26 Fall-Friendly Outdoor Dining Options in Philadelphia
Bundle up with blankets, outdoor heaters, and warm cocktails.
Restaurants and bars throughout Philadelphia are gearing up for colder weather as outdoor dining plays a vital role in keeping businesses afloat during COVID-19. As the pandemic rages on, the struggle for city restaurants and bars to stay thriving likewise persists.
While the summer and start of Yellow Phase saw the sidewalks blossom into streetery cafes and makeshift outdoor dining, the chillier months ahead—and new regulations regarding indoor dining—continue to reshape the local dining scene. Philadelphia recently announced restaurants could offer prefabricated tents and canopies without a building permit, though a permit is needed to add heating. At the same time, some restaurants are starting to take advantage of indoor dining capabilities, adhering to public health guidelines and a 50 percent occupancy cap.
Though ordering takeout or delivery still remains the safest option, patrons itching to get back to restaurant dining have a myriad of options throughout the city, even as many restaurants move things around to offer outdoor dining in the cold. Heated lamps, warm drinks, fire pits, and cozy blankets are all in the mix for restaurants looking to make the most of this upcoming fall and winter of Covid. Check out some of our favorite spots making it work for outdoor dining, even in the changing seasons.
Continue taking advantage of the 18th Street shutdown with A. Kitchen’s heated outdoor streetery, where you can try the menu’s latest seasonal offerings with a warm cocktail. Limited indoor seating is also available.
Booker's Restaurant & Bar
Booker’s continues to offer outdoor dining, even dividing outdoor dining pods with clear plastic dividers for an extra dose of safety, plus indoor dining is also available. It’s the perfect spot if you’re especially missing brunch.
Café La Maude
Cafe La Maude’s sidewalk dining is now fully decked out with heat lamps. Stop by for daily brunch starting at 8am, or dinner Thursday through Saturday. The French-Lebanese cafe’s sidewalk seating, and limited indoor dining, both offer the full menu.
Charlie Was A Sinner
Charlie was a sinner. is embracing the colder weather by offering guests a cozy blanket to cuddle up with (and keep) after they order their first drink—think hot mulled apple cider or hot chocolate with your choice of spirit, served in a thermos. Sister restaurant Bar Bombón is offering the same just a few blocks away—and the food menus at each spot are entirely vegan.
Baltimore Avenue Eri-Ethiopian staple Dahlak has its backyard patio open, with the occasional live music to boot. Reservations are available but not required.
Fare is covered in pumpkins and open for business. With socially distant indoor and outdoor dining, it’s the perfect spot to get a spooky view of Eastern State Penitentiary across the street.
Front Street Cafe
What greater ambiance is there than the El underpass? Front Street Cafe is open for farm-to-table dining and cafe takeout. Plus, the backyard patio feels a world away from said El underpass and feels like a true urban oasis, pandemic or not.
The Fork streetery is fully equipped with heat lamps for outdoor lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, as well as limited indoor dining. The spot has also taken to upping its warm comfort food options with additions like French onion soup and a hot turkey sandwich.
This space shifted from private pool club to steak house during the pandemic, now offering legit glowing igloos for outdoor dining, alongside heat lamps and a view of the pool. If you’re missing the experiential part of dining, this is it.
The Hadley opened in pre-shutdown 2020 and has been working on different offerings to stay strong through these challenging times. Stop by for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, or opt for outdoor dining where you’ll be treated to a complimentary hot cocoa or hot cider (as well as outdoor heaters).
Harper’s Garden just might be making outdoor dining as bougie as it gets—with private heated greenhouses along its real estate on 18th Street. The ambiance feels fitting for a seasonal menu of fresh produce and herbs, and experience translates into the recently expanded indoor dining room, which offers an extra 30 seats.
Jet Wine Garden
The mini pop-up garden next to Jet on South Street is extending past the summer, switching gears with table service, civic-minded artwork, and lots of warm cocktails. Beer lovers can find seasonal favorites here too if they’re not into wine and cocktails.
Independence Beer Garden
IBC is lingering past its usual seasonal closure, fully leaning into football season and all things pumpkin. Secure a table online (or try your luck with a walk-in) to and eat and drink beneath the twinkly lights, watch the Eagles lose, and nibble on the most comforting bar bites.
Get a taste of some fine Italian dining at the patio of Le Virtu, where the socially distant patio and outdoor tent is still in full swing. The menu is available for dinner seven days a week when you make a rez online or by calling, plus newly expanded brunch offerings are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Laurel is offering extremely limited indoor dining (eight people at a time) as well as its intimate outdoor garden table, where you can enjoy an ultra-private, multi-course meal. Reserve dinner for one of the two nightly seating slots.
Along with heaters for comfortable outdoor dining, this Rittenhouse thoroughfare is offering warming “liquid dessert” with a hot Irish coffee topped with homemade vanilla-cinnamon whipped cream. Just keep sipping till you’re warm!
This waterfront staple is staying open into the autumn, with the pumpkin carving and hot drinks to prove it. Reservations are required with tables seating up to 10 people—standing areas are still closed for the time being.
The front seat of the neighborhood is accepting limited reservations up to one week in advance for parties of four or less. I think we can all agree that French onion soup smothered in melty caramelized cheese is the perfect remedy for winter chills.
Airy outdoor dining is available, complete with twinkly lights and heat lamps, and the restaurant is offering a QR reader for safer access to the menu. Make a reservation to enjoy this spot’s seafood-centric Italian dishes.
The Korean gastropub has outdoor heating ready to go for its spaced outdoor seating. Crispy brussels, kimchi fries, and a warm bowl of bibimbap sound perfect for a crisp autumn day.
South is taking its outdoor dining into the fall for the first time ever with heat lamps, wind-blocking walls, and new hot drinks—including bourbon punch and spiked cider.
Suraya has a heated outdoor patio and backyard garden for dining onsite, with reservations available to book up to 30 days in advance. Each table will have a set time frame depending on the size of the party, but you’ll have plenty of time for all the hot mezze, pita, and kebabs your heart desires.
The farm-to-table restaurant has heaters set up for the months ahead, as well as new drinks like the warm buttered rum. Guests are also encouraged to BYOB (bring your own blanket) to get cozy in the heated patio.
The Twisted Tail
Twisted Tail is open daily for indoor and outdoor dining, dishing out its best Southern-inspired plates for dinner and weekend brunch. If it’s rainy Twisted Tail also offers 10 percent off takeout and delivery.
Walnut Street Cafe
Walnut Street Cafe is rolling up a new hot drink program (pumpkin spiked latte and moscow hot chocolate) that you can enjoy while snuggled under a sanitized blanket. The spot has even taken to using cast iron skillets when possible to keep food warmer longer outside. You can dine under the outdoor heat lamps or inside.