Philadelphia

26 Outdoor Dining Spots to Enjoy in Philly This Spring

Covered patios, sidewalk seating, and pretty garden courtyards.

Spring is just starting to bloom in Philadelphia, and it seems everyone is holding their breath for the last of the outdoor-dining-in-20-degree-weather days. As Philadelphia continues to ease pandemic restrictions, city restaurants may have up to six people per table for outdoor dining. Indoor dining is capped at four people per table, with a 25 percent capacity.

As the vaccine rollout continues across the city, including the massive FEMA takeover at the Convention Center, so many Philly restaurants have now perfected the art of outdoor dining and streeteries. This spring we’re also seeing so many favorite restaurants reopening to the public after a hiatus. Even with all the mysteries still ahead, it’s a pretty hopeful feeling.

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Rittenhouse

There’s so much to love about the 18th Street shutdown by Rittenhouse Square Park, including the outdoor streetery. It’s the perfect spot for refreshing seasonal bites, cocktails, and ambiance. Limited indoor seating is also available.

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.

Bridget Foy’s

Headhouse Square

After suffering a devastating fire a few years ago, and then the all-around heartbreak of COVID-19, the decades-old Bridget Foy’s finally reopened earlier this year for outdoor dining, limited indoor, and takeout. Expect hearty brunch dishes paired with Irish coffees and cheddar grits, or stop by for dinner for a menu heavy on elevated comforts.

Café La Maude

Northern Liberties

Cafe La Maude’s sidewalk dining is fully decked with optional heat lamps, so stop by for daily brunch starting at 8 am or dinner Thursday through Saturday. The French-Lebanese cafe’s sidewalk seating, and limited indoor dining, both offer the full menu.

Dahlak

Cedar Park

Baltimore Avenue Eri-Ethiopian staple Dahlak has its backyard patio open, newly covered for all weather, with the occasional live music to boot. You can also find some indoor dining on the bar side.

The Dutch

East Passyunk

After teaming up with Fond all quarantine long for weekend to-go options, The Dutch is reopening for outdoor seating (and limited indoor dining), as well as takeaway. Head here for all your breakfast or lunch-related cravings and sink your teeth into one of The Dutch’s endless sandwiches—from the mammoth breakfast hoagie to the bursting chicken BLT.

Fare

Fairmount

Fare’s outdoor dining comes heated and covered, making it the perfect spot to get a spooky view of Eastern State Penitentiary across the street.

Fiorella

Bella Vista

Indoor dining and heated outdoor patio dining is available via reservation (on a 14-day rolling basis) at Marc Vetri’s pasta bar. It’s a lovely alternative to the restaurant’s original first-come, first-served, very-long-line-around-the-sidewalk model.

Fork

Old City

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.

Jet Wine Garden

Graduate Hospital

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.

With a new interior look and outdoor tables in its manicured back patio, Kensington Quarters has recently reopened to join the Frankford Avenue restaurant lineup. A new menu from Culinary Director Nicholas Bazik focuses on sustainable seafood and what the restaurant calls “coastal cuisine,” with dinner plates like Maryland shrimp, Barnegat scallop, and squid ink conchiglie.

Laurel
Laurel Restaurant

Laurel

East Passyunk

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. With the coming warmer months you can also expect a completely new menu to engage your senses.

Le Virtù

East Passyunk

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

MilkBoy

Queen Village

Milkboy expanded its South Street presence with an outdoor covered seating concept called Rock Salt, where you can order (via contactless menu) cocktails, cans, and house-made seltzers, along with its mixed menu of bar grub like cheese curds and the candied pork roll hangover burger.

Osteria

North Broad

After a hiatus starting last December, Osteria has reopened with an added menu of grilled specialties, probably best enjoyed from the outdoor patio (tented and heated if necessary). To supplement the usual fare of pizza and pasta, keep an eye out for new additions like bone-in NY strip, tomahawk pork chop, and grilled prawns.

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.

Rex 1516

Graduate Hospital

In addition to a new lunch menu to make Rex 1516 an all-day takeout/delivery option, the destination for elevated Southern-inspired cuisine has a newly completed outdoor streetery, featuring contactless QR code menus and heating if needed. The streetery goes perfectly with a gin cocktail and BBQ shrimp & grits.

For French-style cuisine, find a seat at Royal Boucherie’s expanded outdoor streetery or on the pretty garden roof deck. This April limited indoor dining will also be available. What better way to usher in sunnier days than with a cheese board and frites?

While it will probably still be a while until we’re dancing the night away at Silk City, the diner plans to reopen in March with outdoor and socially distanced indoor dining. The outdoor garden is a perfect mix of city art and sculpture with natural greens—the ideal setting to nosh on braised short rib fries and chicken empanadas.

SouthGate Philly

Graduate Hospital

The Korean gastropub has outdoor sidewalk seating ready to go, as well as a takeout window for bringing the goods home instead. Fluffy bao buns and a warm bowl of bibimbap sounds like the best meal for a crisp spring day.

South Restaurant

Avenue of the Arts North

Is that live music you say? After heating up the outdoor patio all winter long, South is reopening indoor dining (as well as continued outdoor garden seating) this spring, as well as live jazz—something just as integral to the menu as the food itself.

Suraya

Fishtown

Suraya has an outdoor patio and backyard garden for dining onsite. Each table has 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.

Talula's Garden

Washington Square

Talula’s dreamy garden oasis is extra beckoning in the warmer months, as is the restaurant’s expanded outdoor streetery that somehow translates the ambiance to a dining cube impeccably.

The Twisted Tail

Headhouse District

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.

Via Locusta

Rittenhouse

On the sweet stretch of Locust Street that feeds out onto Rittenhouse Square Park, Via Locusta is a bustling spot for outdoor dining on pasta, plates, and, for the truly fancy, caviar with brunch.

Walnut Street Cafe

University City

Walnut Street Cafe has so much outdoor space in which to serve you Golden Hour (Tuesday through Saturday, 4-7 pm) mules, meatballs, and truffle parm fries—as well as weekend mimosa kits with fresh juices.

Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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