Now is decidedly the time for outdoor food and drinks.
There are tons and tons (and tons) of outdoor dining and drinking destinations throughout the Philadelphia region.
And while the last few years have been the year of the streetery (the outdoor dining pop-ups in parklets and on sidewalks), we’ve created a guide to our favorite spots for quieter outdoor meals: on rooftops, in backyard gardens, or side patios.
Here’s our guide to the best restaurants and bars for outdoor dining and drinking in Philly.
Jump to your neighborhood:
Before you even reach the ordering counter at Fette Sau, you’ll pass the dozens and dozens of outdoor spots ideal for chowing down on barbecue outside. Set back on Frankford Avenue, the larger-than-expected space is open to those dining or drinking at the restaurant.
Don’t assume it’ll be easy to land a spot at one of the many communal tables in the Frankford Hall outdoor courtyard. One-liter steins, giant soft pretzels, and campfire pits draw crowds that regularly fill the sidewalk. Drop in early to avoid the lines and snag a table before it gets crowded.
Tall bamboo and other plants fill this spacious terrace, enclosed by brick, wood, and tin walls. Order a beer and the buffalo cauliflower.
Striped umbrellas and hanging lights are the setting at this tucked-away back patio, where you can sip cocktails, wine, and local beers, and choose from a menu focused on seafood dishes and raw bar options.
Set in industrial Kensington, this courtyard is perfect for enjoying the ultimate pairing of high-quality hoagies and cocktails in between games of bocce.
Laid-back vibes are the theme at this huge Martha Street outdoor courtyard. While it’s operated by Philadelphia Brewing Co. (and located across Martha Street from the brewery), food from nearby Martha and Zig Zag BBQ can be delivered or picked up.
Umbrella-adorned picnic tables bring a taste of the tropics to this brick patio, hidden away from Spring Garden Street. The patio is surprisingly spacious and is the best spot to sit for brunch on the weekends.
Tucked behind its upstairs bar, this cozy deck overlooks the heart of Northern Liberties. The always-impressive beer list and better-than-pub grub will make the trip worth it.
Transport yourself to the Mediterranean at this tree-filled patio, accented in shades of white. Whether you stop for a morning coffee and rose-and-pistachio cruller, a mezze snack, or an all-out Lebanese feast, you’ll forget you’re just off Frankford Avenue.
It’s never boring at this popular beer garden, which is home to games, televisions for game-watching, and seasonal fire pits. The menu includes a selection of largely local beers, frozen cocktails, wine and more, in addition to sandwiches, salads, and snacks.
On the edge of the breezy Delaware River, this 500-seat seasonal beer garden sits in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Choose from a dozen-plus draft beers, a list of summery cocktails, flatbreads, sandwiches, and raw bar options.
This sunny Italian seafood spot across from Zahav has outdoor seating one story above street level in addition to a collection of sidewalk tables. The elevated seating gives lovely views of leafy Independence National Historical Park.
There’s 20,000-square-feet of space to spread out at the Garden at Cherry Street Pier, along with more than 250 seats for outdoor dining and drinking. Located in the back of the art space that is Cherry Street Pier, this outdoor bar and restaurant is set along the Delaware River and has a menu of Mexican-inspired food like birria tacos, chicken tinga tacos, nachos, taco salad, and more. Drinks range from juices and lemonade to draft cocktails, frozen cocktails, and local beer.
Because it’s Old City’s largest rooftop restaurant, with a tent that blocks the sun and most rain, the roof deck here is popular, so reservations are a good idea. Menu includes salads, burgers, entrées, and Neapolitan pizza, plus a full slate of cocktails, beers, and wines.
Planters festoon the brick walls of this seemingly secret upstairs deck. With only a dozen or so tables, it’s wise to book the space in advance. Come hungry for options like steak frites, freshly shucked oysters, and its signature burger.
Take in Old City views from 11 stories up at the top of Philly’s Kimpton Hotel Monaco. Sit on a plush couch and order one of their cocktails, or splurge on bottle service.
This leafy, lantern-lit patio off Washington Square is a Philly restaurant scene standard. Stop by for buttermilk pancakes at brunch, or beef short rib and seared scallops in the evening.
This spot is a different kind of outdoor dining experience. The deck, which is the top floor of the massive, floating boat gives you cocktails, wine, beer and a menu of seafood and small plates to pair with views of the Delaware River.
Steel beams crisscross overhead at this sushi bar’s brick courtyard, where you can sample an impressive selection of sake and coal-grilled skewers al fresco.
Even if you can’t snag an outside table at this rooftop hotel restaurant/bar, the wide-open windows mean you can catch a breeze nearly anywhere you sit.
Head to the top floor of this classic Center City spot to eat and drink at a tucked away, yet in-the-middle-of-it-all rooftop. Two outdoor spaces flank the retro bar and indoor fireplace, where items like shoestring fries and lobster mac and cheese are available for purchase.
This year-round open-air bar — hidden down the alleyway next to Sampan — is known for its vibrant art, Asian fusion fare, and excellent happy hour specials. It is partially covered, allowing for open-air hangouts on rainy days.
A wooden trellis strung with lights illuminates this 18th Street restaurant. Enjoy towering skyscraper views while sipping on a summery cocktail or a draft beer.
The bigger than expected courtyard next to Jet Wine Bar is decidedly a wine garden with a full menu of white wines, red wines, rosé, orange wine, and sparkling varieties. For the non-wine drinker, there are cocktails, beer and sodas, and food from the wine bar’s sister restaurant Rex 1516.
There’s plenty of space for outdoor drinks at Juno, a fairly new, and totally outdoors, Mexican-inspired restaurant in Callowhill. Have a seat at one of its colorful chairs and choose from a menu of margaritas, wines by the bottle and glass, tacos, nachos, burritos, and more.
Across the street from its main brewery, Love City Brewing Co. opened Love City Gardens, an outdoor space beneath the former railroad viaduct. Here, find seating for more than 80 people, an overhead pergola for rain protection, and an outdoor bar where you can order from the brewery’s drink menu. For food, you can visit the on-site food truck which changes by the day.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s pop-up garden on South Street has been a mainstay for food and drinks in a lush, greenery-filled setting for years. Cantina Los Caballitos and Khyber Pass Pub are in charge of the food and drinks at the outdoor space.
Center City newcomer The Wayward is a self-proclaimed American brasserie with a quiet patio dotted with hanging lights and spread-out seating. On the menu, you’ll find fresh oysters, crisp salads, and a variety of beer, wine, and French-inspired cocktails.
Nine stories up, this lounge has prime views of the Parkway. When you’re ready to stop snapping photos, cushy seating awaits, along with frosé and small-bite options.
Margaritas, guacamole, and tacos are the orders of choice at this partially shaded garden patio, which is always a little quieter than the boisterous scene inside of the restaurant, formerly known as La Calaca Feliz. Reservations are recommended for a seat in the garden.
The standby Fairmount restaurant has a spacious patio with umbrella-shaded tables and couches; come for oysters and truffle fries.
There’s a large courtyard with a retractable roof and umbrella-shaded tables next door to Queer Eye-designed Alma del Mar in the Italian Market. The full menu brunch and dinner menus are available in the al fresco area.
There’s a beach vibe at the backyard space at this South Philly staple, thanks to the lawn chairs, string lights, and a dozen-plus cold draft beers. Try its namesake: a grilled sardine sandwich.
Abundant greenery creates a buffer between this buzzy tapas bar’s patio and the traffic on Passyunk. If you’re celebrating, spring for a bottle of wine to pair with items from the tapas menu.
After a year-plus of reservation-only seating (because of pandemic restrictions), Bok Bar is now happily open to walk-ins, with a portion of the bar still reservation-only. Here, you can take in sweeping views from New Jersey to West Philadelphia from the top of the refurbished and repurposed former school. Throughout its season, the bar is home to dining pop-ups, fitness nights, live performances, and more. For drinks, Bok has a full menu of beer, wine, ciders, and cocktails.
A prime corner on East Passyunk Avenue, this breezy patio gets swarmed with patrons sipping margaritas and dipping chips in guac. The patio is partly covered for outdoor dining on rainy (or sweltering) days, but most of the space is open.
The New York-based pizza-and-burger destination’s multilevel roof deck opened last summer atop the Queen Hotel. Zip up from the lobby to see 360-degree views while enjoying Emmy’s full food and drink menu.
Irwin’s is now home to chef Michael Ferreri of shuttered Res Ipsa, who brings his signature dishes (eggplant gnocchi, agrodolce chicken) to the Bok Building space. This southern-facing sibling to Bok Bar promises an eighth-floor deck complete with hanging lights and views of South Philly below Snyder. Enter at Eighth and Mifflin Street and take the elevator to the top floor.
A mural of the Italian region of Abruzzo is the backdrop in this spacious, candlelit patio. It’s set back from bustling Passyunk Avenue, making it a quiet space to have a Southern Italian meal and a glass of wine.
In good weather, the back patio at this Eri-Ethiopian joint is the place to be. Order a beer to pair with the flavorful stews and spongy injera bread.
This Baltimore Avenue restaurant is known for its Ethiopian food, including the raved-about Ethiopian cheesesteaks made with berbere spice. And its low-key back patio, shaded by a vine-covered pergola, is a great place to eat and drink.
The urban oasis that is the Trolley Portal Gardens at the 40th Street trolley portal has plenty of seats for outdoor meals and drinks from the on-site Renata’s Kitchen and Bar. And while Mediterranean-focused Renata’s was once BYOB, this location has a stocked bar with draft wine and cocktails.
The 1.2-acre lawn covering Cira Green’s parking garage (along 30th Street between Chestnut and Walnut) is one of the city’s newer outdoor standouts, with sandwiches, salads, drinks and prime skyline views. It’s 12 stories above ground level, so take the elevator to the top of the garage to access the free, no-reservation-required space.
Wine and wine-based cocktails (frosé, mimosas, a cotton candy-topped cocktail, and more) are the theme at The Wine Garden, a cool, umbrella-shaded space at 50th and Baltimore. You can also find the Wine Garden in Center City at John F. Collins Park for a bottomless, ticketed pop-up brunch on select weekends throughout the summer. Food trucks are known to visit the West Philly location on weekends.
Behind Germantown’s Attic Brewing Co., find a nearly 9,000-square-foot beer garden complete with Attic’s brews flowing from an outdoor bar, lawn games, plenty of seating, and a rotating lineup of food trucks. You can also bring your own food to eat in the hidden-from-the-street beer garden; Deke’s Garage Roadhouse BBQ is conveniently located next door.
Colorful El Poquito in Chestnut Hill opens up to an often-busy side patio where you can feast on the restaurant’s flavorful tacos, guacamole, and margaritas. Set back a few feet from the street, the patio is completely protected from traffic and is its own oasis of sorts.
Beyond the South Street location, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has a lush, relaxed pop-up beer garden in Manayunk at Main Street and Jamestown Avenue. The menu promises frozen drinks, spiked seltzers, draft beers, tacos, fries, and more.
The roof deck at the Media location of the popular pan-Asian restaurant overlooks the town. Outside, the full menu is available, which includes sushi, lobster mac and cheese, salads, bulgogi spring rolls, and shrimp tempura. Reservations are encouraged, especially on weekends.
Reservations are a must at the Skytop Garden, which sits above the Conshohocken location of the reliable Great American Pub. Note that it operates weather-permitting.
Top Chef Nick Elmi runs this Bala Cynwyd spot, which is in a new hotel that’s part of the redevelopment of the old Pencoyd Iron Works. There’s riverfront outdoor seating beyond the indoor dining area where you can enjoy the menu of cafe favorites: coffee, tea, burgers, bagels, grain bowls, and more.
New Ardmore hot spot Lola’s Garden from FCM Hospitality (who run Morgan’s Pier, Harpers Garden, and more) is an indoor-outdoor restaurant with a beer-and-wine-garden vibe. The spacious trellis-covered patio is the place to sit for a shaded meal or happy hour drink.
There’s a dedicated bar on the roof of this downtown West Chester Mexican spot, in addition to the street-level patio. The popular menu of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, and margaritas is available on the rooftop, which is a first-come, first-served space.
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Steven White contributed to this article.