Due to pandemic restrictions outlawing indoor dining, many restaurants that have never offered outdoor seating are figuring out a way to make it happen. BYOBs are having an especially tough time, because they tend to be smaller spots with limited sidewalk space, and their lack of liquor licenses means they can’t even take advantage of serving to-go cocktails. Despite the challenges, these five BYOBs have figured out a way to use the space they have for outdoor dining.
For more restaurants open with outdoor seating, see this guide. Did we miss one? Email us your favorite BYOB that’s now offering outdoor seating at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cadence might be our favorite BYOB in the entire city, and somehow they’ve made us love them even more in these last few months offering rotating takeout menus, excellent masa tortillas, and pop-ups featuring chefs who don’t currently have a kitchen to operate out of. Recently, they’ve also set up a few first-come, first-served tables out on their sidewalk. They don’t have them available every night, though, so make sure to check their Instagram or give them a call (at 215-419-7537) to make sure they’re doing table service.
We’re used to going to Las Cazuelas for big birthday parties in their back room, filled with BYO tequila drinks in close quarters. But now that giving someone a hug is about as taboo as asking someone if they’re pregnant, we’ve grown to like the Northern Liberties Mexican spot for more casual occasions. Like margaritas and tacos on their new sidewalk seating with a couple of friends. They only have a few tables, but they’re perfect for a Friday night dinner when you’re tired of making your own drinks, or a low-key Saturday day-drinking session. Make a reservation online or call them at 215- 351-9144.
Helm’s $25, three-course meal is a really good deal that’s made up of seasonal dishes that change every day (you can find the most recent ones on their Instagram). And you can now enjoy it out front on their sidewalk seating. There are only a few tables available every night, but you can call them at 215-309-2211 or text 856-906-8451 to book a reservation.
Eating hot soup dumplings on the street in 90-degree heat might not sound like the most appealing summer dinner at first. But when you accompany those dumplings with cold noodles in peanut sauce and an ice-cold beer of your choosing, it all the sudden becomes the perfect BYOB situation for you and your roommates who haven’t left the apartment in months. The menu has a bunch of delicious dim sum dishes, like scallion pancakes, pork buns, and twice-fried green beans (that are a must-order), and it’s all available for takeout in addition to at their first-come, first-served sidewalk seating.
If your date night looks like sitting in front of the TV with a bag of popcorn that’s only half-popped, you’re not alone. Quarantine has taken its toll on pretty much every couple. But Pumpkin, one of our favorite date night BYOBs, is saving the day with some new sidewalk seating where they’re serving a $35, three-course menu. The options change depending on the night, but you can expect lots of light, summery dishes like watermelon salad, oysters, and scallop crudo. Make your reservation here for any night of the week except Monday.