The Best Rooftop Bars in Philly
Drinks just taste better with a view.
It’s not easy to see summer drift by without having a meal at one of Philadelphia’s many rooftop bars. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep Philadelphians masked up and cautious, some restaurants are beginning to offer new socially distant outdoor dining in adherence with current CDC standards, including many of the great rooftops in this town. Whether you’re craving frozen cocktails and pizza, lux seafood towers, or just the thrill of a burger and a beer consumed with a killer view, there’s a spot open for you (but only if you wear a mask).
This beautiful South Philly rooftop, perched on a former vocational school, is open for reservations only this summer, where you can expect different food pop-ups and music partners throughout the season. Soak in the sparkling, sprawling views of the city -- dusk is always one of the best times to go. Keep tabs on all the upcoming food specials on Instagram.
A permanent fixture on the Cira Green rooftop park, Sunset Social usually has something good playing on its massive outdoor TV (movie night Wednesdays!) and plenty of frozen cocktails and nibbly bar food to go around. If you’re in the mood to get out, stop by for outdoor dining Tuesdays through Saturdays. Check out Instagram for food specials and pop-ups.
Rooftop seating plus a boat? Seems hard to resist. The Moshulu has opened its deck for the season, with distanced outdoor dining for 2020. Head over for happy hour starting at 3pm for $6 drinks and seafood-centric small bites, or stop by for dinner and go all out on the massive seafood plateau, complete with shrimp, oysters, tuna tartare, sushi, and crab cocktail.
Nick Elmi’s innovative French restaurant Royal Boucherie recently reopened for outdoor dining, offered both in its make-shift French-style “streetery” on 2nd Street, and in its cute little 2nd-floor rooftop garden. Come for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and go all-in on the Boucherie burger with truffle mayo, fried duck confit wings, and escargot Torchio pasta along with summer-y mules and daiquiris.
Prepped with reservation policies to best adhere to COVID-19 social distancing standards, Attico at the Cambria Hotel is now open for lunch and dinner, offering spritzy cocktails and Mediterranean cuisine for groups of six or less. You’ll be able to take a nice view of Broad & Locust, as well as all the trendy decor that makes this feel like a hot summer getaway.
The NoLibs mainstay is known for three things: rotating craft beer drafts, phenomenal pub fare, and a laid-back, all-seasons rooftop deck. Canopied over the corner of Poplar Street, the deck is a perfect place to settle in for a pint and a burger. Standard Tap is now open with outdoor seating in accordance with social distancing standards.
Assembly sits atop the Logan Hotel and looks down at the busy Ben Franklin Parkway. The lounge is open Tuesdays through Saturdays for happy hour and dinner with reservations and limited walk-ins, usually with a 90-minute time cap. In line with city guidelines, you can only be served if you get something to eat, too. For the best ambiance, snag a pod and get a nice cheese plate that goes perfect with the bubbly and wine-centric drink menu.
Stephen Starr’s mid-century modern Continental is now taking limited outdoor and rooftop reservations so you can finally get some shoestring fries and lobster mac with your martini -- a classic combo, truly. The Continental can be as casual or as formal as you like, but it always delivers a vibe, with retro-inspired decor and specialty cocktails that are instantly transportive.
Revolution House happily opened its rustic rooftop this summer as an alternative to takeout, where you can overlook the corner of Market & 2nd streets. Soak up the sun while gorging yourself on frosé, short rib risotto, and San Marzano mushroom pizza.
Brand new this summer is Emmy Squared’s rooftop, taking over the top of The Queen at 303 Bainbridge for burgers, frozen cocktails, wine, beer, seltzers, and, of course, thick squared pizza, every weekend Friday through Sunday. Tables are first-come, first-served, no reservations required (but you can still make them online). In line with CDC guidelines, masks are required at all times unless you’re seated. If you go, definitely don’t skip the cheesy garlic sticks -- they will make you see the light.
Reservations are required to dine outdoors in the airy Sopra Lounge at Positano. The good news is that a visit could maybe be enough to feel like you’re having a summer Eurotrip to the Amalfi Coast. Black squid ink crab linguini, diver scallops, and homemade vodka sauce might just do the trick.
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