A trickling fountain sets the scene for the menu of beautifully prepared traditional Italian pasta and seafood dishes, including, of course, a whole branzino seasoned with lemon caper butter. 261 S. 17th Street, 215-790-0103

The outdoor seating area at Harper's Garden in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Harper’s Garden

HARPER’S GARDEN: Center City eatery Harper’s Garden features a stunning, all-weather outdoor dining patio and trellis that’s blooming with plants and flowers. Beyond the lovely ambience, you’ll also enjoy a menu focused on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and an all-star cocktail (and mocktail!) list. 31 S. 18th Street, 267-886-8552

A waiter at Oyster House presents a plate of oysters garnished with a lemon peel
Photo courtesy Oyster House

OYSTER HOUSE: Exciting news: the 1500 block of Sansom Street will likely stay closed to traffic—and open to diners—until December 2021! Reserve a table at Philly’s beloved Oyster House; and since you’ll be sharing the street with guests at its neighboring eateries, it’ll feel like you’re dining at a block-long outdoor dining bonanza. Check out happy hour (yes, happy hour—it still exists!) drink and oyster specials Tuesday to Friday from 4 to 6pm. 1516 Sansom Street, 215-567-7683

The outdoor seating are at Via Locusta near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy the Schulson Collective

VIA LOCUSTA: The Schulson Collective’s upscale pasta spot in Rittenhouse pretties up its outdoor “veranda” with potted shrubs and eye-pleasing mint green chairs, and keeps things toasty on chilly fall nights with a handful of heat lamps.. The pasta here is freshly handmade with locally sourced, fresh-milled flour. Have a plate of creamy ravioli and top if off with some shareable small plates and one of six specialty cocktails. 1723 Locust Street, 215-642-0020

 

WHERE TO EAT IN AND NEAR MIDTOWN VILLAGE


Two friends enjoy the outdoor seating area at Charlie was a sinner. in Philadelphia, which is decked out with a crystal chandelier
Photo by Laura Freiberg

CHARLIE WAS A SINNER: 13th Street in Midtown Village has done a great job creating an outdoor dining experience during Covid—especially on weekends when the street is closed and the strip takes on an almost carnival-like air. One of the best spots to grab a table is vegan restaurant Charlie was a sinner, where diners can sit in a mini chalet decked out with velvet curtains, a chandelier and Turkish rugs. It’s a beautiful setting to enjoy the restaurant’s creative menu of plant-forward fare, which includes a tastier-than-it-sounds roasted cauliflower steak, to-die-for potato gnocchi, and some sinfully delicious mac and cheese with smoked “gouda” and tempeh bacon. 131 S. 13th Street, 267-758-5372

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Diners enjoy outdoor dining in a colorful booth at El Vez
Photo courtesy El Vez

EL VEZ: The festive feels are alive and well at this spirited Midtown Village staple, which keeps its diners happy and extra peppy with towering bowls of guacamole, generously portioned plates of Mexican grub and no fewer than a dozen varieties of margaritas. During Covid, owners have brought the restaurant’s signature over-the-top decor outdoors in enclosed booths decorated with hanging lamps and vibrantly colored walls. Be sure to ask for one of those when you make your reservations. 121 S. 13th Street, 215-928-9800

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 / Visit Philadelphia

LITTLE NONNA’S: It doesn’t get much more tucked-away—or romantic—than the patio at Gayborhood Italian restaurant Little Nonna’s. Accessed by going through the restaurant (mask on!), the enchanted, heated hideaway is surrounded by four brick walls and sheltered by wooden canopies draped with hanging lights. Be sure to book early—and ask for the patio, because sidewalk seating is available, too. And bring a hearty appetite for Chef Turney’s menu of traditional Italian comfort foods, like BVP meatballs swimming in Sunday gravy, spaghetti and pan-seared gnocchi. 1234 Locust Street, 215-546-2100

RELATED: 13 more female-owned restaurants to support in Philly right now

This photo of The Lawn at Loveluck accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by R. Rabena / Visit Philadelphia

