Time to Indulge
Sure-bet alfresco destinations for sipping and savoring in the sun
by Theodora Malison

Balmy summer nights long to be spent dining alfresco with good company and a favorite bottle of wine. Whether you prefer dining along the waterfront or taste testing a variety of local brews with nothing but sky overhead, the Greater Philadelphia Area satisfies on both fronts. Before planning your next outdoor excursion, check out our top picks for outdoor sipping and savoring this summer.  

333 Belrose Bar and Grill

With the address in the name, you’ll know where to find this charming favorite in Wayne. While its interior is uniquely artistic, the nestled-away garden patio guarantees a charming night out. 333belrose.com

Bacco Italian Restaurant
This North Wales restaurant boasts an outdoor patio and bar that seats up to 75 guests, with live music Thursday through Saturday. Spice up your outdoor excursion with an order of Bacco’s “famous” stuffed long hots to start; finish your night off with house-made tiramisu … and a game on the bocce court. baccobacco.com

Crooked Eye Brewery
This tasting room in Hatboro (open Wednesday through Sunday) welcomes beer connoisseurs to sample small-batch IPAs and pale ales. If you’re there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, grab a bite from Big Buck’s Mobile BBQ on site, for only $7 a sandwich. crookedeyebrewery.com

Drury Beer Garden

Who wouldn’t want to play a game of giant Jenga while sipping on one of eight rotating beers on tap? A new (and welcome) addition tucked behind Greek restaurant Opa off Sansom Street, this picnic-like space will bring out the summer-loving child within us all. opaphiladelphia.com

El Poquito
There’s nothing better than a night under the stars with tacos and tequila. Spice up your outing to this Chestnut Hill cantina with Mexican classics, best enjoyed on the spacious patio. elpoquito.com

Frankford Hall
City goers looking for a bratwurst and freshly poured Hefeweizen should pop on over to this rustic beer garden on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. What they’ll find: an eclectic “trinken” menu of drafts, bottles and beer cocktails, among other surprises. frankfordhall.com

Graffiti Bar
Those with an appreciation for beer and street art will love this hot spot, located down an alleyway next to Michael Schulson’s restaurant, Sampan. Dine out on the private 30-seat open-air patio and try one of Chef Schulson’s acclaimed Asian-inspired dishes. sampanphilly.com

Head to Rosemont and bask under the palm trees and kick back with a cocktail at the “Gaarden” in what is likely the Main Line’s largest outdoor bar and grille. There, you’ll discover a broad menu of food—entrées, burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, etc.—and librations, and plenty of room for activities. gulliftys.com

Independence Beer Garden
Looking for a wide selection of regional and local craft beers? Want to pass the time with friends playing classic games such as cornhole and shuffleboard? Craving an inimitable atmosphere overlooking a part of history? Head to this outdoor beer garden for all this and more. phlbeergarden.com

In Riva
What better way to enjoy a waterfront view of the Schuylkill than with Neapolitan-style pizza and housemade pastas? In Riva in East Falls offers one of the largest outdoor dining spaces in Philadelphia, so go ahead and take in the view and a bite (or two) of Southern Italy. in-riva.com

Jarrettown Hotel

Built in 1847, this historical landmark of Dresher offers some terrific Italian cuisine. On nicer days, indulge on the expansive patio, surrounded by lush greenery and the restaurant’s intricate historic stonework. jarrettownrestaurant.com

La Calaca Feliz
Whether you’re traveling to this Fairmount cantina for the chips and crab guacamole or plantain-crusted tilapia on the Baja fish tacos, be sure to wash it all down with one of their signature margaritas on the secluded outdoor patio. lacalacafeliz.com

The Landing
While dining outdoors on this New Hope favorite’s brick patio, be sure to order a bowl of the award-winning chili or the grilled shrimp tacos. You won’t tire of the riverside view. landingrestaurant.com

La Stalla
Once an historic barn, Newtown’s La Stalla has become a destination for homemade Italian cuisine, not to mention an excellent happy hour at its outdoor bar and dining area. Our advice: Although tempting, don’t fill up entirely on selections from the well-curated antipasti menu. lastallarestaurant.com

Logan Inn
Dine fireside by the pit or under the strands of twinkling lights while indulging in New American cuisine from this New Hope hot spot. The view is so good you might not want to leave—and you don’t necessarily have to if you book a room for the night. loganinn.com

Llama Tooth
Located right off of Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia’s Callowhill neighborhood, diners will enjoy the ultimate outdoor-vibe sitting beneath an oversized mural of a flowering Haitian hillside. You might even forget you’re in downtown Philadelphia. We recommend the sangria. llamatooth.com

Manayunk Brewery

Beer aficionados, rejoice. With more than 600 varieties of beer brewed on location since 1996, this historic 1822 gem located along the Manayunk canal is ideal for anyone seeking a cold draft and live music, with the added perk of a waterfront view. manayunkbrewery.com

Morgan’s Pier
Enjoy your favorite cocktail, draft or can alongside a scenic waterfront view of the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. If you decide to go on a Monday, be ready to test your skill at “Brains and Brawn: A Quizzo Baggo Combo”; winners can receive up to $50 off their bar tab. morganspier.com

Be sure to request seating on the veranda at this historic landmark of Wayne—especially for brunch. You won’t want to miss the breeze and mimosas, or the chicken and waffles. paramourwayne.com

During the summer months, Philadelphians can enjoy the ultimate in French sidewalk dining in the iconic city spot on Rittenhouse Square. Choose your favorite un verre de vin and an entrée for an ideal afternoon or night in the city. Bon appétit! parc-restaurant.com

PHS Pop-Up Gardens
Back by popular demand, the Philadelphia Horticulture Society’s Pop Up Gardens will open two locations this month: one at its flagship South Street site; and another adjacent to the rail line at the Viaduct Rail Park. The South Street location will be operated by Khyber Pass Pub, featuring craft beers, creative cocktails and selections from its diverse menu. Its counterpart at the Viaduct Rail Park will include a rich architectural heritage of the three-mile park, as well as comfort dishes by “Top Chef” alum Jason Cichonski. phsonline.org

The Plumsteadville Inn
Known for its tagline—“burgers and beer, lobster and cheer”—this historic Pipersville restaurant offers an embarrassment of riches, including a terrific menu in an inimitable location. It also has one of Bucks County’s most welcoming alfresco dining areas, complete with a fire pit and fountain, perfect for enjoying a cocktail or two. plumsteadvilleinn.com

Doylestown’s puck is known for its food, live music and, when the weather turns, its vibrant outdoor patio, complete with live music every Friday night. Puck is just one more example of why Doylestown is “the place to be” in Bucks County. pucklive.com

Ristorante Castello
This trattoria in Blue Bell offers exceptional northern end of Italian fare, best enjoyed on a spacious outdoor patio. Although this restaurant does have a liquor license, it does welcome patrons to “BYO” a favorite bottle of wine to enjoy alongside of a plate of pollo saltimbocca or filet mignon. We also recommend the risotto. ristorantecastello.com

Roots Café

The West Chester café is contributing to a sustainable food industry, with compostable coffee cups, soup containers and cutlery made from renewable resources. It only makes sense that its farm-fresh brunch, lunch and dinner options can be enjoyed in a garden area reminiscent of someone’s well-tended backyard. rootscafewc.com

Standard Tap
Philadelphia natives flock to this home of local beer and locally sourced ingredients, while enjoying a quaint view of Northern Liberties. The second-floor porch seats about 50, covered by a rooftop, and it’s heated for chillier nights. A recommendation: Try the “famous” chicken pie, paired with one (maybe two) of several local beers on tap. standardtap.com

Stratus Rooftop Lounge
Seeking the ultimate night-out excursion? We suggest cocktails and socializing at Stratus. Take in the rooftop view, 11 stories above Independence Hall, and a drink of choice from the extensive globally inspired menu. stratuslounge.com

Talula’s Garden
Those seeking the ultimate farm-to-table experience will find it at the table of this open-air Washington Square gem.  Munch on hot lavender doughnuts for brunch, or stop in for dinner for the roasted Rohan duck breast. With a menu that shifts with the seasons, you’re always in for a (good) surprise. talulasgarden.com

Llama Tooth photograph by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia