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The Philadelphia Summer 25

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The Philadelphia Summer 25

These 25 situations are custom-made for an epic Philly summer. Whether it’s hiking in the Wissahickon, picnicking in Washington Square, feasting before a concert or suffering through a brain freeze, all of our eating and doing plans will make this a season to remember.

These 25 situations are custom-made for an epic Philly summer. Whether it’s hiking in the Wissahickon, picnicking in Washington Square, feasting before a concert or suffering through a brain freeze, all of our eating and doing plans will make this a season to remember.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

No, we’re not “fitness influencers,” but we know a thing or two about nourishment. After slogging it on the Wissahickon in 80% humidity, you’ll need carbs, protein, and cheese whiz to refuel. Nobody puts that into a better, more efficient (or delicious) package than Dalessandro’s in Roxborough. Get in line with the other sweaty masses and cool down with a ribeye cheesesteak. - Alison Kessler

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The “I Just Hiked And Now I’m Starving” Spot image

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photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

13th Street in Midtown Village probably conjures up hazy memories of booze-fueled escapades at Woody’s or the dance floor at Time. Let Pearl & Mary class it up a bit. The NOLA-esque raw bar and restaurant is the area’s chicest spot and serves a glistening three-tiered shellfish tower, refreshing crudos, and strong martinis. (We said class it up a bit). - Alison Kessler

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

The summer is rife with bad decisions. Top of the list: Happy Hour with coworkers you only know through emails. Midtown Village’s Graffiti Bar is the place to do it—they make great satays, dumplings, and massive Scorpion Bowls full of tequila, vodka, or rum that almost instantly make people look more attractive than they actually are. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

When it’s hot out, people love frozen drinks. And guess what? Parents are people, too. Grab your tiny dictators (and your dogs) and head to the PHS Pop-Up Garden for a child-friendly outdoor oasis, featuring garden-inspired cocktails, a seasonal food menu, and zero judgment. - Alison Kessler

The Place To Drink When You’re Stuck With Your Kids image

photo credit: El Techo

You’re in the “good morning” plus an emoji text phase and haven’t defined the relationship yet, but you agree on two things: good food and great views. Head to El Techo’s rooftop in Rittenhouse for margaritas, birria tacos, and a setting that’s ideal for capturing an obscure elbow, the back of the head, or whatever you’re ready to post. - Candis McLean

The Soft Launch Patio image

photo credit: W Hotel

Pool parties go with summer like sunglasses and shore traffic. The ticket everyone’s dropped into their virtual shopping carts is for The Wet Deck at The W Center City. Sure, the cost of a cabana rivals a round-trip ticket to Vegas, but the music and drinks make it one of the liveliest spots in town. Also, Vegas doesn’t offer a view of William Penn or access to nearly as many cheesesteaks. - Candis McLean

The Darty (a.k.a. Daytime Party) Spot image

photo credit: John's Water Ice

There will be a long line. There will be boob/knee/back sweat. But if you persevere, there will be the most delicious wooder ice in Philadelphia to cool you down. The Bella Vista walk-up window has been serving classics like lemon, cherry, and chocolate for four generations. They’re perfect on their own, but you can add in housemade ice creams for a gelati if the heat’s made you loopy. - Alison Kessler

The Frozen Treat Worth Sweating Through Your Shirt For image

They say Philly is the Paris of the East Coast. And like true Parisians, we love a long, lazy picnic (and an inordinate amount of cheese). Head to Center City’s Middle Child for stacked sandwiches—you’ll need a Shopsin Club, topped with cranberry miso mayo—and make a pitstop at Sweet Box for dessert before claiming grass at Washington Square. It’s the tastiest meat-and-sweet combo this side of the Eiffel Tower. - Alison Kessler

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

A summer without BBQ is like making a Mission Impossible movie without explosions—boring, odd, and completely useless. When we’re in need of perfectly smoked meat slathered in Kansas City-style sauce, Deke’s in Germantown is the first place that comes to mind. It’s spacious, has one of the better Happy Hours in town, and their Triple X sauce is as fiery as your car’s leather seats in August. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

Other Half Brewing is one of the largest breweries in the city. And with lots of outdoor lawn games and multiple bars, they make good use of the space. On a sunny day, the Fishtown spot gets as crowded as the Linc during an Eagles/Cowboys game, but with its great list of sours, lagers, ciders, and satisfying small plates, it’s worth navigating the masses. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

Let’s face it—with supermarkets putting imitation crab behind glass displays, we need good seafood now more than ever. That’s where The Shake comes in. The casual NoLibs spot specializes in cajun combos full of crab legs, mussels, crawfish, and clams that are steamed and perfectly seasoned (a.k.a. more than a couple shakes of Old Bay). - Candis McLean

The (Actually Seasoned) Seafood Boil image

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

Cuzzy’s in Queen Village makes small batch ice cream using the baked goods they churn out daily in flavors like chocolate cake, cinnamon apple streusel, and toasted brown butter with sugared pecans. It’s the richest, creamiest, hottest (but you know, coldest) treat in town. - Alison Kessler

The Underrated Ice Cream Shop image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Juicy, well-seasoned, no frills, six bucks. Need we say more? No, but we will. The East Passyunk bar makes one of the best burgers in town and serves 'em up alongside craft beer, organic wine, and vinyl tunes. It’s an old-school spot that never goes out of style, and the A/C keeps it cool enough that you can happily hang for a few hours when it’s inferno-hot outside. - Alison Kessler

The $6 Burger image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Remember when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally fell in love at the end of You’ve Got Mail, surrounded by lush blooms? That could be you—but with smartphones. Head to Talula’s Garden, a dreamy, plant-filled restaurant on Washington Square. Try the tuna tartare and sweet corn cavatelli, but you really can’t go wrong here (even with the whole hidden identity thing). - Alison Kessler

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

The view from Bok Bar makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s in a South Philly high school—complete with desks, lockers, and “Manny + April 4Eva” graffiti—and is packed with people as thrilled about the view as they are about being seen. It has a rotating lineup of chefs for the summer (including those from Kalaya and Tabachoy) and signature cocktails you can sip while SZA plays. - Candis McLean

The Postcard View image

photo credit: The Phillies

You’ve already eaten crab fries followed by soft serve out of a Phils helmet, and there’s no end to the game in sight. Head to section 109 for CBP’s newest cheesesteak, this one’s from Charlie Manuel himself. It combines thin-sliced ribeye, tender onions, and a Cooper Sharp cheese sauce that’s actually good and will keep you full through the end of the game (even if it goes past nine innings). - Alison Kessler

The 7th-Inning Snack At Citizens Bank Park image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

This West Passyunk spot makes the best margaritas in Philly. Grab a classic or the Spicy Compadre—they’re perfectly blended, have enough tequila to make you forget your friends ditched you for Tulum, and are half-off during Happy Hour. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Dealing with Ticketmaster was infuriating. Dinner before seeing Queen Bey should be easy. Head to Irwin’s for spaghetti with clam sauce, agrodolce chicken, and cocktails so good you’ll forget how much you spent on seats. It’s located on the top floor of the Bok Building, so you’ll have views of the entire city, and may even hear a few notes during soundcheck. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

So you told your Tinder match you’re into sports. Have no fear—The Yard at South Bowl is here. The South Philly bowling alley has outdoor batting cages, bocce courts, shuffleboard, and arcade games, all on their massive outdoor patio. They also have decent crispy chicken sliders and shrimp tacos and after a few margaritas, you can sneak in a few points on your scoresheet and your date won’t even notice. - Candis McLean

The Adult Arcade image

photo credit: My Loup

My Loup comes from the team behind Her Place Supper Club (ever heard of it?), and is just as impossible to get into. Luckily, this French-ish spot in Rittenhouse keeps bar seats for walk-ins, so line up at 4:59pm for one of the most exciting dinners in the city. You’ll definitely need the pickled shrimp, the Philly Balls, the striploin…And you know what? You can just line up again. - Alison Kessler

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Sneak out of work early, grab a bottle of tequila, and park it at one of the tables at El Chingon. Yes, they make the best cemitas in the city (not to mention the tacos and aguachiles), but nothing says fiesta like Mexican pop music, jugs of housemade mixers, and sunshine. The East Passyunk spot gets crowded, but you won’t mind waiting when you’re humming along to Selena. - Alison Kessler

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

If you took a citywide poll, Philly would tell you the place to be is Mawn. The Bella Vista BYO has some of the most creative Southeast Asian dishes around (the khao soi is a must-try) and a tiny dining room full of antiques and art that will either inspire you to book a beach trip to Saracen Bay or buy a new gold chain. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

You’ve lost your friends, it feels like the sun has a personal vendetta against you, and you’ve spent the amount of your electric bill on bottled water. And, it’s only 2pm. Thankfully, El Purepecha is close by and has incredible burritos, tinga tostadas, and al pastor tacos (plus A/C). Instead of buying vendor food, grab a t-shirt to remember the festival and skip the hangover and ringing ears. - Candis McLean

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

You drank your weight in discounted beer and wine and now you need something to sop it all up. Village Whiskey is a no brainer. They have hearty small plates like wings and tater tots and make one of the better burgers in the city. Plus, their large booths will be a welcome sight after sharing a sticky bar corner with strangers just to get a second-rate margarita. - Candis McLean

Photo: Nicole Guglielmo

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

We all have that “where to next?” friend at 12am. Instead of frantically using the “open now” filter in Apple Maps, just head to Yakitori Boy. The Chinatown karaoke bar has a menu of skewers, sushi rolls, and rare sakes worth staying up for. Plus, their karaoke rooms stay open until 2am and have plenty of cushiony seats for listening to the worst Paramore cover you’ve ever heard. - Candis McLean

Photo: Nicole Guglielmo

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