THE LAWN AT LOVELUCK: Local restauranteurs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran—the owners of Little Nonna’s above—bring picnic-in-the-park vibes to Center City with this vibrant pop-up in LOVE Park, which is slated to stay open until mid-October. Food and bar trucks park on the periphery of the 9,000-square-foot streatery, doling out hunger-smashing grub, like burgers, sandwiches and curly fries. Picnic tables and Adirondack chairs sit amongst a forest of plants and seasonal flowers, giving guests a bucolic spot to chow down right in the heart of the city. 1599 John F Kennedy Boulevard

 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN OLD CITY AND SOCIETY HILL


This photo of a plate of food and wine at Bloomsday accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Bloomsday

BLOOMSDAY: Evenings at Head House Square are looking pretty quaint these days—four restaurants, including Bloomsday, have set up tables and chairs along the brick sidewalk, cobblestone street and under the Shambles with twinkly lights above. We ❤️ Bloomsday for its weekend brunch, never-disappointing wine selection (including more than a dozen local wines that are actually good) and dishes like smoked New Jersey carrots with farro and whipped feta, and the “Emotional Support Dog” (house-made hot dog on a brioche bun). You can get tinned fish from around the world—served with olives, crostini and a lemon wedge—which feels especially transportive these days. It’s the simple things. 414 S. 2nd St., 267-319-8018

RELATED: How Tria’s virtual wine classes helped it survive a pandemic

This photo of Cafe Frieda accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Frieda for Generations

FRIEDA FOR GENERATIONS: How’s this for lovely: Diners who eat outdoors at this creative café in Society Hill do so under a canopy of fluttering butterflies—all of which were created by the eatery’s devoted customer base. Yellow planters, trendy café-style tables and park benches do their part to separate diners from street traffic as they nibble on salads and sandwiches and freshly baked pastries.

Diners sit in the expansive eatery at the Garden at Cherry Street Pier
Photo by Society Hill Films

THE GARDEN AT CHERRY STREET PIER: You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant with more stunning views than The Garden at Cherry Street Pier by FCM Hospitality. The enchanting eatery sits in the shadow of the hulking Benjamin Franklin Bridge along the Delaware River. More than 200 people can comfortably fit in the open-air, industrial venue, which is outfitted with quaint sidewalk café-style seating, floor-to-ceiling trees, and planters separating each table. The menu boasts casual picnic-style fare (think smoked turkey wraps, salads and sides), local ales, wine and craft cocktails. 121 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, 215-923-0818; 215-839-8031

The outdoor seating area under the Head House Shambles at Pizzeria Stella
Photo courtesy Starr Restaurants

PIZZERIA STELLA: Outdoor dining at Stephen Starr’s Pizzeria Stella is technically street-side, but its location under the Headhouse Shambles earns it enough points to nab a place on this list. Tables and trendy red chairs are situated among the brick pillars along the historic Society Hill structure, giving diners ample space to enjoy the pizzeria’s signature wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas with gutsy Italian wines. 420 S. 2nd Street, 215-320-8000

This photo of Positano Coast accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Positano Coast

POSITANO COAST: Italy’s sparkling Amalfi Coast lends inspiration to the food and décor at this mainstay seafood- and Italian wine-focused restaurant located just across the street from the Ritz Five. The outdoor dining area—called Tramonti at Positano Coast—sits on a raised patio and is decked out with massive umbrellas and an abundance of exotic plants and flowers to keep you shaded from the sun. On warmer days when the windows are flung open, the second-story deck is also a lovely—and breezy—spot to dine, giving guests a mix of the outdoor-indoor dining experience. 212 Walnut Street, 215-238-0499

RELATED: 19 great Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia that give back

This photo of the patio at Talula's Garden accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia

TALULA’S GARDEN: The lush, tucked-away little patio at Aimee Olexy & Stephen Starr’s popular farm-to-table eatery is always in high demand, and with good reason: Punctuated by a new summer menu with treats like house-made goat cheese ravioli and saffron-scented seafood risotto, Talula’s Garden is an incredibly pretty spot to nosh within throwing distance of Washington Square. 210 West Washington Square, 215-592-7787 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN SOUTH PHILLY


This photo of Fond accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo of Fond by K. Kelly / Visit Philadelphia

AROUND THE SINGING FOUNTAIN: It doesn’t get more nostalgically South Philly than at the Singing Fountain, which sits along bustling Passyunk Avenue and serenades passersby with a soundtrack that ranges from Frank Sinatra to Coldplay. Grab a seat outdoors at one of the great restaurants that surround it to take in the full effect. For a hip scene and boozy cocktails, there’s Stateside; Fond offers a trendy setting and delicious contemporary American fare; BYO Noord is a jovial neighborhood spot with hearty grub from northern Europe; and, when you want to splurge, River Twice boasts beautifully presented small plates and a stellar selection of wine.

This photo of American Sardine Bar accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy American Sardine Bar

AMERICAN SARDINE BAR: This laid-back Point Breeze bar/restaurant offers sidewalk seating, but try to get in early enough to snag a spot on the backyard patio, which is blocked off from the street by flower boxes and hanging lights. The dining area gives off serious South Philly block-party vibes with folding lawn chairs and umbrellas. A chalkboard menu lists the day’s offerings, including a variety of sandwiches and comfort foods, loads of beers and refreshing seasonal cocktails. 1800 Federal Street, 215-334-2337

RELATED: Rather get takeout? Here are 11 delicious spots that give back. 

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

IRWIN’S: Did you know? The Bok Building restaurant with sweeping views of South Philadelphia is open all year! Former Res Ipsa chef Michael Vincent Ferreri is still cooking his beloved spreads of modern Sicillian plates and fresh pasta, such as bucatini with tomato and ricotta and gnocchi sardi with eggplant and chili. Wine director Noah Burke’s worldly wine list will surprise and delight—and you can’t go wrong with a cocktail. (Amari, vodka, fig leaf, and lemon anyone?) 800 Mifflin Street, 215-693-6206

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

LE VIRTU: This Italian restaurant on East Passyunk Avenue specializes in food from the Abruzzo region of Italy (think hearty seafood stews and heaping, flavorful plates of fresh pasta). The spacious “il campo” is adorned with lights, shrubs and potted plants. Meantime, large canopies keep you covered on drizzly fall evenings. 1927 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-5626 

 

WHERE TO EAT NEAR GRADUATE HOSPITAL


This photo of garden at Jet Wine Bar accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Jet Wine Bar

JET WINE GARDEN: A night out at Jet Wine Garden, located just off of South Street West, feels like being at a classic backyard barbecue (if you’re one of the lucky and rare Philadelphians that actually has a backyard). The expansive space takes over an entire vacant lot with a tiki-style drink hut, umbrella-covered seating and plants and shrubs spread throughout. An enormous overgrown tree in the back and brand new murals on the surrounding walls only add to the vibe. Jet Wine Bar runs the space, so expect a impressively curated list of wines from far flung vineyards and a menu that runs the gamut from small plates to veggie burgers to fish tacos. 1525 South Street, 215-735-1116

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PHS POP-UP GARDEN AT SOUTH STREET: Good news: the lush PHS pop-up garden will stay open until October 31! As enchanting as ever, with it’s wooden seating and bar areas, and a veritable jungle of flora and fauna. Cantina Los Caballitos and Khyber Pass Pub are handling food and drinks, so expect a blend of Mexican- and Southern-inspired grub, herbal cocktail infusions and more. Note: The PHS Pop-Up Garden’s sister location in Manayunk will also be open until October 31. 1438 South Street, 215-988-8800 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN AND NEAR THE ITALIAN MARKET


This photo of a couple eating at Alma Del Mar in the Italian Market accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by Neal Santos / Visit Philadelphia

ALMA DEL MAR: This Italian Market seafood spot got a dose of pizazz from the Queer Eye crew last year (watch episode eight, “Father Knows Fish,” to get to know the sweet and spunky family owners). It’s the sister restaurant to Marco’s Fish & Crab House just down the street, and it opened in the midst of the pandemic last summer. Luckily, the empty lot next door was easily transformed into a patio with tropical palms, plenty of seating, and occasional live music. 1007 S. 9th Street, 215-644-8158

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

BLUE CORN: Dine quite literally on the Italian Market in Blue Corn’s covered streatery, complete with festive twinkly lights. Enjoy tacos, tortas, burritos and specialties like the huarache gratin—a thick tortilla topped with salsa verde, queso fresco, refried beans, onions, nopales, and melted chihuahua cheese. Pro tip: It’s a great place to celebrate a birthday; they’ll blast jovial music over the loudspeakers in your honor (plus… margaritas). 940 S. 9th Street, 215-925-1010

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Chef Cristina Martinez, of Casa Mexico and South Philly Barbacoa
Photo courtesy of Casa Mexico

CASA MEXICO: So you’ve probably been to its sister restaurant, South Philly Barbacoa (go on Monday to skip the weekend lines!), but have you tried Cristina Martinez’s (pictured above) new spot? It opened just before the pandemic hit and—thanks to the charming streatery on the market, excellent food and warm service—it’s still thriving. From the huevos rancheros and chilaquiles (brunch) to consomme and azteca soup (lunch) to moles and ceviche (dinner), nothing on the menu will let you down. 1134 S. 9th Street, 267-470-1464

Kalaya's shaw muang dumplings
Shaw muang dumplings, courtesy of Visit Philly

KALAYA: Dine in a converted shipping container adorned with bright floral paintings and hanging plants at the always-busy Thai hit. Kick off your night with stunning starters like kanom jeeb nok (bird-shaped dumplings with fish, caramelized onion & sweet radish) and shaw muang (vibrant blue flower-shaped dumplings with ground chicken filling, cucumber, red chili & cilantro), then dig into herb-loaded salads, rich curries, noodles (and) or stir-fry. 764 S. 9th Street, 215-385-3777

This photo of The Good King Tavern accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy The Good King Tavern

THE GOOD KING TAVERN: The Queen Village French tavern took over a section of Kater Street with its charming streatery. Order an expertly crafted cocktail and check the chalkboard menu for starters like duck confit and steak tartare. The socca—a crepe made with chickpea flour—is the perfect substantial (and classic French) dish to share with friends. And don’t miss the restaurant’s James Beard-nominated upstairs bar à vins (le Caveau)—ask your server for wine recommendations. 614 S. 7th St., 215-625-3700 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN AND NEAR THE RIVER WARDS


This photo of Germantown Garden accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Germantown Garden

GERMANTOWN GARDEN: You’ll feel kind of like you’re in a treehouse at this Northern Liberties beer garden that sits under wooden canopies and several towering trees. Potted plants and hanging ferns help round out the festive, forest-in-a-city surrounds. Seafood and fried chicken is the specialty here, with options ranging from shrimp po’ boys and crispy chicken tenders to shareable seafood boils piled with snow crab, shrimp, potatoes, corn and andouille sausage. 1029 Germantown Avenue, 267-214-0086

This photo of Juno accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Juno

JUNO: As a relative newcomer on the Philly dining scene, this festive Spring Garden joint has added a pop of cheer to these otherwise dark times with 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 hanging flower boxes. Come here throughout the season—they’ve just added tents and heaters—anytime you’re in the mood for frothy margaritas and Mexican-American fare like guacamole, meat- and veggie-filled tacos, and quesadillas. Bonus: Check out the new fall drink menu. Reservations required. 1033 Spring Garden Street, 267-639-2892

This photo of Martha in Kensington accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Martha

