Where To Get A Big Group Meal Outside In Philly guide image

PHLGuide

Where To Get A Big Group Meal Outside In Philly

The 17 best places to head outside for a big group dinner.

It doesn’t take much to find yourself planning a big group dinner, especially when it’s nice out. One friend texts you about meeting up, then they tell another friend, and now you’re trying to find the best and most spacious patio, rooftop, or garden in Philly. To help you out, we threw together this guide to the 17 best outdoor dining spots where you can take a big group of friends and have an excellent meal. 

THE SPOTS

Suraya imageoverride image
8.8

Suraya

$$$$

1528 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
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With large fire pits, cabana-like seating, and plenty of tall trees and hanging lanterns, Suraya in Fishtown has one of the best patios in Philadelphia. And because of this, you’ll have to make a reservation before diving into a mezze plate full of things like baba ganoush and smooth hummus or a large and tender ribeye that you can pass around the table. The Lebanese spot’s patio is also spaced out enough so when you bring a big group here, you won’t hear people talking about their most recent bad date or how the Phillies will never win it all.  


At Irwin's, you can enjoy some of the best food in Philadelphia, choose from a great selection of natural wine, and enjoy it all on a sprawling rooftop in South Philly. The Italian spot is located inside a renovated school building, but it’s the patio with hanging lights and a few plants where you want to be. When you’re there, expect things like orecchiette with swordfish and fava beans, a broccoli-heavy rigatoni, and citrusy whole fish (which they change each week). Order a few plates with your friends and take in one of the best views in the city. 


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Kalaya Thai Kitchen is a BYOB located in Bella Vista with a cozy sidewalk setup lined with plants. You should order dishes like fluffy coconut rice, sakoo hed dumplings that look like bright purple flowers, and some of the best curries we’ve ever had. It’s often pretty busy, but if you book ahead of time you shouldn’t have a problem snagging one of the outdoor tables on 9th Street. 

Where To Have A Group Dinner In Philly guide image

PHL Guide

Where To Have A Group Dinner In Philly

photo credit: RACHEL LERRO

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons imageoverride image
8.5

Wm. Mulherin's Sons

Wm. Mulherin's has two outdoor areas you should seek out. The first is the lineup of tables on the sidewalk directly across from the restaurant. The second is their corner garden that’s surrounded by trees and happens to be one of our favorite Fishtown spots to sit, drink, and eat plates of pasta. With long picnic tables and a massive umbrella for some shade, you’ll have plenty of space to spread out and fill up your table with dishes like yellowfin crudo, lobster gnocchi, and thin-crust pizza topped with pepperoni, caciocavallo, sharp provolone, and long hots. Come hungry, order a lot, and pick something from their excellent wine list that’s exclusively made up of bottles from Italy. 


While Little Nonna’s is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, they’ve also got a large backyard patio complete with hanging lanterns, plants, and an overhead cloth covering that will make you feel like you’re in a fancy tent. When you’re at the Midtown Village spot with a few friends, prioritize the massive meatballs and handmade pasta, and appreciate the fact that you can hang out on their completely covered patio even on rainy nights. 


This Italian spot has quickly become one of our favorite dinner spots in Center City, and its wrap-around outdoor setup is one of the major reasons why. With marble cafe tables, plants hanging from the ceiling, and a striped canopy for sun cover, it works just as well for a casual midweek group hangout or somewhere you can meet up with friends before a night out. Everything on the menu is delicious, including juicy golden bass, scallop crudo, and crispy octopus that comes with an oniony potato salad. But their peppery Rabe the Bank pizza, which seems to have a never-ending amount of mozzarella, is what will have your friends reminding you to book a reservation for the next sunny day.


Cheu has a massive outdoor alley space that connects both Cheu and Nunu. It’s a large shared space with metal tables, hanging lanterns, and space heaters for the colder months. On the menu, you’ll find Japanese small plates like pork and chive dumplings and cheesy squash rangoons, but the savory brisket ramen is what you should go for, regardless if it’s chilly or hot out. While you can’t really share a soup, everybody at your table should get it and call it a day since it’s the best thing here. Pair it with a bottle of shochu and you’re well on your way to a fun night in Fishtown. 


Parc Brasserie imageoverride image
8.0

Parc Brasserie

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The sidewalk at this French bistro gives you a great view of Rittenhouse Park and all of the people walking by who are usually extremely well-dressed. Besides the great view, Parc is somewhere you could just as easily use for a double date or pop in for a bite with some friends and share a bottle of wine. When it comes to food, expect things like escargot, steak tartare, and Moroccan lamb shank with buttery couscous. When it’s nice out, their sidewalk is usually 90% full, so you either should grab a reservation or just post up in the park and wait—we’ve found that tables usually open up after about 30 minutes. 


People spend a significant amount of time waiting for the tacos from South Philly Barbacoa. But Casa Mexico, a spot run by the same team, is actually easier to get into and has the same great Mexican food. While they only have a handful of indoor seats, their outdoor setup has a long wooden and covered structure out front with plenty of tables covered in bright yellow picnic tablecloths. It’s the perfect spot for sharing bowls of queso fundido with steak or green mole with chicken—both dishes that are big enough for four people.  


The large Sor Ynez parking lot setup is the first thing you’ll see when you walk up, and it’s a pretty lively scene—you have a bunch of people sharing lamb shanks coated in salsa verde and after-work hangouts sipping on Oaxacan Old Fashioneds. The Kensington Mexican spot also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, like root vegetable ceviche vegan mixtole, so there’s something for everyone in your friend group. 


When it’s a sunny afternoon, we can’t think of a better place to hang out than at Kensington Quarters’ back patio. Since it’s got one of the largest outdoor setups in Fishtown, the long tables should be able to fit almost all of your closest friends—and even some acquaintances. We recommend going all-in on the raw bar (with oysters, clams, and crudo) and rounding out your meal with some pasta or a tender New York strip main that’s perfectly charred. 


Le Virtù in East Passyunk has a bunch of seating underneath a large outdoor tent out back similar to ones you’ll see at weddings. In the space, they even have a long family-style table that can fit up to six or seven people and lots of tall trees and overhead lighting. They have Italian dishes like ceppe ai funghi, lamb sausage gnocchi, and lemony whole branzino, and everything is easily shareable and comes family-style. 

Barcelona Wine Bar has a long wine list and an even longer menu full of tapas. There’s also a corner seating area that’s large, spread out, full of plants, and has old theater-like signage hanging over the restaurant. The East Passyunk spot dishes out so much excellent Spanish food that you may find yourself in a group argument deciding between ordering extra of the spiced beef empanadas, chicken pimientos, or just skipping straight to a moist olive oil cake for dessert. If you can’t decide, just order it all.


The main attraction at Harper’s Garden is its very charming outdoor setup. Complete with hanging lights, overhead covering providing lots of shade, and more plants than a greenhouse, it’s one of the most scenic restaurants in town. All of their small plates, like roasted beets and pomme frites with creamy chipotle aioli, are great, but we’re big fans of their pasta that’s served with garlicky calamari, red pepper, and seafood broth. Also, on a really warm night where you feel the need to constantly check if you’re sweating through your shirt, any of their tequila-based cocktails made with fresh fruit juices will at least help cool you down a bit. 


Bok might be labeled as a rooftop bar, but there’s a lot more going on here than just margaritas, IPAs, and some glasses of wine. Outside of having pop-up chef residencies by Kalaya, Poi Do, and Frizwit by Musi, the view here is stunning. Like all rooftop spots, the restaurant is entirely outside, and almost all the food here (no matter who’s in the kitchen) is made for sharing. Order a bunch of stuff to split, some bottles of malbec or grüner for the table, and stare out at the South Philly skyline. If you want a more sit-down experience, Irwin’s is in the same building.


You wouldn’t be able to tell when you walk by, but 1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge has a big patio out back with plenty of umbrellas and long tables. They even have a section of their menu called “Let’s Share,” so they fully encourage you to pass around as many plates of edamame, sumo fries topped with wasabi oil, and pork gyoza all night long. During Happy Hour, the enormous backyard is usually filled with lots of people sipping on cheap citywides, $6 wines, and biting into a few dumplings.


Figo Italian has one of the busiest outdoor dining setups in Fishtown—and that’s not because they’re one of the few places in town serving towers of wine flights. It feels like they almost have too much outdoor dining space, with a long open-air bar, a covered patio, and a ton of large tables near the sidewalk. This also means that it’s a great last-minute group option since it’s almost impossible for them to be fully booked. Grab a round of baked meatballs, calamari fritti, chicken parmesan, and a slice of classic margherita all while facing 2nd Street. 


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