Out on the Town
With summer upon us, savor the joys of dining beneath the open sky.
by Bill Donahue

“Would you like to sit inside or out?” Once warm weather sets in, the answer to this question should always be “out.” Discovering that a new restaurant offers outdoor seating often stirs almost primal feelings of freedom and excitement. For those who appreciate the experience, following is a short list of some of our favorite restaurants with out-of-doors dining. Drop by any one of these establishments and bask in the small joys that come from savoring a finely prepared meal in the open air. We’re confident they’ll become some of your favorites, too.

Appetites on Main
Dog lovers just love, love, love places such as Appetites on Main, partly because so few of them exist. Besides a pet-friendly patio, this Chester County spot offers a “doggie menu,” with options such as beef steak, pork belly, and, naturally, hot dogs, just for Fido. For humans, the wide-ranging menu of apps (fried pickle spears!), tavern-style favorites, and traditional mains will satisfy just about any palate. AppetitesOnMain.com

Black Bass Hotel
Few places offer as impressive a view as this Bucks County institution, which has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Weather permitting (and when available), dine on the river deck and enjoy selections from the Black Bass’ internationally influenced menu, not to mention a breathtaking vista of the Delaware River and the bridge to Bull’s Island. BlackBassHotel.com

Lafayette Hill 
Brittingham’s checks all the boxes: metropolitan food menu; an inventive cocktails lineup; and plenty of tables and bar stools under the sun (or, at night, under the stars). In fact, the restaurant has a copious amount of perches where guests can enjoy an alfresco meal or drink with friends. It’s easy to see why the parking lot fills up so quickly for weekday happy hours. Brittinghams.com

Firepoint Grill
Newtown Square 
When the covered patio of this Delaware County stunner gets hopping—and it usually is—few places compare. It doesn’t matter if the day is hot and sunny or cool and gray; the temperature-controlled outdoor space serves as home base for guests eager to enjoy a house-made cocktail and something from the menu of American classics. FirepointGrill.com

Independence Beer Garden
Old City
Among Philly’s league of restaurants with spectacular outdoor seating, patios, and rooftop bars, Michael Schulson’s casual Independence Beer Garden can’t miss. Sure, it offers dozens of regional and domestic craft beers, artisan sandwiches, and snacks of the pretzel bite and crispy cauliflower variety. The open-air atmosphere, which is a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most historic sites, places IBG in a class by itself. PhlBeerGarden.com

Jarrettown Hotel
The parking lot of this Montgomery County pleaser crowds up on sunny days. Whether you’re sharing a margherita pizza with a friend, meeting co-workers for drinks, or ordering up Jarrettown’s signature crab cakes for date night, the well-shaded patio at the “J” is the place to be in Dresher. JarrettownRestaurant.com

Jasper’s Backyard
Restaurant goers and bar hoppers flock to Jasper’s any time of year, but this Conshy hot spot truly shines during the summer months. The restaurant is equal parts indoor and out during the hot-and-sticky months, with an expansive alfresco space where guests can partake in handcrafted specialty cocktails and thoughtfully conceived dishes of Southwestern and Caribbean influence. JaspersBackyard.com

The Landing
New Hope
If riverside dining is what you seek, The Landing should be your destination. The food always hits the spot, especially because it’s served with a side of awesome scenery—namely, undisturbed views of the Delaware River and plenty of open sky. Just don’t forget your sunglasses. LandingRestaurant.com

La Stalla Restaurant
For plein air lunch, dinner, or a memorable happy hour in historic Newtown, make a beeline for La Stalla. Long considered one of the borough’s most popular restaurants, La Stalla has created a festive outdoor patio and bar area that makes most guests want to linger. LaStallaRestaurant.com

Màs Mexicali Cantina
West Chester
Outside of Philly, it’s tough to find an atmosphere as distinctive as the rooftop bar at Màs. A few fish tacos and a frozen margarita or cold cerveza (or two), paired with a skyline view—we’re sure there are better ways to spend a happy hour or weekend afternoon, but at the moment nothing comes to mind. MasMexicali.com  

Tavola Restaurant + Bar
Tavola’s spacious outdoor bar and patio area offers plenty of comfy places in which to settle. The menu includes everything from brick-oven pizzas and gourmet sandwiches to signature entrées such as the crab cakes and 9-ounce filet. The restaurant abuts Springfield Country Club, meaning unspoiled views of the tranquil golf course. If the night turns cool, cuddle up to one of the fire pits or towering patio heaters. Tavolas.com
Photograph by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, June 2019.  
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