MARTHA: The spunky fermentation-focused bar has a back patio with the best vibe. Between the carefully crafted cocktails, sour beers, natural wine, impressive selection of mezcal (too many good options!) and the bocce court, you’ll want to stay all night. Order snacks—house fermented local veg pickles, fennel-chili-spiced nuts or an array of local cheeses—straight away. (They’ve got more substantial fare, like hoagies, too.) Get there early and make a night of it. 2113 E York St., 215-867-8881

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

THE GARDEN AT SILK CITY: The mural- and kitschy artifact-filled outdoor garden at Silk City is back with extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights. Regulars will be happy to know that the diner’s beloved frozen drink machine will be cranking out delicious, boozy concoctions, and favorites like the Thai chili wings and spiced chicken sammy will be on the menu along with a brand new selection of vegan fare. 435 Spring Garden Street, 215-592-8838

This photo of restaurant Suraya accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia

SURAYA: One of the best restaurants in the city offers one of the most beautiful outdoor dining spaces: Suraya, the Levantine-inspired Fishtown star, takes reservations for seats in its 5,000-square-foot outdoor lounge and garden, a space characterized by Persian ironwood trees, Arabic art, fountains, a firepit. It’s quite the romantic, transporting escape—as is the patio seating near the garden entrance. Reservations required. 1535 N. Front Street, 215-302-1900 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN FAIRMOUNT


The outdoor seating area at La Calaca Feliz in the heart of Fairmount neighborhood in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy La Calaca Feliz

LA CALACA FELIZ: This charming contemporary-Mexican spot in the heart of Fairmount boasts a menu of well-executed crowd-pleasers with occasional surprises (try the bacon fig guacamole) and compelling tequila and margarita lists. On top of that, it also has a twee little courtyard, hidden from the street, with all the wonderful trappings of your typical al fresco “dining room” (Charm? Check. Trees? Check. String lights? Check.). And yet it’s always remained something of a neighborhood secret. Well … until now. Heaters and a tent will keep the place cozy well into the cold-weather months. 2321 Fairmount Avenue, 215-787-9930

This photo of Parks on Tap accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Parks on Tap

PARKS ON TAP: The roving beer garden plans to stay open Wednesdays through Sundays until October 30th (weather permitting)—at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Swing by for beer and a crowd-pleasing menu of picnic-style fare (a highlight: grilled cheese with Lost Bread’s milk bread, Lancaster Co. cheese and pepper jam), and feel good about your purchase. Sales support Philly parks by providing proceeds to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (in 2019, they raised $250,000 for our green spaces!). Check the Parks On Tap website for more information.

 

WHERE TO EAST IN WEST PHILLY


The outdoor seating area at Dahlak in West Philly
Photo courtesy Dahlak

DAHLAK PARADISE: The West Philly mainstay has a spacious—and covered—back patio, so you can dine on Eritrean-Ethiopian dishes rain or shine. Their menu includes a wide range of stews: meats, veggies like okra, collards and spinach, lentils and chickpeas, to be eaten with spongy sour injera. Pro tip: the cocktails come double-sized. 4708 Baltimore Ave., 215-726-6464

Renata's Kitchen patio Baltimore Ave
Courtesy of Renata’s Kitchen

RENATA’S KITCHEN: Last winter, the beloved Mediterranean spot took over SEPTA’s charming 40th Street trolley portal. They’ve now got a spacious patio on Baltimore Ave and have expanded the hours and menu to include happy hour and dinner. Go for Middle Eastern classics like spanikopita, shakshuka merguez and chicken mohammar (harissa marinated chicken baked with piles of sweet onions)—and definitely start with the fried halloumi and crunchy chickpeas. Pro tip: Renata’s has an impressive mocktail list, including the Rumman Spritz: soda infused with pomegranate molasses and sweet mint. 3940 Baltimore Avenue, 267-275-8254

RELATED: This Argentine bakery and BYO in West Philly found a way to thrive during the pandemic

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Header photo of PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street courtesy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

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