NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

The Best Outdoor Restaurants in Philly

Peruse our neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to find dozens of atmospheric spots to eat outdoors in Philly that are tucked away on patios and in gardens

The Best Outdoor Restaurants in Philly

Peruse our neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to find dozens of atmospheric spots to eat outdoors in Philly that are tucked away on patios and in gardens

Even though restrictions on indoor dining have relaxed to nearly full capacity, many Philly diners still prefer to keep it outside. And why not? Lots of restaurants in Philadelphia have created some amazing spaces for al fresco dining. In fact, thanks to the ingenuity of our restaurateurs, dining out(side) is one of the best things to do in Philadelphia during Covidif you’re safe.

That said, there’s “outdoor dining” and then there’s “eating on a sidewalk.” The latter has its place—aren’t we all just grateful to be out to dinner?—but for this guide, we scoped out restaurants offering fresh-air dining destinations 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 foliage and fountains and strands of twinkling lights rather than sidewalk gawkers and roaring 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 spring. Just be sure to check the websites before you go—most spots these days are requiring reservations. (And masks, of course.)

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

 


WHERE TO EAT NEAR RITTENHOUSE

Abe Fisher

Diners enjoy dinner at the outdoor seating area at Abe Fisher in Philadelphia
Photo by Colby Kingston

Inside Abe Fisher’s streatery, you’ll start with warm, challah parker house rolls and 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

Branzino

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

A reader tipped us off to the loveliness that is Rittenhouse restaurant Branzino’s lush interior patio, which is filled with trees and surrounded by cool brick and stone walls—a beautiful little space that the restaurant says will remain open as long as people wish to dine outside. 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

Harper’s Garden

Guests at Harper's Garden in Philadelphia can eat in a cool heated greenhouse
Photo courtesy Harper’s Garden

Center City eatery Harper’s Garden features a stunning, all-weather outdoor patio and trellis that will be blooming with plants and flowers by late spring and all summer long. You can also reserve cozy, heated greenhouses now through the arrival of stable warm weather. 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

Oyster House

A waiter at Oyster House presents a plate of oysters garnished with a lemon peel
Photo courtesy 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; 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 restaurant. Check out happy hour (yes, happy hour—it still exists!) drink and oyster specials Tuesday-Friday, 4 to 6pm and Saturday, 3 to 5pm. 1516 Sansom Street, 215-567-7683

Via Locusta

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

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 with a handful of heat lamps lined up along the dining area. 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

Charlie Was a Sinner

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

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

El Vez

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

Little Nonna’s

The outdoor seating area at Little Nonna's in Philadelphia
Photo by Jason Varney

It doesn’t get much more secluded—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. Owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have removed tables to allow for proper social distancing, so only 12 people can be back there at a time. 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

Mercato

Mercato BYOB offers outdoor dining in bubbles during the Covid-19 pandemic
Photo courtesy Mercato BYOB

Dine in a space bubble at this enchantingly lit corner Italian-American BYOB in Washington West. The cooking traditions of old-world Italy take center stage on a menu of beautifully prepared plates like braised short ribs, steamy winter risotto and a “pyramid pasta” that’s topped with lobster, shrimp, ricotta, asparagus, tomatoes and lobster cream sauce. Don’t forget the wine! 1216 Spruce Street, 215-985-2962

 


WHERE TO EAT NEAR OLD CITY AND SOCIETY HILL

Bloomsday

A view of the Head House Shambles in Philadelphia from Bloomsday Cafe
A view of the Head House Shambles from Bloomsday’s streatery | Photo by Katherine Rapin

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 heart 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

The Garden at Cherry Street Pier

The outdoor seating area at new outdoor restaurant The Garden at Cherry Street Pier
New outdoor restaurant The Garden at Cherry Street Pier | Photo by Society Hill Films

You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant with more stunning views than The Garden at Cherry Street Pier by FCM Hospitality. Projected to reopen April 17, 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

Pizzeria Stella

The outdoor seating area under the Head House Shambles at Pizzeria Stella
Outdoor seating at Pizzeria Stella under the Head House Shambles.

Outdoor seating 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

Talula’s Garden

The outdoor seating area at Talula's Garden, just off Washington Square in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy 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 spring menu with treats like fig pizza 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

Around the Singing Fountain

Locals sit around the Singing Fountain in South Philadelphia
The Singing Fountain by day | Photo by K. Kelly / Visit Philadelphia

It doesn’t get more nostalgically South Philly than at the Singing Fountain, which sits along bustling Passyunk Avenue and, in warmer months, 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.

American Sardine Bar

The outdoor seating area at American Sardine Bar in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy 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

Irwin’s

The rooftop bar at Irwin's Upstairs, on top of the Bok building in South Philly
Photo by @misspear221 / Instagram

This Bok Building restaurant with sweeping views of South Philadelphia reopens on April 9 with a brand new chef and menu. Former Res Ipsa chef Michael Vincent Ferreri is taking over with a bar focused on Italian wines, and a spread of modern Sicillian plates and fresh pasta, such as spaghetti and clams, gnocchi with eggplant and a seasonal caponata. We wish them the best of luck. Res Ipsa was truly one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia before the pandemic shut it down. It’s great to see it getting a much-deserved second chance. 800 Mifflin Street, 215-693-6206

Le Virtu

The outdoor seating area at Le Virtu in South Philadelphia
Photo courtesy 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 patio is adorned with lights, shrubs and potted plants. Meantime, large canopies keep you covered on drizzly spring evenings. 1927 E. Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-5626

 


WHERE TO EAT ON SOUTH STREET WEST

Jet Wine Garden

The outdoor seating area at Jet Wine Bar
Photo courtesy Jet Wine Bar

A night out at Jet Wine Garden, located just off of South Street West, feels like being at a classic backyard barbecue—that is if you’re one of the lucky and rare Philadelphians to actually have 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 vines growing on the surrounding walls only add to the bucolic scene. Jet Wine Bar runs the space, so expect delicious, well-curated vino and a menu that runs the gamut from small plates to veggie burgers to fish tacos. 1525 South Street, 215-735-1116

PHS Pop-Up Garden at South Street

The outdoor seating area at the PHS Pop-Up Garden in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The lush PHS pop-up garden is back for the spring and summer season beginning April 1. The local beer garden staple enchants with 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. Looking for the Manayunk version of this pop-up? It’s slated to return mid-May. 1438 South Street, 215-988-8800

 


WHERE TO EAT IN AND NEAR THE ITALIAN MARKET

Alma Del Mar

Folks have dinner on the outdoor patio of Alma Del Mar in Philadelphia's Italian Market
Photo courtesy 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 and plenty of seating. 1007 S. 9th Street, 215-644-8158

Blue Corn

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

The Good King Tavern

The outdoor seating area at The Good King Tavern in Philadelphia
Photo by Josh Middleton

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 escargots, pork rillettes and steak tartare. If you’re a meat-eater, the burger is outstanding. The crispy cauliflower is pretty great, too. The restaurant’s James Beard-nominated upstairs bar à vins (le Caveau) is closed for now, but you can still access the offerings—ask your server for wine recommendations. 614 S. 7th St., 215-625-3700

 


WHERE TO EAT IN AND NEAR THE RIVER WARDS

Germantown Garden

The outdoor seating area at Germantown Garden in Northern Liberties
Photo courtesy 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

Juno

The outdoor seating area at Juno in Philadelphia
Photo courtesy Juno

As a relative newcomer on 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

Martha

The outdoor seating area at Martha in Kensington
Photo courtesy 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 Garden at Silk City

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

The mural- and kitschy artifact-filled outdoor garden at Silk City returns for spring 2021, beginning March 31. 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

Suraya

The beautiful outdoor patio at Levantine-inspired Fishtown restaurant Suraya
Photo courtesy 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

La Calaca Feliz

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

 


WHERE TO EAST IN WEST PHILLY

Dahlak Paradise

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

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

 


VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Parks On Tap

Locals hangout in hammocks and on picnic blankets in Philadelphia's roving beer garden Parks on Tap
Parks On Tap, pre-pandemic | Photo by Albert Yee

The traveling beer garden sets up in parks across the city each week through spring and summer starting April 3—while supporting Philly parks. And not just by providing beer and a crowd-pleasing menu of picnic-style fare (a highlight: grilled cheese with Lost Bread’s milk bread, Lancaster Co. cheese and smoked tomato jam) to entice folks into them. They also donate a portion of proceeds to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Philly Parks (in 2019, they raised $250,000 for our parks!). Check the Parks On Tap website for up-to-date location information.

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

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