PHLGuide

The Best Patios In Philadelphia

Our guide to Philly’s classic summertime spots.

There usually becomes a breaking week in the calendar where May flowers begin to run it up on April showers and we finally get months of consistent sun. When this happens, everyone in the city immediately looks for somewhere to sit outside, eat a few meals, and break out their summer wardrobe. So if you're looking for all the best outdoor spots, this guide has you covered with our favorite patios to grab a meal and drink in Philadelphia. They all have a mix of great food and an atmosphere good enough to come back every day. 

The Outdoor Spots

If you’re interested in basking in the sun while eating steak frites, head to Old City’s Royal Boucherie serene outdoor garden on the second floor. The French-inspired menu includes things like oysters, chicken cassoulet, and a few other dishes that will make you feel grateful for clear skies that day. And if you’re in the mood to people-watch, you can post up on their outdoor setup and eat their Boucherie Burger that’s oozing with gruyère, peppery watercress, and smoky bacon.


After a day of shopping at the Philadelphia Fashion District, you should hit up this Center City American brasserie. They have a few French 75 carafes we love to pass around the table while diving into their raw bar options like oysters, jumbo shrimp, and tuna carpaccio. Beyond the chilled choices, they also have a few small plates like fluffy corn beignets and Brussels sprouts frites that are on their Happy Hour menu. When we stick around for a dinner on their large brick outdoor patio, we go for the braised short rib and pair it with some gin from their long list.


Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is one of the best restaurants in Fishtown. And with hanging lights, tall trees, long picnic tables, and a few umbrellas for some sun cover, they have one of the nicer patio setups in the area where you can share a pizza or a few plates of ricotta cavatelli and lobster gnocchi. While you won’t get the unique charm of dining inside of a 100-year-old whiskey factory if you’re outside, just order one of their whiskey-based drinks, a few plates of pasta, and soak up the sun with a group of friends.


What makes LMNO one of the most exciting dinner spots in the city is their outdoor setup that’s perfect for a night where you want to party without paying a cover at some club. The Fishtown spot has bright yellow and purple cafeteria-style seating, a glowing neon-lit bar that stretches from the interior to the exterior, and a few hanging lights that will shine on your round of tacos. When you head here after work with a few people from the office, the snapper chicharrón with tangy salsa verde is the dish you’ll all be talking about while sipping your morning coffee.


When Queer Eye brought its makeover series to Philly years ago, we got this restaurant full of colorful patio furniture, white table umbrellas, and delicious Mexican food. This South Philly spot has a seafood-heavy brunch menu that’s consistently solid across the board. You can order the shrimp, whiting, scallops, and grits dish or salmon burger, but you should really go for the lobster benedict. It’s covered in a tangy Old Bay hollandaise sauce that's the shade as the bright yellow seats on their patio. Sit under a few flowing massive umbrellas with a taco or two and then walk around the Italian Market.


On the eighth floor of the Bok Building, you'll find this Sicilian restaurant with a patio with one of the best views in the city. Full of long cafeteria tables and some high school desks, it’s a great spot to hang out with a plate of handmade pastas, a juicy and crunchy swordfish milanese, and entrees like agrodolce roast chicken. Irwin’s is a relaxing space where you should bring a few friends, eat a few dishes that almost look too perfect to eat, and enjoy the view and a bottle of rosé.


When it’s a sunny day in the city, you can always count on people to do the following: plan an impromptu picnic at Kelly Drive or look for the city’s latest best place to eat outdoors. That latter is Midtown Village’s Prunella. When you’re eating inside of their covered outdoor setup, you should go for starters like their light scallop crudo, their fettuccine with pancetta, English peas, and parmesan, and a Rabe The Bank pizza. Plus, unlike the livelier spots nearby, like Sampan and El Vez, you can have a relaxing meal on one of the more popular streets downtown, without feeling part of the chaos.


Martha is worth hanging out at all year long, but it doesn’t really get crowded until the first nice day of spring. As soon as that threshold is broken, Martha stays pleasantly full pretty much every night through late September. Their big back porch is filled with tables and mismatched chairs, and there’s table service outside so you don’t have to walk back to the bar inside every time you want a refill. They also have a bocce ball court if that’s your thing, and, if it’s not, there are usually three or four dogs that you can hang out with instead.


Even during the winter, Front Street is universally loved. But as soon as they set up their huge back patio for the season, it goes from being universally loved to universally idolized. And that’s because, while you can show up here any time of the year for everything from breakfast to late-night chicken fingers, they take patio reservations all summer long. That’s a game-changer—especially on weekend mornings when literally every other place with more than one outdoor table has a two-hour wait.


There aren’t that many rooftop bars in Philly, and even fewer that have good cocktails and somewhere to actually sit down. Assembly has both of those things, plus probably the best view of any outdoor spot in the city. It’s the kind of place you go when you want to day drink, but have to be a real human being afterwards, and it’s pretty much a Philly rite of passage to spend at least one day or night here in the summer.


One of your friends bought a boat in Margate last summer, and you thought it’d be a good idea to bring some snacks, drinks, and people and make a day out of it. But it turned out that it fit approximately three average-sized humans, and within 40 minutes of leaving the dock, you’d already eaten all of the cheese cubes. Next time you get this urge, just invite all your friends to hang out with you on the Moshulu. During the summer, the huge top deck turns into a bar with cocktails and small bites. Make it a point to come at least once before it closes for the winter, and get here early enough to take over one of the loungers before it gets too crowded.


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The backyard of Little Nonna’s feels almost like a secret. From the outside, you would think you’re just passing by a bakery or small cafe, but that’s all just a front for what’s happening in the back—a big garden space with string lights hung up on the trellis that covers the whole patio. For an outdoor date in Midtown Village, you can’t do much better. The menu is full of classic Italian things, but the Sunday gravy is why you should come here. You’ll get a plate full of braised short ribs and fennel sausage covered in marinara, and they sometimes run out of it before the night is over, so make a reservation here on the earlier side.


Like a lot of other beer gardens in the city, Independence Beer Garden is covered in greenery and has rows of long tables made for supporting multiple large containers of beer. Unlike most other beer gardens, this one has legitimately great food, and serves lunch and dinner with things like burgers and tacos every day during the summer. Independence also hosts competitive lawn game leagues, in case your casual beach version of corn hole isn’t satisfying your genetic disposition to be overly competitive about everything.


Like the sun and general happiness, Talula’s Garden is something you probably forgot existed during the winter. But then as soon as the weather’s nice again, it’s the only place you want to eat. Their patio is one of the bigger ones in the city and it’s full of trees and plants that might make you forget you’re in the middle of a city. At least for a few minutes, until 15 cars start beeping at each other five feet away from where you’re sitting. Order some wine and cheese, maybe a couple of dishes from their seasonal, produce-heavy menu, and then go walk around Washington Square Park a few times before heading home.


You say “lunch outside in Rittenhouse Square,” we think Parc. The neighborhood is full of nice spots to have a glass of wine and steak tartare, but none with a better food-and-view combo than Parc. This place takes over about half the length of Rittenhouse Square Park, has a classic French bistro menu with things like steak tartare and beef bourguignon, and is lined with small cafe tables along the entire sidewalk. The whole combo makes it the perfect place to either read a book by yourself or watch people walking their dogs who look just like them.


Yes, there is a lot of graffiti on the walls of Graffiti Bar, a small bar hidden behind Sampan in Midtown Village. There are also a few TVs (perfect for watching Saturday afternoon Phillies games in the summer), large format scorpion bowl drinks, and a retractable roof that means you don’t have to leave just because it starts raining. You can also order small bites like kung pao chicken wings and edamame dumplings from the Sampan kitchen.


Morgan’s Pier has everything you could possibly want in a beer garden: river views, a ton of seating, over 40 different beers to choose from, and a sandwich and seafood menu with a baker’s dozen of choices. So, not surprisingly, it’s pretty much the biggest day-drinking party in the city during the summer. Even with the huge amount of space it takes up under the Ben Franklin Bridge, Morgan’s Pier still gets crowded super quickly, so your best bet is to head there early, grab a few tables, and order enough pitchers so that you don’t have to get the bartender’s attention for the foreseeable future.


Cantina Los Caballitos has one of the best Happy Hours in the city, and it’s even better when it’s warm outside. They have a huge patio right off East Passyunk, and from 4-6PM on weeknights you can get $16 pitchers of frozen margaritas to split between you and a few coworkers. Pair that with some nachos or a plate of shrimp tacos and you have the perfect reason to take a summer Friday every Friday until Labor Day.


Here’s the bad news: everyone in Philadelphia’s city limits knows about and loves Frankford Hall. That means that it usually has a line down the block after 2pm on every nice Saturday in the summer. The good news, though, is that if you get there early or don’t mind waiting in line for a bit, there are a ton of long, umbrella-covered tables where you can find a seat. It also has some of the best beer hall food you’ll find in the city (get the giant pretzel or a spicy sausage), along with a few Jenga sets that are always making their way around the patio.


Standard Tap is a great bar and restaurant in Northern Liberties to hang out at during any point in the year, but their rooftop deck makes it an especially valuable place to have in your pocket on weekends in the summer. Especially when all your friends are down the shore and you and the only other people who couldn’t find a house to crash at need a place to post up and down some self-pity beers. In addition to their huge beer selection, they also have some of the better bar food in the city, so after drinking all day, get their burger or a duck confit salad.